The decision was not easy. Two of our nine-year-old granddaughters wanted to spend the night in our camper van. The dilemma came when they told me they could sleep there without me. I didn’t like this idea at all. Who would protect them or comfort them if they became afraid?
We were in a gated, secure family RV park and my husband and I would be mere steps away in our trailer. Somehow this didn’t make me feel any better.
I turned to the girl’s parents for guidance. Truthfully, I was willing to let them be the bad guys who said no. They had no concerns so reluctantly I agreed.
One of the first things I did was to ensure they could open the door to get out of the van on their own. No problem there. I must have forgotten they are nine and not two!
When the girls were tucked in for the night, we let them know the lights on the outside of the van and the trailer would be left on. That way they could easily find their way to us in the dark of night.
A light in the dark brings comfort. That is why Jesus told his followers to let their lights shine before others. We can do this by walking with God and letting His Spirit shine through us.
In this way we are able to shine a comforting, joyful light to people we come in contact with. And, as I learned with my granddaughter’s camping experience, a little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NIV)
After attending an aquafit class for several years I know where to stand in the pool to get maximum benefit from the workout.
In the past few months the class has grown significantly and I’ve been arriving earlier to ensure I get my chosen spot in the crowded pool.
One of the new attendees has claimed a spot slightly in front of me. This would be fine if she didn’t splash so much while exercising. I don’t like water splashed in my face and this has now become a regular occurrence.
One day I was getting frustrated with the amount of water flying at me when I had a thought that forced me to re-evaluate my attitude. I was the one responsible for my own experience.
There was a clear choice to be made. I could move to another location which would then force others to adjust their position. This didn’t seem right. I could ask the splasher to be more careful. This would impact her experience and I didn’t want to do that. Or, I could stay where I was and do my best to disregard the splashing. I chose to adjust my attitude rather than my physical location. After all, the goal of exercise was not to keep me comfortable!
In the scheme of things, this was a small price to pay. I gave up a little of my comfort for the greater good of several others.
Jesus gave up not only his comfort but his very life for the benefit of all who would follow him. He knew what torture lay ahead of him, yet said he would do God’s will and not his own. His attitude was one of loving sacrifice.
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42 NLT)
Have you ever been caught in a situation that took you by surprise and left you wondering what happened?
That was my experience recently. The situation itself is not important, how I dealt with it is what I need to focus on.
I sought a neutral party for guidance in how to proceed. After listening attentively to my story, I was asked how I was doing. My immediate response was, “I’m alright.” After assurance that this really was the case, we moved on.
The truth was that although I knew I would be alright, at that moment I was hurting. The person I was speaking to was in demand from other sources so I decided it was better not to add to her burden.
When I examined this the next day, I realized that this was a self-defeating behavior. By not acknowledging my feelings, I didn’t allow the other person the opportunity to comfort and reassure me. It was not my place to decide that for someone else.
Deep in my subconscious was the lie that I didn’t deserve the time and attention another was freely offering. I was suddenly struck by the thought that it’s not only other people I do this with. I have done the same with God.
Frequently I feel that my little issues are not worth taking to him. He has much more important things to take care of. That, however, is not the way God works. He cares about every aspect of my life and is always willing to give me the comfort and guidance I need. All I need to do is ask.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23NIV)
We had our 4 year old granddaughters here for a sleepover. Early in the morning we were awakened to the sounds of giggles and whispers. We enjoyed the happy sounds and realized that they had no idea we could hear them. Their lively chatter made us smile. Soon that changed as one got upset, started to cry and appeared at our bedroom door. I held out my arms and she rushed into my comforting embrace. It wasn’t long before everything was right in her world again.
This is similar to my relationship with God. I carry on with my day, sometimes forgetting that he hears everything I say. He enjoys hearing my laughter and happy conversations. Most of my words please him but there are others that cause concern. When I am upset he is always there to give me comfort and set my world right again.
The important thing for me to remember is that even when I am not consciously aware of it, God is always with me. When the communication between us flows freely, my life is so much smoother.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. You are patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. Psalm 86:15 God’s Word Translation
Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are. 1 John 3:1 God’s Word Translation