“I want to see those abs tucked in and your bellies flat,” yelled the exercise instructor. “I’d like to see that too,” I thought.
Then the realization dawned. Wanting something is not enough to make it happen. It’s only when I work towards my goal that I start to see results.
This is true for more than exercise. My goals and dreams will not magically be reached just because that’s what I want. It takes commitment and hard work to achieve them. The sense of satisfaction is sweet when I experience the fruits of my labours.
I have found that since I’ve committed my life to God he has improved it beyond measure. If my plans are not in line with his, no amount of work will bring the achievement I hope for. When I am in his will for my life, he guides me every step of the way. I trust him enough to step out in confidence and do the work necessary. Then I watch in amazement to see what he accomplishes through my obedience.
The LORD’s eyes scan the whole world to find those whose hearts are committed to him and to strengthen them. (2 Chronicles 16:9 GWT)
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message)
Many years ago my husband started what has now become a family tradition. He made us clubhouse sandwiches on Boxing Day.
This has become so popular that our children have carried it into their own families. No one likes to miss this gathering together for a lunch of clubhouse sandwiches and an afternoon of visiting. The younger ones may not have acquired a taste for the sandwiches yet, but enjoy playing with cousins and snacking on everything else.
As I write this, my house is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of turkey soup simmering on the stove. We will savor this over the next few days while the remainder goes in the freezer to be appreciated at another time.
Why am I telling you this? It’s because I have come to realize that the enjoyment doesn’t end after the main feast is finished. There’s still more to look forward to. I have named but two of the ways we find to help this delicious meal last.
It is the same in life. I have worked towards a goal and once achieved, wondered if anything else could match this accomplishment. It was so rewarding that it seemed unrealistic to expect more.
As I look back over this past year I am humbled to see what God has accomplished in and through me. After one feast of blessings he has nurtured and sustained me as he prepared me for the next. I am confident that there will be more for me to relish. For now, I wait patiently and expectantly as I put my hope in God. I’m excited to see what he has in store for me next!
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14 NLT)
Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. (Psalm 25:4-5 NLT)
The owner of the store I work in is known for the amazing gift baskets she creates. When she wanted to teach me how to do them, I panicked. Feeling that I don’t have a flair for that sort of thing had me terrified to even attempt it. As she guided me through the creative process, I secretly hoped the day would never come when I would have to make one on my own.
Through her encouragement and belief in me, I slowly gained confidence. Then the fateful day came when it was necessary for me to create a basket completely on my own. The fact that I enjoyed picking out and arranging the items in the basket surprised me. After wrapping it and making a bow, I stood back and admired what I had created. I even took a picture of the finished product! The saying “I didn’t know what I could do until I did it” came to mind.
Thinking about this, I realize how many times I have been stopped in my tracks by something I thought I couldn’t do. Now I realize that just because it’s something I’ve never done before, doesn’t mean I can’t do it! When I stop and pray about the situation, Jesus guides me every step of the way. Through Him, I am able to accomplish far more than I ever thought possible. When those negative, “I can’t do it” thoughts enter my mind, I just need to think of the gift baskets and remember that all things are possible through Christ Jesus.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT)