Wow!!! What a rough couple of weeks! Got too busy to post anything, what with trying to get myself AND my daughter ready for school here at home, and the two boys ready for their own schooling. Besides that, we had an earthquake and a hurricane all in one week. PHEW!!! By the grace of God, I am back.
I’ve been thinking about the things that I’ve got going on this school year:
*grad school (I really want to make good grades!)
*homeschooling sophomore daughter (I hope she enjoys it as much as I think I’m gonna.)
*training for a half-marathon in mid-October (Am I crazy or what?)
*getting oldest child ready (the rest of the way) to leave home (What? He’s that old?)
*Precepts ladies Bible study (intense)
*house-hunting (more time-consuming than I thought it’d be)
*car-shopping, eventually (not as much fun as it sounds, or as I’d hoped)
(and this is just the stuff that I know of, right now!)
and the scripture that came to mind is in Hebrews: chapter 12, verses 1-11. These are some powerful verses.
(1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
(2) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(3) Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
(4) In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
(5) And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
(6) Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son, (Proverbs 3:11,12)”
(7) Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
(8) If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
(9) Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
(10) Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.
(11) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
So…Hebrews 12 begins with a “Therefore” and my mother always told me to look and see what it was there for, so I refer you back to chapter 11. That is the “Faith Hall of Fame” chapter. And my, my, my – what a line-up. But verse 39 talks of how all the aforementioned folks were commended for their faith and yet, none of them received the promise. In fact, all of the people mentioned are from the Old Testament – they just had the mention of a Messiah, of a Savior. And they went forth, in faith, trusting that they had heard from God, taking Him at His Word. And they were commended. Then, in verse 40, we are told that God has something “better” for us. WOW again! Talk about motivation to keep on keeping on!
Then, our focus is directed to Jesus! Are you going through some “stuff” right now? Does it seem like you are in a hole that is so deep you can’t see much more than a speck of light in the distance? Guess what! Jesus is there with you. He was there before you and He can sympathize with where you are!!! And still, He asks you trust and obey.
Everything we have to do, everything He calls us to do and all those things we go through as we are being obedient, that’s our discipline. Those are the things that are perfecting us, purifying us, so that we are the creation He designed us to be. We are constantly being formed and molded into the image of Christ. That is the purpose of the discipline.
But not all discipline is punishment. Sometimes, it is just the denying of our selfish wants and desires so that we can obtain something better, something eternal. Our flesh will scream and it will feel as though we are being punished, but we know in our hearts, we have faith, that the denial will bring us something greater. The thing is: we don’t get the reward until we are obedient, and put our faith to work. It isn’t really faith until we take action; before that, it’s just a thought. As a good friend of mine put it: you can say you believe that the chair can hold you up, but until you put your but in the seat, you’ll never know. You have to put your faith to work; that’s obedience.
So, today, I believe that I will set aside everything that tells me this year will be too hard. I will set aside everything that tells me I should just quit and take an easier road. I will set aside those voices in my head that tell me my kids will hate me if I don’t let them eat sweets or watch that TV program I don’t like even though I don’t really have a good enough reason for them. I will set aside those voices that tell me I’m crazy for wanting to run a half-marathon just to see if I can do it. I will set aside those voices that tell me I will not have enough hours in the day to get the things done that I know I have been called to do. I will set aside the temptation to 10 cookies when one (or two) is enough. I will set aside the temptation to sit on the couch and watch another rerun of NCIS when I could be putting away the laundry I folded while it was on, even though I detest putting laundry away. I will do it because my husband does not need to come home to a dirty house when I am not busy and am not sick and have had all day to complete a 15 minute task and because he does not need to hear the excuse, “I just didn’t feel like it.”
I will discipline myself not to talk about those people who have hurt my feelings because talking about them only keeps me in bondage to the damage they did to me. It keeps that wound from healing, and I have already received my healing because of Christ’s stripes. I will accept that healing and will no longer do those things that keep it from being a reality in my life. I will choose life over death, hope over despair, love over hate. And I will continually choose them. And when I overindulge in self-pity, I will ask for forgiveness and then, I will persevere again.
And, lest Christ shall tarry, I will do it all again tomorrow. Running the race set before me.
Thanks for Your Indulgence,