“[For] it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13 (NIV 1984)
“I took a sip of coffee and grimaced as I peered into the cup. Everything looked like it should, but the coffee wasn’t sweet. Yet I remembered tearing open the little yellow packets and sprinkling the sweet crystals over the surface of the caramel colored liquid. Then I realized that—while I had added the sugar—I had never stirred it into the coffee. Without that stirring action, the sugar couldn’t work all the way through.
I do this with my faith as well. I add all the necessary ingredients. I’ve got my Bible, my devotion subscription, my godly girlfriends, my church, my special quiet time journal, my praise and worship songs, my verses memorized. If you looked at me, you’d say it’s all there.
But I’d rather avoid the stirring up part, truth be told. I’d tell you that I know it’s good for me. I’d tell you that it’s not good to stay in one place. I’d tell you that you should submit to God and let Him stir you up and that I’d be glad to pray for you during that process.
But me? No. Just leave me alone. Let me sit. I’d rather look okay and be comfortable than be stirred up and reach my full potential.
Have you ever had those feelings?
Maybe today you’re feeling stirred up. Your finances or your job or your marriage or your children or your friendships or your dreams feel like a cyclone is swirling through them, leaving you unsettled and unstable. You might be wondering why God is letting this happen, why He’s forgotten you. Not thinking that it just might be His hand doing the stirring. He’s using those swirling forces to reach all the parts of you that He wants to get to. As today’s verse reminds us, He works in you to accomplish His purpose for you.
Years ago a friend and I were making a big pot of spaghetti sauce. We left the pot on the stove and went off to join our families outside. But when we returned we smelled something burning. We pulled the lid off the pot to peer at the sauce. The sauce looked fine. All the elements were there: the red color, the thickness of the liquid, the chunks of meat and slivers of onions and spices. It was only as we took a long spoon and dug deep into the pot that we discovered that the sauce at the very bottom had become stuck because we hadn’t been inside stirring it up, keeping it moving, not letting it settle. When things get settled, they become stuck.
As you are stirred up in life, thank God that He loves you enough to not let you get stuck, to not leave you bitter. The elements are there—and that’s important—but it’s in the stirring that we become all that He has in mind.”
Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty lousy about the fact that it seems like I have to do everything half-assed. You don’ t have to tell me that writing on my blog recently has been less than stellar. I’m aware. My team doesn’t feel like we’re meshing at all during practice. I’m supposed to be a leader. My A&P grade is no where close to where I need it to be. To add to the mix, I’m teaching my first nutrition class this Saturday morning, and I’m not the least bit prepared. At work, I feel stacks of paperwork piling up. At home, I’m stressed about everything that I’m not completing…Jarid has been totally gracious and helpful in keeping my attitude stay in check. I feel bad though, because when we’re together, I want to be the best girlfriend I can be for him…Not one aspect of my life, do I feel like I’m fulfilling to the best of my ability.
This devotional made me realize, that although I feel as though I’m being pulled in 1920348039468 different directions, God is the one who’s doing the pulling. He made these opportunities possible for me for a reason. There’s a greater purpose that maybe I can’t see in the moment, but He’s in control.
He might even be using these things in my life to touch and shape me in the areas that are unreachable in any other way. He’s using me for His purpose, and I can find joy in that.
This weekend, I made him chicken fajitas with some simple frozen veggies (red & green peppers and onions), chicken strips, Mrs. Dash fiesta lime, and 8 Grain tortillas. He loves when I cook “healthy meals” for us to enjoy together. I would’ve typically eaten them with him, but I was craving a big plate of veggies, so the salad you see above is what I ate.
It was the least I could do. After all, he bit the bullet and tried ice skating with me.
He was a first timer, so I felt bad when he got frustrated….there’s not really any way I could’ve helped him, but we made a couple rounds holding hands…the rest of the time, he was kind of glued to the wall, which is exactly the way I was my first time.
Probably not the best time to take a picture, I realize…but it’s moments like this that I never want to forget…besides, he says he wants to go back. I mentioned once that I would love to skate in the Rockerfeller center in NYC at Christmas time…he’s determined to be there holding my hand (:
What’s something God is teaching you right now?
What’s something you’ve got on the “bucket list”?