Thursday, December 9, 2010

How can we receive what God's giving us if our hands are already full?

God wants to give us good things. His gifts of grace, forgiveness, blessings and love are freely overflowing. All we need to do is ask, and we will receive. He's not a mean God, he doesn't even make us work for it. That's the amazing thing about Grace.

Sometimes it doesn't seem like we're getting anything though. We may be asking, but we think God isn't delivering, because we don't feel the love, our lives are still going downhill, or no prayers seem to be getting answered.

Sometimes we need to be patient and wait on God and his timing.

But sometimes, God is waiting for us. Waiting for us to realise he's answered, he is giving, but we aren't taking it. Sometimes our hands are so full of other things, things not from God that we have no room to receive what he is giving.

Almost a soon as we realise what it is we're holding on to that's taking up space, as soon as we let go of it and give it up, God's blessings can pour in.

A while ago, I was in a relationship that wasn't good for me. It wasn't going anywhere for a whole lot of reasons but I was afraid to let go of it because I feared being alone again. So I was clinging to it desperately, while asking God to help me with it. I thought he wasn't answering since nothing improved in the relationship.

God was answering, I just wasn't receiving. Until one day, I finally gave in to God's prompting and let go of the relationship. Not only did I feel almost instant peace, but it was just about the very next day that I met the man who is now my husband!

My hands were full of my own ideas for a relationship. As soon as I gave that up to God, he gave me the gift I needed. (My husband's name - Matthew - actually means 'Gift from God')

More recently I have been considering job changes. I have been a teacher for three years but have not been feeling satisfied with it. It's a scary thing to change careers, especially when the new career options are not nearly so secure or certain or comfortable.

But I felt God's promptings in my heart, and I finally made the decision to resign from my permanent, secure job even though I had no idea what next year would hold. I just felt like God wanted me to be available if something came up, and I knew I wouldn't have the flexibility to do that if I was in a permanent job.

Not long after I made this decision, but enough time for me to begin to worry and doubt, God provided. God gave, and I was free to receive because I had trusted him and let go. Now I am going to be the Christian Pastoral Support Worker (formerly known as Chaplain) at the High School I was previously teaching at. It's an exciting new role and something I can clearly see God in.

Over the last two days I attended training workshops for this job, and there I saw clearly many examples of people letting things go, freeing up their hands to receive God's gifts and plan.

One man's story stood out to me. He gave up his house and job in a much more prosperous position to move across the state to a tiny town and apply for the CPSW position at a school with only 7 children. Worlds away from what he was doing and much, much less secure and certain, he had the faith give up a life lived for himself for a life lived for God. I am excited to hear about the blessings I am sure are coming his way in whatever God has in store for him.

You may not need to give up everything in your life as you know it, it may just be small. It could be leaving one job, to be open to something more fulfilling. It could be letting go of a relationship to grow or find a new one. It could be letting go of bitterness or unforgiveness to receive healing for your heart.

But whatever you hear God asking you to let go of, you can be sure whatever he is waiting to give you is far more important and wonderful. We often hold onto things through fear. Fear of being alone, fear of not having enough money, fear of not being in control, fear or what others will think. It may not feel safe and secure or even comfortable sometimes, but you can be assured that God is Good! He does not send you out to do his plans then leave you there all alone to fend for yourself.

God is good.

Psalm 103: 5 He fills my life with good things.

John 1:16 From his abundance we have received one gracious blessing after another.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Body Image and Self Worth (Video)

It breaks my heart to see people, especially girls, with low self-esteem and no sense of their self worth. We get so influenced by the world and what we're told is important that we start to see that as the truth and define ourselves by the worlds standards, and by comparing ourselves to other people.

The problem with those standards is that they are not real, and so never achievable. And they miss the point of what's really important.

We feel inadequate because of our looks, appearance, weight, clothes....because we've come to believe that those things are important in who we are.

Your clothes change, fashions change, beauty fades... None of these things last, and none of these things are what God really cares about.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, ...Rather, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4

If you are feeling bad about yourself as a person because of the way you look then you need to redefine what makes a person valuable and worth something.

To God you are precious! Infinitely valuable! So valuable he sent is son to die for YOU!

He didn't say - Are you too fat? Are you wearing hand me downs instead of the latest fashion? Are your eyes too close together or is your nose too big?

He said - I knew you before you were born. I knit you together in your mothers womb. I have plan and a purpose for you. I created you especially and then sent my son to die for you, because I love you!!!

You are a child of God. A precious daughter. Let God fill your heart with the assurance of your worth in him and then the outside stuff will fade away.