My daughter is a remarkable young woman. She is creative, funny, smart, courageous, and generous. I have watched God ornament her with ever-increasing wisdom and radiance. She has taught me a great deal. This morning she posted a note on Facebook that so moved me, I requested her permission to share it here. She graciously consented.
God is Good
This is becoming more and more evident every day. I have been seeing Him work in me so much over this past year. I've had prayers answered, needs met, problems acknowledged, and learned SO much. I just wanted to take a few minutes to let everyone else in on some of the things I've learned...
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.
This verse is so simple, and yet so important. It doesn't mean to spend all day every day with your "head bowed, eyes closed", but just talking to Him throughout the day and not just in church or before a meal. When something really awesome happens thank Him, when you remember something a friend is going through take a minute to pray for them, when you catch yourself getting really angry about something ask Him to calm you down, when something bad happens it's okay to be real with Him and tell Him you don't understand, when you're in a tough situation or have a hard decision to make ask Him for wisdom.
2 Corinthians 12:10
For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.
I have read verses like this many times, but I had to really learn it from experience. I have had a lot of hard times, some of which I didn't think I would make it through. But I can honestly say that I have seen God work through each one. Every time something bad happens, it is His strength that gets me through it, and it results in my faith being stronger than ever.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
"Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?" Jesus answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.' All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands."
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
I don't think this one could possibly be more clear. Following Christ is all about LOVE. It's easy to love people who are nice to us, but we are called to a higher standard. The person who left their dirty dishes for you to wash, the person who hurt you, the person who spread rumors about you, the person who betrayed your trust, the person who made a $40 dollar order and didn't tip, the person who left the toilet seat up, the person who talks too much, the person who everyone else ignores: We need to love these people just as much as we love ourselves, our best friends, and our families.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I guess this one has always been somewhat easy for me. I'm the type of person that would rather give a gift than receive one. But I would challenge you to try taking a certain percentage of your next paycheck and giving it to someone who needs it. You could go buy meals for homeless guys, give someone a generous tip because they seem to be having a bad day, or give it to an organization dedicated to helping those less fortunate. My guess is that you will feel better about it than if you had spent that money on yourself.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
It's easy to get tired of giving everything 110%, especially if it goes seemingly unnoticed. But this verse is a promise that if we don't give up, it will pay off. So take this verse and write it down somewhere that you will see it everyday, and be reminded to keep trying your best to do what's right even when it's hard.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
*Originally published 10 February 2009. Wisdom beyond her years. <3