Linda's Cozy Mysteries

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

God's way is better than Burger King's

I don't really even like Burger King, but they've been telling the public for years that the offering is theirs. I know you can hear the jiggle...."have it your Burger King"! God certainly allows us to have it our way, but our way is not HIS way, and HIS way is ALWAYS better.

"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Even from the beginnings of blessings, Abraham had it his way instead of God's way by having a son with Hagar instead of his "barren" wife Sarah. God still worked for good as He gave Abraham a son, Issac, trhough Sarah. And in Abraham's obedience this time with Issac, God blessed him beyond Abraham's comprehension surely.

Genesis 22:16-18 (New International Version)16 and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

God has shown me over the course of the last 2 years, and more as I've grasped the last few weeks how my whole life has had many Burger King relationships. My mother constantly told, me, "you can't do that" perhaps because it was something that wasn't socially acceptable in her eyes. I never set out to hurt people, but I was a non-conformist, who just saw things in a different way. I generally followed the establishment, and never got in trouble at school. But, I also wasn't afraid to speak up when I saw things unfairly in my eyes. I took input, but if I was determined that my way was right, that's what I did. As I grew into a teenager, I lost some friendships over this way of life. I'm not saying I was an ogre, but at some point something would come up, and sometimes, "my way" would offend them.

As I have listened to God to set aside my way for His way, I have found much more joy in life. Some times I realize that I'm really fighting a feeling of being rejected by someone, which is MY perception of the situation; it's not even always the case. But, I have realized this is a real hook of the enemy for me. He does not win against me as I give it over to God in praise in prayer though! God is faithful to take those wounded feelings and turn them into dust.

I've been asking God where the root of this issue is for me. He was quick to answer when I picked up a book, "The Search for Significance". I had been given this book nearly 2 years ago by a Christian counselor. I tried to read it many times, but it just never made sense that I could relate to. I didn't relate to it! Satan has been so successful with using this hook of rejection with me because I felt quite rejected as a child. Whether the case or not to my parents, I felt some level of disappointment being born a girl. My parents only had a boy name picked out, and they could not come up with a girl's name. They used a name my grandmother suggested. I suppose being a middle child too had some effect, as I was not the oldest and not the boy that they had 3 years after me. Little girls look up to their dads, and I didn't feel like I got that approval from my dad. He was really into sports and probably just could relate to a boy more than a girl. I actually played more sports than my brother did, but he did not support my events like he did for my brother.

The important thing though is I can still have victory over Satan. I don't need anyone's approval in this life because I can stand in God's grace. I am significant to him so much that he would have sent his only begotten Son for just me.

John 3:16 (King James Version) 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

His love is overflowing and abundant and always there for me. He shows up for each and every moment of my life and knows each step that is best for me. And, it's always way better than Burger King's and my way.

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A miracle of obedience

1 Peter 1:13-15 (King James Version)
13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

How many times have I heard Corrie Ten Boome quoted at Babes? I didn't know who this Christian hero was, so I picked up her biography up at the church library a few weeks ago. What would God teach me through this women who died while I was just starting my adult life in college. I had read Anne Frank's account of living through World War II as a high schooler, but this book was different. It spoke of the wisdom of an older woman who had learned to depend daily on the Lord to bring her through all circumstances -- Even while living as a prisoner in a concentration camp because she was helping the Jewish people avoid persecution.

At some point in the book, I remember that Corrie realized that her obedience to God brought about miracles. I cannot remember now what the miracle was at the time. The miracle that impressed me the most in her story was when she faced one of her former prison guards in a church after the war. The man had become a Christian and came up to her after the service as she had delivered a message for everyone to forgive one another, just as Jesus died on the cross to forgive us of our sins. The man spoke of how wonderful it was that she could forgive him for his actions at the camp. Corrie found herself in a helpless heap of sin. She could not bring herself to shake the man's hand in forgiving him. But instead of wallowing in that sin, she gave it over to Jesus and asked that He would help her forgive this man. In an instant as she obediently raised her hand, Jesus showed up and sent His spirit of forgiveness flooding down her arm and into her body. She could truly forgive this man through a miracle of obedience.

That's all well and good for her, but how would God do that in my life? Well, I was about to find out....after an afternoon with my kids this week full of bickering and bad behavior while I took them out to lunch, I found myself in an argument on the way home in the car. I sat there and judged them for the hurt they seem to impale to each other. Then, from the far back seat, came an explosion of anger from my oldest who saw the situation differently. He called me on my lack of love and my anger. Wow, did those words hurt! I knew if I continued this conversation, it would only get worse. We stewed the rest of the way home in silence. Instead of becoming bitter though, I gave this hurt over to God. I asked him to show me how I could show more love to my sons, and prayed for them and for me. A few days later, we all went to lunch as a family. I cannot remember a time where the two oldest got along so well, making jokes with each other in a comical way. I could not remember when we had such a fun time as a family. I was actually enjoying time with them at a meal instead of being upset by their words and behavior. God is good and certainly does bring about miracles through obedience!