Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thankful Thursday

While I have been able to get a lot done before I leave for Ireland in just a couple of days, there is still so much left to do. On this Thankful Thursday, I am tempted to sit here, paralyzed by the undone, and throw a pity party! In fact, I have been immobilized this morning and am still in my exercise clothes; yes, I had good intentions of hitting the treadmill this morning, but all that has been racing is my mind filled with anxiety for what is not done, what will happen during my absence and what if...what if....what if!

And then.....

I am reminded of a devotional that I finished writing this week for publication on an online devotional for November 8th. Don't you just hate it...I mean love it....when God brings to your mind, using your own words.....His Truth that always crashes the best of pity party!

Psalm 116:5 November 8, 2007

“The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.”

Is your God big enough?

In his book, Your God Too Small, J. B. Phillips lists some names we have developed for God in our adult thinking: Resident Policeman, Parental Hangover, Grand Old Man, Meek and Mild, Absolute Perfection, Heavenly Bosom, God-in-a-box, and Managing Director. Suggesting that we bring our childhood beliefs and life experiences while defining God in our adulthood, Phillips purports that we find ourselves perplexed by a description of our God who is not big enough for our modern day needs. “While [our] experience of life has grown in a score of directions, and [our] mental horizons have been expanded to the point of bewilderment by world events and scientific discoveries, [our] ideas of God remain largely static.” Ask yourself this question today, “Have I ‘conformed to the pattern of this world’ as I understand who God truly is? (Romans 12:2)

….but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” It’s time for some transformation of thought! “His good, pleasing and perfect will” is evidence of His gracious and righteous nature; our God is not limited to our mental capacities. He cannot be put in a box; still, as Phillips states, “Many men and women are living today, often with inner dissatisfaction, without any faith in God at all. This is not because they are particularly wicked or selfish, or as the old-fashioned would say, “godless,” but because they have not found with their adult minds a God big enough to “account for” life, big enough to “fit in with” the new scientific age, big enough to command their highest admiration and respect, and consequently their willing cooperation.” Yes, it’s time for the renewal of our minds!

I avoid conforming to this world—we all try. And yet, when we limit our understanding of the true nature of God by our mental processes during trying times, we conform indeed. Renewing of our minds changes our prayer of “Why LORD?” to “Thank you LORD!” Thank you for your Holy power and never ceasing love to bring something eternally good out of every bad situation I face. Thank you LORD for your never-ending presence in my life, even when I do not have the ability to see it. Thank you God for your Holy grace, girded with compassion which guides your perfect will for my life. Ah yes, renewal works!

Reflection: Who do you say God is? Have you put Him in a box or labeled Him within the confines of your own understanding? Or, do you rejoice with the Psalmist as he proclaims publicly how big his God is? Read all of Psalm 116; go ahead—“test and approve” all that God is--read all of the Psalms! Renew your mind today and discover our conception of God can never be too big!

So, today, I am thankful that no matter how big my anxieties become, my God is bigger.

I am thankful for God's Word, for His voice that speaks to us even when the roar of our world seems too loud.

I am thankful for God's gracious righteousness; that no matter my weakness and sin, He faithfully covers me with His righteousness.

I am thankful for the conviction of His Word: that His Word faithfully transforms my mind and renews my Spirit.

I am thankful that no matter where I am, God is there.

I am thankful for His very real presence and purpose for my life. Too often as I am overcome with reliance on my self....I forget that He is with me. I am thankful that when I forget who God truly is.....He is faithful to remind me!

Have a great TT!


Denise said...

Never forget how very much God loves you.

Diane J. said...

Have you ever noticed that the reality after the worry is almost NEVER as bad we pictured it in our worry-filled mind? The enemy is the author of worry, not our Father God. God tells us NOT to worry.

Put your head down, do your best with what you have in the time you have, and God will take care of the rest. All He asks of us is our best.


Love and hugs,


Kathleen Marie said...

God's Word is more powerful than a two-edged sword. It cuts through divides and separates the wheat from the chaf... Aweome!

And you are going to IRELAND! WOW! That is fabulous! What a HUGE blessing!

Take lots of pictures!

God Bless!

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Hope you have a wonderful time in Ireland- how exciting!

Everything will come together, it always does right?!


Nadine said...

I too am grateful for a big God. Amen.

Lynn said...

This post Rocks! Thank you. Prayed for you and Curt today. Love you, Lynn

Sharon Lynne said...

Yes...I think my mind needs renewing. It needs to spend time with God, in his Word and in thought focusing you pointed out in your post...that he is bigger then anything we face! Thank you for this rich reminder!

You're going to Ireland? How wonderfully exciting! I know what you mean about the stress of leaving. It's hard to tie up all the lose ends.

Take care! and 'see' you when you get back!

Dawn said...

I know just what you mean about worrying what will happen while you're gone. Been there, done that! Didn't have you to remind me that our God is bigger than our problems!!

I hope you can send us updates while you're gone -- if not, see you when you get back!

eph2810 said...

So true, Diane. I have learn, when I stay close to His Word, that my why questions turn in to praise. I am not saying that I like the tribulations I am going through, but I know that God will see me through...

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful reflection with us on a Thankful Thursday.

I pray and hope you have the best time in Ireland. How cool :) - May our Lord bring home safely so that you will be able to share with us your fantastic trip.

Blessings to you and yours.

groovyoldlady said...

This past two weeks I have seen exactly that: God IS BIGGER and He is SUFFICIENT - He is ALL and He is GOOD.

Have a wonderful STRESS FREE trip!

staceyhoff said...

what a wonderful post;i'm so glad that i stopped in today. i think it was no accident. he does that to me to, reminds me of my own words of encouragement or instruction i have shared with others. it's conviction, but it comes with such love that it's more like a warm hug & a point in the right direction than a harsh scolding and a spanking. sometimes we eed to use the rod of correction with our little one's, but oh how i long to have more of a heart like Jesus when I'm frustrated with one of them i have in my mind now and he just won't 'get it' about how some besetting sin is ruining him; oh well i have my own besetting sins that i will struggle with till death.and God is so patient and loving with me...i wanna be just like him!!
sorry about the caps my DD is on my lap half asleep and she just won't go back down; she's been up for 2 hours and it's only 8a.m.;Iv'e been praying in my heart but thought it was time to come check on my friends in cyber space-- you all always have such good admonishment and encouragament to share ;) iron sharpens iron <3

thanks for sharpening me 2day :)

<3 Stacey

Gardenia said...

I always have extreme trip anxiety as well. And it does take a awhile to remember that God is going with me on the trip as well. I forgot that in New Orleans night before last when I got lost - I was calling "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." He was probably sitting there thinking, "Just drive, I'll get you there!"

Sista Cala said...

I have heard it said that the only thing that can limit God is our flesh. When we allow our flesh to dictate our response to Him, we will often set an obstacle in the pathway of His blessings.

Chris said...

God Bless!

Becky Wolfe said...

This is a great reminder that we need renewal in our minds daily! I must adapt to that change of "Why Lord?" to "Thank you Lord" - no matter whether or not I understand His will over mine!

Great post!