Despite Your Best Efforts

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Not your best week.

You walked 10,000 steps a day, and ate salads at lunch, and stepped on the scale.
You gained 2 lbs.

You spoke your mind, and wrote your senators, and finally did something.
The other side won.

You practiced patience.  You listened, and tried to comfort.  You nurtured, even.
But your teenager is locked in their bedroom, pouting.

You went to 2 meetings.  You met with your sponsor.  You prayed.
Yet here you are, sitting at the bar, a drink in your hand.
At what point in time do you just throw in the towel?  There’s nothing more demoralizing than working really hard for something, only to be greeted by failure.  We’re conditioned to believe that our best efforts will always be rewarded, that success comes to those who earn it.  When that doesn’t happen, it’s as if the world has stopped functioning properly.  We begin to question God’s plans.

11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 9:11

After all, why wouldn’t God want us to be successful?  Why wouldn’t God reward our hard work?  Why wouldn’t God’s plans match up perfectly with the responsible, healthy plans we make for ourselves? Actually…

When I think of God’s plans for us, I don’t think of God charting out our weight loss or even our alcohol consumption.  God’s plans, to me, are played out at more of a cosmic level.  Plans for our souls to flourish, plans for us to be adopted as children of God.  Plans to prosper us with long-term benefits like hope and a future that spreads into eternity.

And so, while God is always present and gently nudging us with Grace, I see the work of our daily lives as our work.  God provides a space for that to happen, called free will.

That means, some days our best efforts will yield us a bounty, and somedays we’ll fall flat on our face.  This is more of a gift than we realize, because the uncertain nature of our lives is what helps us grow.  Think on this:  We cannot always count on life to be fair.  Instead, God offers a lifeline– a future, with hope.

A tomorrow that allows today to be what it will be.

Have a great week,

Mitch

 

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BAREFOOT!  A collection of 130+ devotions from Rev. Mitch Todd, complete with study questions.  Perfect for individual reflection or group discussion.  Get yours on Amazon!

barefoot.: devotions & discussions by Rev. Mitch Todd Paperback

 

 

God’s Time

God’s Time…..by Mitch

God are you impatient with me?  I know you’ve got every reason to be.
All those things that I swore I would do.  All those things I never got around to.

And all the while I was shirking my share, all the world was in need of repair.
All I’m asking is a brand new start, I’ll follow the beat of my heart

To God’s time now. God’s time now.
Follow the leader, pick up the beat or fall behind.
In a moment things can change unless you rearrange
your priorities and put them all in line

In line with God’s time.

Now I’m hearing something different.  I could swear you said be patient
When temptation swallows me whole, and when I neglect my soul.

All the dreams that I’ve tried to juggle, all I needed was to give up the struggle.
Before the harvest you plant the seed, the waiting is hard unless you believe in

God’s time now.  God’s time now
What’s in the hurry?  The joy is the journey, so take it slow.
A life fulfilled is found by making every moment count
So count your blessings now and you will find yourself

In God’s time.

So are you patient or impatient, I wish I could understand.
Sometimes it feels like you’re saying hurry up, slow down as fast as you can.

But when I think about it, yes I see some truth in this paradox.
The world would be a marvelous place, if we felt God’s grace,and set our clocks to

God’s time now. God’s time now.
Life unfolds slowly, so we must live boldly what we believe.
And when life on earth is through, time goes on for me and you.
For eternity is waiting right behind
God’s time.

________________________________________

You can listen and download here: http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_songs/536931

Have a great week,

Mitch