31 Days: Soak in Truth

Our faith atrophies without it. Our perspective gets skewed without it. Our hearts are manipulated without it.

We need Truth. Bible study isn’t about checking off a box on our to-do lists (oh, how easily it becomes that). It’s about filling ourselves up with Truth so that we won’t be so easily filled up with the ickiness of this world. It’s about drawing near to our Lord, our only hope for the grace to grow.

When Bible study begins to feel like a legalistic must-do, I remind myself that I need it. On my own, I don’t know up from down. I need God’s wisdom. I like to think of it as marinating my mind in Truth–covering myself in it, letting it seep into all the dark crevices, being flavored by it through and through.

This practical step is pretty simple: dig into God’s Word. Read it prayerfully. It will keep everything in proper focus.

31 Days: When Contentment is Hard

Sometimes life seems to be drowning us. It’s too heavy, too much, too painful, too dark. Too inescapable.

What happens to contentment in those times? How do you maintain deeply rooted joy in the face of depression, tragedy, unchangeable circumstances?

  1. Stay on your knees. Pray through it. There was a time when my prayers were mostly, “God get me through this moment. Just get me through this moment and then the next one.” He did.
  2. Get practical help. Support from others, medical attention, counseling, whatever might related to your situation.
  3. Persevere in hope. God will not leave you there. He will not leave you.

God walks us through seasons, and some of them are difficult, even excruciating. Remember in those times that He hasn’t changed, and there is always hope in that.

31 Days: Plans

I’ve always been full of plans. Mostly good, responsible plans that gained wide approval. Nothing too risky, nothing too questionable.

Then I discovered something: God doesn’t care how great my plans are. If they’re not His plans, they’re not the right plans.

For two years I battled Him on this over my career. God seemed to be telling me to step back and let Him work it out, but I just wasn’t seeing how it was going to come together. I had left my job as a therapist and was working in my family’s business, but I thought that surely there was an ambitious career path I needed to be on. I just had to find the right one, so I wasted time and money until finally I released it. Fine, I thought, I won’t be successful. That’s fine. 

And now my daughter gets to be tended by the hands of her mama, and I get to know her better than anyone else. I would have never made this choice on my own. Never. It wasn’t up for consideration in my mind, but God knew me better. Financially it’s challenging, but He provides there, too.

Know this: He has a plan for you. He has a specific, purposeful, important plan for your life to bring Him glory. Sometimes our best intentions get in the way, though. Sometimes we’re so focused on responsibility and success that we forget Who really is running the show (hint: it’s not me. or you.). He’s got it all figured out. I promise you, it’s safe to give up your plans for His. In fact, it’s the only way to contentment.