Here Today, Here Tomorrow

Have you ever heard the saying “here today, gone tomorrow”?  Money, happiness, and material things are often here today and gone tomorrow, which means that they don’t last very long.  I can think of very few things in life that really last.  The Bible compares even our very life to a “vapor”.  When looking at the big picture, most of what we have is here today, gone tomorrow, but I can think of one priceless thing that is here today and will be here tomorrow.

Hebrews 4:7 says that “God keeps renewing His promise and setting the date as today”.  This means we can cash in on His promises every day!  Just take a moment to think of a few of these incredible promises.  Proverbs tell us that as we acknowledge Him, He (Yahweh, the faithful covenant keeping God) will direct our paths.  Philippians tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  Psalms says that as we wait on the Lord, He will strengthen our heart.  The promises are countless.  He promises to meet our every need emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually and these promises are for you, right now, no matter what you’re facing!  Hebrews 6:18 says that “God can’t break His word and because His word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable”.

Isn’t it great to be reminded that every promise of God is available to us each and every day?  It’s no wonder why the writer of Hebrews says in chapter six, “We have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go”.  From now on, when you hear the idiom “here today, gone tomorrow”, I hope you will quickly think of the rich promises of God that are, in fact, “here today, here tomorrow”!

Lord, thank you for your promises.  Help me to apply them to my life today so that I can reap the benefits that you offer to those who are obedient to You.  Thank you that they are not just promises for today, but they are unchangeable and they never expire!

Showers of Stress

rainshower

Do you ever have those verses that, in certain seasons of life, literally wash over your spirit and minister to your heart? James 5:7-8 are verses that have jumped off the pages of Scripture for me. There is so much truth in these two verses. As I reflected on these living words and on the life God has entrusted to me, one particular phrase penetrated my heart.  These verses say, “Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.”

The phrase “patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work” seemed to leap out at me.  Often times, we can see the storms in life as things that God uses to push us to His loving arms (if we “patiently let them”), and certainly they do, however, the word used here in this verse is “rain”.  I thought of the song by Mercy Me, Jesus Bring the Rain, and began to contemplate the term rain.  Rain comes with aggressive storms, for sure, however, it also comes with simple showers.  Showers can be aggravating (especially if you are parked outside and have to go somewhere with a decent hairdo ~ha!) or they can be refreshing on a hot summer day.  I thought of the song, Showers of Blessings, and how blessed I truly am.  I have received showers of blessings, but I have also experienced the showers that are more aggravating .  Oh, not “storms”, like most of us would think of.  I haven’t lost a child, gone through a divorce, or hit a financial crisis.  I have, however, felt the “showers” that come from people hurting you deeply or taking advantage of you, unexpected hurdles that cost time and money, parenting challenges, and life decisions that just weigh heavy on your heart and mind.  These are what I call “showers of stress”, if you will.  None of these things are “storms” and sometimes they aren’t even “big problems” in the big picture of life, but they are often annoying and energy zapping things that Satan can use to suck the life out of us.  These verses reminded me that God desires to use even these “smaller showers” in our lives to remind us of just how dependent we are on Him and to grow us into all that He desires us to be.

We truly need Him for everything!  We cannot let the showers of stress “soak” us and weigh us down.  We have to “patiently let the rain (whether a storm or a shower) do its slow and SURE work”, by staying covered in the Word each day.  I want to allow even the “showers of stress” that sometimes fall around us (honestly, they daily fall most of the time), to do their work in my heart and life.  I don’t want to allow them to deter me from the pursuit I am on for Greatness!

Just like the earlier verse in James 1:21, which reads, “In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”  I am far more blessed than I deserve, and I deeply desire for God to cultivate a garden in my life that will bring glory to Him and enrich the lives of others!

Thank the Lord today for being the patient Gardener of our hearts and for tending to every detail of our lives, in order to make us a beautiful display of His Glory.  May we see the showers of stress as reminders of how completely dependent we are on Him, and may we be patient, allowing them to do the work He desires them to do in our lives.  As we’re pursuing Greatness, let’s thank Him for the showers of blessings, that He always intermingles with the stress, in order to remind us of His sweet presence!  Finally, whether you’re in a storm or you find yourself walking through one shower after another, be encouraged, because the Son could arrive at any time!

We’re Being Pursued

As we’re chasing greatness, what is one of the driving forces of this pursuit? What keeps me seeking, yearning for more, pressing harder toward God’s greatness, and reaching deeper for the greatness He has called me to walk in? There is confidence that our search will not turn up empty. Isaiah 45:19 assures us that God does not call us to fruitless service, nor does He tell us to seek Him for nothing. We have assurance that there is a treasure that can, and will, be found, if we are faithful in our pursuit. There is something more, though. There’s something that makes the pursuit even sweeter.

James 4:8 is one of the sweetest verses in the Bible to me. It says, “Come close to God and He will come close to you…” Let that sink in for a minute! My husband likes to put it this way, “When we take a step toward God, He takes a quantum leap toward us!” The Bible also says that He came to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). That’s us! He came, seeking us, with the intention and foreordained plan to save us. This means His whole purpose in coming was to pursue us, to redeem us, and restore us into right fellowship with Himself. Again, just marinate in that! The God of the universe is pursuing YOU!

You  might find it entertaining or warming to watch a movie, depicting the man pursuing the woman he loves, never giving up on the desire he has for her. You may even be in a marriage where you’re blessed by someone who pursues you with deep love and passion. Maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum, however, and you’ve never experienced this or you’ve experienced the total opposite and been deeply hurt by those who were suppose to love and cherish you. No matter where you are today, I want to encourage you with this reality that comforts my heart and fuels my pursuit. God is pursuing you, not because He has to, but because He desires intimate fellowship with you. God loves you!

You might be pushing back on this, because of the pain others have caused you. Maybe you’re wanting more proof, because life seems to have been too hard for you to conclude that God loves you. Romans 5:8 says, “God shows and clearly proves His own love for us by the fact that, while we were still sinners (living our own way, with no regard for Him), Christ died for us.” His love for you is undeniable! I pray that today you will be filled with joy, knowing that, whether you’re pursuing Him or not, He is pursuing you, with a ferocious love, and if you take steps toward Him, He will take quantum leaps toward you! This pursuit is worth it, and it should compel us to know that the treasure we are ultimately seeking in Christ, is pursuing us, as well.