This is a reprint of a blog post I wrote back in February for my blog “Treasure in Clay Jars”. While some of the events are well past, the sentiment is still the same. Where does our hope lie?
As a writer and editor, I’m in a constant cycle of “feast or famine”. I have either so much work I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off or I’m sitting around twiddling my thumbs. Sometimes it all levels out, but it’s not often!
Add into this the normal events of everyday life – the house that needs to be taken care of, the garden planted, the taxes filled out and filed, paying the bills, tending the animals, taking care of the kids and the spouse…it can seem overwhelming. This doesn’t even take into account spending time with friends and family and building relationships. What was God thinking when He only put 24 hours into the day?!!
This morning I received this message in my box on Facebook. I belong to the group “Prayer of the Day” and this was today’s prayer: Today O Lord, let wind of the Holy Ghost blow upon my life and make my life fruitful in every area. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, with much love and thanksgiving. Amen!
And then last night I was reading in 1 Peter 4:11b: …if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah – to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. (Complete Jewish Bible)
And then of course, my personal scripture verse from 2 Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it will be evident that such overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. (Complete Jewish Bible)
Whatever I am, whatever I am able to accomplish, it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the power and strength that God provides. When He sends opportunities my way, the accomplishments made are because He gives me the strength to work through it all. When trials come and I’m able to come out the other end standing (not necessarily on my own!) it’s because He has provided the means to persevere.
When I see God filling my cup to overflowing, and I’m tempted to panic, I have to remember that He said He never gives us more than we can bear. I have to remember that He has said He will be with me always and that I must learn to trust Him. Walking with God is not about the destination, but about the journey.
There have been several tragedies of late splashed across the national news, with one of the most poignant being the man that crashed his plane into the IRS offices in Texas. He felt cornered, trapped, and exploited by life, circumstances, the government and probably God as well. He was overwhelmed to the breaking point. His option was to not only take his life, but as many lives of those he felt had wronged him. We all can probably feel his pain, understand his frustration. We might not have taken it to the conclusion he did, but we can relate to him in some way.
And then I think of Joseph, the youngest son of Jacob. He was on top of the world, a young man beloved by his father. From all accounts he was probably a little cocky, a little too much into himself, and his brothers hated him. All that changed when he was thrown into a cistern by his brothers and then sold into slavery when they decided they didn’t want his blood on their hands. He was later accused of rape, sent to jail to rot, and finally emerged on the world stage as Pharaoh’s vizier. By his very placement, he was able to insure the continued survival of his father, his brothers, and the future nation of Israel.
How successful we are in facing the demands of life is dependent on how we view the circumstances that we find ourselves in, how we see our situation as either the capriciousness of Fate or the hand of God guiding everything in His perfect will. If we look at everything from a “the glass is half empty” perspective, then we’re going to view everything through the distorted lens of bitterness, anger and hate. However, if we can look at what we face as an opportunity to walk with God, to serve His purposes, and to minister to those we encounter, we will begin to see the unlimited possibilities that God places before us day in and day out.
And instead of being tempted to fly an airplane into building, we will be encouraged to soar with wings as eagles. In God, there is always hope.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)