By Sandy Jones
Greetings as we ring in another New Year. The last two years have taught us that we must be resilient and we absolutely have to rely on God in all things.
I never felt this more than I did one pre-dawn morning in late November. My husband had hung our Christmas lights, and as I took our dog out I looked at the subdivision downhill from our home, and literally said out loud, ‘Come on you guys, get your Christmas lights up – we need the joy and encouragement those little lights bring.’
I’m sure some reading this are thinking I’ve put my hope in the wrong things, but please know – those “little lights” remind me that God IS light, and drives out the darkness. I think we can all agree that we need more “Light” in the world today.
That said, do you ever just laugh at how God works? I know I do.
Recently I was extremely frustrated with someone who just didn’t seem to understand my perspective, my point of view.
Arriving a half hour early for a meeting at a local coffee shop, I decided I would sit down and look up scripture to prove my point. My plan was to then wordsmith an appropriate response, based on God’s Word.
I would show how knowledgeable I am, and how sound my thinking. Not a pretty confession, but true nonetheless.
I was directed to Proverbs 17:15. This was really good stuff. I was loading up great ammunition.
Liking what I saw, I continued reading and had my ah-ha moment when I reached Proverbs 17:27-28. Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
Reading on to Proverbs 18:2. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
And there it was, the answer to my fervent prayer, to be lead to just the right verse so I could prove my point, except my finger was pointing back at me. I was the one sitting there with a log in my own eye.
Yes, God had answered my prayer. He addressed my own pride, and showed me that even a fool looks wise when they keep their mouth shut.
I was still chuckling when my appointment arrived, and had to share how God had taken my intent to show someone else, and had shown me.
As we head into this New Year, I pray to take this lesson with me.
The past couple of years have been fraught with emotions and growing discord everywhere; I pray to be able to look long and hard at my own thoughts, words and actions to be sure it’s He and me that I’m showing my full intentions, and not be such a people pleaser and allow myself to get so worked up over people who don’t agree with me.
One of my near-daily prayers is for “an abundance of wisdom” and in this time of trying to prove myself worthy, and smart, God answered my prayer with wisdom.
I know I’m not perfect, far from it. I know I will never have “arrived,” I will always have much to learn and discern. Those who meet me quickly find that I am one authentically flawed human being. I am just how God intended for me to be.
I have been quite open in this column about my secular past – my testimony, if you will, and this is simply another chapter in my ever-growing, ever-changing walk with my Lord and Savior, and I’m extremely grateful for the grace and mercy He continues to show me each day.
In my quest to draw nearer to Him, I read and study the Bible. I lead and attend multiple Bible studies, listen to podcasts and watch powerful pastors on video, and then suddenly, there it is, just like I’m a new believer He reminds me how far I have yet to go, and how I need to not be too spiritually mature to have ears to hear His voice when He speaks to me as His child. Like the Father He is, He gently corrects me, and sets me back on the course He’s called me to.
Will I make this same mistake again? Probably. Oh it will look like something totally different, but I’m passionate about what and how I believe, so I’m fairly sure something will work me up, and I will toddle down this path again. I just pray that I don’t get too far down the road before I recognize the scenery, remember this lesson, and get back to the important stuff – things of eternal importance, not things that will soon quickly pass.
I am humbly blessed to have been called to this ministry, and I pray that my willingness to share my own journey will somehow encourage someone to embrace the things that God is showing them. Thank you, dear reader, for coming along with me – I’m so glad you’re here.
Until next time…
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