Encouragement

This week I made a silly mistake.

It had taken me hours to do the work at the end of last year.  I put it all on hold to wait until I could work with a colleague on another part of the task that was beyond my ability to accomplish.  We spent a long time together and completed the task.

But somehow, we got it wrong.  All of it.  I don’t know where the mistakes happened, but everything was rejected.  I was devastated.  It had taken many, many hours for both of us to bring it to completion and we had been thrilled with the final product.

Wrong!

The electronic system which received the upload did not beat around the bush.  There was no ‘hard luck,’ or ‘let’s try it this way’.  It was just wrong – with a list of all the mistakes.

Computers show no compassion.

I reeled back from my screen trying to absorb the shock.

As I thought about it during the evening and the night that followed I began to think that perhaps this was God’s way of saying ‘Enough’.  Perhaps I did not need to do this part of the work that, until the moment of rejection, had been important for me to complete.  I found no answers as I tossed and turned and eventually fell asleep after 02h30, only to be woken by my alarm three hours later for the next day to begin.

I considered staying in bed – perhaps to hide from the world.  But my early morning appointment was a healing service I attend regularly on a Thursday and I did not want to miss it.  So I forced myself to get up.  I was a little late leaving home and sat for 35 minutes in traffic (for a 6km journey).  Plenty of time to continue to stew about my mistake.

There were five of us in the congregation that morning.  Usually, there are a few more, but this week only five arrived.

The preacher leading the service invited us to draw close and sit in a circle.  She told us she would not read Scripture this morning.  She did not want us to go to Scripture.  Rather, she said, she invited us to let Scripture come to us.  She urged us to sit in the presence of God and listen for the Scripture He wanted to share with us.

So we sat in silence.  I have no idea how long we sat there.  I tried to stop mumbling about my mistake and asking God what He wanted, and to still my mind and just listen.  And in the tumble of thoughts, I heard His voice.

“I will complete the work I have given you.”

And immediately there was peace.  I knew that the work will be done – maybe not in the very near future, but gradually as we take it step by step, it will be completed and God will be glorified.

When I looked up the full text later it read:

…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

I was filled with awe as I considered the sequence of events.  A mistake made, a service attended, an invitation extended, and a gracious, loving, wonderful Word from God who cares for us in the details of our lives.

I have no doubt the task will be completed … sometime … and I will keep working towards that goal.  For God has promised and He is faithful.  No, there’s no doubt at all.

Posted in Abundant Life, Christian Living, Christian meditation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

You are Invited

And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.  2 Thessalonians 3:13

Today you are invited to consider whatever you do that can be termed ‘good’.  How do you serve God?  How much time do you dedicate to it?  Does it require you to give up other demands on your time?  Does it energize you or drain you?  How much energy do you put into your ministry?  Are you doing too much – or too little?  What is God saying to you about how you serve Him?  Ask Him about balance and listen for His reply.

May God bless you as you consider your work for Him today, and may He guide you into balance.

Posted in Abundant Life, Christian Living, Christian meditation, Daily devotional, You are Invited | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

You are Invited

… be still and know that I am God … Psalm 46:10

Today you are invited to sit in God’s presence and just be.  No reading, no writing, no talking.  Just four words “Here I am, Lord.” and stay there, in His presence.  Let His love wash over you.  Let His peace fill you.  Be blessed by His presence.

May God bless you however He wishes to do so today as you sit with Him.

Posted in Abundant Life, Christian Living, Christian meditation, Daily devotional, You are Invited | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

You are Invited

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where He prayed.  Mark 1:35

Today you are invited, in the middle of the week, to seek a solitary place where you can go alone to pray.  Where can you find a different place to do this – maybe in a church or a park; maybe in a quiet coffee shop or a bathroom?  What will you say to God in this quiet place?  How does it feel to be alone with Him?  Tell Him about any struggle you have as you remove yourself from your busy world and surround yourself with silence.  What does He say to you?

May God bless you with a solitary place today.

Posted in Abundant Life, Christian Living, Christian meditation, Daily devotional, You are Invited | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

You are Invited

Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise.  Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in summer … Proverbs 30:24-25

Today you are invited to consider the wisdom of the ant – which works hard in the summer when food is plentiful but slows down when the time is right.  How much time do you give to your work?  What balance is there in your life for work, rest and play?  When do you work?  When do you relax?  When do you play?  How often do you take a Sabbath and do no work at all?  What does God say to you about these things?  Tell Him how you feel – especially about the demands made on you by your work and any struggles you may have to find balance in your life.

May God bless you with a balanced day when you find time to work, rest and play today.

Posted in Abundant Life, Christian Living, Christian meditation, Daily devotional, You are Invited | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

You are Invited

Sorry!  Pressed the wrong combination of keys and published this in error!

Posted in Christian Living | Leave a comment

You are Invited

Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. Daniel 12:4

Today you are invited how much of a hurry you are in.  Other versions of this verse use the word ‘rush’ instead of ‘go’.  How much of your life is spent in rushing?  How do you wait?  What happens to your emotions when you are stuck in traffic or trying to hurry your children?   How often do you stop and smell the roses?  What happens when you do?  Is hurry a good part of your life – or not?  Why do you think this is so?  What does God say to you about hurry today?

May God bless you with some downtime today to enable you to consider the part hurry plays in your life.

Posted in Abundant Life, Christian Living, Christian meditation, Daily devotional, You are Invited | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment