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I don't know about you, but I love to give advice. I enjoy helping my friends through their hard times by telling them just to have faith in God and hold on to His promises. I like to quote Matthew 19:26 by saying all things are possible with God. I may even decide to go with Jeremiah 29:11 and remind people that God has a plan for them. Sometimes I am able to help people with my advice and I've had my friends smile and thank me for being there for them. I've had people thank me for helping them and for giving them this great piece of advice. With all of those words of wisdom up my sleeve, you'd think I would have life all figured out. There's just one problem. I don't know how to take my own advice.
I walk around and talk about how great God is and how powerful He is and how nothing is impossible with Him. Yet, I walk around on a daily basis thinking about all of the things I can't do.
I tell everyone how much God loves them and how deep His grace is for each and every one of us. However, sometimes I wonder if He still loves me with all of the mistakes I've made.
I love to talk about hope and how it's always all around us, but there are days when I don't feel hope anywhere and I wonder if God can even hear my prayers.
It's kind of hypocritical that I can give great advice about faith, love, grace, and hope, yet in my own life, I don't seem to know the basic definition of such words. Ironic, maybe that's a better word for it. I tell people that Satan's words aren't worth anything, yet I hear his voice inside my head everyday, and what do I do? I run and hide, because sometimes his negativity is too loud to hear anything else. I thump my Bible and yell out these verses of love and grace, but I try so hard to hide from God every time I fall short. Unbelievable.
I know I can't be alone here. If you deal with the same things I do, then I want you to keep reading this post and reading about what I'm deciding to do about my ironic situation. It's time to turn over a new leaf and pick up my cross with a new mindset. It's time I start taking my own advice.
So, I've decided to remind myself of a few things everyday. Here they are:
First of all. Nothing is impossible with God. I'm going to start forgetting about those limitations I've set for myself. Do you remember when you were a little kid and you thought the sky was the limit and when you never worried about what other people thought of you? I know I do. I used to have the biggest little kid dreams ever. I don't think I dreamt of going to the moon, but growing up I had my share of crazy goals and aspirations. I used to believe that all of those crazy things were possible. I used to dance like no one was watching me. I used to sing like no one was listening. I used to write like no one would ever read it. I used to talk to anyone who was willing to listen. I used to be fearless. It's time I return to that kid-phase and throw away my fears and throw away my doubts. Let's be fearless together.
Second. I am going to remind myself that God's love knows no bounds. His love is, as the Chris Tomlin song says, like a waterfall. It doesn't run out. His grace is too deep to run low. Nothing I ever do will make Him love me less or make His grace run out on me. We all make mistakes and we all fall short of God's glory, but let's be real. We're humans caught in a web of sin and lies and destruction. The best we can do sometimes is pray that we can get through a day without slipping deeper into the web.
Have you seen the second Hobbit movie (Desolation of Smaug)? There's a scene toward the beginning where the dwarfs and the hobbit get caught in the very intricately weaved webs of some giant spiders. For humans, that's how life is. First, we just see a few strands of the web, and pretty soon we find our selves engulfed in the chaos with no way out. But God's grace and love is like the ring that Bilbo had. The ring made him invisible so he could get his friends and himself out the the clutches of those evil spiders. God's love doesn't keep us from sinning or messing up, but it allows us to move through life without getting permanently stuck in the webs of turmoil. His grace allows us to come out on the other side of the stickiness, clean and free from all bondage. That's pretty amazing.
Third. Hope. That's a crazy word sometimes. There's a song by Danny Gokey called Hope In Front Of Me and I think in many ways, it describes millions of people's lives. We've all been trapped in the dark, in a place where we can't find light and we can't find a way out. We've all been tied up and locked up in a room with no doors or windows. However, if we focus our attention on God and all that He has done for us, we'll realize that even though we don't always see it, there's always hope right in front of us. That's something I want to hold onto, especially in the season of my life that I'm currently in. There are days when I feel like the darkness has trapped me, but no matter what, I know that there's always hope in front of me.
Come along on this journey of finding the true definitions of a few words many of us use on a daily basis. Let's have pure faith in God's ability to work through us. Let's live our lives with God's grace and love wrapped tightly around us, so that we can find our way out of these webs of life. Finally, let's reach out our hands and grasp the hope God has placed in front of us. It's not too far away. I promise.
Until next time,