Learning Hard Lessons
Learning Hard Lessons
Why is it that we are so hard headed? Do you ever think, “When will I ever learn?” Well…I was born this way. Were you? I have been hard headed from the beginning. My mom and dad tell stories of my determination to do things my way. As a toddler, I climbed out of my crib and left the house in the early morning to have breakfast with the neighbors. Why? Well, because my parents would not let me go over there the night before. Can you imagine their horror when the neighbors called and asked do you know where your baby is? I could bore you with many, many stories of my hard headedness. Sometimes it has proven to be a gift through commitment and determination. Other times it has proven to be detrimental because of my stubbornness and neediness. What about you? Are you hard headed? For those of us who are…it leaves us learning hard lessons.
Many of us all deal with the same struggles. So…let’s chat about learning heard lessons. Here are some I have learned - tell me if you can relate…
God's way is so much better than my way.
So many times we proclaim, “I want to do what God wants me to do, but I don’t know what that is.” Well…He has already told us what to do. The question is “Are we doing it?” There are many, many statements in the Bible concerning God’s will for our life. We just need to read them. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us…
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Do we do that? As Christians, we always have a reason to rejoice – even in difficult circumstances. Why? Well, because our joy is not based on our circumstances but instead on our growing awareness of God, our growing relationship with Jesus and the certainty that we will spend eternity with Christ. So, are we rejoicing…or are we complaining?
Romans 12: 2 says…
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
My way wants me to conform to this world – to fit in – to be liked. God’s way is for me to be different – to stand out – to be like Him. See the contrast? Oh my, this past year I have discovered that His way is the BEST way. His way brings peace. His way brings joy. His way brings purpose. His way brings contentment. Oh Lord, help me stay in your word and know you more. Please help my way to become a determination to always do things Your way.
I will never be everyone’s favorite.
Ugh! This is a hard one. I was laughing with a friend recently and we were saying 1000 people could tell us they love us and think we are special – then one rolls her eyes at us and we fall apart. “Why don’t you like me? I don’t understand.” Ever been there? If you are a people person – you love people and want them to love you in return. But, that doesn’t always happen. We could be the sweetest person on the planet and someone would be annoyed by all of that sweetness and another would call us fake. Here is what I have learned – God is enough. He is all we need. His love and acceptance is certain – no need to ever doubt it. We – as Christ followers – are commanded to love others the way He loves them...even if they don’t love us back. I John 4:7-8 says:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
So, I have learned the hard lesson of letting go of my need to be loved and accepted by all. But I am determined to learn to love and accept all because that is what Jesus does and I want to be more like Him. Are you with me?
He is worth the wait.
For those of us who have known the Lord for a while, we have experienced times that He is so real to us and times when we question where He is. The times in our Christian walk when we know His presence, hear His direction, and feel His hand on our life is so incredibly awesome. It is indescribable. It is powerful! It is sweet…oh, so sweet. But then there are times when there is nothing…just crickets. Ever been there? You want to yell, “Where did you go?” Well, He hasn’t gone anywhere. God’s word promises “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” It is during these times that we are to “walk by faith” resting in His promises. I have learned that the silence often means He is waiting on me. I need to grow. I need to change. There is a process I need to go through and He is waiting for me to do my part. If you know me very well, you know my life verse is Isaiah 40:31…
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
This verse is more real to me today than ever before. To wait is to have confident expectation and hope in the Lord – believing He is right there. His timing is perfect. Even if we can’t hear His voice – we can experience His peace. We can wait on His timing for us to move knowing He will be faithful to fulfill His promises. And if we do this- we will be like an eagle – filled with His strength, His vision, in His power. We will experience growth – spiritual transformation so we can walk out our faith and be used by our King.
God, help us to be hard headed for You - determined to live for You - steadfast in our commitment - too stubborn to be moved from Your purpose – unwavering in our faith. As your children, we are learning hard lessons…but oh, how sweet it is to be loved by YOU. Thank you for loving us enough to teach us and guide us in Your way. We are thankful!