Category Archives: God’s Power

Just Plunge Right In

Living close to SturgeonLake means that I can find relief from hot weather with a daily dip in the lake’s cool water. On busy days, it can be nine at night, before I think, “Oh yes, I haven’t yet had my swim.” Still, I grab my towel and trot down to the beach. At night, the mosquitoes make sure I don’t stand on the shore cautiously dipping my toes to see if the water’s cold. With their help, I plunge right in. As I stretch out in that cool refreshing water, all the cares of the day recede. I turn my eyes to the stars glistening in the sky, and the moon’s silvery path across the water. God is good, I think.

In some ways, our attitude to God’s call is a lot like my attitude to swimming. We know that doing God’s work daily will bring joy and refreshment, but far too often, when God calls on us with a leadership role, we hang back. Whether it’s chairing a committee, organizing the strawberry supper, teaching Sunday School, or joining the church visitation team, we’re afraid. Will we be able to do it? Do we have the skills?

God doesn’t use mosquitoes or any kind of force to get us to choose God’s way. God does promise to be with us, giving us the strength, the wisdom and the help we need. When we set aside our fears and plunge in, we’re often amazed. Before long, we’re doing the job and enjoying it.

The bottom line is that we cannot enjoy the cool refreshing water as long as we stand on the sea shore. We cannot receive the joy of growing and learning with God without conquering our fear of what lies ahead. We can say yes to leadership. We can plunge right into the water because God is with us. Remember God doesn’t call the equipped. God equips the called. Thanks be to God.

 

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  (2 Timothy 6-7)

Graduation

Last Sunday, graduation pictures of church members, a congratulations sign, streamers, and balloons decorated our church sanctuary as we celebrated all the young people of our congregation who were graduating from Senior Kindergarten, grade eight, high school and university. During our minister’s conversation with the children, one young Mom announced that her son had just graduated from diapers to using the potty.
The scripture that morning described the confrontation between the shepherd boy David and the Philistine giant Goliath. Throughout the story, David declares that, strengthened by God’s presence within him, he can use his God-given talents to do God’s work. David needed only the courage of his faith, his ordinary slingshot and five smooth stones to complete the task.
            Although I have never liked this violent story, it carried a message for me and, I hope, for our graduates. During our lifetime, we will be faced with difficult tasks. Sometimes, like David, we’ll be aware of the importance of the task for ourselves and the world. Much of the time, we’ll think that our efforts will go unnoticed. But all of the time, we can draw on God’s strength. We can have courage because we know that God is with us, and has provided the gifts God knows we need to do the job.
            Last Sunday, as we congratulated our young people, I hoped that their time among us had helped them know four things:
1.      They are God’s precious children.
2.      God is always with them, giving them strength and hope.
3.      Their church family supports them with prayer and love.
4.      God asks that they live a life of love for others, for God and for themselves.
 The Lordwho rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”  1 Samuel 17:37

Worry

I’m good at worrying. At night, sleep eludes me as I conjure up scenario after scenario. What if this happened? Or that?  I’m like a dog chewing at a bone, a relentless and determined worrier.
            Friends tell me to “let go and let God.” I know that’s good advice, but it’s not easy to follow. How can I trust God? God has given us the gift of free will? Free will means that my loved one can refuse God’s help. What then?
Because we love, we envision chaos that may never happen. It’s hard to accept the fact that we can’t make all the decisions for our precious child. When children are little, we can rush in and fix things.  Once they are teenagers, our fixes are unwanted. Teens, in their desire for independence, can be cruel as they reject our well-intentioned efforts. They leave us with no alternative but worry. But we don’t have to worry alone.
            I get up in the middle of the night, harassed by my fears and write a letter to God. I dump on God all my worries and all my wise solutions. The page full, I sit quietly waiting, waiting for help. It amazes me that God always answers. I hear. “Keep on loving. Love that child or friend, no matter what. You may have to declare some behaviour unacceptable, for it won’t help to be walked on. Still, keep on loving. Entrust the future to me, your God. I have a plan. Trust in me to work out that plan. I will never leave your loved one.” So I return to bed. In the morning, I may pick up that worry once again, but at least for a few hours, I have received God’s peace.
I give thanks to God that my worries draw me to prayer. The cycle of worry-prayer-peace has value for it keeps me in contact with God.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)