Friday, May 13, 2011

#183 - Trust & Patience

Good morning! This morning Tyler had coffee with a few Christian businessmen. He came home encouraged and excited. Great fellowship & friendship does a heart good. I did not have the opportunity to get together with other Christians to fellowship this morning, but let me just say, Praise the Lord the Jesus sent the Holy Spirit that we could fellowship with Him always! Day & night, anytime. So this morning, as I sat whining to the Lord about several things, He encouraged me. As I sat, questioning Him, my life, my purpose, my progress, He encouraged me. Sure, I must say, it is wonderful to have Christian friends to encourage you and lift you up, but when those people aren't readily available to just pour into you, Praise the Lord that we can go to the Word for encouragement. We can go into prayer for encouragement. We can turn our eyes off of ourselves and pray for a brother or sister in Christ for encouragement. We can pray for the lost for encouragement. We can take our eyes off of ourselves and send a note of encouragement to someone else. It's amazing how things like that all can help. But, Praise the Lord, that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, our spirits are re-born, and we now have the Holy Spirit living inside us ALL OF THE TIME! We are never alone & never far from encouragement that we may need. What a blessing. How divine that God thought of something that great! That we truly are never alone! Let's jump into the Word now...
Proverbs 13:1a - A WISE son heeds [and is the fruit of] his father's instruction and correction... 
Proverbs 13:22b - ...the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up. 
Proverbs 31:13 - She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].
So... as I was whining to the Lord this morning, the main question that He kept asking me over and over was this, "Will you trust me? Will you trust me? Will you just trust?" I came back with "But Father..." and continued on with all of my reasons why He was taking too long... why this and why that. Then, the first verse I read after my whining was, "A wise son heeds his father's instruction." My Father has amazing blessings that have ALREADY been LAID UP for me! The question is, WILL I TRUST? Will I trust His timing? Will I trust HIS way of doing things? Will I trust HIS plan? I was whining last night too... I sat and journaled until I fell asleep. This morning He just reminded me, "My strength is made sufficient in your weakness." He reminded me, "Will you allow MY strength to shine through? Will you allow ME to show you My strength?" I don't know how you are in all situations, but I personally don't like to be weak. I'm not sure what it is about me, maybe it's all the books I've read, maybe it's my knowledge of how important a Positive Mental Attitude is, how important positive confession is, or who I'm married to. It could be a combination of them all... but I've never liked to let my "armor" appear weak. I don't want my countenance to appear weak. The greater One lives inside me, therefore I am strong! Nonetheless, it was a good reminder, "My strength is made sufficient in your weakness." Will I allow Him to be my strength? Absolutely. 
While He is my strength, I will continue on like the Proverbs 31 woman. I noticed that she "seeks out" her materials she needed, she "works with willing hands." She does not passively wait around and do nothing. She continues to "seek out." She continues to "work to develop." Marching orders for Amy? (1) Trust. Trust that He has things under control. (2) Work. Work like I trust Him. Work like I believe that He is finishing the work that He started in me. (3) Rely. Rely on His strength. Allow myself to be vulnerable to His strength and not just count on myself. He is ultimately in control. 
Finally, I wanted to finish up with a story. Yesterday and this morning I was remembering about the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. I remember reading about it, as well as hearing someone speak about it once. I pulled an excerpt from Charlie Dexter that I thought was really good, and encouraging! Check out his website to read the full article. 
"Zig Ziglar, the famous motivational speaker, once told the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. It seems that this tree when planted, watered, and nurtured for an entire growing season doesn't outwardly grow as much as an inch. Then, after the second growing season, a season in which the farmer takes extra care to water, fertilize and care for the bamboo tree, the tree still hasn't sprouted. So it goes as the sun rises and sets for four solid years. The farmer and his wife have nothing tangible to show for all of their labor trying to grow the tree.
Then, along comes year five.
In the fifth year that Chinese bamboo tree seed finally sprouts and the bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet in just one growing season! Or so it seems….
Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. The same principle is true for people. People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success, while get-rich- quickers and lottery winners usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth."

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