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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smooth Sailing

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." Matthew: 7:24-27 (NIV)

I reflected on this verse and the words from this devotional that I recently read;

"Just because we're Christians living out God's principles for life, does not mean we won't face difficult circumstances. The difference being a Christian makes is how the difficulties affect us. If we are hearing and heeding God through our prayer time and reading His Word, then we will be able to stand strong in the storms of life. Our faith will not be shaken and our identity will not be rattled."

I have known people in my life and have even done it myself, that when faced with a difficult situation, rather than pick myself up and face it, I instead just curl up in a ball and ask, "Why bother, I'm only going to fail."

It seems when the boat ride is tumultuous and wild or there is a good, but steady wind going, we're on fire and exclaiming, "wow, this boat ride is fantastic!" Then we hit rough waves or maybe the wind has died down and we find ourselves stranded with no wind, and that oceanview gets, well, boring.

Instead of taking advantage of the quiet or just using this time to get a sun tan (with a very high spf rated sunblock) and using this time to have quality time with our Heavenly Father, it's like our mind focuses on how bored we are and this-is-just-too-


The moment I say that and do that, I have already failed myself and let my Heavenly Father down. First in not trusting Him enough. Knowing that He has seen me through so many tough times that I shouldn't have made it but did. Instead of being confident that He ALWAYS keeps His promise, I, at the slightest touch of the wind, am ready to just give up.

Why do we do that to ourselves?

When times are great, oh we are on fire, but when life gets us down, wow, it just gets us down; We talk the talk,but when it comes time to walk it, a snail would have made it to the finish line before us.

The hardest part isn't often when the storm is hitting us the hardest, but in the moments before it that really defines how strong we are in our faith and how weak we really are.

If we trust Him as we say we do, rather than sit around and think, "Why try?" we should be exclaiming,"I don't care how hard this wind is blowing, my Heavenly Father has already seen me through the worse and this is nothing!" We should be putting on our rain boots, trudging forward not downward. In those time when there is nothing to do, we should choose to see it as a break time. An opportunity to take that much needed rest from a voyage.

Maybe it's not a bad day.

Maybe we're just bored, or maybe we just can't handle the quiet.

Instead of making the most of the moment and saying, "How nice, perfectly smooth sails," we often instead complain and become so focused inward that we don't see that while the boat is sturdy and there are no waves, we are slowly sinking the boat and everyone around us, with it.

People will see us complaining doing nothing really productive and then just five minutes later, we do something that has us regretting, "why did we even do that in the first place?" It leaves us feeling like something out of an "I Love Lucy" episode.

Come to think of it...don't we worry when the kids get too quiet or have nothing to keep them preoccupied?

What's our first reaction?

Ignoring it and enjoying it are definitely not it.

Yet we do that to ourselves when we are presented with the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with our Heavenly Father or take that much needed break that He knows we need.

What makes a difference between a Christian who is making the most of it and a Christian who allows life to make the most of them?

One sees the life for the reality of what it is. Yes, there are going to be moments of difficulty or stillness, but we already know of the hope and the promise after it.

The other, is never happy no matter what and in the process fails to see the blessing that our Heavenly Father bestows.

Having a boring, everyday existence is not a curse nor meant to be. Having a boring day can actually be just as exciting and powerful as a busy day, because it's God's way of answering our prayers to help us get the rest that we say we crave and He knows we need.

Life isn't always going to be exciting, but when we are truly honest with ourselves and with our relationship with Jesus Christ, we look forward to those storms and quiet days, like they are the most exciting gifts from our Heavenly Father.

It is then that in the litmus of the Christian Faith, we can truly find out how strong or weak we are.

People who are looking at us as testaments to the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ tend not to really pay that close attention how we handle ourselves when life is exciting and grand, but when life is boring and mundane and difficult.

Kinda like we tend to be more attentive when the kids fall silent and we notice that the non-washable markers are missing and that nice, pure white couch is at their mercy.

As much as we may yearn that life is as exciting as a Hollywood movie, the reality is that most of life can and will be as simple as going to work, coming home and little else happens.

How we handle those days, tells not only others how strong our relationship with our Heavenly Father really is.

So instead of grumbling...

be thankful and give praise!

Be surprised how much a simple act of enjoying the blessing God has thrown your way can turn a day with no winds, into a day of perfect and smooth sailing.

Heavenly Father, help me appreciate each day you give me, exciting, bad, happy or sad; Help me to treat each day as the blessing that it is; Not only remind me that it bears testament to others about our walk but our relationship to You.

Remind me that you don't give us a boring, everyday, just because You are trying to bore us, but that maybe our bodies or our minds just needed that much needed rest, and You, in Your divine wisdom and state, sought to give us the relief that we so desperately needed.

Thoughts to Ponder:

Share some ways you make the most of days when it seems so average, there is nothing better to do.

How can you use those days to draw closer to our Heavenly Father?

Join Twinkle Mom daily at her blogspot,
Sunflower Faith, where she daily journals her life.



Blogger Denise said...

Such a great post sweetie.

March 4, 2009 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

This was such a great devotional! I am so guilt to complain for my busy days and yet when all is calm I also complain!! I am so convicted of my attitude!!

Thank you

March 4, 2009 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Shannon Jacobyansky said...

I do have days when I feel I'm bored with nothing to do, but there is always something to do to further the Kingdom of God. Usually, I sit and read some encouraging blogs, such as the internet cafe, or I write, or sit in silence and listen for the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit to gently nudge me in a direction.

March 4, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

awesome post...i tend to grumble when things are a bit out of what I want them to be. Instead of being content

March 4, 2009 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A blessing and very thought provoking. Thanks.

March 4, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

Very convicting, Vida, and very thought-provoking, my friend. Love it!

March 4, 2009 at 4:28 PM  
Anonymous patrick said...

i thought your blog is about Internet Cafe as in, cyber cafe. :) but hey it was God's way.. i learned a lot from your blog. God bless.

March 4, 2009 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Thank you and
God Bless!

March 5, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger BizzieLizzie said...

Thank you so much for this lovely reminder - I always feel so guilty when I have down time, but have tried to remember we need the down time to be our best when we are hit with the "busy" times! Blessings, Charlotte

March 5, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

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