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Archive for the tag “God’s Workmanship”

Crossing Bridges

A few weeks ago, I realized that my season of preparation was coming to an end. At least, that’s the name I call this time I’ve had off from the “working” world – that daily grind. I have had over six years of preparation for something that has yet to be revealed; well, that’s what I am anticipating. Although, I have taken another part-time job in something that really isn’t my passion or my real desire to work in this field; I know I have to do it to bridge the gap between where I am now and where I am going in the future.

God chooses the fields where we work. We may feel that we have gotten where we are based on our experience or our schooling; however, it’s God who opens the doors to the opportunities we eventually get. There is a reason we all land in a particular place – whether it’s a job or a neighborhood or a city. God has a purpose in it. I have seen this play out much of my working life. I have moved from one job to another, from one city to another, and it has all been by the hand of God. There was always a growing opportunity in that place. This time, I would think no differently. There is a reason I landed in the position I now hold.

Although this part-time job is probably just a bridge to get me from the season of preparation to the expected opportunity on the other side, there’s still a purpose to fulfill where God places me. He knows the fields where He needs workers. This is our training ground for the next field and then for the ultimate field – the promised field of heaven.

When I think of fields, I always come back to the field of Boaz in the Book of Ruth. Ruth started out that day from Bethlehem searching for a field in which to glean so that she and Naomi could eat. She might have just “picked” the field of her husband’s family farm, but God’s hand was at work in it. Maybe it was the first field she came to or maybe she saw something different about the field and stopped. Who knows how she chose it, but read how it all turned out. Ruth gleaned, Boaz saw her; they became engaged and married; they had a son, Obed, who had a son, Jesse, who had a son, David who would become a great King of the nation of Israel. Coincidence? I think not.

There was a purpose and a plan that God had in place from the beginning of time. Why would He work differently in our lives? I don’t think He does. We may not always have such a great story of meeting a guy and falling in love and then producing a King, but there is something significant in our stories that we just don’t realize here on earth. I think we’ll see it on the other side of this earthly experience.

This earthly experience is our preparation for something greater. And there is a bridge that God has placed for us to cross to the other side – it gets us from this earthly experience to our heavenly home and His name is Jesus. Jesus is our bridge of hope, of redemption, of reconciliation between us and God. He takes us from this earthly life to a spiritual life when we believe He did the work on the cross – taking on our sins and giving us His righteousness. We cannot cross over by ourselves. We don’t have what it takes, but Jesus does.

God saw the problem of sin from the very beginning of time and knew when Jesus needed to come on the scene. God saw it all from the beginning. He knew exactly when to place each of us here in our earthly experience. There is a reason and a purpose for us – God saw the need from the beginning, and the person to fulfill that need. It’s you. It’s me. We may not see it right now, but it’s how God works.

The Bible is proof beyond doubt. We might think of the ones mentioned in the Bible as “greater” people, but they were not. They were just average people living average lives until God intervened. Then greater things happened because of their willingness to step into their purpose. They could have all said no – Moses tried to, Gideon didn’t want to, Mary accepted it without doubt. They each said yes. No matter where we are, God can use us in His plans if we would just say yes to the opportunities when God places them in front of us.

The key is to know when the opportunity is from God; but even if it’s not, God can still use the opportunity and create some good out of it. God promised us that it would be so – read Romans 8:28. There’s still a plan even in this current madness. God is still looking for people to say yes and step into the greater life. The season of preparation is equipping us for what’s to come. Are you ready to say yes when the opportunity comes? Cross the bridge. What waits on the other side is worth it. Jesus did it for us. He thought we were worth it too. Stay focused on Jesus and let Him guide you every step of the way. Just say yes and watch what He can do through you!

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

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Change is Good!

Have you ever written or told your full story? I have written three different versions and none of them seem to be the right story to tell. I have experienced heartache (as we all have). I have had many sicknesses that were painful and wondered how I was going to survive it. But I did. I have had triumphs and struggles with addictions. Up and down it goes. There is story after story of times when I believed a lie only to discover the Truth in the story. In the midst of it all, there is one thing that was constant – change. I never liked change when it was thrust upon me – when my Mom, Dad and I moved away from family and friends. Those were hard years. Or when I lost a job, and I realized I needed to move back in with my parents (dread upon dread). Or when I learned that I had an autoimmune disease, which I chose to treat holistically. Change isn’t easy to navigate, but it’s one that builds our character!

Over the last few years, I have come to understand that God allows change to happen for our good and His glory. It’s in the telling of the stories that we see His hand of protection, provision and providence. God is sovereign over all things. Nothing surprises Him. Sometimes we just don’t understand the timing of it all though. But there’s a reason for that too. I was listening to a message Christine Caine gave at Liberty University when she launched her Propel magazine. She made a comment about each one of us being plucked from eternity and placed into the time continuum. We were placed in this time for a reason. Maybe we actually get to see Jesus return one day if we live long enough! This will be the greatest change the world has ever seen in its history, and we could be eyewitnesses to it! (Now, wouldn’t that be a story to tell!)

Her message struck me though as I consider why now? Why is this the time I was planted in this particular time of history? In this country, women have greater rights, greater privileges than ever before. Women are allowed to hold office (even run for Presidency). We can own homes. We can do so much more than fifty years ago. Everything changed after World War II. Change is the only thing that is constant in this crazy world we live in! And change is happening with an increasing frequency. Technology develops rapidly. You blink, and there’s a new version of a gadget that you just bought! So what is God up to? Why the increase in change, and why are we so blessed to live in this time? Only God knows at this point. He hasn’t given me any revelations that I could share with you. But I believe we are going to see something great in our lifetimes – it may not be Jesus coming back. I do believe though we could see a great revival throughout the world. And maybe women will be leading the way!

We all have stories that God has given us to tell so that He could get the glory. Stories are meant to share. The ones on our path need to hear of a conquering hero that saved us from the evil one. There is power in the stories we tell. Everyone likes a good story where the damsel in distress is rescued by the Prince and they live happily ever after. There is a “happily ever after” in our stories. We might not see it right now, but one day we will. We have been written into The Story of God’s Glory. Each one of us who call Jesus as Lord and Savior, we have a good ending. Christine Caine made a comment about her ordeal with cancer last year that really has resonated with me. She reflected before she was put under for surgery – “has she done everything that she was supposed to do while she was here and did she bring everyone she was meant to bring to heaven with her?”

Change is meant to grow us and develop our character. Our character is meant to glorify God. And our stories of how we got to where we are, is the life-change that people need to hear so that they too can have the future with the happy ending. Change is a very good thing, even when it’s forced upon us! One day, I’ll share more of my story. In the meantime, I am just grateful for being a work in progress knowing God still has amazing things to show me!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

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