Filling In The Gaps

It’s been amazing to me how God’s goodness has just followed me throughout my whole life. This doesn’t mean my life has been perfect, nor does it mean that it’s been devoid of pain and sorrow. That’s actually very far from the truth. However, looking back through the years, and even at the very beginning, His goodness was there, almost lurking in the shadows at times.

I can see His hand at work so many times, comforting me, shielding me, overshadowing me and even uplifting me to be encouraged and reminded of this. I hear often, from people who want to reject Him, ask the question, “If He’s so good, why do bad things happen? Why do people get hurt? Why doesn’t He rescue all from evil?” To completely, and theologically, try to explain the answers to these questions, it would take too long for this blog, and it might be too deep or too boring for some.

Yet, I will say this much, typically, these questions aren’t from true searchers who would actually accept God if they found Him. These questions are designed to set up rebellion in a heart and argument in a mind to the point of stubborn resolution that either there is no God or He’s just a deity that is too lofty for our minuscule life, and He never cared anyway. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’d have to contend that you are not a true seeker nor a very good reader. You don’t do any research or read anything to truly help you find the answers to the questions you ask. But I digress. That will be another post for another day.

We live in a fallen world, and just as a person being sick doesn’t make the doctor less of a doctor, dealing with the evil of a fallen world doesn’t make God any less God. Having bad things happen in my past doesn’t nullify the Sovereignty of my God nor does it mean He loves me any less. There are a ton of reasons bad things can happen, and I won’t try to pretend to have all the answers for the Whys. I will say, the more I focus on Him and on His goodness, I see more and more of Him intricately intertwined into every piece of my life’s tapestry, and for this, I am eternally grateful!

I see the godly men He brought into my life when my own father abandoned me time and again. I see the godly women He brought into my life when my own mother and I could never see eye to eye. I see the friends He brought in when another would wound and scar my tender heart. He has always filled in the gaps when the entities of this world left my soul wrenching in pain and agony.

God places specific people in your life to fill in those voids that others leave, those gaps where others have failed their purpose. Sometimes, we are too fixated on what was lost that we fail to see the refreshing fulfillment He places right before us. We have to get our eyes focused back on Him, and He will give us sight to see what we could never have imagined possible.

“Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” 1 Samuel 16:1

Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:11

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Fill It Up!

There is an old hymn that goes something like this…

overflow2

voiceofoc.org

 

Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.         –  Richard Blanchard

 

If we expect to be able to reach out and help others, to pour out to others, we must continually be filled up by Him. If we’re running on empty, it’s going to show in our attitudes, in our words and even in our thoughts, which, eventually, always work their way into our words. This is why so many Christians find themselves worn out and burnout in “doing the work for the Lord. This is, also, why so many non-Christians find themselves walking away from grouchy, don’t-want-to-smile-at-you-but-I’ll-give-you-food church goers.

This isn’t to validate those naysayers who just want to fuss about “Christians-hypocrites who don’t share the love of Christ,” because, from where I stand, there are way too many good men and women who love Jesus to even give credence to that kind of nonsense. However, I have found that well meaning Christians can get to the point of burnout and bad attitudes when they aren’t getting filled back up when they’ve given time to a ministry.

We have to work from the overflow. You see, we are like a conduit through which the Lord flows, and when we stop getting filled, it’s as if we shut off His flow and try to continue on our own. Our strength is only so strong. Our faith is only so faithful. Our diligence is only so diligent, and that is because we are only human. We are not God. From God, all blessings flow. In God is found all the love, mercy, hope, joy, and everything the world is looking for. Through God, we have all the strength, faithfulness, and dedication we could ever need.

When we allow Him to pour into us and through us, all this world needs comes gushing out. Let Him fill your cup to overflowing today; so, it might “gush all over” those around you and to whom you minister.

 

overflow

marlonikkila.com

 

Unfinished NOT

Sometimes, I feel like a hamster on a wheel, spinning and spinning, ever gaining speed but never seeming to get to where I long to be.

Other times, I can complete a project “lickedy-split” and search for something else to fill my time before boredom overwhelms.

Then there are days when I start so many things on my agenda, yet, at the day’s end, every single one is left undone like a ball of yarn unwound and left as a messy wad of string.

If we are to finish the race well, we must finish what we started. Don’t leave your legacy unfinished, unkempt and untold to those coming behind. Tidy up your thoughts. Clean up your heart and emotions. Share with those who will listen.

Allow joy and promise to rule the day, and you will find it’s much easier to finish what you’ve begun. You will find a new sense of strength and satisfaction as you begin taking pen marks to the checklist of life and fulfilling dreams all around you.

Finish it…even if it’s tiresome. Complete the work…even if it’s hard. Once done, you will step back and be amazed at what you’ve achieved, and those coming behind will thank you.

finish-line-photo

chasesmithpress.com

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12:1

Daily Prompt: Unfinished

What Are We To Do?

So, we find ourselves in this dilemma.

The dilemma of moving forward to the unknown, the uncomfortable, the unfamiliar or remaining here in the regretful, comfortable, familiar present. Neither place is easy. For, the beyond makes us confront, stretch and change, yet, the present seems like an old jacket which we used to love but has shrunk so much over the years that it doesn’t “fit like a glove” anymore…really, it doesn’t fit at all. So, what are we to do?

If we remain, we will conform. We will grow complacent. We will become okay with mediocre, and we will say goodbye to the hopes and dreams we’ve held so dear.

If we step forward, we will be challenged. We will doubt. We will question our talents and our skills. We might even find that our abilities weren’t what we thought they were.

So, what are we to do?

If we are to grow, if we to succeed, we move toward the mark. If we are to fulfill the dreams that burn so deep within our hearts that it takes our breath, we step up and take the chance. It may not come again. This door to the great beyond may slam shut, never to open like this again.

As we look forward, holding dear to heart all that was past, we begin a new tomorrow. We will find hardships. We will find challenges. We might even find an alternate path, but we will not go back. We will not quit.

For tomorrow is gone, and if the dream is to be grasped, we must proceed to what’s ahead. We must shift from what was and change our perspective. You never know, instead of falling, we might just FLY!

 

DAILY PROMPT:Dilemma