Friday, March 7, 2008

Under Construction

by Donna L. Watkins

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Pileated Woodpecker
When we give our lives to the Lord, He takes it seriously and begins to work within us to bring out our best. In the process you can count on trouble, which God will work for your good if you love Him through it. You'll be provided enough grace to stand through the battle if you reach out and grab it in God's Word every day.

I wasn't a Christian very long before I realized I had no patience at all, so it became my prayer request to God to give me patience. Don't you know God is faithful to listen to our prayers and when they will make us more of who we need to be in Christ, He'll work with us to answer them. Oh boy! I didn't know the classrooms required to acquire patience. It's been a long process and in the building process, He's made improvements on some other character qualities that were lacking.

God has a purpose in everything, but He also has a process. As you come closer to Him, you will begin to recognize how the methods of construction. You ask for patience and God gives you many circumstances that require patience. You ask for strength and He allows times of testing to make you strong in standing. Ask for success and He'll give you plenty of work to do to help you work smarter, rather than harder. If you want wisdom, God will give you many problems that you need solutions for, so you can practice finding wisdom.

It doesn't sound like a fun life, but as you know, the more we overcome the better we feel about life. If we came into it all trying to control the details of the world around us, we'll sooner or later realize that it's a futile goal. We will do better in all aspects of life if we learn to "let go" of all we hold so tightly to and realize that control is a myth and striving for it is insanity.

Does this make God sound like a big ogre waiting to find ways to punish us? No ... when you see God's loving hand guiding us into a better person, we see the world becoming a better place. He's not a mean Papa, He's a Perfect Papa.

Life holds so many distractions. Consider how many flavors of coffee and ice cream there are. We get so used to having it our way. It breeds narrow-mindedness. The more we sink into that the harder it is to show grace and mercy to others. It's not that we have to agree with everybody and never have a mind of our own. You don't have to compromise your values, but it doesn't cost more to be gracious than it does to be critical.

God is full of grace and forgiveness for us while we are growing. Give others space to become who they are to be also. Every perspective has merit. It's not totally a right vs. wrong world. Look at it as "I see it this way, and it's okay for you to see it that way." Look for things that you can agree with. It's more important to connect with people than it is to be correct.

You'll even get to the point where you'll let somebody else be "right" without putting in your own opinion on the matter. The satisfaction gained is much more than winning a good argument. Conflicting opinions help you to grow. Spend some time with teenagers. Their off-the-wall opinions can challenge you to take a wider look at the scene.

We're all under construction so drive slowly down the road of life and make sure you don't run over somebody that's doing the best they can.

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