The Ride of Our Lives

 

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My husband was driving and our daughter was in the backseat as I held the map and “helped” watch for danger on the highway. (Note: I help by pointing everything out, overreacting by slamming my foot to the invisible brake on the passenger-side floorboard, and driving everyone around me nuts. Basically.)

But dangers on the road are all too real. You and I know that. We have to watch for drivers texting, deer or armadillos (still waiting to see a LIVE one) making the mad dash to the other side, and airplanes.

Yes, you read that right. Airplanes.

We could see the small plane miles up ahead, and I can honestly tell you I thought it was a drone or a remote controlled plane someone was using to scare drivers by dive-bombing them.

But the closer we got, the more we could see it was not a teeny tiny plane someone was maneuvering with a remote control, but a life-sized one, circling the highway and disappearing behind a group of trees.

It appeared, circled around again, and plummeted, aiming for the other lane of traffic. My hand went to my mouth, and I gasped.

But the plane didn’t crash. (Thank you, Lord!) And when we drove past the group of trees, we could see the pilot was actually in full control, crop dusting.

It made me think about God and how He is in full control of our lives.  But some of us (ahem…me) think they know what’s going on. We trust our eyes or our minds and think we have it all figured out when really, we don’t have a clue.

It’s easy to trust what we see, but it’s not always right. It’s easy to believe the plan we have in our minds must be what God put there because we want it so much. But that’s not always the case.

His plan is always going to be better. Easy? Probably not. Worth all the gasping and holding on and crying out to Him? Absolutely.

We may even feel like we’re plummeting to the ground and can’t stop ourselves from crashing, like the controls are broken and we can’t set things straight.

But wouldn’t it be like God to rescue us just when we’re about to give up and into despair, thinking it’s all over?

When we finally let go of our measly remote controls and surrender to Him, we’ll know without a doubt the rescue, the honor, and the glory all belong to Him.

All we have to do is trust Him, lean in closer, and hang on for the ride of our lives.

“My help and glory are in God – granite-strength and safe-harbor-God – So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.” (Psalm 62:7-8 MSG.)

(Photo from Pexels)

 

 

 

God Uses You While You’re Waiting

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How many times have you waited in line, annoyed and in a hurry? You know what I’m talking about. Your mind is spinning with all the things you need to do and you get to the only checkout line that is open and there is a lot (a LOT) of stuff on the conveyor belt and the cashier is really in no hurry. No hurry whatsoever.

You get irritated, right? Maybe a little annoyed? I mean, you’ve got things to do. You don’t have all day to stand there waiting.

I’ve definitely been there, unfortunately, and I’m not proud of the times I probably huffed and acted like a spoiled brat. (Forgive me, Lord.)

But this past Saturday was different.

I went to a little store not far from home to buy a card. Yep. That’s it. I went to the only checkout line that was open and saw exactly what I described earlier. The couple in front of me had the conveyor belt loaded with a tower of stuff wobbling when the belt moved forward. But the sun was shining into the store, and I shooed away my to-do list that was buzzing around my mind like an irritating little pest. (Boy did that feel good!)

I was in line for a really long time, but I had such peace. Strange, huh?

Finally I paid for my cards (did I mention I found two?) and stepped out the door, the sunlight warming my skin. I drove home with the windows cracked for a little fresh air while listening to some music that soothed my soul. Everything was just fine.

As I approached my turn, a big ol’ pickup truck coming from the opposite direction made the turn ahead of me. I wondered why the driver took the turn so wide, but when I saw him I knew why: he had his face buried in his phone.

I turned and followed him onto this winding country road, dandelions swaying as we drove by. When he started driving in the middle of the road, I tightened my grip on the steering wheel and began praying, “Lord, please don’t let him hurt anyone.” And when he started to drive uphill on a blind curve, still in the middle of the road, I found myself pleading, “Please, Lord. Please.”

I realized in the very next moment who I was praying for when a man on a motorcycle came down the hill.

The truck swerved, barely missing him, and barreled up the hill. From where I sat, it was as if God slowed the motorcycle down with one hand and scooted the truck over with the other; as if both were chess pieces in His hands.

Two lives would have instantly changed in that moment had God not intervened.

But God did step in. He used a stay-at-home momma in a ball cap, delayed her at the store and gave her peace while waiting and for the drive home so she wouldn’t hurry, and nudged her to pray. And then, He answered that prayer and allowed her to see it with her own eyes. Thank you, Lord.

I realize now the moments we sometimes see as annoying or slow-going can be the very situations God wants to use us in.

I’m sure you’ve been there. You’ve talked to a woman in a checkout line because there was a really, really long line. Perhaps she was lonely and God used you to encourage her. Or maybe you had an extra-long wait in the doctor’s office and talked to a man who was terrified of getting back the results from a test. But God used you to comfort the man, to help him in his waiting.

You may not always see how God is using you. It might not always be so clear or fast as His mighty hand reaching down to stop an accident in front of you. But you can be sure that He will use you if you ask Him, if you surrender your times of waiting to Him.

Who knows? You may even get to see Him perform a miracle before your very eyes.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.” (Ephesians 6:18a NLT.)

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 NIV.)

Finding Yourself

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The world will tell you that you need to find yourself as if you’re lost somewhere out on the open road or hiking through some rough mountainous terrain and can’t be found.

But God…

God will help you understand the truth about you.

What?! Someone actually knows you, the real you, and why you’re here?

Yes.  God does.  He created you.

Seek Him and you will find Him.  And in finding Him, you will find just how special, how important, how much of a masterpiece you really are and how your life matters. You will grow to understand that YOU are an important part of a much bigger plan than you could ever dream up.  And it’s a really good one.

If you’re searching elsewhere, through psychics, horoscopes, and other falsehoods that keep your eyes off of your Creator, be careful.  They’re taking you in the wrong direction, and they will never be able to tell you, “I love you,” like your Heavenly Father can.

And He means it.  Why?  Because He knows the real you.  (For more on that, check out The Real You.)

You see, you’re only lost until you find His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once you find Him, you are truly found.

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”  God’s Decree. (Jeremiah 29:11-14a MSG.)