Wait for Mercy

Jude 1:21 “as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

Aren’t we all waiting for something? Some wait for the perfect job. Some wait for health, wealth, friendship. I wait for a partner in life!

It is becoming clearer to me, that though waiting patiently on the Lord is good, we may not be waiting on the right thing.

Waiting means you’re hoping or maybe you’re anxious about something in particular. There’s a lot of emotion involved and you can become quite exhausted. You strain your eyes searching, your mind thinking, and your heart hoping. We should trust in God’s timing and His provision. Don’t stop hoping.

However, this verse reminds me of a bigger picture kind of truth- what we should truly be waiting for.

“Wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” We have something sure ahead of us. We do not have to exhaust ourselves with anxiety or seeking because the promise is there and we know the ending to our story.

Instead of focusing so much energy on waiting for earthly treasures, let’s focus on waiting for the ultimate prize. Let your heart hope and long for that. Let eternity with Jesus Christ outshine any other hopes and desires.

Wait for Him. See, your focus changes from being all about You, to being all about Him. I promise, life will be freer and you’ll have more energy if you live life waiting for that eternal life with Jesus Christ.

Wait for a Paul Child

Dear Younger me,

Some of my favorite love stories are about older people falling in love.

Persuasion’s Anne Elliot is 27 years old and she, in my opinion, lives the greatest love story of all time.

But, I realize she is fictional. Julia Child, the great chef, was 31 when she married the love of her life.

I guess what I am saying is, don’t worry about your age when you are hoping for love. You still have time for the greatest love story to form and you could end up with a Captain Wentworth or Paul Child. If you rush it, those two will not be who you end up with.

The Conservation Truth

I came upon a particular scene while reading Les Miserables.

There are two starving orphan boys wondering around a public garden.

A father and son appear, the son eating some cake, looking full. The orphan boys hide as the father and son watch some swans.

Seeing the orphan boys, the father makes a rude comment. His son spits his cake out and says he is full. His father tells him to give his cake to the swans.

“Be humane,” He says, “We must take pity on the animals!”

While having seen two starving children, the father felt more for two probably well fed birds.

Why does this matter?

The Lord gave me a passion for animals and nature. I sit in wonderment over the beauty of all creatures, even the creepy crawlies.

I want to dedicate my life to protecting wildlife and educating others to do so.

I am an animal advocate. I do not think animal abuse in any form is morally right. I do not even like the idea of hunting (though I understand some of its benefits).

But don’t misunderstand me. If I had a choice between saving ANY animal and saving a human, the choice would be easy. I would feed a person before feeding an animal.

I am a human advocate first.

But, I do not see how being one discludes you from being the other. I love conservation because, to me, it is about teaching people to live harmoniously with nature.

Conservation is really much more of a humanitarian career than people think. Conservationists must not only understand culture, but even accept it at times. We must see the poacher’s side of the story, the starving man trying to feed his family.

A conservationist’s job is to help humans see how nature and wildlife can help them live a good life.

I do care much more about people than animals, but I’ve found its pretty easy to love the, both, though it is difficult to teach them to love each other.

Dear Younger Me, the Gift of Singleness

Dear Younger me,

Sometimes God will give you a gift that He doesn’t give to someone else.

You may unwrap that gift and complain, “What the heck is this? I didn’t ask for this!” You may want to return it. You may want to trade it.

But, accept it. I would say even be grateful for it. Make it your most treasured possession.

I was given the gift of being single. The Lord gave me this gift, protecting me from heart ache and complications. Unfortunately, I opened that gift time and time again and saw it as a curse.

Accept it. The gift may seem like a mistake right now, but I promise, if it comes from Him, it’s the best gift you’ll ever unwrap.

God’s Sight

1 Peter 3:4

“the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

I read that and think, “No guy cares or notices a nice girl, unless she is also beautiful, thin, and a million other outwardly attractive things.”

I can’t help but think that way when I have worked on my inner life, when I have treasured humility, kindness, and love. Yet, very few men seem to find me even the least bit interesting.

But wait!

Where does it even say in this passage that having a gentle quiet spirit is attractive to men?

* It doesn’t!

We are told it is “of great worth in God’s sight.” You are not being gentle and quiet, or working on your inner beauty for man’s praise or attention. It is all for Christ. He treasures this, thus look only to Him.

I sometimes struggle in my self-worth, wondering if there is something wrong with me. My limited experiences in romance don’t help me feel more confident about my outer or inner beauty. Luckily, that’s not what life is about.

My worth is in Him. My beauty is in His eyes. When I choose, what is right and pure over what is attractive and exciting, the Lord treasures it. He treasures me.

Why would I ever want more than that?

Dear Younger me, be still and wait

Dear younger me,

There may come a time when you want to rush things. You will believe that your motivation is admirable and perhaps it is.

You want so badly to get to your dream career, you want so badly to meet that dream man, that awesome friend. You want so badly to be independent, so you rush towards it.

If you do that my dear, you will hurt so many others along the way. Rather than your motivations being admirable, they are selfish, because you are rushing God’s timing. Just trust His timing.

He can easily bring about your desire or He will replace it with something even better.

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Please trust, wait, and spend that energy loving and protecting others, rather than using them to get somewhere quicker.

Be a George Bailey

It’s a Wonderful Life, has there ever been a more well crafted executed film than this classic treasure?

I watch it at least once a year during Christmas time and yet it always amazes me with it’s beautiful story, characters, and acting.

George Bailey is an example to us all. Time and time again, he finds himself giving up on his dreams to help others. Really, his life is spent serving others, when he had truly wanted to be traveling the world, having an adventure.

Isn’t life funny? Isn’t God funny? I don’t mean haha funny, though our Creator clearly has a sense of humor, considering walruses and narwhals. I mean, what He chooses for us can seem funny.

Just like George, we may have dreams of traveling the world, or perhaps becoming famous, maybe even just getting away from our hometown, but God has other plans. For George, each time was about to go his own way, God prevented him. George was leaving for college, his dad had a stroke. George was leaving for an exotic honeymoon, his father’s bank was going to be closed. George was going to travel the world , his brother got married and couldn’t take his place.

God can work that way with us. If we’re listening to Him at the time, we’ll make the same decisions George did. Should I be selfish and follow MY dreams or unselfish and help others?

Then there’s Mary, and really the pair of George and her. Instead of complaining when things go awry, they embrace it, especially Mary. There they were on the brink of their honeymoon and Mary gives all their traveling money away. Instead of moping about it, she makes the most of the situation. So George and Mary find themselves in a dilapidated, leaky, old house for their honeymoon, yet they couldn’t be happier.

We could do that more in our lives, couldn’t we? Give freely to others, generously to others. Make the most of every situation, find that silver lining, especially if we are believers.

Of course, George isn’t perfect and a life time of putting off his dreams, sacrificing, being optimistic, serving others, has worn him down. But it’s really the devil that pushes him to the edge.

That scene with Mr. Potter reminds me of how Stan likes to tempt us. Mr. Potter tells George, essentially, the truth, that George feels trapped, that he’s given so much. Satan likes to use facts to make us feel a lie, he has foundations, like you failed your exam, you lost that money, you do not have a spouse. Then, Mr. Potter offers George his heart’s desires: money, joy, respect, his wife’s happiness. Satan tricks us in that way too. But just like George did with Mr. Potter, we need to see right through his schemes and get to that Auld Lang Syne ending.

It is true that every man touches so many lives, that you’re priceless and worth so much. Unfortunately, we will not always get our Auld Lang Syne ending, moments where we see the rewards and treasures of our hard work. But God promises us we will see that in heaven. So if that scene at the end of this film moves your heart just a little, imagine that feeling, but times a million and that’s what you have to look forward to in heaven!

Choose to see everything like George does after Clarence brings him back to reality. Kiss, even the broken piece of the banister that comes off every time you touch it!