Accommodating Life

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“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”

James 4:14

The story is told of a man who went to a toy store to buy something suitable for his young son. He looked high and low for something just right; he wanted a gift that would be perfect. Perhaps an educational toy? The sales girl was helpful. She steered him to many different toys, but nothing was what he was looking for. He didn’t want just any toy– he wanted a memory maker, and something that would last.

Then at last he saw a rather plain-looking box. It wasn’t shiny or glossy like some. But the description on it was interesting, and it said it was suitable for ages 5 through 95. That kind of intrigued him and he read the fine print. It seemed to be a puzzle or game of some kind or another. He shook the box and heard the pieces rattle inside. It seemed to captivate him.

The box said that it came unassembled. Parental help was helpful. There also was a statement that the contents were designed to teach a person how to deal with life, and required some diligence and intelligence to put it together. But there in the smallest fine print, “this toy was never intended to be put together perfectly.”

The man realized that this was the ideal gift for his son. It would teach him that life really never can be assembled quite right. There will always be something missing, or a critical flaw. And there is very little we can do about it. Perhaps the most significant lesson learned is “humility.”

That is why we must turn to God. He alone can make our lives work. The father wanted to teach his son that critical lesson. He wanted to prepare him for failure and frustration. Life never works out the way we want it to, and we should accommodate that idea.

“All have been given a box of tools, a formless rock and a book of rules. And each must make in his life, a stumbling block or a stepping stone.” 

~unknown

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12 “In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? Our lives are like a shadow. Who can tell what will happen on this earth after we are gone?”

Ecclesiastes 6:12

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Joy is Not Optional

“The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.”   –Henry Ward Beecher

The last several days have been quite difficult.  I have lived in a separated state with the Lord and that is not anything that I can long tolerate or endure.  I have gone into this period of self-hatred with eyes wide shut and quite ashamed with my own stupidity.  I am not a saint, I am a 100% sinner, through and through.

I have come to see Nehemiah‘s ministry was only superficially building up the walls of JerusalemRebuilding the walls was just a pretext to rebuilding a people.  They were defeated and overwhelmed.  Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Neh. 8:10).

13 Things About What the Bible Says About Joy:

  1. Jesus’ aim in all He taught was the joy of His people (Jn. 15:11).
  2. Joy is what God fills us with when we trust in Christ (Rom. 15:13).
  3. The kingdom of God is joy (Rom. 14:17).
  4. Joy is the fruit of God’s Spirit within us (Gal. 5:22).
  5. Joy is the aim of everything the apostles did and wrote (2 Cor. 1:24).
  6. Becoming a Christian is finding a joy that makes you willing to forsake everything (Mat. 13:44).
  7. Joy is nourished and sustained by the word of God in the Bible (Ps. 19:8).
  8. Joy will overtake all sorrow for those who trust Christ (Ps. 126:5; 30:5)
  9. God Himself is our joy (Psm. 43:4; 16:11). Joy in God outstrips all earthly joy (Ps. 4:7)
  10. If your joy is in God, no one can take your joy from you (Jn. 16:22).
  11. God calls all nations and peoples to join in the joy He offers to all who believe. No racism. No ethnocentrism (Ps. 67:4; Ps. 66:1).
  12.  The whole Christian message from beginning to end is good news of great joy (Lk. 2:10; Isa. 51:11).
  13. When we meet Christ at His second coming we will enter into his indestructible joy (Mt. 25:23).

 List by John Piper

I believe that  joy should mark a person of spiritual health.  Joy is to be embedded into our character for all to see.  Without joy we no longer can rebuild our walls, and we toss aside our tools.  The work of restoration is intense, and unless we take joy in the Lord we will falter and fail.

“God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.”Jeremy Taylor

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