“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” ~ Isaiah 1:18
Some fisherman in the highlands of Scotland came into a little Scottish inn late one afternoon for a cup of tea. As one was describing “the one that got away” to his friends, he flung out his hands in the typical fisherman’s gesture. He did so just as the waitress was setting down his cup of tea. The resulting collision left a huge tea stain spreading on the whitewashed wall. The fisherman apologized profusely.
Another gentleman seated nearby said, “Never mind.” Rising, he took a crayon from his pocket and began to sketch around the ugly brown stain. Slowly there emerged the head of a magnificent royal stag with antlers spread. [The man] was Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, England’s foremost painter of animals.
Now if an artist can do that with an ugly brown stain, what can God do with my sins and mistakes if I but give them to him?
We live in a world where we can get what we want almost instantly. If we want an computer, we can just go to a store and buy one. If we want to buy music online, we click a button or two and our music is available to listen to in the time it takes to download it.
This idea of instant gratification works against an important human characteristic called patience. We need to have patience. It develops character. Having patience shows that we respect one another by not rushing other people. I’ve heard it said many times that when you wait for something the pleasure of actually receiving it or achieving it is all the more better.
Furthermore, God doesn’t work instantly. He isn’t going to provide you with answered prayers in seconds because God works on His own schedule not ours. If God granted our every prayers when we asked for them, we would all be rich with big houses and nobody would ever get sick or die. Sounds good, right? Well, it might sound good but it defeats the purpose of life. How are we suppose to know God personally if we are just looking for answered prayers? Doesn’t say much about our faith does it? If God were to do such a thing, how would we ever learn from our mistakes or have a love that’s not based on materialistic possessions or the granting of wishes?
Now Christmas is getting closer and closer. We could grant our materialistic wishes by asking for certain things or we could do something different. I’m going to admit that when someone asks me what I want for Christmas, I’m not really sure what I want. When you have almost everything that you want, what more is there to want? I’m finding a lot of people are in this situation in this day and age.
So here is the solution! Instead of getting, give! Ask people who want to give you a gift to make a donation to a charity in your name. Give gifts to people who can’t afford them or put all your money towards adopting a child in need.
Use the rare human characteristic of patience not only when it comes to your prayers or wishes but towards other people. They will appreciate when someone waits for them. Patience is kindness. Having patience means not ending up angry because you have to wait. Sometimes waiting and having patience is the best part. It’s the journey not the destination, right?
I think a lot of the time we are worried about appearances. We care too much about what other people think of us. We worry that our peers won’t like the way we dress and we are afraid to embarrass ourselves.
As a result, we don’t do a lot of things that we really want to do. We miss out on great opportunities because we don’t want to go alone or maybe we are trying to keep up a certain reputation.
One of the amazing things that we can miss out on is true worship. Sure, we might go to worship but we might not sing because we don’t like our voice. We might not raise our hands in surrender to God because we don’t want to stand out.
But the truth is God made each of us unique for a reason. The fact that we are different from one another is the beauty of God’s creation. Life would be pretty dull if we all were alike.
So what I’m getting at is that you don’t need to be afraid to be who you are. If people laugh at you or make fun of you for being yourself then they aren’t being very Christian-like. Always know that God loves you for you. He made you the way you are and finds you absolutely beautiful!
So if you want to sing in worship, but know you have a terrible voice, sing anyway! Connect with God on a deeper level that you’ve never experienced before. God isn’t going to say that you have a terrible voice. Rather, he’s going to smile down on you for the praise that you are delivering.
David, a King, rejoiced in the Lord when the ark of the covenant was finally moved to Jerusalem. He danced and sung out even though many thought it was not appropriate for a ruler to do. But David didn’t care! He wasn’t embarrassed. He simply said, “I will become even more undignified than this,” (2 Samuel 6:22). He was praising God and didn’t care how he looked.
So rejoice in the Lord! Lift your hands in praise! Sing as loud as you can! For God’s opinion is the only one that really counts!
Are you the person who holds the door open for someone who has their hands full? Do you pray for others? If you see someone is upset, do you stop to comfort them?
Or are you the person who sees but chooses to ignore a person in need? Do you think that someone else will do it? Does it bother you afterwards that you chose not to help?
Have you ever heard of the saying, WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)? Take this saying to heart! It has so much meaning! Be the person that Jesus would want you to be. Do what Jesus would have done. Be the person who’s so full of love that people can see Jesus in you. Act righteously and out of kindness so that people don’t have to guess that you’re a Christian. They should be able to rightfully assume that you are a child of God through your actions.
For love is one of the greatest gifts from God. Love was present since the beginning when he gave us the freedom to make our own choices. Love was present when God delivered the Israelites to the promised land! Love was unmistakably there when God sent his son to die for us.
So don’t deny someone help when they need. From the little everyday things to the hardships of life, we all need to feel loved. It’s what gets us through the day. It’s what keeps us going.
For in the end, love trumps ignorance! Love has the victory over hate! Death is no match for love!
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~ John 20:29