What will happen?

Today is the first day of senior year of college for my daughter. This time in a person’s life is filled with much anxiety and joy; happy for it to be near the end but anxious that it actually is near the end. What will life bring when these two semesters are done, will there be a job waiting and can I support myself? We all face times of uncertainty at one point or another. Sometimes its short-lived and other times it lingers. I would suggest that when you have been uncertain times, someone close to you was there to help. More likely than not, it was family or a close friend. College students today face real challenges but their’s are not unlike many others. People who have lost jobs or received a medical diagnosis face the same anxieties; just different questions. In order to help each other, sometimes we just need to recognize that others are in need. Even when we are in need, simply helping others may bring clarity to our own problems. It is so easy to focus on ourselves that we start to fall into self-pity and depression starts to creep into our lives. Once we let it in, it’s very hard to get rid of it. The key is to keep it out. We don’t know what will happen with the problems in our lives or how long they will be with us. Instead of worrying about the problem, we should be searching for the message or lesson that is contained in them. We don’t know what will come of them but we do know that everything happens for a reason and that it is all part of a bigger plan; we just don’t know what it is.

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2

God has a plan. We hear it over and over in the bible. We hear people say it a lot. This verse reminds us of it – “what we will be has not been made known”. God is in control, ordering things in our lives to help us. He is not directing or creating single paths; we do have free will to choose. The key is recognizing what is part of the plan and what is the work of the devil. Our world is so complicated and we are left with anxiety about the “right” path to choose, remember – “what we will be has not yet been made known.” We all have little patience because this world moves at such a fast pace but God does not. We become impatient and look for quick fixes (provided by the devil) and then the trouble starts. Slow down and remember that “We are children of God” and then celebrate that! God has His stamp on your heart, mind and soul. Would He let you down? Stop searching for quick fixes and answers to questions that do not exist. Instead, look for God in all things and for the lesson he has presented to you. He loves His children and does not give us more than we can bear. Rejoice in the fact that God is giving you a trial to work through, He is preparing you for something better and wants you to be strong enough to enjoy it.

The Challenge

Its not often that I get drawn into a fad or into something that “everyone’s doing” but this weekend I witnessed an amazing “fad” and I wanted to share it. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has been bouncing around the world on the Internet and through social media. It is really about raising awareness and money for the disease ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis leads to complete paralysis and results in death within 2-5 years of diagnosis. As of Aug. 17th, the ALS foundation has raised $13.3 million. If you haven’t heard about it, Google – Ice Bucket Challenge but as the name implies, you pour a five gallon bucket of ice water over your head and donate $10 or skip it and you’re supposed to donate $100. After you complete the challenge, you are supposed to challenge three other people. What was amazing this weekend was that a friend from NY challenged my wife. Anyone who knows Lisa knows that she accepted. At first it seemed silly but our kids got into it right a way; one went to the store to get the ice and the other got a towel. I got the ladder down and supervised the ice water making; otherwise she would have been hit with a huge block of ice. We filmed the event, posted it on Facebook along with the challenge for three other lucky people and wrote a $100 check. The amazing part was how doing this silly “stunt” energized a family into doing something special for those that needed the help. The other amazing part was that Lisa did not hesitate one second at the thought of accepting the challenge; she has such a fun spirit. What would move you?

“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the Children of God.” Romans 8:14

We often hear that we are children of God and for most of us it means that we are His. God works in our lives everyday much like a parent is at work in a child’s life. Whether its helping a toddler get dressed in the morning or talking to our adult kids after they get home from work, we are always there for them. God has the ability to do even more for us. He orders moments or people or actions in our lives that give us the ability to live to His glory. The downside is that the devil is also working to put opportunity in our lives so that we might sin. The difference is knowing which one is at work and understanding that God’s spirit in your life is most trustworthy. I have no idea what inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge but it has God’s spirit written all over it. In my wife, I saw that spirit and how it ignited a passion in our kids. There is no doubt she is led by the spirit of God everyday. This challenge was born out of God’s spirit and will undoubtedly do great things for the ALS Foundation. Can you recognize the spirit within you? Take time to find it because the world is a difficult place and letting God work in your life makes it much better.