Sand in my shoes

Sand in my shoesIsaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I’m reminded of Peter Jenkins’ wonderful account of his journey by foot across the United States. Peter talked about how the big things like being stabbed, snake bites, robbery and being hit by a car as not being a reason to quit. However, the one recurring thing that almost made him quit was the build up of sand in his shoes.

Sand in his shoes caused immense discomfort due to the slow grinding against the soles of his feet. Over time the wear and tear of the sand began to take a toll on his will to complete the journey. Isn’t that how the worries of life affect us spiritually? Often times it isn’t the big things that wear us down spiritually, but the little things that accumulate over days, months even years that threaten to take us out.

The little things like an unforgiving spirit, not being strong in God’s Grace, sin, the pull of the world and hurt feelings can slowly eat away at our spiritual health. The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This is a wonderful passage of scripture because Paul acknowledges  key words that are part of our Christian walk like proper time, reap a harvest, doing good, do not give up and do not become weary.

The little things that cause us long-term pain must be taken seriously or they will continue to slip under the radar of our spiritual well-being. We must first be honest with were we are spiritually then be honest with God and others. I believe we are to be honest with self first because this acknowledges that we have a problem and God is the solution.

What issues in your life have left sand in your shoes? Is it an unforgiving spirit, not being strong in God’s Grace, sin, the pull of the world or hurt feelings. Whatever sand is in your shoes today, I want to encourage you by pointing your heart to Hebrews 12:2 which says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus is the only one who can repair a weary spirit due to all that burdens us. Jesus is the way the truth and the life (John 14:16). Commit your shoes to him, for He will remove the sand that causes the pain and replace it with the new soles of life.

My prayer,

Father, we honor and worship you today for you are worthy. Thank you for always being our Father, mother and way maker. Father, we ask that you help us to acknowledge the sand in our shoes. Help us to acknowledge what burdens us. What keeps us up at night. What weakens the grace in which we believe and walk in. Father, create in us a new heart and spirit that will be fresh with zeal for you and a love for the race set before us. Give us new shoes to walk in that will last for the walk you have predestined for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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** If you are in need of prayer (Ephesians 6:18), please click “Prayer Request” . I would love to pray for you. I also ask that you think of others whom you can share this message with.

Wax on wax off

The other day as I was driving home from work, the Lord impressed upon my mind “Wax on, wax off” which is a line from the popular 80’s movie Karate Kid. The movie captures the life of Daniel who befriends Mr. Miyagi. The friendship blossoms into a wonderful mentor-ship in which Mr. Miyagi groomed Daniel for martial arts in a rather unorthodox way. However, the results are life changing for Daniel as he embarks upon the journey of a lifetime. 

So many emotions began to race through my mind as I watched the clip over and over searching for the lesson God was teaching me and the reason he gave me the thought in the first place. It finally dawned on me that the lesson to be taken to heart rest on the following scriptures:

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
  • Psalms 32:8  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Like Daniel, we have labored in life for answers, dreams and expectations. Often times we become frustrated when the answers do not come fast enough. Impatience sets in which can lead to resentment towards God. I mean let’s be real, in frustration we react like Daniel when we don’t feel God is holding up his end of the deal.

We say things like, “Well God, I prayed for this and you didn’t give me what I asked for.” Or perhaps we say, “God I love you, but I don’t like you now because I’ve done all you’ve asked of me, yet I seem to be the one doing all the work here.” Lets be honest, I have traveled this road on many occasions.

In the clip I noticed Mr. Miyagi said something that was profound; he said, “Not everything is as seem.” Wow, what a statement! For God truly has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27).

However, the beauty of it all is the love, patience and power in which God guides and instructs his children through our tantrums. Notice how Mr. Miyagi went after Daniel when he ran off in a huff. How he lovingly focused Daniel’s attention to the method of his madness. In the same way God pursues us when we run off in a huff because we do not understand the lesson God is teaching.

Over the years I have learned first hand that God values trust, for his thoughts and understanding are far above ours. For example, Exodus 13:17-18 says, When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

Notice how the scripture says “The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle,” yet, God knew the Israelites were a wounded people oppressed with fear for 400+ years. Thus, God knew their strength would not have the resolve to withstand the brutality of war. What an awesome God we serve!

To trust God, is to rest in his grace and words for they are tried and true. God never sweats the details for he is a God of order (1 Corinthians 14:33). Before we were born, God knew and had a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 1:5). In life there are few things we can trust in, but the word of God is trustworthy for the Lord is the same today and forever with steadfastness of character (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8).

My prayer

Father, we praise you for the lessons of life. Thank you for being the master teacher. Help us to trust when we don’t understand, to pray when we are frustrated and to listen when you instruct. Mole us like clay, shape us to conform to your will and not our circumstances. We thank and adore you for how you see us as righteous, made in your image and redeemed. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Please visit the Facebook page of Grace for Eternity Church: https://www.facebook.com/graceforeternity?fref=ts

** If you are in need of prayer (Ephesians 6:18), please feel free to email me at sneedtx@verizon.net. I would love to pray for you. I also ask that you think of others whom you can share this message with.

 

 

Thought for the day

schooldeskEveryday I am learning we have powerful examples of how to live this thing call life.  Jesus is the master teacher seeking  hearts that are willing to become master students. Become a master student today by applying God’s word to your life and heart. – Lionel Sneed

** If anyone would like a special prayer request (Ephesians 6:18) please feel free to email me at sneedtx@verizon.net; I would love to pray for you. I also ask that you think of others whom you can share this message with.