Showing posts with the label Need

Desperately Determined

She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” (Mark 5:27-28) There is something 'desperate' about this woman's faith, isn't there? She wasn't afraid of the crowds - even though she would have been deemed 'unclean' because of her disease. She wasn't concerned that her need was too great for the healing touch of her God. She wasn't going to allow her 'weakness' to impact her drive to obtain her healing. She was 'desperately determined'. Some of us need to get this desperate and determined in our pursuit of the things we need God to do in our lives - to 'drive toward' our healing instead of wallowing in our weakness. If I can but touch his robe... She didn't even need to talk with Jesus, have him stop and acknowledge her. Her desperation led to her to believe that even though it would be better to beho

Has God gone silent?

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. (Psalm 22:1-2) I think we have all been in that place at one time or another where we find ourselves actually thinking God has somehow abandoned us. The circumstances suggest the worst is about to happen, we begin to whirl out of control emotionally, our thoughts are running rampant from one perception to the next, and we somehow feel like we are in it all alone. When we don't IMMEDIATELY see the answer to the circumstances, we might just begin to doubt God will lend any help, all our calls for help seemingly falling on deaf ears. Are we wrong to express our doubts or 'struggle of faith' in those moments? Absolutely not! God doesn't 'ding us' for our moments of doubt - he uses them to strengthen or deepen our faith. It is never wrong to seek to understand why such dif

Is it tangible or intangible?

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10)  David said, "“You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.” (Psalm 16:2) Every good thing comes from you - I don't have anything of 'goodness' or 'value' apart from you, God. Because of his relationship with God, he lacks (has no need that is unmet) nothing. Whatever is good or 'beneficial' for us, God provides. Nowhere in scripture does it say all our 'wants' will be met, but we will never lack what God has determined to be of 'value' or 'benefit' for our lives.  Sometimes we complain because we see something as 'beneficial' for us, but then we don't ever come to realize it in our lives. We forget that God might see it differently! He might actually be withholding that thing from our lives because it is far from 'beneficial' or 'good'! Now I have gone to meddling, haven&#

Disturbed by a need

Follow My teachings and learn from Me. I am gentle and do not have pride. You will have rest for your souls. For My way of carrying a load is easy and My load is not heavy.” (Matthew 11:29-30) We all have moments when we see needs, but we have no clue how to meet them. Things upset us, these things are right there in our face, many times making us mad, sad, and desiring to see something different as a result of some action we may take. When we are disturbed on behalf of God, we are oftentimes moved in the most significant ways. We may even embrace a calling in life as a result of the burden we bear over the matters that upset us. When we are bothered by something - the need is right there before us - we are likely going to see God impact the lives of people IF we put ourselves out there. We don't have to have a formal position to meet a need if we possess a God-given passion over the need around us. We will make a difference if we follow the burden God places in our hearts. Seek Go

Never walk away

Everybody wants to do something to help, but nobody wants to be first.  (Pearl Bailey) Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time” or “Try me tomorrow” when the money’s right there in your pocket. Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting. (Proverbs 3:27-29) Your hand is God's hand - can we just ponder that one for a moment or two? What was the last thing your hand did for someone other than yourself? It goes without saying, we may deny ourselves very little, all the while oblivious to the need that could be right there next to us. Never walk away - that is a pretty direct command, but I will be the first to admit, I've done it. If it is within our ability, why don't we take the next step and meet the need? Maybe it is like Bailey said and we don't want to be the one to take the 'first step'. I know some wil

Don't get too comfortable

Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road. Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders. I’m a stranger in these parts; give me clear directions. My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!— insatiable for your nourishing commands. (Psalm 119:18) If you have ever been in a situation where you kind of feel like it is 'foreign' to you, you probably felt a little like a fish out of water. You flopped around, struggling to find a way back to where you felt comfort and ease. I know moments like these cause most of us some angst, increasing our anxiety level more and more as we wander around a little lost and insecure. Being a 'stranger' isn't easy to deal with, probably because as 'sojourners' in this place of discomfort we find it hard for us to  move from stranger or foreigner to being at ease dwelling where we are placed. God isn't immune to our discomfort - he has a plan for it!

Want meets need

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.  (Vernon Howard) When all you really want is only what you really need - ponder that one for just a moment because I think we oftentimes aren't really content with what we need - we want more. In fact, society actually encourages us to live way beyond our needs - fulfilling those far out wants we may have. When our needs and wants grow closer and closer together, we may just be at the place of having drawn so near to God's heart that all those 'far out wants' aren't all that important anymore. No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. I was looking the other way, looking up to the people At the top, envying the wicked who have it made, Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world. (Psalm 73:1-5) We can totally miss the goodness God provides within our lives when all we are pu

First and Great

The last shall be first - be humble to be made great. These ideas seem a little like they might be an 'oxymoron', don't they? How can the one who is last possibly be first? How could being humble mean we will ever know greatness? I guess the way we define 'first' and 'great' are what may be of concern here, my friends. The words 'last' and 'first' frequently carry the connotation of being the one at the head of the line, in first place, or even getting it done ahead of anyone else. Have you ever been 'last' to finish something? I know I have and others rubbed it in because I was so far behind them in getting it done! It made me want to always be done 'first' because I didn't like being 'last'. If I were to be honest here, my 'ego' took a hit by being singled out as 'last'. I think others struggle with similar issues, so maybe it is time to look at the value of being 'last'. Be humble befor

Bargain or not

Do you barter with people? When I visited Nogales, Mexico, the advice I received from others who had visited there before me was that I should never pay full price for what a vendor is asking when I wanted to purchase something. I was to 'barter with them' until I felt a fair price was met. For example, I wanted this blanket marked at however many Pesos and I was supposed to say what I was willing to pay for it. Usually the vendor would meet my request with great resistance and shake his head vigorously that he was opposed to such an offer. Part of the 'bartering' was that I was to walk away as though I were no longer interested. If you have ever done this, you know they follow you asking you offering you some reduced rate, but still not what you desired to pay. If all goes well, you will 'wear them down' to a reasonable price you both can agree upon. In turn, you walk home with the blanket, feeling very good about the 'bargain' you just found. Truth be

I need this soooooo bad!

Have you ever been deprived of something you depend on? We depend on water to renew our bodies, oxygen to keep our cells renewed, and a certain set of vitamins/minerals to help us stay strong. We depend on these things because they are essential to the health and well-being of our body. I remember wrestling with my brother as a kid and being 'deprived' of 'breath' a few times. He is actually eleven years older, so it was never really a "fair" wrestling match whenever we 'went at it', but I loved to be with him! He'd pin me down with his full body weight, tickling me until the tears came, and I would find myself laughing so hard that'd I almost felt like I'd lose my breath at any moment. I'd wriggle harder, trying to escape his clutch. He'd just tickle more! The end of those 'matches' left me so elated, but gasping for breath. I wasn't really being deprived of breath, but it was close! Don't ever deprive me of truth,

Seek so as to find delight

The one who seeks good finds delight... (Proverbs 11:27) It is sometimes quite hard for us to differentiate between what we need and what we want. Every now and again, my BFF will tell me someone is a little 'needy' that day - usually because they seem to constantly be requiring some type of intervention from us that usually isn't part of the normal course of the day. Figuring  out what it is that we really have "need" of in our lives is a hard thing for some of us, while others seem to hit the nail on the head almost instantly.  We have lots and lots of "wants" that we often confuse as "needs" in our life.  Sometimes it may be something like desiring a better job instead of being grateful for the one we have.  The desire is a "want", while the actual job we have meets the "need". Needs and wants aren't always even all that close - in fact, what we need can be the furthest thing from what it is we want (such as eating

This isn't Monopoly

Have you ever struck up a bargain with someone, crafting your "investment" into whatever it is they want out of the deal in order to get out of it exactly what you wanted? I used to play Monopoly with friends when younger and you'd find us in an all out battle to the finish, attempting to persuade each other to let go of that one last railroad, high end property, or utility. We wanted the monopoly so we'd be able to bankrupt anyone landing on that square! The bargaining got somewhat loud on occasion, with an almost 'begging' or 'pleading' tone to it. The pleading was met with firm resistance, no matter how 'broke' that other player was and how much they could use our 'capital' to keep going in the game. They just didn't want to give the other player the satisfaction of doing everybody in as they made their way around to that property block. There are definitely times when a little bargaining isn't really all that bad - like in

Impotent or Important?

When we were utterly helpless, with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for him. Even if we were good, we really wouldn’t expect anyone to die for us, though, of course, that might be barely possible. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. ( Romans 5:6-8 TLB ) What would you do for someone who 'under-valued' you, having little to no use for you? Most of us would be honest here and say we'd do very little, if anything at all! Why? We live in a world that expects reciprocity! We look for the 'what's in it for me' situations and that is what we go after more than those 'even if it means nothing for me, I will do it anyway' moments. Honestly, we want to 'get' a little out of whatever we 'put into' something, don't we? This is only natural. It is something quite supernatural to give without any expectation of getting!

But I want this....

I know Louis L'Amour was not really trying to wax philosophical when he said a good beginning make a good end, but he hit the nail on the head! The roughest beginnings can make for a very bumpy ride alone the way. The easiest beginnings can help us to get along the trail a little quicker, but the trail always has its own twists and turns, making the journey sometimes a little tougher than we first suspected it would be! God’s way is perfect. The Lord’s promise always proves to be true. He protects those who trust in him. There is no God except the Lord. There is no Rock except our God. God is the one who gives me strength. He clears the path I need to take. He makes my feet as steady as those of a deer. Even on steep mountains he keeps me from falling. (Psalm 18:30-33 TLB) Despite the beginnings, God's presence can make the journey bearable until it ends! There is no greater beginning than to begin with God - even if the start is a little rough around the edges. Most of u

The empty roll

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 4:19 NLT) If you have ever been in the bathroom, looked over at the toilet paper holder, then suddenly come to the realization someone used the last of the white stuff long before your arrival, you know that moment of panic that what you "need" is not at hand! I can recount this one time that my youngest grandson went off to use the facilities and then he just never came back - for a long, long time. When we went to look in on him, my older grandson found him crying fitfully. When he asked why, the simple answer came to light - there wasn't enough toilet paper to finish the job and he didn't know what to do - where to look or who to ask.  At that moment, the greatest need he had was for just a few more sheets and there were none on the roll. Needless to say, he had no clue there were three extra rolls immediatel

Our hierarchy of needs differ a little

The real motives come from deep within a person—as from deep waters—but a discerning person is able to draw them up and expose them. (Proverbs 20:5 VOICE) As I came through school, I had to take some courses in behavioral psychology. Let me begin by saying there was not much in the field of psychology which excited me - although mental health is important, it just wasn't the area of science or medicine I had the most interest in, so psychology classes didn't rank high on my list. That was the case until we got into the study of behavior. This one theory caught my attention and captivated my thought for a good deal of the semester. It was the work of Abraham Maslow. Those who are familiar with him know he is most famous for his "hierarchy of needs" theory. In it he outlines five "tiers" of needs, one building upon the other, until all are hopefully met. The thing which caught my attention was how truly difficult it is to have that "top tier" met wh

Not just another blister

Lee Iacocca once said, " Trouble shared is trouble halved ."  I have to say "half of the trouble" is still way more trouble than I really want to bear at any given moment!  It is a nice sentiment to "share" my trouble so I am now only dealing with half the trouble, but it isn't the answer we really need or want. We most likely want someone to carry ALL the trouble away - like the old commercial said, "Calgon, take me away!" We want to "deal" with the trouble by turning it over to someone else entirely, thereby putting the burden to "deal with it" squarely on their shoulders!  Wilma Rudolph said, " When the sun is shining, I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome ."  I think the truth is really when the SON is shining deeply in our lives, given the right place of priority in our hearts, we CAN do anything - no mountain is grander than we can scale together, no trouble bigge

Desert dryness and darkness galore

There are times when all we need is a little nudge in the right direction - then we are off and running at full speed.  It is the lack of that "little nudge" which can keep us cemented to our chairs, too.  We are definitely creatures who want "confirmation" of direction before we set out.  There is nothing wrong with this, but there are just times when God expects us to act in obedience, even when we don't feel a "little nudge" to do so!  Over the past couple of weeks, we have explored passages which point to us listening intently, using our common sense to help us in our decision-making, and hearing God's voice in a myriad of ways. There is no "secret" voice of God - he doesn't speak to just a select few - he speaks to all of us.  We just have to learn to recognize when it is we need to wait for his "voice" to become clear to us and when it is we can count on what we already know to be true in our lives to guide us.  Learn

An acrostic to consider

8-10 If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. (I John 1:8-10) This morning, please consider this acrostic: C onsideration O f N eeded F orgiveness E ffectively S ubmitting S elflessly E verything N ow Kinda corny, I know, but it came to me this morning as I opened my eyes to my wake up call from the worship music playing on the clock radio.  One of the first things I do in the morning is to ask God where he wants me to focus my study that day - this is what he gave me.  Confession is often a poorly understood concept - partly because it is hard for so many people to admit their n

Such as you have....give!

1-5 One day at three o'clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Look here." He looked up, expecting to get something from them.   6-8 Peter said, "I don't have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!" He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked. (Acts 3:1-8) When we live in such a way that our lives are a testimony to a hurting world around us, we will always be in contact with those in need - our paths will PURPOSEFULLY cross.  God g