Are You Thriving?


I purchased a plant in early spring, planted it, carefully wrapped the delicate tendrils of the vine around the trellis, watered it and looked forward to new growth and a flowering plant to enjoy among the others in the flower garden.

Then it went through a phase I would guess was transplant shock, so I tended to it with large doses of loving care. This involved more watering, fertilizer, pruning, and daily checking on its progress. Nothing I did caused it to thrive. Instead of thriving, the best way to describe my new vine was to say it’s alive and hanging in there. 
  
As I wished for more for this struggling new plant of mine, my thoughts turned to people and how we sometimes live our lives. We are alive. Breathing, walking, existing, and going through our days with little hope and few expectations. We are often merely hanging in there. But not thriving. Not embracing the fullness and richness that God intends for us to experience in our daily walk with Him.
    
For my plant that was hanging in there, I continued to tend to it and hoped that it would eventually thrive. For you and for me…we can make a choice concerning how we live. We can do better than just hanging in there. There is a much better way. We can choose to thrive.
    
Let’s claim the fullness of JOY and abundant life Christ came to give us when our lives are hidden in His. We can live in the promise of John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
    
Meditate on these verses and claim them each new day. With these verses hidden in your heart, you will walk in the joy of the Lord.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Psalm 5:12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!  Selah 

Here



Here is where I breathe You deep inside my heart,

Here is where You make me strong and make me more like You.

Here is where You pour Your love like a river over me,

Here is where my heart finds more of You.

Here is where I come to You, Lord,
With all that I am,
You come to me
With all You made me to be.

Where is Here?
The place…
The time…
Any place, any time of the day that I draw aside and spend time alone with the Lord, purposing to draw near to Him in close and intimate communion.

Here
Is where I am with Him and He is here with me.

He made us for this!
Let’s not miss out on the richness of drawing close to Him.

Oh, Father, I am glad I don’t have to look far or seek long to find You. I can look into a great big sky and always find You near. I can look into my heart and always know You’re here.

Jeremiah 29:13
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Psalm 27:8
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

Acts 17:27-28
So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

You Are Gifted

Each one of us is gifted by God. We all have talents and abilities that God has placed in us. From one person to another they are going to look different. It always amazes me to hear one person say how they love to work with teenagers in their church group and someone else say they could never work with teenagers but love teaching the little ones in preschool. And someone else chimes in and admits they don’t work well with either age group but they enjoy helping to plan a ministry event and making sure all those details come together.

In a women’s Bible study small group I heard a lady sadly declare that she didn’t think she had much talent and then when we pursued the subject, she admitted that she loved coming up with the idea for the centerpiece for the women’s ministry events and other church wide functions. We all started recalling the different centerpieces we had seen and assured her that she indeed had a gift and a talent and we helped her to see herself as an artist. She had not looked at herself that way. But her face brightened when she realized she had something special to offer.

Some people are good at crunching numbers while others are good at nursing or photography, or teaching, leading, cooking, counseling, and all types of different skills. All are God-given and the wide range of diversity is reflected as soon as you talk to a group of people and find out what they see as their talents and interests.

God our Creator made us unique and the gifts He gives us are part of His design to bring our lives purpose and satisfaction. They are also the evidence that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

There is an important truth we need to remember: We are each individually gifted because we are wonderfully made by God.
 
Psalm 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

Place of Rest


Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When I try to figure things out all on my own it seems like it becomes more complicated with each angle I attempt to analyze and fix. When I admit it’s not mine to figure out and leave it in God’s hands, I find that I am wringing and twisting mine a whole lot less.

Whatever made me think it was mine to figure out? How thankful I am that He asks me to trust Him, seek Him first and He’ll take care of the rest. When I rest in knowing this, I find a joy and peace I could not know when I was trying to manage everything myself.

I’m often asked how did I find this place of peace and joy and my answer is, I have learned through my life experiences and walk with God that because my life is in His hands, all my worries and cares can be placed there too.

There were painful times in my life long ago that were difficult to endure. There were disappointments I could not understand. There were hurts I could have held on to, but chose to let them go and give it all to the Lord. The faith I have placed in Him gave me the courage and strength to do that.

He taught me to cast all my cares on Him, and He showed me He would bless this step of faith. What a difference it made in my life when I stopped trying to figure everything out myself.

When I let Him have His perfect way I found myself in a new place—a place of rest. This new place of quiet rest in my heart was also a place of peace and great contentment. Most of all, the place of rest and confidence I found in the Lord was a place of blessing and joy.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.