I’ve spent a lot of time lamenting past mistakes. ‘If only I hadn’t done this. If only I HAD done that. If only, if only, if only.
But I didn’t. I cannot change the past. I cannot change myself. But because the desire is in me to grow and change, He is the One who can.
“My son, IF you accept my words and store up my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; furthermore, IF you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, IF you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5” (HCSB)
I thought I’d been doing this, but on closer examination, I have NOT been seeking His word and savoring it like I should have. IF it were REALLY important to me, nothing else could intrude. Nothing else would be more important-and I find that I can find every excuse in the book to put that time with Him off for another hour. It’s only when I’m truly desperate that I cry out-and lately that has been a lot. Hmmm…wonder if there’s some sort of lesson there? Well, heck yeah!
It’s a treasure hunt. Remember those stories about the people who turned their worlds inside out looking for a lost coin or a pearl of great price? I’ve spent some time on my hands and knees, not in prayer, but looking for the stone out of that bracelet. Looking for an earring-because it’s REAL GOLD, after all! The ironic thing about those instances? When I’ve prayed, ‘Please Lord, help me find my glasses/keys/earring/insurance card-He has. They’ve almost magically appeared out of nowhere. He will put a thought in my head and I’ll KNOW where those things are.
Why should it be any different when it comes to His word? Why do I find myself glazing over when I should be PORING over the wonderful concepts that He has for me? When I spend time with others in that pursuit, I’m amazed at the insights He brings-but do I do it on my own? Not nearly often enough.
IF you accept my WORDS and STORE up my commands within you. Listen and direct your HEART to understanding. SEEK it like silver, SEARCH for it like hidden treasure. Those are the keys to UNDERSTANDING-and understanding is the springboard to peace-which comes from the very knowledge of God.
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us-set us right with him, make us fit for him-we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand-out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” Romans 5:1-2 (MSG)
IF we have the relationship, we have the freedom. IF we have the relationship, through FAITH in Christ Jesus, we will stand in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory! I want that! Don’t YOU? IF only I could be there-and He says, “You are. Trust and believe it-it is the truth.”
Over and over, He tells me He has called me. Over and over He reassures me through the fears and tears, the doubts and jeers of the enemy. He brings me confirmation and tells me to stand firm and tall. I pray for boldness, the boldness of knowing without a doubt, that IF I commit my life to seeking Him first, I cannot fail.
Do you have ‘what ifs?’ In your life? Here’s another one: What IF you give it to Him and see how HE will handle it? Not easy, is it? But when has your way been any easier? Think of the times you said, “Okay, next time, Lord. This time, I’ll handle it myself. But I hear Ya! Next time, okay?
There may not be a next time. No one knows the hour or the day. It becomes more urgent with each new earthquake and flood, war and catastrophe-whether world-wide-or in your own personal landscape.
Okay, Lord, this time we’ll give it to You. No more Ifs, ands or buts!
Stephanie McIver [email protected]