Friday, February 22, 2013

Unclench My Fist

Letting Go
This school year has been hard from the very start. I've been able to do what I love but only for a short time. I knew it was temporary but I waited for God to intervene. I knew He would. I was wrong. Lesson learned: sometimes God says no and I have to unclench my fist.

Through all this, something was stolen from me that I need and depend on. The person was confronted and denied it. I had to let it go and allow God to sustain me and He is and I'm learning some things about my body through it all. It's not completely a bad thing but it's hard. Very hard. And I'm angry. So very angry. Lesson learned: sometimes God says, "Hold onto Me and you will make it, Laury. I know it's not fair but just hold onto Me."

Letting go of something I love to do and working with kids I understand and love to work with has been hard and yet ... I love what I'm doing now too. I had to get past the initial shock and anger before I could see it though. Besides that, I still get to work in the class one hour a day and I've made relationships with the teacher and the kids. It took that letting go of the emotion before I could settle down and see things for what they were. So silly. God made me a pretty effective educator wherever I'm placed. It's not anything I learned or did, it's the talent He instilled in me and I'm so thankful.

Smoldering anger ... I don't know where that comes from because I'm not an angry person. Injustice and unfairness upset me though and this year and past years but especially this year, has hit me full in the face and I haven't been able to do a thing about it. I have tried, trust me. But once the temper tantrums haven't worked, and the sulking, and the pleading with God, falling into His arms and resting, I know for sure Daddy will catch me and take care of me—then, and only then does everything begin to fall into place.

It's funny, situations don't change. The stolen is still gone and God has helped me through in amazing ways. The school thing is the same too. It's me. I'm the variable that needed the adjustment. The anger and resentment and feelings of unfairness are still there, I am human after all, but they aren't right there at the top ready to spill out. Sometimes I even forget about them for a bit.

Ephesians 4:31 (ESV)
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

When the world seems to be going crazy, the best thing to do is let go of it and cling to God. When everything else falls away, He will still be here. He is eternal. Our Rock. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Laury Hubrich

Friday, February 15, 2013

Come, Thou Weary Souls!

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NKJ)

… all you who labor: to feel fatigue, to work hard, to labor with wearisome effort, to toil, to grow weary, exhausted, tired.

Exhaustion plagues many people after a long day’s work at a job they hate. Stress consumes the worker as the economy serves up less and less for each dollar. Everyone toils to stay afloat, to make ends meet.

What is the return for the strain of intense labor? Solomon asked, “What does a man get for all his hard work?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3 TLB). He lamented, “All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied” (Ecclesiastes 6:7 NKJ).

The stomach may be full but the soul is not satisfied. The body is sapped of energy. So many are just plain wearied and tired. It hits all of us at one time or another. And just as it is possible to get weary physically, it is equally possible to get weary emotionally and spiritually. 

Do you ever feel tired, overburdened, and weary?

… and are heavy laden: to load up as a vessel or animal, to bear, something carried, to heap on.

When you encounter heavy burdens from …

  • relationships that are strained to the breaking point,
  • the job market being almost non-existent,
  • prices on everything continuing to climb,
  • family problems that loom,
  • a death in the family,
  • daily schedules,
  • the attacks of the enemy and you feel like giving up,

… does the stress overwhelm you? Do you need a rest?

… I will give you rest: to repose, refresh, to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength to give rest, intermission from labor.

Work is not always laborious; it can also be fulfilling. Solomon also said, “Every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:13 NKJ).

So, how many enjoy their work? How many realize it is a gift of God? Enjoyment of our labor comes much easier if we praise God for what we have, keep a positive attitude, and take a break to rest from it once in a while to avoid burnout.

Even God rested on the seventh day. Jesus got weary and rested. He took time to enjoy Himself. He attended weddings and dinners with friends. He laughed and teased and had a good time.

He also spent time in prayer to recharge Himself. He took time to slow down and be with the Father, going off to the solitude and serenity of the mountainside or the gardens to pray. One day, Jesus sat by the well of His forefathers to rest and recuperate, to quench His thirst.

What do you do before every last drop of your physical, emotional, and spiritual vitality has evaporated?

  • Do you rest from your work?
  • Do you take a vacation?
  • Do you take a day off now and then (especially if you cannot take a vacation), just to enjoy yourself and your family?
  • Do you relinquish your will, surrendering to God’s leading?
  • Do you keep a positive attitude?
  • Do you spend time in prayer?

When labor becomes arduous and circumstances burdensome, sit by the well of the Father, lowering your bucket into His spring of Living Water to quench your parched spirit and soul, and regain your strength and power, pausing until every thought of stress is lifted.

Rest in God’s promise, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25 NIV). Lynn Mosher

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

“Come to Me, all you who labor and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Friday, February 8, 2013

All Over Again

That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 NAS)

Nothing New
The convenience of reading documents and other written or typewritten materials using mobile devices is said to be one of the greatest inventions that revolutionize the way we live today. Yet what is considered a new way of doing things is really nothing new except that it has been made more convenient—an upgrade or improved version of the old. Beside the advantages associated with reading books electronically, for example, reading ebooks differs little from reading them in print media.

Many circumstances in life are like the things of old repackaged to look different. We may feel the situations we are facing now more intense or problematic than before, yet we need not fret because what has been is what will be, unless we choose to respond differently (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

The story of Abraham’s life is an example of what it means to choose to respond differently. When sojourning in Egypt, Abram, fearful for his own life, chose to say of his wife she is his sister (Genesis 12:10-20). Later on when sojourning in Gerar, Abraham did the same thing again (Genesis 20:1-14). Some years later, when tested by God to offer up his only son, Abraham responded in acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and was willing to give up his son even in such a dreadful situation (Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17-19).

Like Abraham and many other people, I too have faced situations in life that frequently is a repeat of the old, repackaged to look and feel different with greater intensity. Some years ago, when I was faced with the loss of a job, I prayed and asked of God for sustenance while struggling to make ends meet through freelancing and working on project assignments. Later on when I was to encounter the same circumstance again, I asked of God for an open door to a job of my interest and ability that pays sufficiently to care for my loved ones. After God granted me my request—though just for a few months to tie through a tight situation—I am once again faced with the same situation. This time around, I choose to wait upon the Lord and seek His direction, thanking Him for the much needed rest.

How we respond to repeated situations is what makes a difference. There are many lessons in life we can learn over and over again, but unless we respond to God in greater trust, we fail to grow in maturity to deal with similar situations. Like temptation, no situation can overtake us but such as is common to man. Our God is faithful who will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to handle, but will provide us the way of escape that we will be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Are we facing a difficult situation today that seemingly keeps coming back? Unless we choose to respond differently, few things in life will ever change. Like Abraham, let us grow in our faith to greater maturity in facing the many situations in our lives by putting our complete trust in Christ.

Dear Lord, thank You for molding us to grow in spiritual maturity to trust You more and more each day. We know Lord that it is through repeated circumstances that we can do better the next time around. Direct us Lord on the right respond we should go with when faced with situations that seem so intense when we are in them. Help us remember how You have seen us through such difficult situations time and again that we may not fret or run away. In You O Lord we shall prevail and overcome all circumstances by faith.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Breaks between Rushes

It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. (Psalm 127:2 NAS)

Take a Break
Just a month into a brand new year and I am totally exhausted, badly in need of rest. Every day I rise up early to rush to work, spending almost the entire day laboring for my bosses. At the end of the day, I stay up late to catch up with the things I need to do, and then spend a little time to share a word of encouragement or two online. The weekends are also not spared from doing the things that are necessary besides serving the Lord and His people through devotional writing.

Like me, many of us are rushing all the time and it is not uncommon we take busyness as part and parcel of life. Such frequent rushing however is not good because it often leaves us exhausted and deprived of badly needed rest.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” This He said because the disciples were so busy serving the people that they did not even have time to eat (Mark 6:31). God’s word makes it very clear that it is in vain that we should rise up early and retire late to eat the bread of painful labors, for God gives to us even in our sleep (Psalm 127:2).

Are we too busy doing too many things and finding ourselves not having enough time to study God’s word, pray, and rest? If we are, we need to consider making some serious changes in the way we live. We need to slow down and go away to a secluded place and rest a while. Taking breaks between the rushes is important because it helps replenish our energy and refresh our minds for better concentration.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest,” said Jesus. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Dear Lord, thank You for granting us rest, and for showing us the vanity of waking up early and retiring late. We know Lord there is no reason for us to lose sleep over work or ministry because You give to us even in our sleep. Keep us focused on You Lord that we may not in our busyness neglect the more important things You intent for us. Help us find time to go away to a secluded place to rest and pray Lord, especially amid the rushes. You O Lord are an understanding God, gentle and humble in heart, and in You we find complete rest.