Frappuccino and a Phone Call
Every other week I have the privilege of taking my beautiful granddaughter to middle school each morning. On Friday of those weeks I always bring her a vanilla bean Frappuccino. This is our way of celebrating the week and enjoying a coffee together, although hers is just milk, ice and flavoring. She doesn't know that, she just thinks she is having a coffee date with Grandma. As you can imagine, this is one of my most treasured times of the week.
Now, being that she is in middle school, you will understand that somedays she gets into the car and is not in the best of moods. I am not sure if it is because it is morning, or time for school, or her hair, or her clothes, or just who she is, a middle schooler. No matter her mood though, we always have coffee and a time of prayer before she leaves the car. This school year she has joined the track team. She is an incredible athlete already, excelling in soccer, and we encouraged her to try her running skills on the track team. Again, because she is a middle schooler, the minute her legs hurt from all the running, she wanted to quit the team. She has tried everything in her power to get out of going to track practice. Luckily, all the parental figures including grandparents are on the same page and no one has let her out of it yet, but, she keeps trying.
One particular day, I needed to be at the high school before school and it just so happened that she needed to be at the same place at the same time. We arrived early and I took her with me to the classroom I needed to be in until it was time for her to attend her function. She was already angry about having to do track that afternoon and was sulking a bit as she sat in the classroom waiting. Soon, the phone rang and the teacher answered it and began to discuss a girl on the high school track team who wasn't attending practices and needed to be taken off the roster and not allowed to do some other things unless she chose to begin attending and putting in effort. He talked to the other person on the line about how this individual was known for starting something and not finishing and didn't put in much effort in anything she did. The look on my granddaughters face was priceless. She stared at me with eyes that said, "Are they talking about me?" All I could think was, "WOW!, the Holy Spirit just showed up in this room." I walked over to her and whispered in her ear, "Sometimes God let's us know what He wants us to do through strange phone calls." She walked out of the room and is continuing to attend track practices.
Isn't this so like God's great grace? He shows up and lets us know exactly what he is expecting. I heard Joyce Meyer on a podcast about Ephesian's say, "Grace is God's power coming to us freely to give us the ability to do what we need to without struggle." My sweet granddaughter was definitely struggling, yet God's grace showed up and is getting her through the track season. How often do you find yourself struggling with something? Maybe it is something you don't really want to do. Maybe it is something difficult in your life. God does not promise that we won't have struggles, in fact he says we will. But, in 1 Timothy 4:10 it tells us, "For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe." (CSB) This is really good news as we think about the struggles we might be going through. God's grace is so good that even though we may struggle, if we truly believe, we will make it through the struggles because our hope is in Him. During the struggles that come while we are trying to live out our lives honoring Him, he will be there through it all. When we do the work of honoring our God of grace, we will be rewarded by his help through it all.
Each day, that we strive to our work for God, we will find we have struggles. These might look like people talking behind our backs, issues arising that don't allow us to complete projects we are behind in, unexpected health issues, family concerns, car troubles, crazy weather that wreaks havoc, supervisors that don't understand us, and on and on. These times are difficult, some more so than others, and we will not skate through life without them rearing their ugly head. And, while all these things are happening, we, as Christians are trying to be the light of the world; trying to work here on earth to bring others to know Christ, while striving with the issues in life.
Here's the good news, though, we DO have a hope that others don't have. We DO have the grace of God on our side while we walk through difficult things. We DO have a place to rest when we are weary and know that when we do this, and put our trust in God, he will deliver us from the struggles. I think it is important to take a good look at our lives and what we are currently doing. God will be with us during our daily endeavors, but if we are not doing the work and will of God it may be a lot more difficult. The struggles might seem harder and appear more often. Have you ever taken time to ask God if you are doing his will? In this short life it is important for us to be doing the most to bring glory to God. We want to be sure that what we are doing is what He is asking us to do and that we do it well. We need to be able to do what is right for Him because we have a relationship with him and because we want to please him. We need to be sure that we are not involved in something in order to get something from God, though. We need to do a "fact check" on our lives to be sure that we are not doing the right things for the wrong reasons. Are we in the right job in order to bring glory to Christ? Is it in His will? Or are we doing it because it brings us the most fame, money, and glory? Are we involved with groups of people who do not believe in glorifying God with their actions? Do we stay in these groups because they have been our friends for so long and because we don't want to be "out of the loop"? Have you asked God to reveal to you whether you should continue to be part of such groups? When we are involved in the right activities, jobs, groups, it will be easy for us to do what God's will is in our lives. If we are not, we will find the struggles will be greater.
God can and wants to do great things through us. He can do amazing things through individual people. Just think about David, Joseph, Ruth, Esther. What amazing work was done for Him through these people. At the same time, though, they had struggles and guess who was with them the entire time? God showed up and helped them through each struggle because they were doing the right thing for His glory. When God asks us to do things for him, he is asking us to do it for our benefit, not for his. Although in the end it will bring him glory, his perfect plan is laid out so that we can accomplish amazing things.
What ever you are involved in right now, take time to ask God if it is in his will. If you find the answer is no, which may take some praying and listening, then you must find a way to move to something different. God will give you the peace and wisdom and confidence in yourself to make a change for his glory. When we do the work of Christ he will give us all the energy we need. Colossians 1:29 says, " For this I labor (often to the point of exhaustion), striving with His power and energy, which so greatly works in me. (AMP)
God has given us the gifts to do what he asks and he will help you open these gifts and use them for your life from now until eternity. And when this happens, he will be there to help with the struggles.
We will see how my granddaughter actually does in track. If this is meant to be a path God wants her to take she will be rewarded for her efforts. If not, God will show her the reason why it is important to stick with something, which will reward her in life.
Now it is your turn, go get some hot coffee, mine is cold brew with cream, pray and ask God to show you the areas in your life where you might be struggling. Ask Him to provide you with guidance to move through struggles in order to bring him glory and to do his will. Ask Him to show you HIs will for your life and be ready to follow him. He will answer you. He will provide you a way through your struggles and guide you in the right direction for your life if you have faith and hope in the great God of grace.