Don’t Lose the Wonder

A few years ago when I was going through a stack of scrapbooks that my mother had carefully put together and saved from my childhood, I came across one of my handmade cards and noticed these words written in yellow pencil at the bottom of the card: "I feel like we are somebody important, and I know that we are." When I read those words, I thought, "What was I thinking as a little girl that caused me to write that?" At first I thought it was cute and it made me chuckle, but those words kept going through my mind over and over. "What was I thinking?"

And finally I realized that inside every one of us, even as little children, the voice of God is saying, "You are made in My image. You are valuable, you are significant, and you are important in this life." But sometimes life tries to drown out that voice and devalue us. Unfair things happen. People talk negatively about us. Somebody walks out of our life. I realize now that struggles and problems try to silence His voice, and we have to allow that voice to be strong in us. What really matters is who you are. You may feel insignificant, but God sees you as valuable and exceptional. He sees you as important.

The day that I read that handmade card with my signature butterflies and flowers, I realized just how much I want to keep that childlike wonder in the things of God. I told myself, "I may feel unqualified. I may not have the confidence I wish I had. I may feel as though I lack in my abilities. But God doesn't see me that way. He sees me as strong, capable, and well able to do what He's called me to do. And I know that I am!"

How you feel and what life has done to you doesn't change the value of your life in the eyes of God. Remember, you "are God's masterpiece" (Ephesians 2:10). You are a masterpiece in His eyes. He's already qualified you, and He's left nothing out of you. Keep His voice clear and free from the debris of life. Spend your life well and make it count. Our great God has put so many amazing things in you, and He's put assignments in your path that will make a difference in the lives of the people you love. He "has created you anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things He planned for you long ago." How you live your life really matters.

Don't lose the wonder of what God has put in you.


The Miracle Is in the Process

We all have things we're believing for, dreams to come to pass, problems to turn around. We have the promise in our heart. We've prayed, we've believed, but we don't see any sign of things improving. It's easy to get discouraged and think it's never going to work out. But most of the time God doesn't do things instantly. There will be a waiting period. Just because you don't see it changing doesn't mean that God is not working. As you keep believing, keep praising, keep doing the right thing, you're going to see things begin to change. Many times, the miracle is in the process. It happens when you keep being obedient. What you're believing for is on the way.

In Luke 17, Jesus entered a village and was met by ten lepers who began to shout, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Jesus could have spoken a word and healed them, but He did something interesting. He said, "Go show yourselves to the priests," which didn't make sense. They could have thought, "Once we're healed, we'll go see the priests." But faith says you have to believe it and act on it before you see it.

The lepers started walking what could have been several miles to the priests. I can imagine that in the first couple of hours they didn't see any change. Thoughts said, "Go home. You're wasting your time." But they kept walking even though there was no sign of healing. Finally, after a few more hours, one of them looked at his skin and said, "It's getting better!" Another began to move his hand and said, "My fingers are working!" The Scripture says, "As they went, they were healed." If they had waited for things to change, they wouldn't have seen the miracle. The healing was in the obedience, in the going.

God has put promises in your heart, but perhaps the medical report hasn't changed, your child is still off course, or your business hasn't improved. You could think it's never going to happen. No, just keep walking, keep being obedient, keep praising, keep thanking. That's when the miracle is going to take place. You can't go by what you see or by what you don't see. Go by what God promised you. "Joel, I still have these symptoms." Keep on walking. "My business is still slow." Keep on walking. "People at work are still not treating me right." Keep on walking. God sees your obedience. You're about to walk into your healing, walk into your freedom, walk into a great spouse, walk into abundance. As you keep walking, you're going to see God show out in your life.


Don’t Forget

I'd like you to take a few minutes and think about your family. You probably have a to-do list, and much of what's on that list revolves around them, and that's good. But I want to remind you to put them on your love list as well. It's so easy to forget, especially as the years go by, that our spouse and children are gifts whom God has given to us. We're not just supposed to do things for them, we're supposed to celebrate them, enjoy them, and love them every single day.

So what do you do when someone in your family can't seem to get it together? What is your attitude when someone you love keeps messing their life up? It's easy to get upset and tell them how bad they are, but what good does that do? The Scripture says, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24). When they can't seem to do anything right, God says to think about how you can spur them on toward love. You dwell on what might help them. You don't give up on them and think they can't change. If you can spur someone on in God's love, good deeds will follow. If you can strengthen them in God's love, their life will become better. Love is powerful! God is saying, "Love them always, love them anyway."

I was thinking the other day about how God has freely given us His grace, forgiving and covering all our failures and mistakes. No matter how many times we fail and mess up, God never gives up on us. His amazing love never runs out. To know the love of God is such a beautiful, secure position to be in. But God hasn't poured His love into our lives just so we can enjoy it. The apostle John says, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11). The same unfailing love that He has given us is for our spouse and children, our relatives and friends, our neighbors and coworkers. He blesses us so that we can spread the blessing.

God has empowered each of us through His love, His grace, and His mercy to set the tone of love within our families. It's up to us to stir up the love, to make them know that they are secure in our love, to tell them we love being a part of their lives and are proud of them, and to be our very best for them. We love because we have God's love to give.

Who's on your love list? Don't forget to let them know!