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humility

Revisions (a Timeless Truths blog post)

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Are you the stubborn type? Do you like to have everything go a certain way (your way) and do you easily get upset when your plans get changed? Well, there’s good news … you’re not alone! It’s quite common for people to think their way is the best way (perhaps the only way) to get things done, and get them done efficiently! The up side of that mentality is that you generally have a good work ethic; the down side is that you may not realize there’s a problem until someone else points it out (hopefully gently) … and that’s when humility needs to come into play. You need to be willing to accept there really are other ways of doing things … and some ways just could be better than what you imagined. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So, this timeless truth lets us know that God’s plan for our lives is good (period). Even when it may not look that way on the surface, God’s plan is always good … the problem often comes when we may not see things the way God sees them. We may have a vision of how our lives ought to go … how one thing will lead to another, and another, and another so that eventually our vision comes to pass. However, as we quickly learn (as in all of life) our plans often undergo several “revisions” before the “final draft” is completed … and even then, it’s still not over until it’s over (meaning even more revisions will most likely be needed before all is said and done). The key is being open and willing to allow Jesus to be Lord (not just Savior) of our lives. Think of the word revisions as re-visions … being willing to change and get a new vision … being willing to change course (as the Lord leads). Suppose you had gone through the process of applying for several new jobs and had started to think maybe there was one other job you might be willing to apply for as well and you had started to open yourself up to that possibility but had not yet actually gone and done it. Then suppose you get a phone call out of the blue from a company in the same business as the one you had been thinking about (but had not applied to yet). This company got your resume online when you filled out all the information for the job bank and you had no clue until you got that phone call that you “just so happened” to answer without knowing who it was. What would you do? Would you be open and willing to at least talk to the person on the other end … even though it wasn’t in your plan? Would you be willing to “change course” and see what they had to say/what they had to offer you? Would you realize perhaps this was a blessing from God you hadn’t fully considered receiving yet? Would you revise your own plan and be open to a new plan – a new vision? Hopefully (and prayerfully) you would … otherwise, it’s possible you may miss making the change that could be needed … the change that could lead to a new destiny for you … a new blessing for you to grow in the grace and knowledge of God … into the knowledge of how much of a loving and gracious God we have the privilege of knowing personally. Remember, when God tells us a revision is needed to our original plan, we can trust that His plans are always good and always better than anything we could have dreamed up ourselves!

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God works all things together for good

There is a danger in not listening to the whispers to your soul. The danger of not learning, changing, and growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord – and it can be a humbling experience.

This morning, I realized I hadn’t listened to the whisper to my soul. Instead, I had tried to argue and rationalize and convince myself that everything would be fine – when I knew in my soul it really wasn’t fine.

After an hour, I finally gave up and conceded – humbling myself that I needed to admit the truth.

The situation wasn’t anything huge … just an unwanted gift I’d been given and me trying to figure out if I should just keep it and try to use it anyway (and if I didn’t like it I could always return it, the giver had told me) … or, if I should continue to be honest as I’d started to do the night before and simply tell them outright it wasn’t going to work and had to be returned.

The thing is, this person should have known ahead of time that what they bought me was not what I wanted because I had specifically told them I didn’t want the item if it contained a certain feature.

You see, they were originally trying to do me a favor by buying the item when they bought some other things for themselves. I had told them specifically what I wanted and had pointed out certain features that it should and should not contain. They had even said, “so, if they don’t have this one, I shouldn’t get anything, then.” And I had agreed.

However, when they came back from the store with a substitute item and they had told me they wanted to get me “something” (as that was the only similar item available), I initially tried to explain to them (graciously) that it had the feature I had specifically mentioned I didn’t want.

Then, because I was tired and because they were urging me to try it anyway, I felt like I was complaining and eventually apologized … and reluctantly agreed to try it anyway – even though I didn’t believe it would work.

Then, as I mentioned already, this morning I had the whole argument in my mind of what to do about the situation. Finally, I realized I just had to be truthful with both myself and with the other person.

I realized that – although it looked like I was complaining (on the surface), I knew in my heart I wasn’t really complaining – I was simply trying to find a way to be truthful graciously to the other person.

I also realized how God worked all things together for good.

I realized how this whole situation could be used as a learning experience.

I realized how it would help me to grow once I chose to listen to God’s voice directing me in the truth rather than worrying about the other person’s reaction to me simply being honest … and I realized how it could help the other person learn how to listen better as well to what I had told them in the first place (especially since I also had to ask them to return the item themselves).

I also realized something else. This was an opportunity. An opportunity for God to use me once I did finally listen to Him. An opportunity to be a conduit of change – first in my own life as I prayed and repented of my sin of not listening to God in the first place since I was so worried about what another person thought, then change in the other person’s life as they (at least) considered how it might be a good idea to listen to someone else’s wishes more carefully the next time, and then change in whoever reads this blog post as they may consider seeing an “everyday” situation in their own lives as an opportunity to learn something God may be trying to teach them once they’re honest with themselves and come into agreement with whatever God may be trying to speak into their hearts – whatever the situation may be.

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