Devotional #2: Of Waves, Wind, and Wisdom
A few summer's ago I took a group of graduates down to Newport Beach, California for their Senior summer trip. We made our way down to the ocean as soon as we arrived and being the silly little Oregonians that we were, we ran at the water like deer run at headlights. It was like we had never seen waves in our lives. I wrecklessly made my way into the water screaming my head off with glee when I was silenced with a mouthful of salt water. As I knelt down to spit the water out and catch my breath, a wave came in and toppled over me bringing me into complete submission to the Pacific ocean. The problem with waves, is that you never know how often they'll attack, and that's just what they did to me. One by one they came in compacting me into a little ball and giving me the washing machine effect. I finally crawled to shore and breathed in the smog infected air that to me was like the freshest air I've ever breathed. And so I lived to tell the story. Being tossed by those waves has given me a better perspective on James
| Devotional #1: The Price is Wrong Bob!|
A few Monday's ago the fella's, my wife, her mom and I headed down to the CBS studios in L.A. and participated in a taping of The Price is Right. When I first had the idea of going to the show I just wanted to see the studio it's filmed in. Well me made it there, but once we were there I wanted to make it to contestant's row, then my name got called! But once I was on contestant's row I wanted to make the right bid so I could get on stage, and I did! But once I was on stage I just wanted to make it to the wheel, and I did! Once I made it to the wheel I.... well I'm not going to give any more of the story away but the point is, as people, having the sinful nature that we do, we can't ever be satisfied, we always want just a little bit more. In the book of James we read this in verse 2 thru verse 4: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Maybe you're going thru a tough time, experiencing a difficult challenge, and are being tossed around having fallen into a tumultuously hard trial, and it feels as though God has abandoned you or is causing trials to happen to you as punishment for sin. I'm writing this so you know the truth, God has not left you nor is He punishing you. You see, God knows our nature, He knows that only in Him can we be totally satisfied. That is why He allows trials to take place in our lives. They are allowed by Him to make us stronger people who are better equipped to do His work and the things He's called us to do. When sandpaper is applied to a piece of rough wood for a period of time, the wood becomes smooth and useful as that paper goes against its grain. Trials are a mere piece of sandpaper that may rub us the wrong way for a season, but ultimately will bring us to a place of usefulness and satisfaction in Jesus, removing our nature of feeling incomplete and unsatisfied. We can choose to fight off these trials and do it our way rather than God's way, but that will only lead you in a vicious cycle of always lacking and always wanting. How do we do it God's way? Well that's the good part. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep"