February 13 / Proverbs 13 / Mark 16

empty tomb

Proverbs 13:13-14, 18

Make it your own personal rule to embrace all criticism without defending yourself. Take whatever of it is true and use it to make the changes to become a better person. There is immense power in this humility.

Which is more important to you? To be better? Or to be right?

To become more effective? Or to remain unchallenged?

Here is a section from Greg McKeown’s most helpful book, Essentialism:

INSTEAD, ADMIT FAILURE TO BEGIN SUCCESS

I remember a friend who would never stop to ask for directions because he could never admit he was lost. So we would waste time and energy driving around in circles, getting nowhere–the epitome of a nonessential activity.

Only when we admit we have made a mistake in committing to something can we make a mistake a part of our past. When we remain in denial, on the other hand, we continue to circle pointlessly. There should be no shame in admitting a mistake; after all, we are really only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.

Mark 16:8

And going outside, they fled from the tomb, gripped by trembling and amazement. They didn’t say anything to anybody, for they were afraid.

Sometimes when God actually does something tangible within the context of our real life now, we freak out a little bit. Or we experience a “too-good-to-be-true”  feeling or reaction. When God does just what He promises, it is still a little weird and difficult to process at first. Jesus said He would rise from the dead. Then He did. Then people freaked out.

He says He will comfort us. He says He will do more than we can even dream up of asking for. And many times when He follows thru, we are stunned and say nothing about it to anyone. Yet it is so encouraging to those around us when we share our stories of God’s caring hand in our lives. This builds joy. We must share.

But why are we so surprised by His care if He is who He says He is? If He is omnipotent, perfect LOVE.

This past year or so, whenever I have asked Him for encouragement, He sends it in some unforeseen manner by way of an unpredictable person, some friends, some strangers, some book. Every time, I am amazed. But no longer shocked. That’s just what He does, how He rolls. The game-changer for me was truly believing it. Choosing to trust He is true to His word. I now ask Him for encouragement, knowing He will send it at the right moment, trusting Him. And He sends it, every time. Just the practice of believing when I ask is usually enough to make me smile.

God loves it when we trust Him and depend on Him. That’s His desire which is flowing out of His abundant goodness. I want Gabriela and Zayra to trust me and be able to depend on me. It would stab me to find out that they don’t fully trust in me as their father. Even when I am inconsistent in my finitude in bringing their after-school snack for the ride home, the droopy look on their little faces pierces my heart.

But our heavenly Father is perfect. He never forgets our after-school snack, yet we live and act as tho He forgets it all the time. “He may or may not bring it today, I don’t know…” This is simple unbelief on our part–in His goodness, in His omnipotence, in His care for us. I mean, He cares for the little birdies out there.

If you do not have peace, remember, it is not any failure on God’s end. He is. He always IS. It is a dysfunction on our end. We don’t beat ourselves up over it, we just find the dysfunction and reverse the lie, trusting in His care.

He is the God of all comfort. That is a promise, and I for one , have experienced it.

Amen.

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