October 6, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday! Yes, it is a good day today. I am blessed, so very blessed, and praise be to God, I am feeling better. I am not sure what I had, but whatever it was, it seems to have passed through my system quickly. I'm thankful for my day off today, especially since I really need the day to catch up on paperwork and to rest some more. It is funny how these things happen, but Tuesday (my other day off) was such a bust. I spent the whole day frustrated, and with that frustration, I simply did not rest. I worried, panicked, doubted, etc., and by the end of the evening, I was worn out. Sigh!

I hate it when I do that, you know, stop trusting the Lord. I mean, in whom do I trust? In whom do I place my trust? It is a fair question, and in fact, throughout scripture, we see the question being asked again and again. Psalm 146:2-3 (NASB) says, "I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation." I say it all the time, every day in fact, that my hope and my trust is in the Lord; yet, on Tuesday, I looked to my own hand, my own understanding, and well, I suffered as a result.

If we think about it, there is a good reason why the writer of Proverbs 3:5-6 (HCSB) says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths

Whenever we "rely on" (or lean on) our understanding of matters and concerns, we often miss the bigger picture, the main idea or theme. No, the Word stresses that as believers, we must place our trust in the Lord, and that means that we must RELY on His determination, judgment, and understanding in order for the events, circumstances and situations in our life to make sense. God does indeed know best, and because He is omniscient (1 John 3:20), He really does know our comings and goings, our days and our end. Sigh!

Today, I am determined to rest, to really rest, to let go and let God make the determination, the decisions, and take the helm as He directs my way (guides me). He is good, so very good to me! Selah! Praise His Holy Name for He is ALWAYS so very good!

Thinking More About Tomorrow

As I think about my day today, I cannot help but also remember how far I have come in just three short years. It has been a whirlwind and a roller coaster ride for me. In all, the Lord has been my rock, my steady companion, and through the ups and the downs, all the job changes, house moves, etc., He has kept me under control. I marvel at His goodness. I magnify His name, and I give Him thanks today for His faithful and careful watch over me. He has never let me down, and even though I have failed Him time and time again, I know His goodness precedes me. It covers me, washes over me, and in all things, it comforts me. He is good, so very good to me. Selah!

One thing that rests heavy on my mind is simply His timing. I wonder about it, worry over it, and at times, fret as to whether or not the Lord is really going to do what I believe He has said He would do in my life. Yet, as I rest, I let this worry go. I realize that what I am doing now (my dissertation) takes precedence over everything else. If there is good news, it is that I am content with the path, the plans and the process itself. I mean, I am comfortable where I am, and I know where I am going. Thus, I can rest in the assurance that I am well covered.

This is good news for me today. First off, I am ready to tackle my proposal defense, which is now set for the last week of the month. Second, I am confident in my approach for research, and I feel confident that I can articulate my study well. Third, and really most importantly, while I wasn't thrilled to have less than three months to conclude my research and my writing, I am confident that I can get my dissertation written in three months (November-January), and then do my final defense in early March. This should allow me to submit my final dissertation well in time for graduation in May. Lord willing, of course. I really cannot worry too much about the timeline simply because I have little to no control over it. Yet, I am confident that the Lord has this well-in hand and that means I can trust Him to see me through to the end. He is good, so very good, and He knows my abilities well. I can trust Him to use my time, my talents, and my everything -- literally everything -- to bring about His will and His way. My desire is to do all things for His praise, honor, and glory. I cry out with Paul as he says in Col. 3:17 (BSB), 

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Yes, whatever I do, in word or deed, I will do it all to bring glory to God through Jesus Christ my Lord and my Savior.

In Closing

As I close out this blog post today, I think about how grateful I am to God, my Creator and Sustainer. He has made this way possible, and thus, while I struggle with timing and plans and the like, I know that He has made this way for me. Therefore, I walk on this path, and I hold on tightly to His hand. He will keep me safe. He will keep me safe. Praise be to God, always my King and my Savior, Amen.

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