Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A "Yet" Praise

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

Can you give God a “yet” praise?

Can you praise Him when it hasn’t happened yet? When you’re still looking for the buds, but all you see is a naked stalk. You know that you have planted and you have watered, but there is still no fruit from your labor. Can you yet praise Him?

When you’ve had some failure. When you’ve suffered a loss. When circumstances don’t seem to be going your way. When you’ve suffered and the pain has been unbearable. When you’ve had to say goodbye to family and friends. When your storage is exhausted and your bank account is empty. Can you still say, “Yet, I will praise the Lord?”

When what I thought would be isn’t what it is. Can I yet praise Him?

Yet: nevertheless, even still, at the same time.

A connecting word between two phrases. Two points. Two realities.

So even though it hasn’t happened yet (so far, up until this point) I will yet (even still, nevertheless, at the same time) keep praising my God. Why?

God is yet worthy to be praised. Regardless of my circumstances, He is still God. He is still Sovereign. He is still good. I will yet trust Him. I will yet believe. I will trust and believe in who He is. I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But I know in the end I win. The victory has already been won because I have believed in the Son. He will work out. But in the meantime and in between time, I will rejoice because He is Lord and He is Savior.

I will be joyful in God my Savior because my joy is not based on happenings but on who He is.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Leaving a Legacy

The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7 (NIV)

Yesterday I went to a prayer breakfast and I thought about a friend.

Years ago, my husband filmed Jenny’s testimony at the prayer breakfast. She was fighting cancer, but she still had a testimony of God’s goodness. This morning as I thought of Jenny, I thought about how beautiful she was. How she always had a smile when I saw her, even when cancer had decimated her body. How much she loved the Lord, her daughter, her friends, her church. How she was always so encouraging to me. How beautiful she was, yes, physically, but how beautiful her heart was. How she touched so many lives in even her relatively short one.

I thought about how before she died I went to the hospital room and she was surrounded by friends and family--one of her best friends by her bedside fanning her. Her family and friends loved her deeply and truly and were there to the end. And I thought about how we all still miss her and how tributes to her life still appear on Facebook or through the event held by her brother in her name to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer.

Her memory is a blessing because she made memories that were a blessing. She lived a life that was a blessing to others.

I think the same thing about my husband’s grandmother, Florence Geneva Hagler, an awesome woman of God who also had a lasting impact on those around her. A woman whose memory is still a blessing.

I have felt a lot of loss lately. Loved ones leaving this earth. I now understand when they say when someone close to you passes away, not a day goes by that you don’t think of them. My recent losses have reconfirmed many life principles for me.

If you want to leave a legacy, live one.

It is not the material things that people will remember but the memories.

 The greatest life investment is pouring into people.

All the things we see will pass away. Only what you do for Christ will last. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

When you are taking your last breath, you will not be worried about that promotion or how much money you have in the bank. The greatest gift will be to be surrounded in a circle of love of family and friends.

That is how Jenny made her transition. That is how my husband’s grandmother made hers. That is how my mother-in-law made hers. And that is what truly matters.

You can pride yourself on your possessions, and it’s nice to have nice things and we are called to be responsible stewards over our possessions and use them not only to take care of ourselves and our families, but help someone else. But in the end, what really matters are people, not possessions.  The love of family and friends, not financial holdings. Leaving a legacy of love.

What kind of legacy are you leaving?
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