Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: April 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014


"What must we do in order to accomplish what God requires?"

This is John 6:28. Right after Jesus takes the boy's lunch and uses it to feed a ridiculous amount of people. All of a sudden, Jesus has celebrity status. He knows it isn't because they believe who He is, but because He fed them. Here are thousands of Jews, under oppression from the Romans. And here is a man, who sees them, heals them, and feeds them! Who wouldn't love to meet Him, and follow Him!

He calls them out on it in verse 26, when He says, "you are looking for me...because you ate all the food you wanted. He continues to tell them that this is nothing compared to the eternal life the Father gives.

"What must we do, then?" they asked frustratedly. And I can only imagine how their frustration increased with Jesus's answer: "This is what God requires, that you believe in Him whom God sent," (verse 29).

Here's a crowd, willing to DO anything... and He tells them to believe. That sounds almost flaky, and a tad bit fruity. They had to be thinking, "Surely there's something!"

But that is exactly what we need. We don't need to do anything to do what the Lord requires. We believe. And from that belief, we simply do what the Lord desires.

The act and result of believing would be as follows:
I believe God is who He says He is. I have peace knowing that He is the Almighty Creator God who controls everything. And He is good.
I believe who God says I am to Him. I have peace knowing that I cannot win any more of His approval.
I believe I have what He has given me. I have the peace, the grace, the joy, the strength, and everything else I need to walk out the calling He has given me on this earth.

And the list goes on. The point is, believing in Him is literally our access to finally walk out our Christian lives the ways we're supposed to - full of love, power, and self-discipline.
Believing in Him is the catalyst to Him being able to live through me. And I want that. I can't strive for it, I can't do anything to get it. I believe, and I let Him do the "doing."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Life Moves

"What there is now is not all that will ever be."

I've said that at least 7 times in the past 10 days. And I think it's because I'm incurably short-sighted. I get discouraged because I look at my life - my messy room, my poor eating habits, my clothes that don't fit so nice, my homework load, my shortcomings - and I forget that I'm growing. Even when I can't see it, or my family, or my friends... I'm growing. I'm better than I was two years ago, or even six months ago. Because life moves. It teaches you things. Inevitably. I handle stress better, I process my struggles differently, and I am most definitely more mature emotionally than I ever have been.

So how come I can't look at where I am, be encouraged at how far I've come, and know that I am not all that I'll ever be? that where I am won't always be where I am?

It's just interesting to me. I can watch a movie, and, even though the beginning may be full of despair or conflict, I know that that's not the end of the movie. The plot moves, the characters develop and change, the story progresses. Now, maybe it's because I have the shortest attention span in the world, or because I've seen enough movies to know this is how it goes. But life is like that. Nothing looks like the beginning does - not the end, or the middle, or 2 weeks in. Every day is different. Life moves. It keeps going. And we grow.

I have grown. And I haven't stopped growing! Sometimes I feel like I'm as good as I'm going to be, and I get incredibly discontent with the result. But I'm not at the end yet! I'm growing, and becoming a fuller, better me every day.

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion..."
Philippians 1:6

He began this process; He is faithful to finish it. I am not all I will ever be, and there is more beyond what there is. 
And He is good through it all. Really good.