THE DAILY GRIND: JOY

I previously begun a series entitled, ‘The Daily Grind’. In case you missed out on the introduction, you can find it at The Daily Grind.

If you are like me and love any truth or message that can be applied ‘today’, then keep reading.

A PERSONAL TOUCH:

In the introduction I asked readers to reflect upon their daily grind. Well, here’s mine (I pulled it out of my journal notes):


Continue reading “THE DAILY GRIND: JOY”

THE DAILY GRIND:

Scripture Focus:

  • Matthew 6:34: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:11: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the learned;  but time and chance happen to them all. 

A DAY IN THE LIFE:

What does your today look like? What do you have to deal with? What’s your daily grind? What have you woken up to this very day? Life places demands on each person. There’s stuff that demands your attention, responsibilities, relationships that need nurturing, sacrifices that need to be made towards family and other loved ones, feelings that need to be dealt with, baggage. Who or what are you custodian over? What does a day in your life look like? Do you enjoy your routine or are you bored out of your skin? Do you love your job, business or whatever you devote your day to? Are you just doing it out of necessity or because you have purposed to relish each moment? Do you need inspiration for your day or do you bulldoze your way through the motions of it all? Is your day filled with pressure and anxiety about the amount of work that awaits you? Do you have a ‘life management system’ if any? 

 TODAY IS YOUR BABY STEP:

As you mull over your daily grind, consider today as being your “baby step”. I’ve heard folk use these lines many times before:

‘Am taking it one day at a time’ or, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’. It all stems from a place where you acknowledge that today’s all you’ve got. Hard as it may be; it makes perfect sense to focus on today cause it’s the only assured time that we have. However,  we’ve all had our share of regrets about the past and dread concerning the future. Paul encourages us for the present when he says, I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Phillipians 3:13,14). Today makes all the difference.

BIG PICTURE, WHERE ARE YOU?

Sometimes I wish I could spread my life out on the table and study its nooks and crannies. I long to see where I have come from and how it all comes together. I long to figure out how events past and present make up the masterpiece that God predestined me to be. (Ephesians 2:10).

We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Before I knew Christ, I would never have guessed how it would happen; where I’d meet him and how I’d finally believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that He is Lord, the magnitude of trials I would go through and how I’d overcome them. Now that am in the fold, I honestly can’t process the perfection that God has in store for me. As hard as it is for my mind to imagine, I still crave for details of how He will perfect it. These great and mighty things that God wants to show me; what are they? Truth is, God may not work in the way we want Him to. I may lay out my life on the table and still not get it. But know what, He has given us today. It is possible to enjoy God and the journey to perfection; details or none.

Over the next few posts, I will write about enjoying God, in our daily walk. Don’t miss out!

BEAUTY FOR ASHES:

“Question: My life is worse than a hurricane. I have hit rock bottom. What do I do?”

At the end of this piece we should be able to demystify why we reach such points in our lives.

 

A BIT OF BACKGROUND:

The age old question ensues: Why so much suffering in the world? Even I, a lover of philosophy, spirituality and God, have posed this question. My mental travails to unravel the mysteries of existence; and tendencies to get too consumed by the ills of our society and the world at large; have led me to think this through; well at least for the sake of this piece. There’s too much going on around the world as we know it. Natural calamities, pandemics, mega corruption, human trafficking, economic downturns, terror groups spreading fear in the name of religion and other forms of depravity. I need not get into details about the death that awaits sinners and hell’s fury. Am not qualified enough for that. However, I will focus more on where it hurts the most: individual suffering.

 

ALL TOO FAMILIAR WORDS:

Am sure most of us have described our lives as a ‘mess’ or a ‘wreck’ or a ‘hurricane’ at one point or another. Throw in any word you have used, or are using, to describe your quagmire. It may even have a personality of it’s own. You catch my drift? Life can show you stuff; weighty burdens, tests, tears. What are yours? To each his own. God is a mystery I tell ya. He makes sense when He doesn’t. See, He said in His word that each heart knows it’s pain and joy; meaning that only you really know your story. But then again the Word says that there’s no temptation that is not common to man. Interesting. We are as similar as we are different. But then the point is, for as long as we are in this world, we will face tribulation. That’s a fact. It’s all too familiar. The mess you’re in, the wreck; it doesn’t come as a surprise to God. As we study the gospels, we realize that Jesus, knew all that what was to come (John 18:4). He knew the cup of suffering that awaited him. When Simon peter drew his sword and slew the soldier’s ear, Jesus restrained him with these words, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” I pray that God may give you the grace not to be surprised by your mess.

He’s our High Priest. He has done more than walk in our shoes, He has laid down the length of our days; step by step. He can sympathise with our weakness cause He was tempted in every way that we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:16).

 

BEAUTY FOR ASHES:

Beauty will arise:
Out of the ashes of your struggles; beauty will arise.
Out of the ashes of your pain; beauty will arise.
Out of the ashes of your past; beauty will arise.
Out of the ashes of your heavy trials; beauty will arise.
There can be no relief without pain. An oasis can only exist in a desert and freedom is real; but only to a slave or one who has witnessed enslavement. In order for the sun to rise, darkness has to fall. Order wouldn’t be such without chaos. God himself promises us beauty out of ashes and strength for weakness.
Looking at my own life, I am convinced that the times I hit rock bottom were make or break points for me. I had to get to the point where I had tried it all and done it all; the point where I had no idea what to do and no one to turn to. That’s where we meet the person of God: at our lowest points.
God’s love for us is so great. So great that nothing can separate us from Him. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 8:38-39). Not even your mess of a life. Did you know that He restores the broken? Doesn’t matter the source of your mess; could be as a result of circumstances around you that are behind your control or a mess you created through your own choices. He restores it all.
You will be turned into an oak of splendor. The oak withstands rain, wind, snow and sun and still stands strong and evergreen; giving shade from the hot summer sunshine and a nest to the birds of the heavens.

Rest at His feet.

 

BREAKING THROUGH SEASONS:

I recently went through a season of dullness and a sheer lack of spiritual focus. I would get thoroughly distracted whenever I tried to read Scripture that  I took a break altogether. My secret place was filled with God, me and the pussycat dolls. My attention would shift to my almost non-existent knowledge of quantum physics or the crack on the wall. But one thing didn’t change, my resolve to find God even in that state. I allowed Him to speak to me through that season of dullness.

Before I get into what God taught me about breaking through seasons, I need to share a word.

Ever been in a ‘weird headspace’? Where you know something’s off but you aren’t sure what? I have; one too many times. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties. (Psalms 139:23). I claimed this scripture for all my weird headspace situations and for sure the Word was quick and active in equipping me with self awareness. You can’t cure a problem if you don’t know what it is. Early detection of any illness improves chances of survival. People perish for lack of knowledge. Claim Psalms 139 if you ever find yourself in such a situation, where you don’t quite know what’s going on.

 

IDENTIFY THE SEASON YOU’RE IN:

Delve into the real picture of things. Come to terms with what’s happening through:

1. Taking a time-out: A ton of introspection would do. Thoroughly explore your thoughts and feelings about your situation(s).

2. Acceptance of what’s going on: Do not be the ostrich that buries its head in the sand.

3. Admitting your limitations: Do what you can up to where you can. Leave what you can’t.

 

WHAT THE WORD HAS TO SAY ABOUT YOUR SEASON:

Just as there is spring, summer, autumn and winter; dawn, noon, dusk and nightfall; so shall there be different seasons of life.

-To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1). You will have Kodak moments where you paint the town red and even heaven itself seems to shine upon your very existence. Then there will be moments marked with sadness and confusion. That’s life for you.

-Be ye angry,and sin not. (Ephesians 4:26)

We process the world through emotions. We respond to seasons through emotions, which is in order. The problem comes in when we let emotions rule over us. We need to find strength in the fact that given that we are in Christ, the old has gone and the new has come. We need not let situations rule over us as they did when we were not in Christ. You shall not be given over to anger or any other emotion that seeks to rule you.

-For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Your season may beat you down but it won’t last. It’s temporary. Seasons come and seasons go. Don’t miss the point. Your inner man is being renewed. You might not understand the situation but just ask God for grace to fix your heart on things unseen.

-In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Tough seasons are as certain as death and taxes. We as Christians aren’t immune to painful circumstances. We need to know that He has overcome.

-Greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

-There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

You are never alone. Someone else somewhere has gone through what you are going through. The beauty is that God provides not just grace sufficient but a means of escape.

-No weapon formed against me shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

-And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

-Be still and know that I am God. (Psalms 46:10).

Stop. There’s only so much that human strength and wisdom can do for any particular situation. We are limited in our solutions, vision and view of the bigger scheme of things. Our highest wisdom is nowhere near His lowest folly.

All of life happens within the context of grace. Whatever season you’re in,  I do pray that you will find the highest pleasure in drawing near to God. (Psalms 73:28)