Over the past year, my daughter and I have been immersed in the college application and selection process. We began pursuing colleges specializing in fashion merchandising. However, not long ago, she accepted an offer at a well-known university and her course of study? Criminal Justice and Investigative Services. Whoa!
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. There are many who will be celebrating with feasts of corned beef and cabbage and a dark stout (or two!). To my knowledge, I have no Irish in me though my children do from their father. My Dad was 100% Italian (Sicilian) and my Mom was mostly of English descent.
I read up a bit about St. Patrick prior to writing this post. Turns out he was not as lucky as we’ve been led to believe. In fact, as a young boy of sixteen, he was captured from his home in Britain and placed into slavery by a group of Irish raiders. At the age of 22, he was able to escape and he credits his faith with sustaining him during those horrific years.
His story reminded me of the apostle Paul, who spent time in a Roman prison while doing his missionary and evangelistic work. Paul suffered greatly, much like St. Patrick, sharing his faith.
These two men led similar lives but the most striking commonality was their faith in God through troubling times. I admire both for their steadfastness, perseverance, and patience while they waited on God to release them from their respective bondages. (To read more about Paul’s imprisonment, click here.)
We are blessed to live in a country that does not toss people into prison because of our faith. However, I have to wonder how many people are living in their own prisons of despair, hopelessness, frustration, or anxiety over their present circumstances. Unlike Paul and Patrick, they may have no idea of the promises and blessings that God makes available to them if only they’d believe.
I am two years into my Bible college study and what I have learned in this time has been life-changing. When I think back to where I was on my first night of class compared to where I am today, I’m astonished. While there’s a long road ahead of me, I’m grateful for it as I know it will only deepen my relationship with God and His Son Jesus.
It is because of this relationship that I can face the challenges in front of me whether it be as simple as the topic of my blog posts or guiding my children into the next chapters of their lives or overcoming feelings of overwhelm when there’s more on my plate than seems possible to handle.
Last week, I was blessed to have more freelance writing work than hours in a day. When I reviewed my lists of tasks, I couldn’t see how it would get done. My immediate thought was “I’m going to have to work twelve hours each day and I’ll probably have to work this weekend.” This thought alone could’ve crippled me and set me on a downward spiral into overwhelm. Neither happened.
I looked at my list and said, “This list may be big, but it’s not bigger than God.” Soon after, I was reminded of the multitude of times where I was in a similar situation and my work was completed effortlessly, with time to spare.
Many might say this was due to my time management skills, but I know better. It had nothing to do with me or whatever skills and talents I possess. It was because I placed my workload in God’s hands – much more capable than my own. The work was completed, clients were happy, and I’m able to enjoy my weekend. My mountain of work became a molehill for God.
We live in a world filled with mountains. Mountains of debt. Mountains of job loss. Mountains of family turmoil. You name it, we’ve got it. I’ve learned that no matter what mountain I face, that mountain is not bigger than God. In fact, nothing is bigger than God. Nothing. I’m beyond grateful to finally get this truth into my DNA and in those momentary bouts of temporary insanity when I forget it, I am able to quickly rebound.
St. Patrick and the apostle Paul knew this truth likely a whole lot better than I do and because they did, they were able to survive beatings, prison time, and slavery. It was not luck. It was not because they wished upon a four-leaf clover. It was because they walked by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
This week I’d like to encourage you to put your mountains in God’s hands, knowing that He is well-able to handle each and every one of them. It is His will for you to be happy, prosperous, peaceful, and pain-free. How do I know this? Because He said so:
“”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Last week, I had the privilege of babysitting my great niece. Her name is Summer Grace and she’s almost three years old. She’s as cute as a button and every time I see her little face, I could just eat her up. She can’t quite pronounce “Aunt Jennifer” but her attempts to do so are priceless.
The posts you will read are about my life and my encounters with God’s grace as I walk along the narrow path of His purpose for me. Some days I do it really well. Others, uh….not so much. That’s ok. God loves me on my good and bad days! ... read more