Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Oh Help, Not Again! that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.
(Colossians 1:10-11, NIV)

I have just finished finding (again), folding (again) and putting away (again) my little one’s clothes. She has this habit when stressed and wanting different clothes, she opens each drawer in turn and wildly flings and throws the clothes behind her into the room until she finds something she can tolerate the thought of wearing… it’s wearing (what else would it be!).

There are a few things in family life that really try my patience. Other things that might drive someone else mad I can handle, but for me here are my (at the moment) absolute top 5 "Not again!" things:

- shoe scuffs on those bits of board at the bottom of the kitchen cupboards/skirting boards

- finding clothes that I have washed and folded in a tumbling heap rather than put away

- clothes pulled (or wildly flung) out of drawers to find things

- when I’ve done something to help a perfectly adequate way, and then have to do it all again the ‘right’ way for it to be acceptable

- when I’m talking to someone and one of my little ones is pulling (clawing) on my clothes and face and talking right through everything else to get my full attention

"Oh Help!" is so often simply an exasperated sigh or frustrated shout in the midst of those things that really try my patience. But I am challenged by this verse to turn "Oh Help!" moments into a conscious prayer for strength. It’s an amazing thought that we can be strengthened with God’s mighty power – not just for the remarkable moments when we exercise amazing faith, or when we feel prompted to some courageous action by the Holy Spirit, or for speaking a timely or wise prophetic word – we can be strengthened with God’s mighty power so we can be patient, and endure! Strengthened for the often unseen daily living out of faith in action, and speaking truth in love… the unseen daily ins and outs that we are quick to overlook as amazing, courageous, and wise godliness.
As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. (Colossians 1:10-11, MSG)
We may feel at times that this everyday stuff isn’t valuable enough to warrant God’s attention let alone the full strength of his mighty power at work within us as we fold those clothes, again, and again. Yet it seems God delights in pouring that strength into us. He sees. He recognizes the value of these moments. He hears our cry – it’s time to turn my "Oh Help!" sighs and shouts into expectant prayer.

Powerful God, when I am facing situations that try my patience today give me strength to endure patiently and act wisely as your mighty strength fills me and encourages me to live today with amazing faith, courageous love, and wise godliness. Amen.

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