Do I Depend on God as Much as My iPhone?

Realizing How Much I Depend on My Phone

I lost my iPhone yesterday afternoon. Ouch. I left it in the restroom at Von’s. It took less than ten minutes for me to realize I didn’t have it, emptying my purse three times and patting my pockets over and over. As soon as I knew it was definitely gone, I raced back, muttering reassurances. It’s Ok, I told myself. A locked bathroom, needing the florist to use a code to open the door; it’ll be there.

But it wasn’t. “A lot of people were in there,” the florist told me. “Try the front desk.”

No phone turned in.

Even though I knew I used it in Von’s, after all, I used the Von’s app to check off my list while I shopped, I trotted down to Office Depot. Just in case.

No phone there either.

Suddenly I realized just how much I depend on my phone. My whole life is on there. Precious photos of family, contacts, calendar, email, my joy/gratitude journal, and on and on. I’m sure you know. Obviously, I couldn’t live without my phone.

Next stop, Verizon. I hoped maybe they could ping it, help me find it. Of course not. That only works on TV. “Nobody turns in iPhones,” Maria, my customer service rep said. “They’re too valuable.”

And so, I take a deep breath, and do the only thing I can. Buy a new phone. It takes a long time to set up a new phone and without it, I felt helpless. I couldn’t even call Van to tell him I’d be late.

Without my phone, I felt incomplete, inefficient, a little lost. I needed it to do daily business successfully. As I sat and waited for my new phone to be get ready, I couldn’t help but wonder, Do I depend on God as much as I do my phone? 

Depend on God

I can lose my phone, but I never have to be without God; He is always present and longs to be with me. But I can ignore Him. Turn Him to silent. I must choose to draw near to God. Before I do anything else, I need to set the tone of the day by spending time in His Word and talking to Him in prayer. I can’t leave Him at home, sitting on my desk, waiting for my return. He goes wherever I go, as long as I keep my eyes fixed on Him. Depend on Him.

 

There was nothing I could do to speed up the process of setting up my phone.  All I could do was wait for it to finish loading. Impatience added angst. Without my phone, I couldn’t do anything except wait. I didn’t want to, but I had no choice. I can’t hurry God, either. His timing is perfect, and I can’t rush Him. The only way to true peace is to completely depend on His perfect timing.

Linking today with Writer Wednesday, Woman to Woman, Porch Stories, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community, Heart Encouragement, Tune-in Thursday, Salt and Light  Faith on Fire, Fresh Market Friday, Dance with Jesus

Uncharted Water: My True Comfort Zone

I love my comfort zone. Order and routine. Plans and check-off lists. I like to stick with what I know, and do things I’m confident I can accomplish successfully. Predictability is my friend.

Out of My Comfort Zone

Except staying there doesn’t seem to be part of God’s plan. He wants me to rely not on myself, but on Him. He plunges me into uncharted water. A vast sea of unfamiliar and unknown. Unwanted.

I see nothing but endless ocean, stretched in every direction. And I don’t know where to take the boat. I don’t even see any way to steer it. Nowhere is there a sail, motor, or pair of oars. It’s just me in the boat.

I respond with panic, fear and anxiety. I grumble and worry and whine.  Oh, I pray, but my prayer is a one-sided litany of I can’t and I don’t know how.

Jesus Is My Comfort Zone

Until finally, I listen. The Truth slowly penetrates my panic. I’m never alone in the boat. Jesus is my comfort zone. How can I worry about changes in my life, when He never changes?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever Hebrews 13:8.

Why do I worry when I know He never leaves me? (Hebrews 13:5 and Deuteronomy 31:6)

Staying in My True Comfort Zone

I see God do amazing things when I stay in my true my comfort zone and let Him lead me, relying on His power and strength instead of my own. He transforms me into who He created me to become. The fruit of the Spirit blossoms and grows, ready to offer others.

To stay in my true comfort zone, I must pray with more than my fear and anxiety. The Psalms show a pattern of talking to God in the midst of uncharted water: express the problem honestly but never forget God’s faithfulness. Always praise Him, even in the midst of pain and the unknown. This week, I read Psalm 13, and while I don’t face the problems David did, his psalm provides a model of staying in my true comfort zone.

Linking with Five Minute Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fire, Dance with Jesus.

 

 

Need Help? Cast Your Burden on the Lord

I carry a burden. One of my own making. A distance in a relationship I treasure. Instead of holding my tongue, I said rude, unnecessary words, causing hurt. I’ve done it more than once.

And while I asked for and received forgiveness, the wound remains. “I need a break,” I hear. Guilt and remorse flood my heart and mind, threatening my peace and joy. I keep returning to what I could have, should have, done.

What can I, should I do now? I worry about it, fretting, certain nothing will ever be the same. I drive myself crazy.

In my current Bible study, Broken and Redeemed, I find the answer in Psalm 55:22, Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you. 

Cast My Burden

To cast my burden means to

  • remove
  • throw away
  • get rid of

And isn’t that exactly what I want to do?

My burden is heavy. It tires me. Makes me bone-weary. Irritated. Worried. My entire countenance shows that I carry a burden. I want to throw it away, get rid of it forever. I want to separate it from me as far as the east is from the west.

But no matter what I do, the burden returns. Even when I try to put it out of my mind with a trip to the beach, losing myself in a book, or buying new shoes, it follows, robbing me of the peace and joy I seek.

Since I can’t rid myself of my burden, I long for someone to help me. Relieve the stress, fear, restless spirit my burden causes me.

Who can I share this burden with? Where can I go for help?

The Lord. He willingly takes my burden, but I must be willing to give it to Him. Cast it not just anywhere, but to Him.

But He does more than remove my burden.

Need Help? Cast Your Burden on the Lord
He Sustains Me

Sustain means He

  • comforts
  • helps
  •  assists
  •  encourages
  •  supports
  • gives strength to
  • buoys up
  • carries
  • heartens

The burden causes sorrow, regret, fear, confusion. God understands my feelings, and He comforts me. I can bring my burden to Him with tears and remorse, and God offers patience, love, and mercy. He reminds me of His faithfulness and goodness in past troubles and promises He continues to work for my good.

When I don’t know what to do next, God helps me. He gives the words to say to the one I hurt. If I don’t know how or when to apologize, He provides the humility, the words, even the right tone of voice. And once I’ve done my part, He gives me patience to wait.

I may wonder how I can possibly go back into a difficult situation, and He encourages me by reminding I am a daughter of the King, beloved, forgiven. Free. The strength I need to take the first step and the next one comes from God.

At times, I feel the waves may crash over me, keeping me under the water until I drown. Self-incrimination. Self-doubt. God buoys me up, keeping me safe. He carries me back to the shore and restores me, first to Himself, and then to others.

While I wait on God to work in my heart and the heart of the one I hurt, He buoys me up, heartens me with His promises. His love. His care.

Let Him sustain you. Cast your burden on the Lord. He will sustain you.

Linking this week with Testimony Tuesday, #tellhisstory, Coffee for Your Heart, #heartencouragementthursday.

 

God Whispers I Love You for You

It’s been quiet here at Uncharted Water. Not that I may not have things to say, but I fell into that lie. The one Satan quietly, subtly, persistently nags into my brain. “You,” he whispers, “are not a writer.”

And it’s true. I’ve never considered myself a writer. Writer is not on my list of words I use to define myself.

“You,” he says, “can never do all the things fill in the blank with any one of a hundred names of gifted bloggers do. Post every day. Graphics. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest.”

And it’s true. I cannot keep up with all of those extras that make a blog sparkle. Get people’s attention.

“You,” he advised, “shouldn’t bother.”

And yet, people keep looking at my Facebook site for Uncharted Water. Is that God answering? Saying, “You can.” And more importantly, “I want you to. It doesn’t matter how many readers or followers. Your impact on one is enough.”

The most important message, “Why are you comparing yourself to others? I made you to be you. I love you.”

As I write these words, the battle waging in my mind, I fear you, person reading my words, will try to reassure me. But that’s not the message God has for me. Or you.

Over and over, above the racket Satan uses to distract me, God whispers, I love you. I love you for you. I am not comparing you to someone I like more. You are my beloved child. Jesus died for you. 

He says the same thing to you.

God doesn’t compare His children. He loves each and every one of us. He created each of us with unique gifts and abilities so we can glorify Him. The only measure of success we need to achieve is glorifying God. Keeping our eyes fixed on Him. Serving Him. Loving Him.

What lie is Satan feeding you? Do not let him distract you from the message God has for you: You are His beloved. All the time.

Love

Linking with Thought Provoking Thursday