Blessed are the Flexible for They Shall Not Be Broken

Does God really have the freedom to stretch you?

We love the idea of following God’s lead. We marvel at the changes a sovereign God brings. What isn’t so thrilling is when God—without warning—stretches us far beyond our capacity.

Blessed are the Flexible for They Shall Not Be Broken

(Photo by Photodune)

One morning not long ago I simply rolled over in bed, and I felt a sharp POP in my back—followed by an excruciating current up my spine. I had thrown my back out just by rolling over in bed! I eased out of bed and literally had to crawl across the room.

A couple of days later at my physician’s office, he entered the room with my x-rays under his arm. “Your back is fine,” he said. “You’re real problem is something else.”

Hint: It’s the same problem in my spiritual life. (And yours.)

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When Your Life is Wasted for God’s Glory

When I see a life on fire for God snuffed out in its prime, I confess I wonder what goes on in the mind of a sovereign God. So much potential. So much to offer. All that potential—gone.

When Your Life is Wasted for God’s Glory

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Have you ever known a young, gifted individual who loved the Lord but whose life came to a sudden end—with all that potential wasted in an early death?

I have. We are not the first to scratch our heads at God’s grand plan—that includes what seems like life wasted.

Why do you think Jesus invited James into the inner circle of disciples only to allow his execution so soon after the church got its start?

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One Question from Jesus Can Help You Not Compare Yourself with Others

What to do when other lives seem better than yours.

Someone else’s stuff always seems better than ours. Have you noticed? Even their struggles seem better. The temptation to compare yourself with somebody else can be devastating in the Christian life.

What Helps You Not Compare Yourself with Others

(Photo: By Michael Johnson, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

When Peter first met Jesus, the fisherman followed the Master out of a motive for glory and a prime seat in the kingdom of God. Peter wanted to be the “greatest” in comparison to others. But after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, a single conversation along the shores of the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha changed Peter’s whole frame of reference.

That conversation can also help you not compare yourself with the lives of others.

It can free you to follow Jesus as an individual.

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How to Fix Your Relationship Problems

A father walked into the room to see his young son with his hand inside an expensive vase. The boy explained that he had dropped a penny in the vase. Now his hand was stuck.

The dad tried everything to free his son’s hand, but it was no use. It was wedged tight. Finally, the father grabbed a hammer to break the vase.

How to Fix Your Relationship Problems

(Photo by Photodune)

“Wait, Daddy!” the frightened boy said. “Would it help if I just let go of the penny?”

That story shows more than the mind of a naïve child. It illustrates the baffling priorities  we cling to—no matter how old we get.

You know what I mean. We often find ourselves at the breaking point of something valuable because we refuse to release something trivial. We cling to our pennies and break our vases.

And very often, those vases are our relationships.

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Jesus Decoys—Your Albatross of Spiritual Disciplines

I never thought an albatross would challenge my relationship with God. This one sure did. Researchers placed 100 decoys on an island to attract endangered albatrosses and to encourage them to breed. But one albatross missed the message.

Jesus Decoys - Your Albatross of Spiritual Disciplines

Photo: by Forest & Kim Starr (CC-BY-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

This albatross attempted to woo a wooden decoy by building a tidy nest and fighting off rivals. For more than two years, this albatross stood by the decoy.

“He seems to have no desire to date real birds,” one of the researchers observed.

After reading this story, several activities came to mind—like Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with others.

All spiritual disciplines. All potential decoys.

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