Lessons from the Heart of God
By Kimberly Cotton
I’ve often heard that life happens. Sometimes it’s easy to digest. Other times it becomes a hard pill to swallow. But, life is always whispering countless lessons. If I’m honest, it’s often screaming at me as I go about my day-to-day routine. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the day, there are moments in which God’s voice is still and clear. We need to get into the habit of going through life asking questions like: What is God teaching me during this season? What am I facing? What am I avoiding? While the answers may vary, we serve a God who does not. Paying attention to God’s voice along the way will ensure that we don’t miss His lessons.
The following lessons have equipped me to better handle life’s ups and downs.
1. Accept what God allows.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 says:
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I’ve cried, screamed, and prayed. Yet, my mother still passed away. Accepting what God allows was a difficult pill to swallow. I was an emotional wreck. I was very unstable at the time. But, as I look back, it was only for a season. Like most of us, accepting what God allows can be a difficult choice to make, but it’s in our obedience and love for God that we release any resentment about “having it our way.” It’s really a matter of choice. When my season of grief ended, my season of healing began. I saw things differently. I embraced life differently. I pray that whatever God has allowed in your life that you will reach a place of peace and see the beauty in it.
2. Remember: And this too shall pass.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The reality of life is that there will be difficult moments. When will this ever end? How can I come out of this victoriously? How can I even come out at all? Questions like these can plague our soul at times. The agonizing moments remind us that we are not in control, God is. Unfortunately, too many times I think I’m in control. I thought that I would be able to control a Bible study lesson years ago. I prayed, studied, and I had a binder filled with cute little sticky notes. However, I was surprised when the students appeared bored and not interested. Sulking on my way to the car, I was approached by a student who was actually paying attention. While our issues are different, the Word remains the same. If we look to Jesus, we will find that the challenging situations in our lives will pass. Why? He orchestrates the beginning and He directs the ending. He is sitting at the right hand of the throne of God watching us try to come to grips with something He knew was coming before we did. Be reassured that it will pass because God knows that the lesson is often greater than the experience.
3. Wait on the Lord.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Waiting … ugh. I must say that it’s not my favorite thing to do. However, I am amazed at what people will wait for in the world, but who often will refuse to wait on God. I have seen people stand in line for hours trying to get the latest gadget. I have seen people stand in line for days awaiting movie tickets and premieres. I have seen people nearly kill one another waiting in line for Black Friday sales. It’s madness. Meanwhile, we refuse to wait on God. I have had to learn this lesson many times. I am a frequent flier within this course. I can’t help it. I just get in a hurry at times.
My old age is teaching me to slow down a little. While waiting is challenging, it is necessary. The wait is designed to bless us while the enemy would love for us to believe that it is designed to deprive us. Currently, I am sitting in a house where the heating unit has decided to stop working. After calling my insurance company, what do I have to do? Yes, you guessed it. WAIT. I will have to wait until someone is able to come and repair the unit tomorrow. Am I happy about it? Absolutely not! However, can I change it? Absolutely not! I will just make the best of it (which requires a kerosene heater and a lot of blankets). While you may not be waiting on a heating unit, I am sure that we are all waiting on God to do something. As you wait, decide to approach it differently. Approach it through the eyes of one strengthening their faith. Change your perspective. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Focus on who and what really matters.
Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
I can’t count the number of times in life when I’ve been distracted. My thoughts have often been fixated on things and people that were not really important in my long-term growth. I am often reminded through prayer that God doesn’t need my permission to be God. So, when the next challenge arrives, I try to trust that He has my best interest at heart even when I have no idea what He’s doing. We can totally trust Him, His direction, His decisions, His Word—and we can trust His heart.
What is God teaching you at this moment? Most importantly, what is God trying to say to you at this moment? Get in a quiet place this week and reflect on the life lessons that God is trying to teach you. As you go through this new year, be watching for His life lessons. Remove the distractions in your life so you can realign yourself with God’s purposes and plans for your life.
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