DayBreaks for 02/18/14 – Disappointment #9 – The Journey, The Relationship

DayBreaks for 2/18/14 – Disappointment #9 – the Journey, the Relationship

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Genesis 12:1 (NLT)  – The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.

Hebrews 11:8 (ESV) – By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Hebrews 11:13 (ESV) – These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Don’t you wish that God made it easier to discern His will? Or at least to understand His plan? I don’t know that I’ve ever met a Christian who didn’t struggle with frustration and disappointment with God for not making His plan clearer to us mortals. It is almost as if He delights in keeping us in the dark, as if He were watching us struggle and try to figure out what He’s up to.

I am confident that the great women and men of the Bible also struggled with that. Sometimes the lack of understanding the plan led to disastrous results (witness Judas and others). At other times it led to great acts of faith (like Abram and the other heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 who acted on God’s say-so simply because He did say so. That doesn’t mean that they were comfortable with it and that they didn’t try to “help out” with the plan (Abraham’s lying about his relationship with Sarah and fathering a child via Hagar – also with disastrous results!)

So Abram went, not knowing any details of God’s plan. We go, too, not knowing and greatly frustrated by not knowing the plan. Abraham set out on a journey that would take him the rest of his earthly life – and as Hebrews 11:13 says, never “received the things promised” by the time he died. If that’s not a recipe for disappointment, I don’t know what is! Decades of waiting, decades of wondering if this will be the year when it happens, decades of frustration and disappointment…and finally death, still without the fulfillment. It would be enough to break a normal human being.

But, what was the point? Was the point for Abram to understand the plan? Or was it just for Abram to take a journey with God and get to know Him? Wasn’t that really the point for Abraham? If it wasn’t that, we’d have to conclude that for him personally it was a great waste of his time on earth.

Isn’t that the point for all of us? The destination isn’t the objective. The objective is to take a life-long journey with God while we get to know Him so that journey just continues right on into eternity without skipping a beat.

When you are tempted to be disappointed because He hasn’t made His plan clear to you, remember and relax: you’re on a journey with the incredible Creator God of all that exists. Enjoy the journey – “Sit back, relax, and leave the driving to Him!”

PRAYER: I’m sorry when I get discouraged and angry at You for Your plan that I can’t see or understand. Help me to enjoy the journey with You so that when this life is done, You will simply take my hand in Yours and invited me into Your home! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 11/05/12 – ‘Twas the Day Before Election

DayBreaks for 11/05/12 – ‘Twas the Day Before Election

 

Well, folks.  This is about it.  I know that lots of people will be going to the polls tomorrow to vote.  I hope you go.  It is a privilege and blessing that not many in the world have.  We shouldn’t take it for granted.

Will you candidate win?  Will mine?  Only God knows – and that’s how it should be, because if anything is clear it is this: God rules in the affairs of men.  He raises up leaders and takes them down.  He raises up nations for His purposes and when they forget Him, He takes them down.  He even used more wicked nations to (Babylon, but especially Assyria) to punish Israel for their rejection of Him.

I read a couple of things lately that help me find a bit of peace of mind in this madness of American politics and elections.  First was this: that we shouldn’t be praying for a particular person to win this election because we may be praying against God’s purpose.  Undoubtedly there were many in ancient Israel praying for the destruction of Assyria even as God was raising them up to be an instrument in His hand.  God has not lost control or power.  No well oiled political machine will prevail against His will nor will it upset His plans.  Remember this: before the creation of this world God already had planned who would win this election.  The result was ancient history to Him before any of the candidates were born.  So, let us pray that God’s will be done – and trust that the outcome, whatever it is, is part of His good and holy plan, whether we understand it or not.

I also read something that has been going around on Facebook that goes something like this: “No matter who wins this election, Jesus will still be the King of Kings.”  What comfort that is!  No matter who wins this election or what they do in the next four years, they will not take Jesus’ place.  They will be, for the large part, unwitting vassals in his hand, like a chess piece doing the chess master’s will to bring about His ultimate purpose.

I certainly know who I hope wins.  You probably have strong feelings, too.  Let us not panic regardless of the outcome.  Let us not forget that our job as Christians and our calling as salt and light, will be unchanged on Wednesday morning.  Our mission hasn’t changed since Jesus gave it nearly 2000 years ago.  Of that much we can be certain.

PRAYER: Lord, there have been so many strong and powerful emotions this election season.  We have probably all said and done things that we should not have said, and almost certainly we have thought things we should not.  Forgive us for thinking we know best and for trying to shape Your will in this election to match our own wants and wishes.  Help us remember You know and see far more than we do, and that You have a perfect plan and will execute it perfectly.  May we trust in You, not the winner of this election!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help us save children and give them a life?  Donate now through I Am 2 Partners, Inc., where Galen serves as director of operations: http://www.iam2.org/donate   Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 07/11/12 – Plan A is Our Responsibility

DayBreaks for 07/11/12 – Plan A Is Our Responsibility

I recently returned from a trip to India where we spent our time during the day and evenings with many of the Dalit peoples of that country.  If you don’t know who the Dalits are, they are the lowest of the low in Indian society.  They aren’t even officially part of the caste system, but below it.  For hundreds and hundreds of years, they have been told that they have no value other than cleaning up animal or human waste, hauling garbage, etc.  They even believe, based on the Hindu religion, that they have no divine spark within them as those of the caste system do.  They are poor – often desperately so.  We visited the slums where some of them live in the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.  But with 250 million Dalits, they are all over the country, not just in the cities.

What is our response to such poverty, injustice and oppression?  It is easy for us to say the problem is too big for us to deal with.  Or it is easy to say that organizations such as the Dalit Freedom Network and Operation Mobilization/India are handling it and taking care of it.  It is easy, very easy, to turn a blind eye to those in need, to people who in far too frequent situations, are occupied with catching their food for dinner (not fish – but rats).  If they fail to catch rats, they may go hungry.  Such is the situation facing the “mushers”, the lowest of the Dalits.  The word “mushar” means “rat eater.”

We might do well to listen to what Tony Hall, former US Ambassador for Humanitarian Issues, had to say about the global food crisis: “There’s over 2,500 verses in the Bible that deal with the issue of helping the poor, the sick, the hungry. God set it up that we are to address this issue and that he works through us. His Plan B? Well, I don’t know what Plan B is. Plan A is the way he set it up.

There simply isn’t a Plan B.  We are it – we are the plan!!!  He intends this problem to be solved through us who have something to give and to share.

Let me challenge you (and myself) now: I understand that not one of us has the funding at our disposal to feed even the 250 million Dalit people in India, let alone all the hungry of the world.  But if every Christian regularly and consistently gave a little, what a difference it would make!  Here’s a suggestion for you: commit to give up one designer coffee a month, just one, and send that money to help feed the poor.  Of course, if you can give more, I encourage you to do so.  But nearly everyone can spare $5 a month.  Give that $5 a month via automatic payment (otherwise you’ll forget!) to an organization that works to deliver food, clean water and protection to the needy of this world.  There are many such wonderful, Christian groups you can choose from.  You know many of their names.  If you need some suggestions, email me.  Or, if you prefer, you can support the work we do at I Am 2 Partners, Inc., committed to providing those necessities for the neediest children throughout the world.  It’s easy…painless…and in giving to help feed the poor and hungry, remember this: you aren’t just feeding some faceless person, but according to Jesus, you are feeding Him in the process!

Here’s where you can give to I Am 2 Partners: http://www.iam2.org/donate.  Others doing great work include Compassion International, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, the Dalit Freedom Network, Operation Mobilization and others.  They are all worthy of your support.

Isaiah 58:6-11 (ESV)  –  “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

PRAYER: Break our hearts, Lord, teach us to be grateful for your blessings, and to engage fully with your plan to use us to bring relief to the hungry and needy!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks 02/11/11 – The Chicken Or the Egg

DayBreaks 02/11/11 – The Chicken or the Egg

God has a proper order for things...

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?  It’s a popular debate among little kids and it’s fun in some ways to chase our tails around and around on such trivial topics.  It is something we can have fun with even when we know we’ll not resolve it.

There are times in life when we get things in the wrong order.  It is common today for people to get living together in front of marriage, or child-bearing out of wedlock.  I personally believe God has a better sequence of things, but we are all prone to doing things our own way – and that’s been our problem since the “git-go”!

I was struck recently by how this even creeps into our emotional/spiritual well-being.  I read this illustration and thought it brought light to the topic.  You are probably familiar with the cartoon strip titled Cathy.  In one strip there’s a conversation going on between Cathy and her friend Andrea. Cathy said, “When I was little, I put my own needs first and everyone said I was being selfish and inconsiderate. Now everyone says I’m SUPPOSED to put my own needs first.” Andrea answered, “That’s right, Cathy. Putting your own needs first is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your self-respect.” Cathy looked sad when she asked, “How can I have any self-respect if I’m being selfish and inconsiderate?”

The solutions that the world comes up with, unless rooted in Divine wisdom, just don’t work too well.  I’ve tried many of them in my life – and found myself floundering every time.  God’s plans for us are not to drive us to desperate lives of boredom and drudgery, but will give us live (abundant life at that!) if we follow them!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11, ESV

PRAYER: Help us to keep things in the right order, Lord, and to follow your prescription of a successful, happy life everlasting!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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