Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Big Hair, Journey and the Apostle Paul

You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.
2 Cor 6:12

Big Hair and the band Journey marked my high school days…. But who knew Journey and the Apostle Paul had something in common? Those of you as “young”(ha! Ha!) as I am can probably belt the lyrics to “Who’s Crying Now” including the verse “How can something “good” hurt so bad?” As this song depicts, we often call things “good” which are really causing us pain and Apostle Paul says we are often restricted by our own affections. A friend of mine recently noted that it is human nature to return to things which comfort us…even if that “comfort” is really something not good for us. Don’t you know it is true? Just think about it… how often have you felt down and reached for a big bowl of ice cream? Once during a pity party I decided I should forego the ice cream and just eat an entire jar of hot fudge sauce…talk about something good hurting so bad! Yuck!

But as believers we have access to the God of ALL COMFORT (2 Cor 1:3) and He is real comfort! He will not hurt us later or cause us to have regrets. Another song (not by Journey) says “Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer” Believers have a full-time -24 hour counselor called the Holy Spirit you run to Him? He stands with open arms and calls you “His beloved” and says, you can “rest secure in Him” (Deut 33:12). The One who suffered for us all tells us real comfort in the midst of suffering is this—that His promises will preserve our lives (Ps 119:50). God (not ice cream, not shopping, not romance, not drugs, not the-perfect-fixed-life) and His promises are enough to keep us going and comfort us.

But one more thing from this former big-hair, Journey girl – Can I just mention… it is hard to be comforted and stand on promises that you don’t know. The Most High God has promised you some things which will comfort you. Do you know what they are? Do you know Who He is? He calls Himself “faithful and true” (Rev 19:11)…and His promises and His comfort can absolutely be counted on. Go ahead… open His living Word and see what He has for you today. It will not return void. Don’t take my word for it. He says so Himself in Isaiah 55:11.

Father, You know me. You know my nature to run to everything else before I run to you. Oh Lord, forgive me. Draw me close. You say that those who seek you find you. I need to find you before I run to more things that cause me pain. I need to know more of your promises. I want your comfort, strength, peace, hope and joy. Oh Lord, release me from those things which have caused me pain for so long and help me to know and walk in the truth of your promises. I know you love me. Help me to know you and love you more and more. Amen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Too tired to pray?... it is okay

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Rom 8:26

I’ve been sick. I woke up aching and my to-do list is a mile long. I felt overwhelmed, stressed and really in need of a good cry. I sat down with my Bible with a desire to crawl up in my Father’s lap. My Scripture reading for the day and an email I just received included Romans 8:26 (wait, did you get that?… already the same verse twice by 5:30 am!) : In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. When I am weak, confused, conflicted, overwhelmed, when I don’t know what to pray, when I am too tired to pray…Jesus is praying for me and I can rest assured that He knows exactly what I need. Yes, He wants me to seek Him and His ways with all my heart (Deut 4:29)… but He also tells me to cast ALL my anxiety on Him because He cares for me (I Pet 5:7). Jesus is constantly interceding for us with God because He loves us so much and nothing (including our feelings, worries or exhaustion) can separate us from this love and this constant prayer (Rom 8:34-35).

I don’t know what my day will hold but I know God goes before me and the Holy Spirit is constantly praying for me. Not only that, God says He will encourage my heart (2 Thess 2:17) and strengthen my feeble arms and weak knees (Heb 12:12). And unlike the remedies of the world, God’s help is constant. He tells me He is refuge and strength and an ever-present help in time of trouble (Ps 46:1). I have no reason to doubt this because His Word tells me in Num 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? There is power and there is rest in our Savior and I am very sure He can more- than-handle all that troubles me in this day…and He can handle what troubles you.

Oh Father, I am tired and worries surround me. I don’t even know how to begin to pray… but You are already praying and You see all that lies ahead. Oh Lord you tell me to cast all my burdens on You. Your power is made perfect in my weakness. Thank you for loving me with a constant, patient love. Thank you for being my ever-present help in times of trouble. I love You Lord. May I rest in You in this day. Amen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When God can... but what if He doesn't?

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Daniel 3:17-18

Have you ever wished that God would just speak in an audible voice and tell you what to do, what choice to make? I have been so desperate to know His will that I have even fussed “If God told me to go to Ninevah (like He did Jonah of Whale fame) I would go!” But honestly, sometimes I have struggled more when I have clearly known what God wanted me to do, I obeyed and then He didn’t do what I thought He should do. Jonah did the same thing… he obeyed God and then expected Him to destroy the evil Ninevites… but God didn’t and Jonah sat pouting under a plant. (You can read the account in the short book of Jonah). I have been like that so often. Have you? What do you do when God doesn’t do what you think He should do? What do you do when you obey something hard and He does something you don’t like? Do you turn away and pout? Do you pull away from God because He doesn’t behave the way you expect Him to? I know I sure have at times.

But honestly, if God is all good, all knowing, and working things out for our best… does He really have to explain Himself? Is He really God if we can treat Him like a vending machine…”I do this and You do this God”? Isn’t true submission to His Lordship when we can come to the point of saying… “I can’t predict You. I can’t control You. I don’t have to have You explain Yourself. I know You can… but even if you don’t, You are God and I am not and I will trust and obey” That is some hard faith but the kind of faith that helps us walk through the fiery trials of this life. It is the kind of faith that prompted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3) to tell the King, as they were being thrown into the fire, “Our God can deliver us but even if He doesn’t’ we will still serve Him (paraphrased)”. This kind of faith brings freedom and defeats fear. This kind of “He-is-God and I-am-not-faith” is real and life-changing.

Do you want this kind of boldness, this kind of peace despite your circumstances? You can have it… but you have to get out of the way and daily give God everything—including your expectations of what He will do when you obey. If you can count on Him for eternity… you can count on Him even when you don’t understand exactly what He is doing. Give it all to Him. Let Him be Lord of all your life… and get ready to see His goodness and His deliverance as never before!

Father, I love you. I know I have often given You a list of requests expecting certain answers. Help me to “take my hands of the wheel” and let You drive…even when You don’t tell me where we are going. I can’t predict You. I know I can’t control You and if I could… You wouldn’t be my Lord. So take it all Jesus… even my expectations of “how things should be”. I want more of You and all the peace, hope and joy that comes from a life submitted to You. I know You are all good and I trust You. Help me to trust you more. Amen.