I just noticed something recently. You know how the media likes to encourage people to follow their heart? Well, there’s a problem with that, which I’ve been noticing especially in regards to the impending election. By “following your heart” they typically mean “do what you feel like”, and the danger of that is the ease with which the media can make us feel something. The media has mastered the art of creating emotions in their listeners simply by what and how they report, and people have been trained to act on emotion. What really scares me is when a politician bases their campaign on emotion-anger, fear, whatever. So here’s my plea, especially as we approach a major voting day this week:
Please, do not vote based on your emotions. Don’t vote because someone makes you mad about something and it makes you feel good. Don’t vote because someone planted fear in your mind and then convinced you they will keep you safe. Vote for someone because you did your research and are convinced that they are the one you want to represent this country – and ultimately you yourself – to the rest of the world. Don’t vote because somebody worked you up about something.
This is not a time for emotional action. This is the time for sober thought and careful judgment and action based on the two. We as God’s ambassadors have a duty to fulfill, and God forbid that we fail our duty to honor Him because we were too caught up in the moment. Please, let’s not just follow our hearts when so much is at stake.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
He’s not just devouring individuals…he’s working on devouring the nation. Let us not unintentionally aid him by neglecting to use wisdom instead of feelings.
Life has been interesting recently. (Part of the reason I didn’t post last week.) In recent months I’ve been thinking about college (which I never thought I was going to do). I’ve picked where I want to go, but the process of getting there has already been quite a journey. It’s been really neat watching how God has been working with me through the process, so I’d like to share about that. This may be a little long and ramble-y.
My first concern was money. College is excruciatingly expensive, as everybody knows, and I’m not exactly sleeping on a pile of gold despite my claims to being a dragon. If you know me and my tendency to stress about things, you know where this is going. I was overwhelmed. When it comes to finding scholarships I feel completely ignorant, and the enemy used that to start tripping me up with discouraging lies. “You can’t do this.” “You don’t have what it takes to win enough scholarships.” “You can’t even find scholarships – there’s no way you could go to college completely on scholarships like so-and-so did.” Discouragement stole my energy, and then I fell back into those lovely old depression thoughts and got (literally) nothing done.
I’m thankful that God is gracious and He doesn’t ever give up on my because of my frail faith. He used a really neat thrift-store find (a navy trench coat like I’ve been wanting and lovely boots in almost perfect condition – both extremely rare for a small-town thrift store) after having been in the store only ten minutes (it usually takes a lot longer to find something you want than that) to remind me that if He can just drop something in my lap that’s so small yet so specific to my desires, He is absolutely more than capable of providing what I need for college. He also used a friend of mine to encourage me when I was getting down after looking for scholarships to no avail. Since her encouragement for me to keep looking to Him, I’ve found several nice ones to apply for. Whether they go through or not is up to Him, but I remember that “the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:33) God is in control of who wins what scholarship, and if His desire is for me to go to college then He will make it possible financially for me to go.
What a blessing to have His quiet assurance that He will provide for me in His own time and way! In the middle of wrestling with scholarships, He has been challenging me not to let this major financial monster that’s staring at me turn me into a stingy hoarder “because I’ll need it”. Last year I was blessed to be able to give away quite a bit of my income, which, had I saved it, would have brought me that much closer to being able to afford a car to get me to and from college. But I was glad to give that money away. I want to be free from worry and do that again this year. Yes, I’ll probably be keeping my eyes peeled for a car and saving for it, but by God’s grace I’ll also be giving what I can to those who need it.
Add to that mix the fact that I just found out the coffeehouse where I work is closing at the end of the month and I will be out of my job, and you would think I’ve been worrying. Much to my own surprise, I didn’t lose any sleep about it. That’s the power of the peace of God. It’s incredible, and I’m so thankful that it’s where He’s brought me to. My prayer for college is that if He wants me to go, He would make it happen in such a way that it was obviously His doing and not my own. And well, He seems to be doing just that. 🙂
Father, please do what it takes
to keep me from relying on myself.
I might be asking for suffering
and never-ending struggles,
but Lord, I want to depend on You.
If that’s what it takes then let it be so.
If You never heal my depression
and if I always have to fight to stay on top of it,
Master, if that’s what it takes to keep me depending on You
then let it be so.
Cause me to want You
so much that whatever I face
is but a light momentary affliction
that prepares for me in heaven
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Father, please do what it takes
to keep me relying on You.