Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Answer Me Already!

Once upon a time, I looked up the definition for patience. It is defined as:
The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
How many of you can honestly say you do not struggle with this on a daily basis? There has to be some area of your life that you can't help but become impatient. Whether it's standing in line waiting to check out, watching a movie on the edge of your seat to see how it ends (because you don't have patience enough to read the book), praying your house will sell so you can begin a new chapter, fishing for that perfect guy/girl the Lord has for you, or getting pregnant (as long as you're married), patience is what we lack. We want things now, we wanted life to happen how we wanted it to yesterday. Instant gratification is running ramped through this chaotic world we live in and God tells us what? Be patient!

These past few weeks, the good Lord has had an ear full of listening to what I want and excuses to why I need them. Would you like to hear a good laugh? If you would, keep reading.

"Lord, I need You. I need You to hear me out. I want my house sold, my parents in Ohio together happily ever after, a job for the summer, an amazing Christian guy who is completely in love with You.... did I mention I'm 20 and time is ticking for someone who has NEVER had a boyfriend? Did I mention I'm ready to be on my own, in a relationship, doing whatever You ask as long as it doesn't involve me working fast food... staying in Marietta, or being single the REST of my LIFE? Oh yeah, and most all of my friends are dating and I'm ALWAYS the 3rd wheel. Yeah, and if You could get me that job tomorrow, and sell my house tomorrow, then I'll be forever grateful! Thanks Lord! In Jesus most precious, holy, blessed, glorious name AMEN!"

Great prayer right? God is definitely listening to me.... and most likely laughing. Ah, but the Lord says we do not have because we do not ask. Well, I'm asking. Are you asking? How are you asking? Who are you asking?

My mom has come to me over the past weeks concerned with our house selling. Is the price of the house too high? Did Dad make the right choice in taking this new job? What is there not to like about our house? These questions are played on a broken record titled, "Needing Answers." If not for these questions I would not have developed my new motto!
"Then again, it's all up to Him."
 I don't have answers friends. I want them like the next person; but like the next person I have to be patient. Do I find myself wanting to scream into a pillow at times out of mere frustration? Yes! Have I felt the need to slap someone because they are impatient and seeking answers from me I do not have? Yes! God never said following Him would be easy. I'm in this impatient, sinful self, tapping my fingers and slamming my keys as I type this post awaiting the grand finally... the final point of what I am trying to say.

We all want answers. We all want things to happen on our time. We want God's will for our lives but our lack of patience can easily get in the way. So friends, hear this. I am praying for you and me. Not the prayer I posted above. It's selfish and not pleasing to our heavenly Father. Praise the Lord He has patience for us. I thank the Lord I am not Him, because I'd have given up on me and everyone else the day Eve took a bite of that apple. Remember, life as we know it isn't up to us if we are following Him. We don't decide. He does. So sit on your hands if you have to and let your life go based on God's timing. I've heard too many horror stories from those who took matters into their own hands!

Scripture says:

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
 Hebrews 6:11-12

 ....As for that in good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
Luke 8:15


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Renewing my Vow

Once upon a time, the phone rang silent. I knew it was ringing.. but no one else could hear it. Hesitantly, I reached for it slowly as if it were a call I dreaded answering. Who's on the other line? If I answered, would I regret it? Looking at the caller id, it read "RESTRICTED." Giving into curiosity, I picked up the phone and said hello. On the other end, my Groom awaited. Butterflies arose in my stomach and I knew it was time.

I made a promise, a vow, 15 years ago. I married the most wonderful man in the world. He chose me as I chose Him. For 15 years, I picked up my cross and followed Him. My senior year of high school, He changed my life by leading me down a path I would never turn back on. He began leading me into the mission field. With a sigh of relief that it was His voice on the phone, I asked Him what He wanted of me. In the most precious awe- consuming voice He replied, renew your vow with Me.

Thinking back to that glorious day I said, "I do," I realized the memory had been erased. I couldn't remember anything about that day besides the story my mom told me of how I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I knew I had to renew my vow with Christ, for it to take full effect in my life. It is true, once you are saved your name cannot be erased out of the book of life. However, it bothered me that I could not remember doing so. I went through the doubting stage in middle school where I'd asked Christ to come into my life every night for almost 3 weeks. However, I still struggled with keeping Him first. When my heavenly Father asked me to renew my vows, I knew I was ready. I needed to let go of some areas in my life I'd struggled with for years. When my pastor preached a sermon on baptism, without giving it a second thought I knew that May 6, 2012 would be the day I made my VOW with my heavenly Father public to family and friends.

Answering that phone call was the best decision of my life. My faithful Lord and Savior reminds me daily of his covenant with me, His promise that He will never leave nor forsake me. As I was called to come forth, my heart fluttered as if it were my wedding day. My associate pastor, Whit Maxey asked me the one question that has forever changed my life, "Do you, Sara Cerny, take Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior?" Without missing a beat, the words flowed from the bottom of my soul, "I do." Forever and always, I will continue to seek God and try my best to keep Him where He belongs, first in my life. Without Him, I am nothing. It is He who is in me that lives. My prayer is to continue following hard after Him. For the past few years, He has made His calling for my life very clear through people He has placed along my path. I ask you to join with me in prayer that His hands remain at work through me. I am being called to Romania in Summer of 2013. The Lord has given me a heart to share the gospel with gypsies and abandoned children. I know He equips those He calls and by His strength we can do all things. My vow with the Lord is a symbol of the promise I have made to Him. Where He leads me, I will follow.

Is your phone ringing? Does the caller-id show RESTRICTED? Do not be afraid. Pick up the phone, and answer. No one can do it for you. Answer, and watch your life be changed in ways you never imagined possible.

God's Promises:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23