Devotional from Stephanie Young

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   I am so thankful that God has more patience with me than I do with my kids. Harper is going through this phase where every response with us is yelling regardless if it is happiness, excitement, anger, sadness or hurt feelings. When she wants something, she screeches and yells even though she knows the words to help her get what she wants but she is actively refusing to use them for some reason. Needless to say it has been testing my patience and it’s hard to find the positive when that is all I hear. 

     I now understand though, how God can love us so very much and how frustrating it must be watching us fumble around in our lives when He has what we need if we would just ask. How many times have we woken up, started the day off in a bad mood and have allowed the day to just spiral into so many lost hours of frustrating interactions and a feeling of dread? How many times have we expected something to happen and it didn’t, plans change, opportunities get missed, someone hurts us, or an unforeseen financial situation slaps us in the face and instead of stopping to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts to change our perspective, circumstance, or to simply intercede and grant a spirit of peace, we sit in the gross feelings and won’t give up control? 
     In Romans:8 we see that God has made it clear to us his intention for our lives. To be His children, CHOSEN and adopted. To inherit all He has and to walk with Christ as our brother. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” If that is true, and we are His heirs, then WHY are we not taking full advantage of everything He is offering? All every parent wants is to see their child thrive, live a life well lived, full of love, and to hopefully live their lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel. God does not promise a life without suffering but imagine a life where when we are struggling, instead of doing everything ourselves, we immediately go stumbling into His arms just like you see a child do with their parents.
     He dwells in us and has every intention to do far more for our lives than we could possibly ask or think! Ephesians 3:17-20 “17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” It is safe to say that coming to Him without fear of judgement, with our burdens, with heaviness and weariness is exactly what He expects and wants. To be so deep in His love that we may find His peace and remember his presence always. In doing so, we might be able to properly pour into others along the way. Whatever your most recent struggle is, remember that His love abides in us and we only need to come to Him as any child does and ask for help. I pray that as you go through your week, that you will feel His presence, his gentle nudges and His reminders that He chose you, He is for you, and that He can do far more than what our minds can possibly imagine for our lives. What a great God we serve, so let’s let Him lead.