Pause

Often, when life isn’t working out the way we imagined or hoped, our impulse is to pray for God to change things.

We think, “if only” things were different, “if only” people were better, “if only” our needs were met, “if only” the pain went away, “if only” the choices were simple, “if only” temptation disappeared, “if only, if only…”

Sometimes God does transform situations, but more often, God changes us… if only we ask.

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Listen

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

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Think

This week on d365 has shown us that the Bible is full of stories of people who listened for God’s call and tried to live in God’s way:

Moses, who struggled painfully and asked God for help; and the elders of Israel, who received God’s spirit and shared Moses’ burden.

Joshua, who was concerned for his mentor; and the disciples of Jesus, who protected their Teacher but disrupted God’s work.

The “other” who was performing works in Jesus’ name; and Jesus himself, who taught his followers that God works in more ways than they could imagine.

Our world is also full of people who are listening and trying.

We try to be good leaders and good followers. We complain, we help, we learn, we worry. Sometimes others may say we are “not normal.” Sometimes we are the ones who disrupt God’s work. We may feel like we’re wandering in the desert or walking closely with Jesus.

All along the way we can pray — not that our steps would be perfect but that our thoughts and words would be pleasing to God.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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Pray

In the Bible and in life, God, people try to follow you. Sometimes our steps falter and fail. Thank you for not demanding perfection from me. Thank you for taking joy in me when I honor you simply, in kind words and loving thoughts. Use my words and thoughts to change the world. Amen.

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Go

God doesn’t only change us; God changes the world through us. When our attitudes are transformed, God can transform the people and situations we encounter.

If only we choose wisely when options are hard,
if only we respond kindly when people are cruel,
if only we act boldly when someone is hurt...

May God use us to answer the “if only” prayers of our world.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Rev. Nicole Finkelstein-Blair is a 2001 graduate of Central Baptist Seminary and an ordained Baptist minister. As a military family for the past 15 years, she and her husband Scott and their two boys have found “church homes” across the country and across denominations. For fun, she writes, reads, knits, and helps the school librarian make bulletin boards. :)

Stillness

Carter Harrell: Making Space

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