Who is your Daddy? I’m not talking about your earthly daddy. Who is your heavenly Daddy? God put each of us on earth with a very specific plan for our lives. I have two earthly fathers, but only one heavenly Abba who will never ever leave me. That may seem simple to you, but for a girl who was abandoned by her birth father, and then emotionally abused for decades by her step-father, the only hope I have for a loving father is our Lord. He is all I need.
Earth shaking storms seem to enter our lives when least expect. Sometimes, it’s when we have become too comfortable. Other times it comes when we are complacent…you know the deal. You get proud of yourself and your accomplishments, and you’re ready to take up residence there. Yep, that’s the perfect time for God to allow a storm to shake up your world.
So there you are. You find yourself in the midst of the storm. You’re trying to hold on to whatever you can, and in many circumstances all you can do is take a knee. Yes dear Sister, God brings us to our knees because it’s there we worship the best. Remember Paul writing his letter to Philippi? There he is telling them, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Paul doesn’t stop there. If he did, I think it would have been much easier to attempt to follow the direction to praise God in all circumstances. Nope, Paul is one of those guys who challenges us to go further.
Y’all, I’d love to meet Paul someday. I mean, this guy is completely changed…transformed by God! Then, while in prison for teaching about God, continues to praise Him for all He has done. No dear Sister, he doesn’t stop there. Paul even goes further and tells us how completely and totally in love with the Lord we should be. He tells us to rejoice in the face of storms. Y’all, I know it’s possible to do, because Paul did it! I’d love to hear his stories of what it was like to be so focused on God, that even in prison, all he could do was rejoice.
Ok, back to Philippians 4. As if rejoice in the Lord always doesn’t make you stand up and take notice. What about this one? “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Yikes. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been hit in the face with some bad stuff, and when the world is falling in around me, the last thing I desire to be is gentle. I’m not talking gentle like..pet the puppy gentle. No, I’m talking gentle as in meek. Eeew! So many of us have difficulty with that world. Let’s get this one straight. Meek and weak are not synonyms. They truly have nothing to do with one another, so get rid of that misconception. Meekness and gentleness mean that you have a spirit of humility and thankfulness toward God. It means that when someone has “ticked off the Good Humor Man” as my Momma has always said, you’re not seeking revenge.
Not seeking revenge. I’m not a vengeful person are you? I mean yes I get angry, and yes I want someone to pay for what they’ve done, and…stop right there. Meekness is none of those things. That gentleness that Paul speak of in Philippians 4? It means be humble, kind, calm, and thankful to everyone. That kid that just rear-ended you because he wasn’t paying attention…be kind to him. He’s scared to death. Be thankful to God because He saved you from greater harm. Let your gentleness be evident to all. Catch them off guard with your kindness and humility, not for yourself…no dear Sister. Do it because the Lord is near. Would you act a fool, and come unglued in the presence of the Lord? Well, He is ever present with you.
This whole let your gentleness be evident to all direction takes me back to a revival our church had several years ago. Life Action Ministries had come to visit for a week. They had a speaker, Mr. Steve Canfield, who was speaking to us about this very topic. He used the example of an orange. Now, when you squeeze an orange, what do you expect to come out? Orange juice right? Of course, because what you see on the outside and what is found on the inside should match. What would happen if you squeezed an orange and out came ink?
Life as a daughter of God should be exactly the same as that orange. If you profess to be a daughter of the King, and you wear the “Christian” label for all to see, when you are squeezed…you better provide the love of God. If not, you are no different that than orange squirting ink.
Steve later went on with a story that has to be included for you dear sister. It’s one I keep close to my heart. He spoke of a man driving a car with the Jesus fish on the rear bumper. You know what I’m talking about right? Ok, so here is the Jesus fish dude. Now, dude is angry, cutting people off in traffic, accelerating quickly and loudly, and comes to a red light where he has to stop. His arms are flailing, His mouth is going, and he is obviously driving angry. Don’t drive angry y’all. Anyway, so angry Jesus fish dude suddenly gets pulled over. The officer asks him if he knows why he pulled him over. Jesus fish says no. The officer then explains, “Sir, I saw the Jesus fish on your car, then saw how rude and angry you were driving. I assumed the car must be stolen.” Ouch! That’s just might leave a mark. Yep, if you’re going to claim that you love the King, and you’re a follower of Jesus, then you had better act like one. Otherwise, you’re going to end up covered in ink, and accused of grand theft auto.
Rejoice in the Lord dear Sister, rejoice at all times…in all circumstances. Be sure to let your gentleness be known by all, because dear Sister, the Lord is near.