Thursday, December 20, 2012

Preconceptions

This Advent season has so far contained the usual amount of meditation and soul searching and one revelation stood out from the others. He is a Father of surprises. The moment I think I can no longer be surprised, bam, something unlike anything I have yet to experience happens.

When I get out of the way and get rid of my preconceptions of how He should touch my life and when, things work out better than I expect. His plan is always better. Always, and I know that. 

However, we humans develop and hold onto preconceptions to just about everything, people, places, books, movies, and the list goes on and on and on. These opinions color our world. Some in beautiful ways, others are not so pretty, and these instant judgments shackle our imaginations, and our ability to accept people, things and circumstances. as well as our ability to see God's hand in our lives. 

As a matter of fact, I have yet to see the answer to my prayers materialize in the way I thought they should. God is always out of the box in that regard. Some of His answers take years to form and come to fruition, and, rarely, if ever, in the way I asked. 

The lesson is: life is easier when I don't put my spin on what He should do, how and when He should do it. Preconception is exactly the opposite of "let go, and let God". 

This holiday season is rampant with expectations, many of which will be unfulfilled in our preconceived notions. Are our expectations too high? Absolutely not. We can never aim too high when it comes to God. However, our preconceived ideas of how the events should play out are often disappointed and can even blind us to His answers. I repeat, His most powerful interventions occur when I step out of the way, when I least expected them, and in ways I believed impossible. 

My new resolution is to step back and watch Him do the unexpected. I may not always like His answer. It may not be the spectacular miracle I wanted or felt I needed, but it will be what He wants for me, and somehow, someway it will be what is good for me. This is where faith steps in, trusting He loves me enough to send the hard stuff as well as the good in order to deepen my character and faith. Preconceptions just get in the way - of a lot of things. 

Lord, make this the year you heal my blindness. Amen. 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Age Factor


After numerous failed attempts to find permanent employment, I am fighting discouragement and despair. Several friends, who are HR administrators, have agreed my age is a huge factor in my job search. Granted, it is illegal to discriminate because of age, but proving discrimination is hard.  And although I have seen jobs I applied for go to applicants with half my skill and experience - and half my age, it would still be hard to prove. If I wanted to. Personally, I do not want to work for a company I forced through litigation to hire me. The work place is a tough enough environment without adding that kind of stress.

Ironically, I am too young to retire and too old to be employed. Then an added disadvantage, I don’t speak a second language, which becoming more and more a requirement, at least in our area.

Add the looming changes in Federal taxes and other regulations which will negatively impact my husband’s and my finances even further,my husband is considering becoming an Ex-Pat, moving to a foreign country where our dollar will go further. I love my country and am not sure this is what I want to do, but I can’t argue against the financial aspect. Statistics show over 3 million retirees are moving to other countries in order to spread out their retirement funds. Most are going to South America where the peso to dollar ratio is three to one.  

Money isn’t everything, and there are many other things to consider. With my husband it is also the desire to travel. Living abroad would also give us that opportunity. What to do?

Amid my desperate prayers for wisdom, my devotions offered these nuggets of spiritual insight.

Streams in the Desert November 25, 26 and 27:

11/25: “To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory. Ephesians 3:20-21.

The same power that saved us, washed us with His blood, filled us with the power of His Holy Spirit, and protected us through numerous temptations will work for us to meet every emergency, every crisis, every circumstance, and every adversary. The Alliance.”

11/26: “And One asked softly, ‘Why, indeed, take overanxious thought for what tomorrow brings you? See you not The Father knows just what you need?’ ” [Reference to Luke 12:22-30 – The Lilies of the Field]

11/27: “Nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37) “Therefore may we continue to persevere, for even if we took our circumstances and cast all the darkness of human doubt upon them and then hastily piled as many difficulties together as we could find against God’s divine work, we could never move beyond the blessedness of His miracle-working power. May we place our faith completely in Him, for He is the God of the impossible.”

When I look back at all my former difficulties, I see His hand, all of His miraculous deliveries. Impossibilities made possible. Faith was, and is, the difference. The deeper our faith, the more profound and amazing His miracles.

With that in mind, I am giving it all to Him to figure out, for without doubt “…they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 31.  And, I will “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13. He has promised.