Dr. Charles Stanley
In Touch Ministries
In Touch Ministries
God has provided us with many things to enjoy. But too often our lives are filled with turmoil instead of contentment. Four practices that create dissatisfaction are . . .
Busyness. We live in a hurry-up society, dashing from one activity to another. Jesus did not rush anywhere, yet He accomplished whatever God gave Him to do. Not once did He tell His followers to move faster. He even praised Mary for choosing to stop her work and spend time with Him (Luke 10:39, 42).
Earthly perspective. Too often we live focused on our circumstances. Our minds think about what happened earlier in the week, what’s on today’s agenda, and the activities occurring next week, month, or year. No wonder enjoyment of life remains elusive. The solution is to have an eternal perspective, which acknowledges that God is in charge and our goal is to please Him.
Self-imposed pressure. We have all experienced the unavoidable burdens of schoolwork, employment, and relationships. But we bring needless pressure on ourselves when we allow unnecessary “musts” and “shoulds” to rule us. The remedy is to turn to God, acknowledge His right to order our days, and ask for His plan.
Unhealthy attitudes. Perfectionism, false guilt, and apathy all undermine our enjoyment of life.
Satisfaction is found in a life that reflects God’s priorities—and time with Him comes first. Reading His Word, we become mindful of the Father’s great love, learn what He views as important, and experience the joy of belonging to Him. When contentment is elusive, it’s time to examine our priorities.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.
A Box of Socks
Girlfriends In God Devotional
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22, NIV).
Friend to Friend
My sister loves socks! One day, we were shopping and happened to walk into a department store where neither one of us could afford to buy a single thing. We were just passing through, on our way to find the bargains we could afford. With a sigh and a wistful look on her face, Betty said, “I wish I could afford to shop in this store.” When I asked her what she would buy, she immediately replied with a smile, “Socks! I want a big box of socks. I would wear a different pair every day.” I could think of several things I would have liked to buy in that store and socks was not one of them. I guess it is a matter of perspective. What was important to her was not important to me.
I sometimes think my prayer requests are insignificant and unimpressive to God. After all, He is God. Does He really have the time or the desire to hear and answer my prayers? Yes! The truth is that if it is important to me, it is important to God.
Each Christmas, Operation Shoebox collects and sends over eight million shoeboxes stuffed with small gifts such as candy, school supplies, small toys, toothbrushes, soap, and shampoo to children across the world. In Mexico, hundreds of boys and girls gathered at the church in a small village, excitedly anticipating the arrival of their precious shoeboxes.
Delightful chaos erupted as bulging shoeboxes, wrapped in brightly colored paper and ribbon were passed into the small, eager hands of each child. Wrapping paper was hurriedly ripped into pieces and tossed aside, a smile spreading across the face of each child as their long awaited Christmas treasures were revealed. However, one little boy dissolved into tears as he lifted the lid of his box and peered inside to see what he had received for Christmas this year.
One of the Operation Shoebox volunteers spotted the little boy and hurriedly made his way across the church to see what the problem could possibly be. With the help of an interpreter, the volunteer asked the now sobbing little boy, “What is wrong? What is in your box?” With tears streaming down his face, the little boy said, “Socks!” The worker instantly understood and assured the little boy that he could trade his box of socks for another box that might have crayons, a toy or a piece of candy in it.
Alarm spread across the face of the child as he vigorously shook his head and quickly jerked the box away from the now somewhat confused worker. Clutching the shoebox to his chest, the boy began sobbing out an explanation to the interpreter who listened for a few moments and then, with tears spilling out of his own eyes, turned to the volunteer and said, “You won’t believe this!”
Taking a deep, steadying breath, the interpreter explained, “This little boy has a rare skin condition with which he was born. It seems to affect his feet more than any other spot on his body. The doctors have tried various medications and treatments but finally told the little boy that nothing will work and his feet will never heal unless he begins wearing cotton socks. His parents cannot even afford food for this boy; much less provide socks for their son. So, all year long, he has been praying for socks.”
Socks were at the top of the little boy’s prayer list. As a matter of fact, they were his list. The mere sight of ordinary cotton socks brought tears to his eyes as he stared in awe at the priceless gift in his hands – socks. You see, they were more than just socks. They were the profound answer from our extraordinary God to a child’s simple prayer. One unknown and seemingly insignificant boy in Mexico prayed. God heard him and said “Let me take care of you.”
No matter how small or trivial your prayers may seem, remember God’s perspective. If it is important to you, it is important to Him. And He will take care of you.
Father, thank You for the privilege of coming before You in prayer. I want prayer to be as natural to me as breathing out and breathing in. I refuse to believe the lie that my prayers are too small or unimportant for You to hear. You are my Father. You are my God and You long to hear my voice. I will bring every prayer of my heart to You.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have your own “box of socks” for which you are praying? What is it?
Do you really believe that God will hear and answer your prayer?
Read Hebrews 11:6. How does your faith measure up to the faith described in this verse?
Today, pray in faith and see what God does!
More from the Girlfriends
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