Boulders, Rocks, Pebbles and Sand
by: Jan Whitaker
Isaiah 40:4-5 states:
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.
I love watching the “Fixer-Upper” TV show with the cute Christian couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. They truly have a flare in finding beauty in older homes and updating them into something fresh and attractive.
Sometimes our walk with Christ needs some fixing up; like new kitchen cabinets, a fresh coat of paint, or a bathroom that should be completely gutted and renovated. But, praise God, unlike Chip and Joanna, we don’t have to sweat and work hard to achieve it! God doesn’t “fix up” our hearts, He gives us a totally new one in Christ.
Sometimes, experiences can negatively influence our hearts and cause us to stumble and lose our focus on Jesus. I like to call them the boulders, rocks, pebbles and sand of life. They can deter us from what God wants for us in relationships, ministry, our workplace and even in achieving our dreams.
The following is a brief explanation of each:
Boulders = Unrealistic Expectations
Blaming others or God for something that doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. Expecting something from ourselves or others that is idealistic or perfect. Having standards that seem right and believe others need to comply with them.
Rocks = Sense of Entitlement
Expecting thanks or appreciation for something we feel we deserve because of what we did for someone. Watching someone else receive a promotion or recognition, or a new house or a spouse when we have been believing God for it. Because we feel we have sacrificed much, others (including God) should treat us a certain way.
Pebbles = Critical or Judgmental Attitude
Focusing on the negative things about life. Seeing the faults of others more than their positive attributes. Becoming irritated with others and/or ourselves. Feelings of self-hatred.
Sand = Lack of Responsibility
An expectation of others (and God) for something that only we should be doing for our self. Expecting someone or something else to make us happy. Blaming others for our anger, sadness, unfulfillment or lack of success.
These stumbling blocks can be very subtle. But, if we don’t recognize that they are part of our behavior, they will become embedded within our heart beliefs. Our understanding of who we are in Christ becomes askew. Acknowledging what we are feeling to our Father and leaving the boulders, rocks, pebbles and sand at the feet of Jesus through prayer, sets us free.
Cleve recently shared with me about the difficult road he was on. It had so many unusual twists and turns, sudden hills and rough surfaces that he was becoming extremely weary while driving his semi. “But,” he explained “when I noticed the breathtaking mountains, tall pine trees, the rivers and beautiful sunset, I forgot about the roughness of the road. Each glance of the beauty surrounding me helped me to remember what is most important: God’s goodness!”
Let’s allow God to raise our valleys, lower our mountains, make the crooked straight and the rough places even in our lives. Then we will get to witness the glory of the Lord revealed!
Cleve and Jan Whitaker are the new WLN Directors. Living in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, USA, they are an active part of Faith Ministries Community Church. Cleve is owner and manager of Capstone Carriers, LLC; a trucking company specializing in flatbed freight throughout the U.S.
Jan retired from teaching in the inner city high schools and college/university campuses. She also worked for FMIN Network as the Administrative Director. Jan operates in the prophetic and travels nationally and internationally as a teacher and counselor with GX International.
Cleve and Jan describe their combined Mission Statement as: "To be outrageous givers for the Kingdom of God through financial support. To use our spiritual gifts for strengthening, encouraging, and establishing others in their identity in Christ." Their heart is to see others find and follow God's purpose in their individual workplace and mission field.
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