The Make It Happen Moment ® Embrace Life

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Quote: “Look forward to the harvest, and remember, where there is struggle, there is life!” – Zig Ziglar

One day I was struggling with some difficult life circumstances, so in my office at work I inquired of the Lord about the matter.  “Lord, why is this happening to me?  I know that You are building my character in this situation, but I don’t understand why it has to be like this.”  Before I could descend too far into a pity party, I heard the Lord respond in His still small voice, “This is happening to you because through it, I am putting a message in you that when it comes out, it will be all Me!”  Now that gave me something to seriously ponder…the Lord wanted to use me (Wow!), but He needed to work out some things in my character before He could do so (Ouch!).  Furthermore, in the midst of my troubling circumstances, the Lord encouraged me regarding His perfect plan and purpose for my life, and even though I didn’t fully understand the struggle, with His abiding presence, I knew I could rest in the peace of Psalm 18:3 as the Psalmist David, declaring in my spirit, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised!” 

The Lord is so awesome that He has since helped me to even better understand what He was talking about when He spoke to me on that day in my office. In a teaching, Jewish Rabbi, Curt Landry, shared that the making of a Jewish Shofar – a holy trumpet – actually represents how the Lord shapes and molds each of us into a holy vessel separated unto Him for His kingdom use and glory.  In Rabbi Landry’s lesson, he taught that in order for a Shofar to exist, an animal has to first give its life so that the horn can be cut away for use as a Shofar.  This symbolizes the death that each of us experiences when we first give our life to the Lord and are spiritually born new in Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul clearly explains this in 2 Corinthians 5:17 stating, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  Then, after the horn is cut away, the priest puts the horn in boiling water so that it will become soft and malleable – able to be shaped by his hands.  This represents how the Lord, our Perfect High Priest, will allow the tests and trials of life to soften us, shape us, and develop a teachable spirit within us.  Once the horn is taken out of the boiling water, the priest then twists and turns it in a special way so that it will be able to produce the right joyful sound unto the Lord.  This represents how the Lord will allow difficult life challenges like the one I was experiencing to directly prepare us for His specific calling and perfect purpose for our lives that will bring Him glory. 

Lastly, the priest puts the handcrafted vessel in a dry wilderness place to let it properly dry out before drilling the small pointed end of it to complete the mouthpiece necessary for making the joyful sound for which the Shofar was created.  This represents the lonely time period when the Lord is perfecting our total dependence upon Him before He fully releases us into our anointed calling for which He created us.  While such a time may feel like the Lord has abandoned us, I have found that it is in this time that we actually discover His faithfulness to His promise in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave us nor forsake us as well as learn the benefits found in James 1:4 of letting patience have its perfect work in us so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing in God. Therefore, with a spirit of faith and commitment, embrace life and all its struggles because God is in complete control, shaping and preparing us for His perfect plan and destiny in His kingdom.

The Make It Happen Abundant People Value: “Make It Happen” People Possess A Positive Attitude!

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

The Make It Happen Moment ® Embrace Life Copyright 2010, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint The Make It Happen Moment ® Embrace Life, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Make It Happen Moment ® Serving Life

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Two men looked out from prison bars...

Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw mud, the other...stars.

Quote: “Life is so much fuller and more significant when we spend it engaging others around us!” – Dino Rizzo

Years ago when I first started serving in the prison ministry of our church, I attended a bible study at the Rayburn Correctional Institute in Bogalusa, Louisiana.  At the end of the study, several inmates gave personal testimonies about their life and their relationship with the Lord.  I will never forget the story that one of the men shared that day.  He started by saying he had been in prison for more than 14 years of a 20-year sentence and that he spent his first several years depressed, angry, bitter, and miserable.  All he did each day was murmur and complain about his 20-year sentence as he constantly told everyone how unfair it was and that he didn’t do anything to deserve it.  He said that his misery continued day in and day out until one day when a more tenured fellow inmate had the courage to confront him with the simple truth in love.

His friend said, “George, I’ve been listening and watching you be miserable in this prison every day since you came here.  If you have any hope at all to make it, there are a couple of things you need to do.  The first thing is that you need to accept responsibility for your actions and admit that you did do something deserving of your judgment.  And the second thing you need to do is stop focusing on yourself and complaining about your 20-year sentence because there are other guys who have it much worse…30 years, 50 years, and even life.  If you can do these two things George, then the time will stop doing you and you will start doing the time.”

After George shared what his fellow inmate told him, he said that he took the advice to heart with the help of the Lord and his whole life changed.  He concluded by saying that doing time in prison is not easy by any means and that being on the down side of a sentence term [14 yrs of 20] is so much better than being on the upside; however, regardless of how many years that were left, he said his choice to take responsibility for his actions before God and focus on others rather than himself made all the difference.

As I reflect on this true story, I have wondered just how many of us can myopically live inside the same kind of prison walls as George was living, even though we don’t actually live in a brick and mortar prison.  I’m talking about a narrow internal walled-in place of depression, bitterness, anger, etc. – blaming everything and everyone for the results of our own poor life choices without any regard for the Lord or other hurting people.  I know firsthand that if we would heed the advice given to George and apply it to our own lives, we will discover by the grace of God that life will stop doing us and we will start doing life.  In fact, this is exactly the way the Lord intends for us to do life – focused on others and serving them rather than ourselves.  The Bible states in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man [Jesus] did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Just imagine how life would be if we really did give our lives to genuinely love and serve others as Jesus did.  I’ve read that Thomas Jefferson observed, “A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle.”  With a spirit of commitment and generosity, may we brightly serve our life to others with the love of Christ poured out from our hearts so that we can brighten a hurting and broken world around us!

The Make It Happen Service Enthusiasm Value: “Make It Happen” People Are Five Star Service Enthusiasts!

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

The Make It Happen Moment ® Serving Life Copyright 2009, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint The Make It Happen Moment ® Serving Life, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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