The Vending machine

vending-machine“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

Imagine one day I was hungry for some crispy, chocolatey goodness, and I walked up to a vending machine, put in my quarters, and pushed the button for a KitKat® (gimme a break ♫♪, gimme a break ♫♪), I pushed “E5”, and much to my chagrin out popped a Snickers®! I was so disappointed and angry! And, I had a “conniption”- I became so angry at that machine for not giving me what I wanted! But I wanted a KitKat®! I don’t want to have to deal with all those nuts!!”

How silly? Over a bar of chocolate! It was just a mechanical malfunction.

But, isn’t that what we do to the Lord sometimes? We put in our “quarters” of praying, reading our Bible, working in the nursery, teaching a class, being kind, doing a good deed, etc., and we expect God to “gimme a break!” But oftentimes just the opposite happens — we have to deal with a bunch of nuts!!

Well, obviously our Sovereign Lord has a plan, He is not a vending machine with a short circuit. He is our loving Father Who knows what’s best for us, especially when we think we know what is best, and what should drop out the bottom of the vending machine when we put in all our “good works” – which, by the way — the Lord calls “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). He knows that sometimes we need to go through some fiery trials, we need to deal with some nuts, and “when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold”.

We need to learn to be thankful for the nuts! That’s what makes us grow in our faith, and eventually makes us perfect, or mature in our walk with the Lord:

Knowing this , that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:3-4)

Remember this next time you think of God as a “vending machine.”

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Life is like chocolate, sometimes you’ve gotta deal with nuts!

Great Expectations!!

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He onlpsalm-121y is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:5,6

When my husband and I were dating, he had his “best foot forward” (and so did I!). He would bring me flowers, and gifts, and candy, just to make me happy. Well. We are on our 35th year of marriage, and if I waited at the door each day expecting him to bring me flowers and candy when he came home from a long, hard day of work, my expectations would be dashed, and I would spend every evening angry and frustrated because my expectations were not met. I might even get myself worked up some days and take matters into my own hands and just buy myself some flowers and chocolate because he sure isn’t going to do it!! Those expectations would be unrealistic, and he never promised me roses and chocolates every day, but do you see how our expectations can affect our emotions and our attitudes?

Our expectations can become idolatry.

How about you? What do you expect from God? Are your expectations of Him realistically in line with what He has promised?

Has God really ever promised us:

Happiness? Health?

Wealth? Success?

Every desire fulfilled? Approval of man?

A comfortable life? An easy life?

A persecution-free life? A sorrow-free life?

So, why do we act surprised, when along comes a “fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12)? When our expectations are unbiblical and unrealistic, they get dashed, and we, in our human flesh, tend to get angry at God for not doing what we thought He should, or we get anxious and take matters into our own hands and try to do it my way!

It goes like this: We see something we like, and we want it (no problem so far), but then we rationalize that we NEED it, that we’ve gotta have it, and then we quickly get to the point where we will sin to get it. What it boils down to, is UNBELIEF. Unbelief is thinking wrong thoughts about God, being discontent because we don’t think God has met our “needs.” James puts it this way:

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:1-4)

My husband has been talking about this in the Adult Sunday School class he teaches, it has been very convicting…

So, what should our expectations be based on? What SHOULD we do?

Study those things that God HAS promised us – His power, His protection, His presence, His Love, His strength when I am weak, His help in times of trouble, His answers to our prayers, His salvation when we believe in the Lord Jesus, and His eternal home in Heaven for those who trust in Christ.

If we set our expectations on God and His promises, we will not be disappointed or discontent, we will “rejoice in the Lord always…” (Philippians 4:4).

I don’t know about you, but I know where I am placing my expectations – not on human beings, or on material things, or on circumstances – but on my Lord and my God!

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

I have Great Expectations in my Lord!