September 27, 2012
Few things give me goose bumps like when my kids are involved in plays, recitals or sports, and I have the privilege of seeing all their efforts pay off during an amazing performance. I will often cry as I witness joy, pride, and self-confidence oozing from their faces and bodies. I’m always impressed by how well these youngsters perform in front of the big crowd under all the pressure. And they do it mostly on their own, with minimal or no adult involvement in the final performance. How is this possible?
The answer: They are instructed in the fundamentals of the task, which they practice many times over in safe, non-threatening situations, until the task becomes second nature. Then, after all the investments of time, effort, embarrassment, humility, trusting the coach, self-discipline, delayed gratification, dealing with mistakes, and perseverance, the big night comes with its pressure, potential adversity, and judgment. There’s a lot on the line. The rewards reaped at showtime correspond to the number of deposits made during the preparation phase. That is success – with amazing compounded interest. But what about your spiritual or psychological investments?
Well, you can prepare for tough days by practicing your skills during the quiet days. Get in the habit of seeing God at work in the mundane situations of life. Take time regularly to reflect on His character and promises. Choose to trust them. Memorize verses or stories from the Bible that reinforce these truths. See how He meets your needs and cares for you every day. Whether you realize it or not, God is working in your life. Practice recognizing it in the “easy” days and it will be easier to recognize His work during the more trying times.
Communicate with Him regularly each day. Remember, communication includes praying as well as listening. Then when your storms come (and they will), the trust-balance built up in your account will be sufficient to see you through. In fact, you will shine brightly, like the star in a play. As a result of your investment, you’ll be able to go to God more easily in time of need, because you’ve already developed the habit of seeking Him regularly.
Today, try making a deposit in His treasury. Pray, sharing your heart and needs. Listen to God. Look for Him in your daily activities. Spend time in His instruction manual, thanking Him for what you have, or describing the effects of His character on how you perceive and navigate your day. The list can be endless. Each time you affirm your trust in Him, it is like putting a coin into His treasury. In doing so, you build up equity you can draw against during stormy days. He will safeguard each investment you have made in Him … with interest that compounds continually. The more you trust God, the more He will enable you to do so, and the easier it will be to trust Him during the storms. If you make no investments, don’t be surprised that your account is empty when you need it. Making investments each day is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I know that the only safe investment is in You. I have tried saving money in my own bank for my security but I have lost it all. Help me, Father, to begin trusting You. I see now how my faith and trust in You can grow exponentially. I have seen firsthand that the more I trust You, the more You enable me to trust You. Thank You for this Upward-Spiral. Help me dig into it during the calm days, so this “practice” will pay off during the stormy days. I pray with trust and confidence through my savior Jesus Christ; and all God’s people say – Amen!
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20