Biblical Thoughts from a Christian, Martial Artist, Biker, Homeschool Mom (who graduated all her kids!) Library Studies Student.
I write what God is teaching me; I pray that He will use my devotionals to teach you as well.
Last week we
broke boards in class.I gave an
abbreviated version of this devotional beforehand.As I did, I realized how much I needed to be
reminded of it.
board requires concentration.It
requires focus.But your concentration
and focus are not on the board itself, rather they are on the far side of the
board.A strike that ends at the board
will do nothing.You must go through the
board in order to break it.
the first time I ever broke a board.It
was my 2nd test ever in karate, and I had finally begun to be able
to focus on what I was doing and tune out everything else.I was standing in the gym with Sensei.He was holding the board and as he coached me
my focus narrowed down into a very tight little circle around us.He told me to focus on his chest.Don’t even look at the board, bring my knee
up to his chest.I breathed and
concentrated and focused, brought my knee up with a loud kiai, and heard the
board break.I never even felt it.But there it was, in 2 pieces.I was shocked.
Christian life is like that.We are
surrounded by problems and pain, but to get through those problems we have to
look past them. They will overwhelm us if we focus on the problems themselves,
but if we look past them and focus on God, we will suddenly find ourselves out
on the other side, standing in amazement because we never even felt them come
apart to let us pass.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 -16Therefore
we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are
being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are
achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So
we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is
temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
writing this, and those light and momentary troubles he is talking about were
huge.He was stoned and beaten, arrested
and imprisoned, even shipwrecked.But he
fixed his eyes on God and on eternity, and he made it through.
on your problems, focus on God.One day
those problems will part like a broken board, and you will find yourself
standing in peace on the other side.
As I said, I heard these words coming out of my mouth and
realized God was speaking to me much more than I was speaking to my
students. In just a few weeks’ time I had gone from trusting God in
uncertain times, to physical blessings, to becoming distracted once again by
the trials of the moment.I was staring
at the board, unable to break through it.
reminded in church on Sunday that God has this.He is holding the board, He is holding all my problems.He is holding the schedule, the money, the
time, the divorce, the cars, my kids, the future, every single concern I have,
big and small.I just need to look at
Him instead of the board.
Forgive me Lord.
Be my focus.
Give me the will to wait, to trust, to hope, to obey.
Keep my eyes on You.Because only You can give me this blessing, I cannot manage it on my
A wonderful thing happened a few weeks ago.I realized I was happy with my life and the
direction it was moving.The odd thing
about that was that I had no real idea of where life was going, and at that
point no control of it either.I was
waiting for other people to make decisions.Yet I was happy with whatever the outcome of the future, because I
trusted God with it. For nine months I had been in survival mode, but suddenly I
was excited about the future, whatever it might hold.I don’t know how many years it has been since
I looked forward to the future.Let me
tell you, it felt good to feel alive again. Shortly after that epiphany moment, good things began to
happen.I was unexpectedly promoted to
Yondan (4th degree blackbelt) and given the title of Renshi (expert
teacher).I was unexpectedly given a Shodan
(blackbelt) certificate to teach sword.God blessed me with some financial gifts.I got accepted to Graduate School.I was offered more hours at my high paying
job. I am SO glad God’s timing brought those material blessings after He brought the spiritual
blessing.Being able to trust God in
uncertain times is such a gift.I have
experienced peace and joy and life that have nothing to do with my
circumstances, and everything to do with trusting my Heavenly Father.My certainty has nothing to do with my
control, because I had no control over any of those things.Rather, my certainty is based in God’s
sovereignty, in His control and power and plan for everything that happens to me
- good, bad and otherwise.And because I
trust Him, I can wait for Him.
There seems to be a cycle of trust, peace, hope, wait.That is where I want to stay.That is what I need to carry me through the
difficult times which are always going to come. Can you walk in light through the valley of the shadow of
death? Can you walk in abundance through the wilderness? Can you walk in oasis through the desert?
Only if you carry the light and the abundance and the
oasis inside of you.And I do.
I can wait upon the Lord because:
I have hope in Heaven rather than on earth. I have peace that passes all understanding, peace with
God, no matter what my circumstances are. I trust His Sovereign plan and His Love for me.