Daily Devotional – 11/29/11 “Why are you giving up so easily?”

When I wake up in the morning, I sometimes forget to thank God for waking me, but he does it still.  I sometimes rush through my day without acknowledging him after he has protected me on my journey, but he does it still.  I sometimes eat without blessing my food, but yet he continues to give me an appetite and food to eat.  When I got bills due and no money and I worry even though I’m not supposed to, he still sees me through.  When folk talk about me and friends walk away and I don’t understand he guides me.  When I don’t give God his due 10%, he still blesses me with a check and money left over even after the bills.  When I’m too mean to acknowledge him, he still acknowledges me.  If God can love us this much, why can’t we love each other half as much? John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

1 Corinthians 13:7 says, Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  So I wonder why we, as Christians, give up so easily when we are supposed to love one another.  You get mad at each other and instead of cooling off for a few minutes, talking and working it out you hold grudges.  If mothers & fathers, sisters & brothers can’t get along with one another, then how can you expect your children to get along?  If all they ever see among you all is fighting, then this is what will happen when they get together. The bible says in James 3:2, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”  Now, I’ve been around for a while and I’ve yet to find a perfect person, so stop thinking that you are.  Yea, I know that you are dealing with a lot of things, but who isn’t?  Talk to somebody, deal with it and get over it.  If your life is miserable, the only person responsible for it is you.  Stop acting like you are the only one that faces trials and tribulations because Job 5:7 says “People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.” But we feel a little bit of heat and we back up.  If you gave up cooking each time you got burned in the kitchen, you’d never eat.  But just like burns, the old skin peels away and new skin grows.  It’s the same way on this Christian journey.  When folk talk about you, lie on you, knock you down, stab you in the back, turn on you and plants evil in your way, they are simply the old skin peeling away. But when the new skin grows back, you’ll barely have a scar to remind you of the pain you’ve just been through.  Even a potter has to put his pot into a hot fire to cure it before he uses it, but it comes out shining like gold.  So, when the heat feels like it’s getting too hot for you, don’t give up because even if you get a little burned, you won’t even be able to tell it when you heal! 

When our children make mistakes, like they all do, we give up so easily.  Yea, she got pregnant at 16 but so did you and nobody gave up on you.  Did you ever take the time to educate her on how hard it was for you being a teenage parent or the correct way to protect herself when she became sexually active?  Did you even notice the change in her attitude, the way she dressed or carried herself?  Have you taken the time to tell her that she is beautiful and worth waiting for or that she needs to place her heart in God in order for the right boy to find her?  Probably not because, remember, you didn’t have time.  You were so busy from the job you work, the church activities and helping other folk that you’re missing out on raising your own children.  You tell her you don’t care where she goes and who she goes with, so guess what, she doesn’t care either.  What else is she to do?  You’ve given her all the free time she needs to get pregnant, a STD or even HIV.  You’d better take the time to care.  Just in case you didn’t know, you not caring only opens the door for somebody else too, the wrong somebody.  Don’t give up on her, but show her the mistake that she has made so that she learns from and won’t make it again. 

You got a son who is 16 years old.  He was a start athlete and honor roll student and heading into his senior year.  Over the summer he started hanging out with a new set of friends. You notice the sagging pants, the new gold necklace on his neck and the new pair of shoes he is rocking, but you don’t say anything.  When you try to talk to him about it, he doesn’t listen so you stop trying.  He comes in a little later week by week, but you shrug it off.  “I tried to talk to him but he won’t listen,” is what you tell yourself and others.  School starts and he doesn’t have an interest in it anymore but again, you’ve tried to talk to him.  He starts skipping school, grades begin to fall and now he is off the football team.  Now, after giving him up, you try to talk to him but it’s too late.  He thought you didn’t care then, so why are you caring now?  You’re tired and frustrated and have tried all you know to do, so you give up again.  Then one late night, you get a knock at the door from police a detective informing you your son was shot by a rival gang a few blocks from your home.  You’re in shock because you never knew he was even in a gang.  You wonder why, because you gave up too easily.  

Yea, I know that you’ve heard the saying that when you’ve done all you know to do you have to take your hands off, but that’s only when you are placing them in God’s hands.  If you were in a boxing match, you couldn’t throw in the towel and then expect a victory.  But when you throw your towel into God’s ring, you are simply tagging him in to finish the battle for you.  So why are you giving up so easy?  The folk on your job said that you’d never get promoted and now you’re the store manager.  Folk in the church said you’d never amount to nothing, now you’re preaching with your own church.  The people in the neighborhood said you wouldn’t amount to nothing because of how you were raised, but now you’re a college graduate with a career.  “Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect. (Romans 12:2)” You wore hand me down clothes growing up, but look at you now.  You got more clothes than days to wear them and more shoes than places to walk.  You didn’t have much growing up but momma and daddy made a way for you and now you are returning the favor by taking care of them when all of the hateful neighbors ended up in nursing homes. 

Isn’t that enough to make you want to hold on?  You may be struggling with some things and it looks like there isn’t a light at the end of your storm but God saysI am the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6),” so keep walking until the storm clears.  Momma is gone and the holidays are approaching but God says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28),” so hold on the tears will soon fade away.  You’ve been asking for confirmation on something but God says “when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind (James 1:6),” so ask like it’s already done.  Don’t be quick to give up on God because he won’t give up on you!

I may not have the strongest back, but I’ll pull you up when you fall.  I may not have all of the answers but I’ll answer when you call.  I may not be rich in the world, but if I got it and you need it, I’ll share.  If you need a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen and arms to hold you, I’ll be right there.  I may not be a perfect Christian because I’m an unfinished work of art so if I do something wrong, charge it to my head and not my heart. But don’t give up on me and I won’t give up on you.  Let’s pray this thing out and allow God to see us through.

Published by Pastor LaKisha

LaKisha Johnson is an author of thirty Christian Fiction novels, devotionals and journals. She writes from her heart, as she hopes the messages, on the pages, will relate to every reader.  Ask her and she’ll tell you, ”It’s not just writing, its ministry.” Over the course of her career, she’s won the 2018 Drunken Druid Book of the Year Award for her book, The Forgotten Wife, 2019 Top Shelf Christian Fiction Book of the Year for Dear God: Hear my Prayer, 2020 Distinguished Authors Guild Award for her book, I’m Not Crazy and was a 2020 TopShelf Women’s Fiction Finalist for her book, When the Vows Break. In addition to being a self-published author, she’s also a wife of 22 years, mother of 2, Asst. Pastor of Macedonia MB Church in Hollywood, MS; Sr. Business Analyst with FedEx, Devotional Blogger and more. She’s a college graduate with 2 Associate Degrees in IT and a Bachelor of Science in Bible.   LaKisha writes from the heart, and this is why she doesn’t take the credit for what God does. If you were to strip away everything, you’d see that Lakisha is simply a woman who boldly, unapologetically and gladly loves and works for God.

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