Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 189- A Jesus Loves You First

I had an idea this afternoon for a "first."  I tried pretty hard to pull it off but I failed. Perhaps that will work out another day for a "first."  I took Hannah Grace to swimming practice and had an idea or two mentioned to me there that may work out another day, but it just didn't seem like the right day for it (or perhaps I wimped out).  After swim practice, I had to go to the store for milk.  While I was checking out, I asked the cashier if anyone had told her today that Jesus loved her.  That was my "first."

I have said things to cashiers before like "God bless you" or "Have a blessed day." I have invited them to church before.  I don't remember asking a cashier if anyone had told them today that Jesus loved them.  She surprised me by saying yes.  I said, "Really, someone else told you that Jesus loves you? I thought I would be first to say Jesus loves you."  Then she said that actually nobody had said Jesus loved her but they had said "bless you" to her.  So, she had some nice words said to her, but I was the first to tell her that Jesus loved her today.  When she said that nobody had actually said that to her, I said, "Well, I'll be the first. Jesus loves you."  She then said that her cash register was acting up and she did not know why. She then began to tell me about that. That sort of ended the spiritual part of the conversation.

Hannah Grace's craft that she made in school this year.

Who knew getting milk would be a setting for a "first."

Faces that say, "I'm glad Jesus loves me."

Today's "first" reminded me of the importance of perseverance.  My initial "first" didn't work out and that sort of bummed me a little.  Then, it was getting late and I could not come up with a "first" that  seemed right for today.  It was tempting to just write about a "first" that didn't work.  I really did not want to do that.  I'm glad I did not give up.  That has been true of so many things in my life.  Quitting is not a good feeling about anything.  Some things in life are really hard and they are sometimes the things we are most glad we did not quit.  One of the hardest things I've done physically was run a marathon. It was really hard around mile 24 and it would have been so easy to quit. I'm so glad I didn't.  When people talk about marathons I have a fun story to tell. It's a lot better than "I started a marathon one time but I quit."  There are other things much more important like forgiving people, hanging in there with hard friendships, tough times on mission trips, and spiritual habits like time alone with the Lord, sharing our faith, etc.  Those things can be hard.  There is going to be a story one day to tell about those things.  The story of "That was really hard but I'm so glad I did it" is such a better story than "It was hard so I quit." That is especially true of things that have eternal significance like your relationship with God, relationships with your family, and helping others come to a real and genuine relationship with God. Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Not quitting on the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Grocery stores
2. God has not quit on me (or you)
3. Max Lucado's book on grace

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