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Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Meditation - Philippians 4:13 and the Parable of Canning Sugar

I love technology!  I have figured out how to "schedule" my posts and that makes a world of difference with keeping this blog up, especially these Monday Meditations.  I don't have to wait until Monday to write the post.  I can write it as soon as the "meditation" occurs.

I am reading First Things First: the rules of being a Warner by Kurt and Brenda Warner.  So far, it's a very good read.  I'm already getting some ideas that I want to incorporate into our family and I'm in chapter 4.  What struck me just a moment ago is Brenda Warner's thought on Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  She says "But I've come to understand that just because I can doesn't mean I should."  She also mentioned the Proverbs 31 woman, you know, the one whose worth is above rubies.  As I went to read that, I "accidentally" opened to Ecclesiastes 3 and started reading, not noticing I was on the wrong page.  Do you know what it says?  "To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Do you think it was an accident that I ended up on that page?  It fit in perfectly with what I was "studying" and Brenda Warner's thought.  My thought on Philippians 4:13 is I'm surprised there isn't a footnote to say I can do all things that Christ desires of me through Him which strengtheneth me.  We can't do EVERYTHING.  We often hear the phrase "He won't give us more than we can handle."  We're not required to deal with EVERYTHING at one time.  But we can know that the challenges dealt to us can be handled when we rely on Him because He will provide what we need to handle it.  That doesn't mean we don't cry or feel the weight of those challenges sometimes.  Jesus cried and He was/is without sin so I'm not going to feel guilty about crying myself.  There's nothing wrong with it.

I have another parable from my life to share.  It's the Parable of Canning Sugar.  One day I was at the Church canning some sugar with a sister from another ward and her husband.  I knew that the church cannery said that I could get 6.1 lbs of sugar in each can.  I had 4 lb bags of sugar.  So that meant 3 bags of sugar would go in 2 cans.  I put one bag in each can.  Then took my 3rd bag and started pouring in to each can until I thought it was full.  I would look at the two cans and think there is no way I can get any more sugar into either can but there was still sugar in my bag.  So I would tap my cans to get the sugar to settle and pour a little more in.  And I repeated this until all the sugar was out of the bag.  Amazingly, I went through this exact process many times (I did 12-18 cans of sugar).  And each time I was amazed that all the sugar fit.

I had the thought as I tapped those cans - this is like my life in the Gospel.  Heavenly Father wants me to do this, and this, and this, and this.  I can't do everything but I know I should.  But as I rely on Him, take time to settle my schedule and priorities, like I settled the sugar in the can, then it's amazing the things I can accomplish that He desires me to do.  But it has to be the things He has in plan for me or the sugar spills all over the counter.  And He doesn't have me doing EVERYTHING.  There is a season and a time.

One final thought.  A few years ago, many friends kept inviting me to scrapbook with them.  And I would go and fight and struggle to do the scrapbooking thing. I bought supplies and tools.  It was hard.  It wasn't fun.  My stuff didn't look very good when it was done.  But I kept trying.  Then finally I realized I didn't HAVE to.  Not all of my friends felt the need to knit, crochet, cross-stitch like I do.  Why did I think I HAD to scrapbook.   And I let it go.  Wow!  It was like a major boulder was removed from my back.  It was a reminder of the principle above - I don't have to do everything.  He will let me know what is essential in my life and as I follow that, He will strengtheneth me and I can do all those things!

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