November 24, 2013

Blueberry Mango Breakfast

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" - yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-15

Have me read this about 6 years ago, before I met my husband, and it would have sounded so foreign to me. It's telling us to say, "if the Lord wills" or "God willing" when we are talking about our future plans. Every time. Really? I mean, I know that the future is completely in His hands, and we really are just a mist, a vapor, here one moment and gone almost immediately afterward, so He has all the control, and we need to acknowledge that, but... Aren't I going to sound so weird saying "God willing..." in common conversations?

That was my mindset. James 4:13-15 never really impacted me, as you can tell. Then I met my husband and to my surprise he would often say, in Spanish, "if God wills" when talking about plans he had. It just flowed from his mouth so naturally, and it didn't sound weird like I had told myself it would. I began to hear it often from him and his family, and when we visited Mexico I would hear it even more often. They got it, they didn't ever have my "that sounds weird" mindset. They just read these verses and followed them. I noticed this, felt the necessity of applying it to my life, and after being encouraged many times by Eduardo to start to say it, have gotten into the habit.

The risk you take with saying, "God willing" each time you mention your plans, is that you can vainly just blurt it out because it has become, just as a I said, a habit. It loses its meaning, and  you don't even realize you're saying it anymore because of its new habitual significance. Take heart, though. It helps me to think of our Father when I say it, really acknowledge Him then and there that He is in control, He holds my future, His plans are greater than mine. And there is so much comfort in that!

Matthew Henry says, "How much of worldly happiness lies in the promises men make to themselves beforehand. Their heads are full of fine visions, as to what they shall do, and be, and enjoy, in some future time, when they can neither be sure of time nor of any of the advantages they promise themselves;"

"God that wisely left us in the dark concerning future events, and even concerning the duration of life itself. We know not what shall be on the morrow; we may know what we intend to do and to be, but a thousand things may happen to prevent us. We are not sure of life itself, since it is but as a vapour, something in appearance, but nothing solid nor certain, easily scattered and gone. We can fix the hour and minute of the sun’s rising and setting to-morrow, but we cannot fix the certain time of a vapour’s being scattered; such is our life: it appears but for a little time, and then vanisheth away; it vanisheth as to this world, but there is a life that will continue in the other world; and, since this life is so uncertain, it concerns us all to prepare and lay up in store for that to come."

"The apostle, having reproved them for what was amiss, now directs them how to be and do better: "You ought to say it in your hearts at all times, and with your tongues upon proper occasions, especially in your constant prayers and devotions, that if the Lord will give leave, and if he will own and bless you, you have such and such designs to accomplish.’’ This must be said, not in a slight, formal, and customary way, but so as to think what we say, and so as to be reverent and serious in what we say. It is good to express ourselves thus when we have to do with others, but it is indispensably requisite that we should say this to ourselves in all that we go about. Syn Theowith the leave and blessing of God, was used by the Greeks in the beginning of every undertaking. 1. If the Lord will, we shall live. We must remember that our times are not in our own hands, but at the disposal of God; we live as long as God appoints, and in the circumstances God appoints, and therefore must be submissive to him, even as to life itself; and then, 2. If the Lord will, we shall do this or that. All our actions and designs are under the control of Heaven."

(my emphasis added)

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