I heard it said once that it is impossible to blow bubbles and be sad.
I have the cutest (in my humble opinion) grand kids of all time! The two that live closest to me are still so little that blowing bubbles is something they enjoy. They love it when we go outside to the patio and I blow bubbles so that they can try to catch them! We can do this for quite sometime before their attention shifts on to something else. And even when one of them get’s upset, or angry because the other one “took their bubble”, it is only a matter of time before they are giggling and smiling again, chasing those bubbles!
If only life were that simple for us adults right? 1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us to “Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.” For me to have some kind of peace and joy in life, I have to do a little more than simply blow bubbles….or do I?
All through out the word of God, there are calls to draw near to God, to call out to Him, to give Him top priority and time. Psalm 119:11 says “I have stored up Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” The term “stored up” indicates a time of repeated and continual action. It wasn’t a one and done kind of thing. James 4:8 says “draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. The first part is my responsibility. I need to actively participate in drawing near to Him. I need to DO something. And I like the NLT version of Romans 12:2 which says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” God wants to transform us into a new person, by changing the way we think. By giving us an opportunity to see the world the way He does, and by shaping us to be more like His Son, Jesus.
So how do we do that?
By blowing bubbles. “Um, excuse me Shelli…what the heck are you talking about? I’m not following you…” It’s like this. When life gets tough, and it will/is, when decisions are being made that trouble you, when plans go awry and you don’t like where life is headed (either for yourself or someone you care about), and you just don’t know what to do…God is there. And though He doesn’t always change our circumstances, He will change our hearts ABOUT the circumstances. When we actively, and regularly spend time in the word, we learn to blow bubbles.
You see, when my grand kids come to visit, I already have the bubbles on hand. I purchase them on the regular so that we can always have that fun on the patio! I can’t: wait until they get here, wait until they get bored, and then “suddenly” pack them into their car seats, drive the the store, get them out of the car, haul them into the store, wait in line to pay, drive back home and unload, and then come to the patio to play and expect the same result. I need to be ready with those bubbles, they need to be waiting for us a head of time.
The principle is the same when it comes to trials, sadness, bad days, struggles with (fill in the blank) in my life. If you and I are going to have joy through those situations, we have to have the “bubbles” on hand. We have to already be spending time with God, through reading His word, and through giving Him some of our time each day. We can’t draw from that which is not already there! Are you with me now?
If you and I are going to be strong in a storm, if we are to stand victorious and not be torn apart by the often exceedingly difficult and hard things of this life, we have GOT to have a foundation that is strong. This foundation comes through knowing Christ, by knowing Him through the pages of scripture. Not just “knowing about Him” but truly knowing Him. This, my friend, can only happen when we spend time with Him.
We all have relationships with people. There are many different kinds of relationships. Friendships. Marriages. Co workers. Children (sometimes grown ones). But those relationships that are the strongest, are those that we have invested the most time with. The friendships that have stood the test of time. The marriages that have been through the most hardship, but have stayed together. Those relationships didn’t happen effortlessly. They didn’t happen quickly. And they didn’t happen without you putting in the time to make them work. They grew strong because of the time invested. I am blessed to have relationships like this, and let me tell you, they’ve been through the ringer. They been tried and tested. But those people and I, have applied ourselves to what is important. And because of that time, we are still strong.
If we are truly going to enjoy a close walk with God, it is going to take time. We will have to invest in that relationship too. We need to “have the bubbles on hand”, if you will. Let’s be people who let God transform our minds and thinking by spending time with Him. We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, friend.
Can you craft a plan to make that happen? What can you do to implement that time in your schedule? What (often small) changes can you make to free up a bit of time in your day to regularly read your bible? We often don’t start because we think it is going to require more time than we can possibly give. I mean, you’re busy right? I know I am. Life is full of demands on our time, responsibilities scream at us for top priority. Have you heard the term “the crisis of the immediate?” This means that whatever crisis has the loudest voice at the moment, is the one that gets our time. Work, family, spouse, household tasks, on and on the list goes. But we make time for those don’t we? Why then, don’t we give God time regularly? It is generally because He doesn’t scream at us. He waits patiently for us to welcome Him into our day. He never wants to demand our time, but rather, prefers that we desire that relationship. He has the most to give, but He knows that we must desire his love before we can receive it.
You might have heard it his way, “Girl, read your bible”.
So I challenge you right now. Stop, and pray. Ask God to show you where you can freely give that time to His word. Where you can curb something to make that a priority. I guarantee you that He will. In your heart He will show you where that time needs to come from. And I can also promise you that, over time, you will be transformed. Your heart will be made new. And your life will be fuller because you have “bubbles to blow”!