Finding God: Who Gets Credit?

By Janet Perez Eckles:

When your accomplishments get you far, who gets credit? Yourself — or God?

trophy by digitalart freedigitalphotos dot net

I took my two-year-old granddaughter by the hand and headed to the kitchen. “Okay, sweet angel, you and Nana will make pancakes together.”

The process was a bit messy, especially for me, her blind Nana. My granddaughter struggled to open the box of mix and crack the eggs. With a blend of patience and anticipation, I guided her hand as she “helped” me. But…sigh… I couldn’t see just how much mix poured in the bowl, nor did I know how much liquid was spilling on the counter. But we giggled, I praised her, we stirred and had a ball.

In the end she squealed, “I made it myself!”

You and I are the same, aren’t we? We are fooled into thinking we did it all. We go through life, sweating through each task before us. We squirm through tests to clutch that degree that will land the job of all jobs. We try harder and harder to secure that position that will come with benefits of comfort, opulence…or work night and day just to make the mortgage. We even plunge into ministries to prove we can serve God with talents that ooze from us.

No matter what we tackle, in the end we sit tall, with a grin that drips with satisfaction and the thought plays, “I did it myself!”

We do it all the time and so did the Israelites. They probably stared with contentment at the land they conquered, the armies they defeated, and the triumph they carried home.

But maybe one day, when David rested in his royal, red velvet chair, wisdom filtered through. And as he remembered the celebration that left his men dancing in the dirt streets, he might have shaken his head as he thought:

“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; [Lord] it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them” (Psalm 44:3).

Goodness gracious, it’s not us, our efforts, our working late hours or knowledge that makes it happen. It’s God’s power in us, His guidance that is silent yet powerful, His provision, abundant and constant that will ultimately bring results.

Are you breathing a bit of relief? I am—no more fretting about what will turn out or not, what will succeed or fail, or even what will bring prosperity or not. God is the one in control and He’s the one who will orchestrate the steps so we can follow with peace in our hearts, security in our soul and confidence in Him. Why? Because He loves us like He loved those sometimes-proud and sometimes-wild Israelites.

Pray with me:

Father, how reassuring it is to know it’s not my work that will bring about contentment and satisfaction. But it’s you who holds on to me through each stage of life who will bring great outcome. Show me how to let go and rest in your ability to accomplish what I cannot on my own. In Jesus name I pray.

What do you think?

– When do tasks seem too much for you?

– How can you trust more in God’s power and less in your own?

– What happens when you exclude God’s input and guidance in a task you work on?

©Janet Perez Eckles.  Although blind, author and speaker Janet Perez Eckles has been inspiring thousands to see the best in life. Her mission is to ignite in you a passion to overcome and reach success and excellence. Janet’s most recent book is Hola Happiness: Finding Joy by Dancing to the Melody of God’s Word. You can find Janet and her Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channel links at: www.janetperezeckles.com.

See this neat YouTube video on how one athlete gave credit to God:

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After the Loss of a Child: “How Many Children Do You Have?”

By Janet Perez Eckles:

After the terrible loss of a child, how does one answer questions like that, or cope with the now empty chair at the dinner table?

 

loss of a child, empty plate, empty chair

Image: imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Years ago, I sat at a table during a church gathering. A woman I just met turned to me. “And how many children do you have?”

Why was that a hard question? Why did that notion and that reminder still hurt?

The fact my youngest son was brutally killed years ago seared each time I had to answer, “Well, I have three sons. Two on earth and one in heaven.”

Times when I thought the wound began to form a scab, a reminder scratched it off again.

One that stung mercilessly was when I called my employer to have my son’s name removed from the insurance policy. I could hardly talk. The removal from the policy was such a painful reminder of the fact he was removed from our lives—so suddenly, so permanently.

All was permanent–the empty chair at the dinner table, his empty stocking at Christmas and his empty room upstairs—all reminders that echoed pain over and over again.

Oh, I could understand how one can even wonder how to I commit suicide to end the pain. Or, defeated by heartache, sink in hopelessness and gloom.

But before I reached that point, between the black  clouds of frequent reminders, the sun shined with the most unexpected yet powerful reminder from Jesus words, from his reassuring promise and His solid conviction:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-2

And it’s that place where my son now resides.

That is the place where his Christmas stocking is hung. No more dark reminders. Instead, I cling to the constant reminder that he’s indeed in the Father’s house, the place Jesus prepared, decorated with His love and painted with His  permanent protection.

Yes, I have two sons on earth. And one, rejoicing, relishing in the house that compares to none. He lives. And that reminder brings joy right back, places peace again, and in my heart, spreads comfort once more.

©Janet Perez Eckles.  Although blind, author and speaker Janet Perez Eckles has been inspiring thousands to see the best in life. Her mission is to ignite in you a passion to overcome and reach success and excellence. Janet’s most recent book is Hola Happiness: Finding Joy by Dancing to the Melody of God’s Word. You can find Janet and her Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channel links at: www.janetperezeckles.com.

Here’s an inspiring video about how one child’s death inspired a pay-it-forward movement of compassion. Grab a hanky, but be sure to watch to the very end.

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How Do I Find God, Even in Blindness? Janet Perez Eckles

by Janet Perez Eckles:

Do you wonder ‘ how do I find God?’ even in difficult situations? Here’s how Janet did, despite her despair over going blind from retinal disease.
And don’t forget to watch the video below: it’s easy to forget Janet is blind, while watching her demonstrate cooking tips!

 

Image Courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I stood at the window in my bedroom, tears flowing. Only weeks prior, I could see the outlines of trees and the faint frame of people walking. But now I saw nothing. My sorrow of losing my sight to a retinal disease at 31 years of age matched the darkness of my heart.

 So unfair. So sudden. So devastating. My life turned upside down and my heartache grew, and then remained.

Weeks dragged by, months came and went. But one day, while seated in church, my spiritual eyes opened. I heard God’s message in Matthew 6:33 to seek Him first—not my eyesight, not to be normal again—but seek Him above all.

I began seeking His Word. With headset on, I listened to the Bible, soaking in His Word and living His promises. They soon sparked a bright shimmer of hope into my world.

He brought hope back and much more: ways to care for my three little boys, the cleaning, and the cooking. Then, He brought me a voice synthesizer to operate my computer. But learning the skill to operate it equaled the challenge to master the writing craft.

“Lord, you’ll have to guide me,” I pleaded as I slipped my hand in His. My limitations then turned to opportunities, and my insecurity to confidence in Him. My heart beat faster with a desire to shout what God had done for me. I wanted to show how He had turned my pain and darkness to peace and light. A desire to inspire others danced in my soul.

My fingers skipped on the keyboard, and I paused only to wipe tears when relating details of my pain. Then I continued to string words. They described how God brought victory and triumph when my world tossed in the midst of enormous storms: my sudden blindness, the tragic loss of my youngest son, the pain of infidelity and financial devastation.

But, still faithful, God opened doors I’d never imagined: my articles published in local, regional and national magazines, 17 anthology books featured my stories as well as in 23 Chicken Soup for the Soul titles and Guideposts Magazine. A #1 best-selling book and a speaking ministry across the country.

The path was clear. And losing my sight also sharpened my memory. I remembered the rough terrain the Lord had carried me through. I remember His whisper to never give up because He’d be by my side. I recalled His loving nudge when faced with limitations.

I remember people in the Bible—flawed, insecure and timid—yet God signaled them to move forward.

I do remember His direction when, with clammy hands, I hesitated not knowing which way to turn. Yet he ushered me through obstacles and hurdles never too big for Him.

Now I sit with the melody of joy playing in my soul. And delighting in the details, the scenery is more beautiful and more colorful when looking through the window of His Love.

©Janet Perez Eckles. Although blind, Janet (www.janetperezeckles.com) has inspired thousands to see the best in life. She is an international speaker, writer and best-selling author of Simply Salsa: Dancing without Fear at God’s Fiesta, Judson Press 2011. She loves to salsa, cruise to the Caribbean and play with her grandchildren.

Enjoy this video of Janet, originally from Bolivia, demonstrating cooking tips before she shares her story. Shall we now call her a blind chef, in addition to author and speaker?

Do you also wonder, ‘How do I find God?’, yet you are struggling in a different way? See more articles here at Finding God Daily under our Difficulties category (click link or use our Search box for topics) or visit GodTest.com.

 

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