Alright, well NOT doing this today with so much on my mind has been a distraction, so I may as well take 30 minutes and get it over with! ;-)
Firstly, I want to start off with my own personal opinion on Shutter Island, solely because I said I would. In a nutshell, I was let down! I think going into the situation knowing the plot and knowing what was going to happen took a lot of pressure off the story-line and put it on the acting. Don't get me wrong, the acting was superb for the most part (Leo annoys me for some reason). I think the great acting saved the movie from being a total flop in my book. It's like you could tell that the movie was based off of a book. It's like the producers/directors were stressed because they had to stick to a storyline and couldn't ad-lib some of their own stuff. I think if they were allowed to deviate off of the storyline just a little that the movie would have flowed just a bit better. I still LOVE the book and suggest it to anyone who has or has not seen the movie. (Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane) I'll stray from giving away any spoilers because this movie has GREAT twists and turns. I give it a 4/5. Not bad.
Okay, onto church :-D I love talking about my church. You know, this is the only church that I have gone to that I look forward to attending every week due to the GREAT messages that P. Craig gives. I haven't had one message be a let-down (I did miss the financial margin message several weeks ago, only one I have missed).
Pastor Craig started with the story of Abram and Sarai (later known as Abraham and Sarah) beginning in Genesis 12 of the Old Testament. The Lord calls on Abram to basically drop everything and trust in His plan for his life. Says that He is going to give Abram lots of children and "make [him] into a great nation." --- So! Abram has this promise from the Lord, that He will provide if Abram trusts him wholeheartedly and sets out on this journey to a place that Abram didn't even know where it was. What trust! Abram grabbed his wife, Sarai, and they took off on only the trust of the Lord. This is where things get interesting...
We Fall Victim to Fear. Because of a severe famine, Abram leaves the land the Lord had chosen for him and goes to Egypt. But before entering Egypt, Abram tells Sarai to pretend that she is his sister so that the people of Egypt will not kill him so they can have her. Instead, with Sarai as his "sister", Abram will "be treated well for [her] sake" and they won't kill him. First mistake. Instead of trusting God to his safety, Abram became fearful and attempted to fool the Egyptians by having his wife deny her marriage to him. The Pharaoh ended up taking Sarai as his wife, found out about her and Abram's lie, got angry and sent Abram and Sarai away from the lands.
We Get Ahead of God. Further down the road, Sarai and Abram are still upset that they haven't had any kids yet. The Lord promised them offspring (back in chapter 1). Sarai gets this crazy idea to have Abram sleep with her maidservant, Hagar, in order to have children. "The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." (Gen 16:1-2) Second mistake! Sarai stepped in front of the plan and the will of God and tried to control her and Abram's destiny. She was tired of waiting on the Lord, so she took control. Wrong decision. Sarai and Hagar ended up hating each other and when Hagar had decided to run away from Sarai, the Lord told her to return and submit to Sarai and he would make her decendents many. Sarai had a boy and named him Ishmael. Ishmael was a "wild donkey of a man" and "he [lived] in hostility towards all his brothers." (Gen 16:12)
We Don't Believe God Will Do It For Us. Fast forward. Abraham (formerly Abram) is 99 years old and Sarah (formerly Sarai) is 90 years old. Sarah had still not borne any children. God comes to Abraham and tells him that He will give him a son by Sarah. Abraham found this amusing. "Abraham fell facedown and he laughed to himself, 'Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?'" (Gen 17:17) God assures Abraham that his son will be born of Sarah and he will name him Issac. Days later when God and Abraham are again speaking of Sarah having a son, Sarah was sneakily listening in. She finds this amusing too! "...Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, 'After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?' Then the Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Gen 18:12-14) Well, in Genesis Chapter 21, Sarah gave birth to her first son, Issac. Just as the Lord has promised.
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's what it all boils down to. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" -- For us believers, the answer is obviously NO! The Lord is the Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End.. All-knowing, All-loving, Merciful, Great.. Like Carr and Carr, he "Knows What To Do." Our Problem is WAITING on the Lord for his answers and TRUSTING that He will provide. Waiting for him to open those doors for us. Trusting that, in us giving him control of situations, He will make the right decisions. It's all in God's timing.
Today's message (as well as every single other of Craig's messages) really spoke to me. I currently am going through something pretty monumental for me. I'm coming up to the end of my schooling and my life is getting ready to change drastically. I am nearly 25 years old and I have never lived on my own. Sure, I've been married. But I depended on him to make the sole paycheck, I lived in his house... I've never done it all my own. After graduation, after my 12 weeks of clinicals, and after I pass my board exam, That's It. I'm a "grown-up". I'll be buying my first house on my own; I will be purchasing my first car on my own; I will be entering a new career, and Cora and I will be entering a new life together. Free. HUGE step. I have been trying to control the outcome of it. You know, figuring out where I'm going to work, where Cora is going to attend school, where I am going to live, and to be honest it's been Stressing me OUT! Craig's message this morning helped me realize what I am doing. That I am stepping in front of God's plan and blessings for my life. And if I'm not careful and I make the decisions and don't let God work, I'll get myself into situations and predicaments I don't want to be in.
My life is FULL of instances where I have made wrong decisions and suffered the consequences of them because I wasn't letting God work and I was "taking control" of my life (so I thought). But THANKFULLY, He still had me. He always does. And He has gotten me back on track once again and I continue to thank Him for the peace and mercy he has been giving me.
There's a poem that I learned a long time ago that relates to this message. Maybe it'll be useful for someone like it has been numerous times for me:
Broken Toys (Let Go and Let God)
As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He is my friend.
But instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
In ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How can you be so slow?!"
"My child," He said, "What could I do?"
"You never did let go."
Aaahhhhhhh.. I feel better now. Off to study for my Rehab exam tomorrow...