Tag Archives: life

“Wait For It…”

My wife and I are huge fans of “How I Met Your Mother”. And you just know something funny is coming up when you hear Barney Stinson’s (played by Patrick Neil Harris) line “wait for it…”.

Before I go further into the whole “wait for it…” thing though, I’d like you to consider another well-known saying. Most of you have either said or heard someone say “good things happen to good people”. Have you ever stopped to think about it carefully? Do you really think it’s true? I happen to believe it’s not true. Actually, I really think its one of the most misleading, most insensitive sayings out there!

Think about it for a moment. How many of us know of people who are REALLY GOOD but have had some TERRIBLE THINGS happen to them? Some of our youth who were in Bennetsville this week were able to see this first hand. Most of their stories have to do with how much suffering some people are living through. And these are REALLY GOOD people! I bet some of you right now are thinking about your own situation and wondering what you did to deserve it.

Now back to the title of this post. It’s true that it’s a funny saying, right? What’s not so funny is how true it actually is in life. When all seems to be going well, you can almost hear it… “wait for it…” and surely enough something happens! That’s life. It’s hard. And it has nothing to do with deserving it or not. It has nothing to do with Karma. It’s just the result of a VERY BROKEN WORLD.

Jesus once told his disciples I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He wanted his disciples to understand that following Him and living righteously would not keep them from troubles. It would actually probably worsen their chances!!

Now you might be thinking “well that just sounds hopeless”. But the most important part of what Jesus was teaching is that we need to shift our question from WHAT? – What are the circumstances around me? What am I going to do? What did I do to deserve this? – to WHO? And the answer can only be found in JESUS!

That’s what Jesus wanted His disciples to understand. “…you will have trouble…” but “in me you may have peace“. Do you see now? That’s the reason why so many of those people our youth were serving this past week seemed to have an amazing joy in spite of their circumstances. Many of them simply understand that their circumstances shouldn’t dictate their peace and joy.

When all around us is falling apart, we can only find peace and joy if we only look for it in… “wait for it…”

JESUS

May you find true peace and joy in Him!!

What do you think? Are you going through tough times right now? Do you need to find Peace? Share your thoughts with us.

Blessings,

Paulo Lopes

Youth Ministry Team

When Everything Changes… …again and again

Hey There!

I hope you are having a wonderful 4th of July week. You’ve probably looked at the picture already so let me explain: My wife (Juliana) and I (Paulo) just had our third baby girl! She was born last Friday, her name is Olivia Lara, and she’s beautiful!

I could just keep going on and on about her, but I won’t. I promise. I wanted to show her to you because her birth – and what it means to our family – has inspired me to think about change. I thought I’d share some thoughts with you on the subject.

Do you like change?     Well, if you’re like most people, you like to think that change is good or fun. But really, you despise it. Many of us have dreams of a life full of adventure, spontaneity, surprises, etc. But in reality, we couldn’t possibly handle that kind of life. And most of our routine decisions are proof of this. We take on loans, purchase homes, establish roots, keep the same friends. In short, we make long term commitments non-stop. And on top of all that, we’re all control freaks. All it takes is a flat tire or a dead battery on our smartphones to send us spiraling out of control!

The problem with our aversion to change though, is that it happens… often. And if you’re like me, it makes you anxious, worried, and often powerless.

Jesus, in Matthew’s gospel, said:

25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…  …33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Are you relieved? If not, then you should read it in full by clicking here. It’s meant to give you rest. And it has done so to me for the last 6 years (one day I’ll write more about that). We’ve gone through our fair share of change during this time. More than I thought we could possibly handle. Actually, more than we CAN handle. And as I look back at all we’ve gone through, and what we’re heading for with our third child, I’ve realized that it’s OK.

It’s OK. Just that simple.

You see, we’re not meant for, or built for all the worry. It’s too much for us. All we can do is pretend we control things. So why bother?! God wants you to know that it’s OK. Not because you shouldn’t care, but because He cares more… and better!

The creator of the universe wants to take care of you! Stop and think about that for a minute.

Now that doesn’t make life less challenging. But it does give us hope.

Oh, and by the way… God does not change! And that’s what makes all the change around us less overwhelming. When all else is changing, our God stays the same.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever ” (Hebrews 13:8)

So what are you worrying about these days? Do you have some change going on now that feels out of control? Let us know your thoughts at our comments section. We hope to hear from you!


Blessings, and happy 4th of July.

Paulo Lopes

Youth Ministry Team