Preparation

When I was in high school, one of the classes we needed in order to graduate was a typing course. None of us really knew why we were forced to take a typing course—what good was it? How often would we have to use a typewriter?

A few years later, PCs became popular and the keyboard for the computer was the same as the typewriter. Since I had to take the typing course, using the keyboard was not an issue for me.

I tried out for every sport in my school during my senior year. One of the sports I participated in was cross country. I had never ran before but being on the team helped me to slowly run up to six miles.

A few months after I graduated, I enlisted in the Army National Guard. The running I did in high school helped me during basic training.

When my husband and I were deciding on where to get married, we had no idea that his parent’s suggestion to get married at their church would result in us becoming Christians. Now my husband is a senior pastor and we both teach at Christian colleges.

We never know what will happen in the future, but many times God is preparing us for it. Even when we go through bad situations, it is to prepare us to help others who will experience the same or similar things (2 Cor 1:3-4).

Life would be much easier if we could know everything that will happen to us in the future, but then we wouldn’t need to rely on God.

I don’t know God’s future plan for me, but I know that I need to trust Him. I need to continue to have faith, and I need to seek His face.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

“Little things”

I’ve spent the last couple of days painting my living room. I’ve wanted to paint it for a few years, but I couldn’t decide what color to use. While we were at a hardware store, I saw a can of paint on the clearance rack. The paint is usually $30, but since it was a “mis-tint,” I was able to buy it for $8. I estimated that I would need two cans of paint because I would have to use two coats of paint. I am almost finished painting and I still have a little paint left from the $8 can (I never opened the other can of paint).

After painting, I read my Bible. The reading for tonight was on John 21— Jesus showed up on shore after the disciples had fished all night but caught nothing. They had no idea who He was. He told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat and when they did, they had so much fish that they could hardly bring it back to shore. I kind of feel that way about my paint—I had so much from that one can!

Is it silly for me to think that God guided my paint purchase? I don’t think so. Why couldn’t God be in the “little things” we do in life? Catching fish isn’t such an important task, yet God told the disciples where to cast their net.  When I see positive outcomes in the “little things” of my life, I realize that it’s God reminding me that He’s there—He’s still taking care of me. Second Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful” (NLT).

I love the color of my living room now— it feels warm and friendly. I want to have a home Bible study now. Perhaps that was God’s plan all along.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

What can I do when I am discouraged?

I’ve been very discouraged for the past few days. It has made me question many things about me and my abilities. I’ve been discouraged before, but it seems like it is worse now than it’s ever been before. I am almost discouraged from reading God’s Word, but that’s how the devil would like for me to react.

I thought about some of the ways I can combat discouragement:

  1. I need to run to God— “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10)
  2. I need to read His Word even more— “…the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Romans 15:4)
  3. I need to be strong— “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you…” (Isaiah 41:10)
  4. I need to stay focused—“…after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10)
  5. I need to remember that everything that happens is part of God’s plan—“…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28)

Even though I am still very much discouraged, I feel hopeful after reading these Scripture verses. I need to keep pressing forward despite feeling discouraged. I know deep in my heart that God will take care of me, but my present circumstances seem to cloud everything.

I know that He wants what is best for me and I know that He will not lead me in the wrong direction (“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you”—Psalm 32:8). I have to hold onto the promise in Deuteronomy 31:8, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

God, after reading these Scripture verses, I know that I just have to trust in You.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

The ultimate plan

When I was in high school, I thought about becoming either a psychologist or a lawyer. To see which I really preferred, I took a psych class one semester then a “Law and You” class the following semester—I liked both but was leaning more towards being a psychologist. I thought I had everything planned out, but things didn’t go the way I imagined it would. I went a different direction— signing up for the Army National Guard, meeting my future husband, then getting married/having kids.  

Sometimes we experience detours in our lives—they are unplanned and often unforeseen but in the whole scheme of life they were part of the ultimate plan. Even though I had plans of what I would be “when I grew up,” I realize now that I really had no control over my future— this made me think about James 4:13-14:

“Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (NLT).

Some people in my position would be a little disappointed that things didn’t go the way they planned, but it was during the pre-marital counseling session where I heard about what Jesus did for me—dying in my place on the cross so that God could forgive me of my sins.

I didn’t become a psychologist or a lawyer, but I became something much better—a follower of Christ. Acts 17:27-28 tells us, “His purpose was for [people] to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist…” (NLT).

Your life may not be what you had hoped it would be, but perhaps it is God that has changed your path. Seek Him and find out His ultimate plan for you!

 Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti