TIME OUT WITH LOIS: Not having to be good enough

I am at an age in my life where it is hard for me to remember anything. I walk into the kitchen to get something and when I get there, I can’t remember why I came there. Actually I don’t want to spend much time in my kitchen because my cooking skills are not that great sometimes. He-Who-Takes-Long-Steps brought a sign home from a church missions dinner and hung it in our kitchen. It says, “Welcome to the Promised Land.”

Lois Olmstead

My cooking reputation was permanently shattered when I accidently made gravy out of plaster of Paris. I am sure you could tell about some dumb things you have done also. We could have fun sharing those tales.

You know I believe the Bible is a history of some of the dumb things people did — and also some of the smart things people did. We forget that the people written about in God’s Word were real people. Real people. Just like you and me. They did some smart things and they did some dumb things. It is all recorded in His Word.

Yet sometimes we forget Mary was a real person. Peter and John and Esther were real people just like us — different in the culture and time in which they lived, but people with needs and feelings just like us.

One of my favorites is David. He did some really dumb things. But he did some really smart things, too. He wrote the 23rd Psalm. You know, that one: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”

Well, I grew up wanting ... wanting to be good. I was always trying to be good. You see, being good brought results. People liked you. The teachers liked you. I got good at being good.  However, if you read the next verse, it says, “He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me by the still waters.” As I studied this, I wondered why “He maketh and He leadeth?” I think I figured it out.

It is because we don’t “stoppeth and thinketh.” I was 26 years old when I finally really took time to stop and think, “How do you be good enough for God?”

What if I died, got to heaven, knocked on the door, or whatever you do, and God said, “Oh Lois, I am so sorry. It’s a shame you couldn’t cook. You only missed getting in by one potluck dinner!”

Getting into heaven doesn’t work that way. When the angels came to the shepherds in that field by Bethlehem, they said, “For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Savior who is Jesus Christ, the Lord.

Then I got it. Why would God send His Son to be born in a manger, to die on the cross, and then be raised to life on the third day, as our Savior — if we could do it ourselves? By being good enough? By going to church? By how many potluck dinners? He knew we couldn’t, so He sent Jesus to be our Savior. (John 3:16)

Why am I telling you about this, this week? Because I decided to designate November as my “Lois Thankful Month.” I am thankful I know “The Lord is My Shepherd.” And I am closing this week with a prayer for all of us:

My Prayer: Dear Lord, today you see our efforts and know our hearts. You know how busy we are and how we try to do the right things. But I thank you, God, that you do not measure us on the basis of our being “good enough” but instead by us accepting your gift of forgiveness. You sent your Son to be our Savior. I ask that You draw all readers of these words into your family. In Jesus Name, Amen.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.