Behaving in Truth

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Yet another LIFE LESSON unfolded as I pulled into the driveway with four-year old Ruby and two-year old Presley behind me in their car seats.

Opening the door beside Presley’s seat, I noticed Ruby standing on the floor beside her. She was calm and not one bit agitated as Presley struggled to get loose and climb out. I commented on her kindness to which she remarked . . .

The Bible says to let others go first.

There it was. Scriptural truth stated and followed without hesitation. In other words . . .

BELIEVING WHAT TRUTH SAYS, AND THEN BEHAVING IN THAT TRUTH!

Okay, let’s bring it on home. Do you believe what Truth says? And if you do, are you behaving as if you believe it?

Example: Jesus plainly states in Matthew 6, Do not worry about your life, and don’t worry about tomorrow. 

Do you believe that Jesus, Son of God stated those words to YOU, His son or daughter? And are YOU behaving as if you believe?

I see three elements needed here, for spiritual victory to Behave in Truth.

Revelation. God by His Spirit living inside of each Believer reveals a truth specifically designed for our circumstance of the moment . . . Do not worry.

Belief. The Believer experiences the revelation, and then accepts it as Truth spoken. . .

Yes, God is telling me not to worry. He’s got this.

Behavior. I then behave as if I truly believe that I have received a message from Him about my circumstance. . . I am joyful about God being in control of my life, and keeping positive – whether my circumstance changes or not.

In other words, I behave by looking like I believe, and talking like I believe. I behave by focusing on scripture and worshiping God. This encourages my belief in Him and what He says. 

The goal is to take every single truth in God’s Word and act upon it without hesitation. His Truths cover. . . emotions, finances, relationships, priorities, goals, and etc. He has SOMETHING to say about every detail of our lives.

As I consider those “earthly things” that have a hold on me right now, I’m seeing Ruby standing quietly, patiently, and joyfully in THE TRUTH – as she BEHAVES accordingly.

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32 HCSB)

Jumping Into Faith

It’s crazy to think that she would even do it, but she did – she really did it!

Three year old Lily laid her eyes on that high-diving-board, and then on her daddy who was in the water below waiting for her to take the plunge. She climbed the ladder, hoofed it to the end of the board – and jumped!

Not one person watching that day would have blamed her for deciding to wait until she was bigger, stronger, and more capable to take that leap. BUT NO! With childlike faith, fortitude, and trust, she focused on her daddy and then jumped straight into His arms.

That’s what I love about children. Their faith is remarkable and the way they trust is inspiring. No wonder we hear these words from Jesus as He embraced them on this earth:

Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.  (Matthew 19:14 NIV)

God wants you to have this kind of faith. Do you? You have to un-do what the world has done to you, becoming like a little child again – trusting, believing, and moving forward . . . 

Are you swimming in discouragement? Jump out of it into your Father’s arms!

Hanging onto guilt? Leave it behind and plunge into His forgiveness!

Do anxiety and worry consume you? There’s safety in taking the plunge of faith into God’s Love and Peace!

I can’t tell you how to do it. I can only say it’s possible because I’ve jumped lots of times. I’ve simply shut down to the world and sprung into my Father’s love.

Now, the world calls it crazy when you hope when life is in shambles. The world understands and in facts encourages retribution and doing whatever it takes to make you feel better. There are worldly answers waiting when you fall into despair and depression. But thankfully we are not of this world. Oh yeah, we live in it, but do not belong to it. There’s a Greater and Higher calling on our life.

I have some things on my mind, and I hear the WORLD shouting. But right now, I’m closing my ears and honing my focus. I’m stirring up faith, fortitude, and trust, for I hear my Daddy saying . . . Jump child, jump!

And during the leap I’m celebrating because I know I’m delighting the Heart of God.

I’m whistling, laughing and jumping (with) joy. I’m singing Your song High God.

(Psalm 9:2 MSG)

God Always Wins

 

 

Last week I took my seven year old grandson Durham, to experience Liberty Mountain in downtown Kings Mountain. This Revolutionary Drama, written by novelist Bob Inman is the story of the strong-willed and resourceful people who settled in the Carolinas – fighting for freedom and independence from Great Britain. Toward the end, as Major Patrick Ferguson and his men prepared to take on the militiamen during the battle that has been cited as the turning point of the American Revolution, Durham leaned in and whispered to me . . .

I know who’s going to win, because God is on their side – and God always wins His battles.

Yep, another poignant reminder from the “mouth of a babe”.  God is on my side, fighting my battles, and He always wins!

Friend, do you sometimes work harder at fighting, than trusting? Oh, I do. And Durham’s insight drew me to a scene that unfolds in Exodus 14.

God in His holy strategy had orchestrated a battle plan for the Israelites that would make Pharaoh think they were confused and an easy prey for capture. They had escaped this king of Egypt and God was certainly on their side. However, as Moses and those in his charge carried out God’s instructions, the Israelites became terrified. In the midst of their God-given advantage, they chose to focus on their circumstances – only seeing the immediate danger of the approaching Egyptian army heading their way. And what did Moses say to them?

The LORD will fight for you. You just keep still. (Exodus 14:14 CEB)

I needed this reminder today; how ‘bout you? Earthly living is a battle. Even at its best, earth-living becomes a battle-ground for body and soul. When I focus on my circumstances instead of focusing on my God, I think I’m going to lose.

But I have a choice. Instead of being consumed and taken under by emotional and mental strain, I can choose to train myself to trust, being still in my God Who has already won the battle!

Here you go, the Holy Reminder put before you . . .

God’s children are going to win. In the end, the victory is ours. God is on our side, and He always ALWAYS wins His battles!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

 (2 Corinthians 2:14 NASB)

MY RUN-TO

This morning as I sat hurting over the pain a loved one was experiencing, the thought came . . . I need to “do something” to get my mind on something else so I won’t hurt so deeply. Then, almost simultaneously I sensed . . . 

Don’t run in another direction to ease your pain, masking your hurt. Run to Me instead. I am your RUN-TO when pain hits.

Immediately I recognized His Voice and knew that running to Him was the only thing I wanted to do.

Have you ever experienced something similar? It’s a human-nature defense strategy to run “somewhere” to ease pain, and get your mind off your suffering. People have run to: food, exercise, shopping, reading, FB and social media, alcohol and drugs, other people, and a variety of other places.

Truth shouted to me this morning, and I pray it will also shout to you.

There’s only one safe place to run with your pain . . . and that place is Jesus!

He’s not only the safest place, but the place where you will find solace, company, and encouragement. On earth, He was 100% God, 100% human. And in that humanity, He knew the depths of pain. And He, with His full knowledge is The One to bring comfort, hope, and restoration to the hurting heart.

Now there’s nothing wrong with “getting up and at it”.  You know - getting busy with the things that must be done, instead of allowing your hurt to swallow you whole and make you lifeless and useless. Plus, a good healthy distraction from your pain will keep you from going under. But we must never let our “run-to” become our crutch for dealing.

By turning first to your Heavenly Father, your hurt and helplessness will find a place to “settle in”. As you and He talk over the situation, you’ll become more centered in His thoughts and His loving care for you. As your Father, He will encourage you and remind you of truths you need to hear. And then as you busy yourself, it won’t be because you are trying to escape – but because you’ve left your heart’s burden with The Capable One, The Perfect One . . . and He is sharing your pain.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NIV)

Father, may Your Heart always be the first place we run when shock, pain, and suffering hit. Kind, loving Lord, please comfort Your children in the way that only You can do. May those who hurt now receive Your love in a fresh way. Amen.

 

Perfect Timing

Years ago I pulled into the PERFECT parking space outside my hotel room. I’d arrived early to my eastern North Carolina destination, in order to put the finishing touches on a seminar presentation for that night at the local community college.

Hours later as I pulled out, I breathed . . . Lord please keep this spot for me.

Approaching the hotel late that night after the seminar was over, I noticed that the parking lot was full to overflowing with cars lined up on both sides of the street. I “heard” somewhere down deep . . . Drive to your space.

Driving toward my room, there right in front of it was the very space I’d pulled out of hours ago. IT WAS VACANT. I remember that moment squealing . . . Jesus, You are so good!

But grander than that saved parking space, were the words I heard from Him as soon as I entered and closed my hotel room door. . . 

There are some difficulties in your life and you are waiting on answers. Your “answer of a parking space” awaits. You can’t see that “empty space” right now, but it’s there with the answers you’re looking for. It’s just taking longer than the twenty minute drive from the college to your hotel room – but THE VACANT SPACE IS THERE. One day – when it’s My timing, you’ll pull in, getting the resolution you desire, and squeal . . . . Oh Jesus, You are so good!

Friends, I have pulled into the parking spaces of those three issues that troubled me that night. Each - at different times, and each - resolved in Jesus . . . His timing and His way.

God hears. God cares. And He knows how and when to meet your needs. Our part is to wait on Him, for He alone knows what’s best. He is faithful to His word, and . . . He is so so good!

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under Heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NASB)

When We Stumble

I have enjoyed watching each of our grandchildren learning to walk. There’s something about the progression, the whole process of step by step and little by little – that gets me pumped.  Two steps . . . seven or eight steps . . . and then gingerly traipsing across the room.

Our #7 Sadie, is just now getting it down, and the spiritual insights are clearer than ever. 

Sadie still stumbles.

And when she does, she hops right up and keeps trying. She doesn’t let falling down along the way distract her from her mission of learning to walk.

Sadie keeps at it when we cheer her on.

The ATTA-GIRL shouts keep her moving and determined to not give up after she falls. 

Sadie keeps her eyes on her daddy.

I’ve watched her look of determination as she wobbles her way right into his arms.

Sadie’s daddy is not distracted when she falls.

His position doesn’t change. In fact His smile gets bigger, and his arms steadier as she makes her way toward him.

My oh my, sometimes I still feel like a spiritual toddler. And once again, my grandchildren are teaching ME!

I still stumble.

Sometimes I stumble over pride, and other times it’s doubt that trips me up. And sometimes I just make wrong choices. Truthfully, I’m not quite as quick as Sadie at recovering from the fall. These distractions – well, keep me distracted! I often take my eyes off my mission of loving Jesus, and place them on my shortcomings. 

I keep at it when I remember there are those cheering me on.

Hebrews 12:1 plainly states . . . Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.

When I remember those in the spiritual realms are cheering me on, I keep at it.

I’m going to keep my eyes on my Daddy.

Keeping my heart and mind focused on Jesus gives me His perspective when distractions threaten to de-rail me…keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith (Hebrews 12:2)

My Daddy is not distracted when I fall.

Living in the truth of Hebrews 13:8 reminds us God loves us the same every moment of every day, no matter what we do, think, or feel.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Stumbling is a part of earthly living. Everything – including we ourselves – will not be perfect until Kingdom living. When we mess up, there’s no need to throw ourselves into spiritual probation. God never does that. But sometimes it feels like I should take a week or two (or longer), beating myself up over mistakes I’ve made. Thankfully, and PRAISE JESUS, there’s no probationary period before God allows me back into His grace. 

So from now on STUMBLING will cause me to remember Sadie’s stumbles and recoveries. I’m going to follow her lead . . . hop right back up, keep my eyes on my Daddy, and walk - NO SPRINT, right into His welcoming arms.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

THANK YOU JESUS!

HIT THE KNEES!

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That’s been the war whoop for more than thirty years, between my friend Micki and me.

Life’s hard and we need praying friends to help us navigate those turbulent waters that the enemy keeps rockin ‘n rollin inside our minds and emotions. Micki and I discovered years ago, that when we issued the battle cry – one to the other, it was a triple onslaught against the enemy, with CHRIST leading us in the skirmish.

Back before texting and facebook – even before cell-phones and computers, Micki and I would leave the HIT THE KNEES alert on each other’s answering machine. If I got caught off guard and needed immediate prayer, I’d call. If she experienced an onslaught of fiery darts, she’d call. We always understood what it meant to HIT THE KNEES on each other’s behalf.

Now, years later, we’re still at it. Today, the cry is delivered usually, through a TEXT. Times have changed, and technology has exploded – but God’s Truth remains unchanged . . . when we HIT THE KNEES, He responds.

It brings a smile thinking about the discussion in a dear ladies Bible study class last week. I’d made the comment as I’d spoken to them earlier . . .

First thing in the morning, somewhere between my bedroom and the kitchen, I drop to my knees.

Now for most of the gals in that class, that KNEE-DROPPING was a real challenge. And, I can truly say that for me, it’s not quite as easy to position myself there as it used to be either. And when I “park there”, it’s also not quite as easy to get up as it used to be.

Ya know what? That’s quite ok! In fact, my Aunt Margaret reminds me that you can bow down in your spirit, while your body is quite upright. (Thank you Aunt Margaret)

So how ‘bout it girls! Are you up for the challenge of grabbin’ a girlfriend, and together tackling ol’ slewfoot as he messes with YOU, God’s child? We live in a day when we need to bolster our support in fighting the distractions and lies of the enemy.

You can do this. You need to do this. We need all the help we can get, so grab a friend and . . . HIT THE KNEES!

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble.

(Hebrews 12:12)

 

The Best Face-lift

 

 

There’s a wonderful way to get noticed that will point others to God. In fact, this way of getting attention is not about you at all, but totally about God drawing others to Himself through you. When it happens, you rarely know it. God just radiates His goodness from within you.

I experienced this firsthand when I met my friend Suzie at the walking track. Having not seen each other for years, we decided to meet up for exercise and chatter. Suzie and I had taught school together and served as musicians in a former church. We were Christian sisters moving along in our earthly callings. While it was great reconnecting with my friend, it was greater than ever seeing what Jesus was doing in her!

As we talked that day, I was stunned by His presence. The Suzie I had known, always beautiful and charming – was now radiant in a new way. There was nothing wrong with the former Suzie that I knew of, but the new Suzie was so touched and transformed that she seemed to be a different person. By her own admission, she had fallen in love with Jesus, selling out to Him and allowing Him to replace “her hardness” with His gentleness, “her cynicism” with His joy.

Listen friend; if you want to spread God’s glory to family and friends, you can do it – by spending more time with Him. When my boys were young, they helped me make sure I spent plenty of time alone with God. They discovered that after being with Him, I was more patient, kind, and understanding. What was good for me was also good for my family, you see.

Time spent with Jesus erases the “hardness” of guilt, shame and worry. Time with Him softens your words and calms your interaction with others. He replaces the rough places in your personality with the gentle authority of His presence.

And . . . something happens in your face. I do not fully understand it, but I have seen it, and I know it to be true. God’s glory is the best face-lift ever!

Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.

(Psalm 34:5 HCSB)

 

THE WAY HE LOVES

Ezra is smitten with his sister, Sadie.

The love fascination began the day she was born a year ago, and has never diminished, nor grown stale – not even for a moment.

Everyday, Ezra’s agenda includes Sadie things. Although he has a busy day of five-year old boy activities, he always finds a way to make time with her a priority. He enjoys making her giggle and encouraging her as she learns to walk and talk.

Recently before going to bed, he snagged his pillow, blanket, and favorite stuffed animals. This little guy was on a mission to nestle down for the night beside his baby sister’s crib.

The word to the rest of the family as he crept into her room that night was . . .

I want to be the first person she sees when she wakes up in the morning.

Thanks God, for giving us modern day parables. This one is all about how The Father loves His child.

His love fascination began way before you were born, and has never diminished, nor grown stale – not even for a moment. His God-Agenda, though full, always includes you. He enjoys delighting your heart and filling your mind with encouragement as you learn to walk and talk with Him.

And yes . . . He longs to be The First One you see when you awaken each morning.

My Friend, this is what EASTER is all about. God loving us so much that He sent His Son to be the Ultimate and Finale Sacrifice for our sin that keeps us separated from Him. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has opened the way for us to live in relationship with God, as His child. There’s no greater way He can love us.

And, there’s no greater way you can love Him, than to accept His Love.

Oh Heavenly Father, will You open my eyes to see how much You love me? Will You help me get over my short-sighted self of “me things” and show me how to rest in Your love this day. There’s nothing more empowering, freeing, and overwhelming than to know Your love! Thank You for loving me with Jesus. Loving You back, Me – Your child.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1 NIV)

 

All Done Trying

My son and grand-children were visiting last week. One morning as I was putting away dishes and Brandon was working on a project at the kitchen table, grandson Charlie was caught up in a mad frenzy trying to snag something off the top of the fridge.

With the height of a six-year old, he just couldn’t quite master the challenge. I watched amused, as he jumped as high as he could, threw a towel, and swished a broom – trying to capture his prize. Finally in exasperation he said . . .

Daddy can you tell me how to figure this out?

The response to Charlie . . .

Well, you can go get that stool . . . or you can just ask your daddy for help.

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DROP THE DISHES!   You see, I’m always looking for spiritual lessons in the middle of practical living. And this one shouted so loudly, it caught me off guard.

How many times do I work myself into a frenzy trying to . . . figure, reason, explain, justify, solve, fix, worry it through, and make things right? Trying as hard as I can – never lands me anywhere except in a tizzy of exhaustion and discouragement. I eventually come around, but why does it continue to take me so long to ask my Daddy for help?

There are some “things on top of my fridge” right now; some things I’m desperately trying to figure out and fix. I’ve jumped as high as I can, thrown the towel, and swished the broom. My Father in all His compassion, has allowed me to try to do it myself. He’s watched in love (for He knows my heart), as I’ve taken hold of my inner resources trying to resolve the situations that are keeping me agitated.

 And still . . .

He allows me to either go get the stool or ask Him for help. That’s His way, you see. He never forces me to take what is available to me, His child. He allows ME to make the choice, and when I choose HIM, He rushes to help!

Well I’m done with trying. I’ve decided to skip that “get the stool” step, and go straight to my Father, Who alone is the Answer to the agitations I’m experiencing. And now as I make that choice, I’m experiencing His Peace.  I don’t know how He’ll answer – but I know He will!

 . . .But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.

(God’s words to Paul & to us – 2 Corinthians 12:9 TLB)

LISTEN FOR GOD'S VOICE

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

I went to bed last night with this verse on my lips and in my head. Truth is, I’ve considered this promise from God many times during the past weeks. There’s a particular decision I’m poised to make, but I’m not hearing the GO AHEAD from my Father. Last night in that semi-conscious place between wake and sleep, I realized something significant. Each time I rolled over, I said . . .

I’m turning to the right, and I’m peaceful. I’m turning to the left, and I’m peaceful.

Now I don’t know how many times I shifted and turned during the night. I also don’t know if I spoke the words aloud, but they certainly shouted loud inside my heart.

But God had more . .

Later in the morning I got His message loud and clear!

You haven’t heard my voice yet because it is not yet time to make the decision. When that time comes you’ll clearly hear . . . This is the way; walk in it.

I smiled with a burden lifted. My part is to be still and peaceful. When the time comes to move, He’ll speak and I WILL hear His voice.

FAITH THAT AMAZES

I love reading words spoken by Jesus. For me, it’s a worship experience, imagining being there in His earthly presence and hearing Him speak. I often think about watching His expressions and body language as He interacted with those around Him. Oh, how I would have loved standing close to the physical Jesus and hearing The Voice that certainly spoke with such gentle authority.

Matthew 8 records an encounter between Jesus and an officer in the Roman army. Jesus had been on the mountain teaching. As He came down, crowds began to follow Him. Probably anyone in the crowd that day was surprised as the centurion (who was also Gentile) approached Jesus. While others surely considered him unworthy, Jesus responded with compassion.

Have YOU ever felt unworthy to approach Jesus? Unworthy because of incompetence, faithlessness, or sin? I have. And I’m humbly thankful to know that the compassion of Jesus is not reserved for a select few, but for everyone – even me. The HOPE He gives is based on His Worthiness, not ours.

Try to capture the scene unfolding as you read the following passage.

Now when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

(Matthew 8:5-10 NKJV)

When Jesus heard it, He marveled. Some other translations say, He was amazed.

I long to have the kind of faith that amazes God.

In fact, I’m becoming more and more caught up in that longing. I trust Him, and I want Him to know it! Even though I have a particular answer in mind, I want Him to marvel when I faithfully trust His response – even before I know what it is.

And, I’m noticing that the longing to please Him is - gradually - surpassing the longing to have my prayer answered my way . . .

Wow, how did He do that!?

For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ which ascends to God . . . (2 Corinthians 2:15 AMP)

Together In Faith,

 

 

 

Is Life More Than You Can Handle?

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Have YOU ever said . . . Well I KNOW God won’t give me more than I can handle.

If you have, I’m pretty sure it’s because you think that line is in the Bible.

But guess what . . . It’s not!

Truth is, God WILL give you more than you can handle - and all because He wants you to stop the handling, and let Him take over.

The thought of God not giving us any more than we can manage actually comes from a verse about temptation.

 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1Corinthians 10:13)

Reading this verse in context will help you understand that it’s referring to falling into sin like Israel did. It’s about temptation not overtaking us because God will always provide a way of escape.

So what about these times when we experience the crushing weight of stress and pressure – when we feel we can’t take ONE MORE THING or we’ll explode?

Well, check out Paul’s later writing.

We do not want you to be uninformed … about the troubles we experienced …We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God…He has delivered us…and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us. (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

Are you going through things far beyond your ability to endure?

If so, God is bringing you to the place of relying on Him, and not yourself.

All through the Bible you can read how God took His people through situations that were humanly impossible to overcome. And God’s power always showed up! And we can be assured of the same.

Years ago, reading from The Message paraphrase, I etched the words of Jesus from Matthew 5:3 into my heart. It has brought me much comfort and security during those times when I think I can’t handle ONE MORE THING.

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.

Take heart my friend. When life’s too much, God is more than enough!

ON HOLD

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I’ve dealt with bouts of physical pain throughout the years. Jaws, neck, and knees with their respective surgeries have each given me practice and NEW FOCUS into dealing with pain.

During each of those seasons I discovered that “pressing into the pain” actually became the catalyst to jumpstart relief. It may work differently for others, but as I sunk into the agony and allowed myself to experience it at its worst, I soon realized there was nowhere to go except UP! It’s as if I allowed myself to rebound off the bottom and hold on to the hope that freedom from pain would eventually be realized.

I’ve transferred this practice to my seasons of WAITING.

For most people waiting is difficult, and depending upon its duration, it can be sheer agony. We live in a fast paced world that values quick decision making and speedy resolution to problems. In short . . .

We don’t know how to wait, and we simply don’t see the value of it.

But God does!

He uses waiting to slow us down, humble us, and teach us how to depend upon Him.

So what’s my WAITING M.O.?

I sink into the pain of it, all the while talking to God and describing every ounce of my angst. I welcome His quick answer, but lean into what I know He’s trying to teach me during the process of waiting on Him.

As my friend Pam commented yesterday…

The very process of waiting means there’s an outcome, a light at the end of the tunnel!

And Friend when you belong to God, that “light of an outcome” is His promise for you.

Can you trust Him enough to value the waiting time? Can you simply rebound off the angst of the unknown, allowing Him to lift you into His certainty of your future in Him?

Let’s do it together, just like the psalmist . . .

 I wait patiently for the LORD, my soul expectantly waits, and in His word do I hope. (Psalm 130:5 Amplified Bible)

And AMEN to that!

 

 

GOD UNDERSTANDS

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During my times of suffering it brings me great encouragement to know that God understands and cares. Jesus Who was fully God, was also fully human. And as a human He suffered.

I know that’s true because of His outpouring on the night before His crucifixion. In His weak human nature which He willingly took on for our sake, His soul was in anguish. When His hour of betrayal was at hand, He cried out to the Father . . .

My soul is swallowed up in sorrow – to the point of death. (Mark 14:34 HCSB)

At that moment He was weak, fearful, and longing for the company of those closest to Him. He was not ashamed to express the suffering He felt openly, to those He loved.

What comfort this brings to me during those moments when I can’t seem to pull myself up by my spiritual bootstraps. And when I feel less than cheerful about bearing up under the weight of adversity, I know He gets it.

So when I hurt, I fall into the hurt. And then, I move straightforward into rest of the prayer of my Lord . . .

Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will. (Mark 14:36 HCSB)

For the glory of His name, may we patiently endure seasons of suffering. May we remember He understands, for He’s been there. May we not discount the fact that He is allowing this particular heartache, and will see us through. 

Finally, may we never yield to despair but joyfully align ourselves with His perfect will.

Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 CEB)

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SILENT SUFFERING

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Have you ever had the kind of hurt that burrows way down to the deepest part of your soul, and then just sits there? It’s a silent type of suffering - one that hurts more perhaps, than the ones known to others. It’s silent because you just don’t feel you can share it. If you did, you’d be exposing yourself. Then your issue would become more a topic of gossip fodder perhaps, than one leading to prayerful outreach from others.

I believe that silent suffering is the suffering closest to God’s heart. For it’s during those deep moments of anguish that the soul is poised to tap into His mercy and grace.

When nobody cares, He does.

When there’s nowhere to turn, He’s there.

When no one else knows, He’s over every detail.

This morning as I read through The Beatitudes in Matthew 5, I was struck with that place of silent suffering. And I realized that Jesus gets it. He gets every morsel of the angst, sadness, remorse, confusion, and unsettling emotions of the suffering place, however it looks in your life. My epiphany came at the moment I realized that at the beginning of every low place . . . is the blessed place!

Blessed are the poor in spirit.

Blessed are those who mourn.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing right.

Blessed are you when people insult you because you follow Me.

Friend, take a moment and realize that Jesus is with you in the middle of your suffering. Draw near to Him, allowing His comfort to touch your heart and ease your pain.

He know. He cares. He blesses . . . as you turn to Him.

“The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.” - (Psalm 34:18 HCSB)

 

JOY CHALLENGE; BRING IT ON!

JOY CHALLENGE; BRING IT ON!

I’ve thought a lot about joy lately, how to share it and how to keep it stirred up inside of me. Thinking about bringing joy to God has encouraged me to behave in ways I know would please Him. I love a challenge, and especially one that makes me a better person.

I also love TEAMWORK. That’s why I’m tossing this challenge right back to YOU. Below you’ll find the steps for joining in. I hope you’ll embrace this little summons to joy, allowing it to attack some negative thinking (at least for a day, maybe longer).

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