Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jesus Wasn't There

John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

John chapter 11 is about the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This was probably one of, if not the most, amazing miracles Jesus did. Jesus knew that Lazarus was sick, but in verse 4, he says that this sickness was "for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." Whatever happened in this situation, it was all meant to bring glory to God. What caught my attention this morning was that Jesus says in verse 15 (above) that he was glad hewasn't there. 

How many times have I felt like Jesus wasn't around? How often have I felt forsaken, abandoned and utterly alone? Sometimes, it's just my flare for the dramatic. Other times, it could be that Jesus "isn't there" in a visible, powerful way because He has a greater purpose to accomplish than just rescuing me - He could be working in me, to bring glory to God.

Lazarus had been dead four days when Jesus arrived. I'm sure all hope was lost of his healing by that time. In fact, I'm pretty sure all hope was lost the moment he breathed his last breath.In verse 40, Jesus says to Martha, "Said not I unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" Believe. That's hard to do when one has no hope, isn't it? Yet, that is exactly what we should do. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Forgetfulness and Fruitfulness

Genesis 41:51-52 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And name of the second he called Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

Joseph had been done many wrongs in his young life. His brothers threw him in a pit, then pulled him up just to sell him into slavery. As a slave, he was falsely accused of trying to rape Potiphar's wife and then sent to prison. In prison, he interpreted dreams for Pharaoh's butler and baker, and was forgotten by the butler. Finally, in God's perfect plan and timing, Joseph was brought out of prison to interpret a dream for Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh was so impressed, that he made Joseph second in command. 

When his wife had their first child, Joseph gives us a peek into his emotions regarding the pain he suffered.He names his children Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh means "forgetting". But notice that Joseph didn't just "forget", no, God made him to forget. Have you noticed that if you stop re-playing past hurts over and over, that eventually you forget? It's like our brains sort of block the memory. It's happened to me, I've tried to recall some hurt from long ago, but can't quite remember. Some hurts, however, are still fresh even after years have passed. Why is that? Because some things, you just can't forget. That's when God will have to step in and "make" us to forget.

Ephraim means "fruitful". I think everyone wants to be fruitful. We want enough money, good health, popularity, and so forth. But, how can one ever be successful as a slave in a foreign country? Only God can do something like that; only our Heavenly Father can turn dire circumstances into opportunities to flourish. But we have to let Him do that. We must acknowledge Him all that we do. (Prov.3:6) We must trust Him for the grace to keep going.(2 Cor.12:9) We must also forget before we can be fruitful. Notice that's the order Joseph named his boys- forget, then you can be fruitful, unencumbered by the pain of the past.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Because of Jesus

Genesis 39:5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and overall that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

As I read this verse, I noticed that God blessed the lost world because of Joseph. Joseph followed God and trusted Him, even though he was hated (for no good reason) and falsely accused of a wrong doing. I'm not sure if Joseph was aware that God was blessing Potiphar because of him or not. Because you honor God in your life, you may have no idea how God is blessing those around you, because of your testimony. One blessing that a lost person receives because of you, is that you are saved. You have the ability to share with them how they, too, can meet the Master. What a life changing effect you can have! I pray that we  all get the opportunity to share Christ with someone this week. Wouldn't it be great to see someone birthed into God's family because of our witness? 

But not only that, I believe Joseph is a picture of Jesus here. How unworthy I am to receive blessings from my Heavenly Father! I would receive none at all were it not for Jesus' righteousness being imputed upon me! When God looks at me, He sees Jesus, and He treats me as such. He has a place in Heaven prepared for me; I can converse with Him at any time, day or night; I hear His voice through the pages of His Word; I feel His correction and experience His forgiveness and mercy and comfort. The list could go on and on! I daily receive multitudes of blessings because of Jesus. And I'm so very grateful!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Painful Words, Painful Wounds

Proverbs 26:22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

I completely understand this verse. For the past year, maybe a bit more than that, we've been dealing with talebearers. In modern lingo: Liars! Their lies have been spread around so much that there's no way to tell with whom it originated. And it hurts. Deeply. I have struggled with my flesh, wanting to right the wrongs, to defend myself, to tell them off! Then, the Lord says to me, "Whoa, girl! Think about that! You'd be just like they are; you'd be stooping to their level." My flesh says, "Oh yay! That will feel so good! Let's do it!" Then the Lord says, "No, that will just add more sorrow to your life in the long-run! Think about how Jesus answered liars, He opened not His mouth! You want to be like Him don't you? If you react that way, that's not being like Him at all!" Reluctantly, I force my flesh to do the right thing, but it's no fun!

But the damage has been done; the wounds are there. The next time I hear the lies, the scab is ripped off those wounds and they bleed anew. The cycle repeats itself. So far, I've heeded the Lord's prompting and not retaliated. But it's a fight. Have others wounded you with their words? Here are some verses that help me deal with those times.

Is. 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

Prov. 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Prov. 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. 

1 Pet. 5:7 Casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you.

Luke 6:31-34
31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 
32  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 
33  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 
34  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 

Psa 64:1-10
(1)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
(2)  Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
(3)  Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
(4)  That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
(5)  They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
(6)  They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
(7)  But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
(8)  So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
(9)  And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.
(10)  The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

I apologize for the lengthy post today, but this really encouraged me. I needed these words today. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write all of this out. It has really helped me. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

He Has the Answers

John 6:5 When Jesus lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

In the passage today, the Lord and the disciples have 5,000 men, plus women and children, to feed. Jesus asks Philip, "What should we do?" Wow. The Creator of the universe asks a mere mortal what to do! The passage tells us that Jesus knew what He was going to do. He asked the question in order to "prove" or test Philip. Philip's answer was one of human reasoning, not blind faith. 

Each day I'm "tested" in my Christian life. I constantly see some area, new or old, in which I need to improve. Just when I think I've got a meek and quiet spirit, something happens and I blow up in front of the children. Just when I think I've got a discreet tongue, I let some bit of gossip or criticism slip out. Then, I realize that I thought I had those areas licked, and thinking that is a pride problem. There is always something! Perhaps the test is one similar to what Philip faced, like, where will I get food for today? Or, how will I pay this bill? How often do I view those dilemmas with human reasoning and try to figure a way out, rather than pray and let God work!

I wonder what would have happened if Philip had answered the Lord with something like, "Lord, You can handle this with no sweat. I can't wait to see what You'll do!" I wonder what would happen if I did that in my own life? I think I'll do my best to face today by letting God handle the tests. When I do it myself, I always seem to fail. After all, He already knows what He will do, so I think I'll just let Him do it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Burning, Shining Light

John 5:35 He [John] was a burning and a shining light: ...

Jesus tells us in John chapter 5 that John the Baptist was a "burning and a shining light." I want to be a "shining light" for the Lord, as well. Oh, no, I'll never be what John the Baptist was, but I can point others to Christ by life, just like he did!  Matthew 5:16 says Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 
I can point others to the One who saved me by my good works. But don't be fooled, the world can tell when the good works are genuine, or just a show. They'll know if we're real when we get tested. Will we compromise? Will we truly trust the God of our salvation, or will we work out our problems ourselves? This will show whether or not our hearts' desire is to glorify God or if we're just trying to look good to man.

When others look at me, I hope they see a woman who loves the Lord. I also hope they see that I'm just a sinner, striving to glorify God (against my flesh) each and every day. I worry about those who never seem to struggle against the flesh. Either they aren't genuinely serving the Lord, because God's people will endure suffering (1 Peter 2:21) or they aren't being real with me. And, personally, I like real. 

May each of us glorify God with our works, and therefore shine a burning light into the darkness of this world! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

See for Yourself

John 4:42 And said they unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

I read this morning about the woman at the well. In the first verse of chapter four, Jesus is aware that the Pharisees are comparing His ministry with John's. They see that Jesus is baptizing more disciples than John. When did they take opposing sides? When did it become a competition? In verse 3, Jesus departs to Galilee, but He goes through Samaria. It is there that He saves the woman at the well, along with the many people she witnesses to.

I am so tired of the "comparing" game. I'm so tired of preachers making the ministry all about themselves. We are all on the same side: Jesus' side! We recently heard of a church that is hosting a preaching conference that is all about the memory of a dead preacher. What happened to making Christ the center of life, of service, of everything? As frustrating as the "comparers" are, it's best to just stay focused on the work He's given me. After all, Jesus didn't attack the Pharisees and line them out. He departed and gave living water to a very needy woman. When comparisons start, or criticisms come, we can't stop and take on those causes. We need to get busy,  we need to "depart", if you will, and think about those whom have never met our Savior!

I loved the verse above, where it tells us that the people the woman at the well witnessed to believed because they met Christ. We need to tell others about the Lord, but only they can experience Him for themselves. We can't force Him down someone's throat. But, if they talk to Him, if they listen to Him, they will never be the same. They will believe, because He is wonderful! It makes me think of the verse in Psalm 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Have you met Him? If you have, you know He is good, because you've heard and seen Him through faith for yourself.

Monday, August 22, 2011

He Must Increase

Today is my husband's "spiritual birthday"! He's 18 today! :) I was 15 years old, living in Benton, Arkansas, and a new Christian myself. I had begun praying for God's will concerning a mate. The Lord was answering that prayer, and I wouldn't know it for another 3 years! My husband lived in Flora, Illinois, about 10 hours from where I lived. God drew him to salvation and later called him into the Gospel ministry. You can read about how we met (if you're interested)HERE. I am so grateful for God's answers to prayer. :) Anytime I talk to young girls, I tell them that while it's inappropriate to chase boys, there is nothing wrong with praying for one - the right one! I tell them to pray, and stay busy serving God until He answers.

John 3:30 says He must increase, but I must decrease. Seven little words, but such powerful words! I battle with "self" all the time! Pleasing me, doing things for me, wanting to have myideas validated, and on and on. In fact, I'm dealing with a situation in my life right now that I desperately long to change. Every day, I go to my Bible hoping to see a neon sign that says "YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU WANT, VALERIE." But so far, all I'm seeing are passages that point out how wicked my heart is or how I need to correct my ways or thoughts or both! I walk away saying "ouch!" My husband preached two great sermons yesterday, and both were things that I struggle with. 

While it is hard to face my sinful ways and correct them, there is an amazing sense of peace and relief that washes over me as I bow my head and say, "Lord, forgive me. You are right." Even after I confess my sin  to the Lord, I must fight the flesh in the days following so that I don't fall back into my old ways. I must constantly remind myself that HE must increase and I must decrease.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Favorite Story

I suppose my favorite story in the Bible is the story of the resurrection. Along with that, is the story of the men on the Emmaus Road. Remember that story? The men were walking along, discussing the crucifixion and Jesus walks up and starts talking to them? I love that story. Those men said in Luke 24:21 (After they had given Jesus a bit of background) "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside this, to day is the third day since these things were done." They were wondering what was happening - they trusted Jesus, but now He was dead - what now?  Jesus goes along with the men and expounds the Scripture. Then, Jesus starts to go on past where these men live, but they say "Please, stay with us!" (paraphrase) Jesus does just that! He sits down at the table with them and breaks bread with them. Suddenly, the men realize "This IS Jesus!". Then, Jesus vanishes. I can't imagine what that must have been like, to be sitting at my table, eating with Jesus, and not know it was He, and then when I realize it, He disappears! Verse 32 says "And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us be the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?" The men immediately get up and tell everyone that Jesus is alive.

When you meet Jesus on your own "Emmaus Road", you will never be the same. I haven't seen Him with human eyes, but I've seen Him, nonetheless. I know He's here with me. I long for the day when I can see Him face to face. Until then, my heart burns within me as I walk with Him in His Word, as I talk to Him each day, and I want to shout it to the world that Jesus is alive! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Heed His Warnings

In Luke 22, I read about Jesus praying in the Garden. He had just finished eating the last supper with His disciples, where he told Peter "Satan want to have you, to sift you as wheat." (paraphrase) Later, in the Garden, Jesus tells the disciples, "Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." (Luke 22:46) If anyone should have been praying, it was Peter! Jesus had specifically told him that Satan wanted him. I don't know why Peter wasn't afraid of that prospect, of being used by Satan. Especially when Jesus, the Son of God, warned him! Perhaps Peter had grown used to Christ's presence in his life, and took Him for granted. Perhaps, he didn't have a real fear of Satan. Or maybe, he just couldn't fight his flesh. 
It's easy to grow cold in the Christian life. I don't want to be that way. I don't want to ignore warnings from the Lord, through His Word. If I'm being tempted, I want to hide behind God's Word, pray through the night, if necessary, and trust Him for the power to obey. It's often easier said than done. To live according to God's Word, I must fight my flesh, and my flesh is a powerful enemy. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cover It Up

I always get a blessing from the chapter I read each day in Proverbs. I don't have time to write all of my thoughts each morning, but I often jot down a verse from Proverbs in my notebook that convicts me.

Today, it was Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter spearateth very friends. By sharing someone's sin with another person, we are hurting them, we are not showing love. It's something I need to watch! If I truly love someone, I'll cover up their transgression. 
When I was in high school, a very good friend of mine criticized me for something I wore, saying it was immodest. My intention was not to be immodest at all! I was very embarrassed and hurt at the way she shared her thoughts with me. She had assumed I'd intended to do wrongly. When I got home, I told my mother about what she had said. I knew my mom would care and understand, but she wouldn't hold it against my friend. I was planning on letting the whole thing go, I knew that it was just my friend's way- she was kind of critical. I did not, however, want to tell my Dad! He and I were very close, and I knew my friend's words would have hurt him. He might have said (as a knee-jerk reaction) "Don't spend any more time with her." Because of this, I wanted to cover up my friend's words; I wanted to hide them from my Dad. I loved her, and while her actions hurt me, I didn't want others to think poorly of her. I didn't want to stop being friends.
Why can't I be this way with everyone? I suppose it's because I don't love everyone the way I should. It's something I'm working on. By the way, I'm very grateful when others cover up mywrong-doing as well. It's a blessing to have friends and loved ones who see my faults, but love me anyway! I'm so thankful for my Saviour, who gave His very life to cover up my sin. Because of Him, when the Father looks at me, He sees righteousness! Praise the Lord!! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keep Going

In Genesis 26:17-22, I read about Isaac and how he dug wells. It's a simple thought for today. Isaac's enemies filled up the wells that Abraham had dug. Isaac dug them again, and he dug his own wells, which others wanted. Each time he dug a new well, there were his enemies, trying to take it from him. But Isaac just kept going, kept digging wells and finally, they left him alone. When the "enemy" - the world, the flesh, the devil - try to take my "well", I must keep going. I must keep working. I know that eventually, the enemy will quiet down. It's painful to keep going, to keep "digging". It's a lot work, but it's worth it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Calling Jesus

I've also been mediating on Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.. I'm not sure why, it hasn't been in my daily reading for a while now. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is prodding me to keep my eyes upon Him. It's so easy to try to plan out my life, without regard to the Lord's will. I've been asking myself, am I praying about decisions concerning my children? Concerning homeschooling? Concerning anything? Jesus cares about even the smallest situations in my life, but so often, I deal with them myself. I want to talk to Him throughout the day, about everything. One preacher described it as "Shouldering the phone". That's a good way to think of it. I want to call Him each day, and shoulder the phone as I go through the day, talking to Him all day long.

He Came to Me

I jotted down several thoughts from my reading today. Luke was a blessing, especially reading about the blind man who cried out "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!".(Luke 17:35-43) Others tried to shush him, but "he cried so much the more". He knew this could be his only chance for healing, he didn't care if he made a fool of himself, all that mattered was getting Jesus' to look his way, to come to him. The blind man was unable to go to Jesus - where exactly was He? But Jesus could come to him, and He did! I'm so thankful that Jesus heard me cry out to Him for salvation on June 12, 1993. He came to me, because I could not see where he was. I'm so glad He changed me - He opened my eyes - and I've never been the same.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thoughts on the Prodigal Son

In Luke 15, I read the words of Jesus, as He told his disciples several parables. The lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, or more commonly known as the story of the prodigal son. I can identify with the prodigal son in some ways. I've never left home or lived out in the world, but I've certainly "left" in my heart a time or two. I wonder if the prodigal son left home just because he was impatient, ready for his life to "begin"; for something important to happen? Maybe he was jealous of his older brother, who probably seemed to have it all together? Maybe he was tempted by those who seemed to be making a success of their lives out in the world? Or, perhaps he was just tired of his Dad's rules, and rebelled. Jesus didn't give us that information in the Bible. 

I've been impatient, wondering, when is the Lord going to bless our efforts to serve Him? When will all the pews be filled? When will the gossipers and liars be proven wrong? When?

I've been jealous in my heart toward my older brother and sister, who also serve the Lord. Why can't I be like them? They have it all together.

I've been tempted by the lures of the world. Why do the wicked prosper? I've asked in my heart. 

I've been frustrated by rules, feeling confined and discouraged that I can't ever be perfect, so why bother?

But every time I fall into one of the above traps, my Father reminds me of a few things. He tells me And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. - Gal. 6:9

He says to me that I'm not supposed to be like my brother or sister, I'm just supposed to be me. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Ps. 139:14

He reminds me of the ultimate fate of the wicked.  Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. Ps. 73:18-19

He tells me that I need to be more concerned with His will than the will of man. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Prov. 29:25

I hope I never reach the place where I could actually depart from God's will. I want the Lord to continue to teach me the error of my thoughts, to chasten me when I need it, and draw me back into his loving arms.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm Thankful for what I Don't Have!

In Genesis 20, we read the story of Abraham jouneying to Gerar. There, for some reason, he told Abimelech, the king of Gerar, that Sarah was his sister. (Which, she was his half-sister, but more importantly, she was his wife!) Abimelech made plans to take Sarah for himself, thinking she was unattached. God intervened before that could happen. God told Abimelech in a dream that Sarah was taken, thus sparing Abimelech from sinning and sparing Abraham the consequences of that sin as well. Even though, Abraham sort of deserved it, since he did lie and all. God took care of Abraham, even though Abraham had sinned!

I often make mistakes. I say things I shouldn't, or I think things I shouldn't, or I make bad choices. Often, I immediately feel pricked in my heart for my wrong doing. I ask the Lord to forgive me, but I don't ask that he erase the penalty for my wrong doing. How can I? I made the mistake, I deserve the punishment. Today, as I read this portion of scripture, I wondered how often the Lord has not just forgiven me for sin, but spared me the consequences of my wrong action? Probably more than I could count! Since He doesn't speak to folks through dreams anymore, I'm not aware of how often He has extended mercy to me by preventing things from happening. We know what does happen - the blessings He sends us - because we see them. But I have no idea what hasn't happened but should've

I'm so thankful for God's mercy. I'm thankful for things He hasn't given me. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

God Will Meet My Needs

It was a blessing to read Luke 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought of your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat and the body is more than raiment.

And then:

28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

This was both convicting and encouraging. How often do I worry over where physical needs will come? More often than I'd like to admit! I often think "How will I pay for this or that?" They are true needs, not wants, and I often plot and plan how I can attain these possessions, without once consulting with my Heavenly Father. It was encouraging to see that He knows my needs and will provide for them in His special way and in His timing. I go to him for really BIG things, like a vehicle, for instance. But He cares about my needing a new skirt, or a new pair of shoes just as much as He would the larger items. I want to take my needs to Him, realizing there is no need to small - or too big - for Him. He can provide it all, and He wants to. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thou God Seest Me

Genesis 16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

I cannot tell you what a blessing my reading today was! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to rejoice in the blessings of God's Word with you. I would love to hear about the special things you're gleaning from Scripture, as well. It is so exciting to hear how God is working in people through His Word. He certainly works on me! 

Just yesterday, I was discussing with my husband (in a rather frustrated tone) that I was tired of the problems we are facing, and have faced for many years now. When will it be over? It seems to get better, then get worse, then get get the idea. My husband is a very patient man. He has the ability to "put away" the burdens and fully concentrate on other things. I cannot do that very easily. I dwell on the problems, putting them away for a few minutes, just to start dwelling on them again! I told him that I understood why so many pastor's and missionary's wives of yesteryear went crazy and had to be locked in their basements! Then I asked him if we could build a basement! I wanted my husband to "fix" our problems, or at least do something, even if what he did wasn't going to fix it. He replied, "We have to wait. We have to wait on the Lord. When He tells me what to do, I'll do it." I didn't want to wait. I was tired of waiting. I knew in my heart he was right, but I didn't feel better about it. I remained discouraged.

Then, this morning, I read about Sarai (Sarah), and how she offered Abram a solution to their problem of not having a child. We know God had promised to make Abram a great nation (Gen.15:4-5), but when? That was the piece of information they didn't have. If God had said, "Abram, I'll make you a father on July 12 of next year" Sarah probably wouldn't have been tempted to fix things, she just would have been crossing days off her calendar. But, she didn't know the date. In her impatience, she convinced Abram to commit sin with her maid, Hagar, so that she could raise a child by her. Sarah's plan backfired, and when Hagar became pregnant, Sarah became angry! Hagar saw that she was used in the situation and ran away, but God saw exactly where she was and he helped her. 

Sarah tried to "fix" her problem, rather than just wait on God. By meddling with it, she made it worse. What a wonderful reminder to me that I must wait on God, not try fix my situation. My solution (whatever it may be) will not fix anything. I don't have the date that my problem will go away - if I did, it wouldn't be as big of a problem - but I have the Word of God, I have prayer, and I have Jesus walking beside me. Lord, help me as I wait on You!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Thing

So many thoughts today. I started reading through the Gospels over and over per the recommendation of an evangelist friends of ours. He said that reading about Jesus' life on earth had changed his life. That sounded good - life changing - I need that. So, I started doing it. It has been good. Reading Jesus' words have been a blessing. Walking where He walked, meeting those whom He met, watching His life, all of it is changing my life.

One Thing

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. - Luke 10:42

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I started thinking about my career, as a Mom. :) Leslie lost her third tooth last night. She's in first grade! Laci isn't far behind her. Pretty soon, hugging and cuddling with me will not be something they want to do. I'm hoping I'll be ready for that when the time comes. I hope I can "let go", but sometimes I wonder if I can? I started to get very melancholy about it. I started praying about it and telling myself that that's life - kids grow up - and that's a good thing! I managed to fall asleep without shedding any tears.
This morning, I was so happy to read in God's Word that there is one thing in life that will not be taken away and that is spending time with the Lord. Sitting at the "feet of Jesus" via His Word is permanent. I can do it anywhere, anytime. I don't have to be in church or in a quiet place. I can talk to Him, and listen to Him while cooking, folding laundry, or even as I drift off to sleep. Many things in this life beckon for my attention, but only one thing is needful, and that's my time with the Lord.

I hope everyone is able to enjoy some time in His Word today! Walking with God is the key to happiness. Read His Word, pray, and obey! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Look To Jesus

In Luke 8:41-56, we see the story of Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, who needed Jesus to come heal his only daughter, who was dying. The situation was bleak. This poor man! He knew where to go, and that was to the Lord. But, Jesus couldn't go straight there, he got interrupted by a folks touching him for healing, one lady in particular. While Jesus was talking to her, a servant from Jairus's house came up and gave him bad news. He said, "Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master."

I could just see Jairus standing on a dusty road, waiting on Jesus to come with him. The sun shining down upon him, sweat dripping down his cheeks, he may have wanted to say "Please, Jesus, this an emergency!" But, he didn't say that. He was holding it together. Then his servant arrives and Jairus turns to look at him. But then, Jesus speaks, and Jairus looks back at Jesus. Jesus said "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole." Jairus had to decide, will I believe the servant and his bad news? Or will I believe Jesus? As we read on, we see that he believed Jesus. While the girl had, in fact, died, Jesus took care of that! He raised her from the dead! The miracle of bringing her back to life was even greater than healing her! I've seen doctors make folks well, but I've never seen them bring a dead person back to life!

As I read this story, I saw Jairus' dilemma on that dusty road. Give up and go home? Or keep believing? Have you read the newspaper (or the internet) lately? Wars, economic collapse, earthquakes, fire, murders....oh (shuddering), it looks bad, doesn't it? Perhaps you're facing personal trial. Financial loss? Death of a loved one? Sickness? Loneliness? It's bad. But, when it looks bad, and your "servant" is telling you, "Don't trouble Jesus. It's over." Look back at Jesus, and believe. If you can't believe much, just believe a little and ask him to help you with your unbelief.(Mark 9:24) 

Don't look at the "servant" - the Devil, the World, the flesh - Look to Jesus!