Wednesday, August 28, 2019

But I Don't Understand



Many years ago, when my children were young, I remember standing in the swimming pool with my arms extended trying to coax my frighten child to jump into my waiting arms.  

Throughout the years, this scenario played out with each of my children, as they stood on the side of the pool contemplating whether they would trust me. 

I can still hear myself trying to gain their confidence as I spoke reassuringly, “I will catch you. I won't let you fall.  You won't go under. Trust me."  

Some children need more assurance than others as they tremble at the edge of the pool mulling over the idea to trust or walk away. 

Eventually, most children will take the leap into their parent's waiting arms choosing to trust even when they don't fully understand how the whole thing is going to play out. 

In our relationship with the Lord, we can be like that scared child on the edge of the pool.  The Lord is staying, "Trust Me in this situation!  Even though you don't understand, just Trust Me!"

In my walk with the Lord, I've been in this place.  The Lord is calling me to jump, and I want to run the other direction.   He gently urges me to step out and move in a new area—sometimes outside my comfort zone, and I question His ability to keep me safe.   

I can almost see His arms outstretched, but—I just don’t understand.  So, I usually do one of two things, run or fight! 

Sound familiar?

In my life, I've run away plenty and fought the wooing of the Lord when He’s tried to encourage me into a new area of ministry.  Sometimes He’s asked me to come alongside someone in need but I’ve felt inadequate to help, or He’s trying to stretch me in my giving opportunities while I'm holding my fist tightly closed.

I may not have said these words out loud, but I sure have thought them...BUT LORD, I DON'T UNDERSTAND!

Maybe this week you have been struggling with trusting the Lord in an area of your life.   Here's a few reminders from His Word.

  • We are not forsaken--Psalm 9:10 ESV

And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

  • Don't fret--God's got this--Isaiah 41:10 ESV.   

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  • Blessings follow trusting--Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Sometimes, we just aren't going to understand everything, yet God still wants us to trust.  Take the leap and trust that He will catch you.  

even when you don’t understand.  







Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Lawn isn't Growing

I keep looking out my kitchen window at the grass in my front yard.  It's been more than a week since I last mowed, and even though it has rained a bit off and on, I'm not seeing any growth.

In the dry season, we expect growth to come to a screeching halt, but why hasn't my grass started to grow with the little bit of rain we've had the past few days?  

I've had dry seasons in my spiritual life like this.  Where it seems everything is fine, but I'm really just going through the motions.  When this happens, I can inevitable look back and see that the busyness of life has come in and dried up my times of spiritual refreshing like a scorching, hot sun.  

Sure, I go to church on Sunday.  I teach my preschool class on Wednesday nights.   I pray with people here and there, but my spiritual ground has grown dry and the little bit of spiritual rain I may be getting isn't enough to sustain continued spiritual growth in my life.  

Nature tells me through the seasons that eventually, the dry times will end, and the rain will certainly come.  My lawn is going to grow long and full once again.  Still, it takes a little time for rain to soften the ground after it has become dry.  The best way to reintroduce water to dry ground is when that water comes; slow, steady and consistently.

When we are in a dry season spiritually, we hold all the power to continue in that dry spell or to begin the slow, steady and consistent steps that leads us back to growth.

In Colossians 2:6-7 the Living Bible says this:

And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust Him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all He has done.
One of the signs you're spiritually thriving is to check your joy and thanksgiving for all the Lord has done for you!

























Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What's in Your Cup?


When I was a teenager, I loved to write little quotes in my Bible.  Every blank page was filled with my youthful collection of meaningful nuggets, sermon notes or memorable poems.

In the many years since my youth, I have often wished I could read some of those poems and quotes that are fading from my memory.  Every once in a while, these little gems will surface and make for a perfect illustration.     

There is one of these quotes that I've been pondering a lot of late, I first jotted it down over forty-five years ago in my Bible.  This is the way that I remembered it:  “A cup full of sweet water no matter how violently shaken can only spill out--sweet water.”  Jesus said it another way, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

I can recall a little too quickly, a few times in my life when the water that spilled out of my cup was anything but sweet.  Still, I am ever thankful for the gentle working of the Holy Spirit in my life.  He gently reminds me to be thoughtful and kind in every life situation. 

On the turbulent days, when your cup gets bumped, let this scripture be what spills out, “Pleasant words are a honey comb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24) 

This week, there’s an excellent chance your cup is going to get bumped.  Will you purpose in your heart NOW to let kindness be the rule of the day?   

What's in your cup? 

(This is a revised version of the first devotional I wrote for my blog in October 2015.   It has been in my heart of late, and I thought someone may need to be reminded to be ready with kindness the next time your cup is jostled.  I know, for me, I can never hear this enough!) 



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Into The Light



 A haircuts can be an amazing confidence booster or an epic fail!

I love going to the salon.  It's my chance to sit back and enjoy a moment of pampering.  However, there is one thing that is always daunting for the person in the chair. 

Recently, I strolled into the hair salon, I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I had applied my makeup to perfection, and I was soaring high at the thought of a new hairstyle, until I sat in that chair.

The stylist draped my body with a black shawl and positioned me directly in front of the mirror.  On three sides, the mirror was framed with intrusive, glaring--lying lightbulbs. 

I glanced up at the ceiling and shielded my eyes from the huge fluorescent light.  That overhead light, along with the lights on the mirror, were not being kind to my aging face.

Looking back at me from the brightly illuminated mirror was a ghostly white person with no visible signs of one bit of makeup.  Let me add that the person in the mirror also looked way older than me.  I was sure that not even an amazing haircut was going to change what all the light had exposed.

A light had been cast on me that changed everything.   There was no place to hide.  All my external flaws were brought into the light

Daniel 2:22 says, He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.  

Even when we don't like the process, if we allow God to shine His light on us and take the time to examine what needs attention in our lives, we will be the better for it even when the process is unsettling.   

In Hebrews 4:13 we are reminded that when we choose to ignore or hide what is going on in our heart, God still sees. 

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Sitting that day in front of that revealing mirror, under the massive lights, caused me to take a good look at me!  I didn't particularly like what I saw, but when the stylist was finished, I didn't see my glaring white skin or even the wrinkles on my face.  My eyes were pulled away from the negative and focused on the positive.  

Today, you may be experiencing the intense light of God shining on an area of your life.  Don't run away from the light. Allow God to do His work because we are always the better for it, when we
 come into the light and allow God to make the necessary changes in us.






I'm right here!

A week ago, my three-year-old grandson along with his three older siblings stayed with us for 7-days.  Our normally quiet house was tra...