This morning as I woke up with doubts lingering all about me and I asked God for help, He sent me straight to this verse. He NEVER fails. Now, on with the day! He’s got THIS!
June 12, 2017
It’s okay child. I know your brain and emotions are scrambled right now, but I am here and I know your heart. Just breathe. Speak My name when you feel overwhelmed or at a loss. Let’s come up with a schedule together. Something to keep you on track. Do not feel less because you need this. Order is necessary for all of life. Order, in fact, was the second most important ingredient in Creation, second only to love. Can you imagine a world with no order? What if the sun rose only when it felt like it? What if the moon and the stars were random about their appearance and nighttime blanketed the earth at unplanned times? Yes, child, everything must have an order to be successful in the long run. If it was and is important for all of Creation, it is important for you. Let’s start with your daily schedule and then we will continue to work on your schedule for fulfilling your calling and purpose. I am proud of you, child. You have a mission and a calling and I am so pleased that you desire them so. Together, we are unstoppable. You are unstoppable. Don’t ever forget that. And, if you do, just come back into My Presence where I can remind you. I’m always here, day and night, from beginning to end, creating your present and your future with beautiful mixture of love and order.
The Beautiful Order of Creation…
Genesis, Chapter 1:
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made[b] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven.[c] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,[d] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,[f] and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[g] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Genesis, Chapter 2
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation…
With time not my own this past year, I have let most of the flowerbeds around my house go. This week I decided to tackle them, one by one, starting with a particularly unruly looking bed alongside the fence.
The first thing I noticed as I surveyed the situation was a growing number of prickly vines. Armed with thorns, they infiltrated the fertile ground and stood watch over a second army of unwanted weeds. They looked like green goliaths wielding tiny swords ready to pierce the skin of any intruder that threatened their mission to overtake the flowerbed.
Standing between and behind these evil, self-proclaimed soldiers were other thorny vines that had certainly seen better days. Brown and brittle, it was obvious that they were the senior ones amongst this tribe of thorns. I reached in to grab one of the weaker ones, but quickly pulled back as a river of red broke through the surface of my skin and rolled down my arm. Ughhh! I guess Grandpa had a little life in him after all. Ornery old thorn.
It is then that I heard God whisper deep into my spirit:
“It is not just the thorns of today that can hurt you, my child; the thorns of your past will continue to hurt you as long as you leave them unattended. You must suit up and face them; cut them off and throw them into a pile to be burned. They may look dead, brittle and harmless, but looks are deceiving. If you will let Me, dear child, I will help you tend the garden of your soul—pulling up the old and new vines of thorns and allowing the beautiful and the fruitful to flourish.”
Sigh. Thank You, Lord, for these special teaching moments and, above all, for loving me unconditionally. I ask You now, Father, to help me rid my soul of weeds and thorns, both the new and the old. I want nothing more than to be fruitful; a beautiful garden for which you are proud to call Your own. I am Yours. Amen and Ehmen.
Though they are often the “butt” of many a joke, I have always had a special affection for donkeys. And, every year around Easter, that affection grows. Have you ever wondered why Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem oh so many years ago on what we now call Palm Sunday? Why not a strong, valiant horse? A horse worthy to roam the king’s pastures?
This week, in reflecting on that very question, I thought I’d ask God himself. And so, during my God time earlier this week, that is exactly what I did. As I sat quietly with nothing but a Bible, a blank page and a deep affection for The Father, these are the thoughts that came to rest deep in my spirit.
“Child, do you remember the verses in My Word in which I told you that the first will be last and the last shall be first; those that remind you to be a humble servant? My friend, the donkey, is a fitting image of what I expect from my children. Humble, hard-working, peaceful. I don’t need pomp and circumstance from you. I just need a willing, servant’s heart.
I asked for a donkey to ride me into Jerusalem for many reasons, one being to remind all of my children that it matters not how the world sees you, but instead how I see you. This donkey, considered one of the least among his kind, was fit for a King. With a servant’s heart and attitude, he escorted me into Jerusalem and into my destiny and this is exactly what I ask of you, dear child—a servant’s heart and attitude that I can use to take me to the people of the world and into my ultimate and eternal destiny. I want ALL of my children with me in eternity. Even one lost grieves my spirit so. Think of those parents who have lost one of their children to drugs, alcohol or depression. Think of the parent whose child has run away, who they’ve lost all contact with. Oh how their heart grieves! Now, multiply that by infinity and that is how I feel about my lost children. My heart is not complete without them. My kingdom is not whole. They are MY children. All of them. No matter what they have done. No matter what they haven’t done. They are MY children and I love them. And, I need you, to help me bring them home. I need you to be like that humble, willing donkey that will take me to my children; to my destiny as Father of All. Go read the story of the Prodigal Son. I will open your eyes to new things, my child. And, go through this day aware of my presence. I’ll be right beside you all the way. It’s going to be a good day, child. A very good day.”
Thank you, God, for this. Thank you for the donkey and thank you for now giving me a reason to smile when someone calls me one. Last but not least, thank you for being such a creative Creator. Whether the legend of the cross on my favorite furry friends’ back is true or not, it is quite a beautiful touch. 🙂 Amen and Ehmen!
Our broken hearts reach out to You. Our deflated spirits struggle to find You. Oh, how I want to stand in the face of evil times and to be the reflection of hope that You promise, but sometimes I, too, am overwhelmed by disappointments in my own life and in the lives of those around me–my friends, my family, my neighbors. I get disillusioned by the evil that lurks just beyond our walls; the darkness that all too often breaks into our most secure places. Although, Lord, it seems that evil has no boundaries, I know in my heart that it does–and that boundary is You! Hold us tight, Father. Protect us from evil, for Your name’s sake. Comfort those that are hurting and help me, Lord, in my time of need and waiting. Help me to remain thankful; to learn in the waiting, and to reflect You in all that I do. I trust in You and give my present and future to You. Mold me. Melt my heart and reshape it so its desires are your desires. My hope is in You. I love You, Abba. Amen and Ehmen.
Like many of you, I often find myself in reflective mode during this week which we find packaged between Christmas and New Year’s. This year is no different.
Though I know I am blessed beyond measure, I would be lying if I said that 2016 was a great year for me.
And, based on the laments on social media and the increasing soulnessness which makes up the news every day, it seems it has been a pretty rotten year for most everyone—a year woven together by tragedy and heartache.
The amped-up level of evilness that once seemed to wreak havoc on those in faraway places now pulses feverishly through the veins of our own nation. Terrorists play in our own backyards and heartbreak is an almost daily response to news of yet another of our beloved men and women in blue killed in the line of duty; another senseless shooting; another terrorist attack, another natural disaster or the untimely and unexpected death of another beloved friend, family member, celebrity or public hero. Few, if any, no longer have faith in our government, especially after an election that even the most creative satirist could never match.
On a personal level, it has been a year of change in almost every aspect. Though my physical locale remains the same, life as I knew it seemed to up and relocate itself, leaving me with no choice but to adjust to new surroundings in both my personal as well as my professional life. I’m still adjusting and, truth be told, I think I may be struggling with some depression. All I can say is thank God for the hope that He gives us. Whether or not I feel His Presence at a given moment, I know that I know that He is always and in all ways with me and that these melancholy feelings are just that—feelings, ever-changing, hollow fruits of the flesh that I can never trust.
His Truth and Spirit, however, can always be trusted. The never-changing, soul-sustaining and boundless fruits of His Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—constantly summon me even in the midst of the storms. All we have to do is ask, seek and knock in faith and our Father in Heaven will provide.
In Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 8, Jesus promises: “Everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
My prayer—as we prepare to shut the door of 2016 and knock on that of a brand new year—is that each of us will remember to ask, seek and receive all that He has promised us and that we choose to grow life -sustaining Fruits of The Spirit instead of hollow fruits of the flesh.
Father, help us to remain focused on You; to learn to respond to this fallen world, not with fear, but with our eyes on the big picture for which You are the creator; that we remember that this is Your Story and Your will and purposes will always, always prevail. Holy Spirit, come, fill me so that I may do the part that was set aside just for me before the foundation of the earth was ever laid. Help me to make 2017 a year of progress and purpose—a truly Happy New Year for You and for me.
I love you, dear Father. Let’s do this!
Amen and Ehmen.
Writer’s Note: Please indulge me as I again share this true story of God’s presence, love and promise during a period of earthly sadness and tragedy. Today marks the fifth anniversary that my friend Neil left us, but it also marks the day that God made it unequivocally clear that His purpose and plan for me is to write. I may not have the book completed on paper yet, but it is nestled safely in my heart. Please give me the strength and perseverance to see it to the end, Lord. And, thank you, God, for writing me into this story and for always “showing UP” when we need you most. Amen and Ehmen.
I sat back in the seat thankful, that even on a full flight, I had somehow managed to get a seat all to myself. It sure seemed as if God was looking out for me these days and especially on this day as He knew I had much to think and pray about—how, for example, I was going to get through this trip.
My dear friend, Barbie—Neil’s first cousin and Denny’s best friend—was gone, having just succumbed to lung cancer just a few short months after an out-of-the-blue diagnosis. Denny’s husband, Neil, who had also unexpectedly fallen ill about the same time as Barbie, was in the midst of battling his own recent diagnosis of a rare and incurable disease called amyloidosis.
And, Denny, my beautiful friend to who God himself introduced me was quickly slipping into a pit justifiably described as hell on earth as everything she knew and loved was being stripped away from her. The fact was, Barbie’s death and Neil’s illness were just two of several back-to-back losses that had her looking more and more like a female, modern day version of Job with each passing day.
As the stewardess stopped momentarily in front of my seat to close the overhead compartment, she gave me a sympathetic nod. My pain, obviously visible to even a stranger, quickly liquidated into a stream of tears as I closed my eyes and began to recount the five years that had led to this moment; how an anonymous, virtual game of internet Scrabble, a chance meeting on a social networking site, had led to such a deep, tangible and very real friendship, first between me and Denny and then between our family and friends; a friendship that was obviously God-ordained, God-blessed and God-planned, but still a mystery to our mere mortal minds.
What could He possibly have been thinking when he paired the two of us? From the outside, we were so different. I was a single mom with two jobs and she was a semi-retired housewife. What’s more, we lived what seemed like a world apart—she in western Canada and me in the southeastern United States.
But, on the inside, well, that’s where it all began to make sense. For there, we were practically twins—soul sisters as we later dubbed it—whose bond was quick, yet undeniably powerful and steadfast. What started as a little friendly banter on a Scrabble chat screen turned into hours of truly getting to know each other. Letter by typed letter, we talked about everything, from our childhood to our adulthood, our pain and sorrow, hopes and dreams, and, most especially, about God, who we both loved with all our might, and who continued to make it abundantly clear that He wanted to be at the helm of our lives and that our lives were meant to be intertwined. He would prove that to us over and over again, including on December 8, 2011 as I headed back to Alberta.
The story of this December day had actually started a couple of months earlier when I began searching for air-fare for a pre-Christmas visit with my friends. My plan was to fly in on Dec. 10th, which also happened to be my 50th birthday. I was struggling a bit with this milestone birthday and decided that a day of travel would be a fine distraction.
To paint the picture more completely, I had been bidding on tickets through Priceline in search of the best deal possible. For those who have never used the “Name Your Own Price” feature, one must submit a method of payment along with an offer for airfare and, if accepted, you are rewarded with a non-refundable airline ticket.
Anyhow—after two weeks and a dozen or so rejected offers —I decided to try one last time and submitted an even lower price than I had attempted before. I was both shocked and ecstatic when it was accepted at almost 40 percent less than the going ticket price! When I looked closely at my confirmation, however, I noticed something terribly wrong. The departure, it said, was 7:05 a.m. December 8, 2011. Wait. What? December 8th? That wasn’t the plan. December 10th was the dreaded birthday and the date my work vacation started. Nevertheless, God clearly had another plan, which I now realized included getting me there in time for Barbie’s funeral.
And, so, in the early morning hours of December 8, I sunk deep into my seat and tucked my earbuds tightly into my ears. Praise and worship tunes playing as soothing background music, there was time for a lot of prayers between the airport runways of Atlanta, Georgia and Edmonton, Alberta and, as the plane took off, the praying commenced.
During a short layover in Denver and before boarding the final leg of my day’s journey, I texted Denny to see how she was doing. She had been pretty emotional the night before, but was adamant that she would pick me up at the airport. I begged her to let one of our other friends do it, but, as per usual, she got the final word and would be waiting for me. Period. She didn’t reply to my text and I presumed she was probably busy with Barbie’s funeral planning.
Back on the plane, I started to get more anxious. Denny was going through so much heartache and seemed to be struggling a bit with her faith. She was finding it hard to fight anymore; her strength understandably gone. Just as the illnesses had stripped Neil and Barbie of their physical muscles, she was feeling stripped of her spiritual muscles. She still loved God. She still believed in Jesus and she still believed in heaven. In fact, those were the only things that made any sense to her at all anymore. Yet they seemed so far away and her heart continued to crumble under the weight of it all.
My mind, my heart and my emotions were swirling like a hurricane as the plane taxied down the Denver tarmac and I returned to my music, once again getting lost in my own little world of praise, worship and prayer. About halfway through the four-hour flight, “Hold My Heart” by Tenth Avenue North came on and I was immediately transported back to exactly one summer before when my previously-planned visit turned out to be a time of support as Denny’s brother, Stevie, had tragically drowned the week before.
As the song pervaded my heart on that June day, I had turned every word into a fervent prayer for my friend, pleading with God to please—just as the song beseeches—to come close and hold my friend’s heart. Suddenly, I began to feel a sense of peace followed by an inexplicable nudge to open my eyes and look out the window. When I did, I saw something that I shall never forget. Right there, on a canvas of deep blue sky and billowing clouds, were clouds in the distinctive shape of two strong hands gently cradling a heart. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and quickly reached for my camera, but when I looked back up, the image was gone. I may not have gotten the picture with my camera, but it was forever etched into my memory to be recalled many times in the days and years to come—including this day as I traveled once again to see my friends.
Leaning forward in my seat, I wondered if perchance God might give me another sign. Praise and worship lyrics dancing in my ears, I studied the clouds, but saw nothing. I looked towards the ground. Still, nothing. But, as I sat back in my seat disappointed, I soon felt another inexplicable nudge to take one more look. I pressed my forehead to the window pane and gazed at the sky. It was cloudless and there was nothing really to see when all of a sudden a streak of white shot across the blue sky. It happened so quickly, I almost gave myself whiplash attempting to see what could have possibly left this white mark in the sky. I sat back quite perplexed and more than just a little nervous. If that was left by another plane, it sure was awful close, I thought to myself.
As I continued to ponder what I had just seen, the flight attendants began preparing the cabin for landing. In less than a half an hour, I would be on the ground. My emotions shifted from anxiety to excitement as I knew I was about to see the people who had become so near and dear to me.
Having visited several times before, I had become somewhat of a pro at maneuvering through customs. I breezed through and, luggage in tow, followed my fellow travelers through the hallways leading to the lobby where Neil and Denny usually waited for me.
Walking through the doors, I looked around for Denny. Not seeing her right away, I figured she was probably hiding around the corner and laughing at me. She loved to make me look like a dork and, to be fair, I often did the same to her. I especially loved when we would make Neil laugh with our silliness.
In an effort to maintain at least a shred of my self-professed coolness, I stepped to the side and looked down at my phone. As I peered back up, I saw a couple of familiar faces walking towards me. It was Alex and Trina.
Good, I thought to myself, Denny had decided to take a break and ask for help. We exchanged hugs and I started into my story of how customs didn’t try to give me the third degree for once. As I used Neil’s name a few sentences in, I noticed Trina’s eyes filling with tears. Alex’s face grew dim and right there in the middle of the Edmonton Airport, I heard these words, “Brenda, Neil passed away this morning.”
It was as if the world came to a screeching halt and I began to hyperventilate as my sweet friends, themselves sobbing, guided me to a nearby chair. It didn’t take long after I sat down, however, that it all became clear.
The December 8th Priceline ticket I held in my trembling hands was far from a mistake. My sweet Lord had sent me there on this very day as support for my dearest friend now plunged into the darkest hour of her life.
And that streak against the sky? Well, that was undoubtedly Neil doing a fly-by and letting me know that He was indeed ok. A pilot, I could always see the passion in Neil’s eyes when he spoke of flying; how exhilarating it was for him to play high above the earth, amid the clouds and along the very threshold of Heaven—a place where he could now enjoy that same exhilaration multiplied by infinity.
As for me, every time I see a feathery white brush stroke painted in the sky, I stop and thank our awesome God for writing me into Neil and Denny’s story and for this new symbol of hope and joy; this reminder that He is oh so real and has a plan and a purpose for all of us; mine being to follow Him and to live and retell stories like this that will, hopefully, lead people to that place inside themselves where He is always patiently and lovingly waiting with whatever is needed.
Oh, and Denny, although there were many days following Barbie and Neil’s deaths in which she seemed to be in a freefall, God lovingly guided her hand to her own parachute’s ripcord and she is today living and loving life once again. She doesn’t even mind being compared to Job anymore, because just like Job, our loving Father in Heaven has fully restored her to a life full of love, blessings and a joyful, ever-healing heart.
As I sit in the silence, I’m soothed by the ticking of the grandfather clock in the foyer. It’s a welcomed sound, one that I could hear as often as I’d like, if I just took the time. But, I don’t.
Indeed, this beautiful time piece has been ushering the minutes in and out of my home for more than a decade now and yet I rarely hear its sweet, rhythmic voice simply because I allow the noise of everyday life to drown it out.
I come home and turn on the television. I listen to the radio or talk on the phone. I dial up videos on my computer. I create noise. Any kind of noise. Silence, after all, would mean I was doing nothing, wasting time.
The irony is that silence is far from a waste of time. It’s a most beautiful thing; that time and space in which we get to know ourselves and allow our own hearts to synchronize with that of our sweet, sweet Savior.
Shhhhhhhh. Turn off the television. Turn off the world. Quiet. Can you hear it? Beautiful, peaceful and holy silence. The heartbeat of God. It just doesn’t get any better this side of Heaven.
Amen and Ehmen.
Nov. 30, 2016
Good Morning, Glory.
I have no idea where that came from, but I like it. After all, Lord, You are the most Glorious of all.
Abba, though I sometimes feel like it is futile to confess things to You, the One who knows all, I am beginning to realize that confession is not about You at all. Instead, it’s about me recognizing and knowing those things that aren’t pleasing to You; recognizing and knowing those things that I need to change as I strive to walk and live even closer to You.
And, so today, I must confess. I’m still feeling lost and confused.
Though I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what my purpose is in this life, I still feel as if I’m spinning my wheels of late; like I’m wasting time in my job and in my life. Look at the last few months, Lord. I’ve worked such crazy and long hours that I have hardly spent any time with You. I’ve tried to stay connected, whether by prayer or podcast, but much of it has, quite frankly, felt forced; me just going through the motions, desperately trying to hold on to the deep connection I have enjoyed over the past few years since closening my walk with You.
And, my purpose? It’s still there. It just seems to be sitting on the shelf collecting dust.
Father, I know deep in my heart that You have not changed, nor has Your purpose for me. But, this is really hard. Just when I thought you and I were on the same page, the disappointments started rolling in. And, the worst part of it all is that everything that I wanted and prayed for was what I thought You wanted for me as well.
You know that I have longed and still long to work in a more spiritual environment; a place where I can have the time to lean in even more; to study and learn more about You so that I can share You even more. My heart is in the right place. Or, at least I think it is.
Come close, Father. Show me if there are things that I need to change in order to better live this purpose that You have planted so firmly and deeply into my heart. Hold me close and help me know when and if I need to move or if I need to simply stay planted and await further direction. If the latter is Your plan, help me Lord to continue accepting it and to make the best out of it; doing it to the best of my ability and, most of all, to Your Glory.
Today, just as always, I need Your Holy direction. Thank You for never, ever giving up on me and for reminding me that I can do all things through You who strengthens me. I’m ready to rise up, to mount up with wings like eagles. I want to run and not be weary, to walk and not be faint. Come close, Dear Father, for all these things are impossible without you.
And, as I fell silent in the early morning hours, after laying my heart bare before the Lord, the following are the words I heard deep in my spirit.
Dear Sweet Child of Mine,
No matter how many side roads you may take in this life, My love and purpose for you never changes. Instead, You can rest in the knowledge that I will take things that happen while you travel along those side roads and use them to further you along your purposed path when you do return to it.
And you will return. Stop fretting so much and realize that you are where you need to be at this moment in time. If I allowed you to do everything at once—if I showed you everything at one time—you would implode.
Following My plan for your life is only part of the equation.
The other part is following My timing.
I’m so pleased that you are excited about My plan for you, but now you have to trust Me for the right timing.
As long as your heart continues to be in the right place—that is, as long as your heart continues to be in Me—you can breathe easy knowing that absolutely nothing on earth or in the heavens can stop us.
Dear, dear Child, even if you are sidelined for a while, you must remember that you are not on the sideline alone! You stand in unity with other teammates who are also waiting for just the right moment to take the field; but, even more importantly, you stand with Me, the one that will tell you when the moment is right.
Stay suited up; do not give up; do not quit, for if you quit, My beautiful Child, you won’t be available when I need you. Just continue to wait on me. Your time is near and so am I.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5: 6-7)
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26)
Happy Fall, Y’all.
I know it’s been awhile since I have blogged on Amen and Ehmen. My job changed in July and has dominated my time and energy ever since. During this time I have been on an emotional roller coaster, going from majorly disappointed and hurt by many of the changes to just plain tired, both emotionally and physically.
And, if I’m completely honest, I have also been spiritually fatigued during much of this time as well. Truthfully, of everything that I have been through—80-plus hour work weeks and numerous disheartening career developments—the spiritual exhaustion has outweighed it all.
Please know that I don’t intend this missive to be a cry for pity or even an excuse, but rather an explanation and an apology for my recent silence.
First and foremost, I must apologize to you because I want Amen and Ehmen to be a real reflection of my life with God; not a sugar-coated, air-brushed version that may give new Christians or those exploring Christianity unrealistic expectations. The facts are this: Being a Christian does NOT mean that you will no longer have problems, hurts and disappointments; it just means that you are never without hope and that God is always and in all ways working for the good of those who love Him. People like you and me.
I also owe an abundance of apologies to my all-loving, almighty Creator. During the many difficult days that followed the untimely death of my dear brother last September, health concerns for myself and other family members as well as the career crisis that continues to plague me, I have allowed my spiritual life to intermittently lay dormant.
If I’m truthful with myself and with you, I guess I have been internally blaming God for this dark and foreboding time in my life. In actuality, however, it has not been God that has been silent in my life. Quite the contrary as He has remained busy, continually weaving miracles and beauty into even the most brooding of moments. Still, all too often and way more than I like to admit—including this very weekend as rumors of yet more disappointing events swirl around me—I’ve allowed myself to focus on the disappointments instead of the hope that God continues to bring.
And, therein, lies the lesson that I know in my heart He wants me to learn. It’s a lesson with which I have always seemed to struggle—having complete, unyielding, unwavering and unconditional faith in Him. It’s hard, but it is possible. And, I know it is necessary if I ever expect to fully live the life that He has planned for me; to accomplish everything that He has put me here to accomplish.
And, so today, I pray for help in growing an unconditional and unyielding faith in Him and His plan for my life. I pray to always remember the many beautiful moments and miracles He has shared with me as He continually proves His loving intentions for me. I pray that I will commit even more time to tune into Him; to study His Word and connect with Him every single day. I ask you, Dear Lord, to turn every moment of worry, self-pity and disappointment into a growing desire to praise You for all the many blessings that You continue to pour out for me.
Yes, it has been a tough year, but it’s also been a blessed year which I know that I know is being used to further shape and make me into the person that God desires me to be. I pray today that I allow that refining to happen in His time and in His way. And, Lord, I also ask that you hear my prayer for everyone whose eyes are reading these words at this very moment. You know their needs and You love them so completely and powerfully, just as You also love me. Let us all feel that love right now. It is in Jesus’ mighty and beautiful name that I pray. Amen and Ehmen.