Today was a day when I heard God whispering… at least that is as close as I can come to describing what happened. It is as though God spoke clearly using only a few words and not really making any sound.. not even a whisper. This has happened to me in the past, but not frequently. I was just getting up and opening the curtains to let the sun shine in. My mornings are somewhat of a battle ground these days.. I can feel worries that were there when I fell asleep creeping back in.. today was different because I heard God say ” enjoy your day.. I am taking care of you” It was as clear as a bell!
I felt a warmth and a sweet presence right there near the window and I knew.. it was the Lord. How I had been longing for a word of comfort from Him.. this has been a very hard season and in truth the last 10 years were incredibly challenging. I have questioned my decisions over and over and wondered if I took a wrong turn or something. I prayed and cried out and it seemed as though God was pretty quiet.. He brought encouragement through the Bible and sermons and other people.. but I needed to know that He was close by.. His words are staying with me and I am clinging to them as I type this.. I knew it was the Spirit of God speaking.. the comforter.. the one who knows exactly what we need.. at the perfect moment He makes sure we know that we are not alone and that He is with us in the trial..we are not forgotten.
I am sharing this with you because I want you to have hope today.. don’t give up even if you have been waiting a very long time. God has heard the cry of your heart and He is taking care of you even if you don’t feel like that is true. Those words He spoke are not only for me.. maybe you need to hear them.. ” enjoy your day, I am taking care of you.” Such simple words but so filled with hope. He wants us to enjoy this life.. in the middle of the storm.. in the midst of uncertainty..when we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. He is at work in the silence.. in the doubts..in the fear..in the unbelief..these things do not change Him. When it is time.. the season will be over and something new will happen.. He will come for us.. to rescue us and restore us and renew us.
Thank you Lord for speaking to me and my prayer is that you will speak words of comfort and hope to each person who is reading this post. Lift them up on wings of eagles.. carry their burdens.. renew their strength and remind them of your presence..
This sentence that has been floating around my mind for the last week. I am surprised at how much I say this to people and how important it is for us to understand. When we let go of something or someone to the Lord, we are not giving up on that desire or that person. We are also not hanging on.. it is a bit of a balancing act.
What happens is we release our desires, longings and unfulfilled dreams into our Creator’s hands. We tell Him that we are trusting Him and that we know that we cannot make these things happen on our own. We are actually giving them to Him for safe keeping and if they are for our best..He will bring them back to us. It is an act of Faith..and Trust.
The problem we have is we believe this means we are giving up.. throwing in the towel.. We try to kill our hearts where these desires and longings live. We pretend that we don’t care..we say that it does not matter. The truth is they do matter and we do care.. there is nothing wrong with that picture.. with those emotions.
Our God is in the business of fulfilling desires and longings.. He is the giver of all good gifts and the one who cherishes the deep things that we have in our hearts. This does not mean that everything we desire will happen or that all our dreams will come true.. but it does mean that we can trust Him to decide ..to choose the best road for our lives.. to unfold the perfect plan step by step.
So if you have unfulfilled desires and dreams.. and who doesn’t? Together we can go to God and tell Him about them and ask Him for His very best for us.. once this done I know we will find ourselves in a place of rest and peace..We may need to do this over and over…to do it as often as we need to until it becomes a habit.. we will never regret it. He is for us and many of the things that we long for are exactly what He has in mind!
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (psalm 37:4)
Throughout the years that I have been writing on this blog.. the theme of waiting has emerged over and over again. Waiting is difficult and we struggle with it as we move through this life. This morning I sensed the Lord showing me that He waits for us more than we realize.
Since He has a plan for our lives that is better than anything we could dream up or imagine..He has to wait for us to be willing to follow Him. We have our own plans and dreams and it is difficult for us to surrender those to Him. After all.. our plans will bring us happiness and security. We imagine ourselves with the things that will fulfill us and take away the emptiness. God is after more than that.
He imagines us whole and filled with joy.. He sees us as complete and fulfilled in Him. We look everywhere else..afraid that He is not going to be there for us.. that He may fail us or forget us. He waits patiently as we try to make our dreams come true. He watches us and cares for us as we resist His plan. He allows us to suffer and struggle.. knowing that eventually we will turn to Him.
He sees us.. He knows us.. He is with us and He is for us. We are His. He is the good shepherd who tenderly cares for each of his sheep. He seeks us when we are lost and cares for us when we are wounded. He waits for us to follow Him to safety. He leads us to green pastures and still waters. His love for us is unfailing and everlasting. He pursues us..holding out His Hands and asking us to trust Him in all things.. will we trust Him with hearts? Will we follow Him when the path is not clear.. and all we can see is the next step? He is waiting..
“And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you…” ( Isaiah 30:18 KJV)
A friend posted a wonderful photo on my Facebook page yesterday and it reminded me of some important things that I seem to have forgotten. My husband and I have been in a long season of waiting.. it has been mysterious and discouraging and I have wondered why God allowed it to continue. Waiting is a topic I always come back to on this blog..because we don’t like doing it and the world often seems to say there is no reason for it. Yet.. in the kingdom of God waiting is normal and even something we should desire.
The Lord is not in a hurry and He does not forget us.. but He does allow us to wait and sometimes the wait is very very long. In my life, I have waited for so many things and sometimes the wait has been years and years. There are things that I waited for that literally took decades of my life. The beauty of this is that each of those things was worth the wait.. Yes I said worth the wait!
During the time we are waiting and wondering.. He may be protecting us ..shielding us from the things we think we want or need because they would not be good for us. He is also at work changing us so we are able to trust Him when there is no light..when He seems absent. Waiting causes us to cling to Him and challenges us to go to Him even when we feel lost or abandoned.. so our faith is actually strengthened during these times. Waiting teaches us that God’s kingdom is not like the world.. this world where patience is not a virtue and instant gratification is considered normal and desirable. His ways are not the same as ours and He is not subject to the whims of this world.
We can live securely even while we wait if we remember His sovereignty and trust that His plan for us is for our good.. that He will come through in His time and that we are not alone..a tall order when we are discouraged or defeated. But what is the alternative? I don’t know about you, but I choose to put my faith in the living God who is sovereign over the universe and created all things!
If you are waiting for something.. I pray that this post encourages you and reminds you that God is with you.. that He loves you and that you are not forgotten.
Jeremiah 29:11 says ” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.“
Last month I wrote about the Romance.. the larger story of God’s continual display of love in our world. Rather than move on to another topic.. I wanted to stay with the Romance and keep reminding us of the truth that He is constantly pursuing us ..He keeps the desires of our hearts tucked in a safe place so that when it is time.. He will bring them to fulfillment.
The tough part is learning how to navigate the road of life when it seems as though those desires remained unfulfilled for too long. We tend to start doubting.. is He good? Has He forgotten me? Am I asking for too much? Should I give up? In my experience none of these questions really help.. they just tend to bring discouragement. So what do we do while we are waiting? Live fully.. trusting Him with His timing and affirming our desire to follow Him fully even we when we feel forgotten.
This enables Him to surprise us .. to come through long after we thought He would. We begin to truly understand that ” His thoughts are not ours.. His ways are not our ways.” The path is not a smooth one.. but along the way there is beauty and there are glimpses of the Romantic heart of God. He renews our strength as we call out to Him ..He fills us with hope.. we become more dependent upon Him and we start to trust His heart.. all things that He desires for us!
These two words are themes that I revisit again and again on my blog. Do you know why? Because we can never get too much of either..in fact most of us seem to be starving for more of both. There is so information out there and so many stories making the rounds.. on social media, in the news, etc. How much of it is truly encouraging? Even when I watch videos that are supposed to be faith building, I often feel like these are exceptional stories.. not everyday stories..like the ones we live in.
I realize that God does miraculous things and He can turn things around at any moment..there is no way I am minimizing His work in this world. Yet I can’t help but reflect on the way He calls us to live fully in the times when nothing amazing or astounding seems to be happening..at least not those big things that are in testimonies and faith filled stories. He is with us in the struggle, in the sorrow, in the depression, and anxiety. He holds us up as we walk along..weary and worn out.
We continue to trust Him and to ask Him for the miracle and the turn around..we wait on Him and live fully each day.. not comparing our lives to others. We look around and see Him at work in the little things..we call out for strength and He gives it..we ask for encouragement and He brings it..we fall on Him and He catches us and breathes new life into our empty places.. These are the true miracles.. the evidence of His presence and His great love for us.. We are blessed!
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”( Joshua 1:5)
We had a church retreat this weekend and if I could give it a name.. it would be the title of this post..”Remembering His Goodness.” That is the theme that I kept hearing in the stories the speakers shared with us. They were actually speaking on the hard times in life and how we need to learn to accept them as normal and be able to reach out to those around us when they reveal their struggles to us. A great topic in these times where there is so much fear and anxiety in everyday life.
The key for me was hearing this theme as we read through the psalms and discussed the issues they presented. Our Creator God is good, He is faithful and available in all circumstances. He is larger than our circumstances.. bigger than our fears..sovereign over everything that happens to us in this life. He is our refuge and our rock.. We are always able to cry out to Him… to rely on Him and lean into Him. Although His ways are not our ways.. we can trust Him to bring deliverance when we need it and to rescue us before it is too late!
Our part is to remember this and to act on it.. to nurture the relationship.. to remember Him and His promises… to dwell on His faithfulness and to count on Him when the darkness comes. We are in a battle and our faith is constantly being challenged by the trials and tests that we face..but He is there with us.. We are not alone. This is our road.. we signed up for it when we committed to follow Him and He will carry us when we cannot walk another step.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (psalm 27:13-14)
For some reason, my last two posts were a month apart and here we are a month later and I am writing again.. I’m not sure why this happening, but I love patterns and always notice them. Life has been moving along and standing still at the same time. We are in a transitional time.. moving out of a very difficult time and being released into a new season. I’ve noticed another pattern lately. Some of my desires that go back years and years are being fulfilled. Things that I thought would never happen..are happening.
So as we wait for things, it is very freeing to realize that God knows the desires of our hearts and many, if not most of them, are desires that He has for us as well. With that assurance, we are able to rest in the knowledge that in His time they will be fulfilled. In my counseling practice, I often sense that women come to me when they are about to emerge out of a dark time in their life (sometimes their entire lives have been pretty dark) and God is about to do a new thing. He wants me to encourage them, to hold on to hope for them and to pray into the vision that He has for their lives.. I love doing this because I believe that I am coming alongside of them at a critical juncture with the privilege of helping them receive the showers of blessings that He has in store for them. It is a bit like coaching someone on their journey with the Lord… cheering them on and reminding them that they are winning the race..
God takes delight in bringing us surprises.. in coming through when we think He won’t. He wants to remind us that we are not forgotten, that He knew all along how hard it was and He held off because He was only going to give us the best. Remembering all this makes it possible for us to trust Him.. to stay faithful and hopeful as we wait and takes the fear out of an uncertain future.
May He continue to hold you up and to pick you up when you need Him. His plans for you are amazing and He has heard the cry of your heart.
I can’t believe we are in the middle of August already..summer seemed to fly by. Our weather has been surprisingly cool.. Fall seems to be here already. I remember when summers lasted forever..all that has changed. We are busy people with so much to do.. we fill up most of our days with responsibilities and activities. There is a down side to this busyness..we can miss out on the moment. Instead of living fully each day..we rush through life..eager to get to the next thing and then the next thing and after that the next thing. Why are we in such a hurry?
A lot of it is our instant culture. We want everything now and we don’t want to wait.. I find myself the same way. Time can become an enemy and not a friend. Yet life with God is not fast..He is not in time the way we are, so He is never in a hurry. Our lives are not going to be too short for the things that God has prepared for us.. there is no need to fit everything in. It would probably benefit most of us to stop..so we can reflect on what we are doing and how we are spending our time in this life. We won’t be encouraged to this.. either inside or outside the church. There is just so much to do.. For God. Really?
We are here because He created us and gave us life to fulfill His purposes.. not to accomplish things. That accomplishment thing comes from us.. He wants us to receive His love and to love those around us.. to live life fully each day confident that everything that is supposed to happen will happen. When we make mistakes.. He will redeem them. When we choose to be still.. He will find someone else to do what we cannot do.. He has it all under control.
For me.. telling God daily that I trust Him helps tremendously. When I look around and see so many things I cannot change.. I remind myself that He has a plan and it is unfolding perfectly. When my emotions get the best of me I cry out to Him and let Him see the mess that I am. I make sure there is time in my day for these things even if all the work does not get done!
So.. enjoy the rest of the summer season and know that life is meant to be savored..relax and rest whenever possible. Trust Him with everything.
“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (psalm 100:3)
Waiting is a central theme of my writing… the emphasis on this topic is tied to the long periods of waiting in my own life. I also feel strongly that waiting is a lost art..especially among believers. We live in a culture, both outside and inside the church, that does not value or understand waiting, yet it is a key to experiencing the abundant life.
We read in scripture that “God’s ways are not ours”..but do we truly embrace that knowledge? When too much time passes, we feel forgotten and wonder if we are going to be waiting forever.. in truth, we want instant answers and we look at time from our earthly perspective. God does not.. He is doing things in us as we wait and we are learning to trust Him when that is probably the last thing we “feel” like doing. He takes us past our feelings into a deeper level of faith.. one in which we know who God is and we trust Him to provide for us and come for us when we need to be rescued.
As believers we have our history to show us how God has always taken care of us.. we can look back and realize that every single time things seemed to be dark and we felt lost.. He was there. He came through when we wondered how we could take another step. His hand reached for us when we were sure we would fall. Our Father in heaven held us as we fainted from fright or felt so depleted we wanted to give up.
Who can doubt His faithfulness? Why risk taking things in your own hands when you can “wait upon the Lord”.. knowing you are safe and that everything He does is because of His great love for you!!
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31