Tag Archives: expect

Witness Protection Program

Close your eyes and think of the most unthinkable thing you’ve been through.  Remember it.  Feel it.  Got it?

Tell me why it happened.  Can you? You never saw it coming, right? Never in a million years would you have even conceived the thought that it may happen…but it did.

I know from experience God can use anything – ANYTHING for His good.  After all, if we’ve professed our loyalty to Him it’s ultimately His goodness and character that are at stake – not just our reputations, feelings or plans.  Ultimately it’s His love for His child that you and those around you will see.  It isn’t always pretty or comfortable and certainly it’s not what we expect as His beloved!  We expect wonderful, good things – we’ve somehow convinced ourselves bad things shouldn’t happen to us because we’re His!

What if we changed our focus to try to see through the pain in a godly perspective?  What if what we’ve been through or going through has very little to do with us?  What if God CHOSE you to suffer just so you can show the lost ones around you that no matter what He’s good? He’s faithful?  He won’t abandon us when we’ve messed up, fallen short or been devastated by events we had nothing to do with?  What if there’s someone in our lives who needs to see someone they love and admire handle things with faith in Him when everything else has been torn away?

We’re called to be witnesses – not just to the corners of the world but right in our neighborhoods!  That’s our Jerusalem; that’s as real as it gets.  When we dare to swallow our pride, to stop worrying how we’ll be thought of or talked about and live out our faith, God will bless us. He’s the ultimate witness protection program – you’re being used to show Him and share Him with someone else.  If He allowed it to happen, how can there not be good come from it?

Maybe we’ve been selected to suffer for His glory. If so, we can believe He will protect, comfort and heal us all the way through it.  Do we dare trust Him that much?

 

“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.” Isaiah 43:10

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Remember Your Resource!

Our lives are structured, certain things have to be done at certain times most of the time. I have long days beginning at 6:15 a.m. and ending around 1 a.m.  This morning I got up and went downstairs ready to start my day. As I got into things I suddenly remembered my new glasses…which I didn’t have on.  I had become so accustomed to not being able to see that for a good hour, I didn’t even remember that I had them!!

Such is the case for our lives.  We get into routines and ruts, doing what we’ve always done, thinking the way we always have sometimes forgetting the resources to make our lives better and even more productive!  Often when we remember it doesn’t have to be the way it’s always been and we make a change but tend to fall back into our usual way of living.

The Lord has so much more for us.  Inside us dwells the power that resurrected Jesus after three days in the grave.  That same power that created the entire universe, that hung those beautiful stars we see at night is in us yet, we live mundane, often powerless lives.  When things are difficult the power doesn’t fade away…we just don’t tap into it.  He enables us to get through everything we go through.   Big and little, life-changing or life-draining, we still have the power.

Sometimes all we can do is believe He’s with us and for us, even when things feel and seem to be quite the contrary.  “Walking in the Spirit” sometimes may be simply getting out of bed with tiny mustard seed faith to believe He’s with us.

Don’t forget or neglect the power inside you.  He’s given you exactly what you need to live this day.  Everything we need to fight the good fight of faith is found in Him.  Let’s live like we believe that. In order to see well, I must put my glasses on.   Unless I do my part, I suffer unnecessarily.  The same is true in relation to faith in Jesus.  We must do what we can and believe Him for the rest.

It’s good to see this morning.

Exercising Hope

One of the greatest delights and desires of my heart this time of year is to see hummingbirds.  As I’ve said many times I believe they’re tiny angels.  I marvel at them.  When I lived in Alabama they showed up in abundance and I had my work area set up so that I could watch them from dawn until dusk.  Since I moved here, sadly, I have only seen them when I’ve visited my friends.  Only ONE hummingbird visited my house and that was the year before last!  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

There are probably several reasons for that.  I moved three times my first year here, all under less than favorable circumstances.  Perhaps they couldn’t find me.  Maybe if I could have consistently stayed where I was, they would have come. I would try putting the feeders here and there – always moving them and always being disappointed.

I remembered this morning reading a story about hummingbirds.  If they live they always come back to where they visited the previous year.  Always. So I place partial blame on me that I didn’t get the blessing of the hummers and yet have to wonder if perhaps they never came to those places.  Last year, I didn’t put feeders out.  I gave up.  I didn’t believe they would come so I made the decision to do nothing.

Don’t ever stop believing. Keep going to scriptures that encourage and help you believe and SEE that God IS busy whether His activity manifests itself externally or not.

I put feeders out this morning and prayed while doing it for two reasons:  1) The Bible says to pray about everything and 2) I was physically exhibiting the HOPE that I would see hummingbirds this year and FAITH that God is going to bless my prayers and those little earth-angels WILL come. HOPE is a VERB – it means to wait, tarry, EXPECT.

Guess what I just saw.  My heart is full and tears flood my eyes as I type this. What a lesson…and a blessing.

Romans 5:5  “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

 

Divine Curiosity

Moses had run away from Pharoah after killing a man and had gone to being a shepherd, minding his own business when all of a sudden he saw a burning bush (Exodus 3:2).  I wonder how long he watched it. I wonder if he tried to ignore it or shut his eyes thinking if he did he would open them and find the vision gone.

He had a choice, you know, to keep doing what he was doing.  The Bible doesn’t say how far away it was from him; it does imply he could have kept walking, but curiosity got the best of him and he thought to himself, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous site, why the bush is not burned up“.  (Exodus 3:3).

Choices. This one seemed to be an insignificant one. He was herding a flock by himself (apparently) and sees something very unusual; so what if he didn’t go look?

Moses goes to see and not only does he see the ever-burning-not-consumed bush, he finds himself in a conversation with God and receives the word that he’ll be the one God uses to deliver Israel! This is what got me though: “When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look God called to him from the midst of the bush…” (Exodus 3:4-emphasis, mine).

Obviously Moses had to make some kind of move to change his direction which God saw and responded.  God was waiting on him, watching him to see if he would come look which implies the Lord would have remained silent had he not. I know what you’re thinking:  “Of course Moses looked, it was a burning bush, who wouldn’t?”

Is God waiting on us?  Is He not speaking, not manifesting His mighty presence in our lives because we haven’t “turned aside” to see?  What if we live in conscious expectation of seeing and hearing Him?

Perhaps that’s why children are so happy and carefree.  They live in a constant state of “good” – everything is an adventure.  What if “walking in the Spirit” were kind of like that?  What if we got up every morning EXPECTING to see a “burning bush”?  What if we were divinely curious about everything, every encounter, excited about what God wants to show us?

Don’t miss what God has for you in your everyday life.  He’s waiting for you to look. Don’t miss Him.

Never Stop

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Unconventional blessing!

We have our ideas, even plans, of what we think our lives will be like, what should happen and when, then when things don’t go as we expect, we think we’re cursed, wrong and finished.

We think God has let us down, allowing us to be disappointed, heartbroken and discouraged. We may even think He’s failed us. What if the opposite were true?

What if He wants to surprise you? What if those often quoted words in scripture, Isaiah 55:9 (For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts) are true to the extreme?

We expect God to act like we would and when He doesn’t it blows us away.  What if He’s busy in a way you can’t even fathom? If you don’t see Him or feel Him, don’t stop expecting Him or anticipating seeing Him work on your behalf. Why is it we allow disappointment and disbelief to so easily invade us?

Our Father-God is creative beyond what we can imagine.  If we will simply believe even when everything we see and feel says to do otherwise, He will come through. It may not be the way we think He should.  Sometimes I think He wants to see the element of surprise on our faces – sometimes it takes a “higher way” so we can know without a doubt that only God can pull it off!

The picture above is a picture of an old car.  I had car trouble a while back and was fretting and praying about how I was going to get us to work, we needed a car and I knew God knew that.  Just climbing back from a devastating year when my income plummeted, I just had enough to pay the bills.  Daily, many times a day, I would “cast my anxiety upon the Lord” because I believed He cared for me and would provide the transportation we needed.  I tried to keep walking absolutely believing in Him and that He would provide.  We took the city bus, and my wonderful employer adjusted my schedule so I could work during their operating hours.  I was good with that, God provided.  Then seemingly out of nowhere, some friends called and said the Lord had laid it on their hearts to GIVE me this car.  I was astounded.  Didn’t see that coming! It’s not a pretty car, and it doesn’t look like a blessing but through my friends, God provided what we NEEDED.  “higher than your ways…” –

Yes Sir.  Much higher.  Blessings often don’t look like blessings at all, but if you’re looking for God in EVERYTHING (to provide your NEEDS) we will always see Him and He and His blessings may not look like the God we have in our conventional box.  Even when you’re disappointed and discouraged, never ever stop believing He is right there with you, and in HIS TIME you will see Him.  Never stop looking!

Don’t Stop

It’s mighty cold outside so morning walks with Sampson aren’t looked forward to.  Regardless, I layer up and take him out.  While moving, it’s not that bad at all but when I stop the reality of the situation becomes very clear:  it’s dangerously cold. That’s a word for us Christians! The circumstances are extreme and paralyzing.  We find ourselves stuck in reality asking questions like why, what will I do, how will I survive this. The fear consumes us and we see no way things will change. We cry and mull it over and over.  We can’t see beyond what we’re stuck in and sometimes a lot of time and energy is wasted thinking, sorting and trying to figure out what often has no explanation.

Sometimes there’s nothing reasonable to make us believe, other than God’s word and unfortunately because of our human condition, that’s not enough.  It appears there’s no reason to believe things will ever be any different than they are right now but something happens inside of us that won’t let us stop.  Before we can move, however, we must decide not to stop.  The thought of it is intimidating.  Why would we want to expose ourselves to unknown, sometimes dangerous elements? Why would we expect anything to get any better after it’s been the way it has for so long?  Nothing’s changed, there’s no real reason to believe any effort on our part will change things.  What will we do?

Walking any distance in cold weather is a risk.  The fact that it’s cold and uncomfortable, not to mention the what if’s involved (what if we fall, get sick after exposing ourselves, etc…) are reasons enough to stay in our comfortable zone, but still, the dog has to be walked so what do we do? Walk the dog!

The same is true in life. We have to do something; we have to choose to believe. We often don’t get to pick the end of a trial, a death, or when many circumstances of our lives will end.  Only God knows; only He sees the beginning, the end of a thing and every detail in between.  All we can do is trustingly walk through it seeking His direction and holding onto Him as tightly as we can.  Other than Him, there are no guarantees – no clear cut “walk this way” path.  Sometimes we have to just put one foot in front of the other, believing God has a greater purpose than we can see and go forward. If we stop the elements become harder, fear and doubt invade and we turn back to our comfortable places (however uncomfortable), often wishing we hadn’t!

Clearly, things aren’t easy and sometimes we become discouraged.  Don’t stop! Keep on walking.  Keep believing and soon, the walk will be over and we’ll be finished with the peace in knowing God’s in control and we did what we could.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4 KJV