Tag Archives: God

Thank You For The Tree

Let’s walk with the Israelites for a minute.  We’re still celebrating watching what we saw God do at the Red Sea – we saw the water turn in to two huge walls.  While being chased by our enemy, we stepped onto the bottom of the ocean to find it dry, just as dry as the sand in the desert.  No one but God could have pulled that off and we knew it.  We had ourselves a Holy fit and celebrated what we saw Him do.  That gave us the courage to keep following. We were full of faith at that moment, so we gladly followed Moses on even though we had no clue where our faith (or Moses) would take us.

Now we find ourselves in the Wilderness of Shur (my interpretation…sure enough wilderness).  No food.  No water.  Nothing but nothingness.  We’re tired and our feet hurt.  We’re hungry and thirsty – every one of the million or so of us.  On the heels of one of the greatest miracles we’d ever seen, we start complaining.  We’re in a tough spot.  Everyone knows survival…in the desert no less…requires at the very least, water. Walking out of bondage by faith is one thing but when physical need takes over, faith sometimes takes a back seat to what we feel, doesn’t it?

Can you feel it?  I doubt we can – I’m thinking with everything we want and need at our disposal these days, none of us have been without water – while walking – in the desert – for three days.  The complaints grew louder and they grumbled at Moses so loudly the man could hear nothing else.  Moses did the only thing he knew to do – he cried to the Lord for help.  What else could he have done?  There was water (Marah) but it was undrinkable.  I’m sure to all of them none of this made any sense.

This whole adventure from the beginning to that moment was all about full and complete reliance on God and obedience to Him.  After he cried to God the Bible says, very simply and unmistakably “…and the Lord showed him a tree…”

Allow me to indulge my humanness for a moment, will you?  A tree – this word indicates it was most likely a branch…not even a whole tree.  Can you imagine the look on his face? “OK Lord, you hear YOUR people (not mine) You KNOW we NEED water…and you show me a tree…a tree branch…??”  What?

In the moment of a great physical need (three days without water), I would have cried out, “LORD! What are you thinking?!  We don’t need a tree!! WE NEED WATER!!!!” Not Moses. Not this great man of faith.  He threw the branch in the water which made the bitter water become sweet and they drank.  God met their need – every one of them who drank got their thirst quenched.

We sometimes find ourselves on top of the world after a mighty move of God and for some reason, we think we’re going to stay there!  When something happens to us, we pray specific prayers and God gives or allows something that makes no sense whatsoever: Trees in place of water, a pink slip instead of job security, an illness instead of good health, etc.  In those moments we have two choices:  1) Lean on what we think we know and have an emotional breakdown when things don’t make sense or; 2) Trust God with every fiber of our being, even when it seems He must’ve gotten it wrong.

Thank God for the tree.  Pick it up in faith and apply His word, remembering the promises contained within.  He never fails.

Exodus 15:22-25  Philippians 4:19


Come Closer

Sampson loves to run and chase squirrels in the park. When he can’t find squirrels and the park is vacant of people, he enjoys his freedom.  He’s usually far ahead of me in a full trot…just because he can be.

Lately when someone approaches especially with another dog, he’ll come right next to me, his side touching me, and stop. He’ll look up at me for reassurance and won’t move until I put his leash on. After I secure the leash, he’ll go back to his normal trot, but he stays closer until the people have passed.

Just like my sweet doggie wanting to be closer to his master when uncertainty approaches, we need to do the same with our Master.  We should stay close to Him in heart all the time, but especially when anything uncertain approaches we should want to be closer.

We’re grown adults who enjoy our freedom, don’t we?  We love we can pretty much go anywhere and do anything at any time.  Sometimes freedom can be a dangerous thing; a lonely thing.  There is no certainty in anything but God. Rest assured, whatever happens, when it happens He’s right there, waiting on us to want to draw closer to Him.  We don’t have to be afraid or even lonely.  There’s a lot of freedom in God and freedom from unsureness and uncertainty with Him if we believe He’s who He claims to be.

Come closer to Him today, if for no other reason than because you’re free to do so.  Enjoy His “leash” of protection and the peace of His presence.  He’s going to see to you whatever comes your way.

Galatians 5:1  “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

John 8:36  “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

Even With Squirrels!

Sampson looks forward to his morning adventures at a park close to us.  After I take my son to work we usually stop by there so he can run the squirrels (his passion) and do his “business”.

Sampson hates rain.  Mind you, he’ll jump in any body of water regardless of temperature, but the boy just hates to get rained on (I’d love it if someone out there could explain this to me).

On a day filled with more than I could do, it was pouring the rain.  I mean pouring.  When it was time to walk, I opened the door prepared to get soaked and he wouldn’t budge.  I tried enticing him with everything I could think of and he just wasn’t doing it.  I was stressed for two reasons: 1) he had a full tummy and hadn’t been outside since the night before and 2) I was going to be gone a good part of the day so the morning was my only chance to make sure we wouldn’t have an accident in the house.

I took my son to work praying the whole time about what to do about the situation.  What else could I do?  “Father, Your Word tells me to pray about everything, so here it is, the concern on my heart. It’s pouring rain and this doggie refuses to go outside…please help us in this dilemma.  I believe You will.  In Jesus’ name.”  I was sure I heard laughter…

I pulled up at the park and my uninterested and very unhappy Sampson showed no interest whatsoever in being at his favorite place.  Any other day, he’d be standing in the back seat wagging his tail waiting for the door to be opened so he could jump out.  I rolled the windows down, still in prayer, knowing I couldn’t budge him – he weighs 100 pounds. All of a sudden a squirrel pops up on the sidewalk right where we were parked.  “Sampson look, a foo-foo!” and with that, he popped up, saw the squirrel and when I opened the door, he hit the ground running. Boom.  That was probably the shortest walk he’s taken with me to date but he got done what he needed to and both of us felt better.

I know you’re laughing, maybe rolling your eyes right now but here’s my point.  To no credit of my own, in a testy situation, I prayed believing God would help us.   I believe He provided the incentive (squirrel) for Sampson to get out of the car to take care of what needed to be taken care of.  I’m still not sure he would have gotten out of the car had the motivation to do so not come. God reminded me, yet again, He is concerned about ALL that concerns me, including taking care of Sampson.  Praying about everything means exactly that; praying about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

Every time I start stressing over big things or little things in my life, I think about that situation, the prayer and the answer.  Silly me.  If He’s listening when I talk to him about helping me take my doggie to the bathroom, of course, He’s listening to me talk about everything else.

Philippians 4:6:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

1st Thessalonoians 5:18:  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


What concerns you right now?  Will you pray about it, honestly talking to God?

After you pray will you believe Him?  That means acting like He’s heard and He will provide.  Tell someone what you learned through this experience.

Just Like Yesterday


Yesterday was a wonderful day.  The power company was doing some work on our street and we would have no electricity for several hours.  Since I work at home and can’t work without internet and computer, I decided to get a couple of things done and because it was Love Your Pet Day, I had a couple of things in mind for Sampson, my precious pup. We headed out and delivered some glassware I had promised for a display then we were free to play.  It was beautiful so we spent a lot of time outside. There are very few opportunities in my busy life to play without time restraints so I took advantage of it.

I loved yesterday.  I could wish that every day was like that.

This morning, we woke up to clouds and a little bit of rain.  My first inkling was to complain and feel disappointed but instead, I thanked God again for the day we enjoyed yesterday and decided this was going to be a great day too!

While taking Matt to work, I caught a glimpse of the sunrise.  It was still raining, mind you, still looking yucky but it was like He burst through the clouds as if to say, “HEY!  I’m still here.  I’m still God in the rain and sunshine, and I’m with you regardless.  Chin up little girl!”

There you go.  God’s still God in the best of times and the worst of times; any kind of weather and ever-present in whatever we must weather.  That makes the whatever-comes-our-way good, or for the good, if we keep our eyes on Him.

It’s so easy to complain, be dissatisfied and unsettled if we base our mood and our outlook on all that’s around us.  This is another stellar day God’s given us, and with Him it’s just as wonderful and blessed, filled with grace, mercy and Him as any yesterday we’ve had.  Let’s live like we believe that.

Psalm 118:24

Look Back

Life was falling apart, husband said he wants a divorce.  The very night her husband told her his plan, a member of the family called offering her a job in his business because other family members that worked there got a job and other reasons…and offered her a job.  Feeling like it was a meant to be thing, she accepted and moved to their little town to begin the job and a new phase of her life.  She thought it would be wonderful, family close by, actually working for them.  She needed support and if the truth were known, she needed help.  Her son had many health issues from birth and this kind of support would be a dream come true.

It didn’t exactly turn out like that and after a year or so the family member told her he was closing down the business and she would have to get another job but not to worry, he would help her find one.  Because he was very well known in the little town, he asked someone who knew someone who knew someone at the local hospital who told him to have her apply for a Medical Transcription job.  She laughed out loud.  That’s a skilled profession, she had no experience and hadn’t even worked in a doctor’s office.  Impossible.  Ridiculous.  Just trying to get rid of her she thought. But because he pushed, she applied…and got the job.

She remembers sitting at a typewriter bawling, trying not to throw up because she was sure this was absolutely impossible.  “My God, what have I gotten myself into”, she kept saying to herself.  She couldn’t understand a word the doctor was saying and her very job was to type what he was saying!  To make matters worse, the department head told her, “you’ll never make it, I’ll have you gone in 30 days.” She made it very clear she was pressured into hiring her because a board member recommended me (because of the family member) and in a small town, that’s pretty much the way things went.  Nobody was happy with that situation, least of all the woman at the job.  She didn’t want to be there as much as her boss didn’t want her to be there.  A host of crazy things happened but she persevered…

Almost 30 years later, here I am, working at home as a Medical Transcriptionist.  That job (that I was thrust into because of circumstances beyond my control; the job I hated at first) has provided for me and my son.  Not only that because I work at home, I can work around what Matt needs to do – his work, appointments, and things he enjoys in his personal life.  Because he’s site impaired and doesn’t drive, he’s blessed to have a pretty normal and free life.  The kind of work I do allowed me to move back home to Kingsport, which was my heart’s desire.  I can make a living doing something I absolutely love (even though I hated it in the beginning) for an Australian company that has turned out to be the best, most enjoyable job I’ve ever had.

As I remembered all the details that brought me to this moment, I was brought to tears.  The beginning of how I got here was horrible.  I almost quit several times and in between then and now, a lot has happened, good and bad but I stuck with it, sometimes because I had to; other times because I wanted to.

The word that immediately comes to mind is PROVISION.  See, way back then when I thought my life was falling apart, God had a bigger plan.  Even though He was the last thing on my mind at that time, I was foremost in His.  When all that happened, I was lost and, if the truth be known, thought there was absolutely no hope for any kind of halfway decent life at all.

Your life may be crashing right before your very eyes.  You may think you won’t survive what you’re going through; you may hate what you’re doing and are looking for a way out.  Hang on a little bit longer.  Trust God and let your faith in Him grow stronger.   Do what you can do and trust Him for the rest.

Look back for a minute and see how far you’ve come.  Friend, none of it is by accident or happenstance.  Like me, one day you’ll look back and see His presence, love and provision for you every inch of the way.

Jeremiah 29:11-13; Isaiah 43:10

Live to LIVE

Before the foundation of the world when it was a blob of nothingness God chose us. Before your grandparents were born, met, married and conceived you…before your parents were born, met, became a couple and you were conceived…you were chosen, chosen to be alive.

You weren’t chosen to merely exist.  You had a name in God’s heart.  He knew you would be because He chose you.  He knew your imperfections and idiosyncrasies and He chose you to live. Even then (before the foundation of the world) He saw you all the way through your life and loved you completely.  Before it all, you were and before anyone else knew you would be, He had your life planned out.

God had plans for you regardless of the circumstances or the family you would be born to.  He knew you as His person, His wonderful creation and designed you to love Him and be with Him throughout eternity…if you chose to love and know Him.

My mind can’t comprehend that but just because I can’t doesn’t mean it isn’t true.  Every single person who has ever existed, God knew they would be, before there was anything.

You were planned with a plan.  Our lives are unfulfilled because we’re living apart from Him.  Just like anything created for a specific purpose if it’s never used for what it was made for, it is wasted.  A car can be a home but it wasn’t designed to be a home. Paint never used dries up and is wasted and eventually thrown away because it was never meant to sit on a shelf unused.  The same is true for us.  We can live out our lives never connecting with God thus, never knowing what we’re here for.

Regardless of the circumstances, the hardships and challenges our lives offer, we were custom designed for a specific purpose in mind, however if we don’t make the effort to get to know the One who chose us to live, we’ll never do what He designed us to do.  How sad it would be to go through all we’ve gone through, survive all we have and feel it was for nothing.

God has that key…is that key and the “perfect fit” and all the fulfillment that comes with it can only be found in Him. Completeness, contentment and purpose can only come from the One who chose you to live in the first place.  You don’t have to live just to survive. Through Him, with Him and because of Him, we can live to LIVE life to its fullest.

It’s Never Going to Happen

We’re in the midst of our first snow of the season.  Sampson couldn’t wait to walk and play in it so I walked him down the hill this morning to let him run in the woods.

I went to a nearby shelter and was reading my devotionals as it’s still snowing and I was trying to stay as dry as possible.  I got immersed in what I was reading. Usually when we walk I try to stay where I can at least hear him running in the woods but this morning I didn’t. When I came to myself I called him.  Nothing.  I listened for him.  Nothing.  I started to walk down to where I thought he was, calling him. I looked up the hill toward our house and he was running down the hill!  That’s never happened before.  He thought I had left him!  He was whimpering and ran to me happy to see me.

Sometimes we feel like that, don’t we?  While we’re running, working, playing, immersed in our lives we sometimes feel God’s left us because He’s quiet.  There are times when we may feel we’re utterly alone.

I’d never leave my precious pup.  I love him.  Sometimes I let him go and do his thing but I’m always close by waiting for him to come back to me.

Our Father does the same.  He awaits the invitation to join us but during the times there’s no invitation from us, rest assured.  He’s always nearby.  He’s as close as a whisper no matter what, no matter where.  Jesus came to earth donning flesh to assure we’d never be alone.  He’s in us, beside us, in front of us, over us and in us.

Sampson was sure happy to see me and hasn’t left my side since.  I’m praying we stay that close to the Father today.  As unstable and unsure as the world is, we never have to be unsure of Him, His presence and His love.  Leave us?  It’s never going to happen.

Genesis 28:15  “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”