Why All the Hurts Lord?

Featured

Wastes our sin on Hurt

Tragedy and loss have a way of reordering life.

Some days we feel as though we’re starting over … like we’re learning God’s ways again. It’s silly to think we ever had them figured out. Like that’s gonna’ happen, right?

I think we get comfortable doing this faith thing and stupidity along with a little spiritual arrogance sneaks in.

My husband and I have been walking with the Lord a long time. We’ve faced countless hard trials … but none like the one our family is enduring in this season of life.

What our sovereign God allows sometimes is gut wrenching, especially for those we love the most. We’re seeking Him hard these days.

I find I’m desperate to see something tangible come from all this hurt. God’s word reminds me that we’ll be tested. He puts us in the direct path of the storm to see what we’re made of.

This testing thing is a hard pill to swallow when three precious kids are involved.

And then there are new hurts and realities that just seem to pile up daily. You’ve  heard the old saying that you find out who your real friends are in tough times? We are finding this a harsh reality as well.

The Devil has compounded our grief with deception, manipulations, and sin messes. The ripple effect of others sin has multiplied our hurts. What’s in the bucket is gonna’ come out … especially when it’s turned upside down.

I keep asking God, what is your purpose Lord? Why all the hurts? Why all the losses?

I’ve been doing a bible study by Dr. Tony Evans called “Detours” … it’s no accident God led me to this book. Dr. Evans explains the why’s of God’s purpose like this:

“We would never plan chaos and detours into our lives on purpose. And yet that seems to be God’s go-to mode for testing, training, and preparing us. The perspective we take toward personal detours will influence the impact they have on our lives.”

In other words, if we bare down in anger, bitterness, or abandon God, the impact on our lives will be even more tragic.

Detours are critical crossroads in our stories. We either choose to submit like an old hound dog that turns belly up or we bite back.

How we react will show the world if we are walking in God’s will … or not. And sadly, God gets no glory if we waste our hurts on sin.

Just days ago I stood in church singing one of my favorite worship songs … “He’s a Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin.

As the chorus led us to the bridge … simple words wedged in my throat … “You’re perfect in all of your ways … You’re perfect in all of your ways, You’re perfect in all of your ways to us.”

In that moment, it hit me … I’m singing to my good, good Father who has allowed unimaginable pain and loss to turn my family’s world upside down.

I’m not gonna’ lie – for a split second, it was hard to form those words in my mouth … and from my heart.

Losing one person that you love is dang hard – but losing a second person at the same time almost seems cruel … like God is trying to break us, right?

But that’s not what our good, good Father is trying to do … ever.

Though our detours don’t come with clear explanations, God does have a plan. He’ll use every stinking hurt we go through … if we are willing to let Him.

Detours come to test us, develop us, and to help us clean up our sin messes. In this challenging process, brokenness strips us of pride and self-sufficiency.

And it’s in this fragile place of complete dependency on God that we are humbled … so that He can get His greatest glory from our broken story.

There may be a momentary sinful tendency to bristle at the Creator receiving glory from our pain; however, this alternative will only bring us more heartache.

Plain and simple, this is where the rubber meets the road.

Is our faith in God stronger than the pain we feel?

dirk-jan-van-roest-24174.jpg

Do we really trust Him?

I won’t understand this loss until I bow at my Savior’s feet one day, but I don’t want to look back and see my detour extended or exacerbated by unforgiveness or sinful reactions.

He’s been faithful before so I choose to trust Him with my pain, once again.

Maybe you’ve hit a detour and you’re at a crossroads in your story?

Perhaps you’ve gotten lost on your detour and you’re miles away from God?

You can always turn around … no matter how far you have traveled.

Won’t you trust Him with your pain and let Him guide you safely back into His mercy? There is no sweeter place to be, especially when we are heartbroken and disillusioned.

And yes, I still believe to the core of my very being – He’s a good, good Father … and He’s perfect in all of His ways.

love mel

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

An Uncommon Thanksgiving

Featured

1 thess 5 18

If you were given only one chance to tell God what you are thankful for … what would it be?

Sometimes we can pick and choose our thankfulness … depending on the circumstances, but the Bible tells us to be thankful in ALL things.

It’s difficult to thank God for areas of life that aren’t easy … but it’s in the hard places that we can find an uncommon blessing waiting … if we open our eyes to see.

This thanksgiving I want to thank God for turning my world upside down in 2015. This place thrills and terrifies me all at the same time.

So Lord … here are the uncommon blessings you’ve opened my eyes to see. My how you’ve changed this old girl’s view.”

For the burdens that keep me spiritually alert … teaching me how to pray … and how to trust … Thank you Lord.

For the revelation of truth revealed in your word that challenges yet enlightens me … I am so thankful Lord.

For the peace that leaps with joy on the unknown path … oh the hope that’s growing in my heart. Thank you Lord.

For the surprise breakthrough that hovered over the impossible for too long; yet arrived in the nick of time … increasing my faith. Thank you Lord.

For the tears you collect when heartaches overwhelm and man lets me down, thank you for comforting me Lord.

For the bone breaking truth and conviction you speak into my life … thank you Lord.

For the cares that no longer hold me in bondage … Oh Praise you Lord for freedom.

For the boldness of honesty … and the call to stand … thank you God for filling me with courage.

For the deliverance from man’s greed and envy … Hallelujah for clarity to see oppression.

For the negative judgement and opinions of man … let them rail Lord, because you are for me.  Thank you for being my strong tower Lord.

For healing hurts the enemy tries to use against me … Oh thank you sweet Jesus.

And Lord … because you always give joy to balance the pain … thank you for the sweet places too.

For the spirit of urgency that’s teaching me to number my days … thank you for making me productive.

For the laughter of little children who bring life to weariness … thank you Lord.

For the new kindred souls that dance to the rhythm of my heart, embracing my hand in friendship … how good you are O God.

For the love of words … thank you Lord. Help me to use them for your glory, the rest of my days.

This year …  don’t pick and choose your thankfulness based on your circumstances. I challenge you … find the places that hurt and thank God for “ALL THINGS” He is doing in your life.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  

1 Thessalonians 5:18

love mel

 

 

 

 

We have a “GOOD, GOOD, FATHER. Spend some time worshiping HIM for all things.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBwXHpKVS5I

 

Do Mondays Get You Down?

Featured

561707_10151157720416263_1415566466_n

Who doesn’t dread Monday mornings? When the alarm sadistically halts the weekend refuge, dragging oneself out of bed is like trying to separate your toes glued together with super glue.

Sometimes the dread of going back to reality is as debilitating as the actual reality.

Before we even get out of bed….we are defeated.

Sweet friend, I so understand all about the places in life that are not fair.  The workplace drama, the power struggles, greedy and jealous people, health issues, financial deficiencies, the sick child, the loneliness, the prodigal loved ones, difficult relationships, and the staggering grief that won’t subside.

At times we wonder how we will get through the day right? We live in a fallen world; therefore, life just stinks sometimes.

But when our focus is saturated in our situation, we are automatically catapulted into defeat.

Can I encourage you today?

Whatever you are facing that rains down dread like a monsoon….take it to Jesus in a drop to the knees, can’t handle it prayer. Today, ask God to take over your mindset and help you focus on His faithfulness and the good things in your life.

For as much as we think is wrong in our lives, there is good to balance the heartache on….we just have to choose to see the good.

Do you have a home? A family or people who love you? Good health? Are there children in your life to make you smile? Is there a little money in your pocket? What about a beloved pet eager to greet you every day? Do you have a true friend, a praying momma or a caring spouse?

The fact that you woke up breathing is a miracle that God orchestrates every day.  He wants us to acknowledge the good in our lives even when we are walking through the valley. When the focus is on our problems, He can’t grow us to trust Him in the hard seasons.

The creator God who put the stars, sun and moon in place, faithfully oversees His children’s lives, giving us good things; revisiting His previous faithfulness, gives us hope.

Hope my friends…. is what will carry us through the dread of Monday mornings.

Never forget about the good he has given in the midst of your trial.

My challenge for you today…..

1 ~ Ask God to carry the burden of your oppression today…and actually let Him have it. Giving Him the burden means you don’t dwell on it, worry about it or walk around in gloom. Instead you choose faith, believing God will bring you through this trial in his time.

2 ~ Make a list of all the good things in your life and thank the creator for that good.

3 ~ Take each moment…and enjoy the moment for what it is……A beautiful sunset, a brief rest from the noise, a game of catch with the puppy, a 15 minute walk in the evening, an unexpected phone call from a friend, a lazy night at home, a bible story read to a child, prayer time with your family or a friend.  Whatever the gift is for the moment….bask in it and thank God.

Choosing to not focus on the things we dread is a discipline of obedience to God. Life is never going to be perfect even when the house is clean, the bills are paid and the kids behave.

Life is never going to ever arrive at perfection.

Don’t let the dread of facing the hard things in life push you off the slope of hope.

Choose faith and enjoy the moments of perfection God gives in the little blessings that come your way every day. Just focus on Jesus and pour your heart out to him.

When no one understands…..Jesus does.

“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”     Proverbs 13:12

Hang your hat on hope today friend.

Rape field in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

“When You Want To Give Up” #RaRaLinkup

Featured

“Ever Want To Just Give Up?”

Do you ever wonder what’s the use? Why keep praying that prayer? Why show up for something that is going to yield the same results?

Why clean a house that will get dirty again? Why cook supper for a thankless crew? Why show up to a dead-end job?

Day in and day out, it’s the same thing, same story, and same old tune.

Progress if any, seems to move like a snail. Of course the Devil wants us to think nothing is ever going to change, but in reality, nothing stays the same.

So what would it look like…..if you walked away from a cause that you know GOD has called you to be faithful to?

Or give up on a people HE has entrusted to you? Or abandon a task HE has given you to do?

What would it look like for you to let go of the dream? Turn your back in bitterness or defeat and strike a new path?

How would your life be better? Or worse?

My husband was abandoned by his mother at the age of 4. Tired of taking care of kids, living in the same place, with the same man, she was over the monotony of daily household chores. She wanted more. She wanted out and that’s exactly what she did. Like a thief in the night, she packed up a two-year old baby and left behind her other child, my husband, moving over 1000 miles away.

My mother-in-law gave up, and the emotional peril to my husband has been life-long.

Letting go of your cause may not be something so damaging….or is it?

Let’s talk about the consequences of walking away.

Chase down the path of giving up. Where will it take you?

Maybe you are a single person thinking about letting go of your purity? Or maybe Bible study is too difficult and you are having trouble comprehending? What about the diet? The one your doctor told you is imperative to good health?

What about the dream that’s stalled for the time being, because you have responsibilities to take care of, or GOD’S timing is not in it?

There are many heroes in the Bible who could have given up, yet didn’t.

Remember Joshua? He knew GOD would deliver the children of Israel from their enemies. He believed and stayed the course when no one else did.  Eventually he received the inheritance promised while the others didn’t.

Then there is Paul…beaten, imprisoned, oppressed, harassed, and hunted…yet he never gave up for the cause of Christ…he was faithful. How many countless souls have come to JESUS because of Paul’s faithfulness?

What about Noah? Can you imagine how hard it would be to build a big, honking, gopher wood, cruise ship, while everyone is making fun of you? Bible scholars say from 55 to 75 years Noah endured the critics, the scoffers, and the naysayers….yet he saw the project through to the first rain drop. I guess you can say he didn’t miss the boat.

Whatever “good” you are doing in life…get ready…the resistance and warfare is coming.

Satan wants us to think the worst about our situations so we will give up. But what is the potential if you stay the course? Close your eyes and imagine step by step what your life could be if you hang in there for the good of Christ?

Who will benefit from your faithfulness? What will your golden years look like as a result of your faithfulness? What child will know JESUS? What generation will be most affected by your contribution of faithfulness? What will you family dynamic be like? Who will you bless? What rewards will you have to lay at JESUS’ feet one day?

The warfare is the bullet to stop you.

The enemy knows faithfulness always wins, but he wants to make the journey hard so you won’t finish.

sunset 1

If you are lost in a fog of monotony or discouragement today, don’t give up.

Maybe you feel GOD has turned his back or is withholding something from you….please don’t give up.

Perhaps life has changed and you can’t imagine normal or happy again….oh child there is too much at stake to give up now…..if you are in a place like this….you faith is on the line.

So why stay the course?

Why show up every day to the task GOD has put in front of you?

Because faithfulness matters.

The Bible says….

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

galatians 6

If we stay the course and be faithful….we will reap a harvest from all our efforts and toil.

Faithfulness affects every aspect of our life and every relationship including our bond with GOD.

Faithfulness means that no matter the valley you are walking in, no matter the hurt you are carrying, no matter the rotten circumstances you are dealing with and no matter what man throws your way…..

Being faithful means you trust GOD for the outcome.

faithfulness matters

Faithfulness tells GOD, you are in this journey with HIM till the end.

Don’t give up friend, don’t run out and don’t let Satan win…..

If you are faithful to GOD…..HE will be faithful to you.

faithful 2

Stay in the fight friends, GOD sees you…HE cares for you….and HE will reward your faithfulness.

I am sending love and prayers to all my readers today who are tired and wanting to give up. Fight for your faithfulness!

Love,

Mel

Here are some scriptures and worship links to encourage you to fight for faithfulness in all areas of your life.

Proverbs 28:20, Habakkuk 2:4, Matthew 25:13-211 Peter 5:8-10, Revelation 2:10

Elevation Worship – Great Things (Worth It All), Your Promises, Fortress

I am so honored to be linking up with my sweet friend, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup…on her blog purposefulfaith.com.

“Getting Past Life’s Mistakes”

Do you ever wish there were “do overs” in life?

Like the stupid decisions that led to shame…or pain…or loss?

Or the lost opportunities we couldn’t see the value in when we had the chance to be something different….do something important?

How about the conversations or remarks you wish you could take back?

And the regrets of ungodly actions?

The older I get….the more I think about the “do overs” I wish I had.

If only we had the wisdom and discipline to make all the right choices….our lives would go a lot smoother for sure.

But there is hope….

Even when we make the wrong decision….GOD is there…..

If we trust him.

In Lysa Terkehurst’s new book “The Best Yes,” she shares we can’t let our mistakes make us think our life is ruined or forever soiled.

Lysa says…..

“An error is an unintentional mistake; an end is a termination. When considering the potential outcome of a difficult decision, its important to distinguish the errors from the ends in our thinking.”

 

unnamed

Even when we mess up…it’s not an end….it’s a mistake we did not intend to happen.

We CAN recover from poor decisions…if we let GOD have control of the situation.

Yes we may have to face some uncomfortable consequences but GOD doesn’t mark us off as disappointments.

In fact …. here is the kicker…..my favorite quote of the whole book……

“My imperfections will never override GOD’S promises. GOD’S promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on HIS ability to use well.”

I don’t know about you…..but this truth just pierces me deep down and makes me want to cry like a baby.

What comfort it is to know my mess ups will never disqualify me from….

HIS love….

HIS mercy…..

HIS kingdom purposes….

or….

HIS ultimate will for my life.

There is so much anointed wisdom from this new book….and I want to leave you with one more quote from Lysa to think about…….

It’s not the activities or accomplishments we string together that make lives well lived as much as it is the hearts of wisdom we gain and use along the way.”

We are going to mess up on this winding….rocky path of life, but if we will let the mess ups (errors)…teach us wisdom ……we will learn to make wiser decisions in the future.

Friend if you are mourning a poor decision and your stuck in the mire of consequences……

Don’t get discouraged……

Don’t hang your head in shame……

Don’t think your life is in a dead end……

Remember…..you are in the redeeming process…..

And what GOD redeems……

HE always uses for HIS GLORY!

slowtherush-400x399

“We have to slow the rhythm of rush in our lives so the best of who we are can emerge. What has “rushing” stolen from you?”

Taken from Chapter 2: The Way of the Best Yes

http://thebestyes.com/

“When Life Brings Unexpected Change”

Aside

Nothing stays the same.

Everything changes in this vacuum of time called life.

The babies grow up, the loved one passes away, the job ends, the divorce becomes final,  the friends come and go.

Resistance is the human reaction we all grapple with.

The seasons of life can bring great joy as well as great pain.

The good changes are easier to deal with, the scary changes with consequences not so easy.

With every change the uncertainty of life as we know it becomes a distance memory and if we’re not careful…..it can cloud or stall our future…..but be cautious because our faith is our future.

Don’t get stuck living in the past…….it can be a miserable place to exist …I know….I’ve wasted too much time living in the past.

GOD allows change for good….even though we don’t like how it comes sometimes.

We may face life events that seem catastrophic or heartbreaking….but if we are abiding in JESUS….HE will work it all for our good.

The fact that HE allows change….regardless of how it comes….. shows HE doesn’t want us to stay as we are….HE knows change can bring us closer to HIM if we will let it.

Its when we resist HIS change that we stumble and stray….getting lost in the foggy circumstances.

We can choose to stay the way we are….. where we are at……or we can embrace the change….and become more.

More like HIM is the change HE wants.

I know many are wrestling with big changes in your lives……but instead of dreading and fearing them….let GOD’S peace rest in your heart.

Take time to grieve or regroup…..but …don’t linger too long in the pain because that’s the place Satan uses to trip us up……the pain can cause us to become bitter, hardened….hopeless.

The bible says there is an appointed time for everything….for every event under heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1

If change wasn’t part of life there would be no long summer evenings on the porch….we wouldn’t have the splendor of fall to look forward to…..there would be no winter for the earth to rest…and without the rest….the spring wouldn’t bring new life.

The same is true in our spiritual life.

Fervently trusting JESUS will change the shades of our faith, making them more brilliant…..no matter what season…. be it the hurts and the joys…. seasons of change spin abundance from GOD’S heart.

Change hurts…. but somewhere along the path….the evolution of the heart finds a harvest of mercy, healing, joy and new life.

Hold on tight to JESUS… embrace the change….and see what HE does next.

Streams in the wasteland scripture picture

 

Are you getting old? Or just a little older? There is a difference! Happy 50th Birthday to me!

Aside

Time is a like a roll of toilet paper….the closer it gets to the end….the faster it goes.

Time waits for no one yet affords us many pleasures.

Time awards us wisdom yet threatens our youth and vitality.

Time comes quickly and cruelly leaves us longing for more.

Time measures our days, the special occasions, the new experiences, the tearful goodbyes and the joys of new life.

Time….a friend and a foe.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately.  I’m turning 50 this weekend and totally amazed I’m going to be a half a century old….considered an antique….now eligible for an AARP card.

I used to think people in their fifties were old….the jokes on me now right?

As I have been embracing my slow swan dive into pre-senior citizen status, I’m actually kind of excited.

I am determined to make the next 50 years the best of my life.

In about 6 weeks I will finally have an empty nest.  My last little birdie…or buzzard is probably more appropriate…is jumping out of the Porter nest.

My husband is especially excited he won’t have to hide his Debbie cakes and ice cream and he’s counting the days until he won’t have to share the family room TV.

For some silly reason he thinks we will run through the house naked if we desire.

Not this old girl.

I’m not afraid of getting older….but I am afraid of getting old.

You see….there is a difference…and a lot of it has to do with how we think about aging.

Getting OLDER means I’m still evolving to become what GOD desires….I’m still learning….still skipping hand in hand with the passions HE’S burned into my heart.

Getting OLD signifies becoming fixed…brittle…resolved to what is happening with the body…the mind and habits.

Getting OLDER means I am not afraid to keep trying, learning new things…..dreaming new dreams.

Getting OLD means to give up the dreams.

Getting OLDER is the path GOD has set for me…and you.

Getting OLD means stopping on the path…….giving up…..giving in.

I will not give in to the lie Satan wants us all to buy….you know the lie with fear attached to it…..getting older means life is getting closer to being over?

The truth is…..GOD has a charted path and plan to walk us right into eternity.

It is our job and responsibility to seek and follow HIS path every single day until we take our last breath.

By following HIS customized path for our lives…..we won’t get bored…..tired…..or fearful.

Following HIS path and plan will renew us….give us endurance….give us joy.

I can honestly say I am more excited about my future than I have ever been.

I’m carrying the lessons of the past in my back pocket and charting for a new territory called senior citizenville….the place of discounts galore…..and I will exploit them all.

I’ll be the newest golden girl on the block with the hottest senior citizen hubby already in residence…..he’s been there a while and has been patiently waiting for me to join him.

Since he is 16 years my senior….he was excited when I turned 30….I think he’s extremely satisfied with my ever approaching 50th mile marker.

In the past I dreaded this birthday but GOD has done amazing things in my heart these last few years.

HE’S breathed new life into the now empty space of motherhood.

HE has been pursuing this stubborn heart my entire life….and I finally got smart enough to realize it.

I know my future is good…..because GOD’S got me in the palm of his hand.

I’m so thankful for where I am at now.

I am grateful for the lessons of the past….the heartaches of yesterday…the regrets surrendered to peace…..for all these experiences are now wrapped in wisdom.

I am grateful HE has given me 50 years….some hard…some easy….but all full of life and hope.

When you have JESUS….you can’t help but think….. life…and hope.

So happy 50th birthday to me…..

A golden girl in training.

I’m not getting old…thanks to the good LORD….I’m just getting a little older.

“Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”       2 Corinthians 4:16

scripture picture

Longing for my Daddy

Aside

Nothing good happens after midnight…..

So my daddy told me a million times.  I must confess I tell my kids the same thing even though they’re now adults.

Be sure your sins will find you
out….was another one of his favorites.  He would be proud I actually listened to a few things he taught me.

He was the fun daddy, always willing to do something silly to make us laugh. The first with the quick comeback, the practical joker, and the ever amusing story teller.

He passed away unexpectedly two years ago.

The landscape of our family dynamic just isn’t the same anymore.

His passing left an incredible void in our lives collectively and individually.

His pictures are around us yet they bring little comfort. 

We find ourselves saying…”Oh daddy would have liked that….or daddy would get a kick out of this or that.”

Death leaves a major hole in our hearts.

I’ve realized there is nothing in this world to fill it.

We’ve gone on with life….the family gatherings consisting of many firsts without him. 

Grandchildren graduations.

Marriages.

Birthdays.

Holidays.

The longing in my heart will never go away as long as I live on this earth…..but knowing my daddy is in heaven is comforting to a certain degree.

One day…..after I enter heaven’s gates and run into the arms of my JESUS……

I’m going to have a good laugh with my daddy.  He’s going to tell me how peculiar Noah is…..what a good singer King David is…..and he will probably make fun of Moses’s speech impediment….if he still has one.

I am sure he is spending time with Johnny Cash and perhaps the king of rock and roll, Elvis…if Elvis is there? Surely he is…..a girl can hope can’t she?

One thing for sure….I know my daddy is having a good time…..and I wouldn’t dare bring him back…..because he wouldn’t want to live on this old earth again after living in perfection.

While I cannot wait to see my daddy…..

JESUS is going to be the main attraction folks.

Do you realize when we finally come into HIS presence we will be complete…..and completely fulfilled?

All the longings of earth…..

the heartaches…..

the disappointments…..

the wrongs….

the sickness….

the life altering events…..

the handicaps….

the financial losses…..

the oppression of man……

the deaths……

all the holes in our heart will finally be filled….complete…..perfect.

“He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelations 21:4

Man …..that’s something to look forward to isn’t it?

My heart swells just thinking about that day…..makes me homesick for my final home.

If this Father’s day has you longing for someone….or something….take heart…this too shall pass away.

One day the longings of this old life will be no more and if we know JESUS as our SAVIOR…..our broken hearts will be made complete.

Birthdays, lake 2014 089

 

“Waiting Well” What do we do when GOD Is Silent?

It doesn’t feel good when someone gives us the silent treatment does it? I’ve been guilty of thinking GOD is giving me the silent treatment at times. I have enough faith to pray…..”Why aren’t you moving here GOD? Can’t you see what I’m going through down here LORD?”

I know HE can move and fix my problem in an instant so why doesn’t HE?  Then I seem to go through a cycle where I am up and down. One minute I’m trusting HIM and the next I’m bellyaching cause HE hasn’t moved.

I have failed the “silence during the test” class many times. It seems HE has been trying to teach me to “wait well” for the last few years. I once heard a pastor say, HE will keep putting us through the same lesson until we get it. I’ve been a real flunkie some days.

Then HE showed me the test isn’t just to learn to trust HIM but to learn to focus on HIM.  I’ve realized when I am praying and just sitting here waiting on HIM to answer…I can get pretty discouraged.

In the eighteenth chapter of Luke, JESUS was sharing the parable about the widow who kept taking her case to the judge to avenge her from her adversary.  She was persistent and the judge finally granted her request just because he was over her begging.

The LORD gave me two points to ponder from this scripture…..the first being….don’t give up asking.

JESUS shared HIS teaching of the Judge’s decision…..

 “Hear what the unjust judge said… shall not GOD avenge HIS own elect, which cry day and night unto HIM, though HE bear long with them?  I tell you that HE will avenge them speedily.”  Luke 18:7-8

In other words JESUS was saying….if this unjust judge would agree to avenge the widow….don’t you think a loving, just GOD will avenge you one day?  Give you relief?  Come back around to settle things on your account?

So even if HE is being silent….HE doesn’t want us to stop praying.

But it was the second part of verse eight that really challenged my thinking about what HE wants me to do during the silence.

“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall HE find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18: 8b

Shall HE find faith on the earth?

Sadly, I don’t think I have been very faithful in my waiting through the years.

Yea, I go to church, I pray a lot, I study my bible everyday.  I fervently love my LORD…..but when I’m in the trenches praying about a problem….I’m not necessarily being faithful because I’m more focused on praying for GOD to come through for me….instead of really focusing on HIM.

There is a difference.

Faithfulness encompasses prayer.

Faithfulness is humbling myself in anticipation should HE say no instead of grumbling about the discomfort I’m in.

Faithfulness is asking the hard questions….GOD is there something you’re trying to show me here? Some sin?

Faithfulness is repenting of the not so obvious…secret….character flaws….keeping me from truly being clean.

Faithfulness is growing spiritually.

If I’m not growing while I am waiting…then I’m just missing an opportunity to know my LORD better.

My associate pastor says…….

“If we are walking with GOD….growth is not an option.”

If I am “waiting well”….I will be growing spiritually.

What I am doing in the waiting period is significant to being faithful.

I confess for many years I have not waited well. My actions didn’t show faithfulness….my words didn’t reveal faithfulness.

GOD may have withheld HIS hand on my behalf but HE never withheld his love, protection, provision or faithfulness to me….yet I withheld everything HE deserved.

GOD’S silence is good for me.

I can’t believe I said it….but it’s true.

GOD’S silence has taught me to evaluate how I am waiting…..

What I need to repent of…..

What I need to submit to…..

How I need to serve HIM regardless of what HE does for me….

And how I should love HIM….regardless the answer.

But here is the key to all this…..if you don’t take anything away….remember this please….

If we don’t seek to know HIM better during the trials….the heartaches….and the silent times…..we will lose hope.

The bible clearly tells us if we seek HIM…..we will find HIM.

If we repent…..HE forgives us.

If we submit…..HE blesses our humbleness.

If we praise….HE dwells with us because HE inhabits our praise.

HE reciprocates our efforts.

Let me say that again….and let it sink in…

Our GOD….will reciprocate any efforts we make to know him better….including…..

Our submission….

Our repentance….

When we go to HIM with the desire to grow in HIM…..

To give him pure praise…..with no strings attached.

HE  responds by granting peace…..

Joy….

Blessing….

 And Hope.

And if HE doesn’t answer the way we want….. we still have an intimate relationship with our precious SAVIOR……. and HE will grant HIS SWEET GRACE to us in order to accept whatever outcome HE deems HIS perfect will to be.

I’ve come to realize…

When I am walking close with GOD….its easier to accept his will and abandon mine.

Don’t just pray for the giver of all things to give you relief or what you need……get to know the giver intimately.

If we seek the giver……we will be found faithful.

lf we’re faithful…we will be “waiting well.”

edited abandon will