Category: Trust


Have you ever wondered where God is?  When things you pray about don’t ever seem to be answered.  When other people’s prayers are answered quickly and you’re still sitting there listening quietly… patiently… and all you hear are…

I have.

Many times.

One of my best friends is a friend from childhood.  We share crazy memories from grade school to high school to college.  We were in each other’s weddings and have made it through multiple births together. She was one of the first to know about my conversion with Christ, when I finally accepted Him, and she was there when I was baptized in Believer’s baptism.  This dear friend later also accepted Christ as her Savior and although she lived a distance away from me, I continued to try to encourage her and disciple her in her walk with the Lord.

But it was hard.

The Lord gave me very strong Christian friends in my life (including my hubby) to disciple and help me.  An amazing church family and so many opportunities for my faith to grow.  But my friend’s story was different.  Her husband wasn’t ‘religious’ so going to church at all was difficult for her.  She was surrounded by non-believers and it seemed God hadn’t placed, really, anyone around my friend to help her in her Christian walk and it broke my heart.

alone

All I could do was pray for her, and I did.  Constantly.

I prayed that God would soften her husband’s heart and give them a longing to find a good church or to place Christians in their neighborhood.  I prayed that once her babies were in the picture, God would give her a sense of obligation to raise those babies knowing Him.  But most often I prayed that God would just place Godly Christian women in her life at work.

I sent her devotions and encouragement through the years, shared with her all the ‘I Spy’ opportunities where I saw God working in my own life, but it was clear that the life she was leading was not the one I had hoped for her as a follower of Christ.

I prayed for my friend for so many years…

prayer_hands_gold

then I stopped.

Oh, once in a while I would think about her and say a little prayer hoping that she could experience the same type of relationship that I have with my Savior…but it seemed like all of it was useless.  She was still in the same place she was so many years ago…still such a baby Christian; not being fed or discipled.  It had been too long.  Maybe this is all God had planned for her.

But is it?

The Bible shares a story about a woman who suffered unanswered prayer for twelve years!

TWELVE YEARS!

“And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.”   Mark 5:25-26

How do I know she prayed this long?  Because of the testimony she has with how she reacted to Jesus later in the story.

But think about this poor woman.  She had crazy health problems!  Come on girls, can you imagine having ‘Aunt Flow’ visit for twelve years?  And this wasn’t just a short, unannounced, knock-knock-surprise-I’m-here-for-the-weekend visit.  It was a CONSTANT TWELVE YEAR flow!

kevin

NOT.EVEN.FUNNY.  I really need to stop complaining.

And on top of that, because she had this discharge of blood, according to Jewish law she was considered unclean.

“If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity.And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.   Leviticus 15:25-27

What does that mean?  This poor woman, suffering so much health-wise, couldn’t even be comforted.  According to the law, she could not be in contact with anyone and couldn’t even live in the town with her family and friends.  She was ostracized.

But what does she do?  Instead of ending her prayers and dumping her belief… instead of giving up and thinking “Oh gee, Jesus is here… why bother?  Maybe this is just what God has planned for me.”

No, she trusted.

“She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.’ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.   Mark 5:27-29

hem

I recently heard from my dear friend.  She finally got a cell phone so we are able to text whenever we want now.  (We will certainly be keeping the cell phone companies in business!)  Woohoo!!

After we caught up a bit on the goings on in our lives, she told me this:

“I have to tell you something I don’t think you’ll be surprised by.  I work with some amazing Godly women.  I swear one friend was sent by you somehow.”

I was dumbfounded.  How silly of me to think that God had forgotten or that through these years He hadn’t been working…preparing.  If only I had trusted with the same faith as that woman…

“And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”   Mark 5:32-34

God has a plan for our lives, and it’s in His timing when it will be revealed to us.  In the mean time we must keep the faith…stay the course…and trust that all things from Him are good.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!”
Psalm 84:11-12

As I grew up, the plan for my life was to get married, have kids and stay home to raise them.  My Mom did that and so would I.

I dated through high school but I would surely meet THE ONE in college, then I wouldn’t have to finish because, obviously, we would be married right away, have a couple kids, I would stay home, eat bonbons and live happily ever after.

mrs degree

That’s just what girls did and I couldn’t wait.

God changed that plan.  Well, as usual, His plan is always a tad different than our own.

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

A dear friend of mine is a wonderfully amazing single woman.  For 35 years she has remained faithful to God’s plans for her life…remaining true to His Biblical standards for a single person; growing in her faith, serving God with her time and abilities, remaining morally pure and finding contentment in her singleness.

She is one of the strongest, Godliest and wisest women I know.  To me, a married mother of four, my friend seems to have it all.  She can do whatever she chooses with her time, has a great job and resources that allow her to travel and give freely… and yet the greatest desire of her heart is to find the man God has planned for her.

Because she, like me and so many other women, know one of the simplest and most basic desires and purpose for mankind.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…'”   Genesis 1:27-28

Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”   Genesis 2:18, 24

Marriage

But God just hasn’t brought ‘THE ONE’ to her.

A couple years ago a single dad, and his son, moved into the area and began attending our church.  We all became fast friends and even began serving together in ministry.  I swear, a resounding “Hmmmm…re-he-he-ally?!!” could have been heard when some of us realized he was single.   My friend and he got along very well…they seemed a perfect fit and even other people noticed, however nothing seemed to come of it.

“Is he just oblivious?”  Some asked.

“Does he not have similar feelings?”  Questioned others.

None of it made any sense.  It seemed so clear.  Such a great match.

Then we received news that he would be moving back home – states away – and it would be happening immediately.  It literally knocked the wind out of me and I can only imagine what it did to my friend.

We were supposed to meet at my house, our small group women and I, the night he stopped by to tell us the sad news, but schedules changed and the meeting was canceled.  Had the gals and I met…my friend would have surely been here when he stopped.

God protected her heart.

tears

Undoubtedly there were tears and still are, but what seems so sad can also be seen as blessing.

Had something more intimate started between them, this parting would have been infinitely more difficult.  Besides, he is moving back home…back to where he and his son came from…back to where more family is… his parents AND his son’s mother.

Perhaps this is God’s plan of protection for my friend or His plan of reconciliation for a family.  We can’t know the mind of our Creator or the plan He has for our lives but Scripture shows us time and again that God knows our struggles…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:15-16

And if we boldly go before Him, offering up our heart’s desire, He will hear…

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”   Romans 8:26-27
And will fill our hearts…

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”   John 7:38

But still, it hurts.

Godincidence

Isn’t it interesting when things just “happen”?

My daughter has been invited to join her cousins for a day of fun in the sun at Noah’s Ark today.

noah's ark sign

Noah’s Ark always promises (and delivers) a day filled with lots of water, laughter and crazy rides.  But there’s one catch…

Noah's Ark waterpark

A whopping $35.99 entry fee (which, of course, does not include any sort of lunch, snack, drink, etc…)

ouch.

Thankfully God knows all things and plans all things.

Sami has a check for $35 from Christmas that still needs to be cashed…  Perfect!!  Well, that covers the cost of the ticket, I’ll just have to send some snacks along with her.

And in God’s perfect timing, I got a text from Sam yesterday saying she ‘spied God’…

She has been staying with her Grandparents, helping my Dad take care of my Mom who just had hip replacement surgery.  Dad and Sam went to Subway to bring back supper, and in true God fashion, Subway ‘just happens’ to have a deal going on right now:

subway“It’s the 10-for-10 Monster Deal from Noah’s Ark and Subway. A deal so big it’s taking over summer!
Now, spend ten dollars at any Wisconsin Subway restaurant,
and you can get a voucher good for ten dollars off admission to Noah’s Ark, America’s Largest Waterpark!
No purchase necessary. See store for details.”

Sweet.

perfect timing

Steal my show!

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

Isn’t it amazing how God tries to get our attention?  I was looking for the iPad this morning to use while I ran.  That is the ONLY way to do it, I tell you!!  It’s so much easier to face treadmill torture when I’m able to distract myself with a show on Netflix.  But this morning the iPad was gone.  It wasn’t charging…wasn’t in it’s place and because I had gotten up a little later, I didn’t have the time to look for it.

So I grabbed my phone and my earbuds and headed downstairs to do my running to music.

God moved that iPad.

 

Have you ever had Him grab hold of your heart through a song??

I.LOVE.THAT!

Although it’s much more thrilling when you’re standing on a large rubber belt strapped around a set of motorized pulleys and gears moving at break-neck speeds!treadmill

Ok, I’ll come clean; it’s not so break-neck…only 6 mph, but it still makes things very exciting when God uses the dropped beat and swirling rhythms pulsing through the earbuds to literally take your breath away.

I felt every word of tobyMac‘s song “Steal My Show” this morning.

 

 

I want that.

I want to give God center stage in my life’s production.  I long for Him to be the director, playwrite, choreographer, costume designer and ticketing agent.

To allow Him to use me in any way He wants.  To place the people in my life He wants me to minister to.  To release my grip, take a step back, watch Him work and be ok whatever the outcome.

God used tobyMac’s words to land squarely on my chest to knock me off balance.

If you wanna steal my show, I’ll sit back and watch you go
If you got somethin’ to say, go on and take it away
Need you to steal my show, can’t wait to watch you go-o-o-o
So take it away…

For it’s when we’re knocked off balance that He can be seen.

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”   2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Oh God, give me the words to say and the steps to take.  I give you control…my hands are outstretched and open.  Please use me.  Show me how to behave, teach me Your ways, allow me to see You at all times and trust You in every moment.

worship

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