Tag Archive: comfort


Psalm 139 teaches us that God is in control.  He knows all things, plans all things and there is no hiding from His knowledge and presence.

I love that and saw it clearly yesterday when I peed in a cup.

Yes, you heard me right.

God tends to reveal Himself in obscure ways… well, at least to me He does and most recently it has been in the bathroom.  (There will be more on that at some other most inappropriate time.)

Anyway, back to peeing in a cup.

I have had a stomach ache for quite some time, and recently went to the doctor to have it checked out.  I don’t seem to have any other symptoms; I won’t go into the unnecessarily extensive and picturesque list of symptoms asked of me, that is a clear visual you don’t need, so what you need to know is an ultrasound and more testing need to be done.

Before I left the doctor’s office, an ultrasound was set up for the very next day at the UW Hospital downtown, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and scheduled to come in for the lab work an hour before heading downtown for the ultrasound appointment.

As I left and got into my car to leave, my cell phone rang revealing a number I was not familiar with.  I answered it and a nurse from the UW Hospital was calling to tell me there was a conflict in their schedule and I would have to move my ultrasound appointment to next week.

I had hoped to get everything done in one day but obviously I wasn’t able to, so I decided to keep the lab appointment at the clinic anyway. When I went in for the lab work the next day, I had blood drawn first and then headed into the restroom to pee in a cup…and that is where I spied God.

Had I not been forced to changed my ultrasound appointment, originally scheduled an hour after that one, I would have left the clinic and headed down to the UW Hospital but because I had lab work done and incidentally peed in a cup, I would not have had the required full bladder needed for an accurate ultrasound.

Because God is in control; knowing what would be needed and orchestrated it so that my ultrasound appointment was changed, I was able to have my lab work done and will now have the most accurate ultrasound test done next week.

This life is no accident; each moment exactly as it should be, each of us placed strategically.

In Psalm 139, God teaches us that very truth and also teaches that through whatever trial, He is the source of hope and comfort.

Psalm 139  ESV

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.a
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

“… He leads me beside still waters.”   Psalm 23:2

 

 

As I sat to spend time with God in prayer this morning, my thoughts were being pulled to get into His Word.

I hate to cut my talk time with God short, because as of late I seem to have a lot to say to Him. Perhaps God didn’t want to hear it today, because I did unload a bit yesterday.

Seriously. I had words…

ONE SIDED words.

But oh, I PRAISE HIM that He wants us to share our hearts!!

So, I asked God to show me what He wanted me to glean from His Word this morning, and I went to His Book. I began reading in Hebrews and found great comfort in Hebrews 2:18…

“For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”

I love that!!

Jesus was tempted as a human, so He knows what we are feeling when we are tempted. We can seek comfort from Him any time because He knows what we’re feeling!! He knows our pain, fears, and struggles because He experienced the SAME THINGS!!

That’s awesome!

Jesus knows how I’m feeling…
…when I don’t want to eat right and don’t want to work out.
…when I am frustrated that the house is a mess and the kids are fighting.
…when I am angry that He asked me to leave my kids and go to work full time.

Then it hit me. Jesus does know. He knows what it’s like to be asked to do something He doesn’t want to do. He was asked to give everything of himself, the most a person can give, and even He wants an out…

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me… “

Jesus, the Almighty God, in all his humanity didn’t want to do this thing he was asked to do. For one brief moment he wished he didn’t have to. Although in stark contrast to my own attitude, Jesus doesn’t stop there. I REALLY want him to, but he doesn’t. The moment passes and he continues…

…Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”   Luke 22:42

ouch.

Jesus submitted to the will of His Father as I must do, and accept and trust that the journey He has put me on is right for everyone…including me and my family.

Oh Lord, thank you for being so real. Thank you for being so understanding. Please give me comfort as I leave my heart at home with my kids each day. Give me your strength and energy, and give me opportunity to share my faith with those you have put in my path.

Not my will, but yours…

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”   Psalm 9:10

Have you ever been lost in a department store?

You’re eight years old walking down the toy aisle with mom pushing the cart when you are lured by the call of the Glo Worms, Masters of the Universe, She-Ra and Star Wars action figures, Rainbow Bright, Pound Puppies, Donny & Marie dolls and Micro Machines when you look up and realize Mom’s nowhere in sight.

Your heart pounds, your eyes widen, your pulse quickens and your whole body stiffens and practically tingles as you frantically search aisle after aisle desperately seeking someone you recognize.

You know that feeling… empty, desperate, nowhere to turn, no one to listen, lost and without hope.

Several months ago I wrote an “I Spy” about pulpit thumping, which I realized I hadn’t posted on here yet…so, I literally just posted it now if you’d like to take a look:  “I spy God thumping

The co-worker I refer to in that post has been prayed over by many people and so often since that incident with the radio preacher almost five months ago now.  I shared the “thumping” story with the owner and other employees at Life 102.5, and they have been praying that God might open a door for me to continue to witness to her at work.

However, to be completely honest I never thought she would be brought to a place where a door would be opened wide enough for her to be accepting of it, let alone have the time needed while at work to share with her, so again I shrugged it off.

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?”   Genesis 18:14a

How silly of me.

Just the other day, I was able to sit down and catch up with this co-worker, and she shared with me about enduring some real heartache and difficulty in her life, and that she is very much struggling with everything right now.

Creeeeeaaaaak…the door just opened.

God provided a good 45 minutes for me to chat with this gal and share of God’s love and the sacrifice He made for her, but as we talked what struck me was that I saw in her eyes a glimpse of that little girl lost in a department store.

I saw fear and confusion in her tear filled eyes.  She couldn’t recognize anyone around her, she couldn’t understand how she got there and unable find her way.

 

I read a new friend’s blog just this morning that God spoke through, bringing my co-worker to mind and into my prayers:

“Maybe you are standing at the bottom of that hill or mountain looking up high at a mountain and that’s all you know for sure.

And when this happens, and it does sometimes, we can look a tiny bit higher than the hill to the clouds, look for something–no, Someone–we can’t see, and say, even when we don’t have any other words:

“Jesus, help.”
 
I remember the one time that He was up on a hill.
 
And I wait. Because He is strong in my weakness.
And that’s why I need grace.
 
Will you wait? See His strength in your weakness.
We all need grace.
 
He comes when we ask and we find His strength.”
*Excerpt taken from Jen’s blog: Extra*Ordinary

Do you know something is missing, but can’t figure out what?

Do you long for the warmth, peace, and embrace only our loving, forgiving, and all-powerful Father can provide?

Please don’t wait another moment to turn to the One person who can give you what you’re missing.

Call to Him.

He’s waiting.

Christian; do you remember a time, even if you grew up in a strong Christian home and gave your life to Jesus at an early age, where you felt far away from Him?

He hasn’t moved.

“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”   Matthew 19:26

“When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”   Matthew 10:19-20

Oh, I just praise God and His timing!!

I receive a daily devotional each morning from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Now, I don’t always get a chance to read it…but every once in a while I do.

A few days ago God prompted me to read one about loss and God’s plan.  It was called: “If God Loves Me, why…” by Renee Swope.

It touched my heart and I immediately wanted to share it, but God at that moment didn’t lay anyone on my heart to forward it to.  He just quietly told me to wait…

Save it.

This morning I got an email from a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while.  She confided in me that she just recently found out she was pregnant, and almost just as quickly was miscarried…for a second time.

She was very sad, feeling as if someone had ripped out her heart, and felt very alone because really, no one knew.

God immediately brought to mind the devotional I had stored away for another time…

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place… And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14

I read through the devotional again, and it wasn’t one on loss of a child or even a loved one.  In fact, it was about heartbreak and hurts in our past, so I wasn’t sure this was what my friend needed… but God continued to prompt me to send it.  It was about His plan for us through every trial, tragedy, and storm so I sent it…although I did warn her to read it when she had time, because I sent it to her at work!!

My friend’s response was awesome, and I praise God for His perfect timing and for sending her the right words…

“Ok so I couldn’t wait…..I read it choking down my emotions in between answering the phone.  You know what…..I am so glad I did.  I just sighed and thought, I can do this, I’m ok!!!  I have time in my life.  Almost a relieved feeling.  How amazing…..

Thank you again and again, I needed to read that today! 

It meant a lot especially because of my past.  I don’t know what I’ve ever told you but I had a bad history with my parents with alcohol in my past but didn’t let that slow me down.  But……as I was reading it, it touched home that way and what I’m going through now. ”

Praise the One in whose timing and words are perfect!!

I am blown away.  My blog, these measly, amateur scribblings of how I see God working in my life, was mentioned yesterday in a Lovebug‘s take of her most favorite blogs to flutter to!  I am absolutely humbled and in awe.

Not an hour before, I wondered if God really wanted me to write. I have been trying to raise money to attend a writer’s conference for several months now.  God has helped me raise nearly 70% of the total funds needed, but the $300 still left to pay is due next Tuesday.

{gulp.}

Then I got news that the flexible spending account I had through my employer had been canceled and I no longer qualify for the program because my hours at work have been significantly reduced.  Due to this sudden change, any funds I put toward my account have been forfeited, and now any chiropractic, optical, or major dental work will have to be paid out of pocket.  An expense that was surely not planned or expected.

{gulp.}

That was it…I lost it.  All the money I’ve been putting into that account from my paycheck, money we could’ve used for groceries, gas, lots of other needs, was gone.  I began thinking that perhaps this is God telling me He doesn’t want me to go to the conference after all, especially when it’s going to cost even more money just to travel there, when we could be using that money for better purposes…instead of me chasing a crazy dream.

I voiced my concern to a friend of mine when God reassured me through her response: “The Benny card has nothing to do with the conference.  God knew this would happen and He knows how you will get to the conference.  It will just make it more awesome!”

Then, God placed a beautiful reminder on another friend’s Facebook page:

Then, a Lovebug’s encouragement in her post Hey all You Bloggers…: “I have met some awesome bloggers and it still amazes me with all the wonderful things I read and come across.”  She even mentioned that my blog was her “inspiration dosage.”

Unbelievable.

It is amazing how God works in our lives. How just at the right time He sends a word of encouragement through a friend,

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”   Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

unveils His artistry in a sunset,

comforts us in a hug,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”   Psalm 46:1b

reveals His power in a storm,

smiles as we enjoy a warm cup of coffee,

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”   John 15:11

uncovers His creativity in a flower,

and laughs when we finally understand and are in shock and awe of His amazing love, provision, and grace.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”   James 1:17

I love writing, receive great joy in it, and would absolutely be satisfied to just write my prayers and share my silly little stories with my family and friends.

But I pray that God uses the stories He gives me to allow even one person to see Him in a new light; that His amazing love is revealed, that eyes are opened to the truth of His Word, that He is seen as colorfully and amazing as I see Him, and that He receives all the glory from it.

“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.”   Daniel 2:21-22

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Sometimes bad things happen.

The Bible says:  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”   Romans 8:28

Which isn’t a lot of comfort for those going through the difficult time, I’m sure.  How can a terminal illness, the loss of a parent or a child, the loss of a job, all possibly be good?!

We, as sinful creatures, can’t see the big picture.  We can’t see God’s plan and therefore can’t see the outcome of this tragedy.

“then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.”   Ecclesiastes 8:17

About a year ago, the daughter of a woman I work with was pregnant with twins.  They knew fairly early on in the pregnancy that one of the babies was healthy and developing well, while the other was not.  Both babies were alive, Mom could feel them both in her belly, but she and Dad knew that within moments of giving birth, the most joyous of occasions, they would be planning the future for one and a funeral for the other.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”   Psalm 139:13-16

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Zoe and Jude were born, Zoe weighed around six pounds and Jude around four.  Both were beautiful babies and on the outside looked perfect, but baby Jude was unable to breathe on his own and within minutes Mom and Dad watched in horror as he gasped for his last breath.

“Why?”  They asked.

“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”   Ecclesiastes 11:5

At home, Zoe and Mom are doing well although she struggles with the loss of Jude of course, but has absolutely taken to being a mom and loves it.

“Why?”  They still ask… but Grandma, the woman I work with, has been given insight and can see the blessing through this tragedy;

  • Had Jude died in the womb, it could have caused severe complications both to Zoe and Mom
  • They were all allowed time with Jude alive, albeit a short amount, but they were able to hold him and to pour their love into those moments they were blessed with him.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ To him be glory forever. Amen.”   Romans 11:33-34,36b

About 20 years ago now, God called Jax’s mom home after her battle with cancer.  She had two daughters married with families of their own, Jax was in college, and her youngest daughter was in middle school.

I’m sure none of them thought it was a good thing to lose their mother, but through it God has been glorified;

  • Her sisters came to know Christ after seeing the peace God had given her family through this tragedy
  • Her children are able to empathize with and minister to others so young dealing with the loss of a parent
  • Jax returned home to be with his dad, now that he was alone, therefore Jax and I met
  • I came to know Christ after meeting Jax, as well as countless others since… including our own children

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”   Romans 5:3-5

We will never know God’s plans this side of heaven, but we do know that all things happen for the good of His Kingdom, for His glory, and to draw us into a closer relationship with Him.

One day a rabbi stood on a hill overlooking a certain city.
The rabbi watched in horror as a band of Cossacks on horseback
suddenly attacked the town, killing innocent men, women, and children.
Some of the slaughtered were his own disciples.
Looking up to heaven, the rabbi exclaimed: “Oh, if only I were God.”
An astonished student, standing nearby, asked
“But, Master,  if you were God, what would you do differently?”
The rabbi replied:  “If I were God I would do nothing differently.
If I were God, I would understand.”

~ As told by Joanna Laufer and Kenneth S. Lewis in Inspired (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 5.

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