I’ve been watching the show, The Partner. In this show, Marcus Lemonis, puts many to the test but is selecting one right-hand-man or woman to be his partner. He puts each person through the wringer: he tests their knowledge of financial statements, has them run their own businesses, and places them in high-tension sales situations.
In a different way, God, also, is looking for just the right person…
…will He find you?
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chron. 16:9)
Just as Marcus noticed how his contestants endured under fire, God notices as well. Not with the goal of eliminating us, but much with the same goal – of promoting us.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Lu. 16:10)
Have you considered, the tests God is permitting are because he knows you’ll prove yourself strong, steadfast and worthy to move to greater things? Have you considered – he believes in you? Have you realized – he desires to move you into great and glorious things for his making?
At the end of the show, The Partner, there was 2 woman left: one was a Harvard genius the other was humble and willing to learn.
Marcus chose the second. I believe God often does too.
Where is your heart? Are you willing to learn? Or, are you set in your ways?
Notice: In 2 Chronicles 16:9, God didn’t say his eyes roam the earth for the best person, the wisest or the most qualified, he said he roams the earth to strengthen hearts “fully committed” to him.
To have a heart “fully” committed is to:
Ask God to search your heart.
Be willing to see what needs change.
To be humble enough to consider doing things differently.
To be open to God’s leading as he helps you do things differently.
To recycle, over and over again, items 1-4 above.
I believe, for this person: new doors are opened, their life is changed, and God’s hand blesses them in tremendous ways. Today, check your heart.
My friend Bev Sheasby of Liberated Living Ministries has been helping me limp across the finish line of a very hard season. She says wise and beautiful things that come at just the right moment. Words of affirmation, wisdom, and encouragement. She’s been such a comfort to me.
We recently had the loving privilege of handing our long-term foster daughter back into her birthmother’s restored arms.
Simultaneously, our oldest son became a Marine.
That same week, our oldest daughter eloped. This was a blessing, we are thrilled for the happy couple. But it has just been one thing after another.
And then another.
We welcomed an injured foster placement that same week. I may be a glutton for punishment, but actually, she has been a delightful distraction. It’s an honor to care for her.
Still, sending adult children off into the great beyond, I wonder… was it enough? Did I teach them everything they needed to know?
And I am not of the mindset that the Jesus I love was wholly made theirs simply by my prose. Scripture memory, “Jesus Loves Me,” and “Larry and the Giant Cucumber” are a start, He will have to take them to the finish.
But what about these “temporary” sons and daughters? There’s a chance they’ll hardly remember me? Let alone the whispered prayers or the lullabies of a Jesus who adored them, unto His death. I panicked, not so much in a lapse of faith, but a lack of confidence – a state of weariness. That sinking feeling, you know the one, where you feel you must be everything to everyone, every second of every day.
And something Bev said came into my mind, as I let some tears fall and whispered some small, but heartfelt prayers for healing.
“Within the seed is the potential for the entire plant.”
In my quest to provide for all, I realize what I often forget is how very small I am. Barely a seed myself, yet I think I must do it all and be all and fix all.
Alas, if I planted an apple seed, I could water it – but would it be me that would turn it into a tree? Would I be responsible for ensuring it produces a harvest? Could I even accomplish this? Even if I wanted to?
Furthermore, if I planted an apple seed and then I moved to a different farm in another state and left it to the elements, would it not be watered by the sky? Fed by the sun? And pruned by the wind? Isn’t it completely likely, aside from placing the seed in the earth, the earth would take care of the rest?
Within the seed is the potential for the entire plant. My comfort and rest come from this. I will continue to plant the seed and trust the Maker of all to finish the rest.
“The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.” Deuteronomy 28:8 (NIV)
Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.
When I got home, I noticed one remaining trash can. Apparently, my husband didn’t pull it to the end of the driveway for pickup. Approaching it, I could see why…maggots climbed up, down and all over it. Yuck! I looked inside, only to see, at the bottom, a half eaten box of chicken legs.
And, seeing this, brought a valuable insight: Death leads to more death.
Death leads to more death because, what life – sin has killed, the enemy, like a maggot – feeds on. He brings more death.
Now, sweet friends, I am fully aware all this talk sound highly disgusting. But, I also believe it can be highly transforming, this is why we are venturing into the depths of trash.
Consider this: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ro. 6:23
Sin leads to death.
Then, death leads to death.
Jesus leads to life.
Then, life leads to life.
Where have you allowed sin to produce death in your life? How is the enemy feeding on you, only to produce more death – death of joy, peace, productivity, power, grace, hope, love, mercy – in your life? Death of relationships? Death of belief?
While through the Spirit, we are being transformed into the image of Christ with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3:18), I am convinced the enemy’s operating procedure is to move us to ever-diminishing glory. So we don’t look like Christ.
Today, I didn’t want to touch that maggot-box. I didn’t want to drag it down the driveway, but I knew, it had to go or the death would stay.
What today, do you need to drag in front of Jesus – and let go in order to remove the death that is settling in around you?
Be not afraid, my brothers and sisters, our God is a gentle God, slow to anger, abounding in grace, mercy and new life. When you come and encounter his face, the face of your sin will change.
Perhaps, you do this today. Rather than continuing in excusing, rationalizing, permitting, blaming or smearing – today, perhaps you approach the one who loves you – so he can.
This is my prayer for you – and for me…
Dearest Father, you love us. You love us, then you love us, then you love us…and love us some more. May we know, in the place where we feel death, we are only a confession away from your life. May we know you want us. May we know you always welcome us. We confess, God, we have fallen into sin. It looks like this: _______. It has hurt us in this way: _____. We hand it to you, into your loving hands. We are sorry. What new way can we go when we are prone to do it, Father God? ____. We thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
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I remember looking at her. Withdrawn. Held back. Unwilling to join the rest of the family. Unwilling to come.
I beckoned and smiled. Patted my lap. Extended the invitation like I’d done a thousand times before.
Then, like a thousand times before, she turned away. Scars from past abandonment, neglect, and abuse held her like chains to her chosen spot. She would not come.
In those early days of adoption, it was like God had given a mirror to look in. I saw myself in her. I saw how woundedness had caused me to withdraw, how I braced myself against warmth because I’d believed the lie that I didn’t need it, didn’t deserve it. I convinced myself I could do without love and acceptance. Slowly, the cold I surrounded myself with had seeped deep into my soul and distorted my perspective of life, God, and myself.
I was hard. Jaded. A real cynic but didn’t even know it.
And then I adopted a wounded one.
In doing so, God revealed to me something I’d never allowed the core of my being to truly accept: I was loved.
Surely one of the saddest things ever is to be deeply and lavishly loved but not have the eyes to perceive it.
What a tragedy, to get to the other side of life and see how one could have lived- as a dearly beloved child of God- but having missed it. Adoption taught me there’s such a thing as failure to “lay hold.”
“…So that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:12
Just as my Little Bit is of our household, never to leave, always identified with us, so we are in Christ. He is our brother, our family, and we are in the household of God. He has reached down and laid hold of you (Phil 3:12) and has taken you from the domain of darkness and abuse and rejection and pain and transferred you into the kingdom of the family- His beloved Son (Col 1).
We can sulk and hold back and piddle in the corner with our little pet toys… or we can reach out with both hands, press forward with all we’ve got, and lay hold of that which has laid hold of us.
I know what rejection is like. I also know the remedy for rejection is acknowledging the acceptance offered in Christ.
The remedy for neglect is embracing the love and warmth extended me in Jesus.
The remedy for abuse is running to the table of fellowship with Him, where I am always welcomed, loved, and nourished back to health.
Hiding out in the corner never did anyone any good … except the enemy who wishes to single us out from the rest in order to devour us.
As a mom, I knew I needed to help my precious one learn to embrace the new, push forward into the warmth, and lay hold. And that meant I needed to practice it myself too.
She and I began a messy, painful, glorious journey together. And last night at the dinner table, my Little Bit came and sat in my lap without being invited. WIN!! She has made such amazing progress in the nine years we’ve had her. I’m so very, very proud of her. I wouldn’t trade the healing we’ve both received for all the world! I’ve come to now how our Daddy feels when we trust Him and lean into His love, when we run to Him expecting to be heard and loved on. How His heart thrills When we assume He is who He says He is. Wow! What a God. What an AMAZING Father.
How about you, my friend? Will you join your sisters in coming out of the corner, putting down our pet emotions, stretching out our hands and opening our arms wide to embrace the grace that has been lavished on us?
You can do this. Together, we can lay hold. Let’s live as those lavishly loved.
Arabah Joy is wife to Jackson, adoptive and biological mom to 4 little ones, and missionary to East Asia. Her adventures span far and wide, from eating pig snouts to giving birth in three different Asian countries. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed by grace. She has written several books including the 40 day devotional, Trust Without Borders. You can find out more and connect with her atArabahJoy.com.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:18-19
I have a dream.
Ever had one of those? A ridiculous thing? A hope? A wish? A prayer? Something you want, but feels impossible to have? Something that if it came true, you’d feel like – you made it, you lived out what you were created for?
I have this dream, much of it revolves around Ephesians 3:18-19:
That we, as American women, would stand like tall oaks, unwavering, because we are rooted in God’s love.
That we, together, would be planted, with power to mobilize, migrate and make a difference.
That we would extend love that surpasses – knowledge.
That we would be filled with the full measure of God, thereby never being the same again.
I don’t know how this all looks, but something in me sees something uprising and I’m just going to walk by faith. I believe if I plant my seed into fertile soil, God will sink the beginnings of roots right into his love. Love grows things.
So, here I’ll stand. Holding my seed, waiting. Trusting, his love. Believing, He’ll grow it. I expect to return back to this post, smiling. I expect to have remembered the start of a big dream. I expect to encounter trials of many varieties, but I also expect to encounter a triumphant God who always wins. I expect to press on and to press in. I expect to come out different, with new light, His light.
This is faith, I’m learning.
What faith do you need to execute your dream?
Let me tell you what you don’t need: You don’t need people to act a certain way. You don’t need to handle all those excuses. You don’t need more strength. You don’t need to lose that job. You don’t need to wipe clean your errors of the past. You don’t need to know “how”. You don’t need to know “when”. You don’t need people to “get it”. You don’t need new resources. You don’t need more qualifications. Nope.
God, nearly every time, uses the least exemplary of these to do the most extraordinary things. Moses. Noah. David. Mary.
Dream a little dream, friend.
And go easy on it, for a dream is just a vapor. You hold it up to God. He breathes on it. It forms, grows limbs, moves, speaks and then guides.
All you need is Him. The pressure is off you. All you need is faith. Faith activates great.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory…forever and ever! (Eph. 3:20-21)
We don’t need to know, He does.
We need only pray, He’ll have his way.
We need only trust, He’s bigger than us.
We need a giant belief He’ll pull through.
We need a bit of grace to take us.
We need eyes for everlasting glory, not our own fleeting glory.
We need reliance on Jesus Christ.
We need praise, worship and thanks.
We need to return all glory to our maker.
We need to make it all about love.
We need wild faith.
There is a huge ravine behind my house. If you make it down without falling or getting caught in a rabbit hole, you’ll find yourself at a playground. On most days, my kids longingly stare at it from our kitchen.
On a good sunny day, after rain storms are done and passed, I take the hike with them. As a good mom, or, at least, one who tries to be, I look for everything that could go wrong along the way. If I see a thorn bush, I pull it away before it snags them. If I see a bunch of rocks that may twist their ankle, I lead them in a different direction. If I see a huge ditch that might entrap them, I make sure to lift them over.
I go before my children… My eyes travel the path before them, so harm doesn’t as much befall them.
God does the same for us.
No matter what path we walk down, God is one step ahead. No matter what mountain we come up against, He is already climbing it. No matter what journey of uncertainty we encounter, God is 100 steps further. He’s laying out our path and preparing our steps. He’s flattening the land and preparing our journey. He’s uncovering our gold and laying it out for us.
He sees our way.
Sometimes, it seems, we believe we tread through this world, alone, like little boxcar children, trying to make it to the next meal. I’ve been thinking, this could not be further from the truth. We are always right next to God’s goodness.
Check out all the ways God goes before us:
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
‘The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf…Deuteronomy 1:30
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Psalm 139:5 (NLT)
For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Is. 52:12
I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. Is. 45:2
To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; Ps. 136:16
God is famous for caring and preparing us for greater things. He walks ahead to fight the battles we fear we can’t win. He calms the seas we’re convinced we can’t beat. He softens the blows we worry will take us down. He knows our road. He understands our coming trauma. He knows how to lead us through it.
Do you know what this means? We can worry less.
Just as I opened up the right path for my kids, God is opening the right path for us. It is for good. It will strengthen us. It will help us. It will lead us in the right way. It will lift us above harm.
God is always a step ahead, even when life makes us feel we’ve been left behind. Be it a marriage that is going under, a financial trial that looks impossible to fix, a baby that never seems to come, an addiction you can’t seem to beat, a dream that never surfaces – no matter, he’s a step ahead, working on your behalf.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10
I kick myself. Again, things seem to be falling on me. It’s not so much the entire world, this time, but it is much more – me. I know, with God, he always calls me out from under my awning of darkness. There is nothing holding me back really. But, sometimes it is easier to stay in self-pity and self-reproach than it is to move into something new.
What dark awning of guilt, shame and frustration are you staying stuck under?
You stay there when you berate your endless bad actions.
You stay there when you sum up all the ways you look dumb.
You stay there when you think that girl is miles ahead of you.
You stay there when you tell your mind it’s useless.
You stay there when you ruminate on yesterday.
When you overthink things.
When you feel caught by man.
When you declare your mistakes your identity.
When you let bitterness, anger and frustration reign in your heart.
We don’t have to stay in the dark.
If we take only 1 step, just one step – out…we’ll move somewhere new. We’ll move somewhere blessed, whole and free.
I know, it feels risky, unknown even, as we place one foot down on new ground. Sometimes we don’t even have thoughts formed about these areas. I understand.
But, here, right here, as we step out, we can see. Light above us.
It was always there, it was just hard to see when covered by the weight of wrongs. But, now, right here, we notice the immensity of a great God overhead. We look up. Stars. Lots of stars. A show, millions of them. Ahh!
We soak it in.
We are small, but he is so great.
He loves us, oh he loves us!
His face does shine upon us.
We understand if he could create this masterpiece, he can create a masterpiece out of us too.
We marvel at the vast lengths of his care that reaches further than eye can see. It reaches deep.
We notice how God extends beyond our vision. He reaches nebulas and galaxies and things far out there.
We ponder how faithful God is.
Every night – God is. Yet, some days, the clouds cover God’s best. Then, we can’t see. We run to the portico because we believe rain is coming, we are ruined. All we see is clouds.
But, no longer, do we have to hide. God’s brilliance, his flowing faithfulness -is still there – a covering of it, is overhead.
It is there on our good days and on our bad.
It is there in our best moments and at our worst.
It is there through the thick and through the thin.
It is there when people are mean and when they’re nice.
It is there when we’re mean to our self or kind.
A beautiful display of glory is. It just – is. Whether we see it or not. The goodness of God remains. HIs faithfulness never ends. His love endures forever.
When I am at my worst, I doubt who I am. I doubt I am good. I doubt I am valuable. Some days, I know, I don’t look an iota like Jesus. I look in the mirror, but his image I do not see. Instead, I see the image of a woman who is flawed, faulted and failing. I can be hard on myself.
It’s easy, on these days, to turn to action plans, to-do lists or a get-better schemes. Oh, I know this inclination! But, more and more, I am convinced, I don’t need a makeover or a new hairstyle. I don’t need a flick on the wrist or a self-inflicted put down to get right, I simply need peace. Peace that affirms who God says I am, not what I am prone to believe I am.
I need the reminder I am:
Created as beloved with Christ in me.
When we know these things, our vision shifts, our hope emerges and our love flows more freely.
Do you know who you are? If you’re at all like me, and you need a reminder, hopefully these verses – verses that speak of beauty, value and your beloved identity, will bring you to a new place, to a new vision of who you are created to be.
I am Beautiful:
You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. (Sol. 4:7)
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Prov. 31:25)
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. Is. 62:3
My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. (Song 2:10)
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Prov. 31:26)
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Ps. 34:5)
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! (Ps. 139:13-16)
Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. (Psalm 139:13 – 14)
For we are God’s masterpiece… (Eph. 2:10)
I am Valuable:
…Created to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph. 2:10)
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! (Lu. 1:45)
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. (Ps. 46:5)
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Pet. 5:10)
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (Es. 4:14)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:2o)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Sam 16:7)
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Mt. 5:8)
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (1 Cor. 12:27)
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. (1 Cor. 6:20)
I am Created as Beloved and Christ Lives in me:
She is worth far more than rubies. (Prov. 31:10)
But by the grace of God I am what I am. (1 Cor. 15:10)
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands… (Is. 49:16)
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:18)
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons (and daughters) of God, through faith. (Gal. 3:26)
…the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)
I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (Jo. 15:15)
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. (1 Cor. 15:58)
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (Jo. 1:12)
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3)
And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:24)
So God created mankind in his own image… (Gen. 1:27)
Knowing who we are, somehow changes our face: It changes our face in the mirror. It softens our face as we face the world. It turns our face, unashamedly towards God.
May we not forgo remembering who we are. For the fact of the matter is – we are more daughter than anything else. No other name given to us stands more permanent than that name. No other title we carry will surpass that one. No other calling is greater. We are chosen, valuable, beautiful and secure.
We are in Christ. We are powerful in him and beautiful because He is.
Today, I welcome Christy Underwood! She is not only my dear friend, but she is also a woman who fights to stand strong in Christ. I admire her perseverance and endurance. I think you will too. May her story below be an inspiration to you.
The ultrasound tech asked, “How many pregnancies have you had?”
What’s even tougher is learning at your first ultrasound that there’s nothing in the sac. Nothing. That was a first – and I was devastated.
On my way home from the doctor’s office, I heard the song “Come Alive (Dry Bones),” by Lauren Daigle:
“Breathe, oh breath of God Now breathe, oh breath of God Breathe, oh breath of God, now breathe
As we call out to dry bones Come alive, come alive We call out to dead hearts Come alive, come alive.”
Ezekiel once saw dry bones in a vision. God told Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones. When he did, God put breath in them and they came to life. I knew the story behind the song before I was pregnant. Hearing it this time, I cried. I badly wanted God to breathe life into me, into my baby.
In the days ahead, I had bloodwork done, and my hormone levels were consistent with a normal pregnancy but not rising as much as expected. I still was hopeful, but, at our next ultrasound the result was the same: No life. No baby.
There are no words to explain the sinking feeling.
Yet through this heartache, amazingly, I’ve experienced more of God’s love. It’s unlike anything the world can offer. Sure, I’ve wept – and wept, but God extended strength, peace, and joy during the difficult times. I’m not depressed. I’m not anxious. Only God, the Creator of all good things, could have carried me through this.
Do you ever stop to consider God’s point of view when you’re going through a hard time?
He’s a good, loving Father. When I see my daughter hurting, my heart breaks. I desire to give her good things. Yet, because I love her, at times, I must withhold things for her benefit.
God could have given us this child, but maybe He didn’t because He wants me to share my story with others who have experienced loss. Maybe He saw how this would strengthen my faith and the faith of others. Maybe He saw how He would be glorified.
And, maybe, God intervenes more than I realize, maybe, more than – we – realize…
I started reading Safe in the Arms of God by John MacArthur. Here, it occurred to me, God might have prohibited a situation from happening that would have been even more difficult.
Maybe I don’t need to know it all…maybe I just need to trust a good, loving Father.
Yes, I continue to pray for a child, but I want God’s plan for my life more than a child. I choose to trust Him for myself, my husband, and my daughter. Trusting for my daughter is the most difficult. Sometimes I want another child more for her than for me. God reminds me that I need to trust Him. Isn’t it hard though when we think we know what’s best?
These words encourage me. I hope they encourage you too:
When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move When you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through When you don’t give the answers As I cry out to you I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you.
– Song, Trust in You by Lauren Daigle
Whether it seems big or small, God cares and desires to reveal His love for you. He wants to breathe new hope, joy and peace into what we look at as dead, dry and done with. Even with Jesus, what looked dead, at the right time, came alive. Day by day, let’s trust God, even when our plans don’t seem to align with His.
Prayer: God, thank you for who You are. You are a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Help us to trust in You when we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Help us to keep our minds and thoughts on You instead of the worries of this world. Help us to expect You to show up, that we would feel Your love and know the peace that only You can bring. Amen.
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Christy is a wife, a mother to one sweet girl, and a speech therapist. She’s lived in Southern California her whole life. Kelly and Christy met in their early 20s at a church retreat and have supported each other through all of the crazy transitions life keeps bringing.
Kelly’s must-add words about Christy: Christy is faithful. She pursues God in a way where she doesn’t let her heart quit. I admire her, I love her and I thank her for using her extreme difficulty as a God-exalting opportunity. Daddy is well pleased.
I stood in line at the drug store, arms loaded with candy and party supplies. My son had done some good listening and as I promised, we were going to do a “movie party.” He paced, streamers and balloons in hand, excited to get home. But, with the line 7 people deep, and a woman tapping her foot behind me, I started to get irritated.
That woman behind me is too close. She’s breathing down my neck. Great, now she’s panting. Look at her now – she’s showing off her exasperated stance. There are better ways, lady, to show you’re impatient. Jeesh! Look around! We’re all waiting and wanting to get out of here.
I wanted to turn around and inform her to take a chill pill and to come back a different day – one when I wasn’t in front of her. But, of course, God had other plans; He tugged. Listening, I reluctantly shushed my inner voice of selfishness to hear God’s inner voice of selflessness.
She’s sick, Kelly. She’s real sick. There is often more than meets the eye, darling.
Rather than looking at her as enemy #1, I can choose to be the compassionate one.
Rather than seeing things from my limited view, I can see from God’s caring view.
Rather than keeping space, I can offer her, through Christ, access to a better place.
I breathed deep. I was about to do something, I really, really, didn’t want to do.
But, with Christ, you suddenly do what you thought you couldn’t. It’s a typical thing in a Christian’s life. I asked her if she wanted to swap places with me in line.
“No, thank you. I am in a lot of back pain. I am getting surgery next week.”
God never leads wrong.
“Good lesson God.”
I bought the stuff and left. But, no sooner had I got to the car, than I realized I left a bag inside. Walking and debating internally about why these little blunders happen – why we have to be pressed for time and then do something to throw everything off, I grabbed the lost bag and the wandering kid. I ran back to the car. That’s when I saw her. There she was (she still hadn’t left?). She was in the handicap space, hunched, shoulders slumped. She stared off.
“Now God? Bad timing, God.”
I approached her window…
“What’s your name,” I asked her, “I want to pray for you, later.”
So, I prayed for her right then and there, in the parking lot. Over her procedure. Over the surgeon. Over her peace.
She said thanks. We left.
“Get off me God, haven’t I done enough?!”
Yet, I’ve learned, to turn away from God is to turn away from all things good. So, I listened to Him: Kelly what you prayed for was good, but it wasn’t great. Believing is great, especially when you believe in more than meets the eye.
He yanked. What God prompted in my heart was:
Kelly, your unbelief often holds me back. Who are you to limit me?
What is man that you are mindful of him… Ps. 8:4
Okay, God, I guess I could have prayed with greater faith. I guess I could have believed that if you heal my little girl’s boo-boo’s you could heal that big girl’s boo-boo too.
Who am I to limit God? Why not ask for the biggest, the best and the bold things?
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Mt. 21:22
With this, I admit to you today, friends: I’m done holding back God’s unlimited power because of my limited mind. Today, I am pulling the leash off my prayer life. I’m going to rush to God, full-throttle, with the biggest, the best and the boldest prayers there are. Care to join me?
Where have you boxed in God?
Where have you determined grounds too off limits for his miraculous hands?
Where are you panting, exasperated and needing healing?
What we don’t believe by faith, we won’t see by faith.
What we cannot imagine and cannot fathom, won’t really happen.
What we don’t give a chance, remains unchanged.
Yet, what we believe in, God works in.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Mt. 21:22
Decisively, join me today, and choose to believe bigger.
Then, believe it, but be prepared, also, to receive it.
Be warned, though, this is not a prosperity gospel, name-it-and-claim-it type deal. What I am talking about here – it rings differently. It sounds like: God, you can do what you want to do, and in what you want to do, don’t let me be the one to limit you.
It is done by a person who understands: the launching pad for God’s astounding plan is at the point of belief.
What’s the worst case scenario? You are let down? Embarrassed? Made to feel awkward?
What’s the best case scenario? Someone’s life is changed forever. They see the actual power of Jesus. They are left never the same for it.
Let the power of Christ out. Unleash it.
Why not believe his greatness is bigger than your mind’s capacity to understand him?