Saturday, February 23, 2013


As I look at this picture it reminds me of how safe I am when I am holding onto the Lords hand through the trials of this life - just as my precious daughter can feel safe and enjoy the waves while she holds on to her daddy.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.   James 1:5-6

It is of great significance that this verse comes directly after instruction to consider it joy to endure perserverance. My interpretation of that wisdom had been God's direction - something like "okay Lord what should I do next".   This was followed by a sense of insisting that I be obedient to whatever it was that I felt the Lord leading me to do.

I have recently felt like that wave of the sea.  One minute I am doing alright and feel like I am standing on firm ground and following what the Lord is leading me to do.  Then the next minute I am in tears doubting who He made me to be and the steps that I am taking.  What James says in verse 7 is pretty harsh - "he (who doubts) is a double minded man, unstable in all he does".

As I was thinking about this, I realized it is in these times of trial that God's wisdom is of such great significance, not because it is necessarily telling us what to do, but instead it is reminding us of what to believe. 

When going through trials, I often try to figure out what I need to do next to make this trial end.  I again want to take the reigns and take control.  I want this trial to end and I think I know the best way to make it end.  Sometimes, I just don't want to believe because I don't like the way the Lord is leading us. How silly I am to think that I can fix anything on my own or that I know best.  When I start taking things into my own hands or fighting what God is doing, I become that unstable man - doubting my steps and riding the roller coaster of emotions.  

Instead, I believe that many times God is calling me to just endure, wait, and trust in his wisdom and His promises.  He is calling me to believe and not doubt His leading and all His promises.

Last night someone pointed out to me Matthew 7:24-27, which comes at the end of Jesus Sermon on the Mount.

v. 24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. v 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

What is very interesting to me today about the Sermon on the Mount are the many promises that Jesus gives us during the teaching.  He starts with the beatitudes promising blessing for the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst  for righteousness, and so on.   He tells us in 6:28-34 not to worry but to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.  In 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you.

Is it really as simple as seeking Him and delighting in Him, and then believing what He says is true?  Is that the way to peace and joy through trial and pain?  Is that the wisdom God gives generously to all?  If it is then Lord help me to believe with all I am and not doubt.  Help me to stand on the rock of your promises as the wind blows around me.  Help me to seek you first and delight in you.  Help me to not do or take control, but to trust, obey, and wait patiently for your perfect timing in my circumstances.  Thank you for your many and precious promises.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sometimes I think I have it all together.  Then everything seems to fall apart.  These past few days have been more along the lines of everything falling apart.  On Friday, I reached a point of laying on the ground crying and saying "Lord, I can't do this.  I am so incapable of being a good mom!"  This came after a complete meltdown by all three of my daughters lasting for over an hour.  A result of allowing my children to become overtired and overstimulated.  Not what I would consider good mom points!

So, here I am looking at my last post; remembering all I have been learning; continuing to seek the Lord daily; and this is what happens.  It is such a reminder of how much I need the Lord and how completely inadequate I am on my own. This is why we need grace and why Christ came to die for us.

2 Corinthians 12:9:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why for Christ's sake I delight all the more in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My weaknesses are so abundant. I see them in all areas of my life and most vividly in my abilities as a mom.  I so often fail to be the mom I read about and strive to be.  Yet, here is the Lord telling me that his power is made perfect in all of those weaknesses - including my weaknesses as a mom!
Does this mean that we do not continue to strive for excellence and obedience?  By no means. But grace is ever abundant and sufficient for whatever situation we are going through.  Let Christ be strong when we blow it.  Thank Him that it is not by our might that we are saved or even that our children are saved, but it is by His strength and power that we and our children are saved!!  Praise be to our God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us!  It is through His power that our children come to know Him and this power is at work within us.  It is taking us, along with all of faults, weaknesses, and inadequacies and using all that we are for His good.

Lord, let your power be at work in us today.  In our areas of weakness, be strong.  Let our children know you and enable us to raise them pointing to you.  Use our weaknesses to show your strength. Then, do the work in bringing them to salvation and deep relationship with you.  Thank you Lord!  Amen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Letting God

I am the type of person who likes to be in control.  At least to some degree.  I like to know how things are going to turn out.  I absolutely love formulas.  If I do this and this, then this is going to happen.  I have often joked how I wish I had a manual for each of my children, a how-to, step by step book to help me figure out how to raise them.

Instead, I am realizing that there are so many areas that are out of my control. And as I try to control it, my worry and stress start to increase. Right now it is my children who are my source of worry.  As a mom I invest so much time making sure they are taken care of, they have a good relationship with the Lord, and are children of charater and good morals.  Yet, there are so many things working against these goals for my children.  As I identify these, my worry and stress start to rise.   Then as I look around, it appears to me that so many others have it all figured out, yet many of the things they are doing are not an option for me right now.

So what happens next.  I start to fall into despair and defeat.  I start to believe lies.  The lies that my children cannot possibly make it through all this with a strong faith.

This week in the word, God has been teaching me to:
1. Stay steadfast in my pursuit of Him, seeking to delight in Him.
2. Teach my children His ways so that it may go well with them.  This teaching them both obedience and grace through Jesus Christ.
3.  And finally, but often the most difficult is learning to trust him in everything, especially the areas that are out of my control.

I was reading 1 Corinthians 2 and wrote this in my journal:
"It is not with the fanciest devotions or parenting techniques that bring my children to you. There is no exact formula other than simply knowing you, following your commands, letting your Spirits power work and be a demonstration to my kids.  Lord reveal your wisdom to my husband and I for raising our children and help us to love them the way you love us".

You see, we have a how-to manual - His Word The Bible and we have the Holy Spirit to help us and teach us.  What does the Bible command us?
1. Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6
2. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:5-8

When those things that we have no control over start to overwhelm us, we need to ask this.  Are we loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength?  Are we asking him for wisdom and guidance?  Are we following His how-to manual? We can be assured that he gives wisdom generously, but we must believe and not doubt (James 1).  Are we studying and obeying what His word says with the help of the Holy Spirit?  Are we praying that the Spirit would be working in the lives of those around us?  And are we trusting Him to work all things together for the good (Romans 8:28).

And how do we trust when we can't see the end?  Proverbs 3:6 tells us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Many times remembering how God has been faithful to us helps me to trust Him.

When the Isrealities crossed over the Jordon River, God instructed them to take with them stones from the river as a rememberance of what God has done for them.  Looking back at God's faithfulness can help us trust Him as we look forward to an unknown future.

In what ways are you struggling to Let God work and to trust Him?  Are you following His how-to manual and asking Him to help you and teach you?

Thank you Lord, that you do work all things together for good for those who love you.  Thank you for being so faithful in the little and big things of our lives.  Grant us wisdom and diligence in the tasks you have set before us and help us to trust you completely in everything.