A Cup Of Trouble, Please?

cupMany of us are familiar with the sixth chapter of Matthew. It’s smack dab in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount given by none other than our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While I strive to live by all of His words, I am especially familiar with verses 25-34. Reading this entire passage on a daily basis would do us all some good, but I’d like for you to look at verse 27:

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (NIV)

Can you?

Worry is really just a smaller way to say we don’t know if God will come through. It’s our inability to trust Him to do what He says He will do which is to make all things work for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). We somehow think that if we add a little worry to His holy mix that things will work out better.

Not so.

Just the other day a friend of mine, who was going through one of the most wretched times in her life, kept asking me questions. What should I do? How long should I wait? When do you think I’ll see some change? What should I do if this happens again?

I felt terrible for her. I wanted to make her wounded heart all better, add some Neosporin and a bandage and call it good. Then, very quickly, the Spirit of God prompted me to tell her this: Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow.

Today you and I need to make a stand against that worry monster who creeps up next to us and wants to steal away our tomorrows. Don’t let him. He’s your spiritual enemy and all he desires to do is see you flounder in your life and make no progress whatsoever.

I have another friend who is leaning into her Savior and trusting God despite her circumstances. Her son has an inoperable brain tumor. If she can trust, certainly we can.

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing or what lies ahead in your path. But I know that we serve a God who effortlessly created the world in six days and still knows how many hairs you have on your head.

Praying for you today. 

 

And They Danced

mother son(This blog post was written in 2010 about my oldest son, Noah. He is 15 1/2 now.)

His face was smooth and was framed by his disheveled, curly hair.  He couldn’t have been more than 30.  He held her frame as best he could since dancing wasn’t his regular activity.  His dancing partner, on the other hand, held her nearly sixty years well.  Her thin frame was decorated with a midnight blue evening gown that did wonders for her blonde hair. She was definitely a sight for sore eyes.  And her joy was evident as she looked into his eyes and tousled his brown locks.  Just like she must have done when he was her little boy.

My inner empty nester automatically fast forwarded time to a place where I was dancing with my son at his wedding.  I imagined him all grown up, maybe 6’2″ or 6’3″ in height.  His thin, scrawny body was now well-defined.  I saw him honoring me as his mom by dancing with me all the while knowing his heart already belonged to someone else.  I was full of joy and full of sadness all at the same time.

He’s 11 years old now and he tells me that the only woman he thinks is beautiful is me.  (Well, and Carrie Underwood.  But mostly me.)  I’m still the love of his life and can bring a smile to his face when I say loving or encouraging words to him.  But I know that won’t always be the case.

I know that in a short amount of time he will begin to see girls in a different light.  He’ll start noticing them and I figure they’ll start noticing him.  He will find himself thinking about a girl one day and will wonder why he can’t seem to eat when she’s on his mind.  He will do things that he never dreamed he’d do just because she asked him to.

He will be smitten.

But mercy and grace, I do hope and pray it’s not until he’s at least 20.  Because I’m a mother of boys and I know what typically happens. They leave home and cleave to their wife.  As it should be.  The self-preservationist in me wants to start letting go now so that the pain won’t be so deep when that time comes.  But the mother in me knows that I have very little time left to raise these young men so I hold on to them like tomorrow will never come.

For now, I’ll just love them and train them and cuddle with them as much as they’ll let me.  I’ll tell them they can live with me forever because I’m very aware they will have no desire to do that as they approach young adulthood.  I’ll laugh with them until my sides hurt and will answer their questions even when I’m tired.

I’ll do it all.  Because they’re my boys.

And I love them.

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

deep“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17b-18

Do you have any idea how much God loves you? I don’t think I do either. I’m trying to “grasp” this love as Paul exhorts us to do. But, it’s not an easy task, is it?

A few years back, I was at the pharmacy picking up a prescription. My youngest son was with me and was actually just sitting on a bench waiting for me instead of rearranging all of the pain relievers and laxatives.

While I was waiting, I looked over at him. He wasn’t doing anything but just sitting and waiting while I waited. He was not quoting a scripture that he memorized. He wasn’t putting away the dishes without being asked. He wasn’t showing love and kindness toward his brother. He was just there. And the love I had for him welled up inside of me and I had to fight back the tears.

Because who wants to see a grown woman cry in the Wal-Mart Pharmacy?

That is how God loves us. Just for who we are. Yes, a life of obedience to Him and being in fellowship with Him throughout the day gives Him joy, but He loves us because that is just who He is. He is love and He cannot not love us. He loved us enough to sacrifice His only son for us.

If you are a parent, do you love anyone enough to sacrifice your child for? Yeah, me neither. When I think about the love I have for my own sons, I think I get a glimpse of just how much God loves me.

Friend, rest today in the fact that our God, the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…loves you completely and without reservation. And our only reasonable response to Him should be giving Him our complete lives.

In this bold act of faith, I believe true joy and contentment resides.

How Patient Are You?

patienceWebster defines the word patient as bearing pains or trials calmly or without complain.

That’s a pretty good definition, I think. My friend, Robin, taught her children about patience years ago and used the phrase, “patience is waiting without complaining.”

I know how to wait. I’m almost 44 years old and have done a lot of waiting in my life. I waited four years to get pregnant with Noah. I waited nine years to get my first book published. I’ve had to learn to wait.

Until this week, I would have said I’m a patient person. But the whole without complaining part is getting in the way. I may not throw a temper tantrum like a three-year old who doesn’t get the toy he wants when he wants, but I certainly do have a heart that isn’t happy when I’m waiting sometimes.

I have a feeling I’m not alone on this.

When you wait, are you waiting without complaining?

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

liarIs it okay to tell a little white lie?
Is it okay to lie even if no one gets hurt?
Is it okay to lie when you are sparing the lives of others?

The Israelites were oppressed by the Egyptians for 430 years. But even though they were treated poorly, they apparently still didn’t have a hard time making babies:

…but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them…Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country. Exodus 1:8, 10

In order to eradicate this growing problem, the new King of Egypt ordered the midwives to kill any Hebrew baby boys that were born. They took his order but scripture said “they feared God” and didn’t do what the king demanded. He found out and asked the midwives about it. Here was their response:

The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive. Exodus 1:19

So they lied to cover their butts.

And then look what the next two verses say:

So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.  Exodus 1:20-21

And God blessed them even after they lied.

I think this is a great issue to discuss. I’ve certainly got my take on this and what I believe about lying. And I will share it with you. But I’d love to hear from you first.

Let’s discuss!

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