When things get hard, and God is silent it is easy (oh so easy) to whine and complain. But that never got anyone anywhere with God.
I am in a season when the pressure is mounting minute by minute.
I am in a season of growth and stretching.
When God’s silence has rung loud in my ears.
I am tired and worn and was starting unravel.
I talked with a friend who encouraged me to take a walk so that I might hear from God.
I took the walk with less than low expectations and only heard one thing “Jammin.”
I felt a nudge to look up Jammin and England (where I was called to) and surprisingly came across a blog called “Jammin in the UK.” As far as I can tell the “Jammin” blog is all about being thankful.
I was quickly convicted that I have spent more time wondering and worrying than thanking.
I realize that I have make it a priority to proclaim why I am thankful. To remember all the very amazing ways that God has blessed me so.
Because even though I may not be hearing a lot from Him now, He has done so much for me.
Given me children.
Given me a nice home.
Given us food to eat and books to readJ
Comforted me when I was down.
Carried me when I thought I could go no farther.
The list goes on and on.
It is too much to blog about but I think I am going to write one for myself, and keep adding to it as He brings things to my mind.
And I am going to look at it often to remind me that “Thanksgiving” is not a just a holiday. For Christians it should be a way of life.
Even though things are hard that does not change the fact that God is good.
What are you thankful for?
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Around eight or nine years ago God told me to do something that I was not to jazzed about.
He wanted me to go up to a complete stranger and give away my last twenty dollars.
At the time my husband was going through his first bought of cancer. Because he was going through chemo he could not work.
I was working but only part time. So the twenty dollars was literally all I had, and I did not take too kindly to God asking me to give it away.
Money, however, was only part of the reason.
The other was the “going up and speaking to a complete stranger” part.
Wanting to blend into the scenery is my natural inclination. So when God told me to go and give a young mother twenty dollars, I was scared.
“What will she think of me?” I wondered. “What if other people see me and think me strange?” I wondered.
I wondered myself into ignoring God leading, Gods direction.
I walked out of the building that she was in. I was going home but the farther away I got, the harder it seemed to keep walking.
The whole while God was telling me “Get back there, and give her the twenty!”
Finally (though you make think me crazy) I must admit that it felt as if God himself had erected a solid brick wall in front of me. I literally felt as if there was no going forward until I did what God asked.
So I turned around and walked back the two blocks and entered the building. I remember saying to God, “Fine, I will do it. But please let her be standing alone.”
I entered the room she was in and she was indeed standing way off from anyone else.
It took a second, but I worked up the nerve and went over to her. “Hi, can I give you this?”
She looked at the money and shook her head.
I continued, “I know this may sound crazy but I am a Christian and God sent me here to give you this money, Will you please take it?”
She not only rejected my offer, she looked at me as if I was crazy.
I was so confused.
I was more than a little upset with God, as well.
“Why did you have me do that?” I questioned. “What was the point? Did you just want to make me look stupid?”
“No, I wanted you to do that because the next time I send someone to her, she might just listen.”
God brought that story to my mind today as I sought Him concerning England.
I am not sure why, other than to say that maybe in all of this, in all of the rejection I have faced while simply trying to do what I absolutely believe God had called me to do, maybe there is a reason that He is having me look foolish.
Maybe someone needed to see that following God, putting everything on the line for Him, and things not happening as you felt led to believe they would, maybe they needed to see that things could all fall apart around you, you could stand in a place where it appeared to the world that you have missed it, where you’re worst fears could appear to becoming a reality, and realize that you can survive it and that God is still in control.
Tomorrow, I will begin looking for a new place to live. Unfortunately unless a miracle happens overnight, it will not be in England.
Even though it may appear from the outside that I am not altogether loved by God (or else why would he have led me here) I have to believe that He loves me just as much as anyone else.
He is no respecter of persons and has a good plan for my life.
Just as He has for yours.
I have no idea how this will ultimately play out. But I do know that wherever happens, God is in control.
And that He alone will same sense of it all.
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One thing about God that I really love is the way is the way that He just totally gets us. All of us, wholly and completely.
It was the first Christmas without my husband. The first time the five of us would wake up early and go downstairs and sit around the tree while as presents were handed out. Five us, not six.
That year I must admit I went a little overboard on the gifts, as if I was subconsciously trying to make up for the loss of their father (and my husband) with stuff. Of course it didn’t work, but they did get sidetracked a bit.
Although I love giving better than receiving, the fact that Allan was gone meant that there would not be a gift for me under the tree. The gift’s absence just made the echo of his absence that much larger.
Actually, for weeks before it came, I was dreading Christmas.
God knew it.
God got the hurt that I was feeling over the thought of that Christmas morning.
And He planned ahead so that I would not have to feel the sting.
Eight months before Allan’s passing God put on my heart to contact a ministry for prayer concerning the near death of my daughter.
When Allan died, God once again told me to email the ministry for prayer.
This is a ministry that I think is beautiful and wonderful, but that I would have never contacted without God’s urging as I am not naturally one that wants to reach out for help.
The ministry asked for my address, so that they might send me something special. That was in April and months later I never heard from them so I assumed they had forgotten about me.
Flash forward to a few days before Christmas the mail came and I was surprised to find that I had received a very heavy box. I think it had a return address so I might have known the sender, but I remember thinking, “what in the world?”
It was close to Christmas so I thought I might just as well wait to open the box at Christmas.
When I did, I cried because I felt so very, very loved by God.
The box was so heavy because it was packed to the brim with one gift after another.
Things like a mug, a book and lotion…all things that Allan might of picked up for me.
The box not only blessed me with some pretty nice things, not only took some of the sting of the first Christmas without my husband away, but more importantly the box showed me that God got me! That God provides, and the God loves me so much that He prompted me to reach out years earlier knowing that the end result would be what I needed to get through a difficult day.
God can be trusted Always!!!
If He is asking you to do something out of the ordinary, if you have prayed about it and know that it is Him, step out and follow His lead.
You can trust that He is leading you to where you need to be. Because He not only made you, He gets you!
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The short answer Jesus!
The long one is too long to tell in a blog post (even for me) but I will sum it all up by telling the following true story.
A few years ago when I was in the middle of a fourteen day fast, I was going through a rough patch and was feeling kind of unloved. So I decided to take a walk and listen to worship music.
When I started my walk there was a light wind, nothing much, I could barely feel it.
When I was almost home I said something like “God I know that you love me but I really just need a hug, couldn’t you just give me a hug.”
Right then the wind came crashing upon me from every side. I spread my arms open wide and God just hit me from the front, back, side, top, and bottom with powerful gusts of wind.
That in itself is a beautiful thing.
But what is really awesome is the fact that at the EXACT moment the first gust hit me, I was listening to these exact lyrics were playing in my ears
His love’s like a hurricane
I am the tree
Oh How He Love Us
Oh How He Loves us
That is why I am willing to risk everything, risk my future and my children’s
Because God is not distant!!!
God hears our prayers!!!
God loves us passionately!!!!
Because I have asked God to redirect my steps and He hasn’t, because God keeps opening doors, because God loves me, I know that I can trust Him.
I can trust him with my future and my children’s future.
So can you!!!
Because He is no respecter of persons.
Believe Him to direct you steps, and then start stepping and you will be amazed at where you end up!!
I know I am!
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