Coronavirus · God's character · God's Love · trust

Trusting My Father

This life has lots of hard questions –

Why is Covid still lingering?
Why hasn’t God taken it away?
Is He powerful enough to do so?

Last week I shared one answer to those questions. Today I want to give one more…

We won’t always understand God’s reasons for what He’s doing. Sometimes God is silent.  I think of Job’s trial when God asked him in Job 38 ~

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,

At those times (and there are lots of them in Scripture and in our lives), we simply trust God. How can we trust Him?  We come to know Him.

My dad didn’t owe me an explanation; he was father!  He did what was best for me.  Sometimes he did indeed surprise me by stopping into that custard stand, but there were more times when he drove right on by.

On a much higher plane, when we come to know Who God is in the pages of His Word, we will learn that whether He does what we want, or if He does something we don’t understand, we can trust Him! We wouldn’t complain or shake our finger in God’s face if we could understand that He was protecting us from danger, or preparing us for something even more difficult in the future.  

The Egyptians who chased after the Israelites didn’t have the blessing of the pillar of fire or the cloud to guide them; it was darkness to them.  God will reveal Himself to those that seek Him, but scoffers and accusers stumble in their darkness.

Today when I think of someone when I have ice cream you know who it is? It’s my dad! What a giver of good gifts. But God is even greater! Can God stop the virus? Of course.  Why hasn’t He yet?  I don’t know, but HE does, and I trust His character to do what is best for me.

Friend, you may be wondering why God is allowing some other kind of trial to go on in your life, you may have a question about His ways, but the answers shared above all apply. Open your Bible. See His character and trust Him as your Father who loves you more than you can ever imagine.

Refresh your trust in a loving, providential and righteous God.

Denise

Coronavirus · God's character · God's Love

Why Is God Allowing the Virus to Continue?

You may have heard me say this before, but I was blessed with a wonderful dad.  However, he did disappoint me from time to time.  I don’t know how he could’ve done it, but that’s the truth.  He just disappointed me!

When I was a child, there were times when I was sure he was going to take our family up to the frozen custard stand where we would all get sweet treats.  But I can’t tell you the number of times when we were in the car and I was sure he would pull into the little parking lot of that building, and he would drive right on by! How could he do that to a child?

As a little girl I could’ve come up with two conclusions – 

  1. He didn’t have the power to do it. No money for a 50 cent cone?  Nope.  That wasn’t true. He had a good job and was wise with his finances.
  2. He didn’t love me and didn’t care that I would suffer without that custard.
    Nope.  That wasn’t true.  He proved his love for me in much greater ways by his sacrifice for my real needs.

I never did accuse my dad of either one of those things.  You know why?  I knew him.  I had spent time with him.  I learned what he was like, and he was neither powerless nor unloving.  I simply learned that I could trust him.  I learned that in the time that he knew was best for me and my family, he would take us to get ice cream.  If he didn’t do it now, I knew there was a better reason, and I was okay with that, simply because I knew him.

I recently had someone accuse God of those two accusations in regards to the Coronavirus, saying that:
He either can’t stop it, or
He doesn’t care about people suffering.

The only answer to give a scoffer of God is God’s Word –  the written explanation of Who He is.  He has the Words of life. 

There are so many explanations I could share, but I just read this passage in Exodus 13,

 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.

“No, of course He didn’t lead them the shorter path,” an scoffer might say! 

 “He took them out to the wilderness where they would wander and not have food and water!  He doesn’t care!  He loves to see people suffer! Or maybe He isn’t able to help.!”

Any time we come to a question about God, why He’s doing something or doing nothing,  we must look to His character for the answers. We have to learn what He is like. Is He just mean-hearted?  Is He not powerful enough to change things?  

In this situation, we need to keep reading.  The next verse says, For God said, If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[

Did you catch it?  There was danger on that closer/easier path! It would have been easy for the Israelites to think that the Via Maris was the best way to go; but the dangers of the way were too great, though they could not see them.  It was the road where Egypt’s military outposts were. God knew the people of Israel were not ready to face this yet (lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt).

God anticipated the dangers they could not see. 

Based on that verse, what do we learn about our God?  

  • He is providential!  He saw to things ahead of time and protected them from those dangers that they weren’t even aware of!
  • He is a God of love.  A God who didn’t love them would’ve let them get entangled in any kind of danger.
  • He is righteous.  He led them correctly.  He cannot do a wrong thing or have the wrong motive as you and I would!  Why?  Because He is righteous.

Refresh your trust in a loving, providential and righteous God. As a child, I could trust my father because I knew him. We can’t trust a God we don’t know. Draw to Him and learn of Him. We might not understand His ways, but we can come to know His heart.

Next week I’m going to expand on that last sentence. I hope you’ll come back for the conclusion!

In the meantime, wash you hands and remember He is in control.

Comfort · Coronavirus

Suffering At Christmastime?

This is a re-post from 2012 when my mother-in-law was suffering with cancer and under Hospice at Christmastime. I thought it was appropriate for this year of so much difficulty.

The hissing of the oxygen concentrator is steady, and lulls my mother-in-law to sleep.  I slip in and pull the sheet over her shoulders and turn off the light.  Then lying down in my bed, the monitor in both our rooms in the “on” position, I hear the machine’s hissing, and also her breathing and frequent cough.  I whisper a prayer for her comfort and a good night’s rest for her.  These are the sounds of Christmas in the parsonage this year. 

Some say, “What a terrible time to have a loved-one so sick, here at Christmas.”  I’ll admit that Christmas in the parsonage is usually filled with a different kind of activity – the celebratory kind.  It would include parties, a hot oven putting out all kinds of confectioneries, and a calendar crammed more full than a New York subway at rush hour. 

I also admit that this year will be a different sort of Christmas in the parsonage.  Already it hasn’t been the normal routine of Christmas movies, cantatas, drives through the country to see the lights, or even baking sugar cookies with colored sprinkles.  Instead it’s been about giving our time to my mother-in-law, who has little time left. It’s not been about what I want for Christmas, but about what she needs. Instead of harried schedules, we find ourselves taking time to sit and chat, to ask questions of her, for our own memory’s sake.  “Remind me again how you and Dad met.”  “Tell me about the day you trusted Christ as your Savior.”  We talk about heaven, the things we know from Scripture, and the things we imagine will be waiting for us there.  We sing, we read, we laugh, we cry. 

It is for all this and all other kinds of suffering that our Savior came.  He was born a babe in a manger in order to give us hope for eternity – for what lies ahead that we cannot see.  We know that heaven’s shore is just beyond, and for that we rejoice.  This is why we have Christmas.  This is why Jesus died – to redeem us and give us a relationship with God.  He makes sense of all the suffering in our lives. 

So, really, perhaps Christmas is the best time to suffer.  We have all around us the reminder that Christ came to prevent our eternal suffering, and to keep our current suffering in perspective. 

Looking into my mother-in-law’s room and watching her sleep, I remind myself that this (suffering) is why He came.  It will be worth it all when she sees Jesus.  And just think, she could see Him very soon!  Yes, this is why He came.  Merry Christmas, Mom C.

Refresh your heart with this truth if you are suffering this Christmas.

Coronavirus · gratitude · salvation

Why Coronavirus Inconsistencies Make Me Grateful

I think I’ve shaken my head out of confusion and disbelief more in the last few months than in my entire life.

The reason?

Inconsistency.

It’s centered around the Coronavirus, of course (because isn’t everything these days?).

  • You may not sit inside…Of course we serve inside but you may not sit outside!
  • Only half capacity in store…Only 7% in stadium!
  • Church may not meet…Half the building may be full.
  • Masks are required at all times by everyone…Most of the staff have masks pushed down below their nose.
  • No one may stay overnight at the hospital with a patient…We can make allowances for you to stay.

I could go on, but I think you get my drift. It’s not as much what we have to do, but how inconsistent all the rules are that make this a season of frustration and confusion.

This frustration made me sit recently and think about how thankful I am that my salvation is rock solid. It is all based on Christ Who never changes and on His Word that is forever true! I never have to wonder if He has changed His mind or if there have been new guidelines added as to how to get to heaven! It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Realize I’m a sinner on my way to hell.
  2. Understand that Christ took my place on the cross to reconcile me to God.
  3. Accept Christ as my personal Savior.

All that will never change. Why?

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8

What peace that truth gives! My daily life goes on with a grateful heart. Christ lifted the rules (the law) and saves us by grace!! How blessed we are!

So in reality, I can be thankful for the inconsistencies because it makes me realize once again what a wonderful gift my salvation truly is!

I’m done ranting about the Coronavirus…until I start ranting again. Just kidding. I really am asking the Lord to help me to remember the grace-filled life I get to enjoy for ETERNITY and be thankful instead!

Maybe this reminder will give each of us something to share with others when we start to shake our head again. The world needs to know of our Savior Who is ALWAYS full of grace, and that never changes!

Christian growth · Coronavirus · obedience · Spiritual Refreshment

(Don’t) Follow Your Heart!

Don't Follow Your Heart - A Christian Webcomic
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As our world continues its restrictions and we all find our daily life in a new routine, I wonder if you’re feeling a bit lost?  I’ve been getting up and asking,

“What should I do today? How should I spend my time?”

My flesh (my heart) tells me one thing, the Spirit of God another.  Sadly, I haven’t always listened and obeyed God’s voice.  Why?  The pull of the flesh is strong!  My heart wants me to be lazy, comfortable, at ease, and not pushed into hard things!

It’s so easy to believe that ~

  • I deserve a little extra sleep!
  • I’m too busy to stop and pray.
  • It doesn’t matter if I don’t get to _____ or ______.  No one is going to see it but my family!
  • I’m too exhausted to even think about working on a Bible study.
  • I never was good at memorizing things; forget trying to memorize Scripture!

Continue reading “(Don’t) Follow Your Heart!”