God's Presence · Responding to trials · trials

Safety In the Storm

Thunderstorms can be scary. They pop up out of nowhere! They last longer than you expect. They make things dark. They’re loud. They get our attention. They teach us important lessons.

Our sweet little “grand kitty” had probably been used to hovering somewhere against a building or under a leaky overhang during storms before she was adopted into my daughter’s family last week. But life has changed for this little girl (Socks is the official name). This week when a storm pounded around us in the afternoon, my daughter went out and snatched up Socks and put her in their dry, comfy garage where she was met with a new kitty bed, a dish of food, and all the comforts of those snobby indoor cats! Now that she’s adopted, she has a home to run back to for safety and security!

Continue reading “Safety In the Storm”
Christmas · Hope · Responding to trials · trials

The Thin Ice of Despondency

Just this week I watched Little Women again. Oh, I love that movie! I’m all in with the emotions – especially at moments such as when Amy falls into the frozen lake while ice skating. Her sister, Meg had been angry with her and left her to lag behind while she and Laurie skated. Then hearing her screams, followed by the terrifying silence, she and Laurie race to give her a stick so they might rescue her. Thin ice is risky.

But thin ice isn’t relegated only to winter lakes.

Continue reading “The Thin Ice of Despondency”
Comfort · God's Love · Responding to trials

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Each day that I walk on my walking path, I see the view above. It captivates my attention daily because it constantly changes.

When the crops are planted in early spring, I see the rich brown tilled soil, still cool from the temperatures of winter, but fresh with seeds and full of the hope of good things to come.

Summertime brings the corn with full, green stalks pointing upward towards their Maker and bearing a lushness that is breathtaking. There is so much life and anticipation in the bounty of the harvest that is to come.

In the fall I watch the tall stalks being cut and sent through the combine. So many chewing sounds echo as the machines chop and separate. The fields are scattered with bits of stalks left alone to dry in the harvest sun.

When winter comes the field seems fruitless and barren, but there is hope for the future days because spring is always just around the corner and this cycle will begin afresh and new. I never want to overlook that blessed hope that even winter bears. God is still at work in that field, even though I cannot see it.

The Lord uses the harvest field as a picture for us over and over in Scripture. It epitomizes our lives as we walk with God. We will “bear fruit” from that which we sow in our lives. We will reap what we have sown.

Then we’re also told…

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

There are seasons of plenty and then want; joy and sorrow. There are seasons in our each of our lives that we are enduring trials. We’re told in Ecclesiastes 3 that there are seasons for tears.

When you’re in a season of sorrow, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever be joyful again. It’s that “winter” when there is only barrenness and chilly winds of adversity blowing. You can’t ever see yourself laughing again. But just around the corner, hope springs new, as slowly as spring itself comes to the earth. Healing happens, and though you will never forget the season of the sorrow, you can look back on it without the pain ripping your heart wide open. A season of joy emerges after the barrenness of heartache.

Why am I sharing these analogies to remind you of these seasons in our lives? Because I’m well aware that it can look to you that bloggers or those you follow on Instagram are celebrating happy occasions, vacations, and joyful events and you are left alone in the field of adversity. It seems as though you’ve moved to a year-round winter season in the Arctic Circle and you’ll never feel the warmth of the sun again. But what is the truth?

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
II Cor. 4:17-18

I Peter 5:10 But after ye have suffered a while, may the God of all grace, who hath called us into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings.And He hath put a new song in my mouth; even praise unto our God; many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Those verses all remind us that our suffering will not last forever.

When you see pictures of happy events on the Internet, remember that the one who posted that is either just coming out of a trial, is in one right now, or is getting ready to head into one. We don’t see it, but it’s happening to each one. God knows we need it, and we trust our wise God even when the painful times come.

The seasons don’t just happen to the fields; they come to our lives, too. All of us experience the cool spring, the lushness of summer, the time of harvest and the cold, barren winter. But the blessing is, we have the Creator to

  • Comfort us with His Word
  • Carry us when we are weak
  • Change our situation when it is time

I encourage you today to look for God’s hand in your situation. Pay attention to what He is doing in your life that reveals His love and care for you. Sometimes it’s the little blessings that we overlook and that are the greatest comforts during a difficult season. God is still at work in “your field,” even though you might not see it. He is there.

The greatest comfort you could receive is salvation, if you don’t know Christ. This adversity could be a reminder that there is a God who loves you and has given His Son, Jesus for you so you could have a home in heaven. He doesn’t want you to miss it. If I can help you, please email me! RefreshHerblog@gmail

In which season do you currently find yourself? What are the comforts and blessings that you see from God’s hand?

joy · Responding to trials

Rejoice in THIS Day?

My week began with a dreary, drizzling sky. I went about the house turning on nearly every lamp, hoping to add some cheeriness to an otherwise “not-so-cheerful” day. Covid seems to be rapping on our front door with more and more cases being reported by dear ones we love each day. More darkness added. Plans have been changed. People are isolated, due to the outbreak, and our hearts are lonely for them. There didn’t seem to be much reason to rejoice.

Then the next morning I opened my Bible to read. My reading through the psalms took me to chapter 118. This is a hymn Jesus sang the night before His resurrection.When I got to verse 24 I read ~

This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

One commentator said, It is true in a general sense that the LORD makes every day, and there is reason to rejoice and be glad in every day. Yet specifically, the day the LORD made to rejoice and be glad in was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem with hosannas welcoming Him as Israel’s Savior. If on that day human voices failed to rejoice and be glad, Jesus said that the very stones would cry out their praises and hosannas.

To be our Savior would mean His death. This day – the day of His suffering would bring our rejoicing! Then we think of the Day of His resurrection – oh the joy! Because of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice, any “hard” day I face is only temporary. Because of His death and resurrection, I have the assurance that One Day all this will be over. No more sin, sickness, sadness, loneliness, suffering or death!

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Jesus rejoiced in THIS day…now so can I!

After reading that, I understood that I have so much to rejoice in and that if I don’t praise Him the stones will need to cry out in my place! I will rejoice in THIS day, and with so many good reasons! I think I can turn off some of the lamps; things aren’t nearly so dreary now!

How does this passage change your perspective on THIS DAY?