Christian Life · trials

Behind the Clouds

I remember the drive as I headed out early to purchase the last items I needed for my Easter dinner.  I was filled with excitement as I anticipated Easter Sunday and the joy of worshiping and remembering the empty tomb! The sky was kind of gray and cloudy as I headed out, but I needed to get this done.

As I drove into town, my mind went to the first Easter Saturday – that very day after Continue reading “Behind the Clouds”

Responding to trials · trials

Spiritual Leg-Bouncers

 

Leg bouncers amaze me.  Do you know who I’m talking about? It’s those people who are totally oblivious to the fact that while they’re eating, watching a ballgame, or listening to music, their leg is bouncing 100 mph!  It seems like such a waste of energy!

No criticism here, but I’m married to a leg-bouncer.  Many times when sitting in a quiet setting like a service or at a table, I’ve gently put my hand on his leg.  He knows it’s my request for him to bring his energy into control so the table or pew will stop its shaking!

I’m pretty blown away at leg bouncers’ ability to do this vigorous muscle sprint!  I’ve tried it and it just isn’t possible. Oh, except in my heart…

Yes, when I’ve got a problem, my heart steps in and begins its flurry of mental activity at the speed of 100 mph!  With each thought is

  • How this issue could be stopped
  • How I might help it stop
  • Who else might give me a hand!

Like busy leg-bouncers, I don’t even give real thought to what I’m doing until the Spirit of God puts His loving hand on my heart, making me aware of my useless activity.  It happened just yesterday.

I’ve been in the midst of a hard trial for over a year.  At times I’m sure I’ve had “both legs bouncing” while trying to make this situation stop.  Then in my time in God’s Word, I came to Psalm 62 and read,

Verse 5 – Wait thou only upon God…

Beside that verse I had written,

While waiting be still and silently wait:

  1. Patiently – Stop all your activity of trying to fix the problem. Sit still.
  2. Trustingly – Stop any questions about why God would allow this. Don’t doubt His character or His promises.
  3. Expectantly – Start looking for what He will do. Be on the edge of your seat watching for His answers and His solutions!  It will be better that anything I could imagine!
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O my soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him.  Psalm 62:5

In short, stop your leg bouncing and use that energy to be on the lookout for what an awesome God is up to.

Are you “bouncing your leg” while you wait for God to care for your trial?  Sit still and be patient, trusting and expectant.  Then you can say as the psalmist said in verse 6 – I will not be moved. There will be no temptation to fix things when we realize that God is at work.

Whew.  We can rest!

denise a

trials · trust · waiting

Lessons In Waiting

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Yesterday I had the joy of spending the day with my daughter, Whitney.  She was accompanying her refereeing husband to a Lacrosse game and it was close enough to me that I decided to drive over and spend her waiting hours with her.  It was a great day of mom and daughter shopping, having lunch, oh, and of course we watched the lacrosse game, too (well part of it!)!

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On our way back to the school after our shopping excursion, I was dropping her off at the stadium where she would wait while Paul reffed one more game, and I would head back home.  The traffic in this little town was backed waaaay up and Whitney commented to me,

“Maybe you could find an alternate route so you could miss this traffic and not have to sit and wait.”

I opted to stay my course and it wasn’t that bad after all!  But her comment made me think about this post I was getting ready to write.  Don’t we all eagerly look for ways to divert waiting? 

At Chick-Fil-A we look for the shortest line.
We make doctor appointments at the times of day when the doctor will be less likely to be backed up.
We use the Scan and Go app at Sam’s club and the on-line pick-up at the grocery store.
We text so we don’t have to wait for someone to answer our call.
We slide into scheduled events right on time or shortly after so we don’t have to sit.
And yes, we take alternate routes so we don’t sit in traffic.

But when it comes to waiting for God to move in on a situation or end a trial, our hands are completely tied.  There is nothing to do but wait.

Such was the case in our Two-year wait for our grandson’s adoptionOur daughter and son-in-law did all they could to help the process go through by fulfilling their responsibilities, but we could not hurry the process in any way at all.  But praise the Lord, after two full years, the waiting is now over and those boys bear their parent’s name!  The judge made it official and we could not be happier!!

I sat down after the adoption day and wrote out the things the Lord has taught me while we waited and watched our grandsons go through the adoption process.  These were lessons I didn’t want to forget.  While they’re fresh on my heart, I want to share them with you, too.

  1. My spiritual adoption made me forever God’s child. 
    1. I was weak and sickly.
    2. I was needy
    3. I was already connected to earthly things
    4. My spiritual adoption was costly
    5. There were witnesses – the angels in heaven!
    6. I’m secure forever as God’s child
    7. God pursued me in love
    8. There was a plan
    9. I now call God Abba Father
    10. I have all the rights and privileges of a full-grown son!
      So now…
  2. We can trust a sovereign God with the desires He puts in our hearts.  God had put in our daughter’s heart the longing for a child, and she longed to adopt!  God didn’t give her one child…He gave her TWO!!
  3. While waiting for God’s plan to unfold, faithfully and diligently do now what He has called you to do.  Alli learned this lesson and shared it with me.  While she was waiting, she said God prompted her heart to be a faithful wife and homemaker.  She got busy taking care of her husband and their home.  One day after feverishly deep cleaning her house, they got the call from the social worker about two boys that needed a home.  Weeks in the NICU with them, and becoming a mom of twin sons kept her so busy in the weeks to come, she had no time to think about deep cleaning!!  Her faithfulness while she waited truly paid off once God brought about His plan for their family!
  4. God’s timing is perfect!  We know this in our head, but when we watch Him answer and provide and we turn around and look behind us at the path we’ve walked, we see that the timing of it all couldn’t have been better!  We see how amazingly it all worked out!
  5. He is at work even when we cannot see the evidence of it. There were so many days that it seemed we were getting nowhere, but all along the way, God was opening the path and providing the best way possible for our whole family.
  6. When we allow God to work, He gets the glory because we had nothing to do with it!  There is no way we could have worked all these details out, and we clearly see that the Lord did it all.
    On that Adoption Day, we stopped in that courtroom and my husband led in prayer, thanking God for all He had brought to pass.  We praise Him for His love, provision and care for us and those two precious boys that we love so much.

Now, I ask you, What are you waiting for right now?  What answer, what provision, what completion, what need is staring YOU in the face as the adoption did us?  Please read again these six points and remind yourself that if you have been adopted into God’s family, all these truths apply to you right now, too.  Why not stop right now and ask God to help you to trust Him to bring about what is necessary, and to increase your faith as you, too, learn these precious lessons while you’re waiting.

The adopted daughter of the King,

denise a

Christian growth · trials

Bumpy Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations

“Just because the path you’re on is bumpy
doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong road.”

I read that quote yesterday and thought of a hike my family once took. We headed up a mountain road that started out kind of gravely. As we continued upward the road bumped more and more. We were looking for the fire tower and were unsure of its exact location. At times the road bumped so much I thought our van’s shocks would never be the same. We climbed and climbed and bumped and jostled our way up the mountain.

The question of whether or not we were on the right road was asked more than once. We finally came to a blocked road where we parked the car and got out and walked a mile or more up a rather steep incline. There ahead of us was the fire tower! We climbed up the forsaken steps and when we got to the second and third landings the view was spectacular! It was worth all the bouncing and jolting just to see the sight before us! We indeed had been on the right road. If the bumps had discouraged us and we would’ve turned around, we would have missed this sight!

Life gets bumpy, doesn’t it? We begin to question ourselves. We also question God.

“Is the Christian life supposed to be this way? Shouldn’t things be much smoother than this? Is my marriage supposed to have this jostling? Why are my children creating such havoc after all my godly instruction?”

The temptation is to turn around and go the other way – our own way – a way we feel would be smoother. But the absence of bumps doesn’t mean it’s right.

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

The road will smooth out eventually and you’ll find the view is wonderful – it’s called Christ-likeness. Because He is the God of all grace, you and I have the grace we need to endure the bumps. Don’t doubt you’ve chosen the right road (“why did I trust Christ, anyway? He’s a mean God that’s out to get me.”) Keep traveling on. He’s there with you. He’s not forsaken you. He knows the bumps are there and He’s waiting at the end of the road. Keep on driving. It will be worth the view!

Denise

Comfort · Encouragement · trials

My Favorite Bible Verse To Share With Hurting People

This is just a screenshot of my favorite verse. A friend sent this to me, knowing it is my verse. Do you ever hear somebody reading a verse that is special to you, and you think to yourself,

“Wait!! That’s my verse!”

That is the way I feel when I hear someone quote or read Psalm 73:25 and 26. God gave me this verse the morning of our daughter, Ashley’s funeral, so many years ago . I learned that day that God is my portion; He is enough for me, even in the hardest times.

When I want to comfort someone else who is going through a trial, I share this verse because I know what a comfort it was to my own heart. I remind them that just as we portion out a piece of pie that is suitable for each person at our table, in a much greater sense, God gives to us the amount of grace that we need for that moment.

It is always enough.

He is always enough.

He will strengthen the very core of who you are when you turn to Him.

If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, feel free to share my verse, or claim it as your own. 😊