Monthly Archives: June 2012
Sometimes life throws us some difficult curve balls. One wonders if God is really in control or even cares about what’s happening. Those are time times I am reminded of the verses from Jeremiah 29:11-13
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.”
In the past few weeks friends and family members have faced the loss of loved ones through aging and suicide. I’ve spoke with someone who grew up in a cult and has just recently seen her 30-year-old sibling come out of the cult. I’ve watched more and more people deal with health issues, job losses, financial difficulties, facing consequences for breaking the law, and marital problems. I want to ask God, “If He really cares, why doesn’t He do something to stop the pain?”
A while back I studied Carol Kent’s book Between a Rock and a Grace Place and tonight I found myself reflecting on a portion from her book:
If you too feel caught in one of those tight spots that seem unusually difficult, if not unbearable, I pray that you will come to realize that the pain of being in this place need not cause you to lose hope. If you press into the Rock instead of trying to get around it, you will discover a surprise far better than a birthday or a Christmas gift. On the road that is your life right now, you can find a new way of thinking about your circumstances, as well as an astonishing experience of grace, tailor-made just for you. As you encounter God on the way, not in the way, you may come to know Him as you never have before. Remember what Olympian Eric Liddle said, ‘Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins.’
I’m so grateful God is in control of the universe from before time began. I’m glad we have the assurance that He cares so much for each of us that He blessed us with life-saving grace of His Son, Jesus Christ, our LORD.
Kent goes on to say, “God works best through broken people who know they do not have all the answers. He can use people who have exhausted their own resources and finally realize that negotiating the tight spots of life is not something they do by themselves.” I’m so grateful God uses ordinary people, people who have walked through pain and found the joy and hope only God can give.
Philip Yancey says, “The kind of faith God values seems to develop best when everything fuzzes over, when God stays silent, when the fog rolls in.” God gives more grace for each trial and burden that comes our way. The more we rely on Him, the more He answers and provides for us in ways that could only come from His hand.
Abundantly grateful for God’s presence through the difficult circumstances of our lives.
How much more should we lift our hearts and voices in praise to our Creator, Savior and Lord.
The lily is a beautiful creation, without heart or soul. We are created with heart and soul.
The lily opens in resplendent beauty for others to enjoy. We are made to give our Creator glory from hearts that are filled with joy.
Celebrating God’s abundant beauty ~ Faye
What an incredible comfort and blessing! God watches over us. We need sleep. Many flowers close up at night for protection and rest. Many animals seek cover at night and rest, or if they are “night owls”, the rest during the day. But we have the wonderful knowledge that God NEVER SLEEPS. He is constantly watching over each one of us. Not just in the small town of Palo, or the larger metropolis of Cedar Rapids, or even just the United States. God watches the entire UNIVERSE. Nothing is out of His control!
I just finished The Quest for Serenity by G.H. Morling and he ends the book with these reminders:
- Begin the day remembering you are loved and chosen by God. He is your Creator and you belong to Him.
- In order to maintain tranquility throughout the day – RELAX. It is a skill that we must accomplish – learn to relax. It is necessary for a REST-FILLED day.
- Live with a heart filled with JOY and PRAISE. Look for the good things in life each day – sunshine, breath, birds singing …
- Don’t be anxious, filled with worry. Surrender your concerns to God remembering He is in control of all things. “Take definite action about your worry. Tell yourself that it is futile and wasteful and even sinful (when continually rehashing something) because it denies the care of your Heavenly Father.”
- End the day with sleep that is filled with rest from God. Can’t fall asleep – remember these words which bring perspective, “What helped me to pass wakeful hours was just remembering the Insomnia of God: Behold He that keepeth Israel – He slumbers not, nor sleeps.”
May your day be filled with the blessings of remembering our God is a 24/7/365 day God ~ Faye
I’ve been struggling what to write for a post since last week. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in God’s word and in other readings. As you know, I’ve been writing and reading about The Quest for Serenity, but it seems to have evaded me this week when it comes to finding peace in a focused topic. So here are some late-night ramblings …
Life has so many unexpected adventures and experiences. How difficult life can get for some that they end up overwhelmed, struggling with depression, health issues, financial burdens, to the point where they can’t cope and just can’t find peace. Recently someone I used to teach in youth group decided to end his own life. There are so many unanswered questions when someone decides this. It is such a burden and loss for the family and friends left behind. It leaves such an incredible void. It really made me do some serious thinking once again about what is really important.
In my small circle of friends, family and acquaintances, there are people dealing with all types of issues: divorce, financial difficulties, job uncertainties, infertility, countless health issues, problems with parent-child relations, problems with other relationships, and job stress. Life is full of trials. My husband had a heart procedure in January and will face another in July. I find myself playing one of my not-so-favorite games – “What-If?” I’ve done it with so many changes in life. I should realize it is such a waste of precious time and energy (and sleep). Instead, over and over I play the different scenarios of what the future holds.
Here are a few things that have played in my mind the past couple of weeks:
In The Quest for Serenity, G.H. Morling shares from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, when Paul was in prison. Paul tells them, “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Paul also wrote these words,
“I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what He is doing through me.” -Philippians 1:20-26
Morling shares this quote:
Competency to deal with things as they arise and the confidence that goes with it are essential to serenity.
I am challenged by that quote to be filled with the truths of the verses above.
I find myself becoming concerned and then progressively worrying about life’s issues: Will I get something in writing to post on this blog? What lies ahead with Rich’s procedure? Will the pain in my friends’ lives ever go away? Will a planned family gathering go well? Will the health of family members improve or continue to decline? The list is seemingly endless.
Yet God reminds me of these precious words:
“I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:25-34
If I take the time to remember that God is in control, so I don’t have to worry about the details, I am so much better off and filled with His peace and serenity.
Basking in the blessing of serenity that comes from God’s perspective and grateful for His strength in difficult times ~ Faye