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Showing posts from January, 2018

Trust: Wisdom from Proverbs

Our impatience can really cause a lot of grief. Sometimes, in waiting on the Lord we start to make things happen on our own and this most often does not work out well. Different versions of this scripture verse use words like covetous, arrogant, proud heart, puffed up, in the place of greedy. Why is it that we have such a difficult time waiting on God's perfect timing? Is it our pride? I think often it is. We get stuck on the what will other people think?I deserve better, now. I've waited long enough excuses. And the thing is, it never brings peace. It only brings grief.

When I think of situations where pride causes a barrier in relationships, whether with others or with God, I have never found a sense of peace in the situation. There is always conflict, strife, dissension, and contention in these situations, as it says in this Proverb. If, however we place our trust in the Lord we will prosper. Whether this promise of prospering is in a peace that surpasses our understanding

Trust in Others

I think it's safe to say that most of us have a difficult time trusting people who have betrayed us. It can be as simple as someone coming to us with stories of others that shed a negative light on them. It's a pretty safe bet that if they share stories that shed a negative light about others, they are apt to reveal our secrets too.

Years ago I was part of a Ladies Morning Out group and I have always hesitated joining these groups, because I have had a few experiences where prayer requests were disguised as gossip, making the whole experience feel unsafe. The heart behind the 'prayer request' wasn't pure or honorable. It was to spread a negative light on someone. This has always bothered me. These groups are supposed to be a safe place to do life together, to share and build each other and others up. So, when joining this Ladies Morning Out group, I was really hesitant until the facilitator of the group laid down a couple of ground rules including the fact that th…

When it's Time to Give Yourself a Pep Talk

What I love about David the Psalmist is that he is the real deal. He just says what he is going through without holding back. If he's filled with joy and praise, he shouts it. If he's filled with sadness and grief, we can feel the depths of it. In Psalm 42 he's giving himself a little pep talk. He's going through a lot of hard stuff. He's longing for God. His heart is breaking. He's discouraged. He's asking God why all this horrible stuff is happening to him. He bares his soul and then basically gives himself a kick in the behind because no matter what is going on, we can put our hope in God and praise Him again.

So that's what I've been thinking about today and you know, God, He's so amazing. I'm driving home from restocking wool products at a local vendor shop and this song comes on the radio and it's written around Psalm 42:11. As I am belting out the lyrics, pounding my hands on the steering wheel, tears streaming down my face in co…

Trusting When You're in The Waiting

For the past number of days, the devotional Jason and I read, has had to do with doing what God has told you. They have been really great reminders, but I have been a bit frustrated with them because I have no idea what God is telling us to do. What if you want to do God's will, but you are just waiting? I'll do it God, but I don't know what it is! One day it even left me in a bit of a panic because what if it's me? What if I am the problem? What if I'm not listening? Maybe I'm not reading the Bible enough. What am I missing? What am I not seeing? These questions I am now seeing as the enemy's lies, planting doubt in my soul. Panic does not come from God.

Maybe, sometimes, we are right where we are supposed to be. Maybe being in the waiting, is God's will. Hebrews 10:35-36 says,

So, do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord.  Remember the great reward it brings to you.  Patient endurance is what you need now,  so that you will continue to do God&#…

Getting to Know God

I have always struggled with fear and as I am diving into what God has to say about trust to me this new year, I am starting to see that my fear stems partially from lack of trust. Yet, it is so clear throughout the Bible that I need not fear because God has randsomed me. What does it mean to be ransomed? It means that God made a payment (Jesus on the cross, dying for our sins) so that we could be released from 'prison' (the prison of sin) and reap the rewards of freedom (freedom on earth and eternal freedom in heaven). So, if we have been freed from all of this, why is it so difficult to trust? Because, we have started believing the lies of the enemy: How can you trust God when He allows bad things to happen, not just once, but over and over again? How can you trust God when it says in the Bible that He is good, but things sure don't feel good right now? How can you trust that God is in control? Just look at our world. It's chaos. Soon these questions and the lies or…

I Want Some of That For Myself

Do you know what I love? I love hearing people's stories. Why? Because we have so much to learn from each other. To walk life's journey with others is one of the greatest gifts we are given. We have so much to learn from each other. When it comes to our grief journey and I am at a spot where I am so discouraged, so broken, and feel a bit of hopelessness, I think of those who have gone before us and are walking the journey of losing a child five, ten, twenty or thirty years into the journey. I see their trust and their hope. I see their mourning and their joy. I see God's goodness and mercy and I think to myself, I want some of that for myself. Does it mean their lives are perfect and they are free of grief? Absolutely not, but they have made a choice to place their confidence and trust in God.

In Psalm 62 David, the Psalmist wants to share with all people that we can place our confidence in God. He will not fail us. We can trust Him and find our refuge in Him.  He himself…

My Refuge

Psalm 91 is probably one of my most favourite chapters in the Bible. Look at all of the gold nuggets found in it?

Psalm 911 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished. 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.

His Good Purpose

I've had a pretty limited view of what life should be like. When I graduated from high school I had a life plan:

Finish University.Get a job teaching in my home town.Get married by age 23. Settle down in a house that we'd live in for 50 years. No moving. Have my first child by age 25.Have two or three (twins please) more children by the time I was 30.Stay home with the kids until the youngest is in school.Volunteer at church in children's ministry.Go back to teaching.Teach until retirement.Retire and travel the world. Did any of that happen? Sure, some of it. But the timing of what I thought was a good plan was totally different from the timing God had in mind, and there were a few little (or perhaps huge) hiccups in the plan I had.  I am so thankful those hiccups were there. Really, I am.  No, I wouldn't want anyone to go through a battle with cancer, or depression, or workplace bullying, or Post Partum Depression, or the death of their child, or Post Traumatic Stress…

It's a Big Deal!

This is a life long lesson, I think. To commit our ways to the Lord. Human nature has it that we each try to figure things out all on our own, bypassing the trust we should have in the Lord. To commit our ways to the Lord means that He will establish our ways. How many times have I gone my own way trying to establish my own plans? Many. This doesn't mean that we just sit back idly and expect God to do it all. No, we are still expected to do our part. Seeking wisdom and committing our ways to Him, being obedient in the small things, because obedience in the small things is a big thing to God.

The Lord directs our steps,  so why try to understand everything along the way?  Proverbs 20:24 (NLT) 
It's the waiting that is so hard. We aren't patient people, are we? We want to understand the big picture now, not in hindsight. And then, what if in the waiting, God asks us to do something out of our comfort zone? Something that means we have to take a true step of faith? God will es…

Text Messages from God

This trust thing. It's hard.

Trust in the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART. All of it? Really?

Yes, that is what we are instructed to do, but oh how hard that is. To give it all to Him. To relinquish control and not worry about what others say. To relinquish control and not lean on our own understanding. Because, wow, our understanding is so incredibly limited in comparison to God's.

In the society we live in today, we have become so used to instantaneous answers. I text someone and in no time they text back. I sometimes have a question about cooking or baking and I pick up the phone to call my Mom for a quick answer, but if she isn't home, what do I do? I text her. If she doesn't answer, I don't wait for her to get back to me, I Google my question and I have plenty of answers in seconds.

Trusting God doesn't mean we get instantaneous answers. Sure, I'd love a quick text from God with an answer about a few things in life right now, but I am learning that in the wai…

I Put my Trust in You

When Mikail was about 4 years old and Olivia was about 2 years old, we lived in a basement apartment as part of our transition to Ontario. It was a two bedroom apartment so the kids had to share a room. This made bedtime a bit of a 'whack-a-mole' game. So, one night after we'd gone through the I need to pee. I'm thirsty. I need another hug scenarios, Mikail came running into the living room saying, Olivia says she is scared. So we encouraged him to go back to bed and repeat his memory verse from Sunday school to her. Off he ran (clearly not tired at all), and we could hear him saying, Whenever I'm afraid, I put my trust in You. Psalm 56:3 Hammer time. Doot doo doo doot doot doot doo doo! Since that day, whenever fear begins to creep its way into my mind, I am immediately brought to this 80s throw back version of Psalm 56:3.

When thinking about the hard things God asks us to do, I often hold back because of what will others say? What if they disagree? What if my in…

Bring Me Word of Your Unfailing Love

Has God every put something on your heart that you should do and you find excuses not to do it? They may even be valid excuses when you think logically and doing what God wants you to do may not be logical at all.

Yup. That's me. And lately? Lately I have been really convicted in this area. What if, what you are being asked to do makes no financial sense? What if what you are being asked to do scares you? What if what God is asking you to do is not part of 'your plan'? What if it means everything in your life is up in the air?

Today I was reminded that on that day when I stand before the throne, I will be shown the regrets and the rewards that span my life. Am I investing my gifts or hiding them? Am I honouring Him with my gifts or insulting Him with my excuses? Fear is the opposite of trust and faith.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. 
So, this morning I whisper a prayer for us all as we each dare to go out and do that which God has asked us to d…

Planted by the Water

This passage comes from the book of Jeremiah, who often felt more cursed than blessed. Isn't this how we often feel? Like life's circumstances are so heavy. As though we are too messed up to be used by God? As though our weaknesses outshine our strengths? Jeremiah didn't want to be a prophet. He felt as though he was too young and didn't speak eloquently enough for this calling.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (and approved of you as my chosen instrument), And before you were born I consecrated you (to Myself as My own); I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Then I said, "Ah, Lord God!Behold, I do not know how to speak, For I am only a young man."

But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a young man.' because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And whatever I command you, you shall speak.' Jeremiah 1:5-7

But through this all Jeremiah knows that he is blessed. Even amidst the doubts he has, he knows th…

One Word 2018

Every year, for the past number of years, I have forgone New Years Resolutions. I am the worst at keeping them. Instead I choose a word to help guide me throughout the year. In 2015 I chose the word blessed--perfect to reflect in that year we were in the throngs of mourning. In 2016 I chose the word hope--I desperately needed hope the year after the shock of Mikail's death wore off. In 2017 I chose the word courage--and had the opportunity to practice it daily as we desperately sought support for various things we were going through and kept on searching until we found it. Just to keep trying and not giving up when our trust in people and the Church kept shattering, took every ounce of courage I could muster.  Each year, my one word was exactly the word meant for me and my growth as an individual.

For 2018 I have chosen the word trust. I was going to choose the word faith, but soon realized that having faith is not something I struggle with. I have a deep faith, but in the past f…