Posts Tagged ‘God’s promises’


Dick and I have just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and while it was a great time of celebration, I paused to ponder some of the things God has taught me along the way. Things, in light of our current culture, I’d like to share with those of you who think y’all might not make next year’s anniversary, or those of you who’ve decided marriage isn’t your cup-a-tea.

One of the first amazing facts, I’ve learned to ponder what God has taught me. God tells us over and over to remember—remember what? Remember what we’ve gone through. Remember how He carried us through the bad times. Remember the joy of the good times. Remember His promises to those who love and obey Him. Remember who He is and who we’re not. Remember and act upon what He desires us to become. But remember, you can’t remember what you’ve never learned.



Expect difficult trials and times. These forty years the hurdles have been many and varied: Job loss, several times. Critical illness. Heart attacks. Death of a daughter. Parenting grandchildren for a year after daughter’s death. Change in family dynamics. Destructive thoughts and behavior patterns. No job, no income, lots of bills. Anger. Rebellion to God. Caring for elder parents in our home. Death of both sets of parents. All of which lead to the third thing I’ve learned.

God never leaves us or turns His back when the going gets tough. He carried us through many of these harsh life experiences and guided us through the rest. God is faithful—even when we’re not. He is my Rock and He’s taught me to lean on Him. Doesn’t mean the grieving wasn’t hard. Stretched me to the limit. But He has never failed us.


Keep the main thing, the main thing. Today’s culture tends to encourage us to be attentive to the urgent while by-passing the important. Sometimes at the end of a day I just wanted to jump off the crazy train—too much of everything, not enough of me. Then I began to learn about seasons of life and God’s order. Remember, seasons come and go, they don’t stay forever. What we ought to do, we ought to do now. Like education, college and graduation. Career choices. Marriage. Parenthood. Then your teen’s years swiftly turn into empty nest years. And finally retirement and old age. How’s that for a quick, sweeping  broad brush stroke across the seasons of life?

God tells us to do all things decently and in order. He is a God of order. We don’t see a flim-flam creation do we? No. Down to the last intricate detail, God orchestrated all of His creation and freely gave us life. We’re the ones who embrace confusion rather than order. We become bored with order or tantalized by the haram-scaram voice of deception. And that’s where God found me.

Hold your hand in front of you and consider, what would happen if your thumb were replaced by your pinky? Or how about if your index finger took your ring finger’s place and your thumb nestled in beside it to bump the middle finger to the thumb’s place. The answer is weird, fumbling, chaos.

And many of us have experienced fumbling, chaotic points where we by-passed stages of life or jumbled their order. Like an un-wed single mom attempting to get a college degree. Or grandparents forced to take over parenting the grandchildren because the parents rebelled against God.


All of us have, in one way or another, violated God’s deliberate order of life and many of us end up with a diagnosis of terminal heart failure…stuffing too much, too soon, into an unprepared vessel. God is always in the business of forgiveness, but the consequences of wrong choices or sin continue to trail behind us like super sleuths.

Whether you believe it or not, God is Sovereign over all things. He knew me and He knew you before we were formed in our mother’s womb. I can’t even comprehend that, can you? Not only did He know us, He granted personalities, skills, talents—gifts, to each one of us. We are all unique.  Created for the purpose of glorifying Him. Do you know He loves to hear the sound of your voice—but is the sound He hears from me pleasing or full of discord? He gives me the right to choose.

I don’t know about you, but much of my life brought shame, not glory to God. I knew He was God, but had no clue what His sovereignty meant.  But because God never changes and is always ready to grant us mercy when we change our ways and accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and choose to obey Him—when I came to Jesus and confessed my sin and shame, He forgave me. Then the key word is surrender. I surrendered my will to His will. My wants to His wants. My choices to His choices for Dick and for me. My obedience to God brings order and peace to my life and my home.

Sovereignty means whatever you’re going through did not catch God by surprise. He’s not pacing the heavens shouting, Oh no! What am I going to do now? He’s in charge of what’s happening—sets the limits of your trials and temptations. Before you were born He knew you. Before a word is on your lips He knows what you’re going to say. And He loves you anyway. Jesus died because of your and my desperate need for a Savior.

And it also means I don’t have the option of allowing my temper to run rough-shod over people. I can’t carry a grudge and be pleasing to Him. I’m accountable to God for every tiny word that comes out of my mouth and every thought I allow to fog my mind. I’m accountable to Him for each minute of every day, whether I choose good or evil. And I don’t get the choice of defining what’s good and what’s evil. God makes the rules. And they’re not old-timey words. His Word will stand forever.



Next week Part Two: It’s Not All About Me!



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The quiet voice echoed through the sad, lonely corridors of my heart and soul—“Is Jesus Enough?” I sniffed back tears that had become a way of life for the past few weeks and blew my nose as the voice inside me asked again—“Is Jesus Enough?”

DSCF1479I slumped in my chair, Kleenex in hand, forced to examine the implications of this question and where I had drifted and what had brought me down this treacherous road.

Even as I write this morning, my mind retraces the rabbit trails I allowed to lead me away from abiding in the light of the Word into the murky, stagnant puddles of lingering grief. And the moreDSCF3280 time I spent wandering in this swamp, the more impossible it became to extract myself.

Self-pity clutched its slimy tendrils around every thought and drug me toward the pit of depression as I counted, recounted, and added to what I didn’t have.

Trapped in a snare. Two weeks before Christmas. The tree wasn’t trimmed, the house was a mess, but the state of my heart and mind needed emergency medical care. And, thank God, the Great Physician was on-call.

Jesus tells us:

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 14:5 NAS).

I could indeed do nothing. The last few months I had lost focus on the important and allowed the urgent to shove my time with the Lord each day to those last few moments before exhaustion cemented my eyelids and brain shut for the night.

My disposition cranked to critical and I neglected to put on God’s armor each morning. I gave the enemy of my soul numerous opportunities to shoot his fiery darts into the chinks, resulting in great pain, loss of joy and my ability to focus on God’s miracle of Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.

But the good news is Jesus left a message for me and all who struggle in this battle:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29 NAS).

DSCF3521I heard—Is Jesus enough? And I understood the question and all the associated implications.

Regardless of the loss, trouble, or pain God allows to touch our lives we must ask ourselves—Is Jesus enough?

Jesus was enough for ancient Christians forced into an arena filled with hungry lions. Jesus was enough for the Apostle Paul when he faced his executioners in Rome. And Jesus is enough for Christians in countries where living their faith means persecution or death.

Will Jesus be enough for you and me as we walk through turmoil, distress and heartache during our lifetime?

Jesus also told us:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19 NAS).

The hours of 2013 are slipping away and 2014 will arrive a week DSCF3551from today. Will we replay the trials, pain, and grief of past years or will we quake when difficult times arise in the future? Or will you guard your heart and mind, abide in the Word and in prayer, and confirm with me, “Yes, Jesus is Enough!”

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