Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Great is My God

I hate the times when I do something stupid, even if God and I are the only ones effected by it. It sometimes is so easy to slip up. That is why God's grace amazes me so. I do not understand how anyone can love that much. Jesus gave his life on the cross to pay for my stupidity and sin. Why? I am not even expected to repay Him for His sacrifice. In fact, no matter how hard I might try I will never even be able to return a tenth, a hundredth, of what I have been given. The very little love and service that I can render Him hardly seem worth a hundred dollars, much less His very life.

I suppose I will continue to ponder His great love and mercy for the rest of my life. I may one day understand more then I do now, but no human can ever began to grasp the enormity of it. And that is part of the wonder and fascination which my God holds for me. It is always the "Why?" that keeps me seeking fervently to know Him in a deeper fashion. Mysteries intrigue me, God intrigues me. And so....I continue on, winding down this path we call life looking right and left, up and down, and all around for clues to who my God is. I want so much to come to the end of my journey and still have this childlike awe of the enormous God that I serve.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish, but shall have ever lasting life" (John 3:16).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When Faith Isn't Enough

How many times have people told you that if you only have faith enough, God will heal you? Or, God would spare you of some trying situation? While the Bible does say that we need to have faith (Hebrews 11:6, James 5:15) and that a prayers prayed in faith can, and will, heal the sick, and get us through various trials in life. The Bible also says that God's ways are not our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Every person of great faith eventually dies, no matter how much they pray or how much faith they have. There are hundreds of stories about people of great faith who lost loved ones. Remember Job? Job was faithful to God even when all those he loved were taken from him. Even when he had nothing left. Despite Job's great faith, he was still left standing alone with nothing.

So what about when faith is not enough? We prayed ceaselessly for the healing of a loved one, only to suffer loss. Now, we only have two choices, to say that we did not have enough faith, or to blame God and turn our backs on Him.

Okay, so you say that I just did not have enough faith. Then tell me, who does? Do you know such a person? I have met some who claimed that they did. God healed they themselves or a family member from cancer, or any number of ailments, yet when I looked into their faces I always see how ironic their statements are. They may be wearing glasses, they may have hearing aids, they may walk with a limp, they may even have a common cold. How can this be? Surely if it was a matter of faith, they would have none of these things. If I was going deaf, but I had enough faith and God healed me, then wouldn't logic say that if I had enough faith, I would never need glasses, I would never grow old, I would never die?

Just because you have faith, does not mean that bad things will not happen. The Bible says that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). It does not say that all things are good. Sometimes death glorifies God more then life ever can. Just because our prayers are not answered does not mean that we do not have "enough" faith. And it does not mean that God does not love us.

What do we do when faith is not enough? When all we have prayed for comes to not? There is only one answer. We turn to God. Faith, prayers, fasting, nothing, will ever be enough except God. We must trust that His ways are always best. Even when it hurts.

Why is it that death is seen as the worst thing that can happen to a person? Why do we believe that if someone is not healed on this earth, that our prayers have not been answered because we did not have enough faith? The truth of the matter is, the best healing is the heavenly one. Death is not something to fear, but something to welcome.

No, we do not want out loved ones to suffer, and we most certainly would like to selfishly keep them with us. But, what is our main purpose in life. To honor and glorify God, in everything. Even in death.

When faith isn't enough...we still have God, and that is enough.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Matter of Trust

"I was thinking...if I can't trust my husband's decision to not ask for me now, how can I trust him when we are married? If I'm thinking why, in the world won't he ask, isn't that setting myself up for not trusting his decisions when we are together?"
~ Grace & Beauty

Wow, that is a tough question to answer. I cannot pretend to have the best answer, but after a few weeks of thought I do have a few thoughts to share. Can you believe that? :)

Let me start out by sharing a true story. There once was a young lady who desperately wanted to get married yet as her youth slipped away, no prince charming appeared. She struggled with trusting God, her questions were many, and her heart ached. She did not understand. If God had placed such a strong desire in her heart for marriage, then why didn't He hurry Mr. Slowpoke future husband along?

After years of struggling with these questions, she finally lay her deep desire for a husband at the feet of Jesus. A short while later she met the man that would become her husband. As she got to know him many pieces of the puzzle fell together. You see, when she was graduating from high school, he was 11-years-old. When she was in her twenties and grumbling because n husband was in view, he was in junior high and high school. This young lady's story is unique, in that it illustrates that just because you are ready now, does not mean that your future spouse is.

Now it may not be an age gap that delays your getting married. It might be spiritually maturity, relative job security, college, health issues, or any number of things. The point is, God's ways are not our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Yet His way is the way. For His ways are high and you cannot understand them all (Psalm 139:6). But may I encourage you to wait upon the Lord, trust in Him. For He will give you strength (Isaiah 40:31). Strength to endure any amount of hardships and any amount of waiting.

Did you ever stop and think that the guy you are going to marry might want to marry you now, but God is telling him, "Not yet"? This wait might not have anything to do with the young man's desires, but everything to do with God's. If that is the case couldn't you trust him? If he is earnestly seeking God's will, and being obedient to God's voice, wouldn't you trust him, because you trust Him? Wouldn't you honor his choice, because you honor the fact that he honor's His desires?

Perhaps you are right. If you ask questions like, "Why won't he ask now?" You may be setting yourself up to not trust him later. But did you ever think that you are might be looking at this whole matter from the wrong point of view? Maybe it is not your future husband you don't trust, but God.

Like I said when I started out, I do not pretend to have all the answers and I am not sure exactly where you are coming from. These are just a few thoughts that your questions evoked. I truly hope they may have helped a little.

In Him,

Friday, September 10, 2010

What Can I Say?

When you hear heartbreaking news, you cry, you pray, and then what? You want so badly to say something that will comfort and share how much you care, but it has already been said many times. You don't want to sound like you are following the crowd, cold, or uncaring. Your heart aches so deeply, how do you express that in words?

"I'll be here for you."

" We are praying."

" Love you."

All of the sudden words that used to say so much don't mean anything. You stand helplessly by and watch those you love and wishing there was something you could say that would express the pain you feel. But no words say enough. When the miles separate you from those who are going through one of the toughest seasons of their live, they cannot see the anguish in your eyes, or the tears. You cannot wrap your arms around them and let them know just how much you care.

The questions remains: what can you do? What can you say?

You can pray, you can say all those words that are not nearly enough, and trust that the Lord will let them know how much you care, yet...even then it seems only half-hearted.

I have come to the conclusion though, that that is all you can do sometimes. That, and stand faithfully by their sides through it all. Actions are said to speak louder then words, so be a faithful friend. Pray without ceasing. Repeat words that never say enough. Hold them tight. And in the end, they will know.

In these hard times. God remains EVER faithful.

"Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:23).