Stop asking “Why?” and ask “What?”

I sat in a message yesterday that every line answered overwhelming questions in my soul.  I wasn’t going to go to church because of a busy weekend of class, chores, and other ministries.  A precious friend from my program messaged me and asked if she could come and worship.  AH!  Okay, God–

There we were worshiping together being fed and filled up on a message about worry and not giving up.

One small but profound point was from the story of Jonah.  Remember him?  He ran from God, ended up in the belly of a whale, got back on track and delivered a powerful message to a town who needed God’s love.  Jonah obeyed because he had figured out the outcome in his mind.

If I do this for God, then He will do that.

When the town repented and God showed mercy, Jonah got an attitude.  He complained, whined, and asked God–“Why?”  Because of this, Jonah was bitter and miserable.

How often do we figure out the outcome FOR God, and when things don’t work out like we had hoped, we spend a lifetime pouting or on a roller coaster ride of emotions.  When things are great–I’m great.  When things are bad–I’m mad.

I had spent the last two days asking God, “Why?” about some things that were obviously a struggle, an obstacle,  a challenge.  I’ll admit that I was in some serious pouting in my soul but on the outside acting like all was well.  God knows the inside–let Him work!

I find myself today challenged to stop asking “Why?” when it gets hard and start asking God–“What do you want to teach me Lord?”  “What Glory will be revealed in this situation, Lord?”

Why keeps us confused, judgmental, depressed, angry, and worried………………

Trust God to reveal one miracle after another and start asking, “What?!”

Let Him catch you!

Psalm 23:6

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

Think of someone who loves you so much that they relentlessly pursue you.  There are so many reminders in God’s Word of our responsibility to obey and connect with Him.  Obeying His commandments is not a punishment or killjoy–it brings peace that surpasses our understanding.  This verse reminds us of how He pursues us with an unfailing love ALL the days of our lives.  Not just on your good days, but your bad days too.  And, when it’s all said and done, we will live in the house of the Lord forever.  He pursues us all the way home.

The definition of pursue is to “catch someone”–let Him catch you up in His love! He is all you need.

She laughs!

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

Proverbs 31:25 NLT

She laughs!  What joy fills my soul when Jesus’ presence is all I seek to conquer the future.  The future could be five minutes from now or 50 years, but with Jesus all things are possible and He promises to give me grace and strength for each moment.  Just imagine your garments wrapped around you–the perfect fit of strength and you walk with dignity because of who you are in Jesus–not man, not your thoughts–but JESUS!

The Bible tells us there is a time to laugh and a time to cry.  Jesus is okay with tears.  I believe the laughter is centered on our eternal worth and home–we are just passing through.  Heaven will be so much sweeter in which there will be no more tears. Whatever you are going through remember how strong you are in Him–not your strength.  See the struggle through the lens of eternity and laugh with Jesus.

Worthy of His Love

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. May God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s friendship be yours. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Today I wish for you God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s friendship to be yours.  May you feel His beauty deep within your soul and find peace in the friendship of the Holy Spirit who guides you.  In response to all He has done for us:

“…Let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good.”  Hebrews 10:24

He’s got your back

Matthew  11:29-30

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I’m going to be very honest–This verse has always confused and frustrated me.  I love it.  I’m happy to learn from the Lord–who is gentle and humble in heart.  I need rest for my soul.  However, the idea of putting a yoke on my back to obtain these promises was a little….ummmmmmmmmmm……disturbing in my mind. It could be the control freak in me.

Have you ever seen a yoke on oxen?

That just does not seem fun or comfortable.

Last night I began the second semester of what will be a challenging year in my program.  You’ve been there.  You sit and listen to the professor or boss but in the back of your mind you are second guessing yourself. How will I get this done Lord with a full-time job?  What about my children? My husband?  My sanity?  What is she talking about? Did that person really just say “that”? But you engage and posture as if “I got this!”

On the way home, Charles Stanley was teaching on this verse.  After all these years, I finally understand, at least in the context of what I had just been through.

Having the yoke of Jesus on me puts me in the center of His will.  He guides me and positions me to reach my full potential.  When I want to stray off into anxiety and fearful places HIS yoke brings me back and brings healing and peace to my soul.  The yoke is not a painful tool –He says that he is gentle and humble in heart.  Furthermore, He promises that His yoke is easy to bear and the burden will be light.  Yes the burden or “load” is there, but if we trust in Him, and place His yoke upon us, then we will have peace.

God does not discount that you will have burdens that seem impossible to bear, but He wants to be the one to guide you–not your fears and anxieties.

Imagine the yoke being His strong, yet gentle arms around you.  He keeps you straight on–don’t look to the left or the right.

He’s got your back.

Psalm 37:23-24

23 The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. 24 If they fall, it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand.

Against all hope

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him,

It took 25 years before the promise of Isaac came to pass.

God’s promises  are always on time even when it seems forever in our time, or against all hope .

As the message continued on Sunday, I found myself highlighting the words below and thinking:

Against all hope, ___________(insert your name), in hope believed and so became _________________________________ just as it had been said (by God!) to _______________(insert your name).

What has God promised? What are you hoping for because He has said…

Against all hope, in hope believe!

I would love to hear from you–What’s your hope? Your God size dream? A promise of God you are clinging to?

I know a few of your dreams!  You’ve shared them with me.  I’ve seen God work in your life, and I am amazed!

Be patient…

His work leading you to the dream is all worth it and counts.  Every set back, movement forward, conflict, and struggle is part of the promise.  He is with you.

A mother’s love

Isaiah 66:13

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.

007Running around talking to folks at an Upward game, I was stopped by the beauty of this mother holding her baby so close.  In all the noise, chaos, and fun–this little one was held close and oblivious to only one thing–resting in the arms of his loving mother.

Isaiah shares with us that like a mother comforting her child — God will comfort us.

Whatever you are facing today, I pray you will feel the comfort of God.  Know He is holding you close to His heart, looking down into your soul, and holding you gently with His hands.  He loves you.

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I saw this beautiful picture on Facebook.  Think of this.  I can remember praying to have children.  Praying when my children were in my womb.  Praying throughout their lives.  And, right now, although I’m not a grandmother, my mother and father pray fervently for their grandchildren.  My grandmother who is deceased prayed often for me.

Just as mothers are always comforting and praying–Our God is timeless and always for us.  He knew you before you were born and will follow you all the way home in which you will spend eternity with Him.

Be comforted …..