When our valleys last longer than expected, the people we expect to be with us grow fewer and farther between. Take, for instance, the long road of grief. When we lose someone, there is an instant outpouring of support. The refrigerator fills with meals. Phones vibrate with texts. The ads in the mailbox get outnumbered by sympathy cards. The scent of lilies and roses permeates every nook and cranny of our home. Our front door becomes a revolving door as people come and go in order to sit with us, and possibly cry with us. Within a few weeks (or even days), the flow of support slows to a trickle. Life moves on, but the grief does not. And that, my friends, is one of many such valleys. Take heart, God will get you through your valley.
People used to say things like, "the devil made me do it," or "I can't help it, I was born this way!" Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. The facts remain clear: our own desire lures us into sin.
Wishing to be someone else or longing for life to be different sounds understandable on the surface---particularly in our culture where self-fulfillment and happiness are counted among the highest goals. However, there is an underlying insidiousness in these longings.
Am I looking at what God has given me as though it isn't good... or isn't good enough?
Do I give the Lord perfunctory thanks and praise because I know it is expected? Am I in awe of His precious blessings, thanking Him like my kids thank me on Christmas when they receive a long-awaited gift?
God has the power to take what is ordinary and make it truly extraordinary. Give every task---significant or insignificant---to the God who sees in secret.
Picture in your mind a handful of Christians within the last century whom you admire. It could be people you know personally or people you have read about. What makes them admirable? Why do you look upon them as giants in the faith? Is it a quality about them? Their actions? Their teaching? Who did… Continue reading Don’t Undervalue Dutiful Service
On this New Year’s Day, we begin a new trip around the sun, full of expectations, hopes, and goals. Is one of your goals to draw nearer to God? He longs for each of us to know Him more, to trust Him more, to love Him more. Success comes from joining our small efforts with His great will. It comes as we study His word daily, call on Him daily (sometimes hourly!) and trust Him even when nothing makes sense.
Today, many of us will be gathering with family or friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. To be candid, I approach the holidays like a soldier living in a war zone---I just want to survive. The pressure to meet expectations, make people happy, shop frugally, cook perfect meals (or sides), make… Continue reading My best thought for Thanksgiving, and always.
My week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I had everything scheduled. I made a to-do list. I knocked out tasks left, right, and center. I even got a head start on my writing. Unfortunately, everything unraveled with some unexpected events Thursday morning. Like a Jenga tower, all my carefully crafted plans came crashing… Continue reading Am I listening?
This is the final post in the series "God's Love is the Greatest Love." To read the previous post, click here. For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. But it is you, a… Continue reading This Love Won’t Let You Down