Keep some room in your heart in 2014 for the unimaginable. Thinking of all God has in store can be something we have a hard time comprehending or even receiving. At times in life we are in a very comfortable place or even a successful place and at others, it can be the worse of times. Yet, in Ephesians it says “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask, think, or imagine.”
Whether you find yourself on top of the mountain or down in a emotional, physical, or spiritual valley we can be sure there is more good things to come. Here are three things that have helped me to allow God to move me from where I am…to what He would have for my life.
1. The scripture says unto “Him” which means if I’ve experienced wonderful things…it’s because of God and His goodness. Likewise, it means if I’m struggling…it’s where I am weak He is made strong. It is His strength that will move me from where I am, that will move me from good to great. It is His strength that will reach down and pull me out of the valley when my strength has failed me. It always has been Him. It always will be Him.
2.The scripture says He is “able”. For my life it has been promises fulfilled and a power fully displayed (as I have had faith in Him) that has me completely persuaded that He is able. That is not to say I have not felt desperate or even at times despair. But in those moments it is when we remind ourselves that we have hope because we have a God who is fully able!
3. Finally, the scripture says whatever the unimaginable is…whether that be a dream in your heart or a place we cannot imagine recovering from….that is the realm God operates. We couldn’t even begin to think up scenarios, strategies, or know what to ask for in some instances. But God, the x factor in all equations, will take you from where you are to exceedingly great places this new year.
Have faith, walk in love, and spend time getting to know your God. Happy New Year!
As a Pastor’s wife there can be a perception that life has somehow been conquered. We are often looked to for advice, scripture, or stories of battles won. Truly, I have seen the faithfulness of God, the power of the word of God, and the undeserved blessings that come. I also have battles and struggles I am facing at this very minute. Sometimes I feel my strong fortress of faith is really a glass house that can easily be shattered. I have transition that can bring fear and a swift fleshly grasp at control; expectation that can bring insecurity and responsibility that can almost get so heavy it is overwhelming. I seem to live in the frailty of all that comes with being human married to a life that should express the greatness of our God.
However the beauty of a glass house is this very thing…the opportunity to use its transparency. Yes, the voluntary disclosure to those that live and struggle in much the same way. Hope comes when a life of faith and fortitude are lived out in the face of adversity. Yet transparency also has an even greater attribute! The ability of the physical property of allowing the transmission of light. Yes, that our human frailty can also declare the glory of God! So my endeavor shall be this…I will shine my windows and though you catch a glimpse of my humanity, I pray the reflection is all that you remember.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will rather boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. “ 2 Corinthians 12:9
This weekend was a crazy weekend! We had Chan the Man’s 11th birthday extravaganza with a party consisting of 20 boys (the entire football team), then off to a hockey game with six of them (by myself) somehow my husband was able to get out of this. And finally a sleepover…needless to say my sanity is still intact and he enjoyed it immensely! Win!
Then it was time for church on Sunday. I attended the 1pm service to hear the second week of the message “The End” from my Pastor Craig Groeschel. The teaching was powerful and intense. Heaven and Hell. Pastor communicating clearly that hell is the default setting when most of us want to think good people go to heaven, it is not the case. Those who have accepted Christ go to heaven. I was riding high thinking of how as a Pastor’s wife you are making a difference committing your life to the call, to the work of the ministry, and how destiny’s are being changed each and every weekend. Then in the midst of my reveling I receive a call to say my cousin had passed away due to a drug overdose. He was in his 40’s. I knew he had a hard life filled with unimaginable struggle. I also knew that my mother and sister visited his family several times and spoke with them about the Lord. However, by looking at his life I could not know he was a Christ follower. So here it is the great battle for souls and this felt like a great loss in that battle. What a blow. So many saved and one so close to me lost, I felt sick. So, I lift my head up to where my help comes from, and then I put my head down and my hand to the plow, because there is no time for respite. The enemy is formidable to those who have no hope and for those of us who do let us remember time is ticking.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered…” Psalms 39:4
Today I woke up in my usual disgruntled mode (simply due to the fact that it is morning) and reached sleepily for my devices. I am an idea person, who loves to write, combine that with raising kids knowing the only time you have to yourself to think or do anything is after bedtime, and you get me! Someone who hits her stride around 8pm. I usually start my day by connecting with the world (ok) so I scan Twitter and Facebook for about an hour…don’t judge me. Speeding through the pics of kids with oversized bows and posts of cut-throat political discourse I see a post of a friend who put up a picture of her dad in honor of his memory. I am not the emotional type. I do not carry my emotions on my sleeve but this swept me up unexpectedly. All of sudden I felt deep sadness.
My father passed away two yrs ago. He was a musician. My parents were divorced and my weekend visits with my dad were most often in a variety of establishments most not the kind of place you would take an eight year old. I looked on as he sang. He was a star to me. I’ve learned to get on in life without a daddy, but it has never felt quite right. It never gets to be ok. The reason is that we were made to have a daddy. Of all relationships God created…Adam and Eve, to children, to siblings, friends, and even the church… God chose to be known as daddy. So if you ever find that sadness creep up on you due to a loss or a missing relationship and maybe you have found ways to soothe your soul, remember one more thing…you still have one daddy left and he would love to take it from here.
“God is a father to the fatherless…” Psalm 68:5
It’s that time of the year! One in which children will put on those tiaras and tutus and little boys will grab their capes and cowboy hats. Now for full disclosure, I grew up dressing up and participating in the bizarre task of asking complete strangers for candy thereby contributing to my parent’s dental costs. However, as I had children of my own I decided against it. Many things regarding Halloween I did not feel comfortable with. I have it in my heart that my goal (no matter how many times I miss it or how unpopular) is not to walk closely to the line regarding spiritual matters, but as close to the Father as possible.
Yet, as we near this day I am confronted with the fact that although my mask is more subtle, I continue to participate in this tradition of disguises as do many. We disguise the pain, the isolation, and the hurt with things like “I’m good! My husband and I are doing great!” or “God is working and I’m believing!” When the truth is you’re tired/overwhelmed, angry, and scared. What with everyone else so positive, exciting, and content you’d feel like a failure to admit any different. The great philosopher Dr. Seuss said it this way, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.” So be sure of this, the One who matters most (God) knows the real you and close friends, those on this journey with you, will welcome it. We all get tired of pretending and truth be told no matter how elaborate…all disguises get old.
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” Psalm 139:1-4
We all are on this journey together…time passes, circumstances change, and life somehow has a way of playing itself out. A journal, even an online one, can make you ponder back to the beginning. To where passion was ignited and dreams seemed on the horizon. After marriage, children, careers, and even the work of the ministry God has brought me back to my first love. My passion for the lost, my belief that scripture is inspired and powerful, and that with God ALL things are possible!
So let’s get this party started and see what God can do!
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26