June 2, 20218

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

My heart is heavy.  A friend died last night.  A husband, father of 4, son, cousin, friend of many.  I can’t imagine what his family is waking up to this morning – if they even slept last night.  How can they ever process the reality?  How does this make sense?

I know all of our days are already planned out by God.  I know God’s ways are not our ways.  So why do I struggle to make sense of what God allows and doesn’t allow to happen?

I fear that I only pray one-sided prayers.  I only pray for God to answer my prayers the way I want them to be answered.  I tend to side-swipe the “your will be done” prayers and it’s probably because my will doesn’t usually match up with God’s will.  Truthfully, I  selfishly I don’t always agree with His will.  There it is – I said it.

That’s why God is God.  If my will was done, I’m sure chaos would descend very quickly.  I don’t have the big picture – only God does.  If my will was done, I’d always go for the quick fixes that make everyone happy.  And we all know that never ends up well.

In my faith, I must cling to what I know is true.  God is good and He is faithful.  He has proven it over and over again in my life and in the lives of  people I know who love and follow Him.

My faith in God is called faith because it is believing what I can’t see or control.  It is trusting that God is in control – even if He allows things to happen that I don’t like or want – being the short-sighted person I am.

This “I trust you no matter what” kind of faith takes some time to develop.  And it usually develops through tough times.

The Bible calls it the Refiner’s fire.  Like a goldsmith who uses heat to burn off impurities until there is pure gold, God uses tough times to burn off the yucky stuff in our lives to make us more like Christ.

Lord, your ways are hard for me to understand. Maybe I won’t ever understand them.  All I know is that your plans are the best plans and I know I can trust you.  I pray that you will use the tough times to burn off the impurities of my life and make me more like you.

 

 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1

 

June 4, 2018

I love the word lavished, don’t you?  It describes being generous, extravagant, giving freely.  It comes from a french word, “lavasse” which means a deluge of rain pouring down.

Skip and I were speaking, this morning, about this very word and how we feel so lavished on by our friends.  Skip knows how undeserving I feel to have so much attention and generosity poured out on me.

During his quiet time with the Lord, the Holy Spirit reminded him of the verse in 1 John  that talks about how God lavishes His love on us just because we are His children.

Our friends are merely imitating their heavenly father by lavishing their love on us.

Lord, thank you for pouring your love down on me and my family.  Thank you for friends who do the same. Help me to rest in this love and not worry about how I can return the favor – at least not right now.

 

 

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