Thought for the day: Trust. Now it’s getting deep. We better put our floaties on. Trust. Who do you trust, and why? The real answer lies in the ‘why’. There could be many reasons why we trust someone. But, what would happen if one day that trust was shaken? Most likely we’d begin to doubt. What about Jesus? Do you trust Him? That is a loaded question. Many times I will say, “I trust you Jesus;”but then go my own way. Or try to control a situation. Is that really trust? No. I’m still a work in progress. You? For years my professional life was on the uphill, there were uncertainties at times, yet for the most part it was good. Then. One day, a few years back that changed, and it was like I fell from a mountain top. I suddenly found myself unemployed, struggling to find a full time job. It took a few years. My trust was split wide open like the San Andreas Fault. For you it may be something else. Yet, can you relate? However, during those years Jesus never left me. Oh, I promise, it may have felt and looked like it. You? Worry, fear of the unknown, all creep in. But. At just the right moment, things turned! And now my feet are on a new path with Christ! Trust. It can be difficult. Hang in there! He will not fail you. And one day, once again, we’ll say “See, God has come to save me. I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” Isa. 12:2 NLT TRUST. Do you? #spreadthewordacrosstheglobe #trust #doubt #Hewillnotfailyou
Today is day three of my posts on what I am grateful for.
As many of you may know, there’s a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic right now. Hurricane Irma. As she moves towards Florida I am preparing for the possibility of being without power for a few days. Irma is projected to hit somewhere in Florida, and the city where I reside could take a direct impact.
With the Weather Channel giving updates in the background I am thankful for technology. At times it can be overwhelming. It can be frustrating when my electronic devices do not work correctly. But, without technology millions of people in Hurricane Irma’s path would not know about the impending storm. Evacuations have begun, gas stations are running out of gas, in the stores water and non-perishables are no where to be found. Yet, for some of us there is still time to prepare.
For all those feeling her wrath now my prayers to you, and yours, for safety. She’s nothing to play around with. Be safe.
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” Ps. 5:11 NLT
I can’t help but continue to feel, with all the chaos around me, peace in my spirit. When you begin to focus on what you’re thankful for Satan will try to deter you. Trials and troubles may come. Yet, instead of focusing on that. I am thankful that the Bible reminds me – Jesus is on my side. He loves me. And, He is always with me. That gives me peace. It does not remove the trial, worry, or concern. It reassures me that He is there. He has already gone ahead and worked it all out before I get through it. For that I am thankful.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you or abandon you.” Dt. 31:8 NLT
What are you thankful for?
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Nooooooo, not yet!! It’s too early! I don’t want to think about it. I don’t have any money.
I’m sure that as soon as you read the title one or more of those thoughts raced to your mind. Christmas seems to bring that initial response out in people. Retailers seem to be setting up right after Labor Day, while Halloween and Christmas share isles, and Thanksgiving’s corner gets moved each year to a single shelf, on an end cap.
At this time, I will challenge each of us to move towards Christmas with a new outlook and focus. We have nine months until Christmas, and within nine months another event is anticipated with joy and excitement. This year won’t you please join me as we await the arrival of a birth! A birth of a baby boy.
Awaiting the arrival of a new born baby can be the most exciting time, and the most worrisome time. Emotions can be all over the place. It’s been a while since my children were born, however just four short years ago my family anxiously awaited the arrival of the youngest of my grandchildren.
During this study we will focus on the meaning of “Christ”mas, and what the birth of Jesus brings to a lost world. What His birth did for us, and Who He is.
“But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter— From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel. He’ll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.” Micah 5:2-3 MSG
This is a nine-month focus. The same term as a pregnancy. We will begin in April and go to December. Each month we will focus on one aspect of anticipating the arrival of a baby. There will be an item that I will ask you to place in your house and scripture readings for that item. Each item will lead to the expected arrival of our Lord and Saviors birth. To the true meaning of Christmas and celebration behind the commercialized holiday.
“The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you!” Zech. 2:10NLT
This idea came to me as we just moved through Easter. We celebrated His resurrection from the grave, and how he conquered death. But, it all began with His birth. God becoming a baby, born to a virgin, in a manger, surrounded by animals, and wrapped in swaddling cloths. Notice I said cloths, not clothes. Big difference. There was no fancy hospital, skilled doctors, and blankets.
With that I quickly counted on my fingers and wondered – how many months before Christmas? What do you know – nine months. The number of months a woman carries her child before giving birth.
I then took my thoughts down memory lane. What did I do, prepare for, and start stocking up on? Then took my thoughts on a stroll through Babies R Us. Mary, Jesus mother, did not have the luxury of Babies R Us, or the local store to begin stocking up. There were no registries, or showers, to provide much needed items. However, like any expectant mother I’m confident she did some preparing, and planning. Even if it was only mental preparation.
If you’ve never experienced giving birth to a child, or are expecting a child, you know mental preparation is just as important. Your life is about to CHANGE. And that is exactly what happed to the world when Jesus was born. Life CHANGED. That is what happens to us when we embrace Jesus as our Savior – our life CHANGES.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9 LB
If you’ve not had children of your own that’s ok, because I’m pretty sure you have anticipated the arrival of other babies. Family, or close friends, all welcoming in a new member to the family. You have seen, heard, or been a part of the anticipated arrival.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jer. 23:5 LB
So, what is it we do when we are anticipating the birth of a child.
- Pick out names
- Start to prepare a room – paint, buy furniture
- Begin to purchase necessities – until we know the gender we keep it neutral
- We stock up on diapers, wipes, and all the things we know we will need
- Purchase a few starter toys
We will begin this week with the announcement – the news that a baby is coming! And, based on conception this baby will be born at Christmas! The greatest present we will ever receive.
The announcement has been made! A baby is coming!
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” Isa. 11:1 LB
Please join me in this nine-month focus as we are Moving towards “Christ”mas.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
*picture thehaystack, littledribble, pinterest
Ahhh, the infamous holiday made just for couples is approaching – Valentine’s Day!
While many seem to be planning, and preparing for this weekend’s big couples event, Valentine Day, you choke back another tear and try to cover up the pain. We have four days until Valentine’s Day; the coveted day which all couples are honored. They will fill restaurants, and movie theaters; jeweler’s will over staff employees, greeting card manufacturers will make millions of cards, candy makers will box their finest chocolates into multiple sizes of heart shaped boxes, and retailer’s will sell out. As the day approaches many will feel the excitement in anticipation of the gift their loved one will bring them.
Yet, there are also others that have their relationship crumbling around them. The joy that was in their step is now a stumble, and the light of love has darkened.
They are in a relationship, but are unfulfilled. While in their relationship they are made to feel less than, told that conversations with them are difficult, and life was easy before them. They keep the hurts secret from the outside world. They stay hidden from the freedom that being in a true love relationship brings. The laughter, and joy, once shared fades into the background as two lives move deeper into the fork of the road. Some may sit and stare at a Valentines gift that was purchased with love, hope for the future, and joy in anticipation of the look on their spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend’s, face. All along wondering do I give it to them, put it up, or return it? They pray, try harder, keep hoping and waiting all along thinking things will change. But, they don’t. At least for the better they don’t. In this week of “love” instead of feeling loved and special. You feel alone, and broken hearted. If this is you – I understand.
I know what it’s like to have a relationship begin to crumble, and with each day more and more pieces fall away. You try to glue them back on, yet with each setback the glue breaks free and takes a bigger piece with it. I know what it’s like to chase a lie. To have that relationship where you feel less than. Where the gas tank of hope for a future, to build and share life together moves to empty. Where the lies are revealed over and over until finally – the pixie dust that gave the illusion of glam and glitter fade to gloom and grief.
The question that lies before us when our relationship begins to fade, and crumble, is:
“How long will you … pursue a lie?” Ps. 4:2b
I’m not saying because you may be going through a rough time, not to give it your all. I’m not saying if you are married to get a divorce. What the question poses is: who are you loving more? Who are you giving your focus, and energy to?
God says we are to put Him first.
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” Ex. 20:3-5a
- Are you pursuing a lie by worshiping a relationship that you know is not right?
- Have you put the other person ahead of God?
- Do you try to please them more than pleasing God?
- Have you made them your idol?
If you answered yes to any of those, God asks – “How long.” How long will you continue to do that?
Questions I once had to ask myself, and answers I had to face.
If you are in a relationship that is abusive: physically or mentally seek help immediately. God never calls us to be abused.
As we approach Valentine Day may we turn our hearts to The One that created it:
“For it was You who created my inward parts.” Ps. 139: 13a
He is the One who:
“The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.” Zeph. 3:17 HCSB
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 Jn. 3:1a NIV
“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.” Ez. 34: 15-16a NIV
“He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.” SS. 2:4 NIV
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” Dt. 7:6 NIV
As Valentine’s Day approaches lets ask ourselves those hard questions, and face the answers. Answers that my be painful, but ones we need to realize. Answers that may tell us to stop pursuing the lie, and instead pursue our Creator.
May you find your true valentine; The One that waits for you with open arms.
“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Pe. 3:9b NIV
This year let us allow Him to be our True Valentine.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015, re-post 2/11/2017 and edited
*picture by nanahood, forestwander, sermonsfromseattle
Lately all the messages I’ve heard, and things I’ve read talk about praying and giving thanks. This morning those last four words jumped to the center stage of my mind, and danced around – praying and giving thanks. The word “and” was the lead dancer. That’s not difficult to do when life is good, is it?
As I thought about those four words I wondered if God gave any conditions, or exclusions, such as: if you are sad you don’t have to give thanks; if things are difficult, you don’t have to give thanks; or if you are facing a big unknown situation in your life, you don’t have to give thanks. With those questions in mind I scoured the scriptures to check.
Whenever we have a question we should always go to God’s word first. With three translations in front of me I sat out on my journey through the pages. My eyes focused in like magnifying glasses, and my fingers walking through the pages as if searching for any trace of bread crumbs to lead me to my destination – the exclusion!
In my journey God showed me His answer. Over and over with each scripture verse I came upon it was the same.
The thought that provoked the journey began with the teaching, and example, of Jesus when he fed the 5000 (Jn. 6: 1-13). Before Jesus fed the multitude with only two fish and five loaves of bread, it says:
“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.” Jn. 6:11
It is noted in my study bible along with several commentaries there were estimated to be more than 5000 people, because in verse 10 it says “there were 5000 men” (Jn. 6:10b italicizes mine). According to the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible, “The men numbered about 5000, plus women and children (Mt. 14:21), totaling perhaps as many as 15,000 people” (Jn. 6:10 footnote p. 1816).
It wasn’t Jesus that was facing sadness, difficulty, or an unknown in that situation. It was His disciples that were with them. Perhaps it is you also. Perhaps you are facing sadness, a difficulty in your life, or you are in a situation where the outcome is unknown. When we stand face to face with any of those circumstances it can be a bit daunting, and intimidating.
The disciples looked at the sea of people surrounding them, their location, resources, and the unknown answer to the question of:
“How will we feed them?” Jn. 6: 1-13
If you are like me when faced with the unknown I want to know the answer to the outcome before anything else. And like me, you may find it hard to pray and give thanks. Sometimes my journey through the scriptures is quick, other times it is longer. I figure the journeys that take longer are because God is trying to cement something in my mind, and heart, that needs reinforcing. That needs to be implanted into the recesses.
This morning my journey took some time, it was not a quick run to the 7-11 store of verses. I had to search, read, cross reference, and search some more. At times it is because I am looking for the answer I want. Can you relate? Yet God, being patient, waits as I go from book to book, and verse to verse.
During my journey I had a phone conversation that did not end well. It left me in tears, as I thought God my heart is breaking, and I am supposed to pray and give you thanks – for this? As I choked back the tears, not wanting the other party to know, we ended the call. You may be able to relate. As I hung up the phone the three verses that lay in-front of me dancing on the page were:
“Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Th. 5:16-18
Pray and give thanks. My journey continued and stopped at three other places.
The verses on this morning’s journey:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil. 4:6
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind, and a thankful heart.” Col. 4:2
“Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; and pray all the harder.” Ro. 12:12
God’s message came full circle. Sometimes God allows us to experience the question along with the answer in order to teach us. Other times it is so we can share it and teach another. If that is you, and you find yourself soaked in saddens, darkened by difficulty, or unsure by the unknown dig deep into untapped strength stop to pray, and give thanks.
As the words danced across the page, tears streamed, my heart prayed for the other person’s happiness, and I gave thanks.
Today – find something to be thankful for – pray and give thanks!
©Gentle Whisper Ministries re-post from 2/10/15. Edited 2/10/17
*picture by thebloggingdisciple, 1millionwallpapers, pinterest
My writing is late today for several reasons, but the main one is I couldn’t pull any thoughts together. Then tonight while watching Tim Allen in Santa Clause 3, it occurred to me – do we treat God like Santa?
I ask because in the beginning there is a scene with Tim Allen -as Santa, and he says “What does Santa do? He delivers!” What does Santa deliver? Gifts, toys, and our wants – down to our last whimsical wish. This is the season for Christmas movies, and I love all of them! They are upbeat, always end good, and everyone ends up happy. They are a great escape for a couple of hours because real life doesn’t always work that way.
As we get older do we still ask Santa for things, and deep down hope he delivers? Last night’s movie was Elf with Will Farrell, I laugh every time I see it. Towards the end, Michael Hobbs, played by Daniel Tay grabs Santa’s big book. In it all the names are written and what each person asked for, Michael Hobbs is trying to improve the Christmas Spirit when he takes it to a reporter and proceeds to tell her what she asked Santa for, after sharing what several children had asked for. She asked for an engagement ring, and for her boyfriend to stop dragging his feet. Deep down there’s still a kid in all of us, or we wouldn’t take our requests to Santa. There’s the inner child that loves to hear the Ho-Ho-Ho, and get the candy cane from the white glove! We put on our best clothes to go see the man in the red suit, and prepare months in advance what we will ask for. We can recite our items in seconds, and may even take time to write it down. Just in case Santa forgets.
Parents, and grandparents, listen intently to each child’s request in an effort to obtain the item requested of Santa. We don’t want to make Santa look bad, after all we don’t always get what we ask for from God. Because of that do we attempt to make Santa real? Could it be because we can touch, feel, and see Santa we gravitate towards the belief? His kindness and infectious laugh that makes his belly jiggle like a bowl full of jelly, the help he gets with the elves, and Rudolph’s red nose! Have we made Santa bigger than God?
About 10 feet away stands a three foot Santa, next to the nativity scene. Santa is taller, and figuratively bigger, but the power to behold is the comparison to the three inch baby in the manger.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isa. 9:6 NLT
My Santa has packages in his bag, and hanging from his arm. The baby lies in a blue blanket holding nothing.
“She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger.” Lk. 2:7 NLT
I love Christmas, Santa, snowmen, sleighs, and songs but they don’t compare to the reality of Jesus in my life. The gifts Santa brings are tangible, and eventually will break, get donated, thrown away, retuned, or put up never to be seen again. The gift baby Jesus has is intangible. It is the gift of eternal life.
“The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Lk. 2:11 NLT
His gift cannot be taken away, discarded, put up, or given to another. His gift is for you, me, and all who believe. In Jesus, not Santa.
“If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. The LORD helps and delivers them; He will deliver them from the wicked and will save them because they take refuge in Him” (Ro. 10:9 & Ps. 37:40 HCSB)
HE is: The True Deliverer! Who do you seek gifts from?
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016 re-post from 2014
*picture from savingsmania, fanpop
There’s a popular Christmas Carole that rings throughout my ears all year. In fact, it is the basis for my blog, ministry, goal, and passion for others. You may be familiar with it, it is the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Noël Regney.
It is a song of a shepherd boy in the field that encountered the angels announcing the birth of Jesus. The lamb saw the star in the sky, and heard the angels singing. It is assumed the shepherd boy heard and saw because he goes to the king to present a question. Did the king know what the shepherd boy knew? If so, they were to bring Him gifts.
When God makes himself known you can’t help but see, hear, and tell. To keep quiet would be to combust from the inside out. The song begins with the night wind talking to the little lamb. Could that be the lamb the shepherds were guarding? Telling them the shepherds will be leaving in a few minutes to see the baby Jesus, telling them they will be left alone but do not fear for God will shepherd them until they return, or telling them of the birth first before the angel appeared to the shepherds? Because the night wind saw a star dancing in the night! It must have been the star the wise men saw! After all as the song goes the tail was as big as a kite! The star located in the East was seen from afar as noted in the Book of Matthew.
“We saw his star in the east.” Mt. 2:2
I wonder if it was before the angel appeared to the shepherd boy the lamb asked, “Do you hear what I hear?” (Regney) I picture the angel of the LORD approaching because the sky was ringing, high above the trees, the angel’s light shone brightly and the voice was as big as the sea, as it proclaimed the Messiah has arrived in Bethlehem! (Lk. 2:8-14)
“an angel of the LORD appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.'” Lk. 2:9-10 NLT
And as the shepherd boy made his way to the manger where the baby lie, I wonder if he echoed, and shouted, the words of the prophet Isaiah from centuries earlier
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s armies will make this happen!” Isa. 9:6-7 NLT.
God said it, and did it!
And as the boy runs swiftly, leaving his breath behind him, rapidly moving toward the future of the world that lay wrapped in swaddling cloths, snuggled in the hay, heavn’ and nature sing in the night sky – do you hear what I hear?
“The Child, the Child sleeping in the night. He will bring us goodness and light, He will bring us goodness and light.” Noël Regney.
Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2014, re-post Dec 2016
*picture by philliplight, soul-reach
Twas’ the night in the manger, when all through the countryside not a lion was stirring, not even a bear. The cattle was in for the night, along with the townspeople, in hopes that tonight would be like no other.
The shepherds were in the fields, watching over their flocks. And the wise men in their finest clothing, saddled up their camels, packed up their gifts, and had just set their paths for their long awaited journey.
When up in the sky there arose such a light, the shepherds dropped their staffs to see what was the sight! Away from their fears they flew like a flash, ran to the light, and covered their eyes.
The light from the angels shining brightly down from heaven gave the luster of day to the night sky above, when what to their amazement should they hear, but today in the town of David the Savior was here!
With the angels to accompany them, they moved so quick. They knew in a moment it must be Christ the Lord. More rapid than lions, they traveled afar, and they shouted and sang and called Him by name:
“He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!” (Isa. 9:6b)
Their search took them to Mary, Joseph, and the baby. The sight to behold was the baby lying in a manger.
And then in a twinkling, the wise men appeared. They heard outside the clickety clack of camel hooves, with the sight of their entourage, and gifts to give: frankincense, myrrh, and gold.
And then, in an instant, they joined in praising and glorifying God, for all they heard and seen. As Mary pondered in her heart all she had heard, she held tight the little baby Jesus.
He was dressed in cloths wrapped tightly around him. The gifts all around him and the animals paying homage. He looked like a normal baby boy: gentle, small, helpless, and yet held all the power of God.
His cry how gentle, his tears so wet, his cheeks were so round, and his sleep patterns adrift. His glow almost blinding, his little fingers wrapped tightly, as his mother cuddles him it leaves everything undaunting. He was normal like any other baby yet the one thing that is different is his Father – The Almighty. It was at that moment they knew they had nothing to dread.
He cried not a tear but went straight to sleep, the tiny baby Jesus, and they all smiled when they saw him, in spite of themselves. As the baby went to sleep they sprang out of the manger, and away they all went back to their places. But I heard them exclaim as they left out of sight,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests!” (Lk. 2:14)
© 2014 Gentle Whisper Ministries- re-post Dec 2016
*picture by christmaskid. realmagda, goodlandspanish
As the study of Daniel came to a close today I found the title Beth gave ironic, “Time Gives Way To Eternity.” (Moore – Daniel Lives of Integrity Words of Prophecy) What is the end, really becomes the beginning. So many times in life we get so caught up in the ending, and look at it as a bad thing.
What if we changed our perspective and instead said,
“This is just the beginning for a new thing!” In Revelation Jesus says, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5a HCSB)
Even Daniel, as the book closes in chapter twelve, is told by God, “As for you go on your way to the end, you will rest, then…” (Dn. 12:13a HCSB). The word “then” indicates a next thing, something else, and it’s not over. What is it in your life that appears, by all the surrounding circumstances, to be the end?
In my life I have had several things that I thought was the end, however given some time it was not. When one job would end and I would think, I’ll never find another job, one would present itself. When a relationship would end, another would begin. Maybe not right away, which is a good thing. You may be thinking, well it was the end because of a death. I cannot say if that person will be in heaven or not and you will see them again, only God knows. What I can say to you is:
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There is no favoritism with God.” (Ro. 10:13 & Ro. 2:11 HCSB)
Isn’t that refreshing! Everyone! No favoritism! In my family my brothers and I have a joke with our parents that one of us is the favorite. Since I am the only girl, my line is “I am the favorite daughter!” Of course by reverse logic, as my youngest brother likes to point out, the opposite would also be true. I’d be the least favorite, ha-ha! Either way, there’s a favorite. Our mother, like any other mother, takes the politically correct route by saying each of us is her favorite by position in the family, or by career. That’s safe because there’s only one oldest, one middle, and one youngest, and we each have our own careers. One is not better or more loved than the other. The same is with God – no favorites.
As life moves us through our planned out journey each step builds on the other. As we go through twists, turns, trials, and triumphs we take with us a piece of that experience into the next place, path, and purpose. Take a moment to reflect on your life. What have you learned, and gained, from each experience? Did you think at a particular moment –this is the end? Yet, you are still here.
Earlier this week, I will share with you, it was not good for me. I was feeling like everything was hopeless. I called one of my best friends and shared my frustrations, thoughts, and feeling with her. Since I know her and the struggles she has, I knew she would agree with me. That’s what I was looking for. I can’t be the only one that knows who to call when I want someone on my side. I wasn’t looking for encouragement. The invitation was to join in on my pity party. Can you relate? Do you do the same thing? Can I just tell you, I had my party hooked up! Balloons, streamers, confetti – it was an all-out event full of “woe is me’s,” and I had someone to join me! Together we were having one of the best pity parties until – another One showed up.
This is what happens when a child of God throws a fit, and thinks it’s the end. The Holy Spirit in the midst of the party interceded, in the weak moment of: woe is me, all is lost, it’s the end – He shows up “and helps us in our weakness.” (Ro. 8:26a NLT). At that the party was over, and she and I laughed! Our sorrow turned to joy! Oh don’t get me wrong the troubles are still there. Just not as prevalent because
“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Ro. 8:28 NLT).
God has no favorites, and in fact waited for two of His children to get together before intervening and ending the pity party. Your sorrow will turn to joy, as a new thing begins.
When we find our self in the wilderness, and the forest thick before us, with darkness surrounding, dig deep in the recess of our memory and proclaim,
“forget all that (whatever is in front of you, behind you, covering you) – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun (by ending what was)! Do you not see it?” (Isa. 43:18-19a NLT parenthesis mine)
So what we think is the end is really the beginning.
Dear one, like Daniel, your story is not over. Girlfriend, guy friend, we have eternity ahead of us. The time with God will be for an eternity. How do you even begin to measure that? I am such a goal-oriented, people person, that given any opportunity to make a list, and I’m on it! I’m your girl! Thinking of eternity for me, gives me time to make quite the to-do list, and sitting at the top will rest these words:
“Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5a HCSB)
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2014 – re-post, edited, Dec. 2016
*picture by thehappinesszone, deviantart, webmastergrade
Tomorrow will mark another day I journey across the Bay.
Last week I was listening to some lessons on-line by Beth Moore, in this particular lesson she said, “Sometimes God has us experience things so we can minister to another, and so that we can speak about it.” I agree, yet my spirit cried out “when can I stop experiencing all the hard things, and begin to experience good things?”
Have you been going through some rough days, months, or years?
I may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I firmly believe that we all do experience things so that we can help another, and encourage another, when they experience them.
But man. You too? I know, right.
I will echo the words of the Apostle Paul –
“And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.” Phil. 1:12 NLT
Before someone tells me we are very fortunate in America. That there are millions across the globe that have nothing, and daily have to walk miles for food. There are millions of others that deal with an illness, or incurable disease. I agree with you. Travesties far worse. When your world was flipped upside down, it becomes a challenge to put those things into perspective as you stare into the forest before you.
My perspective is from someone that had their life mapped out, everything was going well, until – it was flipped upside down. The table began to tilt with the lay-off. Three and a half years later it was upside down. But isn’t it funny that while upside down I had only one way to look – UP.
I’ve heard it said “it is better to have nothing than to have and lose it all.” I never really understood that. I was one of those that would say, “It’s only things,” “If you lose your job you can get a new one.” Those statements are true, but the ability to cope is much tougher. It was three years before I found a job, a full-time, permanent, with benefits, job. The ones in-between were part time, or seasonal, and the pay was marginal.
“…the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me; this will lead to my deliverance.” Phil. 1:19b NLT
Can you relate? Have you been there? Are you there now?
If you are, I understand. When the table of our life gets flipped upside down its:
“Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Phil. 2:4 NLT
I know how your emotions can be up one day and down the next. I know how others close to you won’t, or don’t, even offer to help. Their reason – “you never asked.” I mean really? You can’t just do something? I know how the people you thought were your friends never called and asked – how are you? How are things? Instead they stayed away. If someone would have asked me five years ago, if all this would have happened. I would have probably said, “unlikely.” How wrong I would have been.
None of us know the path God has laid out for us. But what I do know, having journeyed on the road you may be on today, is to keep going. Don’t give up.
When you want to stay in bed, with the covers over your head. Get up.
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Phil. 4:12 NLT
What may be in front of you now is the forest, and you can’t see the tree, but friend just put one foot in front of the other, and keep going.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13 NLT
During this time look for what God wants you to do? In the midst of everything this blog was birthed. It came with ease, although at times I suffer writer’s block, or time constraints, but God will make a way for His will to be done.
Each day I made a list of three things. I had to do these three things in order:
- Read my bible
- Apply for 3 jobs
- Write on my blog
Start small. Make your list to fit your situation. Find at least three things to do each day. Something to keep you busy, productive, and focused, as you journey on your path.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Mt. 6:33 NLT
We who love Jesus are all called to spread His Good News. Wherever God plants your feet – share. Talk to people. Friend, you and I are not alone in our struggles. It may be dressed differently, but it brings with it the same fears, tears, and doubts.
“Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Ps. 96:2-3 ESV
I wish I could tell you that tomorrow your struggle will be over. But, I cannot. I have no idea. Except that one day it will end. The gates of heaven will open and things will begin to change. Hang in there. In the meantime, sing, seek, and declare glory to Him.
In the years of my struggle, I learned a side of God that I had not known before. Friend, I pray as you seek Him in your time of struggle you will learn more about the God that loves you. His Son that gave His life for you, and the Spirit He gives today for wisdom.
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be hoy and without fault in his eyes.” Eph. 1:4 NLT
Tomorrow as I journey across the Bay, day in and day out, I’ll watch for opportunities to share, encourage, and inspire, another – for His glory.
“No, dear brother and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Phil. 1:13 NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by tenspeedhero, imgarde, pixgood