Can We Trust God Enough to Say “Thy Will Be Done?”

Thy Will Be Done PicI hope what is written here and the song that follows will encourage you today.

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

That’s exactly what I need. Peace. A safeguard from dark, negative thoughts and a gateway to joy.

Matthew Henry, in his commentary of this passage, writes:

“Observe, It is our duty and privilege to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in him always; at all times, in all conditions; even when we suffer for him, or are afflicted by him. We must not think the worse of him or of his ways for the hardships we meet with in his service.”

I’ve been thinking about the statement at the end of that video I shared in my last post…the part about how if he loses his sister, he knows he will get angry with God, but that basically God would understand. (I’m very much paraphrasing and summarizing here.)

I think he is trying to express his belief in God’s relentless love for us in spite of our doubt-ridden hearts. I get that. At the same time, in case anyone is unclear, I think we all understand that turning away from God in our despair is never a real option, because He is our ONLY hope.

I’ve heard it said that our suffering does not nullify the goodness of God. He is unchanging, after all. So, may our grieving cause us to hold tight to Him, to the truth of His word and to the faith He has given us. May we trust Him enough to say, “Thy will be done,” just as Jesus taught us to pray.

This journey the Lord has me on right now is not easy. My surgery is scheduled for this week and It seems fear and anxiety are popping up at every turn. But Jesus promised that he would never leave me and, with His help, I can do this.

Rejoice. Pray. Ask. Give Thanks. Find Peace.

Life is hard but God is here and He is my hope. I’m thankful that, even when things look bad, I can choose to dwell on the good.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

I’m listening to and loving this new song by Hillary Scott! It’s a timely message for me and anyone else out there who is facing a challenge in their life. If that’s you, take a moment to watch this and be blessed!

Part of the lyric says this:

I know you see me;
I know you hear me, Lord.Your plans are for me;
Goodness you have in store.
So, Thy will be done…

Are you discouraged? I pray the Lord gives you the peace you are seeking right now. Reach out to Him. He sees you. He hears you. He loves you.

When You Need To Be Carried

He’s got the whole world in his hands…

Did you ever sing that song when you were a kid? Me too.

But I know some days it can feel as if the weight of the world is sitting heavy on your shoulders. So if that’s where you are, and you don’t think you have the energy to take another step, maybe you could just do this.

Close your eyes, breathe deep and remember.

Remember what it was like to hang out on the swing set.

Remember how it felt to splash around in the pool.

Remember the thrill of riding high on the shoulders of someone you trusted, before your own became burdened down with the cares of life.

Today, you can pray and trust your Heavenly Father to lift you up.

Yes, He has the whole world in His hands. But those hands are plenty strong to hold you, and loving enough to carry you safely home.

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
    and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:3-4

Linking up with Kate at Teaching What Is Good

Finding a Cure for The Deep-Down Ache

IMG_1273Jeff Goins just wrote the story of my life in his latest post called How to Stop Getting Paralyzed and Start Making Better Decisions. He doesn’t know it but he is one of many that God has used to push me forward, out of my rut, out of my safety net. And, believe me, it has taken a lot of pushing and prodding to get me to move!

Because I like feeling safe. The only problem is, that sort of approach to life only leads to disappointment. I call it a deep-down ache. Always wondering what if…What if I had done this, that or the other?

I told my husband the other day, it’s too bad it’s taken me so many years to begin to figure this out. God doesn’t require my perfection, just my willingness to follow Him. I don’t need to have all the answers. I just need to trust the One who does.

Every day, I have a choice. I can either stay where I am or keep moving toward what is undoubtedly the riskier but more rewarding existence He has planned for me.

What about you? If you feel God is calling you out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to follow the sound of His voice. Trust that the plans He has for you are good, and keep moving forward. Because this is the only cure for that deep-down ache. The only way to really, truly live.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I Hope

I was young when I learned that trusting people is a bad idea. And this belief has been continually reinforced throughout my life. It’s the reason I am intensely private. And it’s also the reason I write.

Because when I push publish, it pushes me out of the safety of these fortified walls I’ve built for myself. 

Walls can protect but they can also isolate. They can free you from the fear of attack but they can also imprison you and keep you from knowing how it feels to fight and conquer that fear.

I don’t know why people hurt other people. Maybe they think that by wounding others they can somehow heal themselves. But that’s not how it works.

Jesus said, “do to others what you would have them do to you...” (Matthew 7:12)

This verse, known as the Golden Rule, is one I haven’t always measured up to but it is so important. And I wish we could get that. Because I guarantee if we did, there would be no more bombs and bullets. No cursing or criticizing. None of this silent, but just as vicious, passive-aggressive posturing to make ourselves feel more important, more righteous or more anything than anyone else.

I’m no Pollyanna. I know there’s evil in the world. I’ve seen it up close. And it sounds like a small thing when there’s blood on the streets but I’ll say it anyway.

When you’re betrayed by a friend or family member or someone you thought you could trust, and when they look you in the eye and smile because they are taking pleasure in your pain, it’s like shrapnel to the heart.

Those kind of wounds cut deep and they can leave lasting scars. But I know where to go for healing. I know God can be trusted to right all wrongs and I also believe that good will triumph in the end.

And in the meantime, I can pray. I can keep chipping away at these walls, scratching words into stone, choosing hope. Because as Andy says in the movie Shawshank Redemption,  

“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things.
And no good thing ever dies.”

I hope for a new world where people treat others the way they would like to be treated. With kindness, respect and compassion.

I hope for that day when God’s promise is fully realized, when evil is defeated and heaven is revealed.

And when I come to that place, with shackles broken and heart wide open, I hope it’s as beautiful as it has been in my dreams.

I hope.

Keeping on Track

It’s the middle of January. And doesn’t it always seem to happen this way?

You come into the new year with a goal in sight. Your adrenalin surges and you begin this race with a strong resolve to win. But you’ve barely gotten started when something like a pebble on the path causes you stumble.

Sort of like the head cold that knocked me down this past week.

You trip over all your good intentions and find yourself lying on the couch cradling a box of Kleenex.

But no worries.

Photo Credit

When we feel like giving up
God reminds us to look up.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is perfected in weakness.”
2 Cor. 12:9a
The truth is, we serve a powerful God. If He is strong enough to move mountains (and He is), He can certainly move us.  

And in the meantime, really at ALL times, there is grace. 

This wonderful, abundant, unmerited, God-given grace encouraging us with the fact that no matter how many times we get sidelined,
we can trust Him to keep us on track.