When What Lies Ahead Looks Insurmountable

Sometimes we can feel like the odds are against us in situations. We do not see a possible way to overcome what lies ahead. It seems discouragingly insurmountable. We think, “Will God come through for us?”

In the book of Haggai, God told the Israelites to rebuild the temple. During this difficult task, they grew deeply discouraged, and it seemed too big to conquer. At times, they wanted to give up. But, God told them to take courage, for He is always with them. Keep working.

“But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:4).

When God wants something to take place, it doesn’t matter what the odds are. It doesn’t matter if we are weak. It does not matter if it looks impossible, or if everyone around us thinks it looks bleak.

The Lord tells His people to take courage, His Spirit will be with them. Not only will He help them complete it, but He will fill that place with His glory and splendor. Wow. He makes their labor worth way beyond anything they could possibly dream up.

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Recover Your Life

This week as I read in the Bible, I decided to look at a version of scripture I don’t often use. The words of one verse jumped off the page and into my mind and heart. The questions they asked, the advice they gave, it was as if the words were spoken specifically to me. God’s word is powerfully comforting!

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28

How refreshing to read that Jesus doesn’t run from people who have troubles. Instead, He welcomes us. He encourages those who are tired and worn out to spend some time with Him.

Jesus wants us to learn to live the way He did. He knows that when we do, the heavy burdens of this life become easier to carry. He wants us to experience His supernatural freedom. This kind of freedom allows us to experience His rest and recover our life.

Apply It and Life Will Sprout

Imagine a book, that every page you read was completely alive. Every time you read a sentence or an entire passage, you knew with complete certainty that it would happen just as it says, if it has not already.

A book that changes you, frees you up and makes your soul lighter as you apply it. A book of big freedoms you may not even know you need until once you implement it, and then you realize the immense worth every page beholds.

To access the book you need a willing heart, it means opening the cover and giving it a chance. In time, it will answer everything you long for in your deepest of beings.

Fun, fascinating and fulfilling, living out God’s Word will take you on the greatest adventure. But… you have to dare to do it.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

A Price Worth Paying For

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Her little head is snuggled in the crook of my arm. Mouth wide open with sleepy eyes fluttering behind thick black eye lashes. She is dreaming contently as I stare at her sweet face. I catch myself studying her. She has grown so much. Her cheeks are starting to get chubby. And, oh how her giggles and big toothless grin brighten even the worst of days! I find myself forgetting that she is not mine. I was not planning on loving her so much.

It’s been 4 months since this little one became a part of my heart. Four beautiful and yet broken months. Some days I smile so much my cheeks hurt! But, other days my heart literally aches. I can feel my heart clinching tight…trying to somehow protect itself from the inevitable shattering that looms constantly over our every days. Some days the roller coaster of emotions bring me spiraling down into such sadness. Some days I feel so unfit to say goodbye. How will I ever be able to give her back? This is harder than I thought it would be. I do not know what I thought before, but whatever it was, I didn’t have a clue.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance fini

But, as I reel from the thoughts of the possibility of losing this precious little person, I cannot help but feel God’s heart whispering into mine. I think about how He sobbed in agony over what He was called to do. The burden so heavy that He literally sweated blood. How His heart must of ached knowing He would be betrayed, denied, tortured, and crucified. And, yet staring into a future of immeasurable suffering, He still chose love. He chose us despite the pain. In a way, I have been called to do the same.

We are all called to live out the Gospel in our own lives. Our crosses are not all the same, but all crosses carry some hurt. They can be messy, painful, and broken. But, the beauty of the Gospel is that it did not end at the cross. And, our own crosses are also not the end. Though our freedom was bought with a love steeped in suffering and tears, the repercussions of Christ crucified and his resurrection changed everything. No longer do we stare into a future of hopelessness, because no matter what sufferings we may have to endure in this life, we know that in Christ we have already overcome. There will be a glorious victory of lives changed and redeemed at the end of this race we call life. These trials and tests that we walk through are difficult. But, we can trust that if we choose love, God will take our humble offerings and use our weak hearts to change lives and redeem others. To Jesus, the hard was a price worth paying because His love was stronger than the pain. And, as I stare into these little brown eyes as she awakes and flashes me that little gummy grin, I get it. It’s worth every tear.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16_33)

Nowhere to rest His head

I was thinking about creature comforts, I like to surround myself with them. My own bed is made the way I like it, I have a thing about having nice hand soap in our bathroom and I enjoy being at home with my family and animals.

These things, on an earthly scale, give me rest.

It makes me consider Jesus’s life and how in Luke 9 verse 58 Jesus says, “…the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

When I read that, it makes me wonder how tired Jesus must have been, if I do not get a good enough sleep, I worry how I will respond to people. When I am grumpy and tired I am very blunt.

When at my women’s Bible study in Brunswick (that’s a plug by the way, we’d love any of you to visit) we were talking about how Jesus withdrew from the crowd. Jesus found rest in praying to his Heavenly Father.

Luke 5:15-16

But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

As Mothers, as people in general with noise pollution and disruptions in the night, it can be rare to get a good night sleep. I hate being so tired I feel emotional. But, when we are that tired, it is good, and it is rewarding to cry out to our Lord. Give Him thanks and praise and we can rest in Him. We find rest in him by reading his word and praying to him and thanking him for our salvation.

I really hope that you can all find rest! A good sleep is great but rest in Him is beyond anything this earth can offer us.

When God Uses The Family to Encourage You

There is nothing like being a part of the family of God! This week my family of nine have been the recipient of uncommonly generous people who God has used to remind us of the great love He has for us. I have been completely in awe of the Lord and at times freaking out- jumping up and down, bawling my eyes out, and telling my kids, “LOOK WHAT GOD HAS DONE!!!!!”

While I have been missing my husband who is still in Utah with our oldest son, the Lord has been using Believers to bring me so much encouragement. This has been my week, in little ways and in big ways the blessings have been pouring out.

My little girl loves to play outside, so one morning, I was playing outside with my younger kids, pushing them on the swings, expecting another ordinary day ahead of me, when a friend of mine stopped by with a delicious coffee. She knew I was stuck this particular day and God sent her to me to lift my spirits and to be a blessing! She also dropped off all kinds of toys, activities, snacks, and games for my kids to play. It made my children’s day to have new toys and games, trains, and little Kezia had a new doll to play with!

My friend is a busy mom herself, with lots of little ones in tow, yet she still went out of her way to think of me and bless me.

When I was thanking her for being so generous and sweet to us, she told me another lady had blessed her the day before with a coffee. We laughed and said, “Us moms have to stick together!” It got me thinking though, how us Christians really should stick together. And we do! I have seen it so much! God tells us to look out for one another, share each other’s burdens, and do good for each other.

“So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

Galatians 6:10

I am excited to look for opportunities to bless the family of Christians that God puts around me. God has surely blessed those who are His, with a close-knit family, a special bond held together with genuine love because we have Jesus in common. What a blessing to be a part of the family of God!

Thank you, sweet friend (you know who you are) for sharing God’s love with me this week! Thank you all who have blessed my family this week. Words can not express my gratitude. You have no idea what you have done for us and I’m sure for the Kingdom!

Don’t Be Distracted

Do you ever get frustrated because you have so much planned for your day it’s impossible to get it all done? Well, I do. Last night some lovely ladies I meet with once a month reminded me of a simple truth. It’s wise to take each day one step at a time.

My days are extremely full. I have been finding it hard to be still. It seems lately it is not unusual for me to be thinking of the next thing before I’m even done with the task at hand.

Being quiet enough to truly listen and hear from God has been next to impossible. Even though I know that the time I spend in reading the Word can’t be hurried, still sometimes I rush through or (dare I admit) not read at all. When that happens, I miss the refreshment and encouragement God has designed specially for me, to fuel me for my day.

You can read about this same thing with Mary’s sister Martha in Luke 10. Martha was distracted by all her preparations. It left her frustrated and discontented, not encouraged and refreshed. Her sister Mary however, was seated at the feet of Jesus listening to His words. Jesus said that Mary had discovered the only thing worth being concerned over.

Martha and Mary’s story is a simple truth that I easily forget in the busyness of my day. Lord, help me to take time for what is most important. As I read Your word, open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.