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The Eternal “Why?”

This post is a part of my 10-minute Tuesday series. I take a one-word prompt and write for 10 minutes without heavy editing and see what happens. Heresy? Hopefully not! Just realize that things are not necessarily fully thought through. Consider it food for thought.

When my kids turned 3, they all entered the “why?” stage. Any answer they were given or thing they were told always prompted the question, “Why?” from them. Not wanting to squelch curiosity, I would answer as much as I could, but eventually I would grow weary of it and say, “Just because!”

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Somehow, “why?” is a question we want answered all the way through our lives. It’s something we challenge God with often. And it’s not something that we get an answer to very often. “Why do I have to go to bed now?” turns into “Why is this happening to me?” Why do I have to suffer? Why is my child dealing with cancer? Why did you let my husband die?

Unlike us, God does not grow weary of our questions, but on the other hand, He doesn’t choose to answer our “whys” very often either.

Maybe “why?” isn’t actually the right question. Maybe we need to be asking, “How can I know You better through this?” What can I learn about You? How am I going to walk with You through this? How are You going to reveal yourself to me?

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I don’t think God cares that we ask, I just don’t think He owes us an explanation. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORDFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I don’t think that’s quite the equivalent of “because I’m the mom, that’s why,” but there is a strong element of trust that needs to go into our life with the Lord. We know from Romans that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romas 8:28). As C.S. Lewis said, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

For our good and His glory. That’s why.

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Just One Touch

This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for 5 minutes on a prompt without any heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “touch.”

All she thought she needed was to touch the hem of His robe. She knew that He had healed others and she had waited a long, long time for God to heal her from her affliction.

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The crowds pressed in, but she pushed through and reached out her hand.

Just a touch.

Just His robe.

That would be enough.

And it was. She knew as soon as she touched him that she was healed. She felt the effects in her body.

And He felt the effects in His. “Somebody touched Me,” He said to His disciples.

The disciples shrugged it off. The crowds were tight around them. Of course someone touched Him. How could they not.

But He knew it was different. He knew that someone with faith had purposely reached out to Him, longing to be healed.

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He stopped, He saw the woman, and He reached out to her. “And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace'” Luke 8:47-48.

Jesus sees you. Reach out in faith. He doesn’t always bring physical healing, we know that. But He will always bring peace.

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Do The Next Thing

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes without heavy editing on a one-word prompt. Today we talk about the word “next.” 

I have a tendency to get overwhelmed fairly easily. I can look at all the things I have to do, all the things that are coming up, and stress about what that’s going to look like to my low-energy body. And I have a heart rhythm issue that rears its ugly head when I am stressed. This week had that over-stressed potential.

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My husband has been gone this week, my daughter and mother in law, who lives with us, have both been sick, and life still had to go on. I still had to have food in the house. I still had to care for my 15-month-old grandson most of those days.

And then our water heater went out.

And I have 36 people coming for Easter.

And my oldest is graduating from college in a couple of weeks.

And now I’ve got the cold my daughter had, albeit a light version.

So how do I maintain peace and not let the stress, well, stress me out?

Just do the next thing. Don’t look too far down the road. Just take the next step.

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And I breathe deeply, letting the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

It’s oh so necessary.

Especially when I just now got a text that my husband’s flight home this afternoon has been cancelled.

Breathe in peace. Breathe out stress. Breathe in peace. Breathe out stress.

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Lacking in Nothing

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “lack.”

Don’t we all want to be without lack? We want to be able to have all that we need all the time. Our bank accounts always have money in them. Our fridges always have food. Our cars always have gas. Our lives have meaning and our hearts are full of love.

Sounds idyllic doesn’t it?

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Yet what does James, the brother of Jesus, say is necessary for us to be without lack? Let’s listen in to his letter to the 12 tribes of Israel who were scattered in the dispersion.

“Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Whaaat?

Ugh.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to have to face trials in order to be perfect and complete. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

Why can’t we just get that by being good? By doing what we’re supposed to do? By crossing our T’s and dotting our I’s?

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Because, my dear friends, that doesn’t produce steadfastness. It doesn’t make us stronger. It doesn’t drive us to the arms of Jesus.

In her brand new book Glorious Weakness: Discovering God In All We Lack, Alia Joy says, glorious weakness“Sometimes the holiest ground is the emptiest.”

In all our trials, in our lack here on this broken planet, we find Jesus. Perfection and completeness won’t happen until we see Him face to face.

Press on. Lacking nothing will be worth it in the end.

 

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Get Moving

This post is a part of my 10-Minute Tuesday series. I write for just 10 minutes, without heavy editing, on a prompt that a friend has provided. Today’s prompt is “moving.”

I haven’t moved very often in my 57 years of life. When I was a tiny baby, my family moved from Sunnyvale, Calif., to Cupertino, Calif. Then we moved when I was 7 to Oakland, Calif. I moved away to college for 2 years, then I moved back home, then I moved to an apartment in San Bernardino, Calif. when I started my first job with Campus Crusade for Christ.

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The house in Oakland, Calif., that I consider the home I grew up in. We lived in that house from 1968 until my mom passed away in 2007. The house was sold later that year.

In San Bernardino, after the apartment, I lived in a house with 3 other women, then a house with 2 other women while I was engaged, and then my husband and I moved into our first little apartment.

Then came the big move across the country to Orlando, Fla. We lived in an apartment first, then built a house, then moved into the house we currently live in. We’ve been here for 19 years almost exactly.

So 57 years, 11 residences, including my college apartment.

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Friends helped load the moving truck for my husband’s sister and her family as they relocated from Texas to Orlando.

To me, moving means going somewhere. It means not staying in the same place. When we say a movie or a photograph or a speech “moved us,” it should mean not just that it made us feel something, but that it changed something deep inside us. It took us from one place of being to another.

If we were moved, we should not be in the same place we formerly were.

If the picture of a starving child, orphaned by the ravages of war, moves us, we should not stay where we are. We should do something about it.

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This sweet hummingbird enjoys a treat outside my younger sister’s home in Crested Butte, Colo.

Moving is not always easy. It’s not always comfortable. Often, things get lost in transit. Or broken. When we first moved into our apartment in Orlando, we found that it wasn’t what was promised to us. All our earthly possessions were on a truck headed our way, but we had to have the apartment complex move us to a different unit because the one we were given was not right. New checks had to be ordered with our new apartment number; the moving company needed to be contacted to bring our stuff to the right door. We spent a  few sleepless nights on the floor of the wrong place until things could be made right. Our cat was not a fan of all this upheaval.

But where we ended up was better than where we started. Moving across the country from my entire family made me sad. In the ensuing years that distance would be made more difficult by my mom’s bouts with cancer and eventual death and my dad’s sudden death 16 months previous to mom’s. But we weren’t supposed to stay where we were.

Even when we live in the same house, we’re not supposed to stay where we are.

Christ Is My Reward

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt, stream-of-consciousness style, without heavy editing. It’s harder than you think! Let’s see what I come up with today on the prompt “reward.” 

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When our dog was younger, we taught him some basic commands: sit, stay, lie down, come, back off, leave it. Stuff like that. Nothing extraordinary. We added roll over, shake, speak, when he had gotten the others down pat. Each time he obeyed, he would get a reward. In dog training, rewards are key.

In my life with Christ, I’ve had to learn that His love is not a reward that I have to earn. If I learn to obey well, I will receive His favor.

I’m so grateful that’s not how salvation works. He loves me no matter what. My reward comes in eternity from those things in which I’ve invested on earth. I’m not exactly sure what those rewards will look like. Will they be jewels in a crown that I then cast at His feet, signifying that all I did was for His glory? Will I have a bigger mansion than some if I do more for the Lord here on earth?

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Hillsong has a popular worship song that says:

Christ is my reward
And all of my devotion
Now there’s nothing in this world
That could ever satisfy

If, when I get to heaven, I have no crown waiting for me, if I have no jewels that sparkle in the sun, but I have Jesus, that will be enough.

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More Of Jesus

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt without heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “more.”

We’ve been teaching my almost-14-month-old grandson baby sign. He can say “please,” “thank you,” “help,” “all done,” “milk” and “more.” Sometimes he gets them a little confused, and the sign he uses most often when he can’t quite get it right is “more.”

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Zayne and his uncle Nathan

If he wants to go out in the yard to walk around he says “more.”

If he wants help stepping down onto the porch from the kitchen’s French doors he says “more.”

When we tell him and show him what the sign should be, he gets it right, but interesting that “more” is his default.

Sounds a lot like me. There’s always something more that I want. More time, more sunshine, more health, more vacations, more followers on my social media platforms more money to spend on more stuff!

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I’m a Young Life baby. I began my personal walk with Jesus at a Young Life camp when I was 13. There’s a song we used to sing at our meetings.

I want more of Jesus, more and more and more.

I want more of Jesus than I ever had before.

I want more of His great love so rich and full and free

I want more of Jesus, so I’ll give Him more of me!

That’ll preach, won’t it?

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