Tag Archive | faith

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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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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Trusting in the Justice of God

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. I write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “just.” Check out all the other posts here.

I heard recently about a 2-year-old little girl who was just diagnosed with a form of ovarian cancer.

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I have 3 friends currently battling breast cancer.

I have another friend who is at this moment awaiting results from blood tests to find out if her 22-year-old daughter’s mass is cancerous or not.

All I can do is pray, weep with them, and trust that Deuteronomy 32:4 is true: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (New International Version).

Do those situations look just? Not to our eyes. But if we can’t trust the character of God, all is lost.

Theologian and author Nancy Guthrie knows a bit about the justice and goodness of God. In a podcast interview with Lina Abujamra, she talks about hope, and her perspective is that we live in a broken world, and bad things happen. But God. It’s not all about us.

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I’m about to head out to a weekend women’s retreat where we will be hearing via video from Sharon Hodde Miller about taking our eyes off ourselves. Her book “Free of Me” is a must read for anyone who thinks life’s not fair or that anything at all is about them.

That would be all of us, wouldn’t it? My marriage is not about me. My family is not about me. My calling is not about me. It’s all about God. I can choose to let my circumstances dictate how I see God, or I can let God be the filter for how I see my circumstances.

If I want any joy in this life, the latter is the better choice.

ALL His ways are just.

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My Word(s) of the Year: Let Go

In a departure from my normal 10-Minute Tuesday post where I take a one-word prompt given by a friend and write unedited for 10 minutes on that prompt, I thought I would take these 10 minutes today and talk about my word(s) of the year. In 2017, my word was “obey,” and that’s the year we found out we were going to be grandparents via my eldest son and his girlfriend. I had no idea that “obey” would mean showing grace like I’ve never done before.

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In 2018, my word was “trust,” and that’s when our grandson arrived and we made good on our agreement—our obedience to the Lord—to watch him every day that his parents worked. Five days a week. Not a small commitment when you’re in your mid-50s, I gotta tell ya.

So, for 2019, the theme that seems to be presenting itself over and over is “Let Go.” Don’t carry what’s not yours to carry. In the Bible, in 1 Peter 5:7 (Modern English Version), it says, “Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you.”

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There’s very little that God wants us to take upon ourselves. You know that old saying, “God helps those who help themselves”? Not biblical. Nope. You won’t find it in the Bible.

Instead, many times over we are told to give Jesus our burdens. “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden,” (Matt. 11:28); several times in Matthew 6 Jesus says, “Don’t be anxious about tomorrow” (or your life, or what you will wear, or eat, etc.).

You get the idea. There are burdens we just aren’t meant to carry. As a mom, I can take way too much upon myself, and it causes a great deal of stress that can end in health problems if held too long.

My children are 22, 20 (in 12 days) and 16. Especially for my 22 year old who is a dad and lives with his own little family, I cannot and should not carry his choices, burdens, troubles, whatever. When I find myself worrying because they have had an argument, I lift up my hands and say, “It’s not mine to carry. Help them, Lord.” I am here if they ask for advice or help, but they need to do the adulting on their own.

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One child is waitlisted for housing on his college campus for next year. I could overwhelm myself with panicking about apartments. But it’s not mine to carry.

Another child is T-boned on his way to work and will have ongoing medical issues and hassles with insurance. I could consult everyone I’ve ever known who’s been in an accident and drive myself and my child crazy. But it’s not mine to carry.

Another child is Dissatisfied with the way friendships are being conducted. I have lots of advice I could give about that. But no, it’s not mine to carry.

Again, I am here to bounce things off of and give advice when asked, but the burdens are not mine. I have a very strong and capable heavenly Father who not only wants to carry these burdens, but to Him they are not even burdens at all, but rather opportunities for growing faith and ultimate direction that could be missed if I try to do it myself.

And so, for 2019, I will focus on this: Let Go.

 

Where Else Is There To Go?

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. I write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt. No heavy editing. I just see where it takes me. Today’s prompt is “where.”

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In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, we are told the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. There were actually more than that, because that was just the number of men. Amazing story. Truly incredible.

The very next story is about Jesus walking on the water. Wow. OK, so that’s pretty awesome.

After that, we are told of the hard things that Jesus told the crowd, and then things He said to His disciples alone. These things were so difficult, that John records “After this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (6:66).

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How heartbreaking that must have been for Jesus. They had just seen what He had done. In the next couple of verses, this conversation takes place: So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” (6:67-68).

In other words, “Where else is there to go?” Jesus had said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one could come to the Father except through Him. He was the bread of life. He was the living water. No one else had made the claims He had. No one else was offering eternal life.

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It was either walking with Jesus and having life and joy, or walking away into eternal sorrow.

Choose life and joy.

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Believe It Or Not

This post is a part of my 10-Minute Tuesday series, where I write for just 10 minutes, without heavy editing, and see what I get. Each post is based on a prompt given to me by a reader.

 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 English Standard Version).

I’ve been reading the Gospel of Mark lately. Lots and lots of things happen in the book of Mark. People are healed, authorities are challenged, parables are told. As in all the gospel narratives, one things always seems to stand out: the need for faith.

Above, I quoted a Bible verse that gives a definition of faith, but just after that, a little more is given: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

From Jesus’ questioning of the people who wanted to be healed to His wisdom when speaking to the religious leaders, it’s apparent that what He wanted was for people to have faith—in Him and in the plan His Father had for the redemption of the world.

“Repent and believe,” “your faith has made you whole,” “come and follow Me.”  All these are things Jesus said to the people He encountered. And yet, so many questioned. “Who is this man? Is he not Joseph’s son? Isn’t this the carpenter?”

They were short-sighted and hard-hearted. Jesus’ words could stir the hearts of those who heard them. Something deep within them told them that He was speaking the truth. But hard hearts have a hard time being stirred.

Have you ever tried to stir butter that has not been set out on the counter to soften? Or mold clay that has sat too long and gotten hard? Not easy, is it? If we let our hearts become hard, whether due to disappointment or discouragement or rebellion, we will have a hard time being stirred by God’s words to us. Faith will be hard to find.

Jesus encountered many lepers. Mark records an instance in which one leper came to Jesus and said, “If you will, you can heal me.” Jesus was moved by compassion and touched the man. Touched him! A leper! And made him well. The leper had faith and Jesus had compassion.

God simply wants us to believe that He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. Are you willing?