Waiting

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 NIV

Wait on the Lord.  Right now this is a very relevant scripture for me.  I am literally waiting on pins and needles for Him to deliver something that is completely out of my control.  It’s a miracle kind of thing.  It has required a level of surrender that I have never engaged in before.  That being said, I pulled this scripture and this entry from a journal entry dated over a year ago.  It struck me as I was reading it today that he began preparation for this moment a long time ago.  He knew that I was going to be waiting and that I was going to need an encouraging word!  How gracious is that?

So I have to give thanks over and over again: Thank You Lord!  Thank You Lord! Thank You Lord! It’s another one of those mind-blowing moments when I get to see His order.  His care in every little detail.  His love and grace and mercy.

My entry from over a year ago said: “Lord, before I go any further I just want to write down this scripture.  It gave me a wave of peace this morning.  It was a good reminder.”

Thank you God for Your good reminders.  Thank you for Your gentle and loving ways with me.  Thank you for all the care that you take with me and my family.  I praise You Almighty for the gifts that You have given me.  Thank you most of all for giving Your Son to ensure that I am Your child.  Thank you for the inheritance that grants me.  Teach me to walk humbly and confidently in the authority of Your kingdom with a kingdom mindset in all that I do. Give me strength and courage to take heart and wait for You.

Psalm 25:21, 31:24, 33:20; 1 Corinthians 16:13, 2 Timothy 4:5-8

Rejoice!

Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer. Romans 12:12-14 The Voice

Rejoice: to be glad; take delight.

So when I reread this as “do not forget to be glad…through the hard times…” it is an excellent reminder.  Sometimes circumstances can challenge me and pull me into a not so glad place.  Giving thanks helps get me back to that glad place.  Prayer helps get me back to that glad place. Believing in the Word of God sustains my hope and makes me glad. It helps me take delight in not only the tangible things around me but also the spiritual. It reminds me to stay tucked into God and trust His promises. Trust in the unseen.  I am in a place like that right now.  I don’t want to go back to old patterns. I want to trust God alone as my source and resource. I have to leave everything in His hands and not pick it back up in order to do that.  Waiting. Trying to wait patiently and gracefully…Being glad and taking delight in the journey. Trusting that He cares for me and has ordered every step. Trusting that His best is worth waiting for and not creating a counterfeit to relieve the current discomfort. I want His best and nothing less!

Father, give me the portion of faith I need in order to rejoice in any circumstances or challenges I face. I pray I keep my eyes on You.

Philippians 4:4, Romans 5:1-5, Luke 15:3-10, Luke 15:11-24

The Tapestry

21”In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22 NIV

I believe that God weaves His purpose and destiny into each of our lives, knitting us together in intricate ways that we don’t always fully understand. If we can just hold on to our faith in His plan, passionately and fervently in the midst of whatever challenges come our way, we have a chance to see the masterpiece He is weaving.

As God’s will unfolds in each of our lives, it happens as a journey toward a destination by His design. It’s not flat terrain.  And it’s not just one person. We are all intertwined.

It’s like a ball of yarn that is beautifully wound. If it is unwound correctly, there is no damage and it can be beautifully knit. If it gets unwound too fast and is not cared for, it can get knots and it may show wear. Parts may have to be cut out and the yarn may have to be spliced together. In the finished piece it may not be obvious that there was an issue with the yarn once the damaged section is removed. It may be imperceptible and inconsequential to the finished piece.

Picture a huge piece, a tapestry, with many colors and types of thread. Picture how they all get woven together, in different textures, colors, and stitches. Each thread is a life. We don’t know that it’s been spliced together. It may cause an anomaly or irregularity in the piece but it can still be beautiful in its imperfection.

God is the master craftsman. He has deposited talents in each of us. If you are feeling talentless, please know that is not true!  You are precious and have a unique purpose in the kingdom of God.  You are wonderfully and beautifully made, intentionally and with purpose.

Trust that every life has purpose. Life is not happening haphazardly. There is a reason for everything.

Father God, help me love like You. Help me see every life through Your eyes with their unique purpose and talents, including mine.

Ephesians 2:14-22, 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Romans 12:4-5

For Connie. You are knit together so beautifully! So thankful for you.

A Better Place

“Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.” Hebrews 11:1 The Voice

I recently began a strengths coaching certification class with 11 other individuals.  We are meeting each other for the first time with the intent of learning how to apply not only our personal strengths but others.  One of the core concepts is “confident vulnerability.” As I examine this concept it resonates with my faith walk on so many different levels that it makes my head feel like it’s going to explode.  It’s one of those concepts that may roll around in the back of my mind for the rest of my life as I look for opportunities to exercise and apply it.

In the context of strengths coaching, confident vulnerability is defined as courageously celebrating and embracing strengths, weaknesses and needs of both self and others without judgment. Think about that and prepare to be amazed.  Immediately I think of Jesus.  Who better models this incredible combination? Quiet, humble confidence full of the most incredible love that this world has ever seen.  A love worth dying for…and He did for each and every one of us. It was so fragrant and attractive that it was irresistible to folks from every walk of life.  People were curious and wanted to know more about His teachings and way of life.

As I was reading this morning, I ran across this statement1: “The only reason a shepherd would guide his sheep into a dangerous valley would be to lead them through it to a better place.” It was reassuring to know that my Shepherd knows that better place for me.  As I follow Him through what appear to be dangerous valleys, I can be confident that He is taking me there.  Confidently vulnerable and trusting with absolute conviction that He can see the realities that I have never seen.

Lord, I praise you for guiding me into Your realities that are so much more than what I can see with my natural eyes. Mold me and make me suitable to serve others when called upon to shepherd them to that better place.  Give me strength and wisdom and discernment to follow Your footsteps through the dangerous valleys encountered in this life.

Romans 8:28, 12:3-5, 12; Psalm 31:7, 69:32

1  “I Shall Not Want,” April 26, 2014, Discovering God’s Design