Does God Lie?

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Mic drop. WHOA… What did she just ask? Poignant question, if you ask me. But WHY would a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving woman even pose such a question? Trust me, I know that the Bible is full of His promises, but many times, I allow my emotions, questions, and doubts cloud my heart and keep me from a vibrant faith-filled life.

Does God Lie?

 

Faith. It’s one of the greatest gifts that God gives, but it’s also one with a great number of demands. Trust, obey, believe… Believe in something. Trust Someone our naked eye cannot see, touch, smell, feel, or taste. Faith goes beyond our human senses.

 

I often see faith as a wrestling match. If you’ve never grown up watching one or have a child who participates, let me explain because I’ve certainly watched plenty with my two younger brothers participating in the sport. Two young men (young women can join in the fun now too), walk on to a very large, square foam mat, meet in the center circle, hunch into a fighting pose, shake hands, and essentially dance around the mat trying to out maneuver each other to score the pin (both shoulders of the opponent touches the mat for 3 seconds). They often perform crazy, mind and body bending moves, and if done correctly, these matches are quite exciting to watch. However, every once in a while, you come across two fellas who pretty much just touch hands, stall, or scuttle around the mat for three periods. Disappointing, for sure!

 

Well, back to faith. I love how Hebrews 11:1 defines faith, “Faith is the confidence that we hope for will actually happen; it give us assurance about things we cannot see.” (NLT) The Message paraphrase of the Bible puts it this way, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”

 

Ok, confession time: sometimes when I read something like this, I think, “Now, that’s for someone else WAY more talented, anointed, or blessed than me. They CAN have confidence because they have a special ability in which to place that confidence.”

 

But then, the sweet Holy Spirit chimes in and reminds me from Jeremiah 17:7, “But, blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence,” (NLT). Notice here that those who are blessed trust only in the Lord and make Him ALONE – not talents, abilities, or earthly resources- their hope and confidence.

 

Confidence, assurance, trust, firm foundation, a life worth living… I don’t know about you, but those words pulled from this scripture describe the kind of life I so desire to have.

 

However, it’s not an easy life, but it’s an exciting life! Faith is lively, active, and pretty much like… a wrestling match. We may not see the spiritual realities in the here and now, but when we grapple with our faith, get deeper in the word, take time to worship, serve those who may not serve you back, maintain a confident hope in Him, take risks and make moves to get that “pin…” oh, how sweet that victory will be one day be! “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” Hebrews 10:35

On the horizon

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horizon

Sometimes, it’s hard to see what lies ahead.  I get caught up in the here and now that I don’t take a look at the BIG PICTURE!  In a season of changing diapers day in and out, I wasn’t sure there was a time in which tushie wiping would cease.  I don’t know about you, but I get stuck, often forgetting the great promises that are on the horizon.

 

One of my favorite stories in ALL of the Bible has to be that of Moses leading the people of Israel through the wilderness and then passing the baton of leadership to Joshua, who led them into the Promised Land.  There are just SO many great life lessons to be learned here!

 

Many Bible teachers have used this story as a parallel to the Christian life, especially those who seem to be walking in the theoretical “wilderness,” meaning pretty much a difficult season.  I have several friends who are walking in a “wilderness” season of life, and quite frankly, I get frustrated for them (not with them) because I don’t understand why.

 

However, in that frustration, I also KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that their PROMISED LAND is just on the horizon.  The Israelites journey began with an incredible miracle of God’s hand.  He parted the waters of the Red Sea, so that the His chosen people could escape the Egyptians, walk on dry seabed, and arrive safely on the other side, looking on as the waters crashed onto their pursuing enemies.

 

After that incredible miracle, the people of Israel were doomed by their complaining to wander the desert for 40 years, and in that time, the mantle of leadership shifted to a new leader, Joshua.  Joshua, although not a perfect leader, learned key leadership lessons and was now directing the people of Israel into their Promised Land.  However, before rushing in and taking over the land, Joshua stopped and asked the people to, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says.” (Joshua 3:9)

 

Instead of hurrying their way across the Jordan River in their own strength and method, the Israelites wilderness experience ended with another parting of waters.  They crossed the river on dry ground following the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant.  What incredible bookends to the desert wandering!  An impossible parting of two bodies of water at two separate times.

 

Maybe you’ve seen miracles.  Maybe you’re in a “wilderness” adventure right now.  Maybe you’ve come out on the other side. You don’t have to “do” everything right.  You’ll make mistakes.  Just keep trusting Him.  Continue trying to live as His Word encourages.  Wherever you are, believe that your Promised Land is on the horizon. I’m believing it for you, too.

Does it matter

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What would happen if I couldn’t cook, clean, or help my kids read anymore?

Does it matter?

What would happen if I couldn’t teach preschool?

Does it matter?

What would happen if I couldn’t play the piano or sing for church or at home?

Does it matter?

Whew. Depressing stuff right there, but as I was reading through Psalm 139, I’m slowly beginning to grasp the incredible truth that my Heavenly Father loves me for ME not for all the things I do. And, that’s quite a bit. I put on many hats throughout my day, but I’m so glad I chose this morning to go a bit deeper in my study and ask the Lord what He sees. He doesn’t see a mom, wife, teacher, worship leader, or musician. He sees…

Me.

Faithful, precious, good enough to know each hair upon my head, crazy, loud, fun.

Me.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.

They cannot be numbered!

I can’t even count them; They outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up,

You are still with me!

Psalm 139:17, 18

A Modern Parable

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Oh my stars or should I say “jewels” …  It’s been quite a week…  Whew.  While I won’t go into too much detail, I would LOVE to share an event that occurred that is reminiscent of a modern-day parable.  Monday was an exciting day in which I was going along on a field trip with Anna’s class to the bowling alley.  (I know, weird field trip, right?)  We had a BLAST, and Anna had a GREAT beginning score.  Can you believe she bowled 100?

Anna Bowling

After coming back from the field trip, I had to run to the store to get ginger ale for my poor sick husband, and then finally made it home just in time to head back out to get Emily from preschool.  While I was waiting in line to get her from the classroom, I nervously played with my rings, and it was then I realized… My main diamond in the engagement ring was GONE!  Oh no.  A sickening feeling permeated, with some shock and dread.  I looked in the car, looked on the steps of the school, went home to tell Josh.  He checked the van.  We stopped to eat lunch, and I posted my awful news on Facebook.  After picking Anna up from school, we went to the bowling alley to look throughly.  At that time, I resigned myself to the fact that the diamond was permanently lost.  However, our girls (each separately) prayed with me that we would find the diamond.  Isn’t the faith of a child priceless?  Later that afternoon, I headed to the church to meet with someone and took Emily with me.  While I was waiting, I thought, “I should check my purse…  Just in case.”  So, I took everything out.  Wallet, keys, lotions, Shout Wipes, broken kid jewelry (which reflected like my diamond and got my hopes up prematurely).  I emptied the pockets.  Bag of throat drops, hand sanitizer, chapstick, lip stain, and cell phone.  I raked my fingers along the bottom and was pretty grossed out at the amount of goldfish crumbs and lollipop pieces that stuck to my finger.  As I did this inside of the cell phone pocket, along with the goldfish crumbs and lollipop pieces, gleamed the lost diamond!  “EMILY!” I exclaimed.  “COME SEE WHAT I FOUND!”  She ran to me, and I showed her.  What she said next encouraged this momma’s heart.  “See,” she said.  “God just said ‘wait.'”  You see, we have taught our kids over the years that God ALWAYS answers prayers.  Sometimes He says “YES,” sometimes He says, “NO,” but other times He simply wants us to “WAIT.”  Thank you, Emily for that sweet reminder.  🙂

Emily1

This modern-day parable reminds me of two stories Jesus told.

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.  Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”  ~Luke 15:8-10

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field.  In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.” ~Matthew 13:44

I’m SO grateful that the Lord indeed answered our prayers that day in order to find the lost diamond.  May my soul be overwhelmed by His goodness and grace, but may I be even more mindful of Kingdom work that is still at hand.  Each person I encounter is even more valuable than my diamond.  I was so concerned with that gem.  May I be even more concerned for the “diamonds” all around me because treasure doesn’t lie in this world.  The Kingdom of Heaven is the true treasure.