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Archive for the ‘God Is Faithful’ Category

It has been really difficult with my husband working so many hours lately. They have been short-staffed with two drivers out, meaning my husband has been working 60+ hours for two months now. The job is a hard, physical one and very tiring, so when he gets home during the week, he pretty much has time to eat, plan the next day’s route and go to bed. And all of this has taken its toll on us. I miss him, and it seems some of the life is missing in our household when he is not arround. And we are praying for a change in the situation soon.

But sometimes when things are really hard, God responds with equal blessing to get us through. The kids seemed especially happy to see my husband this weekend and vice versa. Its like missing him during the week makes us all the more thankful when he is home, and we really had a great time just being together. There was an unusual joy in our household that I think only comes as a gift from God. So I am thankful for God’s little blessings to get us through things, including our beautiful hike on Sunday!

 

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There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Prov. 18:24 NIV84

Things have been crazy at work lately for my husband.  He is a truck driver who delivers snack foods to our regional area. (Important job, right?!  We need our snacks! lol)  He is supposed to work 4 days a week, about 45 hours a week, but a couple of months ago one guy quit and a second guy is sick and out of work.  So that means the remaining few drivers have to make up for this time.  My husband has been working 60 hours, 5 days a week in a physically demanding job.  He’s really worn out.  Theres no time for a break.  Basically work, come home, sleep and go back to work again.  We are praying that they will get some new people hired or that God will find him a better job.  This is frustrating, but at the same time, we know God is in control and still has him in this situation for a reason.

My husband lost his business making maps out of our home several years ago when the economy went bad and since became a truck driver.  Since I have found myself alone  more, a lot less time with my husband.  And I find that when I have a need, God is there to fill it.  Sometimes we don’t experience more of God until we need Him.  So I need more of God now.  I realize that I’m grateful that He is here.  He spends time with me, keeps me company.  He helps me plan my day and walks with me throughout it.  He comforts me when I am sad and allows me to pour my heart out when I am frustrated.  He holds me as I fall asleep.  I am never alone.

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Recently I have been making more of an effort to seek God.  I had become complacent in my relationship with Him and so have been trying to spend more time with Him.  Sometimes when I do this, I am rewarded and find Him quickly.  But other times, like now, it seems that all my effort is for nothing.  I don’t seem to make a connection or feel any closer to Him and wonder if it’s even worth it.  But today in God Calling devotional (ed. by A.J. Russell), it said:

“Walk with Me; I will teach you.  Listen to Me and I will speak.  Continue to meet Me in spite of all opposition and every obstacle, in spite of the days when you may hear no voice and there may be no intimate heart-to-heart telling.  As you persist in this, make a life-ling habit of it, in many marvelous ways I will reveal My will to you…”

God seemed to be directly answering my doubt.  I have to remember that my relationship with Him should not be based on feelings, and I need to believe what the Bible tells me:

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  (Lam. 3:2)

“you will call upon Me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you.”  (Jer. 29:12-13)

So I think God wants me to persevere in seeking Him, and I will find Him.  Things will get better.  I just have to wait.  Of course satan would love for me to give up now, perhaps just short of whatever new amazing adventure God is about to take me on.  So, God, help me to persevere and to trust that You are here, listening, and ready to respond when it is the right time.  We love You dearly, Sweet Jesus.  In Your Name, amen.

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Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me…  Psa. 23:4

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Deut. 31:8

One thing I am learning after everything we’ve been through the past couple of years is that God never leaves me.  Through all of my ups and downs, highs and lows, success and failure, good and bad behavior, He still is with me.  Of course He was here when I chose to give my life to Him 23 years ago and grew with Him as a baby Christian throughout college.  But He stayed with me when after that I got married and subconsciously decided that since I now had my husband, I didn’t need Him any more.  He remained with me even when I was trying to ignore Him.  He continued to pursue me and woo me and call me back, and thankfully He is persistent, because He succeeded.

He was with me the many years after that of married life during my long, gradual restoration to Him and slow growth in Him in which not a lot seemed to happen and you could have called me lukewarm.  But no one else could see what He was doing on the inside.  He had His master plan all along, continuing to lead me where He wanted me.

He was with me five years ago during a spiritual high.  After convincing me that, though I had everything I could basically want physically, I was lifeless and depressed because I had not given Him everything.  Then He amazed me with His love for me.  I just could not believe that He could possibly love me that much.  I still can’t believe it, and it continues to constantly amazes me to the point where it is that which I now am driven to try to convince other people of.  And so I almost couldn’t resist agreeing to give Him everything, with His help, which launched me on the most amazing adventure of my life!  I became amazed and captivated by Him and He was all I could think about.

Looking back, I believe one of the reasons for the previous experience was to enable me to survive the next chapter in our lives.  A couple of years later, my husband lost his home-based business of 14 years.  I’ve written about it many times over the past couple of years!  Our life of comfort that I took for granted was changed forever.  After having my husband home 24 hours a day, what had become the norm for the kids and me, he lost the business.  He trained in the only thing that he knew would be hiring a middle-aged person starting over in his career.  He became a truck driver and drove over the road for the first year.  We saw him very little, and when we did, he was exhausted.  He not only drove 12-14 hours a day but manually unloaded the entire truck, box by box, to the stores.  He worked so hard he could not maintain his weight and became unhealthy. 

 Thankfully he has found other jobs since then that have kept him closer to home.  But the jobs have been difficult and low paying.  Finances, which were always fairly comfortable for us in the past, have now continued to be a challenge.  We have had many months where we had no idea how we would pay the bills.  But amazingly, during the past two and a half years of this uncertainty, every bill has been paid.  God has provided for every need, as promised.

In addition to having my husband gone more often and struggling financially, we lost our church family of nine years, I had to go go back to work after being home for 14 years, and last year we also struggled with an illness with my older daughter that  took a long time to diagnose and created a lot of fear, uncertainty, and eventually led to her being out of school for the second half of the year.  It pushed me to where I had trouble trusting God because it seemed that it was up to me to figure it all out.  Of course it wasn’t.  He had it all figured out.   And God was still with me through our lowest times.

I struggled to trust Him.  I struggled with anger at him.  I doubted Him, His goodness.  I sent myself into despair and hopelessness.  Because once we decide God may no longer be good or trustworthy, our whole foundation for hope and security is shattered.  It is a scary place to be.  But God did not give up on me then either.  He patiently walked with me through my valley of the shadow of death.  He even walked with me when my anger was turned towards Him, holding my hand.  He did not leave, patiently leading me through.

There were times during all this that I just didn’t feel I could maintain a relationship with Him like I should.  I didn’t have anything left to give Him.  There was nothing.  And that is when I found out that He was still with me.  Even when I have nothing left.  He is still there.  And that is the lesson, right?  When all else fails, when my strength fails, my ability to cope, my ability to respond in relationship to Him, my ability to give Him anything at all, He Is.  He is enough.  He is enough to maintain our relationship with Him.  He is our strength.  He carries us.  He is here, always, to the very end of life on earth and then beyond.

It is an amazing lesson that I am learning, His constancy, which is not dependent on me.  What a relief!  Because I’m quite unreliable and inconsistent and emotional.  It gives us such a sense of security.  When I cannot do anything else, He will still be here to carry me through.  Whether I have everything or nothing left, I can rest in the fact that He will never leave me and will carry me through to the end. 

Praise You God for Your amazing constancy, patience, and committment, Your Love, that sees us all the way through this life and when we have nothing left, even picks us up and carries us ever so tenderly.  We love You.  Amen.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, no anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Rom. 8:38-39

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And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Phil. 4:19

I was pretty upset the other night.  My husband was leaving for a long business trip the next day and was not happy about it.  Things have been hard with his job since we lost our business over two years ago.  Thankfully he is now working, but the pay is minimal, and he really does not enjoy it.   He is very frustrated trying to figure out why he is in this situation and how to get out of it!  We know God has led us here for a reason, and He is in control of everything, but its hard to understand why we have to go through this.  We know God has an awesome plan for my husband, that He has plans to prosper him, to give him a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).  It’s just hard to see it now. 

So on top of his frustration, we had an argument that seemed to have no resolution.  And add to that he was leaving the next day for a long trip.  He went to sleep, and I was alone in the living room.  I was so upset, feeling helpless in so many ways.   I broke down in despondent tears, not even knowing how to pray or what to say to God. 

In my blinding tears, I randomly looked at my computer and clicked on one of my devotionals.   I could not believe what the message was for that day.   It blew me away.  It declared God’s undying love for me in no uncertain terms.   It was just exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.  The difference between feeling so distraught to feeling so completely loved was staggering.  While I’m in a helpless pit of despair, God lavishes His love on me so completely and wholly.  Suddenly I my tears began to be of amazement and love for Him.  He loves me!  Its my deepest desire, to know and hear that I am loved by Him.  He loves me even when everything is falling apart.  Even when I feel hopeless.  Even when all circumstances seem to be messed up.  Even when I don’t act godly towards my husband.  Even when I am overwrought with emotion.  He loves me!  And He loves you, with just that same intensity!

He is so amazing in how He provides exactly what we need.  He comes through for us when we are in our darkest hour, when we need Him the most, and when we are the most helpless.  What a faithful God we have!

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Psa. 40:1-3

This was the devotional for that day:

“Beloved, most loved and precious treasure of Mine, there is nothing in all of creation seen or unseen having the ability to compare to you in My eyes.  When I consider all the worlds My hands have made, they do not in any way or fashion compare to the beauty of who you are…Yes, Beloved, I have a singing heart and it sings over you many songs of the ages.  My heart sings songs of ancient days when you existed in the depths of My eternal heart waiting to manifest in the natural.  I have carried you forever and ever in the depths of My being in a cradle of love and anticipation [read more]…”

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“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  Gen. 28:15 (NAS)

This year has been probably the most difficult year of my life.  But looking back, I have been amazed at how God has been faithful to care for me through it all.  He has held me through the whole ordeal.  Every time I needed Him, He was here to love me and provide just what I need.

I have learned that, even when life is unbearably difficult, He is enough.  He can get me through and even make me stronger, increase my capacity to serve Him, and give me life through it.  I have learned that when I need Him the most, when I am unable to proceed an inch further, He is there and cares for me.  I have found that I can depend on Him in my most desperate circumstances.  He is trustworthy!

As I am writing this, God has arranged for the song “Safe” by Phil Wickham to play on our Christian radio station, Klove.  The lyrics play over and over, “You will be safe in His arms, safe in His arms…”  What an awesome message for us! 

I have learned that when going through the hardest experience in my life, that He is here.  He does not leave us, and we are held in His arms.

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The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.   Deut. 33:27

Thank You God that the worst of our ordeal seems to have passed.  It is still difficult, but at least some things have stabilized, creating a certain amount of relief and rest.  Looking back, I realize that You have carried me intimately, step by step, through the whole thing, and are even still carrying me.  It reminds me of the Footprints poem, where the author was wondering where You were during some of the hardest times in his life and found that he had been carried.

But I know where You were!  You have promised never to leave me, and You were with me every minute.   I could not have survived it outside of Your arms, and certainly would not have experienced the rest, peace, comfort, energy, and intimacy that have resulted from living in Your arms.

Thank You, my Love, for carrying me.

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