Monday, October 22, 2012

Reflecting on His Goodness

A reflection of trees in the water where Ted and I went canoeing recently.
Many times lately, I awaken in the night and sleep eludes me. "God, you know this situation is beyond our control." (Friends, insert your own area of concern here.) 

Sometimes I feel like the only one who has ever been through this particular set of circumstances (though I know that is not true). My mind is working, working, working through possible scenarios as I try to fix things myself. But, of course, I am inadequate and powerless to change things.

That's OK, because I know the One who can! I turn my thoughts back to Him...

Nothing is too difficult for you, Lord. Your arm is not too short. You are all powerful. You can make a way when there seems to be no way. All things are possible. My hope is in you. Your grace is sufficient. You give me all I need for today. When I am weak, you are strong. 

In those sleepless moments, I choose to reflect on the goodness of God instead of the depth of my concern. I needn't worry about tomorrow because God can do all kinds of things -- when it is time.

I realize, gracious God, that wisdom and strength don’t come in great “chunks” bestowed upon me, but by walking with you and abiding in you, through it all. You give me daily “manna as I stay near, surrendering all, trusting and listening for guidance each step of the way.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Taking Refuge in Him

Timberwood Church in Nisswa
Traveling to join up with family this week, we found the Timberwood Church in the northern Minnesota. The message was on Psalm 37, built around TRUST; the teaching outline spelling a word with each of the letters. These are the notes I took as the pastor walked through the beautiful chapter, verse by verse:

Thrilled (vv 1-7) Bask in Him, delight, keep eyes on Him.
Reversal (vv 8-15) Things are about to change. It will endure for awhile but it will reverse.
Upheld (vv. 16-26) Though he stumble, he will not fall.
Speak (vv 27-33) Share with others what God is doing in our lives. Speak truth, move forward.
Trouble (vv 34-40) The Lord helps them and delivers them... because they take refuge in Him.

As the message was being summarized, "Don't fret; we are called to wait on and trust in Him..." I read back over my notes and it all came together so powerfully for me. I said to Ted, "We could substitute the word cancer for the references to evil and wickedness throughout that whole Psalm."

Then, tears continued as they sang a treasured song from our home church: 10,000 Reasons. Miles from home, we had visited a church where we heard a favorite Psalm preached and sang this favorite song. The message was a great assurance to us, so I guess this is where God intended us to be!

Yes, Lord, for all your goodness, I will keep on singing and praising you. In the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," I surely have 10,000 reasons for my heart to find your blessings.
Tall timbers line the parking lot.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Time for Big Faith

Big things are happening in our lives, and big things require big faith! Just when we thought the finish line was in sight from the last chemo treatment plan, we are standing at the onramp of another chemo marathon. So many risks, so many unknowns. We were shaken to the core.

But, God is in control, we know. I remember what He has already brought us through!

The Gospels are full of stories of those with big faith -- the centurion who trusted Jesus to heal with authority, the woman who touched the hem of His garment, the men who brought Jesus a paralyzed man on a mat. I read how He healed many, He cast out demons and calmed the waves. Sum it up, I said to myself. He's all powerful and He beats incredible odds!

But, He does require a big faith. The cost to follow Jesus can be great. We are asked to put aside our expectations, comforts and most of all -- our fears! We cannot cling to fear and walk with God at the same time. We cannot "hole up" in a secure place and wait things out. No, we must press on through the storm, step by step with Him... Abiding in the One who has power over all!

God, I see that if we look at the rocks in the road or the long road ahead, we will be overwhelmed. If we look at the wind and the waves, we start sinking. No, we must keep our eyes on you and follow you with a big faith. Strengthen our faith for this journey ahead.