Saturday, April 27, 2013

Abiding, Like Never Before

With my sweet husband in the ICU for the last two weeks, I'm learning to ABIDE like never before...

A is for Abandon – a surrendering of one’s power; to give up control or influence; a thorough yielding. Lord, as much as I long to have things my way, I know Yours is ultimately better.

B is for Bask – to lie in or expose oneself to a pleasant warmth or atmosphere; to take pleasure or derive enjoyment; delight in the Lord. I soak up Your Goodness, Lord. I remember all the kindness and compassion You have shown me.

I is to be Intentional – eager attention; having the mind, attention or will concentrated on some end or purpose; focused determination. I lift my eyes up to the Lord, where my help comes from.

D is to Dwell – to remain for a time; to live as a resident; to keep the attention directed. I will remember the things You have told me. I will camp here in the shadow of Your wings.

E is to Endure – to continue in the same state; to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without giving up, drawing my strength from the Lord. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Lord, Abiding in You brings strength. There is no place I'd rather be.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A More Magnificent Plan

Many of my prayers are still awaiting an answer. How about yours?

Some days my heart aches, longing to see these issues resolved. They are situations far out of my control -- there is no other way but for God to step in. So I call on Him...and wait. Sometimes the waiting is so long. It can be difficult and painful.

The "unknowns" loom out there, and we wish for resolution. My mind could wander down the path of "what ifs," but I call it back and tell it to focus on God and His goodness.

I know God is all good from the countless hours I've spent with Him, listening for His voice amid all the distractions. He has Heaven and Earth in His hands, including my prayer requests and yours. There may be days when we don't see much happening -- but things are not always as they appear.

Remember Good Friday... what appeared to be the most awful day of all turned out to be the most beautiful redemptive grace of God in action! What appeared to represent death and loss turned out to be glorious life and gain!

Another example is the life of Joseph whose brothers sold him to slavery. Later, Potipher's wife had him wrongfully imprisoned. Things appeared quite hopeless, but Joseph kept his eyes on God. And God brought great good for a whole nation out of what others intended as harm. (Genesis 50:19-21)

It can be that way with our prayers, too. What appears to be a hopeless situation, is not at all. Our heartfelt burdens can be the very reason we draw close to God, learning to more fully abide in Him and depend wholly on His grace. God loves to have His children close and to provide for all the needs of His faithful. From the throne of Heaven, He sees all and knows what's best. His plan is more magnificent than the immediate solutions we can see and hope for. What seems like forever for us to suffer in a situation is more like five seconds in God's time. He is at work changing hearts and orchestrating details into place for the more elegant tapestry yet to be revealed. 

Yes, we can have joy while we are waiting -- by keeping our eyes on Him and putting all our faith in Him -- no matter how long the wait.

Awesome God, continue to teach us what it is to walk in joyous faith, remembering the awe of who you are and what you are doing behind the scenes. I humbly bring you my requests, but I bow to your more magnificent plan.

Inspired by an earlier poston April 20 I will be speaking on "Joyful in the Wait" as a breakout session at the Women's Breakaway in Chilton.