Sunday, October 13, 2019

Where Is God In The Hard Times?

Hebrews 13:5b I will never leave thee...

Everyone faces difficulty and no one is exempt from hard times in their life journey since the beginning of time. God has given us the Bible packed with stories of all the difficulty of the saints before us and how they handled their life circumstances to encourage as we face our own trials and tribulations. It is to encourage us no matter what life may throw at us so that we are able to work through and overcome any and all hopeless situations that we may have to face now or in the future.

A quote from German theologian Otto Dibelius, a leader of the anti-Nazi resistance movement in World War II: “God does not lead his children around hardship, but leads them straight through hardship. But he leads! And amidst the hardship, he is nearer to them than ever before.”


God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him ~ Hudson Taylor




This is a picture I took of my brother at the beach when he was visiting Easter 2012.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Trust Issues!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Trusting God is easy to say but not always easy to do. Sometimes God puts something in my life that I just can't imagine how I am going to possibly manage. Especially when it is something happening to someone I love and there is nothing I can do. There have been times in my life where I have felt like the bottom is falling when I can't see how God will possibly solve the situation. In those moments that there is hopelessness there is nothing else I can do but to trust God.

The Holy Spirit lives inside me and I can sense His urging me to trust. I cannot humanly trust on my own but His Spirit provides that urging, that understanding, that guidance, that peace and comfort. The Spirit calms my fears and gives me courage when I am the weakest. As someone who has gone through the deaths of loved ones, broken relationships, job layoffs, and my husbands renal failure. I can tell you that trusting in the Lord is a lifelong work in progress. Each new crisis brings me all the same fear and pain as before and I have to begin anew. As we begin to see God's loving hand working in our life, the easier this trusting becomes. 

Taking the steps to trust God can lift the weight of the burden and also the responsibility. Once I trust that God is handling my situation I can allow myself to not think about it because He has it under control. Life is so much easier to enjoy when I know that I don't have to control it because God can control it so much better. That doesn't mean it will turn out the way that I would have it to but instead the way God chose to. I trust that God's plan for my life is perfect!



This picture was taken when I visited Spain in May 2012.




Wednesday, October 9, 2019

When Our Heart Bleeds

written February 1, 2013:
There are times in everyone's life that causes pain. I don't know why things happen but they do and the best thing I know to do in the midst of all the pain is to pray, read God's Word and seek good counsel. On the days that we are not able to even manage a prayer we can ask others to pray for us. Then there are the days that even asking others to pray seems difficult then don't do anything. God will meet us where we are in that moment. In the midst of the pain we should continue to press on even though we don't feel like it. There are moments we don't believe we can make the effort and just need to lie still. We can't see what lies ahead when we are in the midst of the difficulty but we need to trust in God. He is our HOPE. I am grateful to have a God that allows us to cling to Him when all hope is gone!

Pray and seek God in everything! We may not always feel Him during those difficult times but we must trust that He is carrying us.


Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

 
I took this picture at sunrise on the beach October 17, 2010 
after my nephew James passed away.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

When I Want To Give Up

III John 1:2
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.

devotional written February 22, 2013:
In difficult times it is easy to find ourselves wanting to give up! Some days we feel like all of life's pain and disappointments are going to cause us to die of a broken heart and other days we wish it would. We all have those days, months and even years when the burden just seems too much to bear. 

That is when we need to ask others to pray for us because we usually don't feel like praying or don't know what to pray for and have to trust the love and loyalty of those closest to us. Heavy burdens are not meant to be carried alone and God has always provided someone in my life to help me make them bearable. My Aunt Betty is one of those people that God gave me from the beginning until today to encourage me in my darkest hour. I know she prays for me and loves me like one of her own children. She has given me unconditional love and has always been the hands and feet of Jesus in my life! My Aunt Betty gave me "hope" when I felt "hopeless" ~ 

My Aunt Betty can't be with me in every circumstance even though I know she wants to be but God can and wants me to know that I am never alone. When Jimmy had his transplant I was so full of fear and heartache that I didn't ask anyone to come along because I didn't want anyone to see me in my anguish. I prayed as they began to prep him and asked God to bring me who He thought I would need that day and a few minutes later Jimmy's brother Mark and sister Michelle came walking in to sit and wait with me during the surgery. 

They were perfect for me because they lifted my spirits up as soon as I saw them and the smiles on their faces. We went out for lunch and toured Miami because of all the hours the surgery would take up. We laughed and had such a wonderful day together. When we returned to the hospital we played hide and seek like kids and just enjoyed our time together. It was exactly what I needed and God knew it! I am eternally grateful to them both for being such a light in my darkest hour.....

God has healed my heart so many times and I am trusting Him to heal me in the future! Thank you Lord for all the precious people you have brought to me in my life to show me that you love me ~

 
I took this picture of me and my husband on the beach July 2012.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reading The Bible

My parents read the Bible to me when I was a little girl and had me in church every time the door was open. My Uncle Darrell taught me to read the Bible from beginning to end when I was a teenager. I was fortunate to have been taught to have daily devotions from the very beginning of my life and something I did with my own children.

When you read the Bible from the beginning to the end it is wonderful to discover something new each time. I don't care how many times I have read through the Bible it is like a new novel each time. I believe the scriptures are so alive that they teach us constantly if we will just take the time to read and meditate. 

The Bible is a book that comes alive with stories and practical truths for us to carry with us each day. I remember my young nephew James asking me when he was a little boy, "what is the meaning of life Aunt Laly?" I said, read the Bible and it will answer that question and any others you may have growing up. He loved our time of reading the Bible together and I always loved his feedback about the lessons in the scriptures. 


Thy word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against Thee. Psalm 119:11

This picture was taken when we visited Amelia Island this past summer 2014.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Relationships

Watching my children develop relationships with others has certainly taught me so much about the influence of others. In each situation where they have not been careful in choosing who they surround themselves has been detrimental for them personally and to our family. As parents, it is distressing to watch our loved ones being torn apart spiritually and emotionally by others. I find it even more difficult when they allow it to continue.

It is my desire as a mother that my children learn to discern who threatens their relationship with God and their relationship with their family. I remember one of my children saying about one of their friends, " I don't like who I am when I am around them." This person had so much influence in their behavior that they did not have the strength to be true to their own beliefs.

We choose to have people in our own lives that will tear us down emotionally and spiritually just like the people of Israel in Judges 2:3: Therefore I also said, I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you. They had become complacent and no longer obeying God who had given them so much blessing. He warned them that hanging with the wrong crowd would have negative consequences.

Dear Lord, watch over all my children and grandchildren in their relationships. May they choose those who will encourage them in their life!


I took this picture on my way to work.