Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween: "Truth & Treat"

                          photo taken from

What is your family traditions for Halloween? Picking out your child's perfect costume? Decorating your house with orange and black? Is it going to a local Harvest Gathering? Trick or treating around your neighborhood? Special art & craft? Sometimes we can get consumed with the candy consumption/distribution part that we completely miss out on ministry opportunities that abound if we are a willing vessel :)

Photo: Our kids prepared "Truth & Treat" bags for outreach opportunities tomorrow. Pray for hearts to be receptive.

I love this! A friend of ours posted on Facebook their family's Halloween outreach for tomorrow: "Truth & Treat" bags! Scripture hand written by their kiddos along with a sweet treat too! A small way to bring a bright light on a holiday that can be dark.

Another idea is collecting canned goods for the hungry instead of candy. It's a great way to allow our neighbors to be a part of ministry too.  It helps to have a brightly colored handout reminding of items needed and when they will be picked up.

These are just two of the many ideas of how you can be a bright light on a dark night :) Pray and see how HE might use you to make an impact for Christ.  Ask your kids for suggestions. They are full of ideas and will LOVE being part of the planning in your "adventure" on Halloween. Be creative. Be safe. Have fun. Reflect Jesus!

What are your family Halloween traditions?

Want to make some new ones?? Try one of the above suggestions or create your own!

Allow Him to use you mightily on Halloween!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Candy - Just Being Honest

Little by little I finished them off... A week before Halloween I... I... I did it.  Sure, there were a few times when I shared but for the most part it was ME who went through a whole 19.50 oz bag of mini Snickers (and oh how good it was!) about three to four bites at a time.

Our son Matthew asked me many times what I was eating and instead of brushing him off and lying to him by saying "nothing," I would be honest and tell him.

Psalm 34:1-2 "I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad."

A few weeks ago the Lord placed on my heart to set a place setting for Him at our dinner table. So if He is present with us at our table, praised "at all times", remembered by all the crosses on the walls of our homes, and if we are boasting about the Lord then I must be honest to my kids about sneaking Snickers candy.

Honesty. Let us mommas "boast in the LORD" and be honest and humble even when we are sneaking Snickers or whatever Halloween candy you enjoy. :-)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Mommy of My Word

It seems there are some lessons the Lord is continually teaching me. The reoccurring theme this week was to be a mom of my word.  Many times our plate is full,  we get preoccupied doing many things, and loose sight of how important our "word" is to our children.

Tonight I resolved to be a mom of my word, and got my kids out of bed to prove it. Earlier today, my husband and the kids carved out a Star Wars themed pumpkin. They were super excited and had been counting down the days until carving time. Once done, I shared how cool it is to see the jack-o-lantern lit up at night and told them after dinner we would do that. I had totally forgotten saying that until my kids were in bed, tucked in, prayed over and practically falling asleep.  But I remembered the lesson Jesus has whispered to me all week, "Kate, be a Mommy of your word."

So, I got the kids up quietly and took them, with pumpkin in hand, out front to light up our Star Wars jack-o-lantern. We took turns blowing out the candle. Such a simple thing that they LOVE doing. There were ecstatic and thankful I had remembered. So was I :)

Would your kids characterize you as a "Mommy who keeps her word?" 

What are some good practices you can put into place to let your "yes be yes?"

“Integrity is keeping a commitment 
even after circumstances have changed.” 
 ~ David Jeremiah 


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Unexpected VISITOR Reminded Me of Truth

Yesterday was a nutty day. It was busy with tons of activity both on the playground and in the kitchen. My house was in COMPLETE disarray with dishes piled high, toys all over, and many things laid out. My husband had plans to get together with a few friends, meeting up first at our house, to do a hospital visit together. Honestly I was tired. I was really hoping James, my husband, would just run outside and meet the guys, at their cars, where I wouldn't have to "entertain" or worry about my house. Well the Lord had other plans and a few lessons along the way :)

One of those faithful men got to our house early! AAAghh. As I welcomed him in, all I could think about was the clutter in my home and how it must look to an "outsider." I was stressed yet trying to act "normal."  I tried to smile and talk as I wiped down and organized my clutter as I realized he could care less about the state of my house, but just wanted to sit on the couch and veg with our family. 
Don't Worry About Clutter & Crazy - your unexpected company came to see you & realizes life happens. 

Do Welcome Them With a Smile & Act As If Jesus "dropped by." Try to slow down and ask about his day as you would if it were Jesus. It made no sense to stress & frantically clean when he had already seen the state of my house and came in anyways :) Remember they came to see you not your home. 

Don't be Afraid to put Kids in Time-Out When Company Is Over. So in this season of life we are in, it seems each time we have company over my kids test the waters. Curious if they will go in time out while we chat with company. It is so important, Moms, to remind your little ones that even if company over our "family rules" remain. 
*NOTE- "Pre -Activity", warning kids of expected behavior/consequences for misbehaving, ahead of time always helps kids to align with the rules better.

So last night was no different, my son decided to jump on our couch around our company (he was so excited) even after warned time-out would be the consequence. He spent 4 minutes in his room and came out ready to obey in the presence of our company. Consistency is key, Mommies :)

Do Take a Break & Enjoy Their Unexpected Stop
Stop the routine and sit down. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with your friend who came by. Allow a break in your day to entertain someone... in the name of Jesus ;) Refresh them and you too will be refreshed. They may need a word of encouragement or maybe they brought one for you! 

How do you handle unexpected company stopping by?

Remember your little ones are watching and will do as you do.

Mom, when was the last time you took a "coffee break" with a friend and allowed yourself to be refreshed? 

Friday, October 25, 2013

All in One Beauty Creme

“All in one Beauty Crème!” that was my call to attention this morning as I walked through my parents kitchen.  Their early morning TV show was being interrupted by the latest advertisement for a product that promises to be a “one stop shop” for beauty.  What full blooded American woman wouldn’t stop and consider this to be the answer to…THEIR PRAYERS?

Here I am again, at every corner being asked to think prayer life.
As I considered not too many posts back, I was looking at the young moms in my life.  I thought the only piece of advice I had then was “Go take a Nap!”  This post reflects what has been my personal admonition for the week…GO PRAY!

From the topic of my small group in South Florida to the college convocation I attended in Virginia – “Just Pray!” is the mantra. Even as I recorded my “prayers’ asking why there are relational struggles the Lord turned my hand to the New Living Translation of James 4: 1 – 3
“What is causing quarrels and fights among you?
Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war with you?
You want what you do not have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
You are jealous for what others have and you can’t possess it,
So you fight and quarrel to take it away from them.
And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that
You don’t ask God for it!
And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because
Your whole motive is wrong,
You want only what will give you pleasure.”

Moms, the convocation speaker, author of ten books, pastor from Capitol Hill, Mark Batterson asked the thousands of students of Liberty University to unleash the power of prayer.  He challenged the audience to live in holy anticipation, saying “God can accomplish more in one day than we can in 100 lifetimes.”Pastor Mark encouraged me with the closing comment, “We are one prayer away from a different life!”

Moms please don’t give up!  From our vantage point we feel like we have to do more for the Lord. Be more for our husbands and children.  Prayer isn’t a one stop shop for living the Christian Life. However daily, we need to make prayer THE one stop that will lead to a Beautiful Life.

So your challenge today, go make yourself beautiful… PRAY!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

In the Presence of Idols - A Story

But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the people of Israel fall into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign Lord. (Ezekiel 44:12 NIV)

I have prayed that God would weed out the idols in my life and in my husband’s so that we would not serve our children in the presence of idols and lead them into sin. God has been faithful to do just that. There are a few stories I could share with you but this one so clearly depicts how we can blindly lead our children into sin by serving them in the presence of our idols.  This particular story is about an idol in my husband’s heart; so it is with his permission that I share this story.

For years my husband served the idol of appearance and status, wanting to appear as something more than he really was.  This idol demanded from him; he lied for it, and sacrificed for it.  In the end it made him into something less, he lost the things he really wanted and he was left still wanting.  By God’s love and through His word The Lord revealed this idol to my husband.  The idol was torn down and God was put on the throne in its place. The enemy is sneaky, though, always trying to squirm his way back into our hearts.

My husband is self-employed and, for the most part, works by himself. But whenever he answers the phone and is talking to a customer making appointments you would never know that, everything is “we” not “I”.  My kids have called him out on this many times.  They have asked him why he says, “we.” They have even asked ‘why he is lying’?  But his response was that it made his business look bigger.

Do you see what was happening?  The same old idol was trying to creep in, camouflaging itself as acceptable, because it was “better for business.”  If it wasn’t enough for our kids to point it out to us, God had to point it out to me in my own quiet time through the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4:32 - 5: 1-10). 

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 5:1, 2 )

In Acts chapter 4 it tells how in the first church some people would sell land or houses and give it to the apostles to give to those in need. It even mentions one man by name:

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), (Acts 4:36 NIV)

This man stands out as one who is probably close to the apostles, has a friendship with them, maybe even some leadership among the people. Now for a person who desires to be more than they really are they may look at this man and think, I want to be in leadership or friends with the disciples. I want to be respected. That man Joseph is where I want to be. I must do what he did. It makes sense.  So he goes and sells a piece of his property, keeps back some of the money for himself, and gives the rest to the church.

But what Ananias missed was the heart of the man who sold his property to give the money to the church.  This man was not doing it to appear more than he really was, he did it out of who he already was.  No one was asking Ananias to be more than he really was but he wanted to appear that he was and he did it with his “wife’s full knowledge”.

So here I am, the wife with full knowledge, listening to my husband trying to appear to be more than he really is.  Listening to my children call daddy out on it regularly.  I most definitely felt the conviction to speak to my husband.  And if you are familiar with the story of Ananias and Sapphira you know that it does not end well for them.

I was the wife with full knowledge.  Full knowledge of my husbands past idol trying to creep up on him, full knowledge that I was a participant in this serving of the idol because I had dismissed it, and that we were serving our children in the presence of that idol.  We are always calling our children out on lying and give the most severe discipline for it. Yet here we were…leading them astray by telling them, don’t lie, but it’s ok to lie if it is “better for business”.

By the grace of God, first in revealing our sin, then allowing our children to hear our apologies and see our repentance, our children may have been spared the damage that could have so easily come from their parents serving them in the presence of idols.  I have felt so heavy a prayer in my heart so similar to that of David’s in 2 Samuel 24:17:

When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.” (2 Samuel 24:17 NIV)

Father, my heart is heavy.  It fears leading my children in the presence of idols. I pray that you would reveal any idols in my heart, uproot them, tear them down.  May You alone reign on the throne of my heart.  Protect my children.  Help me to teach them and to lead them always toward you.

Related Blogs:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Seek, don’t sink!

I had been getting so upset at our sweet 2 year-old princess!  Jordan decided she did NOT want to wear diapers nor pull-ups anymore so I just went with it and put her in underpants.  (“Horray!  No more buying diapers,” I thought.)  First we bought Minnie Mouse & Daisy then I needed more because I couldn’t keep up with all the laundry so I got some Dora the Explorer underwear.  At first she was doing GREAT!  …And then… most days I’m cleaning pee off the floor at least once a day.  All those things that worked great when training Matthew are not working with Jordan.

God has allowed us moms to have a high pain tolerance, a strong love for our children and the gift of a kiss to make all boo-boos feel better.  However, sometimes the loss of patience and self-control show a direct relation to how much we are in the Word hearing the heart of God.  This is where I was, SO I opened a devotional book I had enjoyed reading months ago but stopped for some reason.  When I opened it and read the verse for that day, I wanted more.  I read the surrounding verses and learned.  I enjoyed the awesomeness, the coolness, the timeliness of my Savior.  If He is in me, I can be patient & self-controlled too!  After this reading the day began and I was a lot more prepared to deal with the regular things of the day that send me overboard and have me harried.  We had a real good morning until…  I tried to figure out why my 3 ½ and 2 year-olds couldn’t seem to stay in their seats at lunchtime.  I lost it.

This moment reminded me of when Peter walked on water – once he thought about his humanity rather than Who he had fixed his eyes on when he was called out of the boat.  Being a mom is a calling from our Lord to represent His love.  Momma, you and I need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus so we don’t lose it and sink. 

“And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!””  Matthew 14:28-30

Monday, October 21, 2013

Reactionary Parenting

“Ahhhhhh! Everyone just shut up!” Yes, that actually came out of my mouth towards my little ones. I am not proud of it. I was tired. No scratch that; I was exhausted. I was spiritually and emotionally fatigued with my kids: whining, slow obedience, settling disputes between my boys, consoling my teething baby, making meals, cleaning up after meals, taking my toddler to the potty…the list goes on and on. Let me say it again, I was exhausted.

As a result, I lost my cool. What should have resulted in a simple, direct, loving, but firm consequence was traded for an emotional outburst on my part. Mommy needed a time out. Mommy needed to go to a different room and talk (out loud) to God. I needed to do three things:

  1. Cast my cares upon him, and ask for his Holy Spirit to fill me up.
  2. Pray for my kids, and ask for forgiveness.
  3. Disciple on!

Moms, God’s word declares that we are supposed to cast our cares upon him because he cares for us. God already know what we are thinking, so we might as well tell him, ask for his peace, and leave the situation with him. Instead, I think we often run around mentally fatigued because while we are multi-tasking our minds are in several other places trying to figure out other problems that are totally unrelated to the many things we are currently working on. Whew!

We also need to ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us each day. So many days I get up and proceed with the affairs of the day and training up my kids for him without putting on the full armor of God described in Ephesians 6. I sometimes feel like the Holy Spirit is the forgotten third party of the Christian faith because we so often forget to ask for his help. There is a reason why the Jesus told his disciples not to go out and spread the Good News into all the world until they received the promised Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, all the wiring is there, but the electricity is not on—he is our power source.

Next, I needed to pray for my kids—not just a change in their behavior, but a change in their heart. I want them to embrace truth. I want to feed their character. I needed to model the character I am trying to instill in them (eh hem…self-control being one of them). Soooo, I also needed to ask God and my kids for forgiveness.

Lastly, I needed to accept God’s grace and disciple on, realizing that effectively discipling my kids meant that I would need to be purposeful and intentional. I needed a plan. My husband and I had to regroup and pray about precisely what consequences would follow certain negative behaviors. We need this plan to keep us focused on the mission of discipleship without being exasperated by our kids. We needed to be lovingly consistent. We needed to be proactive versus reactive.

A reactive parent simply responds to a kid’s actions based on their feelings at the moment. This could often lead to unintended and harmful results because we run the risk of letting our emotions carry us away. Being a proactive parent, however, is intentional, thoughtful, and self-controlled. This type of mom (or dad) is not easily swayed by a rebellious outburst, but remains in control of herself. I want to be that kind of mom, don’t you?


Heavenly Father,
You are the perfect example of a loving parent. You care for us so much. You are so intentional with us. You know our thoughts from afar. Please fill us with your Holy Spirit. May we model you to our kids. May we thrive as parents because of your great grace, and may we be full of the fruit of your Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Verse to consider (and apply): But the fruit of the Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things. Galatians 5:22 (NLT)

Passage to read: Ephesians 6:10-20

Sunday, October 20, 2013

'Mr. Spock goes to church': How one Christian copes with Asperger's Syndrome

For those of who have been following this blog for any length of time, you have read my journey with mothering a struggling child. We are in a season right now of testing with hopes of "bringing clarity to confusion" - as one of my sweet friends puts it.  My husband sent me this blog post yesterday and I thought it was so insightful. If you have a child, relative or friend with Asperger's, this will be help you understand it - from the perspective of a man who has it. I hope this encourages you the way it did me.

What is HE teaching you through this blog?
What do you think HE wants you to do about it?

Saturday, October 19, 2013


 Train up a child in the way he should go,And when he is old he will not depart from it.
 - Proverbs 22:6

This week a new Curious George episode stirred all kinds of ideas in the Seawell house. In the show George had a lemonade stand and sold juice to earn money.  This got my six year old thinking about how he, too, wants to be an entrepreneur. Then ideas of a garage sale surfaced too. We settled on selling some of our old toys, we no longer use, to a local store that buys gently used kids items. 

It worked great for him and me. He went through and organized his toys to sell. Then, Daddy took him to the store to "cash" in his stuff. My son was excited to earn some money which led our family to have a sit down talk about what it looks like to be a good steward of the money He entrusts us with.

My husband reminded our children about giving (tithing) 10% to the church, saving10%, and then spending the rest. It was an eye-opening talk because it started with the example of that little cash he had just made at the store. We divided the money into coins to show percentages, then got out sandwich baggies and marked them "saving" and "giving." It was a learning experience for them. One that will mark their future earnings :)

I realize more and more, as my kids grow up, just how important my input and lifestyle is. How I live for Jesus. How I invest in others. How I spend & save money. How I steward the gifts God has provided me. How I entrust His wisdom to my children. They watch and  mimic it all. 

What is HE calling you to share with your child today?

Will you GO and SHOW them all you have been taught?

Be faithful and watch them be faith-filled in their future decisions. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

How do you spell Success?

            I grew up in a family of brothers.  I could either like it or lump it.  My parents did the best they could to offer me a sister with two more brothers to follow my eldest brother and myself.  If I was going to survive in this male dominated world, I had to make the best of it.
            My brothers all played little league football. 
My choices were to sit on the wooden bleachers with my parents or become a cheerleader and enjoy hot chocolate on those crisp fall Virginia nights.  I chose the later.
            I became a little league cheerleader with the goal of a costume and a cup of hot chocolate during half time.  They forced me to learn little jingles they called cheers or chants.  These cheers included ridiculous hand motions, clapping and stomping.  I felt more like a trained horse than a pitiful little tike who simply wanted something hot to stay warm.
            I learned one particular cheer which served me well.  I not only chanted this in elementary it carried over to my high school and college days of cheering.  Some of you may know it. 

            Learning to spell “success” was a treasure for my fourth grade spelling test.  But it didn’t really answer the question of what IS success? 
            When do you consider something a success? 
            Tonight I was blessed by watching a young man play the “box drum.”  If you aren’t familiar with this instrument it looks like a wooden box that the musician sits on and beats with his hands. 
            I wondered if his momma let him play in the closet when he was a little boy.  He may have picked up shoe boxes and pretended they were drums.   I wonder if his mom corrected him for beating on the kitchen table. She may have asked him repeatedly to stop hitting on the ottoman.
            But tonight that little boy was a young man leading worship.  Directing a small crowd of people to march forward to the throne of grace.
            Sometimes our little ones don’t look like they will be successful.  They seem to be noisy or uncooperative or not able to focus.  God has made them in such a way to be a success in His eyes.
            An older friend of mine shared how she thought she was going to pull her out trying to get her son through high school.  English in particular was laborious.  He spent hours and days trying to write a poem.  Years later he too is a worship leader and writes the most beautiful lyrics and music.
            Moms, lets see our children as God does.  He will make them each successful in His economy.  S U C C E S S is the cheer our God has for our children and us!
            (Challenge:  Spend time in Joshua 1: 5 - 10 and determine how God spells Success. If your children are elementary or below make a set a drums with them using shoeboxes, oatmeal containers, old paint cans and then teach them to tap out SUCCESS!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

In the Presence of Idols - Expectations

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. (Ezekiel 36:25 NIV)

Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. (Ezekiel 36:31 NIV)

As I meditated on this section of scripture I found myself looking back, loathing myself for my past sin but, knowing I have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, I was able to be thankful for all God has brought me out of. I looked back on all the expectations I had to set aside so I could love certain people in my life and it hit me.... “I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.” An entirely new word replaced expectations and that word was idols. I could look at these “expectations” for my parents, my sister, my in-laws, my husband, and many more and see that these were not just innocent expectations in my life these were clearly idols.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. (Deuteronomy 5:6, 7 NIV)

'You shall not make for yourself an idol...” (Deuteronomy 5:8 NASB)

You shall have no other gods before me... You shall not make for yourself an idol.” Anything I put before God is an idol in my life.  1 John 4:8 says, “...God is love.” If God is in my heart and above everything else in my life, LOVE is what will spill out of me. If I have to set anything aside so that I am free to love with that godly love, that thing I had to set aside is an idol in my life. No matter what word I choose to call it.

I said I had to set aside my expectations so I could love.  What was keeping me from loving with a godly love?  Expectation. So now as I looked back on my past my grief and loathing took on a whole new light because what I saw was a trail of fallen idols not just expectation. God opened my eyes through His word and by His Spirit He helped me to really see.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, (Ephesians 5:25, 26 NKJV)

Expectation. What else or who else do I tend to assign a given set of expectations to?   My children. I have been asking myself these questions trying to weed out unhealthy expectations for my children. Is my discipline out of an unmet expectation or to teach them obedience to God and to love Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength?  Is my expectation for my children to be well behaved and respectful so that they reflect well on me? Or do I want them to be well behaved so that I am not inconvenienced in having to discipline them?

But because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the people of Israel fall into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign Lord. (Ezekiel 44:12 NIV)

Am I serving my children in the presence of an idol that I label “expectation”?  Is my service to my children sending them in a direction to meet my expectations or to love and serve the Lord?  What picture of God’s love do I set before my children each day?  Am I like the priests of Israel who led the people into sin because they served the people in the presence of idols? 

Father God, I do not want to lead my children to sin because of my idols.  I pray that you would make them clear to me. Give me discernment and strength and rid my heart of any idols. I want an idol free life that serves with only a whole-hearted devotion in Your presence. Thank you for loving me no matter the condition of my heart. Thank You for how far You have brought me and how far You are yet to take me. I long to serve ever and only in Your presence.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

God Does the Growing

"He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like.  A man scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  All by itself the soil produces grain-first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."
Mark 4:26-29

If you are trying to convince your teenager(s) how much the Lord loves them but seem to be getting no where, take heart.  God does the growing.  If you are anything like me, you have worked diligently instilling the Word, praying, disciplining, and encouraging (just to name a few) your children all their lives.  You've prayed and continue to pray that they will discover all God intends them to be for His glory and their good.  Be encouraged.  God sees.  Your teenager(s) is His and only by the power of the Holy Spirit can their hearts and minds grasp just how amazing His love is for them and that He has a plan for them. Keep trusting and watch Him work as you entrust them to Him.

My prayer for you today, godly mom, is that you will rest in His perfect timing and faithfulness. "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you (in your teenager) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus " Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hope To Hang On

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NLT)

I don’t understand why I have to wait on answers to my desperate prayers. I’m glad the apostle Paul was also perplexed as to why things happen as they do. We can learn from Paul’s life that the Creator of the universe does see our plight and is always lovingly at work either preparing a rescue from the storm or providing a way to stay afloat.

In Acts 9, when Jewish leaders plotted to kill Paul, God provided a basket in which His servant was let down from an opening in the city wall. In Acts 27, Paul’s ship ripped apart in a violent storm on the way to Rome. Instead of sending a flaming chariot to rescue him, God sent Paul the ravaged ship’s splintered planks to which he perilously clung while the storm continued to rage.  Do those sound like the actions of an all-powerful God? They certainly do. Both instances are characteristic of our lives.  God either performs a miracle or provides the planks.

While we wait for God to answer our critical prayers, He provides slivers of hope along the way to reassure us of his love. As God supplies us with one plank after another to stay afloat, we must reach down into the depths of our spirit to discover a faith we never thought we had. Realizing our helplessness, we are compelled to surrender everything we hold dear to an all-powerful God.  Not only does a miracle occur in our situation, but in our hearts as well. 

Prayer: “Thank you, God, that you have provided me with bits of encouragement while I wait for answers to my prayers. Strengthen my faith and help me to recognize the instances in which you reach down into my ordinary life with divine intervention to assure me of your intense love for me.  In Jesus' name, Amen."