Monday, January 26, 2015

Trusting God with an Unfinished Story



A good friend of mine—published author of fiction and non-fiction—is writing a suspense novel and sent me her manuscript.

I’m definitely caught up in the story. There’s sufficient tension and expectation and wondering if the girl is going to find justice and if the guy is going to win her heart.

There’s only one problem: the book isn’t finished yet.

I actually agreed to read a suspense novel whose ending has yet to be written.

Thankfully, Kimberly Rae has written multiple stories. I’ve read many of them to the end, and none has left me disappointed.

I know I can safely read an unfinished suspense novel by Kimberly Rae.

Because she’s a good author.




Each of our lives is an unfinished story.

With a job loss soon and my health always uncertain, my life feels like a suspense novel with an unfinished ending.

Maybe yours does too.

Maybe you’re further along in your story than I am in mine, but unknowns lie ahead for all of us.

Our stories aren’t finished.

But in the heart of the Author of our stories, they were completely written before time began and before we came onto the scene.

He figured out plot and character and set the stage from the beginning. He’s been unfolding that story year by year—writing new chapters and adding sufficient tension and expectation.

He’s written multiple stories throughout the centuries. You and I have read many of them, and we’ve not been left disappointed.

Kimberly Rae is sending me the rest of her book by Valentine’s Day (Right, Kim?).

I’m certain she’s finding a measure of joy in knowing I trust that she knows the end and that I’m not going to be disappointed.


Psalm 147:11 says, “The LORD takes pleasure . . . in those who hope in His mercy.”


When we trust that the Lord knows the end and knows what’s going to happen in the chapters in between, and when we’re living our stories with that certainty wrapping our days together, it gives Him pleasure.

Because He does know the end.

And He’s a really good Author.


“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 11:1,2)


Monday, January 19, 2015

Your God



If you ever need a reminder that there’s a Being moving in and out of your ways and working all things together and overcoming evil and seeking good, read the story of Joseph.

As you read his story, you can’t help but see this invisible Hand.

And in between the lines, in another language, to brothers who had mistreated him, Joseph speaks of his God.

He saw Him moving, though he didn’t understand His ways.

He feared God.

His God was God.

And Joseph never forgot that.

Before Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, his steward told them, “Do not be afraid. Your God . . .” (Gen. 43:23).

Their God worked when they were confused.
Their God led them to Joseph.
Their God was merciful.

He worked.

Because He was their God.

Not just Joseph’s.

In reality, the story of Joseph is a story of miracles worked by a God who belonged to Joseph and his brothers.




Spurgeon once wrote:

“The life of a believer is a series of miracles formed by the Mighty God.”


Sometimes there’s confusion, injustice, and long years of waiting. A prison, a palace, a moving by Someone orchestrating all things meant for good (Gen. 50:19).

But those who belong to God and whose God belongs to them are living a series of miracles.

The miracle begun at our birth into His family.
The miracle of being kept by His power, when the world lures strong.
The miracle of His presence, His love, His grace, and the fulfillment of His promises.
The miracle of His invisible Hand working for good.

Do not be afraid. Your God. . .


“Lay hold on that mighty arm,” Spurgeon continues. “And rouse it to put forth its strength.”


That mighty arm is the arm of miracles.

That mighty arm is the arm of your God.




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Monday, January 12, 2015

Lesson from a Worn-out Watch



So my watch doesn’t tell the right time anymore.

It’s been fifteen minutes too slow for two weeks. I got a new battery. I try to set it right every day.

But it no longer knows what time it is.

That’s what happens when you’re a watch, and you’re sixteen years old.




Unfortunately, time ticks away, and we fight the urge to believe that God is like my worn-out watch.
Too slow.
Fifteen minutes behind schedule.
Tired of keeping track of time after all these years.

This is what happens when finite mind tries to comprehend infinite ways.

We forget God's right on schedule, fitting together pieces we can’t see, and accomplishing a perfect plan we couldn’t comprehend today.

Oswald Chambers said it well.

“One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.” (Still Higher for His Highest, p. 65)


But as long as we think He doesn’t care, doesn’t see, doesn’t know how to orchestrate things in utter wisdom, the strain will be tighter and all the more miserable.

Instead, we’re to be yoked to Him in submission.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me,” Jesus said.


We’re to step through life at His speed, in His strength, waiting for Him.

Why?

Because we can be assured of this inescapable truth.

God knows what time it is.



“Why do you say. . . My way is hidden from the LORD? . . .
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth,
neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:27,28)


Monday, January 5, 2015

When We Make Life Too Overwhelming, and God says "Be Still"



Saturday, I was visiting with a friend while she fed her baby.

She made the comment that he often gets fidgety while he’s eating and distracted by everything going on around him, and he can’t focus enough to just take what she’s giving him.

A godly, older friend was sitting nearby.

He made an observation I haven’t been able to shake out of my mind.

“We’re often that way with our Heavenly Father.

We think God wants so much out of us, when in reality, He just wants us to be who He made us to be.”

We delight in a child who is resting contentedly, having received everything he needs.


Scott Fowl


Our heavenly Father does too.



“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)


Monday, December 29, 2014

One Thing Our Hearts Can't Afford to Forget in 2015


Approximately two hundred fifty babies are born every minute.

Every minute two hundred fifty people are given life.

And given a name.

From the beginning, names have been a significant part of our society.

Adam’s first task was to name the animals. He also named his wife, Eve.

And when an angel appeared to Zacharias and to Mary and to Joseph, each of them was spoken to by name by a particular angel, named Gabriel.

How did Gabriel know their names?

Because Gabriel “stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19).

He knew their names because the Lord Himself knew their names.

A very tiny fraction of the 7.2 billion people who live on this earth know your name and mine.

But one of the most important identifying factors of who we are is known by the One who made all things, gives life to 250 babies every minute, and called us individually to Himself.

He knows our name.




People will come and go in our lives this year.
Unexpected heartaches and joys will all be part of the minutes that will make up another year.

One thing our hearts can’t afford to forget in 2015?

                He knows our name.


“Thus says the LORD . . . I have called you by your name;
You are mine.”  Isaiah 43:1