Monday, May 25, 2015

The Things Too Many to Count



We stood at the edge of the ocean, water touching sand and covering sand and footprints.




How many grains of sand could be found in one of those footprints? Covering a shell? Or lining the Pacific Ocean?

A number too large for words.

No number is high enough.

No one can count the sand.


“How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand” (Psalm 139:17,18).


If we could count the sand, that number would pale in comparison to the number of times He has thought about us in a lifetime.

Though He’s silent, mysterious, ruling in the heavens, saving souls, listening to myriads of prayers at a single moment, mighty, and invisible, our God is thinking of you and me.

Today.

And like the sand on the seashore, those thoughts are too many to count.


“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (Psalm 139:6)




Monday, May 18, 2015

Prayer: The Great Exchange



A glow shone from her face; a happiness in her eyes from some inward or outward source—he couldn’t tell which.   

He watched as she spoke under her breath, eyes glistening with tears that had shed but were now being wiped away.

He wondered if she’d been drinking.

“No. . . I have poured out my soul before the LORD,” she replied (1 Samuel 1:15).

Hannah’s peaceful glow of joy came from pouring out in prayer and leaving behind.

She learned that prayer is the great exchange—a placement of need and grief into hands of grace and power and going away burden-less and joyful.


“Every trial of our faith is but a trial of His faithfulness.” ~ Frances Ridley Havergal


So Hannah prayed and poured out and went away in peace.

She traded her trial for the peace of trust in His faithfulness.

Her faith might fail, but His faithfulness never would.





Prayer is the great exchange—need replaced by peace even when the need still exists. Prayer places the trial in Another’s hands and knows His faithfulness will stand the test.


“The woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” ~ 1 Samuel 1:18


Hannah poured out her soul to the Lord and traded her trial for peace.

If our prayers don’t result in this great exchange, I wonder if we’ve really prayed.



“In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known unto God. 

And the peace of God which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7)


Monday, May 11, 2015

The Hands that Never Make Mistakes



“If a Christian carves for himself,
he’ll cut his own fingers.” – a Puritan proverb

Our God has hands better than our own to trust.

Hands that are . . .
·         Holding us up.
“Your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:7)


·         Powerful.
“. . . nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand.” (Psalm 44:3)


·         Open and Good.
“You open Your hand, they are filled with good.” (Psalm 104:28)


·         Guiding and Protecting.
“We are . . . the sheep of His hand.” (Psalm 95:7)


·         Victorious.
“His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.” (Psalm 98:1)


·         Trustworthy.
“My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:15)


·         Compassionate and Healing.
“Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him . . . immediately the leprosy left him.” (Mark 1:41)


·         Pierced for us.
“They pierced My hands and My feet.” (Psalm 22:16)


·         and Sovereign.
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.” (John 3:35)


These are the Hands that never make mistakes.



Monday, May 4, 2015

Dear Mothers,



You felt the long hours of pain that ushered you into motherhood. And I have to ask. Does the pain ever stop?

Because I’ve watched many of you. I’ve watched you weep, as you battle the lifelong pain of motherhood. 

I’ve heard you pray hard, because mothering means they never stop depending on you. 

That day comes when they depend only on your prayers. So this mother-love never stopped.

I’m not a mother, but I’ve watched many of you. I’ve studied the life of the mother of Christ. Mothering means a sword pierces through your own soul at times. A mother is there when her child is misunderstood and mistreated. A mother feels the piercing.

Mary stood by her son while He bled for her, but she wasn’t allowed to suffer more than she could bear.

Her son told John to care for her. John took her to his own home, and she didn’t see the end.

Because the Lord never lets us hurt too much.

I’ve also seen beaming motherhood joy. Mothering means a joy you can’t express.

Watching you has taught me that the sword piercing your own soul is often part of the joy. A mother naturally bears the pain with her child. It’s the way she loves.

And a mother can never love too much.

Watching a mother reminds me there is joy in loving, even when it hurts.

None of you regrets that first pain that meant you were a mother—the pain that never stopped.

How I see it, this is motherhood. Joy mixed with pain.

If a sword is able to pierce a soul that soul was allowed to love.

Motherhood teaches what it looks like to keep loving, even when it hurts.

Thank you, Mothers.

Thank you for expressing through your tender, motherhood joy a love that is too hard to put into words.

The love of God that looks like this.



Click here to listen to “Words for His Mother and John.”  [A lesson in the series on The Words from the Cross]


Monday, April 27, 2015

When You Feel Like a Failure



Recently, I read an article listing six things to do when you feel like a failure.
Be honest about your struggle.
Remember you’re not alone.
Take a nap.
And three other ways to get over the failure-slump and conquer the world.

Thankfully, God’s Word tells us only one way, a more powerful way to conquer the giants of inadequacy that often wake up with us every morning.


“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).


Are you anxious over a wayward child or an unknown future? Haunted by a past that continually resurfaces? Struggle with a besetting sin? Battle against shattered hopes?

In other words. . .
It is things present?
Or things to come?

God’s Son hung on a cross and displayed in humility and agony a love we cannot comprehend.

That love erased our past, surrounds the present, and guards the future.

His love conquered.

Despite the past, present, or future, you and I are more than conquerors through Him who loved us like that.

We’re failures turned conquerors through Someone Else’s perfect love.



“I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come . . . shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)