1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

No Matter

No matter what I’ve gone through.

No matter how many times I’ve missed the mark.

No matter the struggles in an area where my head faith overrides my heart faith.

No matter…….God still loves me!!!!!!!

No matter on those days when the overwhelming feeling of the need to be “perfect” has me anxious to the point of freezing. I understand Gods’ grace is greater than any “no matter” that happens in my life.

No matter…..Gods’ loving arms are around me, even if I don’t feel them.

Even on my best days when I want to do right, I sometimes fall.  But God is there to pick me up, chastise me when I’m wrong and continue to guide me through The Holy Spirit.

Lord I praise you for not giving up on me because I KNOW if I didn’t have you in my life, I would be dead!!!!

Thank you Father, for your forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Thank you Father, for your mercy that’s brand new each day. Thank you Father, for giving me grace to deal with each day one day at a time.
 I own my mistakes, flaws, imperfections and CHOOSE NOT to allow the enemy to make me feel bad or heap guilt on me when I miss the mark. I am not perfect only made perfect through Christ. However, I am faithful!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: No matter what you have or are experiencing that’s making you feel like you’re not enough. God’s grace is not only sufficient, His grace is enough.
 
2 Corinthians 12:9--But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 5:17--Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Romans 7:19-25--19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
 

Listening Without Defending

We all have faults. However, none of us enjoy hearing about them. When others tell us how we’ve hurt them or confronts us regarding sin; defensiveness, fear and pride often rise up.

These three reactions potentially harm our relationships, hinder emotional intimacy and likely increases the hurt, as does trying to tell them the reason they “shouldn’t feel that way.” Keep in mind we don’t have the right to decide what should or should cause someone pain.

Listening without getting defensive, for some is a hard skill to master. This is true when our spouse {family or friend}, is talking about our triggers. Triggers are issues sensitive to our heart. Triggers can raise the wall of defensiveness that encompass fear because some of us are accustomed to being cast off and pride which creeps in due to us not wanting anyone pointing out or correcting out our faults.

While it’s important for our spouse {family or friend} to voice their complaint. It’s also vitally important for the listener to do the following to prevent them from responding defensively.

*Self-soothe: Prevents the listener from responding defensively. Self-soothing helps keep your emotional brain from overpowering your rational brain, thus self-regulating so you won’t “flip out” and say something you don’t mean or will regret.

*Affection and respect: When the tough conversations happen it’s easy to fall into being defensive and remain in that thought. However, it is helpful to focus on your affection and respect for your spouse {family or friend}. Try to recall fond memories that demonstrated love, how the love is more important than the conflict and believe the love will help get you through the conflict.

*Don’t take the complaint personally: Sometimes it’s very difficult not to take the complaint personally especially when triggers are discussed. If you feel yourself becoming defensive ask yourself why? Remember your spouse’s complaint is about their needs, not yours. Self soothe so you can be there for them.

*Reframe: In the midst of the complaint a trigger may be said. To harness your defensiveness, it’s ok to ask for the statement to be reframed so that you can understand the need and devise a plan to meet the need.

When someone share their concerns with us, love demands that we listen without trying to defend ourselves, excuse our behavior, or minimize their feelings. If there is the need or opportunity to ease their pain or insecurities by explaining our actions. Begin by saying, “I’m sorry I hurt you, and I can understand why you feel this way.” No matter what we do or don’t say, our priority must always be on strengthening the relationship, instead of being right. The moment we lose sight of this we are in danger of creating further damage and distrust.

In our broken world it’s unfortunate that we often respond to the failings or pain of others with a lack of grace and at times rejection.  When your spouse {family or friend} brings a complaint to you, take a deep breath and think before responding to prepare your heart to listen without defending.

PEARLStoPONDER: Learn to listen to understand not just to respond, prove your point or to be right. Listen to help the other person heal.

Proverbs 12:15--The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 17:27-Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Proverbs 18:2--A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

James 1:19—Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
 

God Isn’t Surprised

The coronavirus didn’t sneak up on God. He is not surprised or startled by it, just like he was not surprised or startled by any plague, pandemic, war, or atrocity in the past.

This blog is not about the coronavirus. It’s more about an issue this virus has plunged all of us into in some way: uncertainty.

Of course, we have lived with uncertainty every day of our lives. We don’t ultimately know what the future holds and some don’t have concrete plans for the future. However, we are living in a season where even the simplest things we thought were a given has caused uncertainty.
  • When will we be able to attend and fellowship in the church buildings again?
  • When can students go back to the physical school building?
  • What if I have to go to the hospital, will I get sick?
  • When can I go to the mall again?
  • What’s going to happen to the economy?
  • Will I be able to find cleaning supplies?
  • Will I be able to keep my job?
  • How long will I have to wear a mask when I leave my home?
 
Everything about our world feels remarkably questionable right now. Systems that previously seemed stable now appear fragile and unsteady. We sit in our homes scrolling social media and watching the updates, but each update only adds to the uncertainty.

There’s uncertainty sometimes swirling in my own heart. I’m processing how to live in such a time as this and exactly what the “new norm” will entail.

I know I’m not alone, though. In the midst of a global pandemic, the entire world is living with some type of uncertainty. But this is what I’ve been deeply convicted of: Christians should live with uncertainty differently
 
Instead of fumbling through each day in fear, instead of being immobilized by anxiety, instead of feeling paranoid or panicked, we should cling to the most certain thing in this life: our great God.
 
He is the unchangeable One in a rapidly changing world. No matter what happens with our health, with our jobs, with our families, with our economy, with our supplies, God is reliable, trustworthy, sovereign, and faithful.
 
God has always made it possible for Christians to be faithful through long, difficult seasons of adversity. We are not the first Christians to deal with global uncertainty, and we won’t be the last.
Let’s not be tempted to think we can’t deal with this faithfully. We can!
In the midst of this uncertainty:
  • Let’s pray more.
  • Let’s read God’s Word more.
  • Let’s communicate with each other more.
  • Let’s repent.
  • Let’s encourage other more.
  • Let’s remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness more.
  • Let’s be kind to one another.
  • Let’s demonstrate God’s love.
 
 
PEARLStoPONDER: In the midst of uncertainty, we need hope. Let’s share our hope in our good and sovereign God with those who may not have hope.
 
Psalm 102:25-27--25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.

Psalm 115:3--Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

Malachi 3:6--“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
 

Context Matters

“I got a call back!” “I got a call back??!”

The context of this statement can mean different things to different people. To an actor or actress, this is a declaration of excitement that stirs up dreams, desires, aspirations and goals. To a woman who just had a mammogram, this is an expression of concern that stirs up possible fears, unknowns and anxiety.

Context matters. It shapes the narrative of the story being told.

Psalm 98 gives me a deeper understanding that helps me to see the matters of my heart, the matters of my now, and the matters of my circumstances, in the context of eternity. These verses establish a narrative where the context of life is eternal, not temporal. They establish a narrative where the bigness of my circumstances become minimal when placed before the backdrop of a ginormous, loving, faithful God who is celebrated by oceans, rivers and mountains (vv7-8). These call-to-worship verses removes the blinders of my unknowns so I can see beyond my now to the God who was and is and is to come.

A few truths arise from the context of Psalm 98.

Because the Lord has done marvelous things in the past (v1), I can trust Him completely to do marvelous things again today and tomorrow. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrew 13:8).

Because the Lord has made His salvation and righteousness known to all the nations in Christ (v2), I can be confident of my salvation and trust that when I confessed my sins, God forgave me and cleansed me from all unrighteousness (John 1:19). I can trust that when I confessed with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believed in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I was saved. “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

There are times when we may feel confused or unsure of salvation. Why we exist, where we fit in with God and does, He really care? Many times, we find ourselves weighing our bad and good on scales of performance instead of grace. When we do this, it makes “us” question God’s interest in us and often times “we” think God is distant and harsh.

Whether we want to believe it or not The Lord will judge the world, all people, in righteousness and equity (v9). With that being said I have learned to become intentional in giving thanks and praise for the forgiveness of my sins and for the eternal hope I have in Jesus. I have also learned to set the circumstances of my now before the righteous, everlasting God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what I could ever ask for or imagine.

The context of Psalm 98 should call us beyond questions but to a place of calm. Beyond disinterest to a place of worship. Beyond a place of wishy-washy surface singing to a place of depths of your soul triumphant singing.

PEARLStoPONDER: The Lord has made His victory known. What context is shaping the narrative being told in your heart today? I'd love to hear about it.

Psalm 98:1-9---Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;  break forth into joyous song and sing praises!Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,  with the lyre and the sound of melody!With trumpets and the sound of the horn  make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!Let the rivers clap their hands;  let the hills sing for joy togetherbefore the Lord, for he comes  to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
 

What If?

Has your mind ever had days, months or even years that goes something like this?

What if I had of said something when I was violated?

What if I had of moved to another state?

What if my father didn’t abandon me?

What if I don’t get the love, I feel I deserve?

What if I had of taken the other job instead of this one?

What if?..........What if?....What if!!!!!!!??????

The “what ifs” can go on and on. When I was in grammar school, we had a piece of equipment on the playground where you hold on to the bars while standing {or sitting for those adventurous kids} and the other kids spun it around with extreme force. If you’ve ever been on this piece of playground equipment then you understand the dizziness and discombobulations associated with this ride. Well the same thing can happen when you play the “what if” game with yourself, dizziness and discombobulation sometimes to the tune of regurgitation. You get my point..lol.

Initially the “what if” seems intriguing, like that piece of playground equipment. However, the “what if” will never give you a factual answer, only speculation. The speculations then in turn will have you question who you are and oftentimes who you are in Christ. That piece of equipment on the playground never gives you the euphoria you initial thought prior to the spinning. I’ve never seen any child dismount that piece of equipment without wobbling.

We must get to a place in our lives that we are comfortable {no more wobbling} with where we are in life regardless of the past decisions, good or bad. “What if” keeps you in a place of negativity and stagnation. “What if” keeps you from trusting fully in God thus resulting in you not receiving all of God’s promises.

When the “what if” rears its ugly head, remember God is sovereign and is ultimately in control of everything!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Let today be the last day you are bound by the “what if.” The journey might have been rough. Where you are today is not for your glory but for God’s glory.
 
Isaiah 45:7--I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Job 42:2--“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Proverbs 16:4--The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Proverbs 19:21--Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Colossians 1:16-17--16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Romans 8:28-- And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 
 

Benefits of Wise Living

 
Each day we face unwanted challenges and uncertainties with the thought of how to minimize the stress associated with each dilemma. But we should want to do more than merely minimize stress and ward off unnecessary difficulties; we should also want to please God in every aspect of our lives.

As disciples of Jesus Christ our wisdom differs radically from worldly wisdom. The world’s wisdom centers around how people can please themselves and maximize every pleasure sometimes to the detriment of self and others. God’s wisdom isn’t unconcerned about our enjoying life. However, the beauty of God’s wisdom, if we put it into practice works in a very practical way allowing life to run more smoothly, thus mitigate the detriment to self and others.

Implementing God’s wisdom into our lives equips us with the necessary keys to please God in every aspect of our lives.

The following are a few wise living proverbs for women to live by:

Women who live wisely will experience security:
Wise women are confident because they know where their safe ground is and who’s their source. Wise women have no fear, because they learn to trust God thus, they have no need for anxiety. Wise women are confident that God is ALWAYS in control.

Women who live wisely look for guidance:
Wisdom isn’t so much something that God gives to us as something he does for us. God is always actively directing the lives of human beings. Yet it is only as we actively trust God and submit to His way that we can genuinely experience His guidance as a smooth path, one not filled with frustrating self-made detours.

Women who live wisely experience good living:
Good living does not equate to the absence of challenges. Good living consists of knowing who to turn to and trust in the midst of challenges. Good living consists of giving thanks in spite of and because of. Good living happens because we understand God’s providence and sovereignty.

Women who live wisely experience happiness:
If you’re an unhappy believer the problem isn’t the circumstance, it’s our interpretation of the circumstance and an interpretation that lacks wisdom. Even in unpleasant situations something good can always be extrapolated. Wise women know that lasting and deep happiness will never be found in circumstances but only in the wisdom found through Jesus Christ.

As women we are capable of doing some marvelous things. But how marvelous is it if the wisdom bestowed is not rooted in us through Jesus Christ guided by The Holy Spirit so that God can get all the glory?
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Worldly wisdom may get the job done, but God’s wisdom brings peace to the job.
 
Proverbs 2:6-8-- For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.

Proverbs 3:1-5-- My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success  in the sight of God and man.Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
    
Proverbs 3:13-- Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding.
 

Honesty and Intimacy With God

Sitting in my office I looked at an area where I keep some of my books. One particular book from Seminary School stood out. I opened it up to a page that was folded and I saw my written words, “powerful.” I reread that section of the chapter. Yes, the story was powerful and so compelling that I want to share it.

The following words are an excerpt taken from the book: How to be a Soul Physician by Bill Thrasher:

One day a student we will call Tom spontaneously shared with me a very profound lesson he
had learned. As he was struggling with an ungodly habit, he related how he petitioned God to           no avail for deliverance. One day a discerning man of God entered into his life and in a gracious
way asked him a question. “Why are you asking God to deliver you from this ungodly bondage?
You do not really want Him to answer your prayer.” Tom was completely devasted because
this was the precise truth. He told me that one of the most humbling things that he ever did
was to come to God and tell Him that he loved this ungodly habit and did not really want deliverance. You know what else he shared with me---that this was the beginning of the process
of breaking the bondage of that ungodly habit.

This excerpt made me began to reevaluate myself to see if there was an ungodly habit that I was pretending I wanted deliverance. Don’t start pointing fingers. An ungodly habit can be ANYTHING not just what we perceive as vile and disgusting. But any habit or addiction {food, drugs, shopping, gossip, toxic thoughts, backbiting to name a few}, bondage due to trauma or abuse that you don’t know how to deal with that takes precedent over God.

God’s word tells us to draw with confidence to His throne of grace. But how can one, like Tom in the excerpt draw near to God with confidence when you have the wrong thinking and attitude. The verb draw means to “come with freedom.” When Tom shared his “true” heart with God he was able to “come with freedom” and {drew} near with confidence. This allowed Tom to experience the promise of the verse, receive mercy and compassion during his weakness. Thus, he found grace, new motivation and the ability to deal with his problem.

God never honors deceit—even spiritual deceit. Are you willing to be honest with yourself and admit to any habit or addiction that takes precedent over God that you really don’t want to let go of?
 
 
PEARLStoPONDER: God knows what lurks in your heart. If you’re not ready to let the ungodly habit go tell God. Then you will be able to receive mercy and grace to deal with the ungodly habit.
 
James 4:8--Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Hebrews 4:15-16--15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
 

Dwell

 
To dwell, to live or stay as a permanent resident, to rest or inhabit. According to Colossians 3:16 the word dwell in this verse means to make oneself at home. Paul doesn’t just want us to hear The Word but to give The Word access to every part of ourselves.
 
When we invite guest into our home, we often say to them “have a seat and make yourself at home.”  LOL….Do we really mean those words? If we are honest with ourselves the answer is no not 100% literally. When we say “make yourself at home” what we really mean is you are limited to a specific room or two and maybe some food. “Make yourself at home” does not give your guest free range to go into your bedroom, look in your closest, and open drawers to examine personal papers.
 
If Christ is going to be The Lord of our lives, we can’t say to Him “make yourself at home” with the unspoken intent of putting restrictions on Him. If we want The Lord to dwell in our home{hearts}, we not only need to say, “Lord make yourself completely at home “but also allow The Lord to check closets and go into “restricted” areas to spot things that need to be thrown out or rearranged.

Now, when we remove the restrictions of allowing The Lord to make Himself at home in our hearts, there will be some painful “redecorating” decisions that will need to be made. Just like when we clean our physical dwelling, we often encounter “stuff” where a decision needs to be made as to keep it or not. God’s Word will also illuminate “stuff” in our life where a decision needs to be made as to keep it or not. Making a determination to part ways with our “stuff” can be difficult and painful. But once you’ve made the decision to let it go you realize how much freer you are. The same happens when God dwells in our hearts, the redecorating and illumination of “stuff” may be difficult and painful initially yet the end result is God sometimes allows hurt in order to heal us.

Allowing The Word to dwell in you means coming before God with honesty and openness and ready to act on whatever He reveals to you. We must also be intentional in coming before God with the attitude of teachablity and worship with a heart that is full of thanksgiving.
The “attitude of gratitude” is critical. When you allow God to dwell in your heart never forget to thank Him for what He has already done.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Is Jesus allowed to dwell only in restricted areas?

Colossians 3:16--Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Ephesians 3:17-- so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love.

John 14:23--Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
 

Magnified


What happens when you magnify something? The object increases in size, more importance is given to it, or it intensifies thus making it seem more exciting or in some cases more detrimental.

The enemy oftentimes magnify our life, with an emphasis on the toughest times or our worst decisions to keep us stuck in a place of defeat and despair. Due to the current new norm for some of us we’ve turned the magnifying glass on ourselves. The threat on lives, social distancing and stay at home order associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused a plethora of emotions that have become magnified.  In the midst of all these necessary changes there are emotions we need to be able to process, but may not be sure if we should or how we should process them.

So how should you handle those days when you’re feeling disappointed? And right behind that is a feeling of worry that expressing your disappointment can make you look petty, especially during this season where COVID-19 has people with so many uncertainties.

Please understand processing your disappointment is not only OK, but it’s emotionally and spiritually necessary. Because you are not making light of someone else’s pain when you process YOUR pain to gain a clearer perspective.

The great news is God is here to help us process those emotions.  God magnifies our life as well with an emphasis on the toughest times and worst decisions. The difference is, God magnifies them to let us know we are not alone. He magnifies them to remind us we don’t have to let those things continue to weigh us down. He magnifies them so we can develop a closer relationship with Him. He magnifies them so we at some point are able to use them as a testimony to help someone else. He magnifies them so we don’t have to process them alone. Whatever you’re going through it’s worth taking it to The Lord and asking for help.

So, what do we do as we stare at the realities of school closures, graduations postponed or canceled, businesses facing financial loss, not being able to see loved ones and things we thought we would be doing in this season looking very different? How do we take the magnifying glass off the negative of our realities that can cause disappointments?

1. Remember what you do have, so you don’t get consumed by what has or could be taken:
Many plans have to be canceled or postponed and that’s very hard. But remember fun hasn’t been cancel, love hasn’t been canceled, being kind to others hasn’t been canceled and learning and growing hasn’t been canceled. Use this time to reframe what matters most and find creative ways to celebrate those times and people.
 
2. Remember who God is:
 God is a protector: He is protecting you from what you can and cannot see.
God is a provider: He is providing for you, even though His provision looks different than what you expect doesn’t mean it’s not good.
God is present: Even when others are absent. God does incredible things in the unseen.
God is faithful: No matter what is being taken from you right now or currently happening, place it in the hands of God because He is still in control.

While we’re all trying to remain calm and hopeful as we navigate unexpected fears, hardships and disappointment let’s be intentional in not allowing social distancing to prevent us from extending love and grace to one another. #checkonanothersister
 
PEARLStoPONDER: It can be easy to let today’s disappointments make you expect the absolute worst for tomorrow. Our job is to obey God, God’s job is everything else. Let’s be committed to feeding our faith and fueling our healthy perspectives.

Colossians 3:15-17(ESV)-- 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

John 16:33(ESV)-- I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:4-7(ESV)--Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 

When You Don’t Understand What God is Doing

Has there ever been a time in your life when you received some unsettling news or God gave you instructions that seemed so out there? After receiving the news, you shouted, “God what are you doing?!!!!” This experience is often very uncomfortable. Believing God not only demands faith but often puts into question the faith you say you have.

This journey is often a road filled with more potholes than anticipated. Where you don’t doubt God’s presence but question His plan. Where your enthusiasm wans and your confidence trembles. During this time, you find yourself begging, “Lord, can you just show me what you’re doing?” You wait for a response. But there is no flash of lightning illuminating God’s plan or thunderous voice with a mystifying explanation. Yet in His time you will receive a quiet thought impressed upon your exhausted heart asking, “Do you want a God you can explain or a God you can extol {glorify}?”

When that thought was quietly impressed on my exhausted heart it made me recognize a truth. A God of infinite majesty can’t be measured. A God who releases miracles can’t be contained and a God who is eternal, steadfast, unchanging, with a love that is unconditional can’t be explained.

As I sat in my office, I realized I had a choice. Will I let the mystery of God bolster my doubt or guide my wonder? This brings to mind some women who I’m quite sure had plenty of questions yet didn’t allow their doubt to overshadow who they knew God to be:

The Hebrew midwives outsmarted the Egyptian Pharaoh and saved the lives of the Jewish newborn boys (Exodus 1:17-21).
Jochebed circumvents Pharaoh’s order to kill all the baby boys by hiding her newborn son Moses in the bushes. (Exodus 2).
Rahab, a prostitute hides two Israelite spies and saves their lives as well as her family (Joshua 2:1-16; 6:17-25).

I began to praise God, because what I do know about Him is far more important than what I don’t know:
I know God loves me and will never leave me (John 3:16; Hebrews 13:5).
I know God is for me and not against me (Romans 8:31).
I know God’s Word is true (Psalm 33:4).

Just these few “I knows” gave me a lift! Not just a physical lift but Iifted my hands in praise! Although the question of “God what are you doing?” may not fully dissipate. The unease that use to accompany that question is no longer swaddled in disappointment and despair but clothed in a comfort of hope.

As I look out the window, I see the magnificence of the sun peering through the clouds. I don’t know how He does it…. but I know this, it wondrous, just like He is!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: God will never fit into a finite box of our understanding. But He will always fulfill our infinite need for a Savior. Ask God to give you strength to praise Him even when you don’t understand what He is doing.

Ecclesiastes 11:5--As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

Isaiah 55:8-11--For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven  and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout,  giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
 
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8