The Lord Provides

“[Daniel] consistently put God first above the approval of men and even above his own safety and comfort.” -Tommy Tenney

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You know when I get into trouble? When I try to seek comfort or safety (or anything else!) over Him. When I forget it is He who is the provider of all good things and instead start to seek the things themselves.

Why do I do that?! Why does my brain so easily default back into the mindset of needing to take care of myself and worry about the future, when all that has been asked of me is that I love and follow Him and trust Him to provide what I need?

Is life hard? Yes. But I think I make it much harder than it needs to be when I take my eyes off of Him.

Lord, my eyes are on You. My hand is in Yours. Help me to follow where You lead.

I desire nothing apart from You, Lord. I even willingly trade in my pursuit for a safe life, a comfortable life, a life devoid of pain.

And since I am giving up that pursuit, there should be less fighting for my attention and distracting me from whole-heartedly and single-mindedly seeking Your face! 🙂

Thank You that I needn’t worry about anything because I am Yours. Thank You that no matter what life brings, nothing can change the fact that I am Your child. Thank You, Lord, that You love us.

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The theme for my reading tonight was about seeking God’s face rather than his blessings.

When Brittany came home from work tonight, she said she was going to make me something and disappeared into her bedroom. An hour and a half later, I found myself standing outside her door saying, “Thank you for whatever you’re making in there for me, but I really just want you! I want to see you!”

Then I was reminded of my reading. And it made me laugh. 🙂

Also, two hours after she went into her room, she came out holding for me one of those rubber band bracelets. “It looks really sh***y,” she said, holding it out for me to see. But I love it. She used my favorite colors and spent two hours of her evening making that for me. So, maybe she never pays rent on time and gets mad when I ask her to turn off the porch light, 😉 , that bracelet, to me, represents love. And love wins. Ain’t nothing more important! 🙂

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Eyes to See

1 Corinthians 15:26 says: “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”

In my devotional for today, the author commented that “our last enemy will be His final victory.”

And that made me smile. Because God is always fighting on our behalf. And also, what a great reminder that we are not expected to be strong enough to fight our own battles! We are just supposed to trust.

And then I started thinking, how many of God’s victories don’t look like victories to us? We who have such limited vision, but such confidence in our ability to perceive whether or not God has let us down?

He doesn’t let us down. Not ever.

Lord, give us eyes to see.

And even when we cannot see or understand and life (or death) is looming large and daunting before us, help us to know we have nothing to fear. You are in control. And everything–everything–is going to be okay. Better than okay even. Infinitely better than okay.

And let that truth lead us to worship You. You are so, so good.

Thank You that You love us.

Thank You that we have absolutely nothing to fear.

And help our faith in the promise of Your Word enable us to live boldly.

Help us to look past what we may be tempted to see as the inevitable constraints of life. Help us to remember that we have no enemies.

Because we are Yours.

And this life, while beautiful, is fleeting. And that isn’t something to fear. Because we know what awaits us.

“Rules” for Living

How often do you think what we label as “just part of life” actually stifles God’s ability to move in our lives?

How often do you think our understanding of what is socially acceptable and expected of us impedes what God would want to do in that moment?

How often do you think we tell God, “Shhh, not now,” because what He is saying makes us uncomfortable?

How often do you think our fear of people becomes more real to us than our faith in the Creator of all things, including those people we fear and that which we call reality?

And yes, I know God would never ask something of us that goes against His word. But how often do I feel God pulling me in some direction, and I respond to Him by saying, “I don’t think You understand how busy I am/what people would think/how tired I am/how ill-equipped I am…”

There just has to be more than this. More of Him ready to be released on earth. I love my job and know I can go to work each day as a “missionary” of sorts, but there has to be more.

If Jesus showed up at the foot of my bed right now, how would that change me? I mean, apart from the instant heart attack and certain death ;-), how would I live differently? And if I know I would live differently after a face-to-face encounter with my Lord, how can I be content to carry on the way I am now? Status quo?

Lord, I will seek Your face and follow where You lead. And I will wait. Because even my best intentions are inappropriate if you haven’t asked that of me or if I act prematurely. And so, I will wait on You. And not wait impatiently, but wait with excitement for what’s to come as well as love for the gift of today.

Lord, trust in You. You are capable.

All Is Well

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Last week was sunny,

last night I got to cuddle an infant,

today has been lovely,

I still have two more days of weekend ahead of me,

and God is good. So, so good.

All is well.

🙂

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I spent today with Brittany.

After I woke up.

At 2:30 p.m.

But in my defense, I was up until 4:30 a.m. last night. I’m not sure how I wasn’t tired. Pretty sure it was supernatural. 😉 Or possibly it had something to do with the energy drink and copious quantities of candy I ate last night.

So, yes. I woke up this morning (read: afternoon), took some Peptol Bismol, and Brittany and I headed to one of my favorite places to buy books: The Goodwill.

Mom used to say, “Tamara, you have to give a book a chance. If by the fourth chapter you’re still not interested in it, then you don’t have to finish it.”

I know what Mom was trying to do, and I’m sure she thought she was giving me sound advice, but she was wrong. I can tell within the first few pages whether or not it’s a book I’m going to be able to get on board with. And so that’s what I spent a couple hours doing this afternoon, while Brittany looked at the baby clothes section. Inspired, undoubtedly, by the aforementioned newborn. ; )

We also hit up Metropolitan Market for some grapes and mushrooms. Because we have been craving both lately.

I bought four packages of mushrooms.

When the cashier was checking me out, she said, “You must be making a recipe that requires a lot of mushrooms!”

To which I responded, “…No. I just really like mushrooms.”

And then she tried to backpedal and talk about how, “…Oh. Oh! Oh, uh, well, they’re really good for you!”

It made me giggle inwardly.

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I have been reading The God Catchers lately, and I love it.

A couple nights ago, I came across this passage: “If you insist on retaining the rulership over your life, God will just evacuate and wait until something dies and dependency is re-created.”

Maybe I would’ve read that before as God being controlling or threatening in some way, but now when I read that, I find so much comfort in it.

I don’t want God to allow anything (even my own hopes, dreams, and plans for my life) to become lord over my life. I don’t want to do a single second of life without God’s hand in mine. Life apart from Him is not worth it. And life with Him? It’s beautiful. It’s magical and full of potential and anything but mundane. Every day is alive with possibility when I’m following where He leads. And no moment, not a single second, is lonely or scary when my heart belongs to Him. No matter what life brings, I know I will be okay because nothing will change the fact that I am His. And nothing matters as much as that.

I posted that quote on Instagram, and I wrote this caption for it: “And it’s because He loves us. Even when it hurts, Lord, I welcome anything that will draw me closer to You. Thank You, Jesus, that You pursue us. Unfailingly. Thank You that You are good and holy and that all You do is motivated by love. Thank You that we can trust You even when things don’t make sense. Help us to remember You are worthy of praise- always.”

I don’t know what God is doing in my life right now, but it is bigger than me and more than I could take credit for and it is amazing and beautiful. And I’m happy. Not every moment of every day is easy or good, but I am happy. I am so happy. Because God is helping me to trust and love Him more. And with a head and heart consumed with love for my Lord and with ultimate trust in His plan for my life, nothing can touch me.

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I was reading in the Bible the other night that God promises that not a single hair on our heads will be harmed (Luke 21:18).

But at the same time, people who love God suffer and die every day.

And so I have to ask myself, what truth am I going to give more power to:

What I see before me? The truth that Christians still suffer?
Or the truth that God promises to protect us and provide for us?The truth that He spoke and found significant enough to put in the Bible?

Which truth is going to be bigger in my life? And what it comes down to is this: Does God lie?

No, He doesn’t.

And so, regardless of what I perceive, I trust and know that He keeps His promises. Which must mean that there’s more to this life than we realize or understand right now.

Our suffering, while legitimate, does not look the same through heaven’s eyes. And I find so much comfort in that.

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