He Cares For Your Soul

I love how God brings reminders of truth to us just when we need it. God brought Psalm 142:4 across my path today which says, “Look to the right and see ; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul.”  and I had to go look it up.

Who was speaking? Why was he feeling that no one cares for his soul? What did he do? What did God do? These are the questions that ran through my mind.

ps 142Psalm 146 is a prayer that was prayed by David when he was in a cave trying to hide from Saul. David was being pursued by Saul whose intentions were to harm him. I can only imagine how alone he may have felt.

Saul was once a friend who now sought to kill him. It’s one thing to be hated by an enemy who is a stranger, but to have a friend turn on him must have been hard.

Psalm 142 says, “I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD; I make supplication with my voice to the LORD.  I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me.  Look to the right and see ; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul.  I cried out to You, O LORD; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. “Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me.  “Bring my soul out of prison, So that I may give thanks to Your name; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me.”   

I can feel the emotions of David as he cries out to God. I have been in places where I felt overwhelmed, trapped, and felt the there was no one who cares for my soul. But I am encouraged by David’s reminder that in those times we can take comfort in knowing God sees us, God is our refuge, He hears us and will deliver us.

So may we cry out with David to God in those times that we are troubled in mind, body, or soul and pray this prayer and be comforted by a God who will care for our soul.

He Will Never Leave

Walking on the Sidewalk --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

I don’t know about you but I am often forgetful. In the midst of living this life I forget that God is bigger, stronger, and keeps His promises. He is not like those of the world He does not leave us, forget us, disappoint us, and hurt us. Sure those of this world who love us and care about us do not mean to do those things either and yet we all do fail one another. So what shall we do in order to not become discouraged?

My dear sisters if you find yourself in a place today of forgetfulness remember that you are not alone! He walks with you.

I pray these reminders of truth will encourage you. Regardless of what life may bring, whether joy or sorrows, He walks with you.

Gen 28:15
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Joshua 1:5
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Romans 8:35 -39
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Heb 13:5b
… “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU.”

Motherhood, in Life and Ministry

motherhoodlifeministryThere were days when my boys were young that I was just tired and wanted to run away. I didn’t want to even hear the word “mommy”. I didn’t want to be a mother. In fact, I was one of those girls who grew up saying I’d never have children. I often wondered what God was thinking when He allowed me to be a mother. I would grow weary of doing for my children without appreciation or notice.

Then God, in His faithfulness and gentle ways would cause my heart to look upon those precious faces and my heart would remember truth. The truth that His did call me to be a mother. He placed these precious, loud, curious, rough and tumble boys into my arms with a heavenly purpose in mind. Yes God desires us mothers to raise them for Him, to teach them the word and show them the love of the Father but children also teach us.

They teach us to be a mother. They show us the Father and help us to understand His love, patience, mercy and grace. So often we, as mothers, get so caught up in trying to do and be what we think a good mother would do and be that we forget the lessons that God is trying to teach us through our raising children.

In those moments that I wanted to run, give up and give in I learned to run to God. I learned that it was in His strength I could go another day. It was because of Him and what He was doing in my heart that I would learn to keep on fighting for my children. After all if I wasn’t teaching them, loving them, holding them, praying with and for them who would? No one. I was the one God called. I would be the one who would lead them.

Over seven years ago when I led me into women’s ministry I found these same emotions arising. I would become weary of being a spiritual mother. I would become frustrated in the fighting for “children” who seemed to not care. Day after day I would fight battles within and outside that threatened to rendered me useless. My enemies, were my flesh, Satan, the world and the very ones I was trying to minister to. The lies, betrayals, gossip and criticism at times brought great bouts of  discouragement. I wanted to quit, run away and give up.

But God has called me, and so, just like when I felt this way raising my boys, I learned to once again run to Him. God, once again being faithful, reminded me that it’s not about me, or how I am feeling. It’s about them, what’s best for them, what they need. It’s about  who they need me to be – who God expects me to be. I was reminded that I have a God who empowers me to do that which He has called me to do. He called me to be a mother. This my dear friends is a blessing – a high calling. And I had learned that God will enable me to rise above my flesh and do what He has called me to do.

So today God continues to call me into “Mothering”. As I look back I can see how all the lessons beforehand led up to this role as a” mother”. The women God brings to me today are broken, many know nothing of God let alone what it means to be loved by a mother. God is calling me to mother His lost children. Children who do not know Him or know very little about Him. These women, these young girls need to see and experience what being a mother really is about. They need to hear the truth, not only about being a mother but about their heavenly Father. They need to know they are heard, seen and understood. They need mothers who have not only “been there” but who are real and honest about the struggles, and heartache of mothering.

This journey has only begun and I stand with great anticipation to see all that God will do. I am thrilled to serve God in this way. I am humbled that He has chosen me to help Him save these girls and their unborn babies. Working in a pregnancy center will bring new, hard challenges I know and I fully realize that there will be day that I will not  “feel” like fighting for them. I will grow weary and feel  like giving up.

And yet, I have learned who to run to and I will rise in confidence of who Christ says I am and believe the truth of what I KNOW – not what I feel or the lies that the enemy would have me believe – I will stand on the truth of who Christ is and the truth of what His word says.

I will think like a mother, sacrifice like a mother, love like a mother. I will fight like a mother! I will fight with God to help save a generation that does not know Him.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com by greyerbaby

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time know that I begin each new year with a verse and a word or theme for the year. My verse came to me in looking-back-moving_thumb.jpgNovember. In so many ways I was blown away by it. It fit. It was right. It was time. But first, last year God worked in my heart to destroy some idols that had deep roots. God showed me that “Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord ’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence” (Ps 24:6)

It was a hard year looking into the heart and seeing those things and people who had become more important that my relationship with God. But mostly I saw that my biggest idol was self and the need to control. So for the largest part of the year God had me study who He is. I mean what better way to destroy the idol of self then to see who God truly is. When we come face to face with the Holiness of His character we have no choice but to bow in humility and surrender all that we are.

So in November when God brought me to Is 61:7 my heart was deeply moved. Isaiah says “Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.

You see, my life verse is “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted ; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted , To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners ; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn…” (Is 61:1-2) So this verse spoke loudly. Not only because I had spent a year looking into the character of God and seeing my utter sinfulness and my enemy often tried to have a field day with pouring shame and humiliation upon my head but God had also used the study of His character to apply deeper balms of healing to my soul.

When God binds up the brokenhearted, frees the prisoner and brings good news to the afflicted we should shout for joy! Somehow I have lost the importance of joy, His joy. God has healed me of my sin, of my abuse, of my afflictions and so much more so instead of shame and humiliation there should be joy.

This is my journey for 2014, to find joy in all life’s circumstances. I was so moved by the fact that Everlasting Joy can be mine that I began a new blog titled Everlasting Joy. I believe this is the beginning of a new season. A season of finding joy in Christ alone. A season of finding joy in all of life’s circumstance because my joy is found in Him alone.

Thank you for joining me. I look forward to this walk with you. Eventually I will move Quiet Reflections over to Everlasting Joy, I think. For I am not sure I can keep up two blogs!

You will make known to me the path of life ; In Your presence is fullness of joy ; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Ps 16:11

 

Photo courtesy of  Stoonn at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

A Desert Journey

Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth ; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert…Isaiah 43:19

It seems that it is God’s good pleasure to continue to allow me to journey through a season of wilderness. A season of wandering in the desert. Of isolation. It’s been three years since I began this journey.

a desert journeyIt’s not my first journey here, but it does seem to be my longest yet. Desert wanderings are always hard. Just like a physical desert our lives feel barren and hostile. It can be a desolate place, exposed and unprotected. We often are left feeling isolated from kindred sisters, friends and acquaintances.

It’s interesting to me that when we journey through the wilderness each must journey alone. Yes, there are others here, but each have their own road to walk. And while we can share, support and encourage others in their wanderings we each must focus on our own lessons that God has for us here.

I have learned that there are 4  things to remember while traveling through the wilderness.

  • Do not compare: We can not compare our walk with others. No two will ever be the same. Comparing our wilderness journey only brings discontentment, discouragement and bitterness.
  • Do not rush: We must also be careful that we do not try to rush through the journey. The time we spend here is never wasted. God has a reason for our time here and we must remember that sometimes the journey could take days and other times it may be years. Rest in the knowledge that God’s timing is always perfect.
  • Stay nourished: When traveling through the wilderness or desert we need to remember to stay hydrated. The plants that survive  in the desert grow very deep taproots in order to soak up as much water as possible. In fact many will grow to be more than 100 feet and have a huge networks of toots that spread out in all directions. The believer stays nourished in the desert by growing strong roots in the word of God.
  • Look for joy: There is much beauty to be seen and tasted in the wilderness. It may be a bit harder to see, but if you look for the blessings you will see them. You will experience the joy that can come from your desert journey. Joy comes when we remember that God knows  about and sees our journey. He is with you through every step and He will meet your needs.

We all will experience a season of walking in the wilderness and feeling isolated. Let us remember that it isn’t always a bad thing. It’s not always due to sin. Often it’s in the wilderness that we learn and grow to rely even more on our God. It’s here that we learn that He truly is sufficient for every part of our lives. So if you find yourself in a dry, isolated desert then seek God with an even greater thirst. Stay in the word and keep your eyes on Jesus.

If you are not in a desert place then prepare for the time that you will by growing your roots deep into the word of God.

 

He changes rivers into a wilderness And springs of water into a thirsty ground ;  fruitful land into a salt waste, Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.  He changes a wilderness into a pool of water And a dry land into springs of water ; And there He makes the hungry to dwell, So that they may establish an inhabited city, And sow fields and plant vineyards, And gather a fruitful harvest. Also He blesses them and they multiply greatly, And He does not let their cattle decrease. Psalms 107:33-38

 

  “For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done ; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”‘Deut 2:7

A Christmas Longing

Christmas has been hard this year for me. Deep inside there is an ache, a longing. I remember childhood Christmas’s past filled with lots of family, laughter and love. While we didn’t really have any particular family traditions my mother always tried to make the day about family no matter what was going on or how hard 2013-12-10 09.36.20the season of life was. It’s been 27 years since my mom, sister and brother have been together for Christmas and over 10 years since I’ve spent Christmas together with my mom and sister. I miss them all.

So while my heart may be sad it is also filled with so much joy of the season.

I am blessed that I can spend time with my boys and their family. I can love on my grandchildren and make precious memories with them. I am filled with a heart of joy for my husbands family whom I love deeply. Who still gather at Christmas time to share, laugh and love. They may be my ‘married into family” but in so many ways they are so much more than that. God blessed me far beyond anything I could dream for when he gave me my husband and a family who cherishes one another and has a deep faith in God our Father.

Most of all I reflect on the true meaning of why we celebrate the season. It’s the celebration of a precious baby boy who came to earth so that I might understand my need for God the Father.

I am grateful for a God who loved me so much that He sent His only Son in the form of a baby to earth so that I might know Him. Jesus came to earth in the form of flesh so that we might know His Father in heaven. Jesus came so that we might understand the love of the Father. He came so that we would see out need of a relationship with our Creator God. He came so that He could pay the cost of my sin. He came so that my sins would be forgiven.

So yes, there is a longing in my heart this Christmas for family, for the ideal Christmas celebrations, for traditions but I am reminded of an even greater longing inside the heart of every man, woman, and child. The longing for purpose, for love, for the God who created them.

I am reminded that there are many who will spend this season alone. There will be many who will find the emptiness to be too much and try to end the pain anyway they can. There will be many who will be hungry, cold and without the warmth of any type of celebration.

All this remembering and thinking makes me wonder if I’ve missed the meaning of Christmas all together. What have I done this season to reach out? How have I helped relieve the pain of aloneness? What have I done to show the love of Christ?

If I have missed the meaning of why Christ came and what my response should be what will I do about it now? What will I do tomorrow? Next week? Next year? It’s never too late to share the story of Christmas. It’s never too late to reach out and tell others about the baby that came to save the world.

It’s never too late to show the love of God who came to die for my sins and yours.

Merry Christmas my friends. May we share the joy of Christ’s birth all year long!

 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid ; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people ; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 1″This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:10-14

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you,unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 1 Cor 15:1-5

Yet, You are Holy

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. Yet You are holy… Psalms 22:1-3

holy

Life is hard. Death is all around us. Nations falling. Power and Greed rule the land.

Yet, You are Holy!

Marriages fail. Children abandoned, broken and murdered. Homelessness. Starvation.

Yet, You are Holy!

Dying Churches. Watered down gospel. False teachers preaching.

Yet, You are Holy!

Sickness. Suffering. Pain. Tears fall. Hearts broken. Sorrow overwhelms.

Yet, You are Holy!

“…O, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.” Psalms 22:3-5

We can find true joy when we realize that no matter what we face in this life the character of God remains constant. He is and will always be Holy, Trustworthy and will never disappoint.

Father may we cry out to you in trust. May You alone be trusted for our deliverance. You alone are Holy and will never disappoint. May we be reminded that no matter where we are today, no matter what the journey entails, that You are Holy.