Tag Archives: Trusting God

OUR UTTER DEPENDENCE ON GOD

Lord, We Need You

A couple of days ago while I was praying in the quiet of the morning, I pondered the needs of my loved ones and the problems in the world at large. As I was lifting up my petitions to the Lord in prayer, my mind shifted to the lack of rain in our area. I remembered the dried-up field of crops I saw the day before while driving through North Georgia. It had been weeks since it rained at my house.

My unenthusiastic prayers for rain in the previous days had gone unanswered, but fervor rose up in my spirit and I began to beg the Lord for abundant rain.

Lord, we need rain so badly. Please, please let it rain today.

Something had shifted in my mind while I was praying. I truly believed it would rain that day. About thirty minutes later—while I was lying still and praying—a big boom of thunder seemed to come out of nowhere. I jumped up to look out the window and saw that it was pouring rain.

I was in awe and rejoicing in my soul over what had happened. To the skeptic, it would appear to be a coincidence, but to a person of faith it was an answered prayer.

I have experienced countless answered prayers, but this was a phenomenon I don’t ever remember experiencing. God was encouraging me in an extraordinary way by bringing rain in the midst of my prayer time.

I was reminded of what Christ said about prayer and faith (Matthew 21:21-22).

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

In those moments, I thought about the fact that we need God for the very breath we breathe and for the food that sustains us. If we have no rain, things begin to die and there is no life.

In our human strength, it’s easy to believe we can sail through life without true dependence on our Creator. The moment we realize we are utterly dependent on God, we begin to pray big prayers and see His power working in our lives in the most amazing ways.

Father,

Thank You for caring about every single detail in our lives. Thank You for sending rain when we need it. Thank You for hearing our prayers and answering them in miraculous ways. Teach us to depend on You more every day. Let us trust You with every ounce of our being. Let us walk in faith every moment of every day. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.”

Leviticus 26:4

 “You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land.”

 Psalm 68:9   

Photo Credit: My husband captured the picture of my hydrangea flowers shortly after the beautiful rain came on Tuesday morning.

 

THE SECRET PLACE OF GOD’S LOVE

Psalm 91

On a summer day in 2008 when I was working at a nearby country club as a server, I was taken by surprise when fear tried to grip my heart. A new man had been hired and I could see darkness all around him and tremendous hurt in his eyes. My discomfort grew when he began spilling out words that sounded more like lines from a scary movie than words a person would speak to their co-worker. I had an eerie feeling in my gut whenever I was near him.

After several days of working with the new employee, I was feeling a tremendous burden as I faced my fears. I was seeking God for answers, seeking to know whether the vibe I was discerning was truly accurate. While praying with my family about the situation, I paused to allow the tears to flow as my spirit felt compassion for this man who desperately needed Jesus.

For as far back as I can remember I battled with fear of bad guys. I thought there was a monster living under my bed when I was a little girl. I remember being tormented, as I lay awake in my bedroom of our very old house. I would hear noises in the attic, and I would want to sleep close to my mom and dad. As I grew older and grew closer to the Lord, my fears subsided. But occasionally, invasive thoughts of bad things would come back to visit.

The unsettling words of the man at work stirred up fear and were taunting me enough that I knew I had to pray fervently. I prayed over and over for this co-worker to be drawn to Christ’s heart. Praying for the man wasn’t enough to sooth my spirit though. I needed to hear the voice of the Lord. I needed His comfort and His Spirit to show me I was being cared for in the midst of my feelings of uncertainty. I needed the heavy burden to lift off of me.

I asked the Lord to speak to me and encourage my heart. I went to the altar for prayer during our worship service. My spirit was longing to know I had nothing to fear and to know I would be safely shielded in the shadow of God’s wings. After my friends at church prayed for me, I felt better, but I was still battling with unrest in my spirit.

Later in the day, after I arrived home from church, I began sorting through a pile of scarves I had left on my bed earlier while scurrying to find the right one to wear that morning. Then while putting the scarves away, I noticed a camouflage-colored bandana in the pile that had some words imprinted on it resembling a poem. I had never looked closely at it or noticed the words before. It had belonged to Mimi, my grandmother. I didn’t really like the colors of the bandana, and I had no real sentimental attachment to it, but for some reason I had brought it home after she passed away the year before.

After having the bandana tucked away in my closet for over a year, I realized that the words were actually Scriptures, and I felt compelled to read the verses.  I sat down on the edge of my bed and began weeping with a powerful sense of relief as I savored the words.

 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.

For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.

 — Psalm 91 (NASB)

While wiping away my tears, my burden lifted, and my spirit settled into a warm, peaceful place. It’s hard to describe the magnitude of my relief. The verses in Psalm 91 were special to me because they had ministered to me many times before.

There is a song we used to sing at church that has the words of this Psalm for its lyrics. The song and verses have always melted my heart—speaking directly to the unsettled places inside me.

As I read each word of the Scriptures on the bandana, it was as though Christ was sitting there holding me tightly saying, “See, Amy, I will take care of you; I am showing you that I will.” Discovering some of my favorite Scriptures written on a scarf was a sweet personal touch from Jesusstraight from His heart to mine.

While holding the bandana my memory was jolted and I thought of a time in my childhood when I was shopping in a department store with Mimi, and I had gotten separated from her. I was probably about five years old. I can still envision myself standing there with a saleswoman feeling panicked and frightened. Thoughts were racing through my head. Would I be okay? Would I find my grandmother?

Can you imagine the magnitude of my relief when I saw my grandmother’s face after being separated from her? The emotions were overwhelming as I ran to her and embraced her. I felt the same emotions on the day when I stumbled upon the words of Psalm 91 on Mimi’s bandana. I felt warmly held in my Father’s embrace, with an overwhelming sense of love and protection.

Even though it’s been nearly six years since Christ used a scarf to melt away my discomfort and fear, I am still resting in the words of Psalm 91, and I pray those Scriptures over myself and my family each day. Every time God comes to my rescue, my heart falls deeper in love with Him.

The Lord amazes me with His ability to encourage His beloved children. He reveals His love in so many unique ways. Knowing Christ intimately brings us lasting joy and contentment that cannot be snatched away by the circumstances surrounding us.

Jesus is the One who satisfies the soul. He calms us in a chaotic world. He shows us that there is solace and serenity waiting for us. When we run to Him in despair, we find peace. When we run to our Father’s arms—the sacred dwelling place—we are hidden in the beautiful, secret place of His love.

This piece was originally written in 2008.

WAITING WITH EXPECTATION IN 2014

Wait with Expectation

The telephone rang and I rushed to answer it. I’d been waiting to hear some news from my husband, Michael. He had recently interviewed for a higher position within the company he works for.

When I picked up the phone, Michael’s words were sweetness to my soul. He exclaimed in a boyish way, “I got the promotion, Babe!”

I squealed loudly in a high-pitched tone for what seemed like a minute or two. I sounded like the moms of American Idol contestants when they’ve heard that their children made it to the finals. It was long-awaited news that made my heart leap.

Four years earlier, Michael sensed the Lord guiding him to return to college with the goal of earning a degree that could be used to combine his previous computer skills with the medical diagnostics field. After being laid off from four different jobs and facing the disappointment of several business failures, he was elated to finally be reaping the harvest of the good things he had sown.

Michael had been in the Information Technology field for over two decades. But due to the IT field being over-saturated with new graduates and his lack of updated certifications, he hadn’t been able to get rehired in that field for many years. During the interim, we barely scraped by while I worked low-paying, part-time jobs to be a home-schooling mom and Michael earned a living by delivering pizza, working as a package courier, and so on until God opened the door to his dreams.

I’ll never forget the day in February of 2012 when Michael’s long-time dream to use his IT skills in the medical field came true. There isn’t a way to fully express what this job promotion meant to our family. After time and time again of thinking we had come to the right door of opportunity only to find out that it wasn’t yet our time, we took a sigh of relief when we realized our doorway to revel in joy had arrived. We had waited for decades to see God fulfill this desire and dream. This fulfilled desire pushed us closer to many other dreams we had.

Waiting makes it so much sweeter than it does to get our desires met instantaneously. I would relive every difficult trial one-thousand times over to experience the joy I found in Christ during all those years of waiting on Him to show us His perfect plan for our lives.

I remember when I was a little girl; there were movies that I had to wait a whole year to watch. We didn’t have DVDs or videos back then. So every year, I was excited beyond measure to watch Sound of Music or to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Christmas time. It didn’t matter that I had to wait a very long time to see the shows and movies. The waiting made it blissful when the time arrived for me to see them again.

Waiting can be hard. We can begin doubting that good things are coming. But as followers of Christ, we are promised that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).

There is an old phrase I remember hearing, “Good things come to those who wait.” I love that saying, but I would add a few words to it…Good things come to those who are surrendered to Christ and waiting in faith.

Are you waiting for something that you know in your spirit is coming? Are you getting weary in the waiting?

As stated in Mark 9:23, Jesus, said, “Everything is possible for the one who believes.” We can rest in His words and know that as we are waiting and believing, His good plans will unfold.

It’s worth the wait for sure. It’s worth it because when you finally receive your blessing, you will have so much joy that you will feel as though you may burst with glee.

Hang on and trust Jesus in 2014. As you live fully surrendered to Christ and live according to His will, your time of blessing will come.

“And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” Hebrews 6:15 (NIV)

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This post has been revised from a piece I wrote previously.

REJOICING IN SMALL BEGINNINGS

We were ecstatic when my husband Michael was hired by a small German company after a two and half year season of him being without full-time work. But as we began to ponder the details, we realized that it wasn’t exactly what we had planned for. After all, my husband had returned to college and worked tirelessly earning a Biomedical Engineering degree. We had expected to have a better salary, better benefits, and most definitely hadn’t planned on Michael having to live in Germany for three months of training.

Without medical coverage for me and the kids, Michael worried that he may have been making a mistake by accepting this job. I wondered, “How in the world will I handle everything with my husband in another country?” After some time of wrestling with God, we surrendered to what we believed was his divine plan for our family, but not without reservations. It was hard to let go of our concerns without all of the dots connecting.

Still, we moved forward with faith. As I trusted God, I could hear His encouraging voice in my spirit. He reminded me of a scripture in Zechariah. “Do not despise small beginnings…”

Looking back, I am beyond grateful that I chose to trust God during that season of small beginnings. If we had not, our family would have missed, perhaps, the greatest blessing of our lives. Within months of Michael accepting the job with the German company, it was bought out by one of the largest corporations in the world. We were blown away by the medical benefits, the increased salary, the opportunity for promotion and growth. Who would have dreamed that our obedience in following Christ in the small things could lead to such grand, new things?

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Small.” Today, I wrote for about twelve minutes, trying to find a good stopping point.

 

Five Minute Friday