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Loss Is Faith In Action

Loss Is Faith In Action

God will supply every need.
~Philippians 4:19

A fierce wind and a pounding rain swept down from the mountains, stripping the last autumn leaves from the trees. The meadow was carpeted in a patchwork of reds and yellows. I put another log on the fire and cozied up on my chaise lounge to wait out the storm. “They look so forlorn,” I whispered to God, pointing to the trees. “They’ve lost all of their leaves.”

“Appearances can be deceiving,” He gently replied. “They aren’t forlorn at all.”

“They aren’t?” I asked.

“No. To them, loss is faith in action, for they trust that come the spring they will have new growth,” God explained. “You can allow your losses to become your faith in action, too.”

“How?”

“Know that everything that has been taken away will be replaced with something else, something new,” God said. “Be patient, like the trees.”

“So, I don’t have anything to fear because loss is just a transition to something new or different,” I said.

God patted my shoulder and smiled. “That’s right.”

I looked at the trees once again and this time I saw their magnificent truth, that even in their naked vulnerability, the promise of their coming new glory was ever present.

And so it is with all of us. In our losses resides the promise of things yet to come. Good things. Things that glorify the living God who loves us.

 

 

 

 

The Volunteer

The Volunteer

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”
~1 Peter:2:21

Gray blankets the day. The rain is steady. I sit and look out on my garden and ponder what I will do on this wet day. My thoughts turn to the future. What will I do to continue my work of sharing God’s love? I have more questions than I do answers. But deep inside I know that whatever I do, I want to follow Jesus’ wounded feet. I want to volunteer to serve Him.

As the rain tumbles from the sodden clouds, I hear myself say the words that the prophet Isaiah said: “Send me.” I don’t know where I will be going, but I know it will be the journey of a lifetime. Won’t you come along? Volunteer. Follow the wounded feet of Jesus. See where they take you.

 

Do This One Thing To Boost Your Confidence.

Do This One Thing To Boost Your Confidence.

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
~Hebrews 10:35

It’s dark now; night has fallen. I’m sitting in front of a cozy fire in my garden, giving thanks for another fine day. My thoughts turn to the work week ahead, and an uneasy feeling snakes its way up my spine. Even though the fire wraps its warmth around me, I shiver, just a little. “I’ve got a lot on my plate this week, God,” I prayed.

“I know,” God answered me.

“I’m a bit unsettled about the changes that are coming. I feel rather disoriented and not very confident,” I shared.

“That’s the problem,” God said.

“What’s the problem? That I feel disoriented?”

“It’s your focus that is the problem,” God answered.

“My focus?”

“Yes. Your focus. If you want to have more confidence, especially as you navigate through changes, focus on results, instead of your feelings. Your feelings may lie to you, or even stop you from doing what needs to be done,” He explained.

“Hmmmmm. Sounds kinda like pop-psychology,” I said.

God chuckled. “Whatever you want to call it, it works.”

“So, I focus on the results I want instead of my feelings?

“Not just the results you want, but the results of your work so far, too.”

“I’ve got to say I’m a bit surprised. Usually, you give me advice on spiritual matters, like how to love, or how to forgive,” I said.

“Your success is a spiritual matter of sorts,” God replied. “It is a part of the whole of your life. It’s important.”

“Thank you,” I said, “It’s good to know that you are looking out for me in all things.

God chuckled again. “If you only knew how much I’m looking out for you!”

I smiled and poked the fire. It was beginning to die down. “Focus on results, not feelings,” I said out loud to myself. The flames sprung to life again and I sat back, basking in the peace of knowing God’s watching out for all of my life, including my work. He’s watching out for all of your life, too.

 

A Simple Sunset

A Simple Sunset

 

The sun slips slowly beneath the curve of the earth. I sit in my room and watch the last rays of light splash gold and red over the trees by the garden. This is the time of day I love the most—the moments that reside between the day and night. This is when I feel the most grateful; humbly appreciative of God’s goodness.

The feral kittens I feed have pushed open the screen door, eager for their dinner. I hear them eating in the kitchen. I’ll not get up until they are finished, as I know they’d run if I walked towards them. So I sit in this stillness, watching the last bit of light fade away.

“Thank you, God, for another day,” I say softly.

“You’re welcome,” He answers and comes and sits down next to me so that I might rest my head on His shoulder. We sit there for a long time—until the kittens are done with their dinner, and it is time for me to cook my own. I rise and leave the room, knowing that He will rise and go with me—we never tire of each others company.

Regrets Are Lessons

Regrets Are Lessons

God works all things together for the good.
~Romans 8:28

I bowed my head in prayer. “Dear God, I’ve got some regrets,” I confessed. “I’ve made some bad decisions in the past.”

“When you made the decisions, did you feel that they were the best at the time?” He asked.

“Yes. Of course,” I answered.

“Did you learn anything from the decisions?” He questioned.

“Yes,” I replied.

“What was the biggest lesson you learned from?” God asked.

I pondered the question for a few moments. “To trust you instead of relying on my ego,” I answered honestly.

“Then the decisions that you regret ultimately worked out to the good because you’ve learned to trust more,” God exclaimed.

“I hadn’t thought of it that way,” I said. “Thank you for pointing that out.”

“Anytime,” God replied. “Come on, let’s go for a walk,” He suggested. I tugged on my hiking boots and the two us walked out of the cottage together. My steps haven’t felt that light in a long time.

What’s Next?

What’s Next?

All things work to good…
~Romans 8:28

“Rest for a while,” the afternoon urged me with its warmth. So I put down my work and poured myself a glass of lemonade and curled up in the big chair on the porch. The birds perched high in the heritage oak sang to me. My thoughts soon turned to the problems now facing me in this chapter of life.

“What do I do God?” I asked.

“You trust, just as you have always done,”  He answered.

“It’s hard to trust when I can’t see the road ahead.”

“I understand,” God said gently.

“I never know what’s going to happen next,” I sighed.

“Not knowing is what it means to be alive,” God said. “Walk into the uncertainty as if it is a meadow, teeming with life, with possibility. Live in it. Embrace it. Let it expand you instead of shrink you.”

“How do I do that?”

“Take my hand, I’ll show you,” God said, and gently lifted me out of the chair and into what’s next.

 

 

 

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