Pre-cleaning Not Required

 

Ah….the dentist.  The guy so many of us love to hate.  I actually don’t mind going to the dentist for teeth cleaning appointments. Our family actually had our bi-annual cleaning appointment recently. Before we left the house, I brushed and flossed my teeth like I always do.  When my husband saw me brushing, he looked at me with a very puzzled expression.  He asked me why I was cleaning my teeth. He continued to say, “Isn’t that the reason we are going to the dentist?” I laughed.  He was right!  Why was I cleaning my teeth right before I was going to get my teeth cleaned?! I never really thought about it before, but when I did, it seemed totally ridiculous. I guess my reason was that I was somewhat ashamed for my dentist to see me with dirty teeth. Since his specialty is teeth I always want him to see mine in their best condition – cleaned, flossed and freshly rinsed with mouth wash. I feel a little embarrassed admitting this to everyone, but it’s the truth. 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is similar to what many of us do when it comes to God.

Have you ever met someone who says that they aren’t clean enough or good enough to come to Christ?  I have. I have witnessed to and invited several people to church that have told me they are not ready. Many people say that they have ‘work to do on themselves’, or that they have to ‘get things in order’ before they can approach God or have a relationship with Him. Some people have even told me that they won’t even enter a church building until their ‘lives are right’ out of fear that something bad would happen. I get the sense that most people feel this need to clean themselves up before having a relationship with God. I’m not sure where this idea comes from, but it is not true. In fact, it is quite the opposite – we go to God to get clean! 

Many people don’t realize or they forget that God created us and knows us better than we know ourselves.  He sees everything that we do, think and feel whether we acknowledge Him or not. Avoiding Him doesn’t help us at all. God knows just how imperfect we are and loves us still – unconditionally. He knows our hearts and our deepest thoughts. He knows our flaws, failures and insecurities better than we know them. He desires to have a relationship with us anyway. More than that, He wants us to trust Him.  He does not expect us to clean ourselves up before we come to Him.  He doesn’t want us to fix ourselves before getting to know Him. In fact, we are actually powerless to do so. God, is the only One who can change us completely.  We can try (kind of like me trying to clean my teeth ahead of time), but our ways do not work.  Sure we may be able to make ourselves look pretty on the outside, but God sees past the outer appearance to the deep places of our soul.  We may even be able to change certain behaviors with a little discipline, but that doesn’t deal with the root of the problem – sin.

When I brush my teeth, I am able to get some of the dirt off and my teeth may look a little nicer, however, there are things that I am unable to see, such as plaque, tartar, cavities or worse! It takes a specialist to thoroughly clean my teeth and repair these things by using his special tools and wisdom. In the same way, God is the only One who is qualified to remove our sin, clean us up and deal properly with the deep issues of our heart.  He is THE EXPERT!

Even when I do my very best to clean my teeth before my dental appointments, my dentist always seems to notice something – usually something that I am trying to hide.  At every visit, it never fails, he’ll ask about my coffee consumption. Ugh!  I sit there hoping that I’ve done good enough job cleaning so he doesn’t notice, but he does, because that’s his job.  Do I need to feel ashamed and hide this from my dentist?  No. Seems a little silly doesn’t it? 

It is the same way with God. He sees everything that we would like to hide from him.  He wants us to come to Him, so He can help us. We do not need to attempt to clean ourselves up before having a relationship with Him.  The whole purpose of Christ’s visit to Earth was to do the work that we couldn’t do ourselves.  Once we accept that – God does the rest! 

I know that God can be intimidating.  After all, He is holy.  Do you know what else?  He is love.  He loves us so much and invites us to simply come.  Come to Him as you are.  Come with all of your stains. Come with all of your imperfections, your mistakes, your shortcomings and your baggage.  He wants to do an amazing work in us if we’ll let Him.  He just wants YOU! 

For those who feel unworthy, ashamed or just too messed up to come to God – come anyway!  Stop trying to fix yourselves on your own, and give it all over to the One who cares for you and longs to make you a new creation. Come to God and be healed. Be changed. Be clean.  Be free! The first step is to accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Allow Him into your heart and spirit.  I promise that He will do such an awesome work in you – something beyond what you can imagine. 

Maybe you already know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but have not allowed Him to reign in a certain area of your life. Maybe there is something in your life that you have been trying to manage, fix or clean up on your own. Stop!  Stop trying to fix [by yourself] what can only be fixed by the Expert. Give it over to the One who can truly help you. Run to His throne of grace and allow Him to do what only He can!  

So please remember that while some things in life may require some prepping, pre-cleaning or pre-treating, it is not so with God.  We can come just as we are – no matter how dirty.  

I hope that you find this little word encouraging today.  

Isaiah 1:18 ~ “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Love,

Melissa

ANX4NTN

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Every day I learn something new and disturbing about my place of employment.  I have been there for approximately eight months now and struggle with going in to work each morning.  Without getting into too much detail, it is just a very unpleasant place to be.   I truly believe that I am there to share the gospel with those around me and be a light in the darkness.  With that being said, it is not easy.  At times my frustration level soars through the roof.  I have to continually remind myself that this is a mission field, that God sent me, and my sole (or soul) purpose for being here is to lead the lost to Christ.

In many ways I feel like Jonah.  In fact, God continues to bring Jonah and his experience to my mind.  I wanted to flee from this job at very beginning, but God showed me why I had to go.  It has been an uncomfortable and challenging journey to say the least, and I just want it to be over.  The only reason I stay is out of obedience to God, but there are still many days that I want to just run away.

Last night while driving to the store and sharing my concerns about my job with my husband, a car pulled in front of us.  The license plate on the back of this car read ANX4NTN.  In case you aren’t fluent in the language of license, it said “Anxious for nothing” as in Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Ironic? No. God.

God has always spoken to me in very unique ways. This was not the first time that He has said something to me via license plate.  After getting married, my husband and I started to notice messages on license plates quite often, usually when we needed a particular answer or word of encouragement from the Lord. Strange, I know, but true.

This word of not being anxious about anything truly came at the right time.  Although, I didn’t think of myself as being anxious when sharing the details of my day with my husband, I was.  I was speaking out of frustration, desperation and emotion. I was speaking as if somehow God wasn’t in control of my situation. I was speaking about things, that while annoying, had nothing to do with the bigger picture OR my purpose for being at this place.  Yes, I am in place that I’d rather not be, but I am there on a mission. The distractions are only there to get my attention on insignificant matters and off of God and my true assignment.

Instead of whining and complaining about how bad things are, I should be praying. Instead of talking to my husband in hopes that he would agree with me, I should be taking my wants, needs and requests to the Lord.  I find it interesting that God tells us in this verse that there is NEVER a time or a circumstance that warrants us being anxious.  Never. He says BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING! Does this mean that we will never have that feeling attempt to rise up in us? No.  It means that when it does, we respond with prayer.

God also says that we are to offer thanksgiving to Him.  What?  You mean, when I am feeling anxious, I should not only pray, but begin to thank God?!  Yes.  Have you ever noticed what happens when you give thanks to God or exhibit a thankful and grateful attitude?  I have.  It changes things. It may not change the situation you’re in completely, but it changes your mind about those things.  And just for the record, I have seen it change people around me and situations for the better. With a mind of gratitude, you are able to focus on what is good, instead of what is wrong.

Next God tells us to present our requests to Him.  Most of us don’t have a problem doing this.  In fact, for many this is the only time they come to God – when they want something.  God tells us to come to Him because He is our Father, and He has our answer.  Furthermore He tells us in Matthew 6:8 that He already knows what we need, but He still requires that we come to Him.  I believe this is because coming to Him shows that we trust and rely on Him.

This verse gives us several instructions at one time – it’s a package deal.

STEP 1: DO NOT BE ANXIOUS

STEP 2: PRAY TO GOD

STEP 3: GIVE THANKS

STEP 4: MAKE REQUESTS KNOWN TO GOD

So, what’s next?

Philippians 4:7 says “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow. When we do the first part, God provides the answer – PEACE.  He promises to give us peace and after all isn’t that what we need?  We don’t necessarily need our circumstances to change; we just need to be filled with God’s peace in order to endure whatever it is we are going through.

I thank God for reminding me of this verse.  The timing, as always, was perfect.  I don’t know what you are dealing with in life, or what your specific circumstances are, but I believe this verse is one that all of us can use.  Whether you are dealing with a health scare, financial troubles, concerns for children, or maybe a new phase of life that you are unsure about, this is a great verse to apply.  We have no reason to be anxious, because we know God Almighty, Sovereign Creator of All.  Because of His great love for us, He guides us through life and provides us with the answers we need to deal with any situation.  Above all, He gives us peace – His peace.

I have no idea how long God wants me to stay at this place, but I trust Him.  I will not be anxious, and with thanksgiving, I will continue to pray and present my requests to God.  For I know that His plans for me are perfect, and that gives me peace!  (Jeremiah 29:11)

I hope you all find this verse and little note encouraging.  Be blessed.

~ Melissa

A LOVE NOTE

Christ summed up the commandments in this – love GOD and love others!  We (believers) have a tendency to get caught up in doing the “Lord’s work” and following all the “rules” that sometimes we forget to simply LOVE.  God loves us, and that love enables us to love Him, then we are able love others.  It’s that simple.

1 Corinthians 13: The Excellence of Love

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I was reminded of this chapter over the weekend while attending a bridal shower.  Each of the guests were asked to give a bit of advice to the bride-to-be. My advice was to memorize and practice 1 CORINTHIANS 13.  This chapter makes the command of loving so much easier.  For me it made love easier to understand and apply (in my opinion).  It’s so profound, yet so very simple.

At times we can get caught up in our feelings, and as we all know those constantly change.  So it is important to keep these verses at the forefront of our minds at all times. We should keep this chapter hidden in our hearts (as God instructs us to do with all of His word).  This makes loving so much easier, particularly when our feelings are telling us otherwise and it is difficult for us to do.  

This chapter does not only apply to married couples, although I will say that I began truly clinging to these verses after getting married.  It actually applies to all believers, in all circumstances and situations.

I appreciate how Paul breaks it down into three different sections for us:

SECTION 1: It doesn’t matter how many good works and/or powerful acts that you peform – if LOVE isn’t your motive, they are meaningless.  This is a great place to  ask God to examine your heart (<-speaking to myself here too people). Psalm 26:2 ~ Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart

SECTION 2: This section explains what love is and what love is not.  This is what love looks like.  For those of us who may not have been given the best example growing up, God provides us with a very (clear) picture. I love how God does that for us!  Does this section describe you?  Does your love look like this?

SECTION 3:  This section shows us that love is changeless, steadfast, durable and continual.  Love is everlasting. Love will stand the test of time and beyond.  It is something that will outlast everything else in life and never fade away.  Love supersedes all else!  If this is what God says about love, then I definitely want to keep it at the top of my priority list!  Paul also explains that we won’t fully grasp the greatness of love here on Earth, but for those of us who are in Christ, we will know love {true love} completely one day!

I hope you all are encouraged by this little love nugget today!  It is always a good reminder for me and pray that it was for you as well.  When it is difficult for you to love, please remember that it is not done in your own power, but God’s love for us and through us that enables us to love others.  1 John 4:19 ~ We love, because He first loved us.

Love,

~ Melissa

I Know Who, Do You?

How many times in life do we go through trials and tribulations and ask WHY?  Have you ever prayed for a particular person, situation or circumstance, and wanted so badly to know HOW and WHEN it would be answered?   Or have you ever wondered WHAT is going to happen next and WHERE it will take place?  I’m sure that I am not the only one to ever have these questions.  As a matter of fact, I believe that ALL humans want to know the answers to these questions at some point or another.

I think about the very first people on Earth – Adam and Eve.  God provided so abundantly for them, but gave specific instruction to not eat of one tree in the middle of the garden – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).  Eve just had to find out what and why and even convinced her husband to follow along and their curiosity literally killed them (spiritually).

It seems to me that when we want so badly to know the what, why, when how and where of it all, we end up either frustrated and/or in a not so favorable predicament.  Just look at Adam and Eve.  Their desire to find out those answers (and disobey to God) cost them their spiritual lives.  Fellowship with God was broken all because they HAD TO KNOW.  This not only affected them, but all of humanity as well.

Now, I am not saying that curiosity is wrong.  As a matter of fact, I believe that it is natural to be curious and to question things in life.  I also believe that God places that feeling and the longing to know in us.  I do believe, however, that the purpose of that feeling is to draw us to HIM!

My family has been going through a lot of life changes lately.  Most of which pertain to my husband’s job.   It seems like every time we get comfortable with a certain position/department/schedule/etc., things change.  The most recent change that took place was a total shock to us and interfered with my plans for the next year.  I had everything figured out.  I knew what was happening next (or so I thought).  I even scheduled certain activities and events around what I thought was going to take place.  Now all of a sudden things aren’t happening the way I thought they would.

My first question upon hearing the latest news was WHY?  Why is this happening?  Then I asked myself WHAT?  What is going on?  What is the purpose of this change?  After that I wondered WHEN?  When would we know something?  Followed by HOW is God going to work this out and WHERE is He taking us?  The not knowing was enough to drive me crazy (not literally of course).

It wasn’t long after asking those questions that I felt the Lord say, “All you need to know is WHO.”  What?  What does that mean?   That means that out of all the questions that we have in life, the most important one is WHO.  Who is my answer?  Who has my answer(s)?  Who is sovereign?  Who orders my steps in life?   If we know WHO, then we will have peace about not knowing the answers to what, when, where, why and how.  In fact, not having all of the answers only proves that we are human and not God.  We are the creation; created to depend on the Creator.

I believe that this is the same thing that God wanted Adam and Eve to know.  He wanted them to know WHO He was and to trust Him enough to follow His instruction.  I also believe that this is the same thing that He wants us to know today (Proverbs 3:4-6).

You know, God tells us in Hebrews 11:4 that it is impossible to please Him unless we have FAITH!  How does it take faith if you already have all of the answers?  How do we truly TRUST God if we have it all figured out beforehand.  If you believe that God is WHO He says He is, then you don’t need to know the answers to those questions.  The only one that matters is WHO!

So, I’d like to ask you today…  Do you know WHO God is?  Do you know Him personally?

If you are a born-again believer, I’d like to encourage you today to relax and trust God.  He is sovereign and has wonderful plans for your life.  We don’t always know what that plan is, but we can rest assure that it is GOOD (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11).

Many times situations look grim, but we can only see a small piece of the puzzle.  God knows what the puzzle looks like when it is complete.  In fact, He created the puzzle.  We just have to be obedient, making sure we listen to Him (His instruction) as he guides us through life; telling us which puzzle piece goes where.

Stop asking WHAT, WHEN, WHY, WHERE AND HOW….and TRUST IN WHO!

Psalm 71:5 ~ For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.

Isaiah 14:27 ~ For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?

Isaiah 30:21 ~ Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

Isaiah 55:9 ~ “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Matthew 6:27 ~ And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

ATTENTION: Immediate Response Required

Going on from there He (Jesus) saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.  Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. ~ Matthew 4:21-22

When I read this today, I was amazed at how quickly John and James responded to Jesus when He called them.  Here they were, busy working, yet they left everything (including their father) to follow Jesus.  The Bible also says that they did so IMMEDIATELY.  Wow!  I’m not sure I would have been able to do that.  Would you?

I am the type of person that goes through a bit of a process before making a decision like that.  My process usually starts with me asking questions such as what, when, where, why and how?  I want to know all the details and exactly what I am getting into.  Second, I check my calendar to find out if I already have things scheduled or planned.  I want to make sure it is going to be convenient for me.  Third, I usually take some time to think and pray about the situation.  Lastly, I like to seek advice from friends and family before making a final decision.  This process could take some time, and that was something John and James didn’t have.  Jesus was calling, and they needed to answer one way or another.  I find it interesting that these brothers didn’t wait to reply to Jesus, and it’s a good thing they didn’t.  If they had, they would have missed out on a lot!  John and James would have missed out on the opportunity to be Jesus’ disciples.  They would have missed out on hearing the teachings and instruction of Jesus.  They would have missed out on witnessing all of the miracles performed by Jesus.  They would have missed out on God’s blessing for their lives!

As I read this, I wondered how many of us don’t answer Jesus right away when He calls.  How many of us know that God is speaking to us about something, yet we don’t answer?  How much are we missing out on, because we don’t respond immediately to God?

John and James were working at a job, and didn’t give any notice before leaving.  They weren’t concerned with how things would get done after they left.  They didn’t make a big deal about having to leave their father either.  Jesus called, and they answered.  It’s that simple.  Why is that?  I believe it’s because they understood who was calling them.  They knew that Jesus was God in the flesh and reverenced Him.   They knew that He had an awesome plan for their lives.  They didn’t worry about the details, because they trusted Jesus.  They were focused on the bigger picture.  They were focused in Jesus Christ!

Are you like John and James?  Do you respond to the call of Christ immediately or do you procrastinate?

I bet some of you are like me and hold off on responding, because you want to make sure all of the details are squared away first.  I’d like to encourage you (and myself) today to respond quickly to the Lord.  When He is calling you, prompting you, convicting you, impelling you, nudging you, urging you or motivating you…RESPOND!  Don’t wait.  Don’t let the opportunities God has for you pass by.  You may not get the same chance again.  You might not have all of the details figured out, but rest assured God does.  You may not know all the answers or what the final outcome will be, but you know God.  Trust Him.  Don’t doubt.  Have faith.  Don’t be afraid, because God  is with you.  If you hear Him calling you…ANSWER! God is so pleased when we answer His call immediately.  Let your answer be, “Yes Lord!”

Psalm 95: 7-8 ~ For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.  Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts…

Hebrews 11:6 ~ And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.


My Thankful Thursday

This morning I woke up feeling a little unlike my normal self.  Nothing was particularly wrong.  A slight feeling of heaviness just seemed to be hanging over me.  I felt a bit anxious as well, although I wasn’t sure why.  So, I took some time to talk to God before getting out of bed.  I read some Bible verses in hopes that my mood would change.  I felt a little better afterward, but for some reason I just couldn’t shake this “blah” feeling that I had.  I decided to go for a walk.  I wanted to get some fresh air.  I wanted to talk to God while admiring His creation. 

There’s nothing quite like a nice long walk on a lovely Spring morning.  There is something so special about taking some time to enjoy the beauty of all that God has created – the sound of the trees gently rustling in the wind; the vibrant colors everywhere; the flowers blooming; the birds chirping, and the clean crisp scent of the Spring air.  It’s quite relaxing and even therapeutic if you ask me. 

I spent some time praising God during my walk.  Praising God has an amazing way of healing my soul.  I can’t explain it, but I know it works.  I did something else during my walk as well.  I decided to meditate on the blessings of God; all that I have to be thankful for.  I started to think about who God is, as well as ALL that He has done in my life.  I began counting my blessings and naming them one by one. 

It may sound a bit cliché, but counting your blessings can completely change your mood.  How could anyone be in a bad mood after making a mental list of things to be thankful for?  It’s impossible to be down after that. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18  …in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Feeling down?  Feeling a little discouraged maybe?  Think you don’t have much to be thankful for?  Well, I am here to remind you that YOU DO! 

I don’t know who you are, where you live or what you may be experiencing in life now.  What I do know is…(1) you are ALIVE and (2) you have EYES to see, because you are looking at this blog, which also tells me that (3) you have access to a COMPUTER.  There you go – I’ve just listed 3 things already.  Can you think of anything else that you have to be thankful for? 

All of us have blessings to count and be thankful for, whether you think so or not.  Sometimes it’s just the little things in life.  Other times the blessings are more obvious.  No matter what your situation, if you are breathing, you have a reason to be thankful.  I believe many times we tend to focus on the wrong things in life, which is why we get down. We look at what we don’t have, instead of what we do have.  We also take so much for granted if life.  It is sad, but many times people don’t truly realize how blessed they are.  So many times it takes losing someone or something in life, before a person realizes the blessing(s) they had.  The things we take for granted are dreams to many people.  No matter what your circumstances are, there is truly always something to be thankful for.  There are always blessings to be counted.

Having a bad hair day?  Be thankful that you have hair.  Feet sore from standing all day or from running a marathon?  Thank the Lord that you have feet and legs to stand/run.  Tired of waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store?  Be thankful that you have the means to buy food for your family.  Are your children driving you crazy?  Be grateful that you have children.  Tired of sitting in traffic?  Thank God that you have a car and a job!  Those are but a few things in life that many of us have to be thankful for. 

I would like to challenge you today to take some time to COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND NAME THEM ONE BY ONE.  As the old hymn says, “You’ll be amazed at what the Lord has done.”

You know, by the time my walk ended today I felt so much better.  I was refreshed, encouraged and uplifted.  I was reminded of just how blessed I am.  I never did finish counting my blessings today.  I was still in the process of counting them when I returned home. There is actually no way that I would have finished, because the blessings of God are never-ending.  On top of that there are new blessings to add every day!

Psalm 92:1 ~ IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH:

Psalm 103:2 ~ Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;

Proverbs 17:22 ~ A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Colossians 3:15 ~ Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Whose Report Will You Believe?

Who among us hasn’t been disappointed?  I know I sure have….what about you?

Can you recall a time in life when things didn’t go the way that you expected them to and you felt disappointed?  I bet most of us have been let down by life at some point or another.  Maybe as a child, you experienced a broken heart when your parents divorced, or a close friend moved to another state.  Perhaps as an adult your spouse betrayed you in some way, you experienced the loss of a child or the company you worked for decided they no longer needed you.

Disappointment in life is inevitable.  All of us face trials, heartaches and unexpected events in life at some point or another.  Life is ever-changing….times change, bodies change, people change and circumstances change.  Many of us have ideas in our minds of how we think life should go, and when things don’t happen according to our plans…we can experience disappointment.

I was confronted with this recently following a routine doctor’s visit.  A week after my appointment, I received a call from the nurse asking me to come back in order to hear test results.  I thought it was a little strange to have to return to the office just to hear the results, but agreed to do so anyway.  When I returned to the doctor’s office, he shared some unfavorable news with me regarding my health.  I was in shock.  I didn’t really know what to say, think or do at that moment.  There I was in the office with a doctor and a nurse who were telling me something negative about my health as if they were talking about the weather.  Their faces reflected no emotion, and their voices were abnormally calm as they gave me this unpleasant news.  The doctor began going over different options with me, but as caught-off-guard as I was, I was unable to make any decisions.  So, I left the room quite abruptly and told him that I would be in touch.

My husband happened to be off of work that day, so he was in the front room waiting for me (Thank God).  As soon as he saw my face he knew something was wrong.  I didn’t say anything on the way to the car.  Once inside the car, I began to sob uncontrollably.  I felt such a feeling of hopelessness.  I was so hurt and disappointed.  So many thoughts were racing through my head…the first being, how and why God would allow this to happen to me.  I love God.  I trust Him.  I honor Him.  I live for Him.  Why me?  I have so many plans for my life and this was not one of them!

As my husband and I drove to a restaurant for lunch, I continued to mull over the news in my head, sinking deeper into a feeling of despair.  Lunch was nice, as I tried to focus on some positive aspects in my life.  As soon as we left, however, the feelings of despair slowly returned.  I shared my thoughts with my husband…I was afraid, I was hurt, and I felt extremely let down and confused.  It was at that point that He looked at me and said, “Who will you believe?”  What on Earth was he talking about?  He followed by saying, “Are you going to believe the doctor or God?”  Whoa!  It was like a light went off in my head.  He was right.  Who was I going to believe?  Was I going to believe the doctor or was I going to believe God?  The doctor is a man…a created, imperfect being just like me, but God on the other-hand is the Almighty Creator!  If I truly trust God like I say I do, then how could something like ‘bad news’ change that?  How could one small bump in this road called life bring me down?

All of a sudden the Lord began flooding my mind with all of the promises found in His word.  Promises like the one found in Jeremiah 29:11… For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.  Or the promises found in Psalm 103:2-5…Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things…

The Lord also reminded me of ALL the times He healed people… the woman who had the issue of blood for 12 years (Mark 5:28-31), the blind and the lame (Matthew 15:30), the demon-possessed (Matthew 15:22-28), the leprous (Matthew 8:1-3).  In addition, Jesus raised many people from the dead (Matthew 9:18-25).  These are but a few examples that came to my mind, but there are so many others.  If God can heal all of these ailments (AND DEATH), then how could I ever doubt that he could heal me?

As God began reminding me of these examples, my disappointment started to turn into hope.  My sadness turned into joy.  My doubt turned into faith in God.  As strange as it might sound, I actually started to get excited about my situation.  I thought about how it could be a wonderful opportunity for God to reveal His healing power to others; or maybe God wants to use me to show others how to trust in Him during difficult circumstances.  Just because our circumstances change, doesn’t mean God does.  For God is the same yesterday, today and forever more!  What if God is using this diagnosis as a tool to help grow my faith in Him…to bring me to a deeper level of trust in Him?  These are just some of the thoughts that came to my mind.  God is so much bigger than I am, so I have no idea what awesome plan He has in store for me….but what I do know is that it is GOOD!  Romans 8:28 ~ And we know that God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I have always been pretty good at coming along side of others when they are facing trying situations in life.  As a matter of fact, many people refer to me as an encourager.  When faced with a situation in my life, however, it was a bit hard to encourage myself.  This experience has caused me to really examine myself and ask, how much do I trust the Lord?  Do I trust Him a little bit, and when things are good in life, or do I trust Him ALWAYS?  We will face disappointment in our lives, some of us more than others, but it’s all about how we handle it.  We can choose to give up and give in to discouragement, and stay disappointed OR we can choose to put our hope and trust in God.  I choose to listen to God and put my hope and trust in Him!

I will keep ya’ll posted on how God works this out for MY good and HIS glory!  😉

Jeremiah 32:27 ~ Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

My Thoughts:  This is one of my favorite Bible verses, although I think I say that about all of them at some time or another.  What I love about this verse is not only does God promise to supply us with what we need in life, but He promises to do this according to HIS  RICHES and not ours.  I think many times we tend to gauge what God can and can’t do based on what we already have or what we already see.

We look at our own pitiful situations, circumstances, bank accounts, etc. and decide that God can only do so much for us.  We act like He’s human and doesn’t have the power to do the impossible.  Here, God’s word says that He WILL supply ALL our NEEDS according to HIS RICHES in Christ Jesus.  It has nothing to do with what we have, don’t have, what we can see or can’t see, what we are capable of or not capable of…..it has everything to do with God!

Psalm 50:10 says that God owns cattle on a thousand hills, and Luke 1:37 says that nothing is impossible with God!  So, why then do we doubt that He can do the most unfathomable, extraordinary and impossible things in our lives?

Let’s focus on what God’s word says and less on what the world says.  Let’s trust God with ALL situations in our lives and then watch Him supply ALL our NEEDS!