Three {31 Days of Wisdom}

Perhaps it’s my age, or simply the fact so many people around me are going through some pretty radical and difficult things. I include myself among those around me. The past seven days have been full of angst, fear, answered prayers, hope for the future and concern about the days ahead… all at the same time.

There are those passages you hear from the time you knew there was a Bible. They are the ones you have memorized because of the promises they hold, and they are also the ones that over time become clearer and cause you to stand back in awe of what He says.

For instance:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

It seems the sacred echo of late has been to not rely solely on my feelings about what is happening now, what has already happened and what is to come. In the narrative of God, there is always more to the story. I often become confused and think this is my story, and it is in some ways, but I am not the Author of my story.

He is.

The Storyteller has written every word and prepared His storyboards. Their illustrations are full of color, detail and sometimes it feels as though He has colored outside the lines.

The Scriptures are full of wisdom, not just in the pages of Proverbs. I am struck by how often their words heed warnings, encouragement, give instructions and offer hope for when we go through difficulties. When we are afraid. When we are unsure. When we think all hope is lost. When things are not what we expected. When we are waiting.

When, not if.

The days are short but He promises to lengthen them {v.2} If we rely on the understanding of the characters within the story instead of the Storyteller, we miss the opportunity to receive His knowledge {2:6}.

Wisdom’s ways are pleasant and her paths are peace {v. 17}. The most curvy and windy road that has potential to make your stomach turn and heart drop can be straightened {v.5} if given over to Him.

The LORD has gone before you this day, His pen has written the story, His ways are pleasant and He offers peace…may you walk in the peace and pleasure of the One who knows your path.

Trust Him.

Which promises or scriptures have become more sacred to you over time?

This is the 3rd post in a 31 Day series: Wisdom. Start from the beginning here

You can also find over 1000 other topics from bloggers also participating here.

Safety is Overrated

Like most mothers, I pray for the safety of my children and husband.  When they go off to school without me.  When I lay him down in his crib at night.  I pray God would keep them well, protected and far from disaster.

I want them not only to be safe but feel safe.

But down the road, I see there will be greater challenges to my peace when it comes to knowing they are safe.  Next year, my oldest will go to middle school.  Several of my friends have taken their children to college in other states for the first time this year.  A couple of friends have sons serving on the mission field in distant countries.  Safety is in question.

But as the prayers for safety leave my heart, the thing I desire more for them is to recognize the voice of God in their life and trust Him wholly.  I pray they would walk in the steps He has put out before them in everything they do.

From my own experience, I know God will allow us and sometimes place us in circumstances and places that will not feel safe.  Our safety and security is often challenged and we are left to question are we placing ourselves in the care of this world or the care of our Father?  Are we trusting that no matter where we go, who we are with and what happens that He is watching over us and will deliver us from harm?

More over, do we trust Him in our hurt,in sickness, in our suffering, as He gives and takes away?

Recently, a team of people from our church went to Haiti for a week.  My friend Phil usually sends emails while he is away telling of what he is seeing in Haiti and how he is further understanding our God and His ways.  Last week, he wrote this:

In church this morning, the pastor challenged everyone with a fairly simple question- do we really believe what is written in the Word? I think the question was posed in the form of whether it is “safe” to come to Haiti. I suppose the answer is, in turn, based on the question of whether God has called someone to come here. If the answer is no, then someone should not come. If the answer is “yes”, the answer should be the “safest” place to be is in the middle of God’s will. But what does that look like? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the middle of God’s will, yet they went into the furnace. Daniel was in the middle of God’s will, and 1-2-3, in he was tossed to the den. And we all know what happened to the prophets, and to the Christ himself. “Safety” from God’s perspective seems to be different than from mine. In the end, I think the question is not whether it is safe. For some people it is not  At least for me, the question is whether this is what I have been led to do. For the time being, the answer appears to be “yes.” I will leave the rest up to God.

What I want more than safety is for my family to be in the center of God’s will.  By that standard, safety is over rated.  But the struggle as a mom remains.  And likely… it always will.

Do you struggle with feeling safe?  Or worrying about others not being safe?  If so, how do you surrender it?

God in the Details

My first son made his debut into the world about three and a half weeks early. As such, we were off to a slow and frustrating start with a few things… in particular nursing. Having read all the books, taken the classes and bought all the gadgets, I was certain I would be the La Leche poster child and have no problem with what was apparently so natural.

I was wrong.

Although it ended up well, feeding my baby was difficult. He lost weight. At one point, our pediatrician insisted it was time to supplement with formula. I felt like a failure.

It was in those moments where God taught me to pray in specifics. Maybe because I felt desperate, or maybe it was my raging hormones. Never the less, I decided to simplify and rather than pray for God to intervene in all the wide and deep desires in my heart, I began to submit the details to Him. I got specific with what was troubling me and praised Him for the particulars I saw Him answer. I asked Him to help me feed my child in that hour. I thanked him for two hours of sleep. I worshiped Him while rocking my son,

“O Lord, You’re beautiful, Your face is all I seek, for when Your eyes are on this child, Your grace abounds to me.”*

Since then, I’ve gotten very specific with my prayers and have tried to encourage others to do so as well. After all, a God that has the very hairs on your head numbered is a God who is interested in the details. As much as we know in our heads it isn’t true, we tend to think God is busy with bigger fish to fry. When I give Him the specifics, I can lift my eyes up to Heaven and away from myself.  I am more grounded. Less anxious and more focused. I can handle a situation, step by step and not get hung up on the details because I’ve given them over to Him. I can live better in the moment, trusting Him for what is to come.

What specifically do you need to trust God with?

*Keith Green, “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful”