In all circumstances

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians5:16-18 (ESV)

A pretty tall order in this very broken world we live in. Tragedy is all around us. One just need to turn on the news or to social media and we hear and read about:

Senseless mass murders

Senseless loss due to the poor choices of others

Senseless loss of life due to cancer and other illnesses

Senseless loss of the lives of children

I have often read the question “How can a good God allow such senseless things to occur?” but the truth is that God hurts along with us. God only wants good for us, he has plans for us that are good and for our good.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV)

So how do these verses, promises from the Bible, fit in with all the senseless things that happen here in this world where we live? Truth is, these are what God chooses for us but he created us with free will and, unfortunately, many make sinful choices that have a ripple affect. That ripple affect causes these senseless losses. It seems no one ever thinks about this ripple affect of their choices until it is too late. I can sadly but, honestly, say that choices I made years ago have caused a ripple affect that has caused a break in my relationship with my beautiful daughter. Do I look back and wish I had the opportunity to make different choices-say different words, absolutely, but that is not possible so instead I:

Rejoice always: I rejoice remembering the good times and cling to them.

Pray without ceasing: I pray that God will heal hearts-hers and mine.

Give thanks in ALL circumstances: Yes, even in the worst of situations and times I can find things to be thankful for.

This is the will of God for me (and you): God’s will for me is to live a life that rejoices, prays without ceasing and lives in gratitude.

When I am faced with all the senseless things, in this world, I focus on what is good and true. We serve a good, good, God who wants only the best for us BUT we live in a fallen world that often tries to take our focus off of Him and put it on our circumstances so we turn from God. It’s at times like these we need to frustrate the enemy and lean into Jesus and allow these circumstances to strengthen our faith.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7

In times like these when I can’t change my past and make better choices I don’t have to like my circumstances but I do have a choice to wallow in my loss or look to the Lord to give me comfort, peace, mercy and surround me with His love. When my mama heart hurts and I feel reconciliation is impossible I cling to this scripture:

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Precious Heavenly Father, I praise you and thank you for your peace that surpasses all earthly understanding in this troubled world we live in. I ask, Lord, that you forgive me for choices that I made, years ago, and the ripple affect they created. I rejoice in knowing you are who you are and that you are good and only want good for your children. I pray, Lord, that you touch the hearts of all that are hurting in this world and I thank you, Lord, for your grace, mercy and love. In Jesus name, Amen

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Bubbles of a different kind….

This week our #livefree prompt is “breaking out of my bubble”. Honestly, I had no clue where to go with this.

I have been living in a bubble my entire life.

Safe

Secure

Avoiding the unknown

I was driving to a medical appointment a few days ago and took the time to seek God on this topic. God revealed to me that sometimes, no matter how safe it feels, you can’t stop yourself from breaking out of your bubble. God, Elohim, the God who creates, is doing a new thing.  The pressure from within can’t be held back. The Holy Spirit grows so deeply within you that you HAVE to break out. He gave me a few examples of things breaking out of the safety of their bubbles for new and much greater things. All go from nothing spectacular to amazing creations.

A baby growing in the comfort of the womb until it grows so much it HAS to leave that comfort zone and be propelled into the unknown. It has gone from one cell to an incredibly complex creation with amazing potential.

A catapiller gets wound up in a cocoon, at first it’s small and comfortable but as it grows and changes it can’t help but burst forth into the world-forever changed. Not truly knowing its new self but awesome and beautiful.

A bird lays an egg. Inside is a gooey, slimy substance but in a few weeks amazing changes happen. The gooey, slimy substance grows into a bird, even though it’s not fully developed, it has to burst forth from the egg to continue growing. It becomes a beautiful bird.

A seed goes into the ground and bursts forth into a plant. The plant slowly grows and then it has buds that, when the time comes, burst forth into beautiful blossoms.

Sometimes it takes a few weeks and sometimes it takes years for a bubble to burst and for the changes to become apparent. But burst they do and always a new and better thing emerges.

I was born of a sinful nature. I received Christ and became a new creation. I slowly and steadily grow in my relationship with Elohim, my creator. The Holy Spirit in dwells in me, the old me loved safe, loved comfort, loved knowing. The new me, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is growing so much so that I am bursting at the seams. My bubble is bursting and instead of being fearful of the unknown, I am trusting my God, who dresses the flowers in the fields and provides for all their needs, to equip me for the things to come. Better things, more beautifully productive things.

Many things have happened recently that confirm its time to move forward, break out of my bubble, trust that God will guide my steps to becoming more.

Imagine the smile that came across my face when I received gift yesterday. This amazing confirmation that God will be with me as I walk forward in faith.

image

Yeah, Elohom loves me that much!

The time for growing, out of my bubble, has come.