God Listens

Image

God Listens

Jeremiah 33:3a – “Call unto me and and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things…”

After having brain tumor surgery, I was in the ICU at the hospital for weeks.  There, I had a nurse named Liz. Her family was originally from the Bahamas, so she had the remnants of an islander accent. I was never as happy as when I heard that accent on the other side of the curtain.  She was the best nurse I’ve ever had! And it wasn’t because she was the sweetest, kindest nurse I have had.  In fact, she was mostly matter of fact, firm, and business-like.  But….She listened.  She didn’t ignore me when I rocked back and forth in my hospital bed because the pain in my head was overwhelming.  She matter-of-factly told me that I needed to calm down and stop crying because it would only make my head hurt worse.  But… she got me the pain medication that I needed.  She had to tell me the hard things and show me the not so pleasant things.  But….She listened.  She answered my questions, even though they were most likely quite obvious to her.  She didn’t get annoyed when I asked her the same questions for the fifteenth time.

Liz is a good reminder to me of how God listens to us.  When we pray for something for the fifteenth time, when we cry out to him because the pain of our heart seems too overwhelming, when we just need someone to hear us, He is there.  He answers us with what He knows is best for us, which may not be what we requested.  But His love for us gives what we need, and comforts our hearts through difficult times.  God gives us the encouragement we need in Jeremiah 33:3 when He says, “Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things….”  God listens to us, answers us, and gives us what we need.  Take comfort in knowing that God listens.

Dwelling in Peace

Dwelling in Peace

 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…. and be thankful.  Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Colossians 3:15 & 16

 The dove is the universal sign for peace. I often wonder why it is always seen as flying away.  Does the dove carry the worry, anxiety, anger, frustration and fear away from people? Or does it just represent a calming effect as we see its beauty in flight? Peace is a common theme in our world and many people seem to be searching for it. Peace from war, peace from anger, peace in the hectic pace of life we live. Yet, God gives us the perfect way to experience peace in our lives. It is by letting the Word of God dwell in our hearts, which brings a thankful heart, which brings us peace.

How do we let the Word of Christ dwell in our hearts? By reading and interacting with it. Are we spending time with God by reading his letter to us? It is here that we find truth which gets rid of all doubt and fear and brings peace to our hearts.  It amazing how much dwelling on truth, instead of lies and fallacies, helps us be at peace!  Also, these concepts are intertwined with each other. You really can’t have one without the other. If the Word is dwelling and permeating our hearts and minds, we are thankful and then the peace of Christ can rule in our lives. From salvation to everyday living, it takes the Word to change our lives from sin, chaos, anger, and frustration to peace, thankfulness, love, and grace.

In this season of thanksgiving, may we find ways to be interacting with the Word of God, letting it permeate our hearts and minds, creating a heart of thankfulness and a spirit of peace.

Fall Majesty

Fall Majesty

Psalm 96:6 – “Honor and majesty are before Him. Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”

Today, I’m reflecting on the beauty and majesty of God’s creation. It is finally a tad chilly here in Tennessee which makes me think that maybe….just maybe we will have a fall season here in Tennessee. Yesterday, when I was going through pictures I took of the fall leaves last year, I realized all the bold and strong colors God put into his creation. As I looked at the striking colors of the leaves in the pictures, the word that came to mind is majesty. The vibrant colors showed God’s majesty. The colors of fall are bold, reflecting His strength, and beautiful, reflecting his majesty. They become a sanctuary for me to feel God’s presence.

As you take time to reflect, look for God’s majesty around you.  You may find it in unexpected places, or you may find it in the simplicity of nature.

Spring Has Sprung

 

Wait on the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord Psalm 27:14

Spring has Sprung

The buds are just ready to break out and Spring is just around the corner. The snow on the ground is gone. Waiting for Spring takes patience that I don’t have at all!  I was reminded of my impatience for waiting on God’s timing.  When the burdens of life are like the snow – melting too slowly – I am impatient for God to lift them and let the new life come out.  I don’t want the burdens of life weighing me down.  I want the breezy, newness of life to lift me up!  Why must I wait – because if the spring buds open too early, they often get a late winter freeze.  Waiting for the right timing to open brings out a beautiful flower, much prettier than I ever expected. Waiting for the timing of God until He brings things to pass makes life much more beautiful than I ever expected.

As you journey through times of waiting for God’s answer, remember that His timing is best.  It is hard to wait, but His strength will get you through.  His answer will be the best, if you just wait for it.

Jack of All Trades

Jack of All Trades

“…but Mary has chosen the better part…”  Luke10:42

           As I sunk into the couch at 9 o’clock at night, I thought to myself, “What am I accomplishing with my life?”  My résumé read like a job list of three people, not one person.  I worked three part-time jobs to make ends meet, coached two sports “on the side,” took pictures of local events as a freelance photographer and it all seemed overwhelming. As I looked at my life, I felt like “a jack of all trades and a master of none.” 

            Juggling often defines women during our lives.  We juggle home, work, kids, and even vacation.  We often feel disillusionment because we don’t think we are playing a significant role in one area, but a mediocre role in many areas.  We get so caught up in the multi-tasking that defines our lives; God and His plan for us are lost in the shuffle. 

            We can learn a great perspective from the example Mary & Martha.  In Luke 10, Martha was juggling preparing supper and entertaining guests. These were all necessary preparations, but she was so caught up in them that she forgot the one important preparation for her life.  She needed to sit and listen to what Jesus said.  Mary, on the other hand, sat at Jesus’ feet and listened.  In the midst of your busy, multi-tasking life, focus on your relationship with God and living life to honor Him.  You may still be the jack of all trades, but you can work at mastering one thing – honoring and listening for God in your life.  When the hustle and bustle of life overwhelm you, remember Mary’s example and come to the feet of Jesus to sit and listen.

Questions to Ponder:

When did you last come to the feet of Jesus, read His words to you, and listen?

How can you make listening to Him a priority in your life?