Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hope in Suffering

I thought I would take a moment and share a post that I wrote on a blog that I contribute to weekly. Blessings!

There is Hope. Even in Times of Suffering

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Have A Dream...

...If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. Exodus 33:15

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would have done anything to get it? A relationship, a job, that new home. I know there have been many times in my own life that I have settled for much less than God's best for me because the pain of letting go of the dream in my heart was much more than the pain of staying in a situation that was not God's plan. Or so I thought.

Many of us have been willing to go into debt way over our heads, lie or cheat on a resume, be treated poorly by others and a whole host of other things, all for the sake of getting what we want. All because we thought the consequences of losing our dream were much worse than the consequences of sacrificing our values.

Moses wasn't willing to do that. You see, Moses wanted to enter the promised land more than anyone. He had a very personal relationship with God and he knew that God's promises were good. But what he knew even more was that the presence of God was so much better than any dream he could dream. Yes, he dreamed of entering the land that God had promised. Yes, he dreamed of the people that God had entrusted him with entering it too. But more than that, no matter how painful, he wanted God's plan. "...if your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here" And, guess what? Moses never did enter the promised land but he died loving and trusting God with everything he had.

I remember desperately wanting to homeschool my children.  God said no and I was devastated.  In hindsight, I see why.  He said no because his dream for my family was much bigger than I was able to see.  Much bigger than what I am still able to see.  What he did instead was settle that dream in my heart and showed me his plan.  But I had to be willing to hand it over to him first. I had to be willing to trust him with my dream.

What about you? Is there something you want desperately for yourself? What about for your family? Are you willing to forget that dream if God wants something different? Have you even asked him what he thinks about your dream? It doesn't mean that you should give up on your dream. Not at all. I just know first hand what happens when you enter into something that is not God's will and can I tell you, it is much more painful than letting go of the dream.

Thank you God that I can trust you no matter what!  Thank you that you have a plan for my life and for those that I love.  Please keep me from entering into ANYTHING that is not your plan and if I have a dream that doesn't belong to you, remove that desire from my heart.  Thank you that you are trustworthy!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Running the Race, Even in Crisis

Over the last several weeks we have been dealing with a crisis in our home.  I will spare you the details until they resolve themselves, but lets just say it has been one of the toughest things within my family, specifically a child, that I have had to deal with to date. 
But I can see God at work already.  He has reminded me of the importance of community.  Without them, my son would be grounded and possibly even chained to his bed for life.  Through my community of friends I was reminded of several things:
  1. Get beyond my emotions before making any decisions
  2. The importance of family identity. If I kept my son in his room all summer then our family relationships would suffer.
  3. Don't just take away his freedoms, but have a plan for building him up as well.
  4. I have to be willing to make hard decisions even when others don't understand
  5. The importance of biblical conflict resolution as we represent God to everyone involved in this situation
  6. I can choose to see this as a teachable moment or I can choose to crumble in submission to my emotions but the outcome of this really is up to me and how I respond.
You see, I had been struggling for some time with this whole idea of being missional to our neighbors.  There is a kid in the neighborhood who really struggles to make good decisions.  His family life is not the greatest and we decided that we could make a difference in his life.  What I discovered instead is that he was influencing my child more than we were influencing him and this particular crisis was proof of just that.  So, while it is one of the hardest things that I have faced with my family, I am really glad it happened.  It has become my line in the sand; a defining moment for my family.  God is at work and needed to get my attention. He has revealed my sons heart at a time where there is still hope. He has revealed to me, that I can't save the world while my own son, that he has entrusted me with, goes astray.  What I can do is pray for this family and hopefully be a living example of Christ just from the way we live our lives.

So we will continue to run the race with perseverance not focusing on the current position but keeping our eyes on the prize knowing that with God all things are possible, including giving us the strength we need to make it through this crisis and any crisis that we may face in the future. 

Romans 8:31 ...if God is for us, who can be against us?

I am linking with:  The Unveiled Wife and Women Living Well

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