Well Able

My pastor brought a word to us a couple weeks ago which has been a source of challenge and comfort. I have read my notes over and over again to, as David did, encourage myself in the Lord! I long to be like Caleb and Joshua who were positive and ready to face the battle to get to the promise. Sometimes though, it is so easy to identify with the negative Neds who only saw the hurdles ahead – and embellished them with catastrophic thinking.

The land we have gone through is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw are of great height…and we seemed ourselves like grasshoppers to them…(Numbers 13:32-33)

The land which they passed through to spy out (was) an exceedingly good land. Yet, while all twelve spies saw that the land was good, not all of them had faith and confidence in God. And, as is still true today, misery loves company – and negativity battles to win the debate.

“Caleb quieted the congregation and said, Let us go up at once and occupy (the land,) for we are well able to overcome it…then the men who had gone up with him said, “we are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we are…” (Numbers 13:30-31)

Our focus affects our attitude and our attitude affects our actions. They go hand-in-hand.

Ten men saw the enemy as giants and themselves as grasshoppers. They chose to focus on the potential problem and not the promise of their powerful God. Therefore they expected a sure defeat. Their miserable attitude had them angry against the two whose faith-filled stance had their vantage point fixed on whole of God’s promise. Both sets of spies encountered the exact same scene yet their focus was vastly different.

The way we interpret the facts dictates what we see to be true. We are responsible for how we get over the hurdles in life…we are good at seeing problems but not coming up with solutions…we are so ready to give up and forget all He has done for us…for every problem there is a solution if God is in the equation…let God do His thing!” -Pastor Bill Muller

This world hasn’t changed much since the days of Moses, it is still set and ready to suck the joy out of our journeys. But the Lord is still keeping His promises. And, at the close of the day, how we have chosen to see our circumstances will affect our ability to have peace and strength to navigate the obstacles and enjoy the sweetness God has already promised us.

It is a milk-and-honey kind of sweet to know the Lord walks with His own, and delights to give us His best – a land flowing with goodness!

So, let’s go up at once and occupy it, for in the power of the almighty we are well able to overcome it!

A Mother’s Day Song

The enemy loves to keep us burdened. He is constantly reminding us of all that we don’t have.

Ahhh, but God.

God strives against the enemy of our souls, and as Jesus makes intercession for us, we can trust the plans of a good God to bring us through – and adjust our focus.

Last year, the Lord graciously placed a few words in my heart as I thought about Mother’s Day. It had always been a tough Holiday for me, and even still, a slight twinge of sadness snuck up on me. So, I know He gave me those words last Mother’s Day to “adjust my focus” – for a reminder to rejoice in those things that are true!

This year, in His perfect grace, He went a little farther to remind me (because I’m often forgetful) I was not given a Mother’s heart in vain.

On Friday an early Mother’s Day gift arrived. I received a text from a student’s Mom thanking me for pouring love into her daughter’s life, and for showing her the love of Jesus. Mrs. Sweet Parent shared with me that in January her little girl sought her out to come talk with her. This precious student of mine laid on her bed, and with tears flowing, told her mother she wanted to always have Jesus in her heart and live for him.

I read the rest of the text through tears.

My gift had not been wrapped in a box, or been delicately arranged in a pretty bag filled with confetti. But, oh my happy soul, it had been divinely wrapped in the love of a Father who adores me. It was perfectly timed and purposefully given. You see, this precious mom could have told me in January – but God.

He knew the plans He had for me.

He knew I was going to be leaving my teaching career this summer. He knew this would be an emotional time. He also knows around Mother’s Day the enemy taunts me with lonesomeness.

My sweet Father is such a precious friend.

When I read Isaiah 54 over ten years ago, I could have never imagined the reason it would grow to be such a precious exhortation from the Lord. He has caused my barren womb to no longer be a place of sadness but of joy. He has filled my childless arms with a quiver full of children.

I love them with love from the mother’s heart my Creator has given me.

My heart could not be anymore full than it is this Mother’s Day. I will sing – for my Father has truly blessed me with children – more than I could have ever expected!

Choices

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.                    (Deut. 30:19)

Today I have been reminded how fortunate I am – and how powerful choice is.

Life, marriage, relationships – all require a choice.
…a choice to love (even when it’s hard,)
…a choice to serve another (and not yourself,)
…a choice to respect the process (especially when it’s a slow one,)
…a choice to share the bad along with the good (we all have both in us,)
… and a choice to see the good around you (it’s a matter of perspective,)
…a choice to walk by faith (and not by sight.)
…a choice to live in gratitude (even while walking through a valley.)

There are people around the world who have had the privilege to live life in freedom stripped from them. They are not allowed the opportunity to marry whom they choose, or work where they want to. Many folks cannot speak freely without fear of imprisonment or death, yet they choose to rise above it and courageously live in joy and not bitterness.

Choice. A tiny, but life-altering, word.

I pray to be reminded swiftly if I should begin to see this game-changer as anything less than a blessed gift.

May my choices have the purpose of Christ behind them,

be infused with surrender to His will,

and sparked by servant-hearted motives.

Oh, that I would always choose life, as the Scripture encourages me to do.