DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eleven, Day Three

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eleven, Day Three

 

“Shout for joy, you heavens! Earth, rejoice! Mountains break into joyful shouts! For the LORD has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.” Isaiah 49:13 (HCSB)

 

While Jesus walked the earth and was carrying out His public ministry, the Jewish religious leaders continued to grow quite frustrated with the growing popularity among both Jewish and Gentile communities. While traveling to Jerusalem for His final Passover celebration prior to His crucifixion, Jesus rode into town upon a donkey. And according to Luke chapter 19, as He rode near to the Mount of Olives His crowd of disciples were joyously shouting of the miracles Jesus had done. At hearing this, one of the Pharisees within the group told Jesus that He needed to quiet His disciples. Then Jesus spoke, “I tell you,’ He replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:37-40). May we realize the sheer majesty and honor due to the name of Jesus Christ that is sincerely deserved and praise Him in unabashed worship and praise. He is true to His promises and He will indeed show compassion and comfort to His people. May we rejoice!

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear God, in all things, You alone are supreme. In all matters, Your will proceeds. Allow me the boldness to hold fast to these powerful promises of Scripture when I need to breath fresh life so that I may praise You with the rest of Your creation. Teach me to thank You for my circumstances so that I may declare Your victory over adversity. Show me Your ways, Lord Jesus, so that I may bask in the fullness of Your blessing both in heaven as well as here on earth and praise You for Your everlasting goodness, mercy, guidance and grace. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

 

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eleven, Day One

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Theme of Week Eleven: Our God is Mighty

Week Eleven, Day One

 

“The LORD of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah” Psalm 46:7 (HCSB)

 

Despite being dear to our hearts, people who we trust can see the difficulties we are experiencing and encourage us to turn back from where God has called us. Much like the story of Lot and his wife (Genesis 19:15-26), we are called to obey the LORD; no matter how many others choose to ignore His leading. People in our own spheres of influence can try to persuade us to reject God’s call and return to comfort and familiarity. Yet, if the LORD has called us to walk this path (e.g. being am “married-single parent” of tired and hurting children while daddy is deployed, battling through another moving season with attitudes flaring amidst the chaos, etc.) it’s not a matter of appeasing those we admire-but rather taking our difficult situations to the Lord in prayer; for He is the God of Jacob Who is our stronghold.

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord Jesus, You are good and Your faithfulness endures to all generations (Psalm 100:5). Thank You for being my refuge. Thank You for giving me the strength to keep going when all others share their own worries and discouragements with me. Hold me fast to the course You have called me to, Lord Jesus. For Your honor and for Your great name’s sake, keep me faithful to Your teaching and leading (Psalm 119:9-16). Thank You for Your divine protection and victory over the attacks and divisive words coming night and day from multiple directions (Psalm 91:13-16). I cling to the promise of Psalm 46:7 that You alone are my refuge and stronghold. You are my God in Whom I place my trust (Psalm 91:2). In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eight, Day Five

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eight, Day Five

 

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (HCSB)

 

These words of Jesus Christ are very encouraging, indeed. Regardless of our circumstances, regardless of our past, regardless of the odds—we can ask anything according to the will of God, and it will be given to us. Whether we need more faith, an infusion of hope, a new heart filled with God’s love, etc. If we pray for a request that aligns with the will of God, He will grant us the favor of our request. Prayers for deliverance, healing and revival are all things we should indeed pray. The Lord sees our heart motives (1 Samuel 16:7). And at times, he very healing and deliverance God desires to bring to our souls can only be found on the other side of great suffering. Our Lord Jesus Christ, within the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed for God the Father to allow the cup of suffering (brutal torture followed by death upon a cross) to pass. Yet, in keeping with the truth of Matthew 7:7, Jesus Christ humbled Himself to the will of Father God and boldly stated that He desired the will of Father God above His own (Luke 22:42). May we remember that the greatest blessing humanity will ever know only came on the backside of Jesus Christ’s torture and death—this being His victorious resurrection over death and suffering (Matthew 16:21, Acts 2:24 & 1 Corinthians 15:4). No matter what the current suffering, if you are a believer in the resurrected Jesus Christ, you will see victory over this hardship in the Lord’s perfect way (Romans 8:37).

 

“No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

Claim it personally over your own life and story. Briefly write about your own circumstances that need to be conquered. List them below:

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

Now write them at the beginning of each sentence. Claim the truth of this powerful verse over your own life and situation as you declare the Lord’s truth to your own heart.

 

1._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

2._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

3._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

4._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

Ladies, as we grasp hold of the solid and unchanging truths of the Bible, we will feel a depth of security in the pit of our souls. Why? Because the God of all creation, the One who spoke and created all that we see, has made a way for each of us to escape the hurt and trials that come our way in life (Romans 5:8). Remember, the original plan (Eden) was not at all like the reality we experience today. Adam and Eve experienced perfect communion with God in the garden, until they believed God no longer knew what was best for them (Genesis 3:8). As the weight of our circumstances seem to increase, may we encourage our own hearts and those of other suffering, to cry out to the Lord. God has broad shoulders, Ladies, and He is willing and ready to carry our loads (1 Peter 5:7). But, just like any true gentleman, the Lord is waiting for us to ask for His assistance. Call out to Him this very moment.

 

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Seven and review

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Seven:

 

15Then I said, ‘Who are You, Lord? ’ “And the Lord replied: ‘I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting. 16But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and of what I will reveal to you. 17I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles. I now send you to them 18to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that by faith in Me they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified.’” Acts 26:15-18 (HCSB)

As trauma hits our lives, our view towards certain individuals or even whole people groups can become jaded. This was the interaction between Paul and Jesus Christ, as Paul was traveling near Damascus—ready to kill and persecute more followers of Jesus Christ. How beautiful and redeeming is the grace of Jesus. Paul had become jaded towards all who followed Jesus—as Paul did not yet know Jesus as the Messiah. Much like Paul, war, death and deceptive actions can all become fuel to a growing attitude of sin within our own hearts towards others. As believers in Jesus Christ, may we repent of such feelings, and ask the Lord to wash our eyes so that we may see all people through His grace and mercy once again. Praise God that such gifts were extended to our own lives—or we too would have no hope and no option for redemption. May we ask the Lord how He would choose to use us to forward His kingdom to help win such people for the name of Jesus Christ.

Prayer For Today:

LORD, I feel very convicted over some deep routed thoughts I have buried deep within my heart. Please forgive me of them now. Help me to bring honor to You through not only my words, but also through my thoughts. Thank You again for Your grace and mercy within my own life. Use me to minster to (name)___________ for Your glory. Help (name)__________ to come to realize that You are the God of love and forgiveness. Thank You that my own life is a testimony of Your radical redeeming power. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

**Week Seven in review. Which verse did the Lord use this week to really speak to you in your current situation? In what way do you feel God asking you to trust Him more? As we thank the Lord for walking with us for seven weeks amidst this season of need, may we also take the time to declare to the Lord anew our devotion to His plans and purposes for He alone is good.

**Optional Service Project: At church this week, find some extra money (the amount does not matter) to go towards the furthering of missions through the church. By helping others that are speaking to other nations about Jesus, the Lord will bless you as you allow God to use you as a vehicle to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Check Point and Week Six, Day One

Check Point Two: Be Advised–Severe Thunderstorms with Hail

 

During our last few weeks in the Middle East, prior to parting ways with my husband for a year due to his next assignment, we encountered an incredible storm—unlike any we had ever heard of in this part of the world. Hail, severe wind, booming thunder and flashing lightning lit the sky as pelting rain attacked the backside of our home. As the rainwater and desert dirt were blown violently into the house as the storm raged, a poignant lesson was ingrained in my heart. It is not until we encounter the “storms of life” that we actually see where our “leaks” are. Whether your leaks (or holes) are within your perception of God, your relationship with your spouse, or another topic entirely, the reality remains the same—until the waters hit the house and the winds rage, you would be unaware of the hole. Speaking from personal experience, while weathering the storm, it is vital to remember where your hope and security are found as a follower of Jesus Christ—and that is in the Lord Himself. The storms have proven to be perfect opportunities, if I have been willing to see them as such, as ways to learn to follow the Lord more closely as the chaos, stress and strife of difficult times pound on the walls of my heart. Thus, rather than becoming paralyzed by the overwhelming reality of water “leaking in”, may this current “storm” be used by God in your own stories to push us to the Lord for rescue. May this “storm season” prompt you to take the needed steps to further fortify and protect your “home”—be it your heart, your relationships or even your faith in Almighty God (Proverbs 16:9). Why? Because you are worth it to an Eternal God who loves you (Galatians 2:20).

 

Theme of Week Six: God Knows The Way

Week Six, Day One:

 

“You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me.” Matthew 5:11 (HCSB)

 

When we follow hard after the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, there will come a time when persecution will come. At that moment, may we be shown as faithfully aligned to the Lord as we call out to Him in both sincerity of need and urgency of deliverence. God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). Thus, the Lord will be our defender and the One to ensure that all who call upon His name will be redeemed for His glory—in His perfect time. If you find yourself in a place today that leaves your faith feeling attacked or trampled on, realize the great opportunity you have been given to highlight the source of your strength. In the midst of hardship, as Christians, it is in our raw cries for rescue and our heartfelt need for salvation that the world is able to plainly see God on display. Ask the Lord to equip you, this very day, with an ability to stand tall in the midst of insults and crushing circumstances. In doing so, as a Christian you can declare with boldness He will see you through and that there is nothing unrighteous in the Lord (Psalm 92:12-15).

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord, I don’t know where to begin. You see the opposition. You see the massive obstacles I have to get around. I am overwhelmed. Help me to look beyond these present challenges. Help me, as is echoed in Psalm 92:12-15, be firmly grounded firmly in You like the palm and cedar of Lebanon so that I can withstand the storms and challenges that are all around. I want to be found faithful to declare Your goodness and righteousness to all. Please help (name)_________ to be like a palm and cedar as well; sturdy, grounded and bearing fruit until old age, for Your glory. You are bigger than this circumstance. Thank You that nothing catches You off guard. I trust You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week four, Day four

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Four, Day Four:

 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2 (NASB)

 

When we put our hope in Jesus Christ, we are not promised a life free of strife and suffering, but rather granted protection in the midst of the chaos. The Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt. It was beyond the laws of science that God would deliver them through the Red Sea as He chose. Yet, God is not bound by created elements such as science. Thus, it was God who held back the tall walls of ocean water to create a dry path for all His beloved people to walk into literal freedom, away from those who had held them captive (Exodus 14:21-22). Also illustrated through the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, it was not that the fires of oppression did not come, bur rather that the LORD delivered them in the midst of the flames (Daniel 3:27). As we find ourselves up against an ocean that seems too large to cross or fires to big to survive, call upon the name of the LORD to be saved.

 

Prayer for today:

Dear Lord God, I am astounded by how powerful You are. You see all the details of every situation and desire that not one should perish. Thank You for these stories of faith. How encouraging to hold fast to the truth that we serve the same living God as the saints of old. Please rescue (name)_________ from the ensuring attackers as You were so faithful to do with the Israelites leaving Egypt. Please deliver (name)_________ from the fire and flames as You did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego for Your glory. Nothing is too difficult for You and I thank You for intervening in this today. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

 

 

Identity Theft: The Case of the Missing Christian Church

Have you ever read the Bible and wondered, “Why do Christians of today look so completely different than the Christian church of the Bible?”

 

Stories from the new testament, such as those from the book of Acts, as well as many others, share of a people who devoted themselves to one another in brotherly love and took care of the needs together through the body of the church (Acts 2:42). The problem that many non-Christians have today with Christians compared to those in the Bible mainly revolve around one word: #hypocrisy (Luke 12:1-3).

 

As Christians we speak of a God who loves others, enough so much in fact, that He gave His only Son (Jesus Christ) to bare the burden of punishment for all humanity—for each one who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (1 John 4:9-10). As Christians we speak of a God who forgives others and are sure to point out that we have been forgiven by this God, but are slow—if at all—to forgive those who wrong us (Matthew 18:21-35). As Christians we speak of a changed heart loving God more than anything else; while many non-Christians only watch us on an endless pursuit of more “stuff” and never being satisfied with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-11). Can we see the sincere thoughts of hypocrisy coming from the non-believer? I mean, really, can you blame them for holding such a view?

 

In addition to these observations, many non-believers will note that many Christians do not value sexual purity before marriage and partake in the same drugs, alcohol and slanderous online sites as non-believers—all hoping to get the most “followers”, “likes” and additional peeps added to their “tribe”. Each egging one another on to get the next best and most jaw dropping photo…no matter the risk…no matter the cost. And the question then begs to be asked, how are we different from the world as we are called to be?

 

I mean, seriously. If Christians are just as concerned about getting followed, rather than following Jesus Christ—we have a problem. If the Christian church is more worried about getting “likes”, rather than aligning our hearts to what God likes—we have a problem. When we are more consumed by our digital platform, rather than the platform of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have missed the mark completely. What am I getting at? It’s time for the Christian church to take an honest assessment of priorities by looking at what consumes our schedules and our finances. From conversations with non-Christians, the feeling is that they hear us speaking of political positions more than caring for the status of souls. Further stated, rather than sharing of Jesus to those who do not look, think or act as “we” do, often times the non-Christian feels marginalized from the start and is repelled from wanting to have anything to do with anything we are in fact associated with.

 

Ladies, may we ask ourselves honestly, what has happened to us? Dare I say that we have forgotten what our Lord Jesus taught us in Luke 12:15. It’s time to realize that our identity is not found in our things or even our temporal relationships; our hope and identity is found in Jesus Christ our Lord—and that is a message that all people, of all nations, from all backgrounds NEED to hear. May we close today with the words of Jesus Christ:

13Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

      22And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? 26“If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28“But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! 29“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30“For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

      33“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:13-34 (NASB)

 

 

 

HOMESCHOOLING in COVID…TODDLER LORD’S PRAYER

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10 

‘Your kingdom come.

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 

‘Give us this day [a]our daily bread.

12 

‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 

‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [b]evil. [c][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

 

 

Our Heavenly Father, set apart and most special is Your name. May Your desires (kingdom) and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us the things You see as necessary for us to accomplish Your will for today. And forgive us from the wrong and hurtful things that we do, as we forgive others who have also done wrong and hurtful things. And do not lead us into temptation, but help us to overcome naughty things that will not make You happy. For the Kingdom, the power and the glory belong to God alone forever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13

God Is There: A Battle Cry Amidst the Battle of The Mind

In the cool of the morning, in the quiet of the night, God is there.

As fears become behemoths and worries turn into dragons, God is there. As death tolls continue to globally rise and fears of every sniffle hinting at potential doom which suffocate your thoughts, God is there. As families try to find joy amidst blaring sirens announcing curfews and food shortages being a global reality, God is ever present.

He encourages us to thrown our fears, our concerns, our disappointments and our deepest regrets before His awesome throne of grace. Not only to bring our troubles, but to personally come—with boldness—into the Lord Jesus’ presence because of His undying compassion and love for you (Hebrews 4:16). Do you hear that?

Right where you are at this very second, the God who made you—loves YOU. He loves your parents who are aging and potentially locked into their retirement facility out of an abundance of caution against this modern day plague. He loves your children as they do not grasp the severity of this super bug as they still eat food off the ground or rub their eyes without washing their hands. God is sovereign over all–over ALL–here me tired soul and battered spirit–God is above it all and intimately in control of it all.

 

16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17 (NASB)

When times of deepest sorrow and numbing grief seem to steal your very voice, the Lord Jesus is there…ready to be your comfort (Isaiah 57:15). The Lord Jesus is ready to minister to your grieving heart (Psalm 147:3). He is ready to save you in the midst of your broken and crushed heart (Psalm 34:18).

Today in the midst of heavy layers of grief and sorrow, may you be encouraged of the love God has for each of you. So much love in fact that He sent His one and only Son to ransom and redeem each soul who would trust His Son, Jesus Christ as their master and only way to wipe the filthy thoughts, words and actions from each personal life.

If you have never made a commitment to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and do not have the peace of eternal security with God and assurance of heaven nailed down in your heart, I invite you to do so this very moment.

Simply pray, Lord Jesus, I have made a mess of my life. I cannot fix all the broken pieces, but I know You take broken things and make them whole. I ask for Your forgiveness of my failings and ask for You to come live in my heart as the ruler and Lord of my life. I believe You lived a perfect life. I believe that You lived a perfect life free from failures and that You died upon the cross to pay for my wrongdoings. I believe that You rose from the dead on the third day and that all who believe in You as Lord and Savior will get to live with You in heaven forever. Thank You for loving me enough to do all that. I accept You into my heart this day (write the date down here)_____________. In my Lord and Savior Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Sorrow Into Seeds: A Story About Trusting God In Times of Great Transition

The day Lucy-Lu had been dreading continued to draw near. With each completion of yet another day of summer, their family’s moving date was growing closer all the time. Lucy-Lu’s daddy was a military officer. And although she loved that they had been able to travel around the world with him throughout her young life as a family, it was challenging—well, very challenging to continue to pick up and begin in a new place every 12-24 months. Oh sure, the adventures of living in the nation’s capitol, riding camels in the desert of the Middle East and speak of Jesus in outdoor evangelism trips to the park in Florida with Backyard Bible Club were all amazing. But, deep down, she longed for a time when she wouldn’t have to say good-bye to precious friends or feel the discomfort of cold sores or a hurt tummy caused by all the changing pieces anymore.

 

One day Lucy-Lu came to talk with her mama, Christy about the move. Lucy-Lu had expressed just how much she didn’t want to move, but this time it was different. She shared that each night, tears rolled down her little girl face and that she cried herself to sleep. Her mama almost didn’t know what to do. This move was affecting all of the family in different ways, yet all very much profound.

 

Then, Christy put the dishes aside and took Lucy-Lu into her arms and she prayed with her. She thanked God for this time of learning to trust God when it was hard because Christians are called to “rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5-16-18 NIV). Christy had silently prayed for wisdom as she hugged her precious baby girl and the Holy Spirit reminded her that God is in the business of turning our sorrow into seeds.

 

As Christy shared that the upcoming double move was proving challenging for her as well, Lucy-Lu snuggled in close to her mama and listened very closely. “You see, baby girl, when we follow Jesus, we want to go where He sends us—no matter where in the big world that is. Why? Because people all over this big world must hear about Jesus Christ as their risen savior. Does that make sense?” Lucy-Lu silently nodded her head. She had buried her face so deep into her mama’s side, all that could be seen was her sparkly golden hair. Her mama continued.

 

“And each time we experience hardship in this life, we have an opportunity to trust Jesus as we step out into the unknown. Is it scary, sure it is. But, Jesus Christ told us not only would we have scary things in life, but that we would have victory through such hard thing in Him. (“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV). Sometimes, we don’t really know what we believe about this or until difficult times come into our lives and our testimony is watered by our tears.

“But, even then, look to God—He has not changed. The Bible says that even when I didn’t know you were crying yourself to sleep every night leading up to this move, God did. (“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 NLT). I remember going through some really difficult times when I was a little girl and feeling like my whole world was turned upside down. But, you know Who never changed? God. (“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)

 

Lucy-Lu, remember, God never promised that we would never have difficulty in this life. Rather, God promised to never waste our difficulty. The Bible assures us that God uses all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His will (Romans 8:28). Thus, God can take our sad times—and remember, it’s OK TO FEEL SAD—and turn them into something beautiful for the advancement of the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. So, in that, it’s like our sorrow is turned into seeds for the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

 

Lucy-Lu just listened with fixed eyes. Her tired soul and hurting heart needed each word. Christy saw this in her little girl’s eyes and reached for her Bible. “Here now, let me show you a passage in the Bible that really helped me as we were leaving the Middle East a few years ago.” Lucy-Lu watched her mama flip the thin pages of her green covered Bible. She loved the sound of the pages turning. “Ah, there is it. Listen to this, baby girl, it’s from the book of Psalms, chapter 92 verses 12-15.

 

“The righteous man will [a]flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still [b]yield fruit in old age;
They shall be [c]full of sap and very green,
15 To [d]declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”—(Psalm 92:12-15)

 

You see, sweet girl, when daddy had to travel to Lebanon for a year without us, it was very scary to me. We were all moving out of Qatar, but in different directions. I was very scared and cried many, many tears. I didn’t think I could do it. I was convinced of it! But,” (she smiled and spoke gently as she continued) “you know what? God knew I could WITH HIM. God sees our fears and tears and turns them into something beautiful. In that time, I learned that trust in difficult and scary times and worship God through it. Did you know that?”

 

“In fact,” her mama said with a smile. “Let’s worship Him right now as we wait for the answers to come from Him. May we worship Jesus Christ as we wait for His perfect and sovereign timing.” And with that, Christy began to sing “It Is Well” with her daughter and rocked her within her arms as they worshipped the God who was leading them to a new place. And as they praised the God of the Bible, they felt a renewed sense of peace and acceptance as they submitted anew to the Lord Jesus’ leading for their family with this next PCS.

 

Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT)