Tuesday, October 25, 2011

He was there all the time

 Joshua 1:5 ..as I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you”
Joel 2:25-26 25And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten…..And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.

Last month while in my usual mad dash to get dressed and run out the house, I went into a panic when I went to my jewelry box and couldn’t find my Aggie class ring “Hmm, maybe it’s on my bathroom sink?” I thought. Nope. Purse pocket? Not there. Nightstand?  Nada. “Argh!!!!” Frustration began to overwhelm me as I started rifling through my jewelry thinking it may be hidden underneath some earrings and necklaces. As I explained to my close friend on the phone what was going on (yep, I was multitasking, thank God for bluetooths!) she told me to calm down, leave the house and just look for it later. Done. To understand why this ring meant so much to me you would have to know just how treasured a tradition receiving your Aggie ring was at Texas A&M University. Everything from ordering to picking up the ring was a big event and meant even more to me because less than a year before I went through the devastating loss of my parents and wasn’t even quite sure if I would finish out college. Members of my family pitched in and helped me pay for the ring (something they knew my mom would have done) and the day I picked up the ring was a moment I’ll never forget!
I spent the next three weeks tracing my steps back, emptying all my purses and looking in every possible nook and cranny in my condo. I still couldn’t find the ring. I sat on my bed and quietly whispered “I give up”, the ring was lost and I would never see it again. As I thought about what the ring meant to me, the road that led me to Texas A&M, the memories shared with classmates and the journey I’ve been on since those days, tears started to roll down my face. I wiped them away, accepted what was now lost and decided to move on. Five days later I’m paying for my smoothie at my neighborhood juice shop and as I reached in my wallet to get the change needed, I saw deep in the corner right amongst the pennies, dimes and nickels….my ring!!!!!!!! YAY!!! Sweet relief! As I sat there waiting on my smoothie, I pondered “how could I have missed it??” I know for a fact I’d dug change out the wallet recently, so how did I overlook it? And furthermore why on earth was it in my wallet??  It was then I heard my mother’s voice (always a treat when I get those moments) singing that old school gospel song “He was there all the time”. Whew! Since I was in a public place I couldn’t catch the “holy ghost” like I really wanted..so I waited til I got in the car! Lol :)
That got me to thinking, how often in the midst of our storms, difficult circumstances and overwhelming schedules do we overlook God? No matter how hard life can get or how impossible a situation looks, God is always there. He promises us in this passage to never leave nor forsake us. What is amazing to me is that I took that wallet with me every day and my ring was in there the whole time. I thought it was lost because I was careless with my placement of the ring and forgot to put it in its proper place. I don’t want to ever get to careless with my relationship with God as I did my ring. We have to make sure he is always in his proper place, which is first in our life and at the center of every thought, action and decision we make.  Don’t worry over your difficult circumstances, a situation that looks too hard to turn around, an opportunity you feel you’ve missed or a relationship that has been broken. God is there and still able to restore what you’ve “thought” was lost.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Romans 8:24-25,28 
For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. (AMP)

Jeremiah 29:11 
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (MSG)

Hope: to look forward to with desire and confidence

 Why do we struggle to "confidently look forward" in our life? More often it’s because our circumstances, challenges, pain and regrets keep us from remembering the hope that is promised to us in God’s word. Jeremiah 29:11 : I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (MSG) is my favorite scripture and has been for about 9 yrs. You see 9 yrs ago i went through the most difficult pain of my life. While in my junior year at Texas A&M University i unexpectedly lost my mother and while still in my grief, two months later i lost my father after a difficult battle with cancer. Loneliness, pain, confusion, anger and uncertainty filled my heart and consumed my life. Those were very dark days and most of it seems like a blur. 
As I cried out to God in my pain and even anger, it was Jeremiah 29:11 that gave me strength to keep going, looking forward to my brighter day. 


I began to rest on this one word. While I didn’t (and still don’t) understand the "why" I DID know God had a plan and it was full of hope and a future for me. In the midst of not seeing hope I had to receive it! 
Though other trials have come my way, I am still living out that hope and future today. God has richly blessed me and I seek to enjoy every day along my journey. 

No matter the circumstance we all have reason to hope:
Loss of a loved one? 
Psalms 30:11, God will turn your mourning to gladness

Desiring children? 
I Samuel 1:20, Because of her faith God opened Hannah’s womb

Bad doctor’s report? 
Luke 8:43, 44, Just one touch from him can bring healing

No matter what you face focus on HOPE.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wide Awake

Psalms 121 “ I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!   He will not let you stumble;
 the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel  never slumbers or sleeps.  The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.  The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.   The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.  The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. (NLT)

Have you ever felt invisible? (Invisible: withdrawn from or out of sight; hidden)

Maybe as a child you were never picked to play on the team? Or in high school you longed for the day the popular kids would eat lunch with you? Or at work your ideas never seem to get recognition? I think you get what I mean! No one likes to be ignored or looked over. 

If we were to be honest there are times in our life when we feel invisible to God (or maybe it’s just me :) I often find myself saying “Umm Hello there God, are you there? Did you see me crying? Can you hear me praying? Did you see how badly they offended me?” Well of course he does! Even if..no WHEN, we don’t feel he’s there, HE IS!

In this Psalms we can find joy in knowing the Lord does not sleep, snore, doze or nod off, he is WIDE AWAKE! He never takes his eye off us; he’s looking upon us and looking out for us. His presence is always surrounding us, ordering our steps and making sure we don’t lose our way. Through our tests, trials, challenges and moments of loneliness we have a Heavenly Father who sits high and looks low. We only need to look up (and kneel down) to find he is there to help us. 

Today take time to be thankful for a WIDE AWAKE GOD :-)

Be encouraged by these lyrics to “He Knows My Name” by Israel Houghton:

I have a Maker
He Formed My Heart
before even time began
my life was in hands

He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call
I have a father
he calls me his own
he'll never leave me
no matter where I go

He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls
and hears me
when I call