AND STILL I RISE

Getting up can be a much bigger deal than we think, really. Essentially, the physical act of getting up is a matter of defying gravity, isn’t it? When I think of it that way, it seems like a really big deal! We seldom think of it, though, because we do it all day long – we rise from bed, from a chair, from the floor. Toddlers are forever getting back up!

So when do we become conscious of the mechanics of getting up, of rising?

When it gets hard and takes more strength than we think we have – in the way Andra Day sings about in “I’ll Rise Up.”

Age, long hours and illness can make it a physical challenge to get back up. Anxiety, depression, high expectations, loss, and disappointment can make it an emotional challenge.img_4464

But sometimes there is something especially inspirational and profound in getting back up again. Our lives aren’t always as dramatic as a boxer’s, where a win is dependent upon getting up after being knocked down for the count while “Eye of the Tiger” plays in the background, but rising can be just as challenging and every bit as vital. And equally powerful

Our story may not be as beautifully worded as Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise”, but it’s inspiritational just the same. After all, it’s our story!

As I’ve mentioned before, I belong to two different Facebook groups – one for survivors of aortic dissections, which I joined after surviving my own ascending aortic dissection, and one for survivors of CPTSD/PTSD. I’ve been fascinated by how much they overlap. Those in the group dealing with health issues are also dealing with some serious emotional challenges,  and those in the group dealing with emotional issues are also dealing with their share of health issues. What they seem to share most is a sense being alone and feeling quite weary.

So many members of these two groups feel like no one really “gets” their struggle, and they are aware that their recovery, their moving forward, is in fact an individual effort. Others can sympathize, empathize, encourage and support, but the journey of getting back up is ultimately their own.

Still, I know those feelings aren’t unique to these groups. I don’t think any of us have gotten through life without getting knocked down a time or two. Some of us come from a long line of people who have been knocked down and have fought hard to rise up. Some of us have gone through seasons of challenge in spite of every privilege and benefit the world has afforded us. Difficulty is no respecter of wealth, beauty, education, age, gender or ethnicity.

The apostle Peter knew a bit about difficulties, and yet he passed on this promise:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 5:10-11

How could he be so certain of God’s grace? Because he’d experienced it. Jesus still loved him and called him after Peter denied knowing him. Jesus pulled him from the roaring waves the moment Peter cried out for help.

Peter is telling us that, yes, we will suffer. But! By the grace of God, we can rise up…again and again and again.LBG2015Thrill-of-hope-01.jpg

But even before that, Jesus had been born Emmanuel, God with us. That was God’s descent. And how glorious His rising was! In His descent, the weary – like you and me – were given hope. In his rising, we were redeemed. It is by His grace and the strength it affords us that we can always rise again. God has plans for you, fighter. You may be down, but don’t you dare stay down!

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LET IT GO!

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Of all the four seasons, I enjoy Autumn most of all because it’s the season that welcomes everyone back into their home to spend longer evenings with family, friends or a good book.

Hal Borland was an American author, journalist and naturalist. (No, he’s is not the brother of Al Borland from “Tool Time.”) I like to think of him as a “season specialist.” He found a way of finding wonder and wisdom in the different seasons and the constant transformation of nature.

Now that we’re officially in Autumn, trees have been in a glorious survival mode for a few weeks already. But what a amazing show before Autumn is done!

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Did you know that leaves don’t just fall off? Growing up, I assumed they did – I mean, it is FALL after all. Leaves, in fact, are actually pushed off by the tree. It’s the only way the tree will survive the winter. We could learn a lot from trees.

Right now, trees are letting go of anything that would make survival during winter harder. If they were to keep their leaves, the added weight of the snow would break their branches.

We don’t know what Winter will be like here in Minnesota this year – when it will start to snow, how much it will snow, how much snow will melt in between snowfalls, or when it will stop snowing for the season. That’s how seasons often are – we have some idea of what to expect, but we can never be certain, can we? The only two things we can be certain of is that Winter will begin and Winter will end. Although that sounds simplistic to the point of being condescending, we often seem surprised by its arrival and disappointed that it’s not over soon enough.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

8f0ca2121e047e9f93401eea082fd846We each have seasons in our lives, as well – some easy, some challenging; some pleasant, some painful. I believe there are a few truths of seasons, whether in nature or in our personal lives.

They’re inevitable.

They’re temporary.

They’re transformational.

But most of all, they’re transitional. Just as Autumn is sandwiched in between Summer and Winter, the season you’re going through will pass in time. (True, it might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass!)

The key to surviving your particular season is to let go of anything that doesn’t help you through it. What are you holding onto that you need to let go of in order to survive the challenging season ahead – a season of financial change, a season of poor health, a season of grief, a season of busyness, a season of disappointment?

Let go of habits that are robbing you of your time and energy. Release people from your unforgiveness. Delegate responsibility. Ask for help. Free yourself from unrealistic expectations. Use paper plates! (Not all changes need to be grand and philosophical, you know.)

Take time to find beauty in your season. It’s there somewhere! Even in the midst of death in Autumn, trees look like blazing flames atop a match, the leaves change color and fall to carpet the Earth in gold, red and orange.

Autumn also provides a new view. Hal Borland recognized that “October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.” The season in which everything seems to die also allows us to see everything that was obscured by foliage during the summer!

So while seasons are an inevitable part of nature and our lives, they can be survived. Beauty can be found in those changes. And, ultimately, what lies dormant will bring forth life in its time. All we need to do is prepare for it, be patient as we move through it and trust that this season may just be what we need to see God’s faithfulness in the next season.

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“One day you will look back on this season and know that you are truly blessed, and not because things were perfect but because you found perfect grace in the worst of it.”

~Morgan Harper Nichols

 

 

 

THIS MIGHT HURT A LITTLE

I found it! I found the quote that says what I’ve been meditating on but couldn’t quite put into words. But C S Lewis managed to articulate my meditations well.

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Not that I don’t have moments when I do doubt if God will bless me. I do. However, what I’m realizing is that I hope to be blessed the way I want to be blessed because I think what I want is what is best for me. And that’s a two-part issue: As a human, I believe I already know what’s best for me and, as LaRonda, I am not always confident that God wants to give me good things.

I’m slowly accepting that God does love me – always and anyway. That’s grace. I wasn’t raised with grace or mercy, so it’s been hard for me to accept that God loves me always and anyway. Often, I feel inherently unlovable enough to not warrant grace.

As I mature into my faith, I’m accepting that what God wants for me is good, better than what I can hope for myself. But I’ll be honest. I often cringe when I trust God. Why? Because I know it might hurt! Don’t pray for patience; just pray for everything to go your way instead. Right? 🙂

I was absolutely terrified last month as I watched our checking balance deplete with no hope of improvement in sight. What if God meant to bring His will to fruition by means of us losing everything we had and turning our lives upside down? (I know it sounds dramatic and tragic. Welcome to my head!)  I was certain that I couldn’t bear to go through something like that. And I couldn’t understand why I was being put through such a trial when God knows I don’t have the emotional foundation for something like that.

Everything turned out fine, and my faith in God as my provider was exercised and strengthened. But it wasn’t fun. So what I believe I need to do is rely on what I know of God rather than my feelings. And that’s what I’m in the process of doing right now – getting to know God by reading His word and visiting with Him in prayer and quiet more than listening to what others have to say about Him. (And you’re welcome to come along for the ride!) I’ve been to church and Bible studies, so I know many of the stories; but I’m finding that there is no substitute for letting the Holy Spirit tell me what I need to know about my God, letting God reveal Himself to me intimately, personally. I just need to become confident that He is gentle enough to meet me where I am – even if it’s on edge of an imagined cliff or on the shore of my own Red Sea – but still willing to stretch my faith when He knows I’m ready for it – like that teacher in school who constantly told me that I wasn’t living up to my potential. (I was quite satisfied with mediocrity, thank you very much! It took less effort than potential.)

Ultimately, I know that I need to believe that it won’t hurt any more than it absolutely has to and that His grace is sufficient to carry me through the pain if it’s necessary. I suppose growing pains should be expected. There are plenty of examples in nature to show it’s even necessary in order for a creature to become what it was born to become. It’s going to take a lot of trust for me to do that. And honestly, like living up to my potential, it’s a little scary to consider. But the option of depending on myself really isn’t a preferable option, is it?

PAIN IN HIS PLAN

I’ve struggled with this post. I even deleted it after I posted it once. I worried that it was too whiny. But it’s honest, and I know I can’t be the only Christian out there who has felt this way. And I know that God can use times like this to draw us closer to him. So here goes….

The last month has been a lesson for me in trusting God and God only. My husband had been unemployed for over two months and had failed to qualify for unemployment benefits yet. I was out of of options and found myself in a situation that I absolutely could not manipulate, adjust or change at all. And I felt I had no one to turn to because I wanted to honor my husband and not shame him, but he was quite frankly contributing to my sense of helplessness. That left me alone with God to be my comfort and help. Which is fine, except that I really needed to hear someone tell me everything would be fine.

So I prayed for my husband to overcome whatever was holding him back from doing what he needed to do for his family. I prayed for myself to have peace and patience while I waited. I prayed for God to make a way. I was holding out hope that not only would my husband finally get qualified for unemployment benefits, but that we would receive the lost weeks of benefits as well. I knew God could make a way, and I hoped that He would be abundant since our resources were thinning out quickly. (It’s comforting to have money as a back-up plan, isn’t it? But God was weaning me from depending on anything but Him, it seemed.)

Well, God didn’t show off with abundance; it was more like daily bread. My husband got approved for unemployment, but only for that week going forward.

I struggled with this for over a week. Knowing that I had no control over the situation, I had trusted my husband to do what he could. Now I love him dearly, but in this moment, he wasn’t really hadn’t been a source of comfort. For two months, he allowed the situation to deteriorate. I had continued to put my trust in a God who promised He could redeem situations. When He gave sufficiency instead of abundance, I felt let down. I felt like God didn’t want to do what I knew He could do for me. I questioned His love for me. I had needed to see His power, His blessing, His unquestionable presence. I desperately needed to know that He would take care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself and I didn’t have anyone else I could rely on, and I felt He had done only what He absolutely had to in order to be faithful.

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But, His provision had been sufficient. The next need was for full-time employment for my husband. Again, God answered with sufficiency. He will start a part-time job with no benefits in a week.

Through all of this, I’ve asked God to help me see things the way He sees them – me, our resources, my family, our situations, Himself. I believe He’s doing that, but it’s painful. God’s showing me that his grace is sufficient, and that “sufficient” isn’t a bad thing. But more significantly, He’s knocking down the support beams I built myself in order to make room for the support beams I believe He wants to provide – stronger and more dependable, more eternal. But demolition is painful and scary.

afb1629838ea1fc4119011f85ba367eaAll the support I’ve depended on throughout my life has been shaky with a poor foundation, but I’ve clung to it desperately because it is all I’ve had. My trust in others has been tenuous at best. My trust in an intangible God who shows grace always and anyway? There’s the challenge. But what an amazing foundation to build my faith on if I can only hold on during the necessary demolition!

 

FREAK OR FIGHT?

Yesterday was rough. It was one of those days when you begin to feel hopeless; nothing is ever going to be fine, much less good, again. And, as usual, it comes down to our finances. I feel horrible admitting that my faith in God is measured by my checking balance, but that’s the truth of it.

See, when my account balance gets lower, my fear and anxiety increase. When my anxiety and fear increase, my faith in God decreases. And I know that’s when my faith in God needs to increase. I know the verses about fearing not and casting all my cares on Him. But I’m still scared.

This is the crack in my spiritual armour that I mentioned a few posts ago. This is the moment of truth. What will I do? The way I see it, I have two options: Freak or Fight.

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I’ve already freaked. I cried, worried, and what-if’d my way down a few rabbit holes. I’m still broke. And I’m still anxious. This is what I’m comfortable with. I think I probably come from a long line of freakers. My mom certainly was one.

OK, time for a quick side story! When I was about 23, I made the horribly desperate (the decision was both horrible and desperate) decision to move back home. It was a bad neighborhood, and within two days of living there, someone set my car on fire when trying to steal the radio – which was sad because it was the only part of the car that still worked well. At 2:00 am, my step-father, Frank, woke me up to let me know my car was on fire. When I asked him if he’d called the fire department, he answered, “I thought you’d want to do that.” (Now you know Frank.) The car was consumed by flames by the time the fire department got there, and my mom was screaming, “What are we going to do?! What are we going to do?!” (And now you know Mom – the Freaker.) Since the only pressing business for the morning was getting me to class, and since we had a city bus system, I decided I’d get up in time to take the bus and went back to bed. That’s what I was going to do.

So back to the question of whether I should freak or fight over our finances today. Freaking out is sort of satisfying and gives me something to do, I suppose; but it doesn’t really help, does it? And I know that every minute I take my sight off God, it pleases Satan immensely. Satan loves nothing more than to see me be anxious and fearful because that means my trust is not in my heavenly Father. I guess that means that I may as well put on the Armour of God, starting with the shield of peace.

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I know my heavenly Father is loving and gracious and good. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. His burden is light. He has unlimited resources that we can’t even fathom. Our financial situation is no surprise to him. He already has a plan for me and my family because he’s already gone ahead of us and made a way. I have no idea how things will turn out, but I don’t suppose I need to know because I know the One who is making the arrangements for things to turn out well. (I just hope his plans for us don’t require us being penniless up to that moment when he “suddenly” performs a miracle to demonstrate his glory, ya know?)

So, today I take a stand that I will fight and not freak. I will remember Matthew 6:31-34:

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or “What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Today I will cast my cares on God. I will put my concerns in his hands. And I will hope I will be smart enough to leave them there! After all, He knows me, He sees me, and He loves me. And he’s a God of  ‘suddenly’ and of Red Sea miracles.

ENOUGH FOR TODAY

I’m learning that God wants a trusting heart.

Yesterday was challenging! We had just left home to go to visit my husband’s mother in Nebraska. Now understand that my husband has been unemployed for two months and he has yet to get any money from unemployment because of one mix-up after another, so I was already worried about getting the bills paid. Then, about 30 minutes into our 6-hour drive, I got a text from my boss that there was a problem with our payroll and there was no paycheck in my account yet. And then, I noticed that our escrow payment was $100 more than usual!

Fortunately, within two hours, my paycheck was deposited and the over-payment on my escrow was corrected. So we’re good for now.

And that, I think, is the key phrase – We’re good for now.

In her book, Calling Jesus, Sarah Young writes, “Many of the situations that entangle your mind are not today’s concerns; you have borrowed them from tomorrow.” When we recite The Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to “give us today our daily bread.”

Jesus understood how important it is to take things one moment at a time, one day at a time. He even said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  (Matthew 6:28 NIV.)

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I need to remember that I don’t need to worry about anything because my Lord sees me, he knows me, he loves me and he already knows how he’s going to meet my needs.

It’s easy to trust when your circumstances are good; not so easy when things look scary and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Then we remember that God already knows what’s going to happen next. He already has a good plan for us. So keep a peaceful heart and wait for it. Stop worrying and start worshipping!

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JUST IMAGINE

You know how they use the wind as a way to explain faith in God? You can’t see the wind but you know it’s there because you can see the effect it has on things. Well, let’s just say that today I can’t feel a breeze. Today, I’m struggling with my faith. Not because God has failed me, but because I can’t see him giving me a thumbs-up that tells me everything is going to be just fine. I can’t hear an audible voice telling me it’s going to work out.

Today is one of those days that I could gladly crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and wait for a better day to come along to replace this one. Today is one of those days in which I have to have faith by choice. Just to be clear, I stink at doing anything I don’t want to do simply because it’s good for me.

I don’t eat the foods that are good for me because they don’t taste as good as the foods that aren’t as good for me. I don’t exercise because not exercising looks so much more appealing. And I’m paying the price for making bad, lazy choices.

So today is the kind of day when I have to choose to do something that doesn’t come naturally for me. I have to choose to trust God to take care of me and praise him even though I have more confidence that man will fail me than that God will not fail me.

I have to choose to cast my cares on Him when it’s so much easier to worry.

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Author Dan Zadra wrote that “worry is a misuse of imagination.” It’s also scripturally not recommended. In fact, it shows a distinct lack of trust in God. Again and again, God’s word tells us to not be afraid, and what is worry if it’s not fear?

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) says:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So, instead of worrying, I need to pray and let God know know what I need; or, at least, what I think I need. I’m sometimes wrong about what I think I need. Like I might think I need a new job when what I really need is a day off and a new appreciation for a job that puts food on my table, pays my bills, and does a fairly good job of keeping me out of trouble 40 hours a week.

See what I means? Perspective is everything!

Then I need to do it all with “thanksgiving” because, in spite of how I feel, God is always good, right?

In return, I get a peace that passes all understanding and a good God who will guard my heart and mind. And that would be great right now because my heart is feeling pretty ugly and my mind is not a fun place to hang out today. But I imagine things are about to get better very soon!

 

 

OUR GOD ALWAYS SHOWS UP!

I can’t be the only one who has wondered if God was going to show up. And it seems the longer I waited, the less certain I was that he’d show up, much less on time. Once in a while, I could almost hear Satan whisper, “He’s not here yet, huh?”

I know the Bible is full of people who, like the newly freed Israelites, stood at the edge of their own Red Sea wondering where God was. But he showed up at the Red Sea in an epic way.

God always shows up!

Moses waited a long time before God’s plan for him came together.  First, he waited for God to use him – long after he killed the Egyptian, thinking that was how he would bring justice to his people. But God showed up in a burning bush.

Noah waited until it started to rain without end and people realized that he hadn’t been crazy to build that boat after all. Then, after the rains had stopped, he waited some more until the dove returned with proof that they would be able to get out of the ark finally. But God showed up with a rainbow.

Abraham and Sarah waited a long time to have a child of their own. But God showed up with a baby. Then God asked for Abraham to sacrifice the baby. But just as Abraham was positioned to end the life of the son God had promised him, God showed up with his own sacrifice.

Joseph waited and was rewarded several times before he was eventually where God wanted him to be. He waited most of his life to finally have true freedom. He’s a great example of “false starts”. Just when he thought his waiting was over, he took two steps back. But then God showed up with a position for Joseph.

And Job’s wait was so physically and emotionally excruciating, his loss and suffering so great, that it must have seemed much longer than it really was before God relieved him. Finally, God showed up with abundance.

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Each portrait of patience points the way to God’s purpose. When I look at my own life and the things I’m waiting for, I realize that my wait is relatively short. That humbles me! Still, I have to admit to a lot of frustration during that wait.

Fortunately, the waiters God chose were every bit as human as we are and sometimes showed poor patience while they waited. Abraham and Sarah went ahead of God’s schedule. Moses thought he’d blown the potential to save his people and gave up before God called him to deliver the Israelites. Joseph surely gave up hope at times. Job just plain told God off! I thank God for his mercies and second chances when we fail to wait for him with trust.

None of us have a starting gun to let us know when to start, no bugles to announce that our time of waiting is over. Neither did Moses, Abraham and Sarah, Noah, Joseph, or Job. None of them got a message saying, “Hold on. In just 1 year, 162 days, 2 hours and 36 minutes from now, this will all be over, and things will be better.”

So when you start wondering when God’s going to show up for you, try to remember that your wait can become an amazing witness in God’s hands. Be patient. He hasn’t forgotten you. He’ll show up. He always does!

In the meantime…

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ARE YOU THINKING WHAT I’M THINKING?

“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8, 9)

Why is it so hard to just trust God to go with his own thoughts and ways? I know mine are tiny and limited. If I need a bill paid, my thoughts are so simple: I have a bill. Bills get paid with money. I need money. I can get money from …. But we have a God whose has unlimited resources and whose creativity is absolutely unfathomable. I have a tiny checklist of options, and he has all of creation to work with!  I make God so small. And when I make him small, it tends to make him about as useful as I am. And if he’s no more useful than I am, what’s the point in even having him around? Essentially, I put Him in a tiny box that I can carry around and say, “Yep. I’ve got him!”

What if I were to let him loose to do what he wanted – without any suggestions from me? What if I were to give him “permission” to show off? What if I were to start expecting the Red Sea to part instead of asking God to misdirect the Egyptian army?

How different my life would look if I quit imaging solutions and gave up offering suggestions! What an amazing testimony my life could be if I let God do what he wanted instead of limiting him.

 

 

MORE THAN ENOUGH!

I think a lot about what I don’t have enough of. Patience, time, stuff, money. Mostly money.

When Satan needs a crack in my armor, he can be sure to get in through my fear of not having enough money. Usually, he gets a two-for-one when the bills come due. When it doesn’t look like we have enough money to pay all the bills and have anything left over, I sometimes worry that God has turned His back on me and doesn’t care about me, that He’s not going to take care of me the way I think He should. That’s when I hear Satan whisper, “There’s not enough. You’re on your own.”

John 10: 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Yes, Satan is a liar. And the biggest lie he’ll tell you is that God is selfish. That’s essentially what he told Eve when he said in Genesis 3:5: “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

He insinuated that God had something – knowledge – that he didn’t want to share with his creation. Until then, Eve had probably never even considered that she and Adam might have been cheated out of anything. Seriously, can you imagine the Garden of Eden being a place where Adam would ever say, “Whew! Thank goodness that cow strolled by or I don’t know what we’d have had for dinner!” No, they undoubtedly lived with the correct belief that God supplied all their needs, and in abundance. God was not and never has been a stingy God. He’s the God of abundance!

If you don’t believe me, just ask the crowd Christ fed with only five loaves of bread and two fish in Matthew 14.

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Does that sound like a stingy God to you? No! Where everyone else saw lack, Christ saw plenty. Our God loves us and wants us to have good things, and once we put into his hands what little we have, it can multiply.

I Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him”.  And Paul drives that point home when he reminds us that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” in Ephesians 3:20.

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If you live long enough, you should never be able to look back and point at a single time and say, “Yeah, but there was that one time you left me hanging” without God being able to counterpoint, “Except that it built character and led you to a new level of faith, after which I redeemed all you thought was lost.”

Sometimes his faithfulness is hard to rely on if you were raised in scarcity, either by neglect or hardship. And it’s hard to remember when the checking balance is low, the credit card balance is high and there is no savings plan to fall back on. God is able and willing to meet your needs in full, but there is a condition.

Just as I Corinthians 2:9 tells us the good things God had planned for us are for those who love him, likewise, Isaiah 64:4 says, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”

We have to wait for God and love him. It is in him that we’re to put our faith and confidence – not ourselves, our money or our circumstances. It is his faithfulness that we are called to depend upon. It is in his strength that we can trust, not our own.

The important thing is to know, really know, and believe is that as our Father, God wants good things for his children. So the next time Satan whispers, “There’s not enough. You’re on your own,” remember that he is a liar determined to steal, kill and destroy all that is good in your life. Your Father, on the other hand, wants you to have abundance and live your life to the full. Choose carefully in whom you put your confidence. I challenge you to put what you have in your Father’s hands and let him show you what he can do with it!

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