The Itch

Sometimes life is like an itch. An itch can either be small like a mosquito bite or large like a rash that encompasses areas of the body. Everyone knows you should not scratch something that itches because it only intensifies the problem. Everyone also knows that it is a challenge not to scratch. The more you mess with it, the worse it becomes. Sometimes it bleeds, oozes or gets infected. Depending on the cause, it can often spread. The itchiness becomes your focus, even when you try to ignore it.

Our lives are often the same. The “itch” might be a person, an upcoming decision, a sin in our life, a poor choice, resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness. The possibilities are endless and just like a physical itch the spiritual itch can consume us. You might find yourself constantly rehashing what happened, mentally creating “worst case scenarios” or gossiping to justify your version. You might even complain in “great holiness” to the Lord about the unfairness. This merely intensifies the pain and itchiness.

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Though He Slay Me

“Though He slay me …” Job 13:15 

Have you ever wondered how Job must have felt when he went through his trials? His friends made fun of him. He lost his health, family and possessions. He lost everything and it appeared that God had abandoned him. His situation looked hopeless. Yet Job never turned his back on God. Instead he proclaimed, “Yet will I trust in Him.”

Trusting in the Lord when trials and tribulations come into our lives is a daunting task. Often, self wants to have a pity party. Sometimes we whine and complain to our friends. Sometimes we just hold it in and worry. None of these are a “trusting in the Lord” response. 

Trials will come into our lives. That is a guarantee. James 1:2 reminds us to, “consider it pure joy … whenever you face trials of many kinds.” 1 Peter 1:2 says we should rejoice when we suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

Thankfully, when trials come into our lives, the calamity is usually not as extreme as the one Job faced. However, we can still feel worried, hopeless and sometimes abandoned. Overwhelmed by emotions, decisions or uncertainty, we can often feel like the Lord is not listening to our prayers.

It is hard when the Lord is silent. Job did not have the Lord encouraging him as his friends expressed their dark opinions. Elijah discovered that God was in the gentle whisper rather than the wind, earthquake or fire. I believe that it is often challenging to wait for the gentle whisper. Too often we feel consumed by the wind, earthquake and fire.

When you are in the midst of the tempest, pour your heart out to the Lord. He never forsakes us. In fact, I believe He takes delight in our coming to Him. He is the Father listening to His children’s concerns. He orchestrates the best for His children, even when it seems like that is not happening. He uses these trials to mold us into His character, if we let Him. He is our Daddy God who loves us with an immeasurable love.

“If God is for us, who can stand against us?” (Romans 8:31)

~ Marianne Wright

The Pathway

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had to stay in the castle because a great malady had come over the land. She filled her days with reading books and spending time with the Lord. He became her best friend. They would have deep conversations.

forest-clearingOne day He asked the little girl if she would like to go on an adventure with Him. She enthusiastically responded and asked where they would go. He told the little girl to trust Him, took her hand and said, “Follow me.” 

Soon they came to the edge of the forest. The woods were thick and wet from the recent rain. The little girl hesitated because it seemed like there was no way to pass through the thick undergrowth. The Lord, sensing her dilemma, told the little girl to just trust because there is always a way. As He held her hand they both stepped in the underbrush. Continue reading

Take A Plunge On The Wild Slide

Have you ever experienced the thrill and excitement of going down a giant water slide at a water park?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the joy the Lord and I experience by plunging down the slides He places in my life.

water slide 2The plunge comes towards the end of the journey, after lots of preparation.

First, I need a destination by choosing which water park. I can’t just hope to arrive without knowing where I’m going.

On my spiritual journey I also need a purpose. I can’t wander aimlessly hoping that somehow I will make a difference in God’s kingdom.

Once I have chosen a location, I must pack a few essentials for the trip. Suntan lotion, beach towel and swim suit are the bare minimum.

I believe that the Lord only has one essential for my journey with Him. I need to pack the attitude that I am willing to do whatever He asks.

That is a tough one to fit into the pool bag because self often wants something very different. Sometimes it seems like I have to keep shoving the desire to be obedient back into the bag when it tries to escape.

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Trust

Probably at some time in our lives we have all wondered what it means to trust the Lord.

Trust can be elusive. It is not something that we magically create, but it is something that the Lord develops in us over time. It usually requires walking through difficult circumstances for the Lord to implant trust in us.

bungee jumpingI believe that trusting God is like bungee jumping. You jump as a choice of your will, while you are connected to a large elastic, bungee cord. In the same way, we trust as a choice of our will while we are connected to the Lord.

For those who enjoy bungee jumping, the thrill and excitement come from the jump and the resultant rebound. Often when the Lord asks us to trust Him, it is difficult to experience the joy and the excitement that could be ours if we are willing to jump with abandon.

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