When the Doors Are Closed

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1 Corinthians 16:9

“There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.”

𝑫𝒐𝒐𝒓𝒔.

Full of promise and potential pain. Do we dare knock?

Knocking on the proverbial door again with a message burning in my soul, when the doors are closed, I can somehow begin to question my worth. My calling. 𝑴𝒚 . . .

Oh. There’s that word. 𝑴𝒚 oh 𝒎𝒚. Maybe those open or closed doors are not about my gratification as much as they about being faithful to follow God through any door, with joy.

In this life, we knock on doors as we seek to understand the LORD’s direction. And sometimes we really want some doors to open and they don’t.

As much as it hurts, a closed door is an answer. It is not the end. It is an answer to the next direction. But oh how my soul hurts at closure that I did not want. How about you?

Sometimes we can be so discouraged with that closed door that we do not see another one opening.

In the midst of what seems like rejection is a pivot—another direction to go in that is in the will of God. The best place to be. And there are such sweet reminders my heart desperately needs when I stand outside the door and knock, knock, knock:

• Be content with the provision from God. He has given exactly what He intended.
• God’s favor cannot be earned. It is freely given by an all-knowing God.
• I don’t want to strive for what is not mine.
• I don’t want to strive for favor, just obedience and faithfulness and trust the results to Him.
• God is good and places us exactly where we are, for His glory, not ours.
• The motivation for favor cannot be about us. Any door I walk through is for His glory. I am just a servant, knocking on doors to see where He leads.
• I don’t want to love the telling of the message more than the message and the One Who gave the message.
• May His words soak in deeply before I ever share them.
• We get to tell His story, yes, we get to tell. But may our delight be in Jesus above all else.

Don’t regret closed doors. It might be the mercy and grace of God to not give you what you want. The timing could be wrong or He might want to bless us in a greater way so His message can reach somewhere else. Where one door closes, another opens. Will we perceive it?

The Complexity of Simplicity

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2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV)

“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.”

Living simply is simply not simple.

That’s the conclusion I have come to as I have sought to apprehend simplicity. My church has been studying the book, “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster. And this past week I have been applying last week’s sermon on Simplicity. Every day, asking God to help me, little by little, to get rid of what I don’t need. “A bag a day” in about 10-15 minutes is about all the time I have, but little by little I am making a dent.

And why pursue simplicity? Because at the heart of our faith in God is the understanding that we are on a mission down here. Jesus paid our sin debt not so we would seek to be comfortable in a fallen world, but so we could live lives focused on knowing Him and making Him known. But this world can distract us so easily.

Wants

That’s where simplicity becomes complex. We make simplicity complicated because of our wants. We convince ourselves that our wants are needs and in our own deception, we are convinced that we need even more. That is the nature of the flesh—never fully satisfied.

Paul is encouraging us to boast in our simplicity while the world is encouraging us to boast in what we own and achieve. How can we be simple in a complex world? it is complicated.

If we are just setting out to be a minimalist, this can have a good effect on us, but the inward motivation of sacrifice is missing. A minimalist can still be a minimalist but still have his or her “wants” unchecked. Oh, to be satisfied with Jesus and not just things. Or statuses. Or positions. Or comfort.

In the world

Another stumbling block that makes it difficult to live a life of simplicity is the fact that we are in the world and influenced by its messages of materialism. But Jesus encourages us to be in the world and not of it. This is so very hard for us but Paul encourages us toward God’s grace, not toward earthly wisdom. Unless we are constantly looking to the compass of God’s word, we will be led down a confusing, complicated path. What does the Bible say is needful? Time with Jesus. Time in prayer. Time in God’s word. Time with others. Clothing. And our daily bread.

Peer pressure

Wanting acceptance or approval from others can also affect our ability to live simply. My precious husband has been such an example in this area. While others would mock our vehicles that were approaching 300,000 miles and showing plenty of wear, he was just grateful for faithful transportation. While some of us in “said vehicle” would slide down to avoid being seen, he would honk and greet passersby—those who told him that I “deserved” a better car.

While we don’t drive “the green beast” anymore, our trusted Chevy Astro van of 12 years or so, it was not before that thing had been used up that we moved on to another used vehicle. The shame for driving a busted up vehicle is not remembered. And the contentedness for what we have now is enduring.

Pain

There is a degree of pain that can deter us from living simply. We have to let go. It might mean sacrifice, which feels so very hard at times, but the feeling that comes after is our reward. A weight lifted. An inner joy bubbling up because we could let go. Things have less of a hold on us.

Disappointment and life’s struggles can also inflict pain in our lives that make us want to hold onto what seems certain in this life. But things cannot comfort us like the One who is truly certain and needed—Jesus.

Ah. I have so very far to go, friends. How about you? There are so many other things that make simplicity complex. What makes it difficult for you to live a life of simplicity? When we lack the strength to choose simplicity, our God is well able to help us.

It might be a small step at first. It might mean getting rid of material things that cloud our vision. One bag at a time. Or removing things from our calendar that keep us too busy. Asking God what needs to be pruned. But one thing that matters most is simply getting into God’s presence. Let Him do the work on us. Time in His word. His word changes us when we study it and ask God to help us apply it in our lives. Bible Reading plans can go a long way in helping us to put “the big Rock” first in our lives.

When we feel condemned for our lack of simplicity or whatever area we struggle in, we have a Savior who died to set us free. It does not matter how many times in our walk with God that we think we have covered an area. Oh my, we have blind spots. Big ones. And God is so very patient with us to bring these topics up, again and again, to help to set us free. Free to live the abundant life of Christ. One step at a time.

Finding Strength in God’s Presence

 

9-9-19 God is near2 Timothy 4:16-18 (NLT)
“The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.”

Ever felt so very alone in the midst of a really hard season? Here’s Paul, a former murderer of God’s people, now conspicuously representing the same faith as those people before a secular judge. And those people He was identified with, defending the same faith? They all left him at that moment.

But God.

The presence of God is supernatural, able to comfort us more than any human ever could. Paul was strengthened by God’s presence and he knew that the LORD was with him and that He rescued him. But more than that, Paul did not look to the future fearfully. He knew the same God who was with him in the valleys and the mountains would be with him no matter what the future brings.

I identify with Paul in this passage. No one went with him when he was brought before the judge. I remember such a time when I was standing before a judge by myself. The feeling of being defenseless and defeated overwhelmed me. It did not seem like truth and justice would prevail. Where was God?

With me. With you. Emmanuel. God with us. He was with me when I lost and with me when I won. In all of it, He gave me power and strength. What about you? Do you feel alone in an area of your life? Isolated and unseen?

God wants us to abide in Him so we are never alone.

Being by ourselves when we are facing the really hard moments of life that makes us feel particularly vulnerable. There is something about the company of others that helps us feel stronger.

But the company of the God of this universe surpasses any human comfort. Our God is for us, in us and with us! Praying you feel His presence today. 

Skipping the Envy and Rooting Others On

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Numbers 11:29, “ But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them all!””

Ever felt like others might be jealous of you? Or maybe some are even jealous for you? Ah, the strivings of man.

I love Moses’ heart in this passage. His words are certainly in line with what God said about him in Numbers 12:3, “Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.”

Joshua had reported about two men who were prophesying and Joshua told Moses to make them stop. Wow. Jealousy can blind us.

Sometimes we can envy others for their success or feel like they are in our “territory”. Or vice versa. Not a fun filling to be envied or to envy at all. In this verse above, Moses tells Joshua, son of Nun, not to be jealous for his sake. Some key truths we can remember when we are jealous of someone else’s portion or worried that they might want to work in “our space”:

 There’s enough for everyone to have a piece of the pie in God’s kingdom.
Jealousy is not from God. Don’t feed it or listen to it.
Have a Kingdom mentality – root for others and enjoy the gifts that God has given to them.
Our gifts are not about us. We don’t deserve the glory – God does.
Be grateful for your portion and don’t crave your neighbor’s blessings. They won’t fit you. God knows what you need and what is best.

Guys, when the green monster comes out, ain’t nobody happy. There is such joy to be found with contentment in God’s plan and portion for our lives.

May God cause us all to flourish in our callings in Him. Serve Him! He is worthy! And the greatest joy is found in fulfilling His purpose for our lives! Don’t envy someone else’s portion – just be grateful that we get to serve Him at all and marvel at what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others.

Choose Your Master

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“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4:7 (NLT)
 
Like it or not, we all have a master. We’re gonna serve somebody. But Ii would rather choose to serve God rather than being enslaved to serve sin.
 
When I was first saved as a young college student, I just wanted a simple verse to hold onto, a “magic bullet”, if you will, that would help me to be faithful to God in my walk with Him. Basically, I wanted instructions that I could understand and thought it was as simple as obeying those instructions or commands. 😁
 
Oh, if it were only that easy. But if there ever was a magic bullet, this verse above from Genesis ranks pretty high as one of them. And this verse reveals the reality of a mighty spiritual battle going on around us all the time, whether we know it or not, ready or not.
 
Sin wants to master us. That’s simple to understand.
But we must master it. Simple to understand, but not so simple to carry out. 😳 And we were not meant to try and carry it out in our own strength as a good work.
 
This verse was spoken to Cain before he murdered his own brother. God knew his heart and made a way out. But Cain’s hardened jealous heart was bent on killing the competition rather than examining his own heart.
 
Cain had the “magic bullet” verse spoken to him before he sinned. But he still chose sin. The verse “didn’t work”. Why?
 
🔘 Sin mastered him.
🔘 His mindset mastered him.
🔘 His flesh mastered him.
 
Cain chose to listen to the thoughts convincing his mind rather than to God. Emotions fueled his mindset rather than the words from His loving God. And his own evil desires won out. He was walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit.
 
Before we judge Cain hardcore, we are not so unlike him.
 
Ever been jealous of another?
Ever spoken a harsh word (even in your mind) and judged another?
Ever wanted what someone else had?
 
Coveting. Jealousy. Hatred.
 
Such ugly words, and yet they can form in our own hearts and minds if we are not so aligned with the word of God that we don’t recognize them and deal with them.
 
Sin is not always so obvious. It deceives us and we are convinced that our feelings are legitimate.
 
Our feelings are innate, within. We believe them and our thoughts so often without questioning them. Sometimes we accept them and let them in at the door of our minds without doing the litmus test—is this from God?
 
But it is not just the removal of negativity that needs to happen. When we replace those thoughts with truth, we are able to overcome evil with good.
 
Jealousy can turn into rooting for the other person and praying for them.
 
Coveting can turn into gratitude for our own portion.
 
Hatred can turn into love when we see that person as God’s child and have compassion for them.
 
Through Christ, we can do all things.
 
Cain’s momentary decision affected his whole life.
 
And so it is with us. We have a choice each day—life or death (Joshua 24:14-15), even if we feel that we do not.
 
But if we are aware of sin’s trickery, we can arm ourselves with God’s word to master sin, instead of it mastering us. ❤

What’s in a Promise, part 4

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Broken promises are a doorway that leads us to higher promises made by the Lover of our souls.

Scriptures of the Day:

2 Corinthians 1:20

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

Matthew 5:37

“Let your word be ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no.’ More than this is from the evil one.”

Broken Promises

We have looked at the Source of Promises, the Purpose of Promises, and the Nature of Promises. I confess I want to get right to my last part to this series – Accessing God’s Promises (can’t wait!) – but I feel I would be remiss if I skipped over what I alluded to yesterday – Broken Promises.

I don’t really like to talk about broken promises. It hurts to contemplate both when someone betrayed our trust or when we did so, as well. I hate to see other people’s lives crushed because of one person’s decision to be unfaithful and to choose temporary pleasure instead of eternal reward. We long for the day when people’s yes is yes and there no is no. We root for people to be faithful. With man this is not possible, but with God nothing is impossible.

Christ knows our pain. He knew Judas was going to betray him, but he did not stop him from doing so. A promise He had spoken prior to this betrayal was on His mind – the redemption of our souls.

Sometimes we can sense that someone is going to break their promise with us and we try to stop them. We try to warn them of the consequences, but they still opt for the route of pain. Why?

Deceived.

The same one who deceived Judas gets into the hearts of men and women and blinds their eyes so they do not believe God’s promises. Man can tend to look at the here and now and shrink back from faith when things seem too difficult to trust in a promise that seems impossible. Seemingly yielding to what seems more pleasant, promise breakers are actually choosing a life of pain for themselves and those they have broken faith with.

The trouble with man placing his trust in our own actions is that we don’t often think it all the way through. When we do, we rationalize our way around the deception and think we will escape the principle of God at work in all of our lives – reaping what we sow. Deceived again. Notice that I say the word, “we” because apart from the grace of God, so we all are capable of being deceived and falling.

Who broke the promise? Can I trust God?

But what we might not want to readily admit is that we sometimes feel as if trust is broken between us and God when God allows pain into our lives. We stuff the thoughts down, not wanting our faith hurt. Somewhere we believed the lie that God promised us perfect lives free of discomfort. As favored children of God, we think we might have a better plan than God does for our lives.

Acknowledging our tendency to blame God for man’s sin, we still have a crisis – will God’s promises redeem the mess we are in? From the framework of the promises we make, this does not seem likely, until we examine God’s track record. Yes, friends, God’s promises are always fulfilled – but we have a role to play, too.

When we by faith take God at his word, we can still struggle with the temptation to break promises ourselves or avoid doing our part of the promises of God. Why doesn’t everyone do everything they can to gain the promises of God?

Vulnerability.

Trusting in promises is a vulnerable choice. We don’t want to feel foolish when our hopes seem to go unanswered. It might seem like a place of weakness to trust in what seems impossible, but it is, in fact, a place of strength. Our Almighty God is really the only One Who is fully trustworthy and able to make us trustworthy, too. Despite the suffering that broken promises produce, broken promises are a doorway that leads us to a higher promise made by the Lover of our souls.

Lord, heal hearts that have broken and help us to place all our trust in You, where we will never be disappointed.

 

What’s in a Promise, part 3

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

When the promises of men are broken, the promises of God are spoken from One Who already knows the beginning and the end.

Scripture of the Day:

Romans 4:21

“Fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”

The Nature of Promises

Waiting for the decision from the Judge seemed like an eternity. Had enough evidence been seen for a righteous decision? Only time would tell. Meanwhile, I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. Were God’s promises for me? Why was this pain allowed in and what was the purpose?

The same God Who was with me in the beginning of our sorrow was there throughout until the end of the matter. Sure, there were bumps along the road that I did not appreciate and suffering that etched character into my very soul, but in the midst I learned to trust deeply in the promises of God – and more importantly, in the One Promise Keeper and Lover of our souls.

Knowing the One Who always keeps His promises makes believing in His promises easier when life is overwhelming. Knowing the nature of His promises also helps us to be able to put our hope and faith in our God and His faithful promises.

When God makes a promise, it is divine. Promises are spoken easily in our culture with a quick excuse or rationalization to cover over our reason for not fulfilling them. When the promises of men are broken, the promises of God are spoken from One Who already knows the beginning and the end.

God’s promises are covenants – a sacred agreement between the God of this universe and His people. They are graciously made by a loving God Who is inviting the unholy into a relationship with a Holy Being. The nature of His covenant is unilateral – He needs nothing from us, He determines the covenant and the conditions which need to be met.

Our human nature just wants to receive the blessing of God’s promises without meeting the full obligations of His covenant with us, but God draws our hearts to want Him, instead. Our righteous, loving God sets in motion amazing promises available to all Who are willing to be accountable and accept the conditions of God’s promises.

God’s conditions are good and for our good, but our flesh resists fulfilling our end when life gets hard. We just want to get to the end and see that everything works out ok. But pressing in, trusting God and focusing on His promises rather than all that surrounds us, we pave the road to victory.

During the most painful moments of my life it was God’s promises which were a refuge for my soul. I held fast to them like they were my life – they were. I counted on them and longed for God to be my Hero – He was.

God knows we are weak. His people have a long track record of forgetfulness. Most of His interaction with man has been a perpetual cycle of placing a promise in front of His people and their response to that promise. God is faithful despite our response to His promises, but He also allows us to bear the consequences for our decisions to trust or not trust in Him.

We help determine the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives. Will we doubt the Sovereign God of this universe and place our hope in self, or will we surrender to His will and trust His timing?

Oh God, You are my God and I praise You. Thank You for Your promises and Your faithfulness to Your people. Help us to abide in Your covenantal promises and to trust in You always.

What’s In a Promise, part 2

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

The promises of God have purposes far beyond just getting what we want.

Scripture of the Day:

2 Peter 1:4

“By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”

The Purpose of Promises

Ever wonder why we have promises? Why do we need them? What is their purpose? Why couldn’t we just have all that we need?

When my children were little and really excited about something they could hardly wait for, they would sometimes look at me with their innocent, big eyes and ask, “promise?”. My kids knew that I would not say or promise something if I did not mean it. I wanted them to know that they could count on my being trustworthy in an uncertain world. They just wanted affirmation that it was going to happen.

Our Father is the same – only He has the means to fulfill all His promises where circumstances can throw our promises into a tailspin of delay.

The promises of man are often self-focused and materialistic in the pursuit of comfort. It is not evil to desire some comfort, but it can become a stumbling block if that is our desire above God’s purposes.

Faithfulness. God gives us His promises with a motivation much different than ours. He desires for us to be people of hope, living worthy lives yearning after His promises. When we look toward the fulfillment of His plan, we are not sitting idle, but become a faithful people. If every promise we ever had was already fulfilled, we would have nothing to look forward to and grow complacent.

Eternal Salvation. His goal is the pursuit of our souls with His promises. Drawing us near, He uses His promises for an eternal means. In trusting in His promises we do not waste time investing in temporary promises. Promises of the world are often formed in sin, but the promises of God are redeeming with purposes far beyond just getting what we want. His promises lead to the salvation of our souls.

Relationship. God wants us to trust in Him and to rely on Him, not ourselves. This is relationship. King Hezekiah demonstrates this relationship of trusting in God’s promises so well. The Bible says that there was none like him in his trust of God (2 Kings 18:5). Threatened by the king of Assyria who defeated everyone else, it would seem easy to fear and hard to trust, but Hezekiah staunchly placed his trust in God and the LORD was with Him. Even so, Hezekiah also had his moments of asking God to affirm His promises just like my children did (2 Kings 20). He was sick and going to die. Trusting God’s promise for healing was a real test in the face of such pain. So he asked for a sign. He did not ask with unbelief, but needed reassurance – God wants to give us His reassurance, too, as we wait eagerly on Him and walk in relationship with Him.

Sometimes a deep yearning of our hearts is never realized while other times promises are fulfilled that we never dreamed would happen. In both instances, we learn to trust our God is wise in all of His promises and the timing of the fulfillment of them.

It hurts while we wait and we can wonder what the purpose is of such pain. This is where faith comes in. Looking beyond the promises we hope for, we look to the One Who made them and His character –  then we understand. A God Who would leave the comforts of Heaven and choose suffering would ask us to do the same – set aside our purposes for His.

That God chose to patiently live a life on earth to achieve His purposes does not mean that God is not compassionate for our suffering and longing. He is growing our character and us into being a people after His own heart Who live worthy lives on purpose for His glory.

Lord, thank You for Your promises and for being a faithful God. Help us to be a people characterized by trust that is a witness to this world.

What’s in a Promise, part 1

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Our great God Who did not owe us any promises, still chose to make them.

Scripture of the Day:

Psalm 89:34

“No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back one word of what I said.”

The Source of Promises

Blew the diet again this past weekend. Severely. Broke my treadmill, too, and figured that would really not help my cause. But today is a new day and the treadmill is fixed. Once again I promise that I will make consistent healthy choices. Ok, maybe not. But when I fall, I am caught by my Sovereign God Who keeps all of His promises and encourages me to rise up and try again.

Sound familiar? I am a flawed human, and while I keep important promises by the grace of God, sometimes the smaller ones are rationalized away.

I’ve been thinking a lot about promises lately, and how much God’s promises have been a constant comfort and strength in my life. So I thought I would devote this week to exploring the promises of God.

Life hurts sometimes and we search to find something to hold onto, to help us get through. But in this fallen world, promises are easily made and often not kept by man. So how can we hold onto promises from a God we cannot see? How do we access these promises? And how do we hold on when it seems that God’s promises are not kept?

Today I want to look at our Covenant Maker and Keeper. Looking at the source of the promise, we understand that we cannot compare God’s promises with man’s. While people change their mind and a faithful man cannot be found (Proverbs 20:6), the promises of God are trustworthy because . . .

The promises of God are made by a God that doesn’t change or lie. 

1 Samuel 15:29

“And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

Our security cannot be satisfied in an ever-changing world, but the God Who made this world does not change His purposes or lie. That means He said it, I believe it, that settles it.

The promises of God are made by our God Who is Holy.

Isaiah 57:15

“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.”

The one true living God is Holy, unable to sin, so far above us, yet He has compassion on the lowly. In His Holiness, He could not mislead His people or not keep His covenantal promises. It is not in His divine nature to do so.

The promises of God are made by a God who is in complete control.

Proverbs 19:21

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

Jeremiah 32:27

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”

He is in control of all things. The One Who set up the world system is fully capable of maintaining it. If He can create this world and sustain it, He can handle keeping all of his promises and our problems, too.

Our great God Who did not owe us any promises, still chose to make them. He delights to bless His children and to give them His hope, because He is good and kind.

 

The Land of Promise

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Where we are is not as important as who and whose we are in that place.

Scripture of the Day:

Joshua 1:7-8

7 “Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do. This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful.”

I missed blogging yesterday while moving my son into his dorm. So many thoughts have flooded my mind this week, taking inventory of the foundation laid before this next chapter begins for him – and us.

Everybody likes something new, and our souls yearn for the next thing. But sometimes we are called to stay.

I wonder if this message in Joshua is not just for those going into the new land, but for those who stayed behind. The tribes of Israel who chose an inheritance east of the Jordan – wouldn’t they also need to be strong and brave? They had agreed to help the other tribes get into the promised land, but they did not want to settle there.

Fear and familiarity with what they knew likely robbed them of God’s blessing, but even in that place of choosing a lesser inheritance, they, too, would need God’s strength and to remember their God in that place.

Sometimes we are called to move and explore new adventures and sometimes we learn to be content with the same circumstances and provision. In either case, the greatest thing we need is God and His word.

Where we are is not as important as who and whose we are in that place.

My son will now need to forge ahead in his new station of life and make choices that will impact his life and future. I am truly excited for him. But we who are left “east” of his new land need to figure out life without him.

The foundation laid all these years has become stones of remembrance for us all. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, God spoke to Joshua and told His people to place stones of remembrance in the midst of them as a reminder that God had been faithful to them.

Instead of sorrow at this crossing from childhood to adulthood, I reflect on the “stones” of remembrance that God allowed us to lay on the foundation of my children and our family. He has been faithful to my family – through raging waters and fiery storms. He has brought us into a land of promise – as we abide in Him.

Even when we are creatures of habit and don’t prefer change, God can meet us at that place and transform it from a place of sorrow into a place of worship.

 

Lord, I thank You for every stone laid in my life – the painful, the sweet, the undeserved blessings. All of it You mysteriously use for eternal means. May You be glorified in each moment, each step of our lives.