Tag Archive: promise

Flash Cards

Day 136 Psalm 3-4, Psalm 12-13, Psalm 28, Psalm 55

    I have a stack of business cards on which I had printed up my favorite bible verses.  I’ve carried these cards around during rough times.  These cards were first printed up when my husband went to war in 03.  I was home with a one-year-old and experienced for the first time really needing God  to just to get me through the day.  Military spouses can be refined by some very difficult circumstances and I am in awe of each and every one of them even though I was one too for 13 years.  When the year was over and my husband returned I turned my back on God.  I’m not saying I didn’t believe in Him anymore I’m just saying I didn’t think I needed Him anymore.. the tough days were gone right?  Well my husband’s short break home quickly turned into yet another deployment, and this time I was home with two babies… and once again God was THERE to see me through the year. . . and out came the bible verses.  I carried them in my pocket, propped them up beside my bed, I tucked them into my mirror in the bathroom, I gave them away to those in need.  later they came with me to Ug*nda during our adoption of our daughter… Oh they are out now as I grieve the end of my marriage.  I knew a lot of these verses were from Psalms, but found it curious today when I learned that a lot of them were written by David in the context of fleeing from his son Abselom. 

Here are a few:

 psalm 3:3-5

But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
   my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the LORD,
   and he answers me from his holy mountain.

   5 I lie down and sleep;
   I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

Psalm 4:8

  In peace I will lie down and sleep,
   for you alone, LORD,
   make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 13:5

 5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
   my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise,
   for he has been good to me.

Is it any coincidence that David writes these words while experiencing great pain, heartache and anguish in that I find relief from my tough times in reading these same words? No!  David knew that his ONLY chance of salvation in both life and in death is by the grace of God the blessed controller of all things.  Hard times drill this lesson into us.  I’m going to make it through this because God is going to see me through.  Those of you who say I’m strong, well the creator of the universe is the strong one.. guess who’s got my back.


Is He Talking to Me?

Day 74 Deuteronomy 11-13

  I’m not sure if God’s leading me into a period of desert wandering, or a new promise land or perhaps I’m over doing the analogies but I do know my life is taking a dramatic unexpected turn… what now do I do with it?  Over the last two days I’ve felt as though some of Moses’ advice to the young Israelites was speaking to me.  Yesterdays the verses Deut. 8: 2-5 touched me and I thought about them through out the day:  2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. 

   What struck a chord with me was Humbled… right now I feel utterly humbled.  I think of it as a good thing, not necessarily my circumstances (at all) but the opportunity to be humbled by them… it brings us into a much more honest approach to God… we are less likely to take credit for what is good in our lives and more likely to cling to our Maker with all we’ve got.  When something really horrid happens how many of us utter the words, “Oh God.”   No matter how we stray it’s trying times that reminds us who we really should be dependent on.  Through this process there is almost a liberating feeling.. oh, it’s not just my burden to bear, look the LORD is here to bear it with me.

   Today’s passages struck me on an application level as well.. the idea of blessings and curses based on following the law.  In a way it sounds like a dictatorship on the surface.. I honestly think our resistance to following directions is the fundamental foundation of sin… “Eat whatever you’d like except don’t eat of this tree…   [chomp]  ok little missy and little mister we need to talk about following directions!”  The commandments aren’t too horrid, well the big ten at least make sense.  If you keep the ten commandments you’d be better off than if you didn’t.  To me that’s the blessing and the curse… So I’m left wondering (and again perhaps I’m being a little too literal with the analogies, but it’s where I am so put up with it..) as I enter this new “phase” of my life what idols will I encounter and how will I handle them?  How do I navigate this new world keeping the Lord close?  My buddy Jena commented that “There is strength in obedience” after reading today passages.  The Lord knows I need strength right now.  Do what’s right even though every fiber of my being wants to throw a royal temper tantrum the likes of have never been seen before .  I’d be justified, but to who?  How can I keep God’s commandments and avoid idols as I pass into this new life? What would they look like? I only needed to listen to 20 minutes of pop culture radio to be reintroduced to some of the biggies. I won’t know till I’m there, but I’m pretty sure keeping commandments and avoiding idols involves loving and serving God through the yuck, despite the yuck, with in the yuck. 

     I don’t feel like I’m walking into a promise land, but I have been promised that “it’s all going to be ok.”  It’s so vague, too vague.  I want to know how, when, why… WHY I’m dealing with what I’m dealing with.  It’s all going to be ok… I cling to that and I cling to my Maker.  I will try to continue to walk the walk, I will be humbled and be proud of it (LOL the irony just hit me), I will avoid the pitfalls that are sure to come in this new uncharted territory.  I am not alone… with God going before me and friends He’s sent by my side I know, I know, I know I’m going to be ok.

Promised Destination

Day 28 Genesis 46-47

I zeroed in on Verses 3 and 4 of chapter 46, it reads: “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

  Now, I’ve been to vacation bible school and I know what happens to the Israelites in Egypt… Nothing that God told Jacob is false, AND if they had stayed in Canaan they would have died of starvation, but Egypt proves to be one tough place for the Hebrews.  I can relate to this experience.

   There was no doubt in my mind when we began our adoption of our last child that God was in control… and the end result would be beautiful.   He planted the seed, He opened the doors, my daughter’s very name was like a sign from our Creator to highlight how involved He was in every detail of this journey.  We still had to take the steps, but it was heavenly orchestrated.  Did this make it easy?  The answer to that would be a resounding NO!!  Especially when we were in her country of birth.  No step in the process was easy, ever. but as we inched our way through the bureacracy the fingerprints of God were all over the place.  I kept thinking, if I’d know it was going to be this hard or take this long I wouldn’t have agreed to do this… PRAISE GOD I didn’t know!!  While although he failed to mention the trials we’d face what was super evident was how much we were falling in love with our beautiful daughter, our Promised Destination.  And all the bumps we went through to get her? Well those were opportune moments for God’s Glory  to open our eyes.

   I’m here again  facing a long hard journey (no we’re not adopting again) and I’ve been promised that at the end of this journey I’m on “It will all be ok.”  But I worry what does that mean?  What will I have to go through to get there? I honestly have no idea where the path I’m on ends up, I have only been reassured that I’ll be fine in the end.  Well right now there is one particular end I DON’T want, but at the moment my only choice is to give this all to God and trust He knows what’s best.   Here is God promising to Jacob that in Egypt he will become a great nation, but God leaves out the years of bondage and slavery part doesn’t He…

   I have been meditating on 1 Peter 4:19 “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”  I am hurting in ways I’ve never hurt before.  But because of that My Creator is holding me up and supporting me and I am committed to Him like never before.  The do good part.. well I’m trying, the temptation to not be so good is great… but I’m going to walk this path set before me.  God has told me, “I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.”  Although I fear the journey I know there is value in it.

Prodigal Promises

 Day 16 Genesis 12-15

Christmas  of 03 my family and I were all gathered at my In-laws for Christmas.  I was just pregnant enough to start wearing maternity clothes and all of us were eager for the opening of a single “present.”  During my ultrasound I had the tech withhold telling us if it was a boy or girl.  Instead I had her write it down on a piece of paper for me to read Christmas morning. 

    My first kiddo was a wonderful little boy, and while I loved and cherished having a son, I had always pictured myself parenting a daughter, at least one.  Well my very first impression when I read the card telling us we were going to have another little boy was, “My oldest son is going to have a little buddy!”   There was some speculation among the family that I’d be disappointed when we found out I was having another boy.    But the moment I KNEW for sure I was happy about little man number two and I had peace over the idea of a daughter… because the seed of adoption had already been planted in my heart.

   God promised me, prepared me and created me to be the mother to not only my boys but also my girl.  But the moment I felt peace with the idea of eventually having a daughter, like Abram hearing the news about his descendents, I  also found tremendous doubt. 

     Everyone talks about adoption… says things like, “Oh I want to adopt!”  But how many of us actually accomplish this?  The list of why we would never actually adopt was long, and legitimate.  It wasn’t so much that I doubted God’s ability, I doubted mine… I knew me, I was the queen of good ideas that never came to fruition.  The likelihood that fear would forever prevent me from adopting was  a VERY real possibility.  Praise God it wasn’t just up to me.  Adoption was God’s plan for my life, whether I believed it or not.

    God planted the seed, God closed doors till it was time for the doors to be flung open and God clearly led the way to the exact child He had predestined for me to parent, before she was born, before I was born.  With God all things are possible,  with Erika.. not so much.  But if it really matters to the Lord, He can still use a broken failure like me to complete his master plan. 

    Abram was old, Abram was not perfect, but he was a friend of God, the Prodigal Promiser.

First Covenant

Day 3 January 3rd

Genesis 8-11

The word that stuck in my head this morning was covenant.   God’s special promise to all living creatures to never again flood the entire earth. All covenants have a sign.. this one is a rainbow, a clear message that says, “I still promise.”

In 8:21 he acknowledges that mankind is “bent towards evil ways but I guess he’s willing to work with that from now on.  Not that it’s acceptable, just workable (really with as bad as humans can get now, wowza they must have been awful during Noah’s time).

Genesis 9:6-7 is interesting, slightly, given the virtual total destruction God brought over the entire earth, now to say that Human life is precious because we reflect God’s very nature.. So we’re bent towards evil YET we reflect God’s righteousness (always doing right).  I think we  posses the ability to comprehend righteousness, but are incapable of achieving it.   I’ve frequently said life (or church, work, family the list goes on and on) would be perfect if humans weren’t there to muck it up.

Last thing.. Noah cursing Canaan for looking at his drunk naked body, then blessing Canaan’s brother’s for covering him up. Oooo, that is really messed up.  It’s not that what Canaan did was all that great, but neither is getting drunk and passing out naked.  It’s great that the other bros did the respectable thing and So yeah Noah should have said thank you, and perhaps sorry.  Here is what I take issue with, it’s so clearly pitting brother against brother.  To Curse one and bless the other.  Noah is setting up some dangerous family issues here, and it’s a theme we’ll see over and over and over again. I know the passages are more of a history lesson about the region’s different settlements than painting an accurate family tree, but the divisions we see established by “Noah” from early on CEARLY still exists today.  Who are the Canaanites today?  Who are the Sons of Shem and Japheth?

Lord,  I can sense that knowledge of right from wrong through the fog of selfish sin.  If I could just set my path straight towards you, and free myself from distractions.  I’ll never be without distractions, without sin.  So I’m that much more thankful that you are the God of second chances.  We don’t deserve it.  Like Luke looking at Darth Vader  you see the good in us (yes I just quoted a Star Wars movie to the Creator of the Universe, I dare say he chuckled).  Thank you for never giving up.