Monday, April 27, 2009

Unexplained Emotions

God has truly humbled me by His mercy and grace. There have been so many times in the past that I have experienced His grace and mercy... but I don't remember any of those times having quite the same effect on me as it has the past couple days.

I have heard people say, "you don't know what I have done... God could never forgive ME". To which I say.... well.... God know everything you have ever done and thought about doing.... yet He is willing to forgive you.

I have heard other people say, "there is no way that person can go to heaven after what they have done..." To which I say... going to heaven has nothing to do with what we have done... and everything to do with what Jesus did!"

I have heard still others say, "I deserve better than this...." To which I often think... really?? I think the Bible says that we all deserve hell. So anything better than hell is more than you deserve.

BUT... since Saturday... I am saying....

"who are we that God would show us so much favor and save my son's life?" and then...

"how can I face others that have lost their children.... knowing that God chose to save mine?"

Now... this is a set of questions that I just haven't been able to answer to myself yet. Don't get me wrong... I know that God is sovereign. He can and does what He chooses... and what pleases Him. I know that He knows the beginning from the end... and His plan is perfect. BUT I just can't get over these humbling emotions. I have shed more tears over these questions that I have about the accident itself. Well... actually... I didn't shed any over the accident. I had immediate peace... and I knew that no matter what the outcome... I could trust God's plan. It almost seems to me that I could have accepted God's choice of "bad" easier than I can accept His choice of "good". It has left me speechless. I am in total awe of God that He would choose to save my son's life. That He would give him more time here...

These are certainly some unexplainable emotions that are swirling around in my head and in my heart. I am totally humbled by this. I know that God has a perfect plan. I know that all of this is part of it. I am totally surrendered to His plan... and I have come to understand... that I don't have to be able to explain it... or the emotions in my heart. But I do want to praise Him!

Father... again, you know my heart. It is so humbled by your sovereign choice to spare Jason's life. Please help me to get out of the way so that you can accomplish what you have purposed in his life and in mine. I praise you.... you alone are worthy!!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

God's mercy and Grace

Again... I am amazed at God's mercy and His grace. Today we went to look at the car that my son was driving when he had his accident... it is enough to make my heart sick. But.... knowing that God had his hand on this car as it slammed into a truck at 55mph or more... makes my heart sing. He is our protector. He is more merciful than we can ever imagine. Jason is doing fairly well. He is still extremely sleepy and groggy. He is weak and unsteady on his feet most of the time.... BUT he is alive. I thought that I would include a few pictures of the car. They are a little graphic.... AND the beer can under the car in one photo does not belong to my son... it is in the fence at the wreckage yard. Please take a moment and praise God that He chose to spare Jason's life. Please also pray that Jason will cooperate with God's purpose for this.

Father... I am in awe of you. You are so totally in control of all things. I cannot thank you enough for giving Jason more time here. Not only for me... But for him. Please have your way and your will with this. I will praise you forever. I am humbled... I have found myself looking up at your heavens in awe that you would do this for us.... more tears. I love you Lord.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh how good my Father is...

God has just been so good to me this week. I just need to take a few minutes and give Him some praise. Some of you may know that our computer has suffered for quite some time. After a severe cluster of viruses our precious... old... computer died. It just couldn't make it. I have been quite undone without a computer. It is amazing how much you can depend on something and not even realize it. So after at least a week or two with no computer... I was able to get a new one... and praise God... it is a laptop. Which is such a blessing for me today because....

Monday, my 18 years old son was in a bad car accident. While driving on a straight stretch of road... a truck ran through a stop sign into the path of the car that Jason was driving. (which was NOT his own car... that is a different story) Jason didn't even have time to apply the brakes. He hit the side of the heavy duty truck at approximately 55 mph or more. He was taken to our local hospital... but then transfered to the NeuroICU at another hospital. He has a skull fracture... and a epidural hematoma. (bleeding in the brain) I actually started this post while he was in the hospital several days ago... but didn't get finished until now.

Things like this bring you to a point that you have to choose... either to trust God or not.

I have chosen to trust God. I have walked with Him long enough to know that I don't have to like what happens... I just have to trust that it is part of God's perfect plan. His Word tells us that His plan is PERFECT. I don't trust God to do what I want Him to do. I just trust God.

This whole event has continued to bring back to my mind a sentence that I read in the book The Shack... no matter how you feel about this book... this sentence has the potential to change your thinking.

You have to give up the right to decide what is good and what is bad.

The world's eyes don't see things the same way that God's eyes see them. He sees the beginning from the end. He sees the character that comes from the suffering. He sees the result that comes from the trial. He sees the beauty that comes from the ashes.

A fractured skull... bad in the world's eyes.
Bleeding in the brain... bad in the world's eyes.
Being in the Neurosurgical ICU... bad in the world's eyes.

The truth remains... these may be good things in the overall plan that leads to eternity. Do I like that this has happened? No. Do I like that my son has had to go through what he has gone through since Monday? No. But I know that God can use it for His eternal purpose. That is what I am praying for.

God has been very gracious to my family this week. My son came home yesterday. He still has to take things easy for quite a while while his skull and brain try to recover from this injury. But... after seeing pictures of the car... it is an absolute a miracle that he is alive. I am completely humbled by God's goodness to us this week. Instead of bringing my son home... we could have been planning his funeral. Please pray with me that he will see God's real purpose in this. There is a reason why Jason is still here.... because by all appearences.... he shouldn't be. I'm trusting His plan.

My God is good. ALL the time.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Roadwork Ahead...

Ughh.... I can't tell you how tired I am of all the road work going on around here. Every time I go somewhere, I hit at least one or two miles of road work. A couple weeks ago... it was the opposite side of the road from my daughter's school. So every morning... I would go the long way home so that I didn't have to drive on the torn up road. They had torn up all of the old asphalt and prepared the road for new asphalt. Only... it seemed like forever between the time that they tore up the old... and put on the new. Imagine my surprise Monday morning when I turned to take my daughter to school.... and they were now on my side of the road. There is no way around it. I am going to have to drive that way every morning to take her to school. It is so bumpy... and rough. Loose stones flying around everywhere. A smooth way.... Is that really too much to ask for??

Today as I bumped along... my mind wandered to some other bumpy, rough, tough places. Like struggles that we go through in our life. Hurt. Pain. Loss. Frustration. Depression. Discouragement. Anger... among many other things. I thought about how God has to tear up the old existence... the old reactions... the old relationships... the old prideful ways... so that He can bring us to a smooth place. A place of beauty.

Isaiah 42:16 says...
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them,

and make the rough places smooth.

His goal is our holiness. Not our happiness. His goal is for us to be just like His Son. Not like who we are without Him. The final product is to be a beautiful planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)

I know that the goal of those sweet... sweaty... hardworking road men is for us to have a beautiful smooth road to drive on. But, it will not be that way until the old is torn up... and the new put down. So... maybe God is just going to remind me every morning that He is also in the road business... tearing up the old... to bring the new. Even though the way may be bumpy and rough.... I can trust that He will make it smooth.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

And the winner is...

Okay... I know that I have let March 31st come and go without announcing the winner of the giveaway... and I am sure that you few have been by here everyday to see if it is you. (okay... well, maybe not) I was pretending that I would figure out how to post a picture of the giveaway before I announced the winner.... but I didn't. I am sure that if I could have pinned one of my children down long enough they could have shown me... but that didn't happen either.

So.... with no more delay... the winner is

Elaine at Peace for the Journey

Elaine, please send me your mailing address so that I can get it in the mail to you.

Hopefully I can get a picture up soon.

Many of you know that my Tuesdays and I are working through the Beth Moore study entitled Jesus the One and Only. Awesome study. We are finishing up our study next week... so right now we are doing the homework for the last 24 hours of the life of Christ. Wow! What a great time of year to be studying this. I have been so blessed. There are more than a few things that really marked me... let me tell you about some of them...

Satan was able to enter Judas because he was available. Think about this... Judas had followed Christ for several years. He had seen His power. He had seen his life. BUT he had never really given his heart to Christ. This happens in churches too. There are people that have gone to church for years. Sang in the choir. Served in the nursery. Sat next to people that were authentic in their faith... but never really given their heart to Christ. Available.

Satan asked permission to sift Peter as wheat. Christ granted him permission. Christ wouldn't grant the devil permission to do anything that can't be used for God's glory and our good... if we let it. Christ also told Peter that He prayed for him. (Luke 22:31-32) And then He said... "when" you turn back strengthen your brothers. Think about this... Christ knew Peter's heart. He knew that even being sifted and shook up by the enemy wouldn't keep Peter from Him. The enemy can only read us from the outside.... Christ reads us on the inside. Christ knew that Peter could be trusted with the sifting. Am I trustworthy??

Not only did Christ DO so much for us on Calvary... there are things that He could have done that He chose not to. According to Matthew 26:54-56, He reminded them that He could call on His Father, and He would put at His disposal 12 legions of angels. But.... He chose not to. He was so totally God... He could have called the whole thing off... but because of His great love for us and His great desire to do His Father's will.... He chose to stay on that cross. Not only did God do what He didn't have to do... but He also didn't do what He could have done. Now that is powerful!!

Christ knew from the beginning that Judas would betray Him. The fact that the disciples discussed which one would be the one to betray Him shows us that Jesus never treated Judas any differently than the others. Even after Judas planted the betraying kiss on His check... Jesus called him "Friend". (Matthew 26:50) Christ loves us all the same. There is nothing that we can do to change His love for us.

Also... Can you imagine the look on Jesus' face when He and Peter made eye contact after the betrayal. What do you think His eyes said to Peter?? Do you think that they were full of condemnation?? I think His look must have been full of love. It is God's kindness that leads us to repentance. Peter had actually come face-to-face with the fact that in him no good thing dwelled. The sifting removed the unuseable in Peter... and left him useable to Christ. Although I really don't like to be sifted... I do want to be rid of the chaff and unuseable junk in my life so that Christ can use me.

God has really used this study to give me a deeper view of Calvary. I know that most of us have read and heard this story over and over.... but re-read it. Ask God to give you a fresh new look at it. I believe He longs to do that. And... don't be afraid of a little sifting....

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