The LORD of Armies has taken an oath: “It will happen exactly as I’ve intended. It will turn out exactly as I’ve planned.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Isaiah 14:24 GWT Romans 8:28 KJV
Every December, it’s the same pre-Christmas cookie-baking ritual. Pulling out my bowls and measuring spoons along with flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs – I spend an entire day mixing, and refrigerating batches of cookie dough. I’ll spend another whole day baking and decorating (and taste-testing of course!) until our kitchen counters are covered in sugary goodness.
In the midst of my baking marathon, I stepped back to survey the landscape of my countertop. I noticed that most of what my eyes landed on wouldn’t taste very good as a stand-alone ingredient. Baking soda or a pinch of salt isn’t very tasty all by itself, however, mix each ingredient together in the correct order, add some heat and voila’! You have a mouth-watering, hip-enlarging Christmas cookie! As I mixed and stirred this year’s cookie-dough, I thought a lot about the “ingredients” of my life… of most people’s lives and how similar it is to my Christmas cookie routine.
On a stand-alone basis, many of the ingredients we encounter are bitter, or even down right painful. Some appear as pointless as baking soda or a pinch of salt. At times were convinced the oven temperature is set on broil…oh the pain of the heat of trials or testing or even natural consequences of our own bad choices…
In my own life, the Lord God has taken “ingredients” like childhood challenges, the death of two of my children, domestic violence, divorce and even my own addictions….and in the end, brought them all together for my good and His glory. Ingredients that I thought were unnecessary or an “oven” temperature I thought was too hot or “baking time” I thought was too long… He brought good from them all. Not one ingredient wasted.
Your ingredient list or baking time, may be similar to mine or completely different. Maybe it includes the bitter flavor of COVID or the nastiness of depression-inducing isolation or the uncertainty of our political landscape or financial anxiety.
Right now may be your time of “mixing” of ingredients, or “the heat of the oven” or maybe you are enjoying the finished-for-the-moment taste of His masterpiece creation. Wherever you’re at in the process and whatever your ingredient list, let me encourage you today to rest on the authority of His Word that He will indeed cause all things to work together for your good and His glory…. trust Him, your end result will be just as He planned. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and a few cookies… and reflect a minute on how He so masterfully used/uses all your life’s ingredients for your good and His glory. Astounding.
“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.”― Joni Erickson Tada
Father, I am amazed at Your ability to take all the ingredients of our life and somehow, some way, create beauty. How can we thank You precious Lord, expect by offering our life back to You. We love You! In Jesus’ name, Amen
Written by Becky White for the Lord Jesus
Christmas. I love the lights, the tinsel, the songs, and the food. I love the cheesy nothing-to-do-with-the-real-meaning-of-Christmas movies. I love baking cookies with the grandkids and watching the excitement in their eyes as they gasp excitedly at Grandpa and Grandma’s covered-in-icicles Christmas tree. But as we all know – none of these things is really Christmas is it? In fact, one of those decades-old movies reminds us that Christmas can, and does, happen even when all those extras are missing. Old socks became Christmas socks in our family.
Old socks nailed to the wall as Christmas stockings, plump with fruit and candy, old socks used as mittens for the kid’s snowball fights and old socks turned into bean bag toys and hand puppets. During those years of great difficulty, God gave us a heart of thankfulness for such blessings as old socks – while in recent years, I have spent Christmas’ basking in the outward blessings of tinsel, lights, cheesy movies and grandkids – all shared with my gift-from-God husband and family.
But no matter what, I always had Christmas. Because Christmas isn’t about those outer trappings we so enjoy.
While we could debate the origins of celebrating this Holy Day we call Christmas, or the accuracy of the exact date – let’s land on the meaning of what we are celebrating. God made flesh. Born of a woman. The Creator entering into His creation to save them. No lights or tinsel or cookies or even eggnog needed. Jesus the Christ, born into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. That is Christmas.
This Christmas may find you comfortably sitting in your favorite chair, sipping hot chocolate and basking in the glow of a tree or alone in a prison cell (physical or emotional), tear-stained face and discouraged beyond words. It may find you missing a now-in-heaven child/parent/spouse/friend/sibling… or it may find you feverishly trying to “create” Christmas for family. My prayer is that this Christmas we purposefully remember what we are celebrating – the greatest *gift of all time. The gift of His one and only Son… for you. For me… Amazing.
The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas. –Rev. Billy Graham
Father, I am speechless when I think of what You have given us…Your Son, Your only Son. I bow at Your feet, acknowledging Your goodness, faithfulness and absolute mercy and grace given to one such as I. Thank You Father, thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen
*(Make sure you have opened this gift or it will do you as much good as those expired gift cards!)
Written by Becky White for the Lord Jesus
In service to the Master,
Becky White <><
“His whole will for my life no matter the cost. “Elizabeth Elliot
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
PSALM 75:1 ESV 1THESSALONIANS 5:18 NLT/ESV
Be thankful. Be grateful. Give thanks. Those phrases get tossed around quite a bit this time of year. Heck, I have plaques all over my kitchen shouting it! Yet these expressions ring incredibly hollow when this is your first holiday without your child, spouse or parent, or you’re in a locked prison cell, or overwhelmed with loneliness forged by a pandemic, or your dinner “table” is your lap as you sit on a curb, eating as others pass by – ignoring your exitance…Rather than anticipating laughter and fun around the family dinner table – some anticipate pain, heartache, loneliness and loss.
Yet…oh dear one…allow me to oh so gently encourage you…
This Thanksgiving Day, I encourage you…be thankful. Even if that means giving thanks in spite of your present crisis. In spite of your difficulties. In spite of crushed dreams. In spite of your pain. When all is stripped away – His great love is enough to be thankful for. Don’t allow this season to be overshadowed by a pandemic, “Black Friday” or Turkey Day or whatever else the world has morphed this holiday into. Give thanks to and for the One who holds your very breath in His loving hands and gave the life of His Son for us.
Search if you must. Sift through the debris of your life if that’s what it takes – but find something and then give thanks. Even if it’s giving thanks for the transforming power of pain…
While cleaning my hall mirror (wiping away grandchildren finger prints) I was struck with my own ingratitude. Why do the fingerprints on the mirror cause me pause more than the beautiful little fingers that smeared them there? How did I go from on-my-knees thankful for a warm bed, full cabinets and the peace-filled serenity of my home – to grumbling about check-out lines and slow drivers? How??
How do we go from being in awe of the Cross of Christ that saved us to finding church another duty to fulfill? Why is it so easy to overlook His bountiful blessings of breath in our lungs, a clear mind, a bed to sleep in, a grandchild to clean up after or a little one to hold? Some reading these words would give anything to have such priceless gifts.
If WWII Nazi concentration camp survivor, Corrie ten Boom, could thank God for fleas/lice in her prison bunk, surely we can find something to thank Him for.
Magnificent Father, giver of all good gifts, thank You for saving me and lavishing me with such things as peace in the midst of difficulty, calm in the midst of storms and security in the midst of such uncertainty. Enable me to focus on what You have blessed me with rather than what I perceive as lack. You are good and You are faithful. How I love You! In Jesus’ name. Amen
Written by Becky White for my Lord Jesus
“Call to Me and I will answer you, declares the Lord.”
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Jeremiah 33:3 Psalm 20:7
This week’s “devotion” is a bit wonky – bear with me. I want to get this out while fresh in my heart. As I have sought the Lord in prayer, fasting and most of all through His Word – I believe I have a word to share for this season of the world we’re all living in. Let me dive in…
As Jesus Christ rode on a donkey through the dusty roads of Jerusalem, His followers, and the public at large, were shouting Hosanna! Hosanna! Waving palm branches and tossing them before the Lord as a carpet. Anticipating their soon deliverance from the Roman rule that they were enduring. So excited they were for Him to throw out the cruel rulers.
His own disciples were expecting an any-minute earthy deliverance as well. We know this from the downcast exchange that took place on the rode to Emmaus, as well as their complete loss of hope demeanor right after the crucifixion. Who could blame them?
But God. (I just love that phrase). But God had something so much more in mind than a temporal escape or stop-gap measure. He had orchestrated from eternity past and stealthily executed their ETERNAL deliverance. We long for immediate though often, band-aide style relief, while our God will have none of that. Though He surely He understood their misunderstanding of it all. Their, “Where are you Lord?!” cries as they watched their beloved Master put to death, along with all their hopes for the future they had expected. That is until His resurrection! He understands our confusion as well.
Fast forward to 2020. Overflowing with political chaos, pandemics, depression, weather anomalies, economic uncertainty, the very fracturing of our democratic republic mingled with lawlessness and animalistic , cold-hearted rage…we have cried out for our Deliverer to save us. To have mercy, so undeserved. To come to our rescue.
And just like the biblical folks of two millennia ago, many of us have felt a knot in our stomach, an ache of despair, as we watch a hoped-for outcome evaporate. (Political, personal, financial, relational) Forgetting that the Lord God we serve always, ALWAYS, dear one…answers His children’s cries for help and ALWAYS answers above and beyond all we could ask for or imagine. And ALWAYS answers with the long view in mind. The Eternal view. While we have waited and hoped for an earthy answer to the chaos enveloping our country, I believe He’s laying the foundation for more pieces of the end-time puzzle to fall into place. Don’t hear me offer dates, but do hear me say He is putting His chess pieces in place. Let’s not be caught by surprise as the “religious leaders” of His day were. They studied the Sacred Writings (The OT) and still didn’t recognize the Messiah when He sat down to dinner with them.
We have every reason to have hope and NOT despair! This world is not our home and God in His sovereign mercy and grace is reminding us of that. IF we will listen…
As my brother, Dave Lusignolo, has said, “It’s really worth introspecting whether we, like Jesus’ disciples, have lost spiritual hope based on worldly events.”
I love and honor our beloved nation. America has been an amazing gift to us and to the world – but she isn’t our God or King. I believe we are witnessing His hand of protection lifting, finger by divine finger – allowing us (in His mercy) to feel the pain and natural outcome of our hard-hearted stubbornness, our pride, and our arrogance – even willingly altering His Word to fit our taste and cultural winds.
Also, there is a greater judgement on the “shepherds” and teachers who have sought man’s praise, popularity and “likes” rather than honoring God and His inerrant, infallible Word, rather than reverencing and obeying His call to teach the unadulterated Truth. Truth spoken in love, but truth nonetheless. Massaging the message of the Cross as to make it palatable to the senses of us depraved folks when what we really needed to hear was the “medicine” of the Truth.
Above all, let us never forget that our trust and faith are in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone. Come what may.
When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God. – Billy Graham
In His service,
Scriptural references used:
Matthew 21: 1-15
2 Corinthians 4:18
Even if He Doesn’t
We had hoped He was The One…
Lord, if You had been here….
Even if He doesn’t…
And we know that God causes all things to work together for our good and His glory.
Luke 24:21, John 11:21, Daniel 3:18 NLT, Romans 8:28 Becky’s version
As I read and reread the text on my phone screen, the lump in my throat grew and the tears began to well. This can’t be. Please Lord…Reminding myself that God is able to do above and beyond all that I could dare ask for or imagine, I tearfully, though confidently, prayed for my loved one. Certain that “A” would be the outcome of this crisis and not “B.” I was just sure…
As sure as the disciples were that Jesus was The One – the long-awaited Messiah.
As sure as Joseph, when God gave him lofty dreams of royalty and influence for his future.
As sure as Mary and Martha, when they sent word for Jesus to come quickly and heal their brother.
As sure as the three Hebrew slaves that God would deliver them in their fiery furnace crisis.
Yet Jesus was wrongfully convicted and then crucified.
Yet Joseph became a slave and then a forgotten prisoner.
Yet the three Hebrews were thrown into the fiery furnace.
Yet Lazarus died.
And yet my heart broke as I watched “B” unfold in the life of someone I love.
Listening in on the three Hebrew slaves, who were eventually thrown into the fiery pit – they made this mic-drop statement to the mad tyrant who seemingly held their life in his hands. “Our God is well able to deliver us O King, but even if He doesn’t, we will not bow down to you or your image.” Did you catch that? Even if He doesn’t…. Seriously?
Do I have the kind of faith that will carry me through even- if-He-doesn’t scenarios? Or is my faith resting on/dependent upon a particular outcome rather than in my Lord? Period.
As I wrestled with the reality of what happened in my outcome “B” scenario, I came face to face with my own heart, a heart that felt like God had let me down. I realize it’s not spiritual to admit that, but it’s necessary…it’s real. As the Lord and I walked through that painful conversation, in the end, I told Him, “Father, even if this doesn’t change…help me trust You. Lord, I choose to trust You. I know You are good. I know You are faithful. What I’m walking through doesn’t negate Who You are.”
Sometimes God calms the storm — and sometimes He rides the storm with us. ~ Mark Hall
Our faith in God should not be dependent on a particular outcome. ~ Sandy Rios
Would You take these outcome “B” scenarios and use them as instruments to deepen my trust in You? … even if and even when… no matter the outcome, You are worthy of my trust. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
Written by Becky White for my Lord Jesus
Strength for the Weary One
Encourage the exhausted, strengthen the weary,
say to those with an anxious heart, “Take courage. Fear not.”
He gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might (strength), He increases power.
Isaiah 35:3-4a Isaiah 40:29 NASB
It’s been said that most of us can endure just about anything as long as it’s short in duration. As long as we see a glimmer of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. But when the light we hoped for is really an on-coming-train version of a trial or a you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me challenge, we fall to our emotional knees. Exhausted and weary. Hoping and praying for a quick ending, we suddenly realize there are no magic wands to wave away real life. Real pain. Real heartache.
If our country’s chasm-deep divide isn’t enough, if a potentially life-threatening viral pandemic isn’t enough and if financial uncertainties aren’t enough to be a recipe for flat-out weariness… throw in regular ‘ol life challenges such as relationship issues, parenting, loss, rejection, death, divorce and loneliness… The almost inevitable result – Weary. Exhausted. No strength.
Recently, I walked through just such a trial with a loved one. A trial that caused my eyes to dart about the tunnel of difficulty for a glimmer of hoped-for light. My tunnel of difficulty didn’t suddenly burst with the light of a miraculous removal of pain. As I emotionally peered into the quiet darkness of difficulty, unsure of what might lay ahead… I could “hear” my Lord’s voice speak…
He gives strength to the weary.
He encourages the exhausted.
He increases power to those who lack might.
Though I much prefer a problem-free life, that’s seldom borne out in our real-world experiences. And because that is the case, He lavishes His strength on us and in us. He encourages us from the inside out when there is no good reason to be encouraged, He infuses power into these power-less vessels of ours. He sustains the weary one.
He infuses power into these power-less vessels of ours. He sustains the weary one.– Becky White
Whether your present trial is an ongoing pebble-in-the-shoe irritation, a soul-deep ache of pain or the death of _______. His grace is sufficient. His strength is perfect. I know…You would rather He remove your pain, remove your trial. He may. But whatever He chooses – trust Him. Whatever it looks like. No matter the whispered lies of the enemy or your own mind that tells you otherwise…Trust the One Who freely gave the life of His Son on your behalf, to hold no good thing back from you.
“If it is to be a great miracle, the condition is not difficulty, but impossibility.” – Streams in the Desert.My Father, How my heart aches at what I see and hear. Please, infuse your mighty strength into me as I speak out loud – You are good, and You are faithful. I trust You! In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
Written by Becky White for the Lord Jesus
Wounds That Heal
Can he have followed far who has no wound nor scar?~ Amy Carmichael ~
40 years ago today (May 14th 1980) at about 6:20 am… My 3 day old baby girl died. She died…I can still smell the fragrance of her newborn baby skin and the softness of her delicate hands and fingertips as they curled around my finger. The tragedy and guttural pain of that day is seared in my mind and memory – leaving a scar as real as any branding iron. Her short life ended in part due to my drug use and poor nutrition – and being barely 15 years old, I gave little thought to good nutrition. The pain of her death was made even worse because of the guilt I felt in her passing. I vividly recall holding her now lifeless body and whimpering through tears, “Look what I’ve done…” There are no words to describe the anguish a parent feels when a child dies, which is magnified beyond measure when our actions were part of that outcome.
I share that very personal and deeply painful memory because something else happened on that day 40 years ago.
The nurses were so kind to allow me time alone in a room with a rocking chair and my little one, who I named Tiffany Anne. In that room, I held her, rocked her and cried. Buckets of tears. Finally, I told God, “If You’re really there, and I’m not so sure You are…but if You are… would You help me?”40 years ago, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I had no idea what I was doing, but our God is true to His Word, He promises that if we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. I found Jesus Christ alone in a hospital room at Children’s hospital as I cradled my little one.
While there were no magic wands to wave away all the bad choices I had already made or would continue to struggle with for years to come – He has faithfully walked with me through it all. Walking out in real life the Truth that He does indeed “Cause all things to work together for our good and His glory.” Romans 8:28
As you and I struggle through the current Covid crisis or perhaps a separate personal crisis – I’m reminding you as I remind myself – He is no less faithful today as He was 40 years ago… Not to necessarily remove our trials but to walk us through them. And wonder of wonders, bring good from them along the way.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 NIV
Father, Precious Lord, My heart still aches with the memory and heartache – yet I am grateful beyond words that it’s only “Till we meet again” – not goodbye. And blown away at Your ability to bring such good from such tragedy. I love You – In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
Written by Becky White for the Lord Jesus.
Highlights and Pandemics
God is my Refuge and Strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, I will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea…
I will be still and know He is God.
Psalm 46:1-2,10 Becky’s paraphrase.
No, I’m not talking about my ever graying hair 😉 Not that kind of highlights…
Social-distancing. Quarantine. Covid-19. A new vocabulary has arisen. News casts, social media, empty grocery store shelves…no matter where we turn it’s there. The reality that our reality has changed, pours forth from every direction. Uncertainty and a sense of unease has suddenly become an ever-present, silent guest.
Feeling the sheer weight of the trial that seems to be engulfing every area of life…I whispered a prayer of “help”, opened my Bible and began scanning the pages for highlighted, underlined and note-beside-them verses. Highlights from past days and past trials with scribbled notes reminding me of all He has walked me through. Not having the mental stamina or emotional energy to search out something new, these old friends are comfort-food for my soul – reminding me of His faithfulness and sovereign control of all that has grazed my life. From death and divorce and betrayal to financial collapse and depression. Even the utter silliness of bad hair days and hormone challenges (yes, I pray and write about it all!). That’s when it hit me. All these neon yellow highlights and “Amens” scrawled in red ink…Did I still believe what I highlighted? Now. In the midst of such world-wide and prescription-for-fear uncertainty? Did these highlights represent the truth and a rock solid faith to stand on or did they reveal a shallowness that would only carry me through sunny days and desired outcomes? Was my faith a façade or real?
The Holy Spirit gently showed me that fear was trying to assert control where it had no right. Though my emotions might fluctuate with the latest news story, my faith didn’t have to. My peace didn’t have to and my courage to face the future didn’t have to either. I had a choice to make and a God to serve. Whatever the outcome – He is in control and has a purpose. In the meantime, I was to find my strength in the shelter of the Most High and be about His business. The business He has called me to – to encourage His people to trust Him no matter the circumstance.
So dear one – as we walk through this unsurpassed trial layered with all the other struggles of everyday life, allow me to encourage you to trust Him in the middle of this storm and find your strength in the shelter of the Most High, He will not fail you. I am not attempting to slap a Band-Aid on cancer or a cutsie meme on real pain – it is front facing the reality and then choosing to trust the God we serve and taking Him at His Word. Period.
If you don’t know Him, cry out to Him, He will not reject you. If you already know Him, get to know Him better. Right now, while He has your undivided attention. Look back at your own neon highlights or make some new ones. Start with Psalm 46… and highlight dear one, highlight!
You’ll never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.– Corrie Ten Boom
Father, You are just as faithful today as I proclaimed last year or last week. As I shelter myself in You and Your Word, Infuse me with Your Peace in the midst of the storm and enable me to lead others to You during this season of trial. I love You… In Jesus name, Amen.
Written by Becky White for the Lord Jesus
He Noticed a Man
As He (Jesus) passed along He noticed a man blind from his birth.
John 9:1 AMPC
Jesus noticed a man. A lonely beggar described as “blind from his birth,” is noticed by the Creator as He walked along the dusty roads of His world. I’m immediately struck by two points in this short verse of Scripture. First, that Jesus noticed the man in the first place. Didn’t He have important people to see and places to go? Didn’t the Savior have a Jerusalem daily planner to follow, demons to cast out or seas to calm?
I confess that I often race through the day without even looking up long enough to see the faces of those He’s placed in my path. Regular folks walking out their own of blind-from-birth trials who just need to be “noticed.” So busy with my life and schedule that I neglect His schedule and His purposes for me.
Secondly, though this man is challenged by his blindness-from-birth condition and though he’s obviously close enough for Jesus to see him, the man remains silent as the Healer walks past him. Cue the chirping crickets. We read nothing of him calling out to Jesus for help. If I were in his shoes, I imagine I would be yelling, pleading, begging for Jesus’ attention, for even the possibility of healing. Yet he remains silent until Jesus Himself presses the issue.
Does the blind man’s silence speak loudly of one who couldn’t bear the possibility of another disappointment? Another emotional roller coaster of dashed-hopes? Or maybe he had grown so accustom and even comfortable in his pain that he no longer pursued healing? Had pain become so normal that he settled into it like an old chair? If so, the Lord Jesus put His finger on the “comfort zone” of this man’s painful normalcy and offered him deliverance.
Our Lord takes the time to notice us. To even seek us out when we don’t have the good sense to cry out. He comes to us in all our brokenness, pursuing us, loving us and then finally putting His finger on our own blind-from-birth condition as He initiates the longing for authentic healing and wholeness.
You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in a bottle.
Psalm 56:8 NASB
God does not love the rest of the world more than He loves you. –– Arterburg
My Lord and my God,
How thankful I am that You notice me, You see me and You care enough to stop. I can hardly type the words without astonishment flooding me. You even provide the desire for healing when I don’t have the good sense to ask. Wiping away the fear of disappointment, I rest in Your faithfulness and lean into Your Sovereign arms. How I love and praise You Father!
In Jesus Name. Amen.
Written by Becky White for Jesus
The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
So Daniel was taken up out of the (lion’s) den, and no injury whatsoever was found on him because he had trusted in his God.
For He is the living God and He has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
Daniel 6:20b Daniel 6:23b Daniel 6:26, 27b NASB
Did you notice something uncomfortable in these verses? Daniel served God. Trusted God. Constantly. Even had a reputation for doing so. Yet we read that he’s being taken up out of the lion’s den after a night rooming with the felines. Don’t we expect to read that Daniel was kept from the lion’s den? Many of us know the “Sunday school” version so well that we don’t allow it to penetrate our heart or question the situation with any depth. Daniel trusted, and yet was thrown into the den of hungry lions.
I see in my own heart the silent assumption of God’s magic formula for handling all trials of life.
And voila’ – God makes all my paths smooth. Surely He will keep me from entering “lion’s den” situations. I can almost hear the buzzer … eeeehhhh wrong answer.
The reality is, the Word of God, and our experiences, are filled with lion’s den scenarios. Trials that may not include 400 lb felines but instead contain heartaches or despair, financial reversal or the death of a loved-one. Betrayal or a sense of meaninglessness. Thrown in. Head first.
Daniel opened his eyes in the light of the new day with a renewed trust in his God. Not a trust that hinged on never seeing another den but on a knowing that the living God has the power to sustain him even if…
Sometimes we must simply take God’s hand and walk through things. Not over or around – but through.Becky White
Though we would much prefer He keep us from the den, what an amazing testimony He grants us – to see first-hand His power to sustain in the midst of impossibilities. Taking us by the hand as He lifts us out of our den situations. Bursting with our own renewed awe at this face-to-the-floor Amazing God we serve.
Help me to trust You, even when I find myself, surrounded by the lions of life. Teach me a depth of trust that isn’t dependent on comfortable circumstances or desired outcomes.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
Written by Becky White for Jesus
I Trust You, But…
I Trust You but…
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. John 11: 5-6
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Job 13:15
If you’ve never read the Biblical account of Lazarus (or it’s been awhile), grab a cup of coffee, open your Bible to John 11, and prepare for emotional whiplash. And questions. Lots of questions, and possibly a whole new perspective on the “dead” things of your life.
Let me give you the cliff-note version. Jesus, given news that a beloved friend was near death, chose to wait two days before even beginning the long journey to see him. In fact, the Word tells us that because of Jesus’ love, He purposefully waited. Waited while the sisters, who had sent word of the illness, longed for a miracle. Waited until death had occurred. Waited until there was no hope. At all. Only then did the Lord of glory show up on the scene.
On the outskirts of the city, Jesus was met with the guttural, I-can-feel-your-pain cry of Martha, “Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died!” Moments later, the other sister, Mary, uttered the exact phrase as well. Can’t you just feel the pain of their heart? The questions of “Why?” or “How could You let this happen?” must have weighed heavily on them.
In their blinding pain and disappointment, it never occurred to them that this Jesus, whom they sought in order to bring healing for their brother, would instead, raise him from the dead. That He would allow such tragedy as a vehicle to bring such glory. That He would risk being misunderstood and misjudged as uncaring, in order to grant them the gift of seeing God’s miraculous power first hand. On their behalf. To be shared for all time – to encourage others in their “dead” circumstances. To know there is always hope.
Truly, I don’t know what has “died” in your life or how impossible it looks right now. But He knows. Maybe, like these two sisters, you’ve cried through tears, “Lord if You had been here,” or even, “Lord, how could You?” No judgement call here, I’ve done it myself a time or two or ten…But I’m here to testify that He has faithfully used my pain, walked me through the pain or done the impossible by bringing life out of a “dead” and painful situation. I have learned that if He has allowed “it”, He has a purpose and a plan for it and I can trust Him. And so can you dear one. So can you…
There is nothing–no circumstance, no trouble, no testing–that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose.Alan Redpath
I admit that I have thought, even if left unspoken – “If You had been here…” I am ashamed at my lack of trust in You Father. Who am I to think when difficulties happen that You don’t have a plan? That You have lost control? That You can’t bring life from what has died? You are good and You are faithful…and You are for me…I love you.
In Jesus name, Amen
Written by Becky White for the Lord Jesus
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me Your comforts delight my soul….The LORD has been my Stronghold and my Refuge…
Psalm 94: 19 and 22 AMPC
I admit I, I’m a Trekki. Having watched and rewatched most Star Trek episodes many times over, it wasn’t a surprise when a particular episode readily came to mind as I read Psalm 94. The Trouble with Tribbles episode is about these adorable furry creatures multiplying faster than rabbits! Quickly flooding the Enterprise…but I digress. Now multiplication is good if we’re talking about our bank account or vacation days or groceries or job promotions. It’s not so good if we’re talking about anxiety and anxious thoughts.
In our current global crisis known as the Covid-19 pandemic, anxious thoughts can easily and rapidly multiply within us. Literally flooding our heart and mind with what if’s and when will and why questions. The illusion of control crumbling under our feet.
In Psalm 94, King David describes to us that his anxious thoughts seem to multiply. One anxious thought leads to the next and before long his mind is heading rapidly toward that panic-laden emotion of anxiety. As always, God’s Word doesn’t sugar–coat reality. Life happens – Job loss, relational troubles, a cancer diagnosis, incarceration, isolation, homelessness or even the inconsequential silliness of a bad hair day and anxious thoughts multiply. Like Tribbles. Throw in a pandemic and wow…panic-laden anxious thoughts flood our mind.
So, what is the answer? It’s the answer King David gave as he wrote this inspired text. We don’t ignore the reality, we turn to our Stronghold and Shelter. Crying out to Him. Admitting how we feel. Warts and all. This isn’t a time for religious, plastic prayers. (Is there ever?) We pour out our heart to Him. Sharing our panic and anxious thoughts – all the what ifs flooding our mind. Then we lean hard into Him and the Truth of His Word.
In real terms, it looks like opening your Bible to anywhere in the Psalms or reading Philippians 4, texting a friend or an online ministry for help or posting a prayer request or listening Scripture on your Bible app or turning on worship music.
The bottom line – turn to Him and His people, not away. And remember, true peace isn’t because He removes our trials but because of His constant Presence with us in them.
If you look at the world you will be distressed.
If you look within you’ll be depressed.
If you look at God you will be at rest.-Corrie ten Boom
I lay all my what ifs and why and when questions at Your throne of grace and ask for You to infuse me with Your felt presence. Cause Your thoughts and Your peace to multiply within me! In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
Written By Becky White, for Jesus
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.