Friday, April 29, 2011

"And WE know...."

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28 (NIV)

This is a verse I memorized in Missionettes as a young girl, and I’ve heard it quoted to other people when trouble seemed to be invading their lives. Sometimes it is said almost as a platitude, and when that happens, the hope and comfort of the verse is lost.

This week a dear friend of mine sent me an S.O.S email. Her ministry life had just imploded. She had just found out that people within her church had been meeting secretly about her and her husband, and were spreading lies about her family to whomever would listen. They made slanderous comments about her character, her motives, her intentions at the church, and demanded her immediate removal. “Will you pray with me?” she asked.

The similarities in our situations were too obvious to miss, and not taken as God’s gentle nudging. She could have written to dozens of other women, but she wrote to me. And I’ve known all along that if I chose to handle my situation the way the Bible says to, that God would somehow use me to help others. I just didn’t think it would be so soon.

God has been showing me that one of the greatest tools of the enemy against us is isolation. I too am often embarrassed to tell people how deep my pit has become. I think I should be able to draw more readily upon the scripture I have read and taught to others. But sometimes I am simply too exhausted.

I was reading Rom. 8:28 again, when a simple pronoun jumped out at me. "For WE know..." Paul doesn't say that he knows, but we know. Sometimes my problems seem so overwhelming that I can’t see out from under it by myself. But then God sends others to walk with me, beside me, and remind me of the power God has given me; not a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:8). I am convinced that the enemy is trying to assault us like never before because he knows his time is short, and he is intimidated by what could happen if we were totally united by the love of God.

I did pray for my friend, and I don’t plan on stopping. I also encouraged and cheered her on by telling her the things I needed to hear myself not so long ago. Gal. 6:2 tells us to carry each other’s burdens, and when we do, we fulfill the law of Christ. But maybe more importantly, it gives glory to God because it proves that He has taken our ashes, and given us beauty in it’s place. And His beauty is to be shared.

In pursuit of zoe,

Monday, April 18, 2011


“Indeed, it’s because God loves us, He sometimes says no.” Lysa TerKeurst

That was the sum of a recent blog by Lysa. Ouch. That one hurts.

Often I am unwilling to see God’s answer no to my desires as being loving on His part. Often I am unable to move beyond my own human reasoning to see a bigger, more holy picture. Often I just plain don’t want to.

As a mom, sometimes I say no to a request because I know my girls aren’t ready or mature enough to participate. Sometimes I say no because I understand that the activity or the others participating aren’t what is best for them. Why then do I question God’s judgment when He does the same with me?

It’s been about ten weeks since my husband and I were asked to resign as leaders from our ministry. Thankfully, there wasn't a moral or ethical failure; just a difference in ministry views and passions. But for the first time in nine years, I wasn't a leader of a Bible study, part of a speaking team, or training leaders for various ministries. I felt lost and abandoned by God.

Yesterday while getting ready for church, I heard the song,"I Am Free" by Jared Anderson. For the first time I realized that I have been whining and wallowing in self-pity instead of seeing this as being freed from the confines that my previous ministry had placed on me. Now, perhaps for the first time in my adult life, I can be exactly who God called and designed me to be--nothing more, nothing less.

Now I have the time to work on my personal character, to study and learn from great leaders God has placed in my path, and relearn the value of humility. And I am learning the value of the discipline of rest. (More on that this week…)

So as painful as this "no" has been, I am thanking Him for it. And I have been asking Him to make sure my character is ready and fully baked for the next step and season of ministry. Because this is just the beginning.

What ‘no’ have you thanked God for lately? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In pursuit of zoe,