Purpose

Greater Outcomes

There are greater outcomes when we endure the furnace of affliction with grace, allowing God to birth in us a deeper compassion through the fire.

 

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The Most Hopeless Pieces

A skilled artist can transform the most useless items into something of matchless worth. And that’s what our loving God is able to do with the most hopeless pieces of our lives.

 

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One Day

One day, whether here on earth or in the glory of heaven, we will see. God, the master designer, weaves good from every thread of pain wrought on this earth. That’s what makes him God.

 

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Blessed with Battle Scars

Blog_DepressionIf given the option, would you choose the path of suffering? I would guess the average person would answer “no.” Were it up to me, suffering would not be on my radar, and most definitely not on my bucket list.

Compared to most of the world, I can’t say I’ve suffered much. But I do have my share of battle scars. There was a season in my life when it seemed I’d escape the fires of one trial only to encounter the next. And while it wouldn’t have been my first choice to endure what I did, in retrospect I’m grateful for that season.

If anything, I’m more real now than ever before. There was a time when I lacked genuine empathy when someone else was struggling. I wanted to understand, but couldn’t. Now I can say, “I’ve been there.” Maybe not in the exact circumstance, but I’ve been in some deep valleys and survived. And because of it, I can not only relate, but I can encourage others through their own valleys.

Going through the adoption process has given me understanding for anyone waiting for something they’ve always longed for. Having a special needs child has given me greater love for other parents in a similar situation, and for children who are uniquely created. Having another child with health issues and dealing with my own chronic fatigue has given me deeper compassion for the sick. And enduring a long season where we didn’t know where our basic provisions would come from has given me empathy for the unemployed, the homeless, and anyone struggling.

The list could go on. I admit, there was a time when I’d rather pull the covers over my head than face another trial. But I can now say that my faith has been refined in the fire, and I’ve come out stronger. I’ve seen the depths of some pretty dark caverns, but I’ve also seen the point when light breaks through and darkness is overcome. My battle scars are blessings in disguise. Because of them, I can say with confidence, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Quote by: Corrie ten Boom

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At the End

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At the end of our lives, do we want to be known for building, or for destroying? For loving, or for hating? For bringing freedom, or bondage? For living to gratify our fading flesh, or to benefit our generation…and generations to come? Because only God knows when we’ll take our final breath.

 

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A Simple Prayer

blog_snowywoods“Live simply, love generously, serve faithfully, speak truthfully, pray daily. Leave everything else to God.” I saw this quote while sitting in a café the other day. As I consider the direction of my life, these words speak to me about a simple yet profound calling. So often, we’re looking for the big, the extravagant, the noticeably noble. We want to be significant, and we perceive significance as something evident to the masses.

Yet what if greatness has a humbler definition?

And that’s why this has become my prayer, and my desired life-theme. To truly live simply—not bogged down by temporary things, unnecessary work, trivial concerns, or excessive material endeavors. To love generously: that my love for all would be abundant, honest, and overflowing…not in word alone, but in action and in truth.

Father God, remove every ounce of selfishness from within me: my self-centeredness, self-preservation, self-exaltation. Move in my heart to make me someone who thinks of others more than I think of myself.

Let my service be for the motive of honoring you by helping others. Let it be pure and untiring, all-encompassing—infiltrating all I do and done with all my heart, soul and strength. I confess I’ve grown weary in well-doing. Please renew my strength.

Tame my tongue to be still when I need to be silent and to speak truth boldly and always with love. Strip me of the veil of the fear of man.

I’ve been prayerless, so move me to pray. Prayerlessness is the root of all my trials, or my misunderstanding of your purpose in the midst of trials. Release me from bondage to laziness and unbelief, that my prayers may flow unwavering, unhindered, and unceasingly to you.

Build up my faith to know with confidence that when I’ve done all you ask of me, I can be at peace and leave all else to you. I want to live at ease with you, knowing you alone hold my life and I will stand before you alone at the end to give account for my thoughts, words, and actions.

This is my simple prayer.

 

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The Secret of Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving comes first, putting everything into perspective if only we still our souls to listen and learn the secret.

 

Photo Credit: Fall Cornucopia — Rosslyn (VA) November 2012 | Image by Ron… | Flickr