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Posted by on Jan 16, 2017 in Bible Study | 1 comment

Believing the Promise When You Can’t See the Proof

“There was a certain royal official whose son was ill at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and pleaded with Him to come down and heal his son, for he was about to die. Jesus told him, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.’  ‘Sir,’ the official said to Him, ‘Come down before my boy dies!’ ‘Go,’ Jesus told him, ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus said to him and departed. While he was still going down, his slaves met him saying that his boy was alive. He asked them at what time he got better. ‘Yesterday at seven in the morning the fever left him,’ they answered. The father realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, ‘Your son will live.’ Then he himself believed, along with his whole household.” 

John 4:46-53

Hey, hey, hey & happy Monday to you! I wanted to share the above scripture with you because it encouraged my heart so much when I studied it. I can’t help but place myself in the royal official’s shoes every time I read that story – especially now that I am a parent. I picture this royal official kneeling helplessly beside the bed of his sick son, begging the universe for a miracle. I imagine him watching his wife endure agony so deep that he wonders if the death of their son will also be the death of her. I can’t help but wonder if as he watched the life slowly being sucked out of his precious child and felt the sting of death creeping into their lives – did he beg God to take him instead? Because we all try to barter with God when the rug of life gets swept out from under us, right? God, if you do this, then I’ll do that. Pinky swear, scouts honor and all that jazz.

And then, just when he thinks all hope is lost and he’s about to be pushed down into the valley of the shadow of death, someone comes to him and says, “Hey! That Jesus guy is over in Galilee and I’ve heard He’s healed a few people. It may be worth a shot to make the trip over there and see what He can do for your boy.” (Making this scenario up in my head, because that’s what I do when I read my Bible)

Jesus was 20 miles away from Capernaum, where the royal official lived. That’s 20 miles that the royal official had to travel by foot (or maybe a donkey? Either way – not a quick trip). So this royal official had to kiss his son goodbye, not knowing if it would be their final exchange, and travel 20 miles to see if Jesus was willing and able to help. I think I would have had to weigh that trip out. I don’t know if I would have had the courage and faith to leave Atlas on his deathbed to go in search of help that I wasn’t even totally sure would pan out. Those final moments of someone’s life are beyond priceless, and yet the official believed in Jesus so much he risked those moments with his son to go search for the man people called “Healer.” So, I personally am impressed by the royal official’s faith at the beginning of this story.

And then when he finally gets to Jesus – his saving grace, his Hail Mary, his last ditch effort – Jesus kind of blows him off and says, “You don’t really believe in me – you must be dazzled by my miracles to actually believe and that’s not really faith at all.” (paraphrasing there) The royal official again pleads with Jesus to come back to Capernaum with him. He calls Jesus “Sir” which wasn’t necessary, considering the official’s prestigious title. There was no reason for him to show Jesus any type of respect, but yet he humbled himself before Jesus because somewhere deep in his heart he believed Jesus had the cure and he was desperate for a miracle. All he needed was for Jesus to just go home with him and touch his son…or so he thought.

But Jesus doesn’t go home with him. Instead Jesus sends him home alone with nothing but a promise. “Go, your son will live.”

That’s it. That’s all he got. Y’all! That is all.he.freaking.got. A verbal promise. That royal official had to turn around and travel 20 miles BACK home ALONE, not fully knowing if he was going to walk through the door to a corpse and a grieving wife who I imagine would say, “You weren’t here! Our son died and you weren’t here!”

But the Bible tells us he believed what Jesus said to him. He believed that promise and I believe that fueled his faith with every step he took on that 20 mile trek home. For 20 miles, I bet he recalled those 5 words uttered by Jesus over and over and over again. “Go, your son will live.” He clung to those words, because his son’s life depended on them. He believed the promise when he couldn’t see the proof. And that’s real faith. That’s the kind of faith that moves the heart of Jesus. I’m not sure why Jesus didn’t go home with the official, but I do know the lesson it taught me. I think Jesus desires my faith in Him – not just in his miracles – but in Him. He wants me to have faith that He is good and His ways are good and His promises are true – even when I can’t see the immediate proof or feel instant relief.

Before the official could get to his house, a servant runs to meet him with the news that his son has been healed. He got his proof and as a result, an abiding faith took root, not only in him, but in his entire household. Jesus never went to the man’s house and physically touched his son, but yet because the official believed in the promise, Jesus was still able to touch the masses.

What promises are you failing to rest in because you aren’t currently seeing the proof?

Are you exhausted, Mama? Because I am. But Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…learn from me…and you will find rest for your souls.” That’s a hard promise to cling to when both my kids are having meltdowns and my husband is working late and I burned dinner {again} and I just want to call my mom and cry about how tired I am, only I can’t call her and cry because I don’t have time to call anybody and cry. It’s easy to be like, “Um, Jesus! I NEED a nap right now. Can you please drop an unexpected babysitter at my door right.this.second? Hello? Where are you?” But Jesus promises rest IF I come to Him. There’s an important sequence that I think must be noted. Jesus told the official, “GO, Your son will be healed.” The official had to obey and leave. If I want to find rest, Jesus tells me to “Come.” And you know what? When I listen and I come to him in the morning before my kids wake up, and the day hasn’t even begun, he gives me the rest I need for my soul. He gives me what I need to make it through another day of meltdowns and burned meals.

There are so many promises to cling to as we travel from our place of hope back to our reality. Like how God promises to never change (Malachi 3:6). Or how His love is everlasting (Ps 100:5). He is faithful in all His words (Ps. 145: 13). He will provide every thing we need to do His will (Hebrews 13:20-21). He promises that when we trust Him, He will be a faithful guide (Prov 3:5-6).

God promises peace when we keep our minds on Him (Is 26:3). If we focus on the goodness of God and all He promises to His children, then we can walk in peace – even during the long walk home. We don’t need immediate proof to believe the promise.

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Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in Bible Study, Serious Stuff | 2 comments

Weapons of Mass Distraction, Solid Soil and The Art of Listening

In Wednesday’s post I talked about the importance of being still (for me, personally). I shared how I can let myself get swept up in the busyness of life and that always leads to a physical, mental, spiritual and emotional burn-out for me.

I love when people pick a word as a ‘theme’ for the New Year. I believe the kids are calling them ‘focus words.’ Have you seen this idea before? You pick a word like ‘bold,’ ‘hope’ or ‘creative’ and you kind of let that word guide you through the year. I’ve never done this before and to be honest, I’m not sure I can get my mind to recall one word throughout the entire year, but if I were to participate in this trendy little game I think I would pick the word ‘listen’ for 2017. I want to listen more. I want to listen to Atlas as he tells me the longest stories known to man (because it is adorable). I want to listen to Dave as he recounts the details of his day over dinner (because it is important). I want to listen to Andi Rose as she learns all the new words (because it is priceless). And I want to listen to the Lord as He calls and He leads (because I’ve got questions and He’s got answers).

But if I’m going to listen to my loved ones more, then I’ve got to turn the volume of the world down a notch. Here’s my {personal} plan for tuning into what matters most and becoming a better listener in 2017…

Clearly Label the ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’

 

I am so easily distracted – especially by technology. I love social media, but I’ve realized that it is only a blessing as long as it is in its proper place. When kept within its boundaries it adds to my life – I love seeing what all my friends are up to – however, when I let it bleed into other areas then it distracts me from my purpose. So, I’m committing in 2017 to not turn on a digital device until I’ve spent time with Jesus. I won’t check an e-mail or scroll through Instagram until I’ve checked in with the Lord. Now, I realize that I have 2 small children who sometimes wake me up earlier than anticipated so during this season of life there are going to be days where it just isn’t feasible to start the day sitting in a recliner with my Bible and journal because a child needs me before my eyes even have a chance to open for the day. And you know what I’ve come to realize? It is on those days – the days that seem to start in utter chaos – that I especially need to omit the unnecessary distractions. Because let’s be honest – when I’m up before the sun with a sick child, looking at other people’s #ootd and vacation photos doesn’t raise my spirits to new levels. Am I right, Mama?! In addition, I won’t allow myself to be on my phone checking e-mails or perusing Nordstrom’s website (that will be a painful habit to break) while I am at the dinner table or in the playroom. I’ve labeled those places “no-phone-zones” because I want those spaces to be dedicated to family engagement. I got into the bad habit of using breakfast time to check e-mails and it almost always ended with the kids and me being frustrated with each other. It’s not worth it,  so I’m just not doing it this year. I’ll still play on social media and tune into Live with Kelly because I like those things, but I’m going to be intentional about keeping them in their proper place on my priority list.

Prepare My Heart

If I’m going to be a better listener, then I’ve got to prepare my heart for what others – specifically God – want to tell me. I’ve been studying the book of John (I do a study called BSF, for those of you who have asked) and during my study I’ve grown increasingly frustrated as I’ve read all the times where Jesus spoke to people – especially the Jewish pharisees – and His words fell on deaf ears. The Pharisees come to Jesus repeatedly with questions, all of which he answers in terms that would have been so clear to them, and they continually fail to hear Him. Even Jesus gets frustrated with them, basically declaring, “Guys! You’ve already asked me this and I’ve already answered you!” (I’m obviously paraphrasing there.) I began to wonder why they missed the message in every single one of Jesus’ stories. As Jesus spoke and performed miracles, many people believed Him. In fact, 12 left everything to follow Him. Many people encountered Him and left changed, immediately going to tell others about their experience. But the Pharisees also heard him. They also followed him around, although their motives were quite different than that of Jesus’ disciples. They asked Him questions and waited anxiously for His response…but yet His words never changed them. Why? I believe it is because their hearts weren’t prepared for His truth. And if I’m honest – there have been several times in my life, where my heart was also not prepared for a word from God.

I love the parable Jesus shared of the 4 soils. Here is Matthew’s recount of this parable…

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:3-9

Just as a seed needs good soil to grow, so does the word of God need a prepared heart to take root. Now, I don’t know that much about planting gardens (may my poinsettias, hydrangeas and geraniums all rest in peace), but I do know that if I throw seed on concrete, it won’t grow. The same is true of my heart. If I have a hard heart on an issue, God can give me a word, but my heart won’t receive it, just as the Pharisees couldn’t receive any of the words God spoke directly to them. However, if I throw seed down on solid soil I can see growth almost immediately. Within days, I can see signs of life. I think there’s a whole blog post to be written on the seed that sprang up quickly, but withered because it had no root. That’s just a good freaking word. But the final thing I want to comment on today is the seed that fell among thorns, which eventually choked the plant. Jesus explains this parable in further detail in Matthew 13:18-23 and this is what He said about the seed that fell among the thorns…

“Now the one sown among the thorns – this is the one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.”

When I read that, I was convicted because for me, I think that is a daily issue I must battle. Sometimes the truth that God so clearly gives me gets suffocated by stuff. Whether it be stuff on my calendar, stuff on my kitchen counter, stuff in my online shopping cart, or stuff in my mind – the ‘stuffiness’ stunts the growth of the seed God planted.

So, this year I’m attempting to cultivate an environment – not only in my home, but in my heart – where seeds of truth can take root. But I believe it all starts with a prepared heart and being aware of the weapons of mass distraction that are at my fingertips.

***

I realize all my posts this week were kind of centered around New Years and resolutions. You guys are probably due for some lighthearted short reads, which is why I think Monday will be the perfect time to host my first GIVEAWAY of 2017! 🎁 I’ve got 1 awesome prize for 1 lucky winner coming at ya next week, so be sure to tune in Monday to get the deets (Mom, I’m pretty sure ‘deets’ is what the kids are calling ‘details’ these days).

What are you most distracted by? Which soil do you most relate to in the above parable?

P.S. If you like this post, feel free to share it on Facebook. There is a share button at the bottom of each post. And if you enjoyed this, please leave a comment letting me know or if you have a specific topic you would like me to write on, let me know that too. I would love ideas from you. I know a few of you have requested that I share more workouts, so I’ve got a fun one for you next week. There’s probably going to be more fitness talk on here soon because Dave & I have plans to do a detox and cut out all bad snacking. That post will probably just read, “Send help. And Carbs.” I’m sure it will be short because I’ll be too weak to type. Or it might just read, “Nevermind. Changed our minds & thought ‘mmmm…better not.'” 🙄 #LawdHelpMe

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Bible Study, Serious Stuff | 5 comments

Being Still So He Can Be Heard

Last week I woke up to a quiet house, which never happens. Dave was already at work and my babies were at my mom’s house because she was kind enough to offer (*ahem* insist) that they come stay with her for a few days after Christmas.

I had a growing to-do list hidden in the notes section of my phone and the post-Christmas clutter was calling me to get to cleaning, but instead I kicked on the fireplace and sat down in Dave’s recliner. I think I’ve sat in that chair 3 times since we bought it…because I never sit. I felt awkward sitting in silence in my living room all alone because being still has become an unfamiliar feeling for me.

What’s not unfamiliar are the feelings of anxiety, fatigue, busy-ness and tension. In fact, I’ve become all too familiar with those things.

I knew I had a lot to do that morning, but I also knew that I had reached a point where I was trying to pour into others from an empty cup. My well had run dry. I was depleted and as a result, completely overwhelmed at the idea of going into 2017 doing the same juggling act I had been doing for the last several weeks. So, I opened up my prayer journal and I asked God to give me a word from Him. I poured my heart out onto those pages, as I so often do, and I ended it by telling God that I felt far away. I knew He hadn’t moved, but I had. The busy-ness of life had carried my thoughts and heart away from the purpose and passions He originally planted in my heart.

When I opened up my Bible, my study took me to John 10 and it is there where God gave me a word, nourished my soul, refocused my thoughts and refilled my cup. This is the passage of scripture I read that morning…

“Very truly I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they recognize his voiceBut they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

I instantly connected with this message because it so clearly states that God speaks and we can hear His voice, which comforted me since the only thing I’ve heard for weeks is the screaming of my schedule. I love knowing that God calls me by name and if I tune in, I can hear him. I love the imagery of the Good Shepherd calling the sheep by name and leading them out because I can picture Jesus going before me and calling me by name to follow.  However, it says the sheep follow Him because they recognize His voice. To recognize somebody’s voice you have to be close to them. I can recognize Dave’s voice over the phone, no matter what number he calls me from, because I converse with him daily. The only way I can expect to recognize God’s voice is if I also regularly communicate with Him. However, to have a proper and intimate conversation, the setting must be relatively quiet.

For the last several weeks, life has felt deafeningly loud for me, which has made hearing the still small voice of God difficult. When I can’t hear God, I feel disconnected – not only from Him – but from everybody else in my life too.

I sat in that chair with my Bible open that morning thinking about the endless demands of motherhood coupled with the daily to-do list and the unrealistic expectations I place on myself and I realized I couldn’t hear God if he was sitting right next to me. I had created an environment – in my home and in my mind – that was just too dang loud. I imagined my life as if I were sitting in a football stadium filled with thousands of cheering fans. If God were seated 3 seats down from me and tried to talk to me, I wouldn’t be able to hear Him over all the noise.

I admitted in that moment that I had allowed the sweet voice of my Shepherd to get drowned out. He never stopped speaking during those weeks filled with anxiety – I just couldn’t hear him while I was racing from one tasks to the next or scrolling through Instagram. I decided that morning that while I’m not one for New Years Resolutions, I needed to make a change in 2017. I needed to free myself from some of the hustling and bustling.

So, you’re probably wondering why the heck I’m telling you all of this. Well, I’m telling you because in an effort to ‘quiet’ my environment, there will be a new blogging schedule on Cupcakes n Crunches this year. Last summer I decided to make this blog a priority and I’m so incredibly grateful for that decision. As this little space has grown, so has my confidence and satisfaction. This creative outlet is one of my favorite places and you guys enriched my life so much in 2016 (seriously – more than you know). However, I really felt as though I was failing at blogging (and ‘life’ because I’m oh-so-dramatic) if I didn’t publish 5 posts each week and 5 posts is just unrealistic for me – at least during this season of life. And to be honest – I’m not sure how many of you even want to devote the time to read 5 different posts each week detailing what’s going on inside my brain. That’s just too much of me. Like the person who post 7 selfies of themselves in the same day. #overkill

With that said, moving forward I will be blogging 3 days a week. The current plan is to have a post published for you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. I’m hoping that this will serve as a blessing to you and to me because while it certainly will allow me to free up some time, it will also allow me to focus more on providing you with quality content. I still plan on blogging about the same things and sharing everything from my workouts to my style to my Bible studies and I plan to do it with consistency, but I am changing the frequency.

In 2017, I’m actively seeking stillness because I’m finding that in order for me to hear God’s direction, I must be still sometimes (mentally and physically) and in order for me to be still, I must free myself from some of my busyness.

So, on that note – I’m going to be still right now…except right now it will be in front of the TV…with the Bachelor. Every season I’m all, “I’m not watching this show again because it gives me stress dreams and it’s stupid.” And then every season I get sucked in because I’m like, “But it’s going to be the most dramatic season EVER so I’ve got to see how it all goes down!” I’m a sucker for Chris Harrison. What can I say? 🙄 Anyways, I will see you lovely people on Friday! ❤

Please chime in the conversation below! Have you ever experienced ‘burn-out?’ How did you overcome it? Do you carve out ‘me’ time  or ‘quiet’ time regularly? Are you hoping to do more or do less this year? I like to think I’m trying to do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t. That sounds like a greeting card, doesn’t it? I think that’s all those Hallmark movies still talking…sorry about that. P.S. Is anybody else ridiculously sad about having to wait 11 months for the next Hallmark Christmas movie? The only thing getting me over that heartache is the Bachelor.

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Posted by on Jan 2, 2017 in Bible Study, Sprinkles | 1 comment

Happy New Year!

Hello & Happy New Year to you! New Years has, admittedly, never been my favorite holiday. I’m not one for making a bunch of resolutions and Lord knows I don’t love staying up until midnight. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to appreciate that ‘fresh start’ feeling that comes on January 1st. I think one of the most exciting parts of the New Year is that it feels a bit like a blank canvas. I love anticipating what’s to come, the milestones I will cross with Atlas and Andi Rose and the adventures I will have with Dave. But with that anticipation also comes some anxiety, because I know enough to know that the blank canvas won’t be filled with just happy memories. I’m learning life is a mixed bag. Joy and sorrow seem to intermingle – they aren’t as mutually exclusive as I once believed. Some parts of parenthood get easier, while other aspects simultaneously grow in difficulty. God gives…and He also takes away. In the last 3 years, I’ve birthed 2 children and Dave buried the 2 people who raised him. God gave…and He took away. And that’s life. One word can’t describe life (at least not my life), because it is beautiful and broken. It is hope-filled and hard.

As I looked at the empty pages of my 2017 calendar this morning, I couldn’t help but notice my prayer journal laying beside it. One book is blank, waiting to be filled with future plans. The other is full of prayers from the past. As I recalled all the issues/fears/dreams/frustrations/plans I brought to the Lord in 2016, I was reminded of all the many prayers He answered. There were those requests that He graciously answered with a ‘no’ because He knew better and there were requests that He answered with a ‘yes’ that far surpassed anything I could have hoped for or imagined. And as I reflected on His many provisions in 2016, I felt my anxiety over what’s to come in 2017 slowly slip away. I looked back at the blank pages of my new calendar and allowed myself to breathe in a little longer and get excited all over again about what’s to come because I trust that God is going before me and as a result, there are endless possibilities awaiting. So, whether I find myself in the midst of painful experiences or precious memories – or some weird mixture of both – I am forging ahead into the newness of 2017 with hope, gratitude and an expectant heart.

I spent the final days of 2016 in a lot of prayer and planning, trying to get my spirit focused for the New Year and I told Dave while we were at dinner the other night that God laid a verse on my heart in the midst of my planning and I just can’t shake it. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” When that verse popped into my mind my initial thought was, “Omg. Which one of my grand plans is about to be hijacked, Lord?” But then I immediately thought, “Thank the Lord. Thank the Lord that my plans don’t prevail because my plans aren’t perfect, but God, your plans are.” A few days later, God led me to Ps. 37:23-24, “A man’s steps are established by the Lord and He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed because the Lord holds his hand.”  

I hope as you navigate your way through this year, you remember that no issue is too small or too big for God. He cares about every detail and every dream. When the troubles of life overwhelm us, may we pause long enough to look for His hand.

So, to 2017 I say….Let’s do thisssss!

Are you a resolution maker? If so, what is your resolution? I actually did make a few this year, but I think I’ll share those in another blog post. 🙂 One is to eat clean…because everyone else is doing it, so why not?!

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Bible Study, Serious Stuff | 2 comments

Inviting Jesus into Your Boat

I once heard it said that we are all either coming out of a difficult situation, going into a difficult situation or in the middle of a difficult situation. How’s that for some Monday morning optimism? 🙈

The storms of life affect us all at some point. Some storms are stronger and leave more devastation in their wake, while other storms are nothing more than that annoying rain that doesn’t necessarily cause damage, but definitely puts a damper on your mood.

I used to believe that if I cried out to God, he would calm the storm.

That was until I found myself in the middle of a storm, crying out to God, only to realize my circumstance wasn’t changing.

Have you ever been there? Perhaps it was a heartache that God didn’t immediately heal. Perhaps it was a burden that wasn’t immediately lifted.

In the gospels of Matthew, Mark & John we read the story of Jesus walking on water. All 3 accounts are slightly different, but the basic facts remain the same among the 3 authors. The disciples got into a boat one night, without Jesus, and set sail across the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake that is 650 feet below sea level, approximately 8 miles wide and surrounded by hills, making it subject to windstorms that cause extremely high waves. But the disciples were skilled fishermen, so I’m sure they weren’t strangers to storms.

However, once they had rowed about halfway across the lake (according to John), a storm arose and they were being battered by the waves and the wind was against them (Matthew’s words). Now, I think it is important to note that they were in the middle of that storm on that lake because Jesus sent them there, according to Matthew and Mark. They obeyed Jesus’ command and as a result they were out in the middle of the lake surrounded by waves that threatened to overturn their boat. I think this is worth mentioning because sometimes we get into situations because of our own stupid decisions (Oh the stories I could tell here, but I won’t for fear that one day my children will read this blog). However, sometimes we find ourselves actually placed in uncomfortable situations by God.  And then of course, sometimes we fall into hard times because hello! That’s just life and life is messy and it isn’t perfect and we can’t possibly explain or understand every tragedy/heartache/difficulty we encounter.

So, the disciples are on the lake, in a boat, with the wind against them, being beaten up by waves. And then they see Jesus walking on the water towards them (keep in mind, they are probably 3 miles from shore) and they all freak out because they are sure it is a ghost. They didn’t expect Jesus to show up and help them because in their minds, it seemed impossible that he could help them in the middle of that storm. But when they saw him and finally recognized him, John tells us that they were willing to take him on board their boat.

What if we didn’t look to God to immediately calm the storm, but instead we just invited him into our boat? I know in the past when God hasn’t calmed one of life’s storms for me, my heart became hardened and as a result, I wasn’t willing to take him on my boat. I got mad/frustrated and I withheld an invitation from Him.

Matthew tells us that when Jesus got into their boat though, the winds ceased and they all worshipped him. Their place of uncertainty became the same place of their worship when Jesus got in the boat.

God is obviously more than capable to calm the storms in our life, but he isn’t a genie that jumps to fulfill our every command.

I’ve learned (and am still learning) that God may not calm the waves that surround me, but he will get in my boat and ride the storm out with me…if I invite him. And when He is in my boat, there is peace to be found even amidst the roaring winds.

So, the next time you find yourself in a pickle, invite Jesus into the mess with you & meditate on His words & promises. Sure, ask him to fix it too, but keep your heart open to whatever his answer may be. I think Jesus does love rescuing us from uncomfortable places, but I think more than anything he desires a relationship with us and some of the deepest relationships are the ones that are formed and tested in the valley, not on the mountaintop.

So whether you are coming out of a difficult situation, going into a difficult situation or in the middle of a difficult situation, I pray this post encourages your heart today.

What are your thoughts? If you can relate or if you have any words of encouragement to share, I would love to read them in the comments below! 🙂

P.S. Quite a few readers have requested I start sharing more Bible study type posts, like this one, so I’ve started a new category labeled “Bible Study” (you can see the categories on the right hand side of the blog). This is the first post in the category, but I’ll be adding to it in hopes of making it easier for you to find specific posts like this one. I certainly don’t have it all together and I’m so far from getting it all right, but I do love sharing what God is teaching me personally. So, that’s all this post is – it is just what the Lord has been teaching me through my Bible study – it certainly isn’t a preachy post (although I am totally preaching to myself) and I pray we can all keep the comments respectful and encouraging! 🙂

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