Posts Tagged With: Anna

Father Knows Best

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Psalms 119:1-112
 Oh, that my actions would consistently
    reflect your decrees! – Psalm 119:5

We had an interesting moment this evening with Anna that as it was happening I knew it was happening specifically so that I could write about it. Weird? Not for me anymore. 😉
Anna was taking FOREVER in the bathroom finishing drying off after her shower. It was half an hour past the time we like to have her in bed and after repeated attempts to tell her to hurry up Sean went to the bathroom door and repeated himself once again. Which was met with a little seven (almost eight) year old attitude. Not a good idea little girl. She growled at him through the door as if somehow he was the one in the wrong, then came out and gave him a cold stare as she stalked past him to her room. He calmly told her to get her pajamas on as he walked back toward the living room. He was two steps away when her door slammed behind her. At this we both reacted and told her that slamming doors is absolutely unacceptable behavior in this house. Which she already knows quite well.
I pulled out pajamas for her and started brushing her wet tangled hair while I explained,
“Anna, you know you’re not supposed to slam your door.”
… Silence as the buds of angry tears formed in the corners of her eyes. I could almost read her thoughts, “How dare you yell at me. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Do you know why we were angry with you?”
Her red eyes held full-sized tears as they bore holes into the front of her dresser, refusing to look at me.
“Anna. When Daddy say it’s time to hurry up, he means it. He’s not just saying it to be mean, it’s because it’s late and he knows that when you don’t get to bed soon enough, you don’t get enough sleep. And when you don’t get enough sleep you don’t do as well at school. And when you don’t do well at school you don’t feel very good about yourself and we don’t want that to happen. We want you to feel good about yourself so that’s why it’s important to us that you get to bed on time.
When you don’t obey what Daddy tells you to do, when he tells you to do it, that tells him that you don’t trust what he is saying is for your good.
But when you obey Daddy, that tells him that you love him and that you trust him. Do you love Daddy? Do you trust him to take care of you? Then you need to do what he says to do then don’t you.”
The wet head in my hand nodded slightly with a sniffle and a hug and we finished our bedtime routine without any more hitches and a couple extra hugs and kisses for Daddy.
Although this message hit me at the time that it would be important for someone else to hear this tonight, as I typed it I realized that it was just as much for me as it was for Anna. Usually He does that while it’s coming out of my mouth not my fingers. 😉
Our Daddy loves us. And what He is telling us to do right now is to TRUST HIM. He knows what He’s doing. He knows what’s best for us and what we need the most. They wouldn’t call it faith if it didn’t require at least a small measure of belief on the part of the faithful.
It’s time we step out in faith my friends, for He knows the plans He has for us. Plans for our good and not our harm. Plans for a hope and a future – our hope and our future. We can trust our God, He knows what He’s doing. He’s been doing it for far longer than we’ve been doubting it so we might as well go along with Him. I certainly wouldn’t want to go against Him, would you!?!

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Categories: 365 Life, Psalms, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Pig Pen

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This is the sight that greeted me as I walked into the bathroom to get ready for bed tonight. I turned to my husband and said, “That girl,” our daughter, “just can’t help but leave a mess behind her can she? I’m going to start calling her Pig pen!” And I was only half joking. Yet part of me smiled as I looked at her clothes shed for her nighttime bath. Someday there won’t be a little blonde-haired girl running through the house half-naked and dripping a trail through the living room and giggling as she goes. Someday our house won’t be the loud chaotic mess it is now. It will be quiet and things will stay where I put them. Some days that thought thrills me… others not so much.
Someday I’ll walk through this house and it will be clean, no traces of sticky finger prints on the windows or door knobs. There won’t be any dirty socks stuck between the couch cushions or any toy trucks to stub my toe when the lights go out. My house will be quiet and clean… maybe a little too clean if you ask me. For years I fought the mess with everything I had in me. Some days I still do, but not usually.
Yes, tonight as I brushed my teeth I smiled at the mess and, of all things, thought of Thomas’s famous statement of doubt. “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25) Thomas wanted to see the scars, the mess left behind from the cross. He wanted the proof that it had really happened,  that Jesus had really been there at the cross and come back. And he wasn’t disappointed either. Eight days later, Jesus came to him in a locked room and told Thomas to touch His scars and believe. Jesus kept His scars from the cross, He’s God, He could have easily erased them from His resurrected body but He chose to keep them. Why? Because they are the proof, the only proof, that He truly hung on the cross and died. They are proof that He came and conquered Death itself. They are proof that He has overcome the trials, troubles and tribulations of this world and won. Which means that we can too.
Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians chapter 4 verses 16 through 18, “do not lose heart. Though our outerself is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Whatever you’re going through today, a messy house or cancer treatments, it won’t last forever.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soldiers

1 Kings 8:33 – 10:22

Word of the Day:

“You teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon Your land, which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.” 1 Kings 8:36

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been struggling with some demons lately; big fat hairy ones that just don’t seem to want to leave me alone. I went to lunch with my daughter at school this afternoon, marching through those hallowed halls with a big red “VISITOR” sticker on my belly always makes me smile. (Don’t ask why I don’t put it on my chest like everyone else, I don’t know myself… perhaps just simply to be different…) Anyway, as I stood there in line with the Kindergarteners waiting to go to recess they began to ask me to stay and go to recess with them. I’ve only been to recess once with Anna, so why they chose today to beg me to stay, I’m not quite sure, but I think it might be related to something big and hairy… Because what happened next, well, I hope I never forget it! You see I have this thing called Mommy guilt that I deal with constantly where I doubt my every choice as a mother. Did I do the right thing? Was I too harsh on them? Was I not stern enough? Did I send enough food for their lunches? The questions plague me, perhaps like the Queen of Sheba with Solomon…

As I walked out of the school, not having stayed for recess, I felt incredibly guilty for not staying. All I had to do at home was study and write, how important is that anyway compared to extra time with my little girl? Oh, I can not get started down that path or I may never find my way back out!!!

Last night I was reading a blog I recently subscribed to where he shared a Facebook conversation between two individuals about a third individual that just happens to be a pastor and runs a local gas station. You can click here to view the blog, it’s quite good. But part of Darrell‘s comment on this conversation struck me. “I commend men of God who shepherd small flocks and pay for the privilege of doing so with their own labor outside of the ministry.” There is so much truth in this one sentence! There is a COST of ministry. There is a cost for spreading the message of the gospel. There is a cost, a cross to bear, a thorn in the side if you will, whatever you call it there’s a price to pay to be in Christ. Why, because the Enemy hates Him. It’s as simple as that. The Enemy hates Jesus, and because we are united with Him the Enemy hates us.

If you want to get someone really smokin’ mad, say something negative about their spouse or their kids. Want to go a step further, injure or harm them instead. And what is it that the Enemy does again, well one of his most popular names is “the Accuser” (saying negative things about the children of God). Jesus also tells us that the Enemy comes to steal kill and destroy (injuring them).

So here I am, getting into my car headed home to work on this very post, feeling like crud because I didn’t stay and play with my daughter and her friends. Had I just been there for 45 minutes eating lunch with them? Yes. Was I thinking about that at the moment? No. God has blessed me with the ability to even GO to lunch with my kids that in itself is immeasurably more than most moms these days get to do! Was I focusing on that at the moment? No. Instead I was focusing on the cost, the price I was paying to do the very thing God has called me to do. Write to you, my friends.

I came home and as I walked in the front door and hung up my keys I could feel the turmoil boiling up in me again. You know that turmoil that makes God sound fuzzy like a radio that’s out of tune. I had been dealing with the fuzzy turmoil for a long time and during the fast I realized that it had gone away, then just this morning it started again. By the time I got home it had gotten so loud that I could stand it no more. And as I went to throw my shoes in the basket next to the door I looked into the mirror on the wall and said, “Lord, I need a name. I know that this demon will leave when I tell him to, but I want a name. It’s not Doubt, it’s different than that….” and through the din in my spirit I heard it, “Uncertainty”. “That’s it! Uncertainty! I’m not doubting right now, I’m uncertain! Well, in Jesus’ name, Uncertainty you must leave me immediately and Certainty, COME!”

Just that helped, but I wasn’t done yet! God was about to pour out some Certainty for me. J Hallelujah!

I had been watching a sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I really wanted to get this one. I really yearned to more fully understand the concept of becoming a “new creation”. It’s a hard concept! When I accept Christ, I become “new” yet I don’t look any different. I’ve been “born again” but how is that possible? (Right Nicodemus? John 3:4) And what exactly does it mean to be “in Christ” and how do I do that? So many questions Queen of Sheba! But the one who made Solomon wise, lives in me through Christ’s death and His Holy Spirit and I can talk to Him and ask Him anything at any time!

So like a three year old with so many “Why’s”, I went to my Daddy in prayer and asked Him all these things. Oh my friends, His answer was so simple! “Meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:17, memorize it, make it part of who you are. New.”

So I opened up my ESV Bible and looked it up and wrote it down. And usually my method of memorizing a verse is to just write it down over and over again until I’ve got it sunk in real good. But this time was different. I hadn’t checked out other translations yet to see if any of them resounded with me better than the ESV. And this is where the real transformation started to take place. So, because it was so special for me, I’m going to share with you my page I was writing on.

And in case you can’t read the picture or just want to put your eyes on them yourself, here are some links:

2 Cor 5:17 English Standard Version, Message, Contemporary English Version, Good News Bible and the Easy Readers Version.

If you’ll notice in the picture of the paper, I have a couple of side notes between the translations. These are things that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to write down. The first note is a song lyric from Britt Nicole’s song “All This Time“. The Holy Spirit has sung this lyric to me many many times over the last few years. “Well I’m not the same me, and that’s all the proof I need.” And it has rung true every single time. My entire self has changed since receiving Christ and His Holy Spirit. I was quite young when I accepted Christ into my heart so I’ve truly grown up in Christ. But now as an adult who has accepted the gift of the Holy Spirit and a call into ministry through writing about my journey through life with Christ, I have begun to question many of the things that I simply accepted as truth when I was younger. I blindly believed everything that anyone would tell me about God. Not any more! My eyes have been opened to the false prophets of this world; the wolves in sheep’s clothing and holy robes. The day I asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill me, well He changed me so completely that I am not the same me I used to be and that really is all the proof I need. At least it should be anyway. But I’m learning that Uncertainty can come and really mess with your head on things that used to be certain in your mind. It’s one thing to doubt new information; it’s another to go through bit by bit and question the old information. That’s hard. But I’ve done it! And I am so much better for it in the end! Because like I said, I’ve been changed by the testing of my faith. I now know WHY I believe what I believe and not just that I believe them because someone told me I should. I have intellectual roots in my faith, the very things that will keep me grounded in that faith when the storms of life come along. Remember those little plants in the parable of the Sower and the Seed? Those roots will hold you together when life feels like it’s falling apart. Remember the story of Joseph? He stored up grain, or seed – the Word of God, during the good times in order to use it during the famine – or tests of life.

The second note that God had me write down was, “You are a new person, whether you choose to live like one is up to you.” I started this little adventure today with a demon on my back; a demon that I have been given dominion over. I am in Christ, He is THE commander, and principalities MUST obey Him and therefore us, because we are in Him. Have you ever seen a parent who lets their child walk all over them? That parent is not claiming their rightful place as an authority over their child. In the same way, those who do not claim their rightful place as an authority over the principalities of this world will be walked all over by them. The conversation on Darrell’s blog drew my attention to 2 Timothy 2:4 where the word “soldier” stuck in my head. Like a tiny seed that has grown through this day and has begun to take root throughout this lesson. While I was praying for understanding on being “in Christ” and a “new creation” God said to me, “Soldier of the Living God, that’s you.”

We are soldiers of the Living God! In our reading today I was overwhelmed by the symbolism in it! Picture Solomon as God the Father.

The Israelites are us, look at 1 Kings 9:22 “But of the people of Israel, Solomon made no slaves. They were the soldiers, they were his officials, his commanders, his captains, his chariot commanders and his horsemen.”

Turn your attention to the story of Jesus and the faith of the Centurion, or soldier. Matthew 8:5-13

Look at verse 9 where the Centurion explains the way things work in the kingdom of God and here on earth. “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go,” and he goes, and to another, “Come,” and he comes, and to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.” God is in charge of us, but we are in charge of pretty much everything else. We have been given dominion over this world and everything in it that has never changed since the Garden of Eden. Only now, we have moved up the ladder of authority from son of Adam, to Son of God. There is absolutely nothing on this earth that is not under our authority. When we notice some Enemy activity going on in the world around us, it is our job to call it out, to speak (out loud) against it. (The angels and demons can’t read your minds.) Hebrews 1:14 tells us, “Are they not all ministering spirits (angels) sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Right now, somewhere in your near vicinity, there is at least one angel just waiting, poised in preparation, to carry out your commands to defend and protect God’s children and the things that matter to them. I don’t want you to read this and think that we are surrounded constantly by demons alone. Oh no!!!! We each have been assigned our own personal angels to guard and protect us, AND to carry out our instructions. “Lord, please protect my children today at school” I picture it as though my angel hears my prayer, and passes it along to my children’s angels, at least that’s the picture the Centurion gives us anyway. You see he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, commander of the angel army. He knew that Jesus didn’t have to walk all the way across town to his house in order to heal his servant, he could simply speak the word and the angels would do the rest.

If you have spoken your allegiance to Jesus and asked for Him to come and live in your heart, then you are “in Christ” and He is “in you”. Because He is in you, you have become the temple of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. And tell me dear friend, as the temple of a Holy God is an unholy demon allowed anywhere near you? Absolutely not! You have been given the seal of the Holy Spirit, you are married to Jesus the King of kings, you have been given the honor and position of being able to sign His name on formal official documents and you have not only the right but the job of telling those demons to BACK OFF! Get out! Go Away! Report to Jesus (the commander and judge)! And anything else you can think of to tell them! They are under your command and they are, even more importantly, under your feet, tell them where to go and what to do and how to do it. Return to hell from where you came, in Jesus’ name! Hold up that shield of faith that your Father gave you and use it against the one firing missiles of destruction and lies at you. God’s faithfulness is our shield and rampart, and like the wall that Solomon built around Jerusalem, He protects us. But seeing as how we are in an ongoing centuries long spiritual war, there have been casualties, there are pains that cost us dearly in this battle, but we don’t have to take them lying down. We need to use them to fuel us up! Allow the pains of this world to cause us to rise up in battle and fight the Enemy with a ferocity that he’s never seen before. Be that person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning Satan says, “Aw crap, she’s up!”

Rise up Soldier of the Living God, your time has come, fight. The battle is yours, saith the Lord. Because He “will fight for you, you need only to be still”. (Exodus 14:14)

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Give a book bible button

I wanted to make you aware of some ministry updates. I am very excited to announce that I have a Mother’s Day speaking engagement scheduled for May 11th. I would LOVE to have books on hand for the women to buy, and even some to give away as gifts. However, the current funds in the ministry account are running drastically low. If you are able, I would love for you to prayerfully consider giving a book or Bible to someone who can’t afford one. If you are able, please click here!

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lunch Buddies

Hee hee hee!!! I am so excited that I get to blog today! I feels like forever that I’ve been able to come on here and talk to you all!!! I have been SOOO busy getting this next Bible Study up and running and ready. There has been so much going on here behind the scenes and I am seriously on pins and needles waiting to unveil it to you! You’re gonna LOVE it! It seriously is all I can do to contain my glee in this moment, deep breath… It won’t be too much longer, I hope.

I can give you this little peek behind the curtain, the new book/Bible Study cover and title:

Waiting front cover only

Ahhhh… there’s nothing like waiting on a Bible Study about waiting right? You know you love me!

Yup, the writing is finished, the proof copy has been sent to the editor, the front cover is done, it’s so close I can almost taste it! I love being able to see the finish line don’t you!

On Fridays I go to the school to have lunch with the kids. Today, as I was walking up to the school I was wondering if Anna would, for the third week in a row, forget that I was coming and bringing her forgotten lunch and get another one before I got there ending up with three lunches for the two of us. And it just made me think of all the times when we forget that our heavenly Father is bringing something into our lives. He’s coming with something big and exciting and we forget so we work on and worry about that very same thing only to see Him coming around the corner with His version of what we’ve been working on… and it’s SO MUCH BETTER than what we did that our version pales in comparison and we just want to hide it behind our backs.

Every time I have walked into the cafeteria carrying a lunch for my daughter that I know she will love and actually eat, and see her walking to the table with a tray filled with food that I know that she will not eat, God has tapped me on the shoulder and said, “you know you do that too right?” Siiiigh…

Why do we worry and sweat over things that He’s got under control? So often we think, “Oh! This and such doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere God must need me to do something about it. Maybe He needs my help…” No. He doesn’t need your help. He needs your TRUST. He needs for you to believe in Him to do what needs to be done that you can’t do. He needs for us to be still, silent, quiet, peaceful, calm, motionless, carefree, and know that HE is God, that He has it all under control and that when it is time for us to DO something He WILL let us know it.

Once upon a time… OK, all the time, I was worrying over my sins, I was worrying over whether or not I was doing the right thing and God stopped me and said, “I am a good Father, if you’re doing something wrong, I will tell you.”

Oh! He IS a good Father! And He DOES tell us when we’re doing something wrong or when we’re doing something right! We just have to be still enough to be able to hear Him!

Oh how I love being on this phase of writing! There’s nothing like being at the end of a season and looking back over the whole thing and seeing how it all unfolded right before your eyes but couldn’t see it until now. My season of “waiting” is over, I know it, I can feel it down to my bones. God is opening my eyes to so many things right now and it’s amazing. Time is rushing by like a freight train and the rush of wind as it passes is taking my breath away. All I can do right now is laugh. Laugh at God’s sense of humor and irony. Laugh at how perfectly it has all fit together. Laugh at how wonderful He really truly is, and know that I’ve only BARELY scratched the surface.

God’s got my back. I don’t have to worry or fear the future, because I know the One who holds it in the palm of His eternally merciful hand and He loves me enough to die for me. I am so blessed to know this God whose word always proves true. This God who proves His faithfulness to His people in so many abundant ways. This God who fills the earth with so many colors of His love that there is no way to count them all! Yes! This is MY God. This is MY Father who brings me the best lunch I could imagine, so I don’t need to worry about getting my own lunch because I know that His will be so much better in every way!

God bless you my friends! I have missed you!!!!

Categories: 365 Life, The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comfort: Day 5 Spiritual Stay-cation

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Last night my little baby girl Anna had an ear ache. The moment we pulled into the driveway from ballet pictures she started sobbing “my ear hurts”. And she didn’t stop whimpering about it until I put her to bed. Honestly, I figured it was the barometric pressure from the snow on it’s way and didn’t think too terribly much of her pain because I knew she was tired and really just needed to sleep. So I was encouraging her to push through her pain to get ready for bed. When she laid down her whimper turned more to tears and my heart was aching for her. I knew it hurt but there wasn’t really anything I could do for her. So I laid my hands on her little ears and prayed for her while I sang her favorite song “Jesus Loves Me”. I accidentally sang the first verse twice and by the time I got to the end of the second verse and was starting the third, she was in peaceful sleep. I lingered by her sleeping side, praying for her healing rest, staring into the still tear-stained face, that just moments ago was filled with pain and was now covered in peace. How blissful sleep can be.

It wasn’t even thirty minutes later that she started crying in her sleep. That’s when reality really started to sink in for me. She hadn’t been crying from fatigue and a little pain, she had been crying from real pain! My tough mom heart broke into a million pieces when it hit the floor. No longer aching for her it was crying out with her! I was desperate! How could I make her pain stop? I prayed with more sincerity “LORD! What can I do for her??? She’s really hurting!” His reply? “Nothing, she has to go through this.”

Her sleepy cries of pain eased momentarily and I scrambled to get ready for bed myself. I put pillows and a blanket on the couch and turned down all the lights in the living room so that when her cries rose again I could be there for her. While I couldn’t make the pain go away completely, I could hold her in her sleep, comfort her just by knowing I was enduring the pain with her. Making SURE she didn’t feel alone in her pain.

At about a quarter to nine, just as the make-shift bed on the couch was prepared, her tortured cries of pain started up again. (And I’m not exaggerating when I say tortured either, because that’s what it was, torture, for both of us.) I scurried into her room, where my own tear-filled eyes found her covers already askew from her flailing. My poor precious baby!!!!! I snatched her from her lonely bed and clung to her ever lengthening frame. Her toes, once upon a time only come to my breasts, now hanging down past my knees, swung gently back and forth as I carried her limp and exhausted body to our place of mutual rest and suffering for the night.

As we lay down belly to belly together, she snuggled her head into the familiar comfort of my chest, still sobbing, but maybe not quite as loudly as before. Sean came up behind me and just stood watching the two of us for a moment before he went out on his run. Huh, I didn’t think of it at the time, but he was possibly more tortured about all this than I was. I moved so quickly to comfort her myself that he never got a chance to even blink let alone move to help! There’s nothing like wanting to help someone and you can’t. You feel useless. (I’m sorry Beloved!) Seeing that everything was being done that could be, he turned around and went for his nightly run. A few minutes after he left Anna began writhing in pain, unconsciously kicking me and wailing. I held her tightly, letting her know “Mommy’s here” and softly praying over her head, and eventually the pain ebbed from her body, her muscles relaxed and she was at peace once again. After that her cries and writhing started lessening each time – Thank You God!

Around eleven Daddy came back into the living room. He gently touched my outside arm to wake me up and asked “Want me to take over?” His turn to help had finally arrived. He pulled back the blanket and gently lifted her from on top of me into his loving gentle arms. “She’s hot” he said, “I know” I answered. He situated himself in his recliner for the night as I headed off to our own luxuriously large bed all alone, well, with the cat.

As I snuggled myself down under the comforter I prayed for them both, that they would rest well and realized that this is precisely what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. The God of all comfort. There are trials and pains that we just have to go through in life, for one reason or another. Things that God is using to ever so lovingly mold and shape us into the creation He wants us to be. And during those times He is desperate to comfort us, in any way that He can without ruining the purpose of the suffering. He hears our tortured cries and He starts preparing things to comfort us immediately. He moves into action immediately, He does not wait. He doesn’t even wait for us to ask Him for comfort, because many times we’re asleep to the fact that we even need it. Jesus lays His loving hand on our heads and prays for us and our complete healing. Not just the easing of the pain, but HEALING. And when we cry out, He lifts us up out of our lonely bed of suffering and moves us to a bigger bed prepared for mutual suffering. A place where He can hold us, soothe us, and pray over us all night long through our moaning, tears and fitful sleep of agony. And right at the eleventh hour, the Father comes along and tells Jesus it’s His turn now. And so the Father comes and lifts us from Jesus’ arms into His own and carries us to His throne (you gotta believe He’s got the BEST recliner in ALL of history!) where we lay with our ear pressed to His chest for the rest of the night until we wake up feeling strangely better and He asks us, “Are you ready to go back to your own bed now?” and we walk painlessly back to where we started the night. Healed and happier having slept through the whole thing… sort of.

I looked up the verse “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”, and looked up the Greek for the word “comforted” and I am so pleased with what I found! Parakaleo is the Greek word translated as “comforted” here and it’s Strong’s definition is (a) I send for, summon, invite, (b) I beseech, entreat, beg, (c) I exhort, admonish, (d) I comfort, encourage, console. Now I don’t know about you, but when I read that definition the thing that strikes me more than anything is the personal nature of the word. I send… I beseech… I exhort… I comfort, the person speaking the “parakaleo” is the one who is personally doing the action. They’re not talking about someone else performing the action for them, THEY are the one doing it. In Matthew 5:4 where we find this verse, it isn’t just anybody saying these words, it’s Jesus Himself. Jesus was telling His disciples, and us, that when we are comforted, HE is the one doing the comforting. He is the one who sent them your way. He is the one comforting you through that other person, being His hands and feet. He is the one holding you through that dark night. He is the one wiping all your tears away from your face and making it all better.

Isn’t our God AWESOME!?! How can you not love a God like that?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12

“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25: 8-9

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thansgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon – from the Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have You forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’ My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23

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