Posts Tagged With: baby

Beauty

1 Kings 3:16 – 6:38

Word of the Day: “And the king said, ‘Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.’ Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, ‘Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.’ But the other said, ‘He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.’ Then the king answered and said, ‘Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is the mother.'” 1 Kings 3:25-27

The day was dreary and dismal as the rain pelted the roof reminding me that I had to go out. I had to go to the bank, and the water office and the post office, in this… blech! Little did I know what beauty awaited me, in this, the dreary and dismal. I pulled up the collar on my coat, took a deep breath and plunged into the cold wet day; freezing rain is no fun. What happened to the sun? It feels like years since we’ve seen it and played in its warm rays. Summer, are you ever coming back?

I get into the car to see the windshield covered in ice and breathe a prayer, “Lord, please don’t make me go out in that rain any more than I have to. Please let this ice come off with the wipers. Please.” One, two, three, click, YES! “THANK YOU JESUS!” The engine purrs as it pulls out of the muddy driveway and into the slush-filled street, here we go… blech! The song on the radio calls my attention, wasn’t this the song that I had stuck in my head all morning? Interesting Lord. They sing to me, “I know you’re out there, and I know you care, just like an angel watching over me…” and I wonder, really? Sometimes it’s hard to feel like God cares about me when it feels like everything around me is going wrong. Hmmm… maybe the weather just has me in a bad mood, I know God cares…right?

As I pull into the bank parking lot I thank God for the closest parking spot being open, “Thank You Jesus!” Running on my tiptoes so that the back hems of my pants don’t get too wet I yank on the door and sigh, we’re here…again. I was just here yesterday, for the exact same errand, a cashier’s check for the mortgage… But I forgot all the paperwork and didn’t have any amounts, sooooo because it was ten minutes to closing time I had to leave empty handed and come back in this…blech. I walked up to the same teller as yesterday and smiled, “Let’s try this again shall we?” She grinned in recognition. While I was waiting for her to fill out all the appropriate paperwork I got started filling out my check for the water office and putting our return address on the envelope for the post office, might as well make the most of my time while I’m waiting, right? All finished I bid the teller, “Have a good day, and stay dry!” as I breathed deeply in preparation of the blast of cold air that was bound to greet me when I opened the door. It did, it was even stronger than when I had gone in. Leaning my hat into the wind I slid myself back into the driver’s seat of my car, grateful for the break in the wind allowing me to breathe again.

And then it happened, as I rounded the side of the building on my way out of the parking lot I saw it. My shoulders drooped as my photographer’s heart quickened. A frozen fence with fingers of ice dripping down… how much was this picture, this child of my heart, worth to me? My thoughts raced in disagreement, “I have two more places to go before home, I’ll get soaked, AND it’s freezing out there!” But my photographer’s heart would not be denied that perfect “babe” of a picture. So while my skin and brain were ranting, my hands shifted the car into reverse to pull into the nearest parking spot.

Five minutes and completely frozen fingers later, I re-entered the warmth of my dry car, sopping wet coat sticking to the back of the seat. I had it, that one great shot that takes several bad shots to get to; I had it! But what’s more, I had something else. To put a name on it, is difficult. Maybe the more I write the better I can explain it, but I didn’t get into that car with only a great picture, I had something else in tow too. Salvation.

Photography is a therapy for me, there’s something healing in the capturing of beauty in unexpected places. When I left my warm cozy spot on the couch (curled up in a blanket with the dog and my Bible) and ventured out into this dreary mess of a day, I wasn’t expecting to be greeted with beauty. I was going to the bank, and to pay bills! Yet Beauty found me all the same, and she called to me from a frozen fence in the rain. Was I willing to sacrifice the dry safety of my warm car to capture her? Was I willing to put my comfort on the line to take her home with me and share her with all of you? Honestly, not at first! But those desires that God plants in our hearts, they can’t be denied. They can’t be rebuffed forever. What God plants, God tends. Like the good shepherd that He is, He cares for His sheep…even when it doesn’t seem like He is. I know He’s out there, and I know that He cares. He is watching over me, and He’s watching over you.

The delight of taking that one good picture put a smile on my face that lasted all the way through the rest of my rainy day errands and on to home; where I came straight to my computer to look at it again, and it took my breath away.

There really is Beauty in the blech.

 

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

Cleft of the Rock

My grandmother was a wonderful God-fearing woman, I miss her. Many times when my first child was an infant my mom would tell me about my grandmother (her mother-in-law). They didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things, Oreo cookies right before sending us home… you know, those kinds of things. But there was one story my mom tells on my grandmother that is really a lesson for the ages, and God is reminding me of it today.

Often times when my brother and I were young we would visit our grandparents who lived only a few short miles away from us. And when my mom would accompany us, she would try to take care of us while we were at Grandmother’s house, frustrating both Grandmother and Mom in the process because they were both trying to take care of us. Until one day Grandmother explained to my Mom “When you are at my house, you leave the children to me. I can handle them, I’ve done this before, you go take a break.” By them both trying to accomplish the same task they ended up getting in each other’s way. Not to mention Grandmother knew that moms NEED the occasional break!

Fast forward to my last and favorite memory of my grandmother. My son was about ten weeks old and we had called all his grandparents and great grandparents together to take four generation pictures. At that point all my son’s parents, grandparents, and great grandparents were still married to their original spouses and still alive, that doesn’t usually happen very often so we deemed it photo shoot worthy. Anyway, the day after the photo shoot we had planned on Grandmother and Grandfather coming over to our house to see all the antiques in the one-hundred year old house that we were renting. That morning Gabe was the fussiest baby! He had never been that grumpy before or since. There was nothing I could do to please him, and I had tried EVERYTHING! By the time my grandparents showed up I was frazzled and tired and grumpy myself. In walks Grandmother, she saw the screaming baby and the look in my eye, asked “what’s wrong” and I verbally puked all over her telling her how the morning had gone. She looked at me and said “Tamar, let me hold him and you go take care of yourself. Go in the kitchen and make yourself something hot to eat. I will take care of him.”

“But Grandmother,” I began to protest, “you came to see the antiques, I can do this, really, its OK.”

“Tamar, give me the baby.” And I resigned my son to her care. The MOMENT he touched her arms he stopped crying! As a new mother of two months, I was amazed! Almost convinced of a supernatural power coming over my son as she touched him, and who knows, maybe it was – or a supernatural power leaving him as her light touched his little body. But either way, something happened. Yes, as a now experienced mother I realize that my stress had been most likely the cause of his distress, but then again, that’s just the point. As I made my way back into the kitchen to make myself something hot to eat as commanded by the higher authority of my grandmother I listened to the two of them cooing at each other and her singing, totally in grandma heaven. And we all thought she came to see the antiques! Ha! Hardly. A mere month later she had gone home to be with the Lord. She died from a blood clot that caused a stroke, the only photo in her hospital room was one of my little Gabriel.

About a year later God inspired my husband and I to move from our little Indiana hometown surrounded by farmland to the Chicago-land area so that my husband could go back to school to change careers and be a mechanic. For two years he went to school and worked part-time while I worked in daycare as a pre-school teacher. At the end of his schooling it came time for him to find a job, and we both were praying for one in Indianapolis where we would still be close to family. It came down to the last two weeks of school and he still didn’t have job lined up! Rent was due soon and we had NO idea if we would be staying another month or leaving for Indy. The best and only way I can explain that time in our life was dark. Everything was up in the air and totally unknown. We were totally between that rock and a hard place. The time was drawing nearer and nearer to take that next step. One we were more than willing to take… if we just knew WHERE we were supposed to step! Sure we had both been feeling led to go to Indy, but what if that wasn’t what God wanted for us? What if He wanted us in California or New York? We had no idea, and it was terrifying. We were being pressed to take this next step, but it was going to have to be a leap of faith like never before, and it was seriously stressing me out.

At that time I had, by far, the best assistant director I’ve ever had in any job either before or since! A woman with one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever seen. One day during this trial of uncertainty and fear the Spirit led her to come down to my room to visit me during breakfast. (Now, I can probably count on one hand how many times she had done that while I worked there, and still have some fingers left over.) She walked in my room and totally took over control. And I have to admit I was offended by her “intrusion” into MY classroom. I said something to her to the effect of “Oh, that’s not how we do that in here…” and she turned to the assistant teacher and asked her to watch the kids while she and I went to have a talk.

Oh boy!

She pulled me into the neighboring kitchen and said to me, “Tamar, when the Master is in the house, you are not to be in control, He is. You just sit back and relax and take care of yourself, and let Him do the rest. When I’m in your room, you’re not in charge anymore. You let me take over so you can take a much-needed break.” Well, right then and there standing next to a white chest freezer full of frozen waffles and orange juice concentrate I let go of my control and started sobbing with relief. She wrapped me in her little arms and I poured the story out on her of what was going on and how it all just felt so dark, How we didn’t know what to do and it was so scary. And how the words that God had just put in her mouth were almost identical to the words He had put in Grandmother’s mouth a few years before. How their familiarity had touched me, taught me and reminded me of Grandmother all at the same time.

Today, God has pulled all these stories back up in my memory. There’s a change in the wind for our family. It’s looming and obvious and yet elusive at the same time. We’ve been avoiding it and yet it has still come upon us all the same. It’s time for us to take another leap of faith into the darkness expecting God to be there to catch us when we jump. We are in His house with a screaming baby totally stressed out over our life situation and we keep saying “What do I do?” and He’s looking us in the eye saying “Beloved, hand over the dream, let Me take care of it, and you go fix yourself something hot to eat, take a break and let Me handle things for a while, because I love you and I want this just as much as you do. More so actually, but we can’t both be working on the same thing because right now you’re getting in my way. So just sit back (be still), take a break over there out-of-the-way, and watch what I, the Master, can do (know that I AM GOD. Psalm 46:10)

Exodus 33:12-23:

12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

 17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

 19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

 21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Does it feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place? Perhaps God has placed you there so that He can cover you with His hand and protect you from His glory passing by in your current circumstance of life. Realize that in those “rock and a hard place” moments, if you COULD see what God was doing, it would kill you because of its pure awesomeness. That uncertainty and darkness you feel is keeping you alive, it’s protecting you. Don’t fear it and don’t fight it.

Psalm 22

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
   Why are you so far from saving me,
   so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
   by night, but I find no rest.

 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
   you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
   they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
   in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

 6 But I am a worm and not a man,
   scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
   they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say,
   “let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
   since he delights in him.”

 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
   you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
   from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

 11 Do not be far from me,
   for trouble is near
   and there is no one to help.

 12 Many bulls surround me;
   strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
   open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
   and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
   it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
   and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
   you lay me in the dust of death.

 16 Dogs surround me,
   a pack of villains encircles me;
   they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
   people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
   and cast lots for my garment.

 19 But you, LORD, do not be far from me.
   You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
   my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
   save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 22 I will declare your name to my people;
   in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
   All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
   Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
   the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
   but has listened to his cry for help.

 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
   before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
   those who seek the LORD will praise him—
   may your hearts live forever!

 27 All the ends of the earth
   will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
   will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
   and he rules over the nations.

 29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
   all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
   those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
   future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
   declaring to a people yet unborn:
   He has done it!

Can you relate to how David feels; scorned by men, mocked and insulted? Are you being tempted to doubt your trusting in the LORD? Do you feel surrounded on all sides with a melting heart and a dry mouth? Are you spiritually starving and naked? Cry out to Yaweh! Cry out for deliverance, praise Him in the streets and on Facebook. Call the people around you to join in your praises of our God Almighty, because “He has NOT despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him but has listened to His cry for help”. (v. 24) God will save you! How?

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
   forever.

He MAKES me lie down. He comes in and says “hand over the baby” so that you can REST, recover, de-stress, PRAISE! We walk through the valley of the shadow of death every day but fear no evil! For He IS with you – especially when it doesn’t feel like He is. His goodness, the very same goodness that passed by Moses (and you) in the cleft of the rock, will follow you all the days of your life until you go home to LIVE in Grandmother’s house where you just get in the way when you’re trying to control things.

Pray Psalm 143:

1 LORD, hear my prayer,
   listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
   come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
   for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
   he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
   like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
   my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
   I meditate on all your works
   and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
   I thirst for you like a parched land.

 7 Answer me quickly, LORD;
   my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
   or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
   for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
   for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD,
   for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
   for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
   lead me on level ground.

 11 For your name’s sake, LORD, preserve my life;
   in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
   destroy all my foes,
   for I am your servant.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Multi-facets of God’s Love

“And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Revelations 22:16

Why do “bad” things happen to “good” people? While I’m certainly not proposing that I know the one true answer, mostly because I don’t believe there is only one answer; I am proposing a thought (or two or three) about it. So often when we see a strong Christian friend battling cancer or mourning the death of a spouse we cry out in anger at God for allowing this pain to befall our friend. “Why God? Why would a LOVING God allow a helpless infant to die? God How is that showing us love?” As a parent, I know that my children should NOT get everything that they want. If I were to give my kids a piece of candy every time they asked for one they’d be obese and diabetic with their mouths filled with cavities. No, as a mother I don’t want my children to experience pain, but I also know that if I were to wrap them in bubble wrap and never let them out of the house then they would never learn or grow, they’d never get stronger or make friendships that would last a lifetime. You know, there have even been times when I have intentionally set my children up to fail. Why? So that they will learn. Sometimes, showing someone that you love them requires bringing them pain; at times, a lot of it.

My husband kept a dirty little secret from me (adultery) for thirteen years, thinking that he was sparing me from the pain of knowing the truth. And I’ve got to be honest, when he did finally tell me the truth, it hurt… a lot. It hurt my pride, my self-esteem and my view of myself as a woman. The truth made me angrier than an old wet hen! But. That truth set us both free, because it wasn’t a secret holding us apart anymore. That truth means so much more to me than all the “I love you’s” he’s ever said to me up to that point. The fact that he was willing to tell me the truth, means that he trusts me and my love for him enough to know that he can tell me the truth; even if it might hurt my feelings for a time.

So often we like to think that if something in our lives hurts then it can not be from God. That God is really all warm fluffy like cotton candy and nothing else; that because He is love He doesn’t do anything to us that causes us pain or suffering, but that it’s only from the Enemy. As if when the Enemy is attacking us, God is off busy working with someone else at the moment and isn’t fully aware of what is happening to US. God has promised to NEVER leave us or forsake us, which means that in those times of suffering and pain, God HAS NOT abandoned us! He has NOT allowed the Enemy to have free reign over us, but rather that God has Satan on a SHORT leash and he is ONLY allowed to do to us what GOD is telling him to do. To accomplish a work in our lives for HIS good purposes. By believing that God is only a “warm fuzzy god”, is putting God in a box and not allowing Him to be who He is; God. As much as we would like to hold Him down in that box, we can’t, because that warm fuzzy god can’t send His Son to die on a cross.

As I have been STRUGGLING with these painful truths I have prayed begging God to help me understand His love in a way that I could explain it to others. Instantly God spoke it into being in my life, a picture of His love. God’s love is like a diamond, clear and pure and full of light. And if every person who has ever walked the face of this earth were to stand around this diamond and look at only one facet (side) of it there would still not be enough people to see all the ways God shows us His love. And it is our job to shout out to everyone else, what our side of God’s love looks like. For one it may be a green pasture at the moment. For another it may look like a rainy day today. For another it may look like the death of a child. Just because we see different sides of something and it looks different to each of us doesn’t mean we’re not looking at the same thing. Just like I can look at a quarter and be describing the head, and my friend can look at the same quarter and describe the tail and both of us think the other is dead wrong in our descriptions, the only thing we’re actually wrong about is our judgments of each other being wrong.

It’s the same with God. We each have a different relationship with God so, we each experience Him in completely different ways because we are all completely different people. No two of us have lived identical lives – even identical twins have differing lives. Because we all have different past experiences, training, etc we can experience the same God at the same time with another believer and still come out of the experience gleaning completely different things.

One of my beloved sisters in Christ lost a son when he was just a baby; everyone was devastated (naturally). During the time immediately afterward she had a conversation with a friend of hers who was not saved. She was bold and witnessed to her friend. Fast forward twenty-some years to a birthday party in my backyard where my neighbor and my friend are both there and know each other. (Which was a surprise to us all!) My neighbor mentions to me after the party that my friend is a saint! I told him, “I know that already but what makes you say that?” He said, “Right after she lost her son she had a conversation with my mom that changed her life. She chose to become a Christian because of that conversation and because she converted the rest of our family did too! Our whole family is saved today because of her! We’re talkin’ like thirty people here!”

Please, do not misunderstand me when I say this, the death of an infant is devastating to us. But, because of her vulnerable state and the fact that she was leaning so hard on the LORD at that point in her life she was able to allow God’s strength to shine through her weakness. His light shows up best in the dark! He used her to bring an ENTIRE FAMILY to Christ! And if her son hadn’t died she wouldn’t have been able to say the things that she said, with the heart attitude with which she said them. It would’ve been a completely different conversation. If they would have had it at all.

I believe that it is a huge part of the great commission, to go out and share with others what our own facet of God’s love looks like, what it feels like, how we experience it… even if it’s in pain. My friend shared her pain and look what happened with that! I have shared with you how I saw God’s love in the midst of the storm with my son’s teeth and how God told me that it was a blessing, period. In the moments when we were going through the blessing, it didn’t feel like a blessing. I had peace, and knew that God WAS most certainly with me, guiding me through it all step by step, but it was still hard and it still hurt. Once we got through it all and were able to step back and really view it from a greater distance we were able to see more depth to the situation and take joy in the victory.

When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land from their 40 years of wandering in the desert, they didn’t just settle right in. No, they had to fight. God told them that He was giving them this land that He promised them, that the people of the land were stronger and more numerous than they were, but they would “utterly destroy them” because God was with them. And the same is true for us today. We are fighting to take possession of the promises that God has made us. Health, prosperity, rest, all things that the enemy DOESN’T want us to have, all “cities” God has promised us. So we have to fight for those cities to claim them as our own. But do not be afraid; be strong and courageous because the LORD is with us! (Joshua 1:9) Although the Enemy is bigger and stronger than you, he will not prevail against you because God is on your side.

And if God is on your side, who can be against you? Because God is on your side, no weapon formed against you will prevail (Isaiah 54:16). Which means you will win EVERY battle, you will conquer every obstacle in your path between you and the promises of God; turning every battle into a blessing. In the thick of battle, it will feel like a battle… because it is. But hold onto the FACT that GOD IS WITH YOU! The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still; be still and know that HE is God and He can handle it. Our battles are blessings, even when they don’t necessarily feel like blessings. But that’s because we’re in the thick of battle – getting our battle scars, mementos to help us REMEMBER the battle and everything we learned in it. (Like “fake teeth”)

Today God wants to show you something, He wants you to spend some time in prayer starting with:

Lord, I want to see Tamar’s facet of You today. Please take me back to the biggest battle I’ve ever had to fight and show me where You were in the whole thing.”

and then be still and listen to what He says. When I think back to the hardest moments in my life I realize how much I learned through them and I can see how God got bigger for me in each battle. How I became less, and He became more. If you’re fighting a battle today, think about this, the Morning star is out during the day, but we can’t see it’s light because it’s too bright. But in the black darkness of night it sparkles like a diamond in the sky.

Deuteronomy 7:1-2 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations – the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you – and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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