Forward

“The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to move forward [toward the sea].” (Exodus 14:15, AMP).

Anytime, every time we move forward, we go into the unknown. No matter how much research we have done. No matter the level of expertise we possess. Any time, every time we move forward, we go into the unknown. It is so because human knowledge is incomplete, imperfect, fragmentary (1 Corinthians 13:9, AMP). As such even when what we are moving into is familiar, there will always be aspects that are unknown to us. There is, however, One who is omniscient – ELOHIM. Thankfully, He is with us and for us as we face what is unknown to us.

This truth brings me deep comfort as the world reels with the unknown that is the coronavirus. And I see a link between Proverbs 3:5 and the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Never be afraid to trust your unknown future to a known God.” The link is this, wholehearted trust of God is tied to a deepening, intimate knowledge of Him.

“Those who know you, Lord, will trust you;  you do not abandon anyone who comes to you.” (Psalm 9:10, GNT).

I am joining (on a Saturday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Forward.” The Scripture verses at the beginning and the end of the post were added after the allotted 5 minutes had expired.

Refrain

Refrain, the noun, is a regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or a division of a poem or song.

I have been wondering,
if my life was a song,
and each season a stanza,
what would be my refrain?
What would be repeated
at the end of each stanza,
each season?
I thought of several things
but kept coming back to this,
“God is faithful.”

When the stanza was filled with sorrow,
God was faithful.
When the stanza was characterized
by uncertainty and confusion,
God was faithful.  
Whether the stanza was one of joy
and accomplishments
and the satisfaction of a job well done,
or marked with disappointment and failure,
God was faithful.

In every stanza written to date,
God has been faithful.
And for every stanza that will be written
in the future,
He will remain faithful.
If my life was a song,
and each season a stanza,
what would be my refrain?
“God is faithful.”

“Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9, HCSB).

“Remember my affliction and my homelessness,
the wormwood and the poison.
I continually remember them
and have become depressed.
Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!
(Lamentations 3:19-23, HCSB).

I am joining (on a Saturday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Refrain.” The Scripture verses were added after the allotted 5 minutes had expired. The definition of “Refrain” cited in the post is from merriam-webster.com.

Here

In an airport when trying to find a restaurant, or in a shopping mall while trying to locate a store, or on a walking trail when you are trying to determine where you are, finding a location map with an arrow or circle with the statement, “You are here,” can be a relief. But location is always in context. If I am standing to the left of something, there is always a right side. If I turn to the east, there is a north, south or west.

There are times, however, when we do not know where we are… in life that is. Perhaps, worse yet, we do not know how we got there. Thankfully, our God, Elohim, never loses track of us. He always knows exactly where we are, how we got there, and what it will take to get us back on track. In the midst of all the uncertainty, the unknown that characterizes our current global season, we can be sure of that fact. God knows exactly where we are so, like pilgrims before us, let us look to Him.

Psalm 121 (NKJV)
“God the Help of Those Who Seek Him”
A Song of Ascents.

1I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?

2My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

3He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

4Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

6The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

7The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.

8The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Perspective

I have never had to cope with anything like the COVID-19 pandemic.

I have been working from home.

Attending church online.

Connecting with family via zoom and WhatsApp.

Walking primarily in my neighborhood for exercise.

Occasionally taking photos as I walked or in my backyard.

I have been doing all these things for about four weeks.

But it was not until a day this past week that the reality
that I did not know when my new normal would end
descended on me like a weighted blanket.

But heavier than the awareness was the question
that seemed to come from deep within,
“Will I be able to keep trusting God through it all?”

God in His mercy provided perspective.
He does not ask me to trust Him through it all
but to trust Him moment by moment,
and gives me the grace to do so.

I am joining (on a Saturday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Perspective.”

Another

Four months. Has it really only been four months since we began the new year? Began it with hope and anticipation, and perhaps even gratitude that 2019 was behind us? Was it only four months ago that we began the new year with resolve that this year would not just be another year? That it would be different? That we would be different?

We seemed to have lived a lifetime in these four short months. A lifetime that has become characterized by uncertainty. Where loss has become the norm. Where it seems that we went to bed one night and hours later woke up in a different world. A world in which, as of today, 2.2 million people are known to be infected with the coronavirus. And over 150,000 have died.

Into the cycle of bad news after bad news, another story, another perspective needs to be injected. Christ is Risen. He sits at the right hand of the Sovereign God interceding for us. We are not alone. God has a good plan and will bring us through this.  

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Another.” The statistics cited in the post are from the website marketwatch.com.

Tomorrow


Tomorrows have names:
Mondays.
Tuesdays.
Wednesdays.
Thursdays.
Fridays
Saturdays.
Sundays.
Next week.
Next month.
Next Year.
The first day of a new term.
The morning after a wedding.
The first post-divorce day.
The day after a layoff.
The day when the someone in the state or city where you live,
or someone in a place where you work
is diagnosed with an illness of some kind.
The first day of a new normal.

Tomorrows have names
and so do the events they contain.
But the One who holds all our tomorrows,
has the Name that is higher than all names,
and gives us the only reason
we need to face our tomorrows –
He is with us, always.

I am joining (on a Sunday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Tomorrow.”

Remember

“God rest ye merry, gentlemen,” is a Christmas carol, it is true. But the verse shared above holds a truth we need to remember as we live through each day God gives us in 2020. And the remainder of our lives.  

Let us remember the good tidings of great joy which the angel shared with the shepherds that first Christmas, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, NKJV).

Why remember? Because the birth of the Word made flesh was the fulfillment of a promise God made centuries before in the Garden of Eden. Why remember? Because we will face challenges in 2020, some of which could test our faith to the point that the promises of God will be all we have to hold on to, to keep going. And we need to remember that in keeping His promise to redeem us, we have His assurance that He will keep every promise He has made. He did it for the children of Israel and He will do the same for you.

Why remember? Because His name, Immanuel, means “God with us,” and if there is one thing we need to hug close and bury deep in our beings is that “God is with us,” always.

Remember also that Christ our Savior was not only born but He lived and revealed the Father to us. And was tempted in all ways as we are and never sinned. And suffered untold agony for us, including separation from the Father. And died a criminal’s death. And rose again. And is now at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us. We know these truths but need to remember to remind ourselves of them often. Doing so is an antidote to discouragement and dismay and hopelessness. Remember. Remember. Remember. Do whatever it takes to remember.

NB: A version of this post was published on January 2, 2017.

Full

Some seasons seem chock full of pain and loss.
Heartache and loneliness.
Dashed dreams.
Unmet goals.
Hard things.
Unanswered prayers.
Uncertainty.
Chaos.
Injustice.
Hatred.

But these seasons only seem chock full of these things.
Because God is present in every season.
And He is the Sovereign Lord in each season.
And because He is, there is abounding grace in each season.
And there is hope in every season.
And there is love.
In the midst of the pain and loss.
Heartache and loneliness.
Dashed dreams.
Unmet goals.
Hard things.
Unanswered prayers.
Uncertainty.
Chaos.
Injustice.
Hatred.

Some seasons seem chock full of hard things but they only seem full of these things.
Grace is there also.
And so is hope.
And so is peace.
Because God is present in each season.

I am joining (on a Saturday), the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure . Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Full.”

Day 26: Accept

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6, NKJV).

Rejection is painful. Whether it is the rejection of a manuscript, a gift, or an idea, it can hurt when what we offer is rejected. And when we cannot separate the thing we have to offer from who we are, the rejection of what we offer feels like a rejection of ourselves and has a deep impact on our self-worth. That is why it is critical how we define ourselves. That we know the true source of our worth.

Our true worth lies in whose we are. In the fact that even before He made the world, God chose us in Christ Jesus, to be holy and without blame before Him in love. He chose to adopt us in to His family through Jesus Christ and it give Him great pleasure to do so. “He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Before anyone ever rejected you, you were already accepted by God in the Beloved. May this truth be the foundation on which you build your life and the healing balm that is poured over every wound.

This post is for Day 26 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Writing Challenge. The theme of my series is, “Season,” (which, at this point in the challenge, is loosely) based on the definition, “make (wood) suitable for use as timber by adjusting its moisture content to that of the environment in which it will be used.” Please click here to find the Table of Contents and links to other posts in the series. Bonus: Click here for the lyrics of the hymn, “Accepted in the Beloved.”


Wait: Day 25 & FMF

How do you wait in difficult seasons?
With fingers crossed, hoping for the best?
Eyes on the clock?
Stomach in knots?
Feet tapping?
Or resigned to whatever comes?

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord,” said the Psalmist David (Psalm 27:14, NLT). How could he wait patiently for the LORD and be brave and courageous? He knew God to be his light and salvation, his fortress, protecting from danger (Psalm 27:1, NLT) . He set his focus on God and had high expectations of Him. And with God’s help, so can we.

This post is for Day 25 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Writing Challenge and the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up. The theme of my series is, “Season,” (which, at this point in the challenge, is loosely) based on the definition, “make (wood) suitable for use as timber by adjusting its moisture content to that of the environment in which it will be used.” Click here to find the Table of Contents and links to other posts in the series, and here to learn about Five Minute Friday.