Do Good

Trust in the LORD and do good;

—from Psalm 37:3

 

It seems to always be this way.

When there is a natural disaster of some kind–hurricane, tornado, earthquake, snowstorm–people start taking care of each other’s needs.

Often strangers begin taking care of one another.

There seems to be a sense of belonging and responsibility that comes upon a community, bringing out a shared concern.

Empathy.

A willingness to give.

A generous spirit.

Today (which is the day after Hurricane Irma) I have heard of more than one family cooking food and making an open invitation to others to come.

Groups of people with chainsaws and tools have been going around assisting with the removal of toppled trees and other debris after the storm.

Someone made a large amount of coffee and started bringing it to different neighborhoods.

Wheelbarrows with limbs and sticks were carted to the road.

People are offering to help in lots of ways and this will continue for quite some time.

In Psalm 37:3 we are told to trust in the LORD and to do good.

In times like these, that is exactly what we need to do:

  1. Trust in the LORD.
  2. Do good.

 

 

do good

Never Forsaken

Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.
—Psalm 9:10

A major hurricane is coming and my family and I are in the path. 

We are preparing the house and boarding up windows. 

Storing up water and food. 

Waiting….

Only God controls the weather. 

We must now trust in Him. 

By Faith 

Recently, I was in a Bible study group that was discussing Noah and the ark. The account of what happened in those days is rich with topics of consideration. 

Why did God choose to flood the entire earth? 

Why did He choose to spare Noah and his family?

How did Noah have continual faith when God was asking him to do things he didn’t fully understand?

What made his wife and his sons and their wives have faith, as well?

Why did they choose to stick with Noah as he obeyed God and built the ark?
One thing stands out to me in this biblical account. 

Noah obeyed God even when it likely did not make sense to him. 

Build a boat?

What’s a boat?

Rain?

What’s rain?

Gather all those animals?

How?
Noah obeyed God. 

Noah believed God. 

Noah trusted God. 

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

—–Hebrews 11:7

Do Not

Fear gets in the way of so many things. 

Fear keeps us from taking positive action. 

Fear keeps us weighed down, causing us to achieve less than what God wants for us. 

Fear is best friends with doubt and discouragement. 

God is truly with us, knowing everything. 

We can trust Him when fear wells up within us. 

When it does, meet fear with prayer….

The LORD Himself  goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

—Deuteronomy 31:8

Trust in the Lord

The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years.
I have read that the place God had designated for them was less than two hundred miles away, making their journey’s length a matter of weeks.
Certainly not forty years.
All the reasons why they ended up in the desert so long might be summed up into one observation: they didn’t trust God.
God had displayed His great power to them many times, yet somehow, they didn’t trust Him completely.
Whatever the “desert” in my own life might look like, I know I don’t belong there.
It may be His choosing for me to go through a season on the way to the main destination, but I don’t want to be stuck on the journey, never really arriving where He wanted me.
I know that I must always do three things: Listen. Consider. Obey.
These three must be done over and over throughout my life.
I should listen for God to speak, then consider what I have heard, discerning what action I am to take.
This requires thought and prayer.
Finally, I am to obey, trusting Him.
There is an old hymn that speaks to this: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5-6
trust in

But I Am Trusting You

But I am trusting You, O Lord,
    saying, “You are my God!”

—Psalm 31:14

 

There are trustworthy people in this world.

But people can fail.

You can.

I can.

We may expect the best of others, rarely being disappointed.

Yet, we know deep down that no one is perfect.

God, however, is perfect.

If we trust Him, He cannot fail.

He is our God.

 

 

trusting-you

In Your Unfailing Love

But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.

—Psalm 13:5

 

Your love is unfailing and so is Your faithfulness.

No matter what happens, my heart can rejoice in knowing that I have a place in Heaven with You.

I can never repay You for all the blessings You have given to me.

Everything I have is Yours.

When I sleep at night, You watch over me.

When I wake in the morning, You see me open my eyes.

Help me to live each day as You want me to.

Please give me wisdom to do Your will in every situation.

Thank You for giving me life.

 

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Trust In You

Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

—Psalm 9:10

 

I could see the boat coming down the river at a fairly good speed.

It’s not uncommon at all to see boats travel up and down the river, but this was a little bit different.

There, on the front deck of the boat, was a dog.

A very happy dog, I would assume.

More than likely, it was his owner driving the vessel behind him.

I don’t know what the dog was thinking, but he must have been very trusting to sit right at the front with no one beside him as the trees passed, the water parted and the wind blew strongly through his fur!

Of course, there would have been no possible way for the owner to have explained to the dog how the boat was powered or steered, how he would make the proper decisions about speed and location or even how long the ride would be.

A dog cannot comprehend that level of thinking.

Still, the dog had the opportunity to trust the owner and enjoy the ride.

We cannot understand what is happening in our lives sometimes.

When God is steering the “boat” we can only accept His invitation to go where He wants us to go.

We cannot always comprehend the “what and why” of God’s plan.

The dog didn’t ask his owner, “Where are we going?”

“When will we come home?”

“How fast will we go?”

“What will I see?”

No. He just hopped on the boat and away they went.

As believers, we must trust God for the journey.

He will never forsake us.

 

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Become Like Little Children

God knows all about my life.

Even when it is too difficult for me to grasp–all the issues and illnesses within my family, what my hopes and dreams are, how I am feeling from moment to moment.

He knows it all.

Even though I cannot understand how, I have to trust that He does.

Just like a small child sitting happily and calmly in their own house, quietly playing with toys in the floor.

They trust that their loving parent will prepare food for them.

They trust that they will be told when to go to sleep and rest.

If they pinch their finger on the wheel of a toy car, they trust that a simply cry of “Mommy!” or “Daddy!” will bring them to their presence immediately.

They don’t worry about water bills.

They don’t spend time concerning themselves about car payments.

Yet, they drink water freely and ride in a car when their parents tell them to get in.

Jesus says that we need to be like little children:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

(Matthew 18:1-5)

Every day I need to become like a little child as far as my trust and belief in God are concerned.

Even though I do not fully understand, I must fully trust.

greatest

Great is Your Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassion’s, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
The words of the old hymn are comforting.
God is not going to change.
His compassion is not going to fail.
We can trust Him.
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The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
         For His compassions never fail.They are new every morning;
         Great is Your faithfulness.

—Lamentations 3:22-23
great

I Will Help You

There’s a popular song out now that I hear on the radio a lot.

It’s “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns.

Here are part of the lyrics:

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

 

I was recently privileged to hold a three month old goat.

It was cold outside and the little thing simply allowed me to hold him in my arms and rock him side to side for about twenty minutes.

I think he just about went to sleep, even though there were a lot of people walking around us.

He was trusting.

He was calm.

He was relaxed.

He wasn’t struggling to get away.

In fact, he seemed content and happy—just being held.

Can you just picture yourself as a little child, resting in Jesus’s arms?

Just allowing Him to rock you side to side as you drift to sleep, even though there are a lot of things happening all around you?

Can you picture yourself there?

Being trusting?

Being calm?

Being relaxed?

Not struggling to get away?

Content and happy–-just being held?

So, when we are on our knees in prayer, or in our car in prayer or at work in prayer, and answers seem so far away, can we trust that we are not alone?

Can we trust that Jesus is at work and that things in our lives are falling into place?

Can we understand that God is on His throne and He is in control–not us?

Can we stop struggling and just be held?

 

~

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

—Isaiah 41:13

 

help-you

Everlasting Rock

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

–Isaiah 26:4

If we trust in ourselves for guidance without God, who are we to have the answers?

We are feeble.

We are human.

He is God.

When we try to do things our way instead of His way, who are we to know what is best?

We are feeble.

We are human.

He is God.

If we trust in God all of our lives, we are putting our confidence in an everlasting rock.

We are feeble.

We are human.

He is God.

We are to be thankful….

 

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Confidence

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

–Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

Am I trusting in the Lord?

Is my confidence in Him?

When the heat comes, the tree with its roots in position to receive water from the stream will not fail to thrive.

 

 

 

 

confidence

Keep Me Safe

 

 

As I drove home from work today, I was praying fervently for someone I care about very much.

After being home a few moments, I sat down at the table and began to read my Bible, along with a couple of devotional and study help booklets.

God’s word was comforting to me as I read passages that I felt related to my heart’s longing.

I heard a bird singing outside the window.

Deciding that I didn’t need to be distracted from my reading, I chose not to go to the window to look out.

Moments passed, and I was once again aware of a bird singing sweetly and clearly outside.

This time, I decided I would walk to the window and carefully peer through the blinds into the back yard.

Though I couldn’t find the bird, my eyes were immediately drawn to the rosebush my husband had purchased for me years ago.

Delicately pink roses had burst forth on the bush, covering it with color.

Taking my camera with me, I made my way to the fence and looked at all the blooms.

Beautiful and tender, they brought a certain happiness to my heart.

I was now calmer than on the ride home.

One of the verses I had read at the table spoke of divinely gifted peace:

Tonight I will sleep securely on a bed of peace
    because I trust You, You alone, O Eternal One, will keep me safe.

—Psalm 4:8

I must trust God and God alone to keep my loved one safe.

God is the only One who can.

With that trust, I will rest with a peace that God has given me.

God blessed me with roses this afternoon…

 

 

 

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Instead of Looking

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.

—Isaiah 31:1

When I read this passage of scripture, I think of who I am looking to. 
Although I think that it is certainly good to seek out a doctor when illness strikes or a plumber if a pipe breaks beneath your sink, talking to God about every situation is very important. 
If I am sick, do I put my TRUST in what the doctor can do alone? Or do I pray and ask God to work healing in my condition?
If a pipe breaks under the sink, do I pray and ask God for wisdom in what to do right then and what plumber I should call to help?
God is ready and willing to be the first to hear from you about absolutely every need that arises. 
If we do not consider Him able to help us, but focus instead on the strengths and expertise of other people as our sole means of help, we do ourselves a great disservice. 
God is the only healer. 

God is the only true provider. 
Looking to God first in every situation is always the best decision. 

Doing the Right Thing

Today, as I was reading a news story, a quote stood out to me:”The truth falls on deaf ears when you lack integrity.” 

I understood the context within the news report. If you are a person who lacks integrity, people will not want to listen to you even when you are telling the truth. 

Apart from the situation surrounding the report I was reading, this statement just speaks to me. 

How do people view me personally?

Would they say that I am a person of integrity? 

Do they know me as someone who tells the truth?

Someone who treats others with respect?

Someone who is kind to others, even in difficult situations?

Most importantly, would they think that I am someone who is hoping to please God?

If I am viewed as being a person of integrity, might others then listen if I tell them the truth about Jesus and His gift of salvation?

If I am viewed as being hypocritical and wavering in my day to day life, will anyone really take me seriously when it comes to matters of faith?
2 Corinthians 8:21 reads:

We care about doing the right thing, not only in the Lord’s eyes but also in the eyes of other people.

Trust in You

Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.—Psalm 9:10

 

As I got into my car early this morning, I was well aware that I was running late.

I would not actually be late for work, but I would be arriving past the time that I had planned.

Pulling out of my driveway, I turned my car to face toward the east as I began the journey down my long street to get to the highway.

My car radio was on, set to a Christian radio station.

Right as I pulled into the street, I saw the sky.

I can’t fully describe the beauty that was before me.

Stopping the car immediately, I took my cell phone and began to take pictures.

As I was already experiencing praise in my heart for such a display of God’s glory in the sky, I realized the song that was playing at that time on the radio was speaking about trusting in God even when we don’t hear or see Him working in particular situations that we are concerned about.

As the beams of sunlight were bursting out onto its morning canvas, a jet plane was bursting through the sky, as well, leaving a trail of white as it sped on to its destination.

There before me was an example of man’s accomplishment in flight and an example of God’s creative and limitless power.

We must trust Him, even when we don’t understand…

 

Trust in

 

Trust In

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

—Proverbs 3:5

 

My husband and I were spending the day at the ocean.

We decided to buy tickets for a boat taxi.

When tickets are purchased, the boat taxi will take groups of people to certain destinations on the coast and come back at later times to pick them up.

At a stop we had chosen, we got off the boat and walked a short distance to a road.

I had my cell phone with me, so I consulted a GPS application on it.

We had been told of a waterside restaurant not far away.

Looking it up on the GPS, I selected “walking” as my mode of transportation.

Faithfully, the instructions and maps provided led us to our destination.

The route involved walking down a dirt path/road with trees that made a canopy overhead.

Could this really be the short hike to a restaurant?

It didn’t feel like it was, but we needed to trust the GPS.

After awhile, we came upon a park and finally, the restaurant.

If we had decided to go another way that might have seemed better, we might not have made it there at all.

Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in the LORD will all our hearts. We are not to lean on our own understanding.

God may lead us to a “rural path” in life when what we’d expected was a nicely paved city street.

When that happens, we must trust that He knows exactly where our destination is.

A GPS system can be flawed and sometimes there can be problems.

God’s direction, however, is never flawed.

We can always trust Him.

 

 

trust

He Is

A rainbow.

I knew there just had to be one.

My husband had gone into a store and I had chosen to wait in the car for him.

Thunder began to crack and lightning was nearby.

Looking out the front of the car, it was sunny.

Looking out the back window, it was a dark gray.

As it started to rain, I tried to peer behind me to see if a rainbow had formed.

Because of the lightning, I wasn’t going to venture out of the car, however.

When my husband returned, umbrella in hand, we began driving off the parking lot. As we made a turn, I saw it.

A vibrant rainbow!

Trying to photograph a rainbow with my car window down and the rain coming in was a feat for the persistent….

I have since pondered rainbows in a little different way than I have in the past.

We tend to think of troublesome times in our lives as “storms.”

We apply the word “storm” to a great many situations.

A stormy relationship.

A physical challenge.

An onslaught of something bad.

For a rainbow to form in all its dazzling brilliance, there must be rain.

As the dark clouds are depositing each drop to the ground, the light of the sun streaks across the atmosphere, creating a vision of vividly colored transparency.

While the storm is still going on—and even as it has just passed–the light shines into the darkness with a promise.

When we have those troubling times–those challenging situations and heartbreaking events–God’s light is still shining on it all.

If we turn to look, we can trust that somewhere—somewhere—He is forming a rainbow.

 

He is

 

Afraid

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What was the bird in my yard really thinking?

Was he afraid?

Was he curious?

Was he hungry?

I can look at the photograph I took of him and imagine any one of these feelings as I look at his face.

At some point in our lives, we are all afraid.

When that happens, God is there.

He is there to comfort and to calm us.

We must trust in Him in those moments.

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When I am afraid,

I put my trust

in

You.

–Psalm 56:3

 

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Scale A Wall

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If God wants you to do something and you are willing to do it, is there anything that could possibly keep you from accomplishing it?

With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

—2 Samuel 22:30

 

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scale a wall

Perfect Peace

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While visiting the ocean recently, I photographed two pelicans.

Often seen silently gliding in the air above in group formation, they are sometimes seen just sitting in the water, floating.

As I watched them, large waves would come up.

At times, they were completely hidden from my view because of the raging water and its foam.

Seconds later, they would appear in view again, still calmly riding the waves as though nothing had happened.

I know, of course, that at any moment they could’ve decided to just take off and fly away.

For a very long time, though, they chose not to.

They remained anchored in the water, moving as it moved, back and forth, high and low.

I can imagine them saying, “Let’s just sit here in the water for awhile and rest.”

Rest?

Rest in the constant surge of water beneath them?

Rest in the ocean’s white foam?

Evidently so.

They seemed at peace as they trusted their Maker.

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 26:3-4 that God can give perfect peace to those who trust Him:

You, Lord, give perfect peace
    to those who keep their purpose firm
    and put their trust in You.
 Trust in the Lord forever;
    He will always protect us.

The waves in our lives can we great, yet God can give us peace…

even in their midst.

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purpose

Puzzling Reflections

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In my journey of faith, there are many things that I do not understand.

Yet, even in my lack of understanding, I must trust God.

He sees things perfectly.

His knowledge is complete.

His love for me is great.

Like a little child trusting in her father as she grasps his hand while crossing a busy street, I must put my faith in God’s wisdom and guidance as I walk through this life with Him at my side.

~

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

—1 Corinthians 13:12

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Let Me Hear

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It was early morning yesterday when I went to my friend’s house.

After my visit, I drove to the end of her street and turned around near a pasture.

The sun was low in the sky as it was glowing across the grass and trees.

Two horses stood serenely behind the fence.

I was blessed to see such a peaceful landscape—a gift from God.

~

Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love,
    for in You I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
    for to You I lift up my soul.

—Psalm 143:8

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steadfast cor final