Tag: virus

April 19 Only God can make a tree

camperdown-elm-316360_640“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”

Oh Father, I am sick of waiting for some circumstances to change and for some people to make good on their promises.

Delays are hard to take.  And we are all in a holding pattern right now with this virus.  We don’t know how long it will last.  Or what things will look like when it all finally passes.

Some are waiting on illnesses to resolve.  Some are waiting on jobs to return.  Some are still working but waiting to be back with their families in a normal setting.  Some are waiting on things that have nothing to do with the coronavirus, but are on hold for one reason or another… like weddings, or celebrations that were going to occur, travel and vacations.

Even when I can understand there may be a good and logical reason behind postponements, it doesn’t make the waiting any easier.  And between the anxiousness of not knowing when things can be planned due to uncertainty, and the anticipation of desiring something but having it drag on indefinitely; the frustration builds up…

All these things bring mental exhaustion and emotional collapse and I literally feel ill!

but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

When I think of all a tree provides, it is comforting.

A tree is beautiful to look at.  It is sturdy and provides shelter to sit or stand under or hide behind.  It’s boughs and leaves give shade from the heat.  I can lean up against it, climb it, sit in it, hide in it.

Depending on the type, it’s leaves may be a balm of healing, or its fruit may be nourishment.   A tree is life giving and life sustaining.

This verse paints a beautiful picture of Your provision in a world where there can be so much disappointment.

Thank You Father, that all Your promises are true.

You promise salvation and You deliver.  Your mercy and grace are renewed every day.  You always forgive and never leave me.  All this is according to Your Word, Your promise.

Help us see ways of fulfilling our longings.  If we need to adjust and do some things differently, help us be resourceful.  There can be learning and benefits in the waiting time.  When I need to wait on Your plan or purpose, help me wait patiently, purposefully and prayerfully.

Father, I place my trust, my hope in You.  Show me if I need to move my focus or change my perspective.

And when my longings are fulfilled, remind me to thank You and give You the credit.

For all You have already done, and for all You will do, thank You Father.  Amen

Proverbs 13:12


April 13 God’s Plan – not mine


Lord God, once again You show that You have a plan and are willing to include man in it.  You gave specific details of what Joshua was to do in order to gain Your victory.

First, though, the Israelites had to purge the sin from within their midst.  It is the same for me.  I cannot ask You for victory when I am harboring sin.

Then You told them “do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  It would have been easy to dwell on their last failure and be fainthearted in the presence of the same enemy who had routed them before.

When I have tried to do something in my own strength, and failed, it is hard to get up and try again without fearing the same disastrous result.

Next they had to follow Your plan exactly, to Your specifications and in Your timing.  That can be hard as well.

Take now, for instance.  The plan against this virus is to stay home unless absolutely necessary, until we are told it’s ok to go back to work and socialize again.  We are not a people who like to be told what we can or can’t do.  And most of us like to be “fixers,” and feel like we’re doing something active to combat our problems.

There are ways that seem to make sense to man, but do not often yield the desired result.  So I must be willing to give up the direction my own thoughts lead me and be obedient to what You tell me.  In this case, also to what our leaders are telling us because they are in authority.  And I need to pray for my leaders to have wise judgment as You have allowed them to be in those positions of authority.

When this is over, it is You who we must give thanks to.  Things may never be the same as they were before this crisis.  And when the Israelites won, even more kings came against them.  So I know this will not be the last crisis that we will deal with -, as individuals, or communities, or as a nation.

Sometimes the battles we face, challenging as they may be, are simply preparation for bigger battles to follow!   But we can know that having done well will lay the groundwork for the next success.

Victory is ours when the battle is the Lord’s!  Amen.

Joshua 8:1-9:2

April 12 I confess and You bless

O Almighty God!  O Lord who is omnipotent, all powerful, omnipresent, at all places at all times, and omniscient, knowing all things.  It is hard to imagine the scope and depth of Your power and presence because it’s so far beyond anything humanly possible.

We feel so out of control of this virus plaguing the world right now.  It has stripped us of our confidence, our security and our freedom to move about our daily lives.

maninfiledLike the Prodigal Son in the pig sty, we long for a sense of the freedoms and lives we had.

But just like the Prodigal Son, when I return to You and confess my sin, You run to me, throw Your arms around me and celebrate my return to right relationship with You!

You promise that when I confess my sin and turn from it, You are faithful, and will forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness and guilt.

Yet it is so human of me to think I can ask You to answer my prayers with blessing, when I am hiding sin.  Forgive me when I forget that You know all things, and try to hide my sin from You.

How foolish of me to think that I could keep something hidden from You and go on like it never happened.  You knew that some of the Israelites held back plunder from the victory at Jericho.  And there were consequences for their disobedience.  It cost thirty-six men their lives in a battle, and ultimately, the lives of all those who hid their sin.

Confession is not telling You something You don’t already know.  The Greek word for confess is “homologo.”  It means “same word.”  So I am simply agreeing with what You already know; and with Your assessment that my action or attitude is sinful.

O Father, keep me from temptation.  Help me quickly see sin for what it is and turn from it.  And when I stray from You, bring me to my senses and set my feet back on the path to You.  That is the path of blessing and victory!

I desire miraculous victories like the Battle of Jericho in my life.  We all need a victory over this virus.  Thank You for forgiving our sin and accepting the price You paid on the cross to pay our debt.  And thank You for returning from the grave to lead us into Your victory!  Amen

Joshua 7:1-15; Luke 15:11-24; I John 1:9   

Mar 28 Burnout? or Peace?

Lord, I do not desire to be a stiff-necked person.  Yet there are so many times I have been obstinate, stubborn, and wanted my own way!

Situations come up in my life, and the first thing I think of is how it can work out best for me.  I don’t think of myself as selfish, but I certainly do prefer when circumstances benefit me and don’t rock my boat.

virus-4937553_640There are so many things beyond my control that I seek to tightly control the things that are within my grasp.  I do what I can to plan my work and work my plan.  I try and keep a handle on and stay on top of events, relationships, finances, schedules, health issues, family, home.

The truth is: my being in control is just an illusion.  I am not really in control of anything.  This year and the corona crisis had made that remarkably clear for all of us.

But by Your grace, make it from one day to the next, one month to the next, one year to the next.

I believe You are a God of order.  You created the universe with order.  You ordered the solar system, and the seasons, life cycles and day and night.

If You can handle the universe, You can certainly handle the details of my life and the crisis we are facing now.  The control I desperately seek, I can trust to You.  I need to do my part, but I can release that part of me that seeks to insist on my own way; that seeks to “feel” in control.

A new way of thinking for me is to ask how the circumstances in my life can be used to bring You glory.  How can I respond in a way that shows that my peace and confidence come from You, the Lord God Almighty, instead of being dependent on whether or not things work out my way?

man on rok overlooking skyseaHelp me Lord.  Keep my heart sensitive to what You are doing so I can join you.  Keep my mind focused on what You are showing me and teaching me through Your Word, about how to let go.

I have heard that I cannot do Your part, and You will not do my part.  Give me the discernment to know which is which.   And the courage to let my actions reflect that.  Amen

Deuteronomy 10:12-22