God Hasn’t Forgotten You

Long term trials have a way of wearing us down—in more ways than one. Whether it’s ongoing illness, unemployment, marital problems, teenage rebellion, or any number of other anguish inducing situations, we soon grow weary physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We eventually wonder if God has forgotten us, don’t we?

If today you feel that God doesn’t hear your cries anymore or that he doesn’t care about you, remember that he loves you so much he sent his only Son to be your Savior. Take heart with these words of encouragement from my poem “Trust in Him”

“And when you finally feel
Like God has forgotten you,
He’ll show you he hasn’t—
Trust in him.”

Father, show the weary and hurting your love!

“I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:15 NRSV

*How has God shown you his love in the midst of a long-term trial?

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

A Prayer for Finishing Strong

Do you know someone trying to finish a project or reach a goal? Maybe a family member just about to graduate from high school or college or trying to complete an advanced degree? Or perhaps some of your teacher friends are trying to hang in there the last few weeks of the school year.

You may even be in the trying-to-finish category yourself right now. I know I am. The manuscript for my Christmas devotional book is due to the publisher on August 1 so I’m in the last stages of writing, editing, and polishing it. I’ve had several challenges to overcome in getting this far, and I need to keep pressing on until the job is complete and I’ve done the best I can do.

Those who are trying to finish a race right now probably need some encouragement and moral support, don’t they?

Join me, won’t you, in a prayer for all who are trying to finish strong:

Dear Lord, you are a finisher. You came to earth with a task to do and you completed it. You are also busy completing the good works you began in each of us. Help us, Lord, as we push on to finish the tasks you’ve set before us.

Help us to not grow weary or distracted or discouraged. Please grant us the energy, the drive, and the skill needed to finish strong. And help us remember, Lord, to offer thanks and give you glory as we cross our finish lines. We need you, Lord, and can’t do it without you. Thank you for your help!

“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Luke 9:51 NIV

*Are you trying to finish strong right now? May our prayers encourage you today!

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Loco Races, Creative Commons License

Sometimes We Need to be Carried

Sometimes we need to be carried. Just ask the little bird who’s hitchin’ a ride on the back of the pronghorn above—a sight we witnessed over ten years ago on our trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Maybe the little guy was tired from a long flight through the mountains or possibly he wasn’t feeling well. Maybe that was the best spot in the meadow to catch a refreshing breeze. Whatever the reason, he decided to use someone else’s strength for a bit.

I wonder if any of us need to be carried today, need to use someone else’s strength for a little while. Maybe we need friends praying for us. Maybe we are overwhelmed with life right now and could use some help with certain tasks or responsibilities. Or perhaps we simply need a listening ear. I find all of this to be true from time to time in my role as caregiver right now.

Let’s not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for and accept help. Sometimes we need a little encouragement.  Sometimes we need some extra strength. And yes, sometimes we need to be carried.

“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.” Luke 5:18 NIV

*Do you have a burden I can help carry through prayer?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Waiting for the Proper Time

“ . . . you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:15-16 NIV

Like kids begging for candy in the checkout lane, we sometimes tug on God’s coattails with the same impatience and/or insistence. “Please, please, please, God. Please grant my desire . . .”

Don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe that we are to pour our hearts out to God and freely tell him the desires of our hearts (Psalm 62:8). I also remember that Jesus told his disciples the parable of the persistent widow “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1 NIV)

Yes, God wants to hear from his children and out of his great love for us, he will answer our prayers. But many times his answers don’t come when we want them to—or packaged quite like we’d hoped.

Like any good parent—like the perfect father he is—he waits for the proper time to give us our food, our desires. Just as we don’t give a baby solid food before his body can handle it, God waits for the perfect time to bless us with the things we need, the things we desire, the things we plead for. He will indeed satisfy our longings in one way or another, sometimes changing the longings themselves.

God’s timing is always right. I’ve depended on this truth throughout the course of my life and also throughout my writing career. I trusted God for years to bring about book publication at the proper time and he did. And I, along with the rest of our family, clung like a lifeline to the truth of God’s perfect timing as we waited on him in the matter of our daughters and sons-in-law being blessed with the babies they so desperately wanted.

Without a doubt, some answers are harder to wait for than others. Some require an extra measure of faith. But if we continue to trust, if we continue to wait in expectation, one day we will see God open his hand and satisfy our desires. Maybe even above and beyond our dreams, as in the case with our two sets of twin grandsons. And all these blessings—all these answers to prayer—will happen at the proper time.

“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 NIV

*How has God encouraged you during times of waiting? If you’re currently waiting on God’s answer, you might like to read an “In the Meantime” Prayer.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by aloshbennett, Creative Commons License

Let’s Cause Others to Rejoice

“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:74 NIV

Do people rejoice when they see us coming? Does it make them happy to get to spend time with us?

If so, why? If you’re like me, it might be because you carry chocolate at all times. Ha! Hopefully, though, it’s something more meaningful than that. Maybe we always have a smile for others and freely share encouraging words. Or perhaps we’re good listeners. Think about yourself for a moment. Why do people rejoice when they see you?

On the other hand, if people don’t rejoice when they see us, why not? Could it be that we tend to have a negative attitude or are always criticizing others? Are they afraid we’ll slam them with a sarcastic remark or perhaps pass them by, treating them like they’re invisible?

None of us want to become a person that others dread interaction with or try to avoid. Instead I think we all hope to be someone that others are drawn to and want to be around. We all want to be liked.

The verse above from Psalm 119 holds one of the keys to being a source of joy for others. It tells us that if we put our hope in God, people may indeed rejoice when they see us.

This could be true for a variety of reasons. If we’re trusting in God and his Word, we may radiate a sense of peace and joy that naturally spills out onto others. We may have a reputation for honesty and dependability or inspire confidence and hope in others. We may have the wisdom of God’s Word stored up in our hearts, making us a welcome source of encouragement and advice.

I don’t know about you, but I want others to rejoice when they see me. I want others to see the love, the peace, the power, the wisdom, and the hope of God when they look at me. And the only way that can happen is to stay very close to him.

I bet you’d like others to see glimpses of the Lord in you as well. To be honest, we’ll fail at times, but that’s no reason not to try. Let’s surrender our hearts to him each day and let him fill us. Let’s cause others to rejoice when they see us coming!

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” 1 Thessalonians 3:9 NIV

*What do you want others to see in you?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash