When Yesterday was Too Late, and God still says: NO.

We’ve all been there. That hopeless torment ripping us to shreds inside, when desperation screams out: “Help God!”

But help doesn’t show up. It doesn’t come. And whatever it is you have endured has already happened, and it is too late. God still said NO.

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That mom didn’t want that cancer. That brother didn’t want to get killed in that car wreck, while the drunk driver walked away from the accident. That child just wanted his parents to stay together. That single parent wants to pay bills and buy food. That old man on disability wants to be able to work and feel useful, have a purpose in life.

But every where you turn, you feel God is telling you NO.

It hurts to feel rejected. As if the world isn’t bad enough as is, and then it seems as if God himself has turned his back on us and left us alone to face the silent pain.

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I could spend a day wallowing in the news that shadows life with grave uncertainties if I stayed glued to the television all day. I could read a horror story and then at bed time get chills and goose bumps from shadows racing through my blinds. I could think that sharks grow legs and can walk out from the ocean just to eat me too when I go for long walks.

But those are all lies. Horrors and fears play a deadly game of chess with our emotions if we let them.

Jesus said: Fear not. And if that wasn’t enough, he said it 365 times in the Bible.

For every NO I felt God screamed at me, for every NO you think you are hearing when an answer or provision was needed yesterday, was really not a NO.

It was really a: “Do you trust me?”

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When you are suffering and in pain, God cares about that too. He cares you are hurting. He cares you can’t pay your bills, or afford the healthcare to buy that medicine to stay alive a little longer. He sees everything.

What you are going through does not make you less of a person.

The devil will have us believe we are only worthy of pain and not worthy of grace. His lies will make you think less of yourself than God really sees you. But God asks: “Do you trust me?”

There will never be an emotion or hope behind a human that God will never put into an ambition for deliverance. The same God who gives you redemption, is the same God who showers you with provision and healing.

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So regardless of what you are going through, rest assured God sees you. He may not have showed up yesterday, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t on his way. Jesus came to Mary and Martha after Lazarus was dead, all hope was gone…in their eyes.

But Jesus said, I will take this death and transform it into a victory. He raised Lazarus from the dead. And that my friends, is what he does. Trust him.

 

 

 

The Day God told me to Kneel at the Ocean

I took a walk on the beach today. You know that silence you feel through your bones when you are all alone and all you see is endless miles of sandy beaches and a vast, raging ocean? Yea that one.

I was there today.

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I stood gasping at this marvel before me, the wind whipping at my suntanned skin, the spray from the salty ocean teasing me.

I’ve done this before. Only today, it was different. After years of attacks, battles and losses, hopes and dreams coming to pass, miraculous provision, and exhaustion…

I stood there at the mighty feet of God Almighty, and said one of many prayers into the horizon. Sometimes life is too overwhelming and we say things like: “God will never give you more than you can bear…” And then it happens. You get throttled with a pain that you cannot bear, and it hits you: “Who can bear this?”

There is only one who can.

He spoke to me, and said: “Pray before me.” So I did.

Then he whispered: “Kneel before me at this ocean.” And the first thought that hit me was not to fall on my knees to serve my creator. The first thought that hit me was: “But…I don’t want my butt to get wet, I have to drive home, I didn’t bring a towel to sit on.”

And then it happened.

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I did as I was asked, and I walked to the ocean and I knelt on my knees. I closed my eyes and prayed, expecting for waves to throttle me and soak me at any moment.

But they didn’t.

When I opened my eyes, I saw the waves coming up to caress my fingers in the sand, and then retreated. The waves came up to form circles around me, past me, but never right at me. My butt did not get wet.

I heard this: “I even care that you were worried your butt would get wet.”

Then I thought of Job. He endured heartaches, financial losses and physical grief we may never know.

I heard God whisper: “Job’s end was better than his beginning.”

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I sat there on my knees, the gentle caressing of the waves playing with my fingers, then retreating back to form silky ripples in the sand. I cried. I cried because God cares so much that something so small and insane as my worry about getting my butt wet mattered to him.

He reads every thoughts. He knows every hearts intentions. And he cares.

You know what? Even if the waves had of gotten me soaked, I would have still enjoyed sitting there praying. I would have drove home on a wet seat. But it would have all been okay.

So the next time life pummels you with a raging ocean of worries, just trust that God is right there with you. After all, if he can care that I didn’t have a towel with me, he can certainly care about whatever it is worrying you now. We should know this, but sometimes it takes a vast, lonely beach and endless raging ocean to make us see it.

 

Do All Things Really Work Together for the Good?

It happens all the time. That moment you realize maybe nothing will ever work out and your life might as well be over. You got nothing to look forward to anymore. Hope is gone. Love is lost. Your future looks bleak and dead.

That was me.

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That was me. I was there. My hope was gone…

I was there.

My hope was gone. Like a shrouded ripple faded on the backwash of insecurities. I thought there was no way possible God could ever bring me to the point in my life where anything made sense anymore, to where I knew without the shadow of a doubt that he even cared. Image courtesy of Janpen04081986 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I replayed nightmares over and over in my head, waking up pleading for his mercy at night and crying out for relief.

But for a long time, nothing came. I felt like I had been abandoned. By God. By my family. It was just me and God. There was nothing else.

But something happened during that time. You see, life throttles curve balls at us until we are left battered, bruised and bleeding. Band-aids don’t work anymore. Gauze becomes cumbersome and annoying. So you reach the point where you feel the point of no return and no relief.

And then it happens.

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The moment you realize, in your silence, that God really does work everything out…

Time happens. Silence happens. Your mind slowly heals, your body changes, your emotions grow guards and walls that have taught you discernment. And then slowly, bit by bit God heals you.

Time becomes a soft breeze on your heart that after a while, you start feeling goosebumps of life again. Image courtesy of everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is no short cut to healing. God knows it takes time. But you can rest assured that no matter what you are going through now, he has your best interests at heart and with time, he will bring healing.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”-Romans 8:28

One day, maybe even years later, as I have learned, you will look back and see God working through all your pain the whole time. During those times I felt I had no one to lean on, but in reality, God was and still is all I have. In time, he healed me. And he will heal you too, turning your bad times into working everything out for your good.

The Testing that Prepares you to Pass

I wondered for a long time why I didn’t pass those tests.

At work, we are required to take scheduled testing to improve our skills and train for any next level opportunities in the job, as well as learn about the ever changing regulated environment.

I kept adding learning activities to my training that I just knew I would pass!

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We think we are ready for things to happen in our life, when in reality God knows we still need time and training.

But I failed them, over and over.

So I put them on the back burner. I got a job promotion. Then another. And with each promotion I learned the ropes and were given opportunities to keep honing my skills in my environment. Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Several months later, I went back to my training modules. The material was familiar to me then. I understood exactly what the module was asking of me.

I passed.

I failed the first time because I wasn’t ready to take those tests in the first place. This time, I had been trained and experienced what those tests were grading me on. I knew what I was doing.

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When you’re ready, that’s when God blesses you

In life, we think we are ready to do things and we fail over and over and wonder why God isn’t listening or answering our prayers. It’s not that he doesn’t listen, it’s just he is the teacher grading us and knows when we are ready to take those tests.

He also knows the training and time we need to complete it the right way. Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can spend your whole life in futile effort fighting to pass one thing or another in life, but if you are not ready you will fail every time. God knows we need preparation, time and training.