God Is Willing

man standing on rockHow many times, when it seems like God isn’t answering a prayer, have you thought to yourself, “I guess He just isn’t willing to do this for me”?

Down deep, many of us think that God’s blessings and healing are for other people, but He just isn’t willing to do it for us.

I confess I thought that way most of my life. I always questioned whether God WANTED to bless me with good relationships, understanding, financial stability, authority. I believed He didn’t want to use me because….well, there was something in me that caused Him to overlook me.

For that last year or so I have experienced such freedom as God has taught me otherwise. Still, old habits die hard and occasionally something happens that sends me into a full-on pity party and I question God’s willingness to use me.

A few days ago, my pity party was well under way, complete with tears and whining and yelling at God. It wasn’t a fun party so I grabbed my Bible and threw it open – not caring what I read, I just needed to shift my thinking.

It wasn’t expecting much in my time reading, but it didn’t take long before I came across three words that stopped me in my tracks: I Am Willing. I grabbed my pen and started writing…

And behold, a leper came and worshipped Him, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Matt 8:2-3. Emphasis mine.)

This man’s cry was more than a request to be healed of a disease. Jesus could have easily spoken the words “be cleansed”, went on His way, and the man would have been healed of his disease. However, Jesus did two things before healing him:

Jesus Touched Him

No one had touched this man since he contracted the disease! Imagine no one wanting to touch you. I’m sure the homeless feel this way…rarely feeling a tender or caring touch. Jesus didn’t have to touch this man. In fact, to do so would make him unclean according to the Jewish Law. A tender touch can melt away hard hearts, years of pain, and erase bitterness – especially a touch from Jesus.

This touch went above what the man expected. How much do we realize that God is a good Father and wants to exceed our expectations? He wants to touch us. Look up and see the amazing attention the Father gives!

Jesus Stated He Was Willing

Jesus said, “I am willing”. The biggest question this man had was, “Are you willing to take time to notice me and heal me?”

Isn’t that what we all want to know?

Lepers were outcasts, unclean, untouchable, rejected by society, friends, and family. Many of us struggle with feeling rejected and even unusable. As a Christian, we may know we are saved, but remain in the shadows because we can’t seem to fit in anywhere. Our past may render us “unworthy” in the eyes of the church, other believers – especially ourselves. All of us have a strong desire to be relevant.

We long for our parents, pastors, bosses, leaders, friends, spouses to see gifts, talents and potential in us. Yet, so many experience situation where they are not even noticed. You may even feel like no one would notice or miss you if you stopped attending church or work.

Whatever it is, there are many people who feel unlovable, forgettable, unnoticed, unusable, or have a hard time that God Himself would be willing to use “someone like me”.

That’s what this story is about. The man with leprosy wanted to be healed, but even more, he wanted to know if Jesus was willing. Did Jesus see him as a person? Would Jesus want to give him time and attention? Jesus went above and beyond because He saw the real need. This man wanted to be loved, valued, and noticed – as a person – not as a leper.

Hear me: God SEES you. He LOVES you. God IS willing to bless you and heal you! Meditate on these verses and let God Himself tell you how much you mean to Him!

By the time Jesus spoke, “be cleansed”, I think the man realized that being healed of leprosy was nothing compared to the attention of the Son of God.

Father, thank you for Your attention. Thank you for Your love. I realize that You see me. I am important to You. Praise you for Your gentle touch and Your patience in my moments of doubt, unbelief, and self-pity. Glorious are you Lord! You are a good, good Father.

Let’s connect on my FACEBOOK PAGE!

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Embrace These Days

fields

What is happening in our nation? It seems like every day there is a new crisis! Fear easily creeps in and steals our thoughts and emotions during times of change and unrest. We are seeing crisis on a national scale and the ripples of anger, frustration, exasperation have touched every single person in one way or another.

How do you respond? Do you engage in the bantering and taking on of political cause as a reactionary response to it all? Maybe. Perhaps that needs to be done.

Do you panic because you feel like your world is crumbling around you and fear is gripping your heart? Or it could be that anger is consuming your mind.

Our responses/reaction are based on what we choose to see. So…

What do you see?

We’ve had time to get over our initial reactions, but now can you step back, look at our nation through different eyes and see beyond the surface? Instead of the foul banter that is bubbling up on the surface, what is happening at the core, the source?

I encourage you to refrain from acting out of initial emotion. Knee-jerk responses are never right. But when you step back and look deeper, what do you notice?

This week, I watched, prayed, and was overcome by what I saw. Like a wildfire that blazes through land and destroys everything in it’s path, our nation seems to be reeling from fires in every direction and I don’t think we are quite finished. Yet the beauty of wildfires is that they have a purpose: fires PURGE.

We are being purged, yet the aftermath is beauty and NEW LIFE.

Young plant
There is New Life in the midst of turmoil.

What do I see? I see NEW LIFE.

I am filled with praise right now! Praise!

  • I see hearts moved to compassion.
  • I see people uniting.
  • I see our country being shaken – and it’s good.
  • I see people falling to their knees in prayer.
  • I see people changing their perspective and looking to the Lord.
  • I see people waking up and doing what’s right.
  • I see people throwing off the deception of lies.
  • I see people breaking chains of destructive thinking.
  • I see the goodness of God in the land of the living!
  • I see God on His throne.
  • I see fields ready for harvest!
  • I see healing.
  • I see a time of OPPORTUNITY!

 

Do not fear! Embrace these days. Lift your voice in praise. Doors are open for new relationships, for healing, for loving. Stay focused on the new life that is pushing up through the ashes. As the Lord covers you in His love, share His love and reach out to others that are hurting. It is time to share the true love of the true God!

 

Overcoming Rejection: Introduction

Overcoming RejectionRejection. It’s a subject I am far too familiar with and one that I’ve only talked about one other time in my life: January/February 1997, in Belarus, to a group of women in drab clothes in an even more depressing room of concrete walls and metal chairs. I didn’t know anything about these women or why they were there. I suppose I never asked about them because I was already angry that I had been forced to go this meeting. You know, I was pouting. We also had a major language barrier, they spoke Russian and I couldn’t even say hello, plus their culture/mindset was so completely different than anything I had ever experienced. Continue reading

He Quiets Me With His Love: Hurting For A Friend

[I realize that this is another heavy post about suicide within a very short time. However, sometimes life dictates what I write about. My heart aches for those who feel so lost, helpless, and alone. Remember, you ARE loved. You ARE a treasure. Your life DOES matter. Whatever your circumstances they WILL get better. God IS sufficient!]

Dear God,

I am so sad. My sweet, beautiful friend tried to kill herself this week.

My emotions are everywhere. We had just spend a few evenings together as girl friends in order to encourage her through a tough time. I confess that after the shock of hearing what happened my thoughts turned inward and I started thinking about what I could have done differently.  I had just been with her. We hugged, cried, smiled, laughed; but then a short time later her mind filled with such darkness that she wanted to die enough to try, and almost succeeded. I’m am thankful she was found and is now safe.  I love my friend. I see so many amazing things in her. Continue reading