He Answers

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I waited and prayed,
trusted and praised,
knowing that Your plans are best

As others lost hope,
I held tight to my rope,
I knew I would soon hear Your yes

You answered my prayers,
with enough blessing to share,
I’m thankful beyond all words

I’ll praise Your name always,
in the good and the bad days,
because I love You so much it hurts.

~Amanda N. Sams
February 9, 2014

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“This, Too?”

Blessings “The power of gratitude is breathtaking and centering. It is along the lines of nuclear power. It makes our lives richer and fuller and freer. And it is a direct link to the goodness of God, which is an unending source of power and hope and faith.”
~Nancy Ortberg, Looking for God

Too often I think the attitude we have about the way the Lord blesses us goes something like, “Thanks for blessing me with…. but…” or “I’m really glad that You gave me this, or helped me through that, but what I really wanted was…” We pray for things that seem to be a big deal, but completely miss something even bigger when we’re upset that the Lord didn’t answer our specific prayers.

I recently finished reading “Looking for God” by Nancy Ortberg (It’s fantastic, definitely a recommended read!) and the title of her second chapter is “This, Too?” as I read I began to realize that those two simple words need to be precisely how we look at each blessing the Lord places in our lives. I won’t get into explaining the context of how the phrase was used in the chapter, it would take a long time, but it shook me. We should be overwhelmed and overjoyed each time God blesses us. Whether it be something huge and completely life changing, or something as simple as seeing a smiling face when we’re feeling down.

Here’s the thing, if we go through life constantly expecting more and more from God, there WILL be disappointment. There’s a reason you didn’t get that promotion at work, or you didn’t win the lottery, maybe someone else is dating the person you thought you were meant to marry. There’s a good reason, God has something better planned for you! I have to be honest here, I’ve occasionally found myself looking at the blessings of people around me and having thoughts like “Why did the Lord give that to her? She hasn’t even been a Christian as long as I have.” Or “I’ve prayed and obeyed God and waited for what seems like forever for that, why did they get it so easily?” I’m sure it’s not just me that finds myself scolding myself quickly after I let those thoughts dance through my brain.

Can I tell you something? Yours is coming. The Lord doesn’t play favorites, and even if He doesn’t give you exactly what you want or think you absolutely HAVE to have, He still loves you. Bunches and bunches! He has a plan and a purpose for each blessing He places in your life, trust Him and His perfect timing.

From now on, no matter the size or relative importance of each blessing the Lord places in my life, my response is going to be “This, too? Thank you Lord for blessing me more than I deserve!” (And remember, as hard as it may be to accept or admit, most of the time life’s rough patches are blessings in disguise and opportunities to grow spiritually and pull closer to the Lord.)

“So whether we’re looking out of an airplane window, or into the faces of people we encounter everyday, whether we’re on the job or in our kitchens, whether we’re reading a book or paying bills, if we just look, we will see things that cause our hearts to well with gratitude. God created the world, and it reflects His nature. Because of that, we can see Him everywhere. And everywhere we see goodness, we see God. The only thing we have to do is connect the dots.”

~Nancy Ortberg, Looking for God

I am Blessed

God is good, wait on Him!

God is Good If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you probably remember my post from a few months back entitled “My Friend Lazarus.” If not I’ll link it HERE so you can go read it and get a little bit of a back story on my situation and have a better understanding before you read this.

I’ve been searching for a job for what seems like FOREVER. Sure, there were plenty of jobs that I could have applied to and been employed before this point, I’ll admit that. Fast food, hostess positions, retail, etc. were all possibilities. I even put in apps for a few of those positions just to try to keep my options open, but nothing ever came of them. The thing with my job search is I was being extremely picky and rather stubborn, I refused to settle, continually put my trust in God, and waited on His plans and timing. I didn’t want to work Sundays. I’m so involved with my little church and it just wasn’t something I was willing to give up. Singing on praise team, weekly rehearsals with my accompanist so she and I can play during service as often as possible, (in case you missed it at the top of my page, I’m a clarinet player…) nearly everything that makes me a happy girl is wrapped up in my Sunday morning activities. So, I was obviously looking for a job that would allow me to continue those things.

Most people, upon finding out that I was being THAT picky about employment, would tell me that I was probably going to have to compromise and work some Sundays, or even ALL Sundays for awhile until I gained seniority in my place of work. No, I wasn’t having it, I couldn’t imagine my life without being in church Sunday mornings, even just for a little while. I waited, prayed like crazy, and continued to be picky. Guess who got a job today that doesn’t require me to give up my Sundays and allows me to continue teaching clarinet on the weekends? Yep, this girl! As an added bonus, it’s doing something I love!

It just goes to show, if you trust in the Lord and wait patiently on His timing, He WILL provide. You’ll be placed where He wants you when and only when He wants you there! You don’t have to settle for anything less than God’s best for your life! He’s slowly beginning to piece mine back together and I’m beyond excited to see what He has in store for me next!

“Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:14 (NIV)