Unaware of His Awareness

Presence

Could it be that God’s delay is His compassion to help us understand the reality that He understands our heartache?  If He answers with His promised answer too fast, we may remain unaware of His awareness of our human questioning hearts.  He understands when we cry out “My God, why have You forsaken me.”  We may feel He is absent in our seasons of pain, but our feelings do not make His presence any less existent.

So often I feel God stands too far removed to see or care about what pains me, but truth is for me like truth was for Jesus.  God never leaves.  God never forsakes.  God is always present and always unfolds His victories in our lives.

“My God!  My God!  Why have You forsaken Me”*, Jesus cried… Then morning came three days later.  The stone was rolled away and Jesus exposed the truth.  God was never removed.  God was fulfilling the promise that He had made so many years before in the Garden of Eden.

The promise.

In The Garden of Eden He said, “He (Jesus) shall bruise your head,”  (Gen. 3:15).

At The Garden Tomb, God stripped death of its sting and bridged the gap sin had created between God and man.

“Jesus from Nazareth, who has been crucified.  He has risen from the dead; He is not here.  Look, here is the place they laid Him.” – Mark 16:6

The victory!

Just as God rose Jesus from the ashes of death, God promises to raise us from ours.

“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His glory.” – Is. 61:3

He gives a “crown of Beauty” in place of the thorns Jesus wore.  God is fully aware, and fully engaged, and will fully redeem all that was stolen.  If we wait on Him, we’ll not just have beauty but we will wear it as a crown for all to see.  The beauty – God’s glory on display – for our good.  Amen!

Hang On!  All the unmet expectations do not surprise God.  They are a means for God to intersect our lives with His plan.

How has an unexpected event in your life allowed God to crown you with His beauty?

~Shannan

2014, Staying Faithful and Walking In New Beginnings.

His ways are perfect.  His plan is perfect.  His timing is perfect.

*(Matt. 27:46)

My 2014 Resolution. Ask. Seek. Knock.‏ Dance!

The truth is, I am struggling to hope.  Hope can often hurt.  So I write these next words because they are true and I resolve to believe truth over feelings.

Happy New Years 2014

There will be so many resolutions made tonight, so many wishes wished.  Dare we dream?  Dare we hope?  Dare we ask?  Or, do we just hope and dream without asking?  Thinking it and asking for it are not one in the same.

How often do we expect God to answer a prayer we’ve never prayed?

My 2014 Resolution.  Ask.  Seek.  Knock.  It’s ok!  God spoke everything into existence.  He created galaxy upon galaxy upon galaxy, and scientist have proven He is still creating.  He’s never stopped creating.  He does so with dazzling colors that dance and with precise detail.  Detail.  Every little detail He cares about.  The details you cannot even think up, God already has figured out.  He has the full color palette picked out – your color palette.  So go ahead.  Ask.  Then trust His promise.

“Now

to Him who is able

to do exceedingly abundantly beyond

all that we ask or think

according to the power that works in us

to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

– Eph. 3:20-21

It is often easier to ask on behalf of others, but it’s no less humble to ask for yourself.  Both requests take a step of faith.  What’s that thing, that one thing, you’ve been afraid to ask God for?

No, I’m not at all suggesting that God is our genie in a bottle waiting to grant our three wishes.  He’s not our name it and claim it, spit it and get it, magic deity.  No, I will not lower The Almighty to such depths.  He is far greater than that.  He is our loving Abba who knows best and does better than we can “ask or think”.  So let’s ask.

Don’t believe the lie I bought into for so long.  I’m not sure when the fear was first fed to me, but I began to fear that I would ask for the wrong thing and then have to live with whatever it was I asked for.  I was listening to the screaming doubts in my head.  I wanted God to fulfill the desires of my heart like He promises He will do (Psalm 37:4), but fear kept me from asking God for my heart’s desire.  Fear lies.  I read the words but failed to hear what God actually said.

“I Am able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond ALL that you ask or even think of…”  Can you hear Him wooing you?  He’s asking you to ask of Him.

I often make my little dog, Coady, ask me before I do whatever it is he is wanting.  He will sit on his back legs and motion to me by placing one front paw on the other and waving them in the air, or he will say “please” with a purposeful sneeze in my direction.  So I sit there, fully engaged in eye contact and listening for his plea.  “What do want?”, I say with a playful pitch.  “What is it?”  Then I slowly rundown the list of possibilities.  “Do you gotta go potty?”  “Do you want a cookie?”  Well, that usually sums up the list.  I know full well what it is that he wants but I love to hear him ask, and I delight in seeing him prance with joy when he knows I understand and move into action on his behalf.

How much more do you care for your children than I do my dog?  How much more does God care for His children, for us?

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! – Matt. 7:11

In my opening words I asked this question, How often do we expect God to answer a prayer we’ve never prayed?”  Many times I have found myself frustrated because things or situations were not working out.  I’ve found myself highly emotional and at my wit’s end, asking God why the situation was not turning out differently, only to be faced with the sobering reality that I had never asked Him to step into this area of my life.  I never traded my paint brush in for His.  I was not allowing Him to paint this portion of my personal galaxy with His infinite color palette.

Here we are standing at the cusp of another year – 2014 is just hours away.  I am making a resolution to surrender my resolutions for God’s splendid design.  I resolve to ask Him what goals He wants me to set and then run after them.  I also resolve that because of who my heavenly Father is, I will ask Him for the desires deep in my heart.  I will hope in God because He promises me better than what my human mind can think up.

My feelings may be causing me to struggle with hope, but I believe God more than I believe the doubts in my mind.  The way I delight in watching Coady’s joy when I react to his asking pales in comparison to the joy God has when He creates another galaxy for us.  Truth is, “He’s never stopped creating.  He does so with dazzling colors that dance and with precise detail.  Detail.  Every little detail He cares about.  He has the full color palette picked out – your color palette.”  And He knows exactly when to apply those colors to make your life dance.

Are you at your wit’s end this last day of 2013?  Will you hand God your paint brush?  Will you allow Him to begin painting that place in your life that you’ve been afraid of for so long?  You can dance again!

My 2014 Resolution.  God is good.  Therefore I ask, I seek, I knock, I hope, and I will dance!

Happy New Year!

~Shannan

“Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed.  It’s far greater than that.  It’s a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks!” – Max Lucado