Posts Tagged ‘God with us’

In September, after a long nine-month trek through doctors’ offices and imaging facilities, I finally found a surgeon that would “try to fix” the broken hardware in my pelvis so I could walk again without dragging my right foot with excruciating nerve pain. Trouble was, the first opening in his schedule was Nov 30th. More waiting…

Two weeks later, the ball of my right foot went numb. Okay, probably the nerve, right? But it persisted and a lump developed. I saw a podiatrist and he immediately booked me for surgery. He told me I would not be able to put any weight on that foot for two weeks. I have to admit I lost it when I got home. All my faith and strength swirled through my head and out my eyes in tears. Why??? Haven’t I been through enough during this trial?

No booming voice from heaven. No suddenly meaningful Scripture verse or lyric in a Christian song on the radio. But I felt a renewed nearness to God as if He rubbed my shoulder and whispered, I am here.

Now I know why. For eleven years I have blogged about where I found God today. I found God working out my situation in a rare vascular, and praise Him, benign tumor that threatened to cut off circulation to my toes. Let me explain…

When it came time to have the big surgery on Nov 30th, I was prepared. I knew how to offload my weight, get around with a walker, And navigate through my apartment. And, when the surgeon said all went well and I could put partial weight on my right foot, I had an amazing template … the healing scar on the ball of that foot. Still being tender, I immediately knew if I put too much weight on it.

Had it been my left foot, it would that have made my life difficult because I have had to bear most of my weight on it.

I have heard it said that hindsight is 20/20. In my case, it is. Now, I can humbly thank my Lord and ask forgiveness for not trusting Him more with my life’s circumstances.

Christmas is the time for gift-giving. God gave me an amazing gift even though it was wrapped in something different than I would have imagined … an unexpected surgery. A serendipity.

My gift to you is the moral of my testimony, as written long ago in Proverbs:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6


May it be your testimony as well in the year to come. Whatever life presents, you have the presence of God if you believe. He is there, and He cares. That is why He came to earth to be born in a stable.

Emanuel, God with Us.

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In Bible study on the Book of Exodus, our lecturer said the Ark of the Covenant was a “portable Eden”. It was where God chose to dwell among His people on earth.  Placed in the Holy of Holies inside the Tabernacle, God recreated Eden in a golden box so He could travel with His believers and be in covenant with them.  Once the temple in Jerusalem was built, God dwelled there, in the midst of the land He’d promised them. It became “Eden.”

That sent a flutter through my chest. Why? Paul told the Corinthians that their bodies were the temple since the one in Jerusalem had been destroyed. It has never been rebuilt, by the way. Not that it needs to be because God now dwells in the hearts of believers. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1Corinthains 3:16).

That makes you and me portable Edens!

In Eden, there was love, goodness, peace, calmness, and serenity.  Mankind freely communed with God. They shared time and space. Sin was an outsider.

Eden is not a lost world. It still exists. The peace that passes all understanding still resides there like a gorgeous flower that is always in bloom. Faith, trust, and compassion flourish in lush fullness. This wondrous place now travels with us wherever we go in this un-Eden-like world. It is our “go to” spot whenever we need it. Better than comfy pants or chocolate.

So, if this portable Eden is always with us, and thus God is, why are we not more serene and content?  Why aren’t our lives centered more in Christ?

And…If our hearts contain that marvelous, fruitful place called paradise, why do we try to bring the seeds of worry, strife, anger, and bitterness through the garden gate? Those need to stay outside. We don’t need to haul them inside to dwell where only God should.

Where can we find God today? He is in Eden, a heartbeat away.


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Have you ever had a spiritual high, only then to slide into the valley at lightening speed?  You  come home from a fabulous spirit-filled retreat and discover the water heater burst and flooded the house, or the entire family contracts the stomach virus, or you get an IRS audit notice in the mail. Why Lord? Couldn’t You have let me feel great for just a while longer?

Jesus understands. The same thing happened to Him:

 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness… (Mark 1:9-12)

At once…bam. Why?

Perhaps because our faith is forged in trials.

Perhaps so His human pride wouldn’t swell.

Perhaps because God knows we cannot exist on emotional highs.

If there were not valleys, would we appreciate the mountain tops? Jesus never told us becoming a believer meant an easy road where the potholes would vanish. Far from it.

What comforts me is the last part of Mark 1:13…

and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. (Emphasis mine).

What have I learned?

First, God prepared Jesus. He gave Him the spiritual high, the encouragement, and the faith to head into the wilderness, knowing it was coming. He gave Him His purpose- You are My Son, with you I am well pleased. 

Second, God never left Him. He sent angels to minister to Him.

Because of His experience on earth as a human, Jesus understands the slippery slope off the mountain into the valley. He gets the fact that life is tough. He knows that evil can chip away  our armor of faith.

But He is God, too. He knows when those “Oops” are going to come for us. He will prepare us for them, and guide us through them. Even in the wilderness, we can find His blessings.






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Yesterday I went on a journey. Led by Shelly Sorem, I journeyed with 21 other ladies on the path of the Hebrews in the wilderness from slavery to the Promised Land. (Thanks, Shelly. It was an amazing day.)

During that journey,as recorded in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Numbers,  the children of God learned many lessons – God provides, He redirects, He trains up, He disciplines. Through it all, He is in the midst of the journey. We never travel alone, even though at times it may feel as if we do because we are so inwardly focused.

The Christian radio station I listen to and support is also called the Journey (88.3). When people call in to pledge, we thank them for journeying with us. This journey is towards total trust in God until He leads us home.Their message is, “We are all n this journey together.” How true. Yet we each have our own path to follow. But throughout it,the road we each travel intersect with others,Some we will help, others will help us.

ID-100231942 I use my computer and notebooks to journal my journey. Same root word – jour means daily. Not yearly, by decades, or even by the week. But daily. God provides day by day, one step at a time.

My spiritual journey, when mapped out, resembles an EKG – periods of ups and downs, but never flat-lined. Not yet, while my human heart beats in a fallen world. .As I learn more and more to allow Him to lead me on this journey, I can feel my hope-filled faith easing the bumps like a holy shock absorber. One day, my Lord will make that pathway straight, because I will spend eternity praising at HIs feet unburdened by the earthly cares of this life.

Life is a journey through time. We humans are not meant to be stagnant creatures. Like water, if we stop moving we begin to stink. Our minds, hearts and souls need to be in motion developing, learning, growing. We each are on a journey. We get our ticket at conception. We depart from the womb and when we reach our destination at the end of our lives, we leave our bodies.  Each path is unique. Each journey significant, no matter if it is 8 days or 86 years.

Like the Hebrews in Exodus, God will reveal Himself to us along the way to show us He is in our midst. He will provide exactly what we need, He will correct our path if we choose to follow Him, and He will send others to help us do His will.

As Michael Card sings, there is a joy in the journey – the joy of knowing Our Savior goes before us, with us and behind us, provides for our needs, and brings others to walk a while with us. But most of all, because God is there as well. Where will you find Him along the way?

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Christmas should be a time of joy, laughter, family and friends. It should also be a time of quiet worship and thanking God for the

© Winterberg | Dreamstime.com

© Winterberg | Dreamstime.com

fact that he chose to become a man and walk in our shoes. As my minister said in his Christmas sermon, “The watchmaker became the watch so He could understand us fully from the inside out.”

But this Christmas there were parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters in Connecticut who had children brutally taken from them. In my own corner of the world was a wife at bedside of husband who had emergency surgery, a friend with shingles, a priest who hurt his knee and couldn’t tend to his flock over Christmas, people stranded by freak Texas snows who couldn’t be with family, a family whose house burned, a friend who fell and broke her shoulder while tending to her husband recovering from a knee replacement – the list goes on.

Where is God? Right in the manger, right on the cross, and also in Heaven above preparing a place for us all before He comes back for His own. He is in our hearts, in our tears and in our hands as we help each other down this less than fairy tale life.  The world as a whole didn’t end on 12/21/12.  For some, though, it may have well had.  Let us reach out, and then get down on our knees to show them God is there to bolster them through another day- as He is for us all if we choose to believe.

Tidings of comfort and joy.

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