December 8, 2017

Waiting for the Promise

Anxiously waiting.
For generations.   
God is silent.
"But He promised!"

We begin to entertain questions and doubt begins to take root in what was once pregnant with FAITH and HOPE.

What we forget to recognize is that God IS moving, rearranging, 
waiting with PURPOSE---ON purpose. 

And then.....that one glorious the *FULLNESS OF TIME*.......after all of the things that NEED to take place have taken place...a pregnancy of events...He brings it all to completion. 

Oh, He could speak a word and cause it to BE.......but that's not how He works. 

In the FULLNESS of the time.
God sent His son.

Even Jesus His son *WAITED*.......waited to come to earth as a babe....and waited 33 years before He could announce, "IT IS FINISHED,"
The greatest miracle of all time, a work that took thousands of years in the making..........

Here's what we forget....
GOD can not, WILL not, be hurried.
There is a process.
An unfolding.
There is a purpose to the waiting.

Why do we struggle so with the waiting.
Wanting to understand.
Wanting answers.
We become so impatient.

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”  John 13:7

You do not understand NOW........
Oh how we struggle with this one.
We feel restless.
We want answers and we want them NOW.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and  incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 
1 Corinthians 13:12

Can you trust a God who isn't OBLIGATED to explain His actions to you?
The comfort lies in this TRUTH.
He is GOOD.  His intentions are GOOD.  What He began ..... He will finish.
And every action, every purpose of His heart, every intention is laced with GOOD and to bring about His PERFECT will for your life. 

It's in that moment....the moments of questions, the moments of doubt, the moments of uncertainty that He asks you, "Can you TRUST me?"  

Can I TRUST Him, NOT knowing.  Can I trust Him without requiring explanations and details.  Can I TRUST Him and trust His heart for me is GOOD.  Can I trust that He will lead me into every good thing He prepared for me long ago?

Friend, His heart for you is only GOOD.  You may not understand what He is doing NOW but one day you will if you'll just hang on and allow Him to work it all out for YOUR GOOD and to His GLORY.

Waiting *WITH* God.
In absolute TRUST.
His ways are beyond ours. His thoughts grander than ours.
We could not possibly fashion things in such a DIVINE and perfect way.
Why? Because He sees things we can't see. He knows things we may never know.
He's got plans.
BIG ONES. It will be worth the wait. He's true to His word 100% of the time.

December 2, 2017

The GOOD That Lasts

Shortly after Justin passed away I remember thinking that I wished I'd had more video. More pictures. Or that I could see him in my dreams. I have only had a few dreams since. The other night I had a dream about him. All I can remember is that we were laughing. Surrounded by people and activity. But in our own little world. Laughing. When I woke up I felt like I'd been with him. That he was still here.
Another dream I had was of us dancing.
He spun me around and dipped me....I was laughing.
I noticed something very profound.
I could be dreaming of the hard times. The struggles. The tears.
Because I don't have to tell you....
marriage is HARD.
marriage is WORK.
We had difficult seasons. We had hard times.
But standing back and seeing the BIGGER picture I can see it. The beauty that lasts.
The struggle is part of the story.
The struggle makes us stronger. The struggle makes us better if we'll let it.
But if all we can see is this moment here. If we get stuck in the struggle.....we might lose hope and never know the GOOD that lasts beyond those moments.
I remember just a month before he died. God gave me a beautiful revelation. The Lord was so patient and kind and gracious to me to allow my husband and I room to grow and learn what it means to love another person like Christ. I know I've said it before. Our last year together was truly our best.
I wrote this a month before he went home to be with Jesus. Not knowing these were our final moments.
To you who are married and find things to be hard. If you find yourself struggling....may I just encourage you with this. Look for the GOOD that lasts. Seek out the GOOD. Hang on to the GOOD. That's what is EVERLASTING.

For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

"Nearly 15 years ago and many children later....for better or worse I signed up to do life with Justin Elle. I look back over my relationship with my husband and I am amazed. I am amazed as I see how God's hand was in it ALL. Especially in the hard seasons and growing times. He's not always been my knight in shining armor..... and I unfairly held him to standards that he could NOT meet except for time to allow HIM to grow in GRACE and ME to grow in LOVE. He's not on facebook but I shared this with him. I am sharing this on HERE to show regard and honor for HIM as a husband and a FATHER and testify to how GOOD God is. How FAITHFUL He is to His word. And how GRATEFUL I am for GODLY INFLUENCES to hang in there ---even in the hard times. When everything is against keep going against the grain and DO THE RIGHT the HARD thing at times. TO HONOR and CHERISH and LOVE and RESPECT and BLESS when your flesh is fighting those very things thinking you're entitled to HAPPY EVER AFTER as if the MEDIA actually got it right. Heaven on EARTH and HAPPY EVER AFTER is what you *MAKE IT*. For many years (even against conflicting advice) I lived by the verse, "It's the LORD'S kindness that leads men to repentance." But even in THAT I was being a martyr. It was ME who needed to show kindness as if *I* had no NEED of repentance. As if I was the one who got it right and he needed to step it up. I look back and see how often HE put forth such an effort to LOVE me and SHOW *ME* kindness when I was so critical and judgmental of who he was as a person. Things which would not be sinful or wrong but things that I did not prefer. I was trying to fit him into another mold. Into another person instead of *********Appreciating and valuing the man that he IS. ********* How many times I have failed as a wife and a grateful I am for grace :'( But we came to a particular day when I was overwhelmed at the effort I saw him putting forth. How much I felt the LOVE of God through HIM. I felt transparent and ashamed. Suddenly I realized......that many times it is *I* who needed kindness the most. My husband is a GREAT man. He loves GOD passionately and praises Him with all of His heart. He studies the word "to show himself approved". His LOVES his children DEARLY and he loves me ----enthusiastically, and whole heartedly. His character amazes me in the face of what many people have allowed....he has drawn lines and standards he's refused to budge from. He is so quick to make friends of strangers. His heart is full of joy. He's quick to laugh at what I don't always find funny and I just appreciate that his heart is LIGHT and he finds JOY in the smallest of things. He will have a tea party with my daughter and take time to wrestle with my boys. He spends time on homework and projects and has done the Mr. MOM thing so incredibly far beyond my expectations. He does LIFE with my kids well. He puts them to work with him and teaches them the value of hard work. He's quick to show affection in front of the kids wanting to show them the value of it. He's a GREAT husband. A GREAT father. and a GREAT man of God and I fall more in love with him every day. It's not Father's day and our anniversary is 2 months away. But today was the perfect day to HONOR my husband. I am grateful that he loves me for better or worse. In my darkest seasons when I was most unlovable HE'S shown me more grace. I am grateful for HIM and for those who of who took time to read this :) because TODAY I needed to honor my husband. ALL that he does and ALL that IS and HOW He's shown me the kindness of a Savior and the LOVE of God. Reevaluating and breaking down my box of preconceived notions and ideas. A knight in shining armor doesn't always come packaged the way we imagine they should......"