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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Worst of Days

1 Samuel 30:1-31, 1 Chronicles 12:20-22, 1 Samuel 31:1-13, 1 Chronicles 10:1-14, 9:40-44, 2 Samuel 4:4, 1:1-27

I remember a few years ago having a great conversation with my then teenage son regarding a particular issue.  I was helping him learn how to navigate a situation with grace and out of the blue he said IT… 

to me! 

I could not believe what I just heard. I thought our relationship was different than other mother-son relationships.

But still he said it. And today his words, “Mom, you just don’t understand” still echo in my ears.

WOW.  Me?  Don’t understand?

I understood way better than he knew. You see, he’s never been 36, but I have been 17.  

Yea, this happened a few years ago for I am no longer 36, ahem.  Moving on...

You see, at that point in his life he was living in the state of I’m-the-only-one-dealing-with-this.  And I am sure that is exactly how David had to feel in our reading today when all his men were ready to stone him.

Oh, Tyler is definitely not the first boy to go through the things he was dealing with. But that time will definitely serve as another footer in the foundation of his life.  As David's did for him.

Difficult times are not fun, easy or even joyfully anticipated. But if we grow through them, they can serve us instead of master us.

A few years ago I read a great little book entitled What To Do on the Worst Day of Your Life, by Brian Zahnd, based on the tragic loss and then recovery at Ziklag. Throughout the entire book you see God’s hand in the life of David in his situation.  Here's a little summary...

David wept.

Chose to not get bitter.

Encouraged himself in God.

Received a word from God.

Redirected his vision.

Regained his passion.


Recovered all.


Then gave to others.   

Although this story takes place 3000 years ago, the steps David took are the same steps we need to take today to overcome all of life’s daunting obstacles. 

David’s story is a timeless model of how to encounter God’s restorative power in the midst of deep tragedy.

Nobody welcomes trouble and hard times. But these difficult moments in our lives are more than just hardships we have to endure; they can prove to be the catalysts that propel us forward, strengthen our resolve and can make us the kind of men and women other people want to follow.

Right now David is leading a small army of warriors, but soon we are going to see him leading an entire nation.

Today I would love to encourage you to read this book and dig deeper for yourselves and learn what David did on the worst day of his life.  

Until next time, to all the moms out there, I feel ya when your little darlings look at you and say, “Mom, you just don’t understand."

Oh, and they will say IT.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Killing Giants

If you are just joining in, we are reading through the One Year Chronological Bible.  I invite you to read along with us! More info can be found here.

1 Samuel 17:32 thru 19:17
Psalm 59
1 Samuel 19:18-24

Oh I pray you have been staying faithful to your Bible readings.  I have definitely been enthralled with where our adventures have been leading us.

Today we land on the little story of a little stone landing in the middle of a really big head.

I absolutely LOVE reading about David, the man after God's own heart.  And the battle with Goliath is one of the most famous battles in all the Word of God.

A couple take-home truths for us today:

#1 We can do anything God has called us to do (Philippians 4:13).  Therefore, we must develop more confidence in God's Word to us than we do in the opinions of our giants yelling at us.

#2 David defeating Goliath reminds us to measure the size of our obstacles against the size of our God.  When we measure our obstacles against our own strength, we will always feel overwhelmed and defeated before the battle even begins.

David was younger, weaker and smaller but because of his confidence in a BIGGER GOD, his pebble hit like a boulder.

#3 David acknowledged the active and living God.  He said in 1 Samuel 17:26, ...Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?

We are often intimidated in our battles because we are not certain of our faith.  You must remember that you don't stand in victory because of your faith.  You stand in victory because of your God.  Faith in faith has no power, but faith in a living, active God moves mountains...

or in this case...

kills giants!

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Things aren't Always what They Seem

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night at the home of a wealthy family. Sadly, the family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's exquisite guestroom. Instead they were given a very small space in the damp cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it."

"Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes we too can feel like the younger angel when our situations don't turn out the way we think they should. In these times it is paramount that we trust that every outcome is always to our advantage knowing some time may have to pass before we can see the unexplained purpose for our pain.

I can just imagine that is exactly how the disciples felt on the week of the first Easter. They never thought their teacher… their Messiah… their friend would ever be arrested, tortured, and crucified for crimes he never committed. They watched him heal the sick, free the captives and raise the dead and now he himself is sick, bound and dead.

The disciples could not wrap their mind around what was going on in their moment of anguish, but sometime later, three days later, they fully understood.

God turned their mourning into dancing...

And their weeping into joy.

Satan thought he won when Christ died... but, God turned it for our good so we could live.

Things are not always what they seem. And I am so thankful for that!

Hope your Easter weekend is filled with unexpected joy and blessings!