Monday, October 27, 2014

Did God Mess Up?

When we look into the Bible, we see several instances where things happened and we wonder why God didn't 'fix' it. 

We look at our own lives sometimes with illnesses, finances, death, divorce and many other troubles we go through, and wonder why God doesn't 'fix' it. It sometimes makes me wonder, "Did God mess up?" I know He hears and answers prayers. 

1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us."

When reading scripture, I wonder why things happened the way they did, when often times I see no immediate benefit.  For instance, there are things we read where we are not sure 
exactly what happened or details of 'the rest of the story' as Paul Harvey would say.

  • When God put Jacob's hip out of joint and left him with a permanent, painful limp 
  • When Jesus caused a minor panic among the disciples by telling them to feed a hungry crowd . . .
  • When three times the Lord refused Paul's request for healing....
Was it to keep Jacob in pain, so that as he walked he would praise God? I don't think that is why. 

Was He trying to pull a trick or embarrass the disciples in front of the crowd? I do not think that was it at all.

Did he not hear Paul's request and he had to ask over and over? No, I am sure He heard Paul, loud and clear. 
However, we often have things happen in our lives and wonder, "What is going on here? Is God not seeing this? My world has just turned upside down!" 
First, there is nothing that surprises God. He knows what is coming upon our lives, He is aware of the troubles we are going through and He walks with us through them. 

Sometimes we come out humbled, like Jacob, and continue in life with scars (or limps) to remind  us of those troubled times. 

Maybe we see God perform a miracle in the middle of our panic, like He did with the disciples and the fish and bread, and we can praise and give Him glory immediately. 

Maybe He hears our repeated prayers and requests, but His timing for answers is not always our timing. 

Some answered prayers may not be completed until after we are gone from this earthly life. (read blog: God Answers Prayers, even after we are gone? )
In any event in our life, God never messes up. He knows right where you are, hurting in pain, hungry for answers, or pleading with Him over and over.
Luke 12:28 "But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O  men of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. 30 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. 32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom it is not hid from you."
God 'fixed' us completely when He forgave us and we received Him as our Lord and Savior. We need not worry about anything else, period. We should focus on Him and serving Him. If we do that, start everyday focusing on Him, He will take care of any needs we have that really matter. We should allow His priorities to become our priorities. 
We may mess up our priorities, but thank goodness, our God never messes up!! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What's in A Name?

When our children were little, we gave them little fun nicknames...such as Beegee (B.J.) or Todd-a-Rod (Todd). They always knew when they were in trouble when their real names were called and really bad trouble when their full, first and middle, names were used. It just never seemed right getting on to them using a nickname! I am sure you all can remember when your full names were used by a parent, grandparent or teacher, it was never good.  

I love it, where in scriptures, even Jesus corrected Peter by using either Simon or Simon Peter.

Then, as they grew older and started going off with their friends, their dad would always remind them, "Remember who you are!" This meant you are a Sanders and do not embarrass or ruin our name. When they became Christians, this meant that they were not only Sanders, but a child of God. 

When our daughter married, she accepted the name of her husband. Our daughter was adopted from S. Korea and had been given a Korean name at the orphanage of Kung Hee Park. Park was the President of S. Korea at that time (he was later assassinated.) When we brought her to our home, our little gift from God, we called her Kara. She then became an American citizen and her last name was changed to Sanders. Now she has taken another name for the man she loves. 

We realize that the last name carries a 'brand' or 'trade' with it from earlier times. If your last name is 'Carpenter' for instance, your grandparents, way back, were probably carpenters. The 'Cook' family were probably chefs and so on..

We know that God has many names for His many characteristics and His nature. We know many names for Jesus are used for different prayers at different stages in our lives. But I guess my personal favorite of all His names would be 'I Am', for that says it all. 

Exodus 3:14 
 God said to Moses, ‘I AM who I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you’

"Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" John 8:58

Looking at our world today, the news about the beheading of Christians, makes me think of what our future holds for names. Will it someday be required to add the tag 'Christian' to our names? Hmmm..... Ginger Sanders, Christian. Who knows what the future holds for us, except Christ will return someday and our 'tag/name' better be there. 

The names on this earth have little meaning actually. They are all nicknames or whatever we are called. The name that will be important will be the name in the Book of Life. I have a 'legal' name and then the nickname that my husband and friends call me. It does not matter to me which name Jesus has in that book, as long as He sees it was written there the very night I accepted Him as my Savior.

What about you? What is your name and where is it written? Are you ready to be called out by Him? 

Signing off today with 
gsanders 'Christian'

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Where is GOD?

Remember the days of lying in the grass, looking at the sky and 'seeing' things in the clouds? Oooo, there is a dog, a rabbit, and sometimes, if we looked close enough, there would be a face! Could it be the face of Jesus or even God Himself? 

We seek to be close to God, but be we just seek Him when times are hard, when we are going through the troubles and valleys of this life? It is so easy to talk to Him when we are hurting and searching for answers. Why, I bet many of you reading this, have already laid your burdens at His feet this day. 

Once, I heard a little boy answer his grandmother, in the innocent voice of a child, about what was in his pocket. He told her it was a biscuit for God that was tucked inside his pants pocket. When she questioned him further, he answered, "But, Grammy, you said God was everywhere and He may get hungry today!"

The scriptures say He is with us always.  

Zephaniah 3:16-17 " In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: "Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp. The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

We are His people. He cares for us in the good times as well as the bad times. Have you ever sat in perfect stillness in the mountains, or along the waters, just listening to nature? He is with us no matter what emotions we may be filled with: sadness, grief, joy, peace, or contentment. He loves us unconditional, without any respect to our personal feelings. Why can we not understand that He never leaves us? He walks with us continually, to be our guide, comforter and friend. 

We get so caught up in our own emotions, do we forget He is there? He is the peace in times of turmoil, the joy in the time of sadness, the peace in the time of grief, He is there. He knows what is in our minds, the scrambling of the thoughts running rampant. He even said "Be still and know that I AM GOD" Psalm 46:10. We need to 'be still' sometimes to find Him. 

He is there for you in all circumstances. Let us just pause a moment today and 'be still' and remember Him as He is....The Great I AM. Let's all just look to the heavens and see what we can see, there and in our hearts. Look to the clouds and the sky, look at the stillness and the peace He gives us. 

Doing all of this, maybe we will see His face, maybe we can keep Him in our pocket (heart)!