Wisdom, Hope, and Power          

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might 20 that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:17-20

I was pleasantly surprised when I found a New Testament passage that spoke of wisdom and referred to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Just in time for Easter.  I am thankful for the way God brings passages from His Word for encouragement and help.  These verses were a part of the Wednesday night Bible study I attend.  I knew this would fit my blog for the day before Easter.

Here is my shortened version of Ephesians 1:17-20:
Wisdom comes from knowing God.  Those of us who have trusted in Christ have hope.  God’s power works in us – the same power that raised Christ from the dead.

Wow.

God is so good.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the filled treasure chest of thought in this passage.  Thank You for providing wisdom, hope, and power for those who call on You.  Thank You for Christ dying on the cross to save those who trust in Him.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Straight or Crooked Paths

I have found myself being very nostalgic recently.  It has been a year since I received a diagnosis of DCIS.  Those were hard days.  I had decisions to make while feeling overwhelmed. This next week marks one year since I crashed after getting my first opinion.  While I am not a fan of crashing (I have done it more times than I like to admit), I am so glad that I got a second opinion.  I felt so much better about my decision after the calm atmosphere at CTCA in Zion, IL.  I greatly appreciate the expert care I received there.

God allowed what I would consider a crooked and rocky path last year to show me how He can make my paths straight.  I had to pray my way through repetitious thoughts of “I don’t want to deal with this”.   By God’s grace, He kept showing His love time and again as He led me through the situation. I am so glad this part of my story is past.  While I will always have some of the difficult memories and I bear the scar of surgery, I do not want to feel sorry for any of it.  God gave so much grace.  I continue to pray that God’s hand is visible in my life.  Whatever path God leads me to walk in the future.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making my paths straight through tough times.  Thank You that I can lean on You.  Please help me to continue to submit to Your plans.  I want others to see Your hand in my life.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Being Renewed While Wasting Away

Today was the funeral of my uncle who passed away about a week ago.  His life was one of physical difficulty.  I heard from his pastor that my uncle had recently shared Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”  My uncle suffered from the physical problems.  However, he rejoiced that God taught him Biblical truth.  He passed that truth on to his children.  I am watching my cousins working on passing on that truth to their children. What a beautiful legacy.

I do not want to diminish the harsh reality of physical suffering.  I can assure you; I struggle counting my own trials joy.  However, I have seen God use various difficulties to help His people grow.  Growing spiritually is a worthwhile pursuit.

Dear Heavenly Father, please comfort my family as they grieve.  I ask that You wrap Your loving arms around them to remind how much You love them.  Thank You for the spiritual growth You send through trials. Please help us to cling to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Tough Days

This week has been hard on my dad’s side of the family.  Yesterday morning, God chose to take one of my uncles home to glory.  This uncle had many health issues so while the family is grieving, we are thankful that he is no longer suffering.

The Bible tells us we will have difficulties in this life.  Each of us will suffer in different ways.  While I still struggle with the suffering piece of life, I can take comfort in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world.  When Jesus came to earth, His whole purpose was to die on a cross for us.  He came to pay the penalty for our sins.  Jesus overcame death and dying.  Those of us who place our trust in Jesus have hope for an eternal future.  I know that my uncle is rejoicing and whole. 

As you face the tough days in your life, know that you can have hope if you place your trust in Jesus.  He has overcome the world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus’ overcame the world.  Please help me to share the hope that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Running to God in Faith

I grieve that so many in the world do not know about God or have a twisted view of who He really is.  Having the opportunity to please God through drawing near Him in faith is a great reward.  I have battled a difficult year.  Surgery in April and a year of supply chain issues {big effect on my job) is not something I would choose.  However, God has a plan for my life that includes drawing me closer to Him.  I can fight His plan or run to Him.  I can assure you, running to God is so much better than fighting against His way.

Dear Heavenly Father, when life is tough my first response is to run away.  I struggle when things are hard, but I know Your grace is strong enough to bring me through tough times.  Thank You for providing a way for me to draw near to You.  Thank You that You want me to draw close to You.  I am in awe of Your love.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Praise for Daily Help

I survived another week working smack dab in the middle of supply chain.  Things are still crazy due to the upheaval over the last year and a half.  And no, supply chain professionals aren’t going to fix it all.  When you look at many of the reasons behind the issues, we don’t have control over those things.  But I digress.

The reality, no matter the reasons, is that life is still tough.  I am so thankful that God is willing and able to hold me up throughout the challenges I face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing me through another challenging week.  I praise You for the salvation You have so freely given.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Who Hears Prayer

The Psalms are filled with praise and encouragement.  This one starts with praising God and recognizing that He is worthy of worship.  Then we are reminded that God is the one Who hears prayer.  For Almighty God to be willing to listen to us is an amazing thing.  God is in charge of the universe, but He still wants us to come to Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that I can come to You and bring my requests. Thank You for your leading in my prayers.  I ask that You would be at work in hearts so more would cling to You and bring their requests to You. Thank You that You listen to all who come to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Being Equipped

I was at CTCA for my one month post-surgery follow up this week.  God has sent many blessings along the way, despite the challenges of surgery.  At this point, I have been “released” and do not need any more treatment.

I still can’t say specifically why God chose this journey for me, but I know God has a plan to bring honor to Himself.  He will equip me to do His will.  There is nothing better in life than living for God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all of the blessings and for giving me strength to endure the challenges.  Please help me to live the purpose You have for me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wonderful Things from the Faithful One

While surgery brings many challenges, God did many wonderful things throughout the process.  I asked God to send me one Christian in the process of my medical care.  The person at the surgery check-in desk goes to a local Baptist church and has heard a speaker I know from Minnesota.  I also met the CTCA chaplain face to face when he stopped by the hospital after surgery (I had talked to him on the phone before).  I prayed for one, but God sent me two.  

God made it possible for my parents to meet me at CTCA and drive me home to help me for a time after surgery.  I have an employer and coworkers who have given me support throughout this time that I needed to be out.  I have a church family who has reached out to help with a variety of needs.  These are just a few of the wonderful things God has done for me.

I need plenty of reminders of the wonderful things that God has done.  Life is full of challenges and I can get stuck worrying about the difficulties.  Instead, I want to share the goodness of God in the midst of trials.  This doesn’t mean that I will downplay or ignore the difficulties, but I believe this will help me to face struggles with more of God’s strength rather than my own.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessings and strength that You provide.  I ask for continued guidance as I navigate the difficulties You have allowed.  Please help me to focus on the blessings and view the trials with a God honoring view.  Thank You for Your faithfulness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Grace Meeting My Needs

God brought me through surgery and a week and half recovery at this point.  I am so thankful for many things that happened.  I was definitely nervous, but God sent really nice people.  Everyone was gracious and caring.  One nurse was Anna from Poland.  She was fun to talk to and she did a great Minnesota accent imitation – she was spot on!  All of the medical professionals were amazing.  I hope to write down more stories.  I knew nurses were hard working, but seeing what the nurses and PCT (patient care technicians) had to go through just to get me up – wow!  They are amazing!

I know God is good, but I often need tangible reminders of His goodness.  It is my goal to pay attention and write down as many of those as I can.  Surgery was hard (the road to recovery has not ended yet), but these difficult things bring many opportunities to watch for God’s grace.  I pray that I always remember that thought.  Hard times are hard, but God is bigger and more gracious than the hard times.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me so much evidence of Your grace.  Please help me to remember the specifics of what You have done and dwell on them.  Please remind me of these stories when I struggle and doubt.  Thank You for Your goodness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.