Surrounded

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:4-6

 

Suddenly!

My family did something we’ve never done before. We started a garden in our backyard—nothing too major, just a few vegetables, some herbs, and a small fruit tree. With only a few weeks in, our garden has become more than we expected. It has become a sanctuary.

No matter when one of us arrives in our sacred place, we discover signs of gradual growth. Admittedly, gradual growth doesn’t always come with bells and whistles. Still, its existence is strong evidence of progress from what we knew was bare minimum. We notice leaves are standing upright, and for select plants, we see a budding of dainty flowers. And then suddenly, a miniature vegetable or fruit appears. Hallelujah!

God has a way of drawing us into spaces that allow for growth experiences, causing us to stand upright and do right. Even though the experiences seem to come out of nowhere, we know when they arrive, it’s been a ‘long time coming.’ Suddenly, we feel differently; we reflect differently; we become new people with new expectations. Growth becomes absolute. We resolve; we won’t settle for anything less. 

Try this: Dust off, Embrace, and Honor!

  1. Dust off your discernment so that you are spiritually awake and present for life-altering growth experiences.
  2. Embrace the great work God is establishing in you, being sure to guard every hint of progress.
  3. Honor your sacred moments of growth with sudden praise. Don’t hesitate to give God what is due Him!

God knows what He’s planted in you. He knows what will bloom. And it shall happen, suddenly.

“Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree. “Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. – Amos 9:13

Today Will Be Different

My youngest daughter loves to explore the adventures of life. She entered this life on the cusp of adventure. After hours of unforgettable labor, I delivered my baby girl with surprising evidence of an impossible predicament. To the naked eye, it appeared she would not be able to walk because of what we later learned was dysplasia of the hip. Yet her exuberant cry and the demanding aura of her presence supposed something different.

No matter what our situations look like, our doubting behavior, or the demons that harass us, we can present all of our predicaments to an everlasting God. And He settles them all, leaving nothing undone. What some cannot fathom or manipulate to fit into their limited understanding, God creates teaching moments to provide lessons for transformational living. What others are fearful of proclaiming or for those who are slow to offer Him praise, God presents tests to expose their heart. And to all who are watching and waiting for God’s incredible work, along an adventurous journey, He presents a stage for His miracles, signs, and wonders. Then He watches to see if we do anything different.

Sooner or later, in the comfortable responses we offer our predicaments, we must declare, “Today will be different.” No more doubting, disguising and destroying the notion that God’s way is best. Be different than those in the world living a lifestyle of bitterness and misery. Choose a lifestyle, believing God.  My husband and I experienced our promise-keeping, way-making God in the delivery room that day, sixteen years ago. We prayed relentlessly, laid our hands on our daughter, and repeated the promises God made to us back to Him. Then God answered us with a miracle. Our daughter’s condition was corrected in record time; her growth rate was not disturbed, nor was her mobility averted. We gave God praise with our lips through that journey, and we showed our gratitude with a devotion to His Way. God’s wonders continue to take center stage in both of our daughters’ imperfect lives, telling a story of the possibilities of God.

Try this: Challenge yourself at this moment, with all you are dealing with, to declare, “Today Will be Different!” Now live what you have professed. God is watching.

“But if I were you, I would appeal to God, I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” – Job 5:8-9

“Nothing is impossible for God.” – Luke 1:37