Trial to Triumph – or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 8

picture gold cross13 Moses told the people, Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. Exodus 14:13

When Moses spoke those words the Israelites were standing between a huge Egyptian army on chariots and a large body of water – the Red Sea. Apparently, they forgot in that terrifying moment all that the Lord had done for them when he dealt with Egypt with ten plagues and how they had come away with the riches of the Egyptians and how He was still standing as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When Moses told them to stand still it went against every natural inclination. Fight or flight. The Lord said “Fear not, stand firm and see”. They finally did and the Lord made a way that was a miracle – through the Red Sea!

Being a person who constantly has to remind my self to let the Lord be Lord and to not get in His way, it has been a challenge to learn to just stand firm and not fear. But when I have done this the Lord has always acted mightily on my behalf.

When I worked for the County Health Department I had many opportunities to share the Gospel with staff and patients. Only one nurse had a problem with me and she would complain periodically about me. When she did I would get called into the Director’s office and be told to stop talking about religion. What a temptation to “speak my peace”, but the Lord always told me to keep quiet. Nothing bad ever happened to me and later the Director came to me in secret and asked me to pray for her son-in–law who had lost his job.  I am thankful to the Lord for that great lesson in fearing not and standing firm.

We have seen that trials are for our good, purifying our faith and bringing us the characteristics of Jesus: patience, steadfastness and endurance. We have learned that trials are not punishments and that the Lord is with us during the trial. We found that the way to go through a trial is to let the Lord know what our needs are specifically and to fear not, stand firm and see him take care of all our needs and problems.

So the next time a trial comes we can say: “Woo hoo!”

Jesus is Lord!


Trial to Triumph or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 3

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness Malachi 3:3.

After losing my second job in six months, I was devastated. I had no clue what to do. My mother suggested that I come down to Florida where she and Dad had retired and see if I could get a job there. I agreed to give it a try. I prayed. And I surrendered to the Lord. I knew that I could not do it on my own. I went down to Tampa and got three job interviews lined up. The first one was with the State of Florida Health Services. I had no idea what the position was.

We are the McDonald’s generation. We don’t want trials to be difficult or last long. But consider this: Let’s say that we want to train Marines. So we come up with training and a testing plan. We want to test strength so we tell them to run ten feet, and then jump over a one foot fence, and finish by doing one push up. If we did that we would have one weak bunch of Marines. But in reality Marines do many, many push ups, climb high walls and run many miles and then are severely tested in realistic war games before they are sent out to defend our nation.

 It is the same with us. A short easy trial is not going to build up any faith muscles. We need to trust the Lord to do what needs to be done for our good in His perfect timing and plan.

Gold being melted to remove impurities

Jesus is Lord! picture gold being melted



Trial to Triumph or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 2


Gold ore crushed

picture god ore crushedBe assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4

So after I calmed down from the shock of being told I was going to lose my job, I did begin to pray to the Lord. I applied for another job and two weeks later I started as a Branch Manager for a Home Health Agency. It paid more money but the office was in a bad neighborhood and it was a dull and dingy workplace. The workers were sullen. Five months later I got fired! Yes, me who never gets fired got fired. But several weeks before I got fired, an interesting thing had happened while I was walking down a corridor of St.ElizabethHospital on my way to a meeting. I heard the Lord speak to my heart. “Emergency Room Nurse Practitioner”. “Boy”, I thought to myself “I would never do a job like that! Too much stress, besides I don’t like emergencies”. I kept on walking.

There is a purpose to our trials. The proving of our faith brings out fruit!

Endurance – the ability to do something difficult for a long time

Steadfastness – being firmly fixed, unmovable

Patience – the ability to accept trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.

This fruit makes us more like the character of Jesus. Think of the last week of Jesus’ life. He needed all three of these qualities to go through all that He did for our sake. If he did not have these characteristics he could have said “No way! I am not going through that!” But He did go through it for us.

Our problem as Americans is that we are used to having things fast. Fast burgers, instant messaging, fast computers, shopping online – so no waiting. We do not like to wait. We want our trials our way and over fast! Unfortunately, in order to grow in patience, endurance and steadfastness we often have to wait, sometimes for a long time.

Somebody told me that in the Middle East they are great at waiting patiently – sometimes as long as eight hours in a line. Try doing that to one of us! Yeah.

So we need to be patient when we are in a trial and let the Lord do what needs to be done in our lives.

Jesus is Lord!


My River and Your River

picture converging riversHe who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor). John 7:38-39

I went to prayer night at church last evening. There were about ten of us there.  I have been studying about the rivers of living water that Jesus promised would flow from the innermost being of those who believe in Him. But last night I saw those rivers in action!

 As we prayed for each other for healing, some sharing a word; someone having a reading, I felt the Holy Spirit come like a soft, sweet cloud in our midst. He ministered to all of us.

Later, as I was driving home and thinking about the wonderful experience of being in His Holy Presence the Lord reminded me of the rivers he had promised. We had been in the Holy Spirit Rivers flowing from each one of us. That river flowing from me – flowed to the other people there. And the rivers flowing from them refreshed and ministered to me.  Converging Rivers of Living Water!

 Jesus is Lord!





Ouch,That’s My Foot!

For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use,So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another]. Romans 12:4-5

picture of foot and tackWhen I got saved I did not realize for a long time that I was now part of a great and wonderful Body of Christ. I did not know that when I was hurting and a faithful Christian prayed with me and encouraged me that I was being ministered to by the Body in Christ. But I know it now and that understanding has changed how I look at and relate to my brothers and sisters in Christ. That understanding has made me sensitive to the hurting brothers and sisters at my church, in the community and in the world.

Imagine that you have stepped on a tack. Ouch! That hurts! What happens? First the message goes to the brain. In a nanosecond it starts giving orders to your body. Immediately your leg muscles lift up getting your foot off the floor. Your vocal cords and lungs cause you to yell out. Your hand goes to your foot to remove the tack. Then your other leg takes over and you hop to a chair to assess the damage and get help.

Now imagine that you are going through a crisis of some sort. The message goes to the head – Jesus! Immediately orders are given to the Body. Orders are given to the parts of the Body that are needed to help the situation. Prayers, help, understanding, financial assistance, etc are ordered by the Head – Jesus!

There have been times when the Lord has told me to pray or to give somebody money, food, a phone call, clothes, a hug – once it was art supplies. I got an order from the Head of our Body and I acted quickly. No delay. The Lord does this all the time. When we hurt He acts on our behalf! What a great God we serve!

Jesus is Lord!



Texting the Lord

picture of text l love youLet us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16(AMP)


I know a young High School couple. They love talking to each other and when they are apart, they text constantly. Even when I was sitting next to the young man at a family gathering the texting went on. Constant communication. It reminded me of the way we keep in constant communication with the Lord.

Little words of love, praise, and thanks sprinkled throughout our day. When I keep the presence of the Lord close to me even when something unexpected happens we are right in tandem. He is right there. His presence calms, directs and helps me throughout my day.

The Lord loves to hear from us. There are people I would never bother with a question or even share a thought with because they have no interest in my life. But the Lord is different. He wants us to come boldly before His throne. Unlike kings of old who never permitted an uninvited person to approach them the Lord is a warm and loving Father who wants us to come on up and sit on His lap and tell Him what we are feeling and thinking ; even when we are frightened or worried or sad or if we have messed up. He wants to hear it all. His love is never ending.

I have met Christians who have told me they only pray for others and don’t want to bother the Lord with their own needs. These Christians don’t realize that they are the Lord’s children. I never worried about asking my parents for food, or a new dress. My mother was available to hear about all the little things going on in my life. The Lord is like that. He loves to hear from you. And when you are quietly listening to Him He will speak to you too.

We are blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father.

Jesus is Lord!



Meditating the Word

picture meditate 

My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches. For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice. Psalm 63:5-7

Our thoughts can lead us into action. Fearful thoughts, angry thoughts, worried thoughts. We can lay there in bed and think and think about slights, money, the kids, what we should have said to some one. The list goes on. But the Lord wants us to meditate on His word. Well, that’s great, but how do you meditate on the Word?

Simple. First we read our bible. When I read the word I like to picture what is going on. Sometimes I imagine myself there. I ask the Lord to reveal what I need to know from what I am reading. A great time to think about the Lord’s words is before we fall asleep. Even David did this. That also helps to disperse worrisome or angry thoughts

Our days can be so busy with family and work that it is hard to find the time to read and think about scripture. When we are under stress or in a trial it helps to find scriptures that address that situation. A concordance can be helpful to find those readings. Memorize them and say them to yourself when worries try to creep in. Think about them. As David meditated on the Lord he felt the Lord’s protection and he was able to rejoice.

We can do the same.

Jesus is Lord!



Doubled Minded

picture wave tossedIf any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of [a]the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord,[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides] -James 1:5-8 (NLT)

Honestly, I have a hard time every time I read the letter from James. It always seems to open up an area I need to grow in.

There was a lady at church who asked me to do something for her. In fact I was very happy to be able to do something for her. A few days later while I was working on the project another lady from church told me she had also been asked and she had already done it. I was dumbfounded. When I do something I give a hundred percent. You can count on me. Of course I stopped working on it and realized she had never trusted me to do the task. She was double minded.

We can be that way with the Lord. We can ask Him to do something and then look for another solution to the problem. Maybe He feels the same way I did. I felt frustrated and hurt. Notice that the double minded person does not get his prayers to the Lord answered. Serious words.

Picture that wave of the sea tossed back and forth by the heavy wind –  going nowhere.

I think that the Lord is capable of coming up with a better solution to our problems than any person. Let’s single-mindedly trust in Him to answer our prayers. He is a generous God.

Jesus is Lord!



Camp Meeting!

picture crowdBut the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and He couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to Him. -Mark 1:45 (NLT


As I was at prayer one day and meditating on the word (thinking about it), I pictured in my mind what being outdoors on a hillside with thousands of people who had walked hours to see Jesus must have been like.

 Many had brought sick people with them. The power coming off Jesus was indescribable. When He laid hands on the sick they instantly recovered and were made whole! What joy and happiness filled them! The power and presence of God was with them! [Read more…]


Why is This Happening to Me?


blog picture joseph and brothersBut don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. -Genesis 45:5 (NLT)

I remember having a new job as a Director of Nursing of a Health Department. I  I had applied just to see if I could compete. I had never had a job as any type of supervisor. I was shocked when I got the job. Eighteen months later, my boss decided to give my job to a friend and I was out. I had never lost a job in my life!

A few weeks later I got a job as a Manager to a Health Care visitation service. Five months later I was fired! What? Why? I thought I had been doing a good job, but there I was out of a job again.

I was in shock. I had three children to support.

I went to the Lord in prayer. A month later I and my children were 1300 miles away in our new home. I had a better paying new job and a good future. Five years later I met my husband – a great and loving Christian man who is also a great dad to my children.

But what if I had not lost those jobs? I might still be up in New York and would never have met my wonderful husband. I am thankful that I lost those jobs!

Notice what Joseph says to his brothers. “It was God who sent me here to preserve your lives.” The Lord had a plan and a purpose. Even though Joseph went though difficult times the Lord got him through and blessed him.

I am so thankful that the Lord is in control and that I don’t have to worry when difficult times come. I just trust Him.

Jesus is Lord!