Wednesday, October 30, 2019
It's a noisy process, and it takes energy and arm muscle to keep pounding over and over again. But the result was that the meat would be tenderized. Eventually my mom would say, "That's enough." Then she would take the meat, cover it in flour, and fry it. Frankly, I think I had the harder job. =) But once the meal was ready, the hard work was worth it as we ate the tender steak.
If you've ever cooked a meal like this, I'm sure you'd agree that the difficult process is worth the delicious result.
Sometimes in life it's hard to see or remember that the difficult process will be worth the result.
For many months it felt like God had me in a process of what I'd call "tender-izing." Sometimes I felt like that piece of steak - with those little knobs on the steak hammer pounding here, there, and everywhere.
It hurts. It's hard. And when it finally feels like there might be a break, it's often just a pause before the pounding starts again on the other side.
Maybe you've felt like this too. Maybe you've wondered why things have been so hard for so long. Maybe you've questioned God's love for you. Maybe you've tried to run away from the "tender-izing."
If so, I want to encourage you and myself today. Our heavenly Father holds every tear we cry, He hears every prayer we speak or even think, and He gives us every breath we breathe.
God still loves us.
He still wants our best.
He is still in control of everything.
He still works all things for good.
There is a worthwhile result.
In the midst of the difficult process, I realized that the "tender-izing" actually had made my heart more tender.
In those moments when the pain would wash over me and tears flowed, I didn't think only of myself. I thought about others who were hurting. My heart filled with compassion for them. I prayed for them. I sent an encouraging message or let them know I was thinking of them. Somehow in the difficult process, in the midst of my own pain, God gave me more of His tender mercy for others.
And even when I cried out and told God how much it hurt, I knew that He understood. I knew that in the fellowship of Jesus' suffering, He was drawing me nearer to His heart. And I want to be close to Him. My heart longs to hear His voice, receive His comfort, experience His healing touch, and grow in intimacy with Him.
Maybe you prayed for a tender heart without knowing it might require a "tender-izing" process. No, the process isn't fun. It hurts. It's hard. But the result of a tender heart toward our Savior and others is beautifully worth it.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." -2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
|On the border of Austria and Slovenia|
While thinking about this, I read this passage in Romans:
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” –Romans 5:1-2a (NIV)
When my daily view begins to take too much of my attention, I know God wants me to remember this heavenly view. God has given us His Word to teach and remind us who He is, who He says we are, where we stand, and where we are going. This view is what helps us live out each day here on earth.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Hello friends! I hope that 2019 has been going well for you. It's been a bit of a roller-coaster for me, so I apologize that I haven't kept up with blogging. Here's today's post, about this journey of life...enjoy!
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Immanuel - God with us.
So simple...yet so profound.
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's an astounding mystery that God became a man - and not just a man, but a baby. Jesus embraced the full experience of humanity - from birth to death, so that He could truly be with us in everything. There's nothing we go through that He doesn't understand.
Jesus left heaven and God's glorious presence, so that He could bring us a taste of that heavenly glory. In all we go through, we are not alone. More than that, we have the Light of heaven present and shining in our lives - making sense of things that otherwise don't make sense, giving meaning to things that seem meaningless, and bringing hope when things seem hopeless.
All because of Immanuel - God with us.
I hope we are filled with wonder anew at this incredible gift! God is with us. Always.
Thank you Jesus! Happy Birthday to you!
Merry Christmas dear friends!
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Pondering A Miracle - by Jan Harris
Thursday, November 22, 2018
I'm thankful that I was able to spend today with a group of people I'd never met before last week, and I had a sweet time of fellowship with them.
I'm thankful that wherever I go, I have brothers and sisters in Christ who are a beautiful expression of God's love and grace.
I'm thankful that even with challenges and unknowns in life, I still always have much to be thankful for.
Since I was a child, my mom taught me the importance of thankfulness. Sometimes I've practiced it well, other times not so much. Lately God has been showing me a new aspect of being thankful. I'm learning to not just say what I'm thankful for, but to tell Jesus "Thank you" for specific things.
I'm learning to thank Jesus for what He's already done, as well as for what I believe He is doing and will do. And so thankfulness has become an expression of faith. It's also building my relationship with Jesus in a new way. The more I tell Him "Thank you" for things, the more humbled I feel, the more I want to worship Him, and the more I remember His love and care for me.
Here are some things I've been thanking Him for lately:
Thank you Jesus that you love me.
Thank you Jesus that you are always right here with me.
Thank you Jesus that you know my heart.
Thank you Jesus that you are healing me.
Thank you Jesus that you are leading me.
Thank you Jesus that you have good plans for me.
Thank you Jesus that in you I have all I need.
We are indeed blessed...but most of all because we know Jesus. May He draw you closer to Himself and fill your heart to overflowing with thanks to Him.
God bless you, my friends.