God is Faithful

Today was a special day, and in so many ways.

I had the opportunity to be a part of a Ladies’ Retreat with a wonderful group of women from my Mom’s church. There were games, a devotional, a time for singing, a tea party that I helped to lead, and – of course – a lot of delicious food.

But most importantly, there was fellowship.

Each of the ladies involved in the Retreat contributed their special gifts to help make it the refreshing and memorable event that it was. My Mom and several other ladies helped with the decorations and the food (hopefully I will have pictures soon). The pastor’s wife led the games, singing, and devotional. I was blessed to be able to conduct the tea party. And there was another lovely lady who brought beautiful jars of a natural body scrub that she handmade.

It truly was a time of renewal.

I was convicted deeply by the devotional that the Pastor’s wife gave. It really opened my eyes to see areas in my life that I need to surrender to God – and I am grateful for this. I had tears running down my face; happy tears, because I knew that the Lord was working in my heart, and He was helping me to change and to grow.

The conversation around the tables was encouraging. The ladies had been praying for me for months leading up to the party. They knew that I struggled with anxiety and that conducting a tea party was difficult for me. So they had been lifting me up in prayer, and continued to do so as the event unfolded. Come to find, I would really need it.

I was attacked by the enemy fiercely during this party. I fought lies and doubts and fears in my mind that threatened to make me give up. I really felt like there was a battle going on inside of my head.

But God was faithful. I talked to the Pastor’s wife, and she encouraged me – and I made it through the party. All of the ladies said that they had a nice time, and for this I am grateful.

As I try to condense the things that I learned today, it seems to come back to this: God has a purpose and a plan for my life. The doubts and fears come in like a flood seeking to destroy; but He is stronger. What He has called me to do, He will enable me to accomplish. And I need to continue to surrender myself to His leading, no matter how difficult it becomes.

I pray that if you are reading this and are struggling in some area of life, you will be encouraged to know that God will carry you through those difficulties. Foes may threaten from without and within – but they are not stronger than the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He WILL have His way; and we can rest securely in His loving hands. ❤

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

Edited By: Crystal Knauss

God Knows What He’s Doing

Have you ever been involved in a situation where you didn’t understand why things were unfolding the way that they were, or what you should do about it?

I had an experience like this last week.

I had prayed about a decision, and moved forward with what I thought was the correct course of action. But things didn’t work out like I thought they would.

At first, I was upset. I didn’t understand. I was confused – angry, even. But the Lord showed me that even though I didn’t understand, He knew what He was doing.

God worked things out in such a way that the outcome was better than what I had ever hoped for. If I had not moved forward in the beginning, I would not have given Him the opportunity to work. And if I had fought His change of direction, I may have missed the lesson that my Father was attempting to teach me:

He knows what He is doing…and His ways are always best.

If things aren’t going your way, a good course of action might be to take a step back and to listen for His voice. He may have something planned for you that is far greater than you could ever dream.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

~ Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)

Photo Credit: Roland Batke-Mutschler

He Knows Our Every Need

One hundred and seven dollars. That’s the amount of money I had to spend on groceries for my husband and me. God had graciously provided it, and I went to the store earlier this evening to purchase the items that we needed.

I had made a list, so I careened through the aisles with my shopping cart, checking things off of the list as I grabbed them. Two items that I needed and that were really good deals, I actually obtained the LAST of those items on the shelf. There were several things on my list that I decided not to pick up. Although I probably should have, I didn’t add up the amount of each item as I went along to know how much my total would be.

When I pushed my cart into the check-out lane and the nice girl at the register began to scan my items, I started to get anxious. The cost of the items was adding up quickly, and it looked as if I would go over the amount of money that I possessed. I told the cashier that I would probably need to take a few items off of my purchase, and I pulled them out of the bags that they had been placed into.

My subtotal came to about one hundred and twenty dollars, but I still had coupons that needed to be deducted. As the cashier scanned each coupon, I watched the total amount due go down. When she finished scanning the coupons, the total due came to a little over one hundred and four dollars. I couldn’t believe it — I had just enough money!

I paid for the groceries and wheeled my cart out to my car, so incredibly grateful to God for His goodness. He loved me so much that He had guided my choices of items so that I was within the amount of money that I had available. It was like God was whispering to me, “It’s going to be okay. I’ve got you.”

So often I doubt Him. So many times I worry and obsess, wondering how things are going to get paid for, or how I’m going to have enough time to complete the tasks that are laid out before me. But the Lord reminded me tonight that my worries are unfounded. I have a God who knows the number of hairs on my head. He sees each tear that I cry. He has a name for every star in the universe. He is aware of every sparrow that falls to the ground. And this Almighty God cares about me.

He is so good! I pray that I will remember this special lesson that He taught me tonight, in such a way that I would recognize and respond to. When times get tough, I can recall this memory and be encouraged to keep moving forward.

The God of the Universe knows our every need, and He will provide for us as we trust in and walk with Him. ❤

Photo Credit: Crystal Knauss