Friday, March 26, 2010

Caught in a Sudden Spring Snow Storm

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:9-11 (NASB)

I left my home at 5 PM and forgot my winter coat to speak at a women’s function. I thought, “Oh well, I’ll be home in a couple of hours, I’ll survive.”

At 8:30 PM I stepped into six inches of snow in my toeless and backless shoes. Wet snow pouring from the skies soaked my hair as I brushed snow and scraped ice off all four sides of my car—coatless. I grabbed a crocheted afghan that I keep in my car, wrapped it snuggly around me, snapped on my seatbelt, and started my car. When it’s cold my car refuses to start, due to a sluggish alternator not in my budget at the moment. My engine turned over and I thanked God.

As I inched forward on the slippery roads, praise and worship music blasted from my radio. All around me semi-trucks, cars, SUV’s, and police cars with lights flashing sat sideways and backwards in ditches. The heavy snowfall blowing across the road blinded my vision. The whiteout obscured the street sign. I turned left at the road I thought led home. Cars bogged down on the steep hill sat askew, blocking my snowy trek home. I felt trapped as my gas gauge sat dangerously close to empty.

“God, please help me get home,” I prayed.

I spotted a small opening between the cars littering the incline. Inching my way through the maze of stalled and stuck cars, I broke free. A few SUV’s whizzed past me at dangerous speeds endangering everyone in their icy path. I thought, “Idiots!” and continued my glacial, ten-mile-per-hour, crawl on all four wheels. In the blinding, thick storm, none of the landmarks looked familiar. 

I started to panic, “Where am I God? I don’t know where I am. I don’t recognize anything. Where does this road lead? Please let me come to a street I recognize.”

My shoulders and chest tightened up and then relaxed when a familiar, large building came into view. I was on the right road home. What a relief.

The steep hill delineating the street leading to my home immobilizes cars struggling to scale its upward trajectory. To avoid it, I ducked into a parking lot at the bottom of the hill and then exited onto the street above the precipitous slope. As I pulled safely into my driveway, I thanked God for safe passage home, and then waded in ankle-deep snow to the warmth of my home.

And that pretty much describes my life journey at the moment. As my faith inches along not sure where my life is headed, my emotions slip and slide, sometimes ditching hopes that daily life will return to mostly sunny and mild. So I look to the God of the heavens to lead me out of this blinding whiteout.

The spiritual snows blanketing my financial winter water my faith and trust in God to provide. I wrap my heart and mind in the warmheartedness of God’s promises. Sprouting from my trepidation is an excitement that God wants to accomplish what he desires for my life, my faith, my trust in him. Right now, I’m stranded by God’s love and I await God to pull me out of my circumstances.

El Jeshurun, there is none like you who, like the snow, rides the heavens and the skies to help me. Your word will not return to me empty. As the snow waters the harvest you bring, I look to you to supply my needs. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When Life Hurtles Towards Your Eyeballs in 3D

"Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin. Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Exodus 20:19-21, Joshua 1:9 NASB)

As the reality of life and my dwindling resources hurtle towards me, 3D glasses enhance the illusion of my depth perception.

Two lenses—mine and God’s—filter everything I see and feel.

The goofy 3D glasses of unemployment perch on my nose, trying to filter two polarizing viewpoints streaming towards my heart.

One eye fixates on my circumstances.

The other homes in on God.

The focal point of one lens? Uncertainty, anxiety and fear.

The other zeros in on who God says he is in my circumstances—Jehovah-Shalom, God is my peace.

I desire for this Job moment to pass quickly and my job moment to come to pass, even faster. Everything feels urgent. And here I am stuck in wait mode. The phone fails to ring, ring, draining my patience. When the phone rings, I jump. I hope to hear, “You’re hired,” releasing the lump in my throat, the constriction of my chest and anxiety radiating from my shoulders.

I need the filter of the light of God’s Word to block the fear streaming into my heart. How long will it take for the depth of my perception to rest in the assurance that God sees what I need and when I need it?

I desire a fearless trust in God.

Each time an emotional downer blurs my hopes for relief, I zoom in on God’s promises. I plead for God’s perspective to move my fears to my peripheral vision—outside the center of my gaze. 

My refuge in this blinding point in time? His Word. God's point of view pinpoints my line of sight on the confidence that Jehovah Palet, my Deliverer, is working behind the scenes to resolve my circumstances.

Jehovah-shalom focus my heart on your peace. Drown out my fears. Flood my home, my mind, my soul, and my heart with your peace. Set my mind on you, your words, your promises. Let your peace inhabit every cell of my being.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Happens When a Life Storm Deletes Your To-Do List?

“Then I cried to the LORD in my trouble, and He brought me out of my distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then I was glad because they were quiet, so He guided me to my desired haven.”— Psalm 107:28-30 (NASB)
I don’t do limbo well. Especially unemployment. A few weeks ago my daily To-Do list was organized and full. Then a storm swirled through my life, shelving my To-Do list and obliterating my paycheck.

Each time I find myself unemployed, I panic.

I feel so alone.

This time I decided, “I want to respond differently. I called my church and met with a financial planner, which was somewhat hilarious. What single parent’s bank account really has enough resources to plan ahead?

Each time “What if…” fears creep over the barren landscape of my life and checkbook, I rehearse truth, “God is my provider.” In the desert God provided water, meat, manna, and himself for the Israelites—and they wanted not.

Each time stress and impatience influences me to raise the anxious Golden Calf question, “Where are you? I wish you’d show up sooner than at the LAST minute.”

Then I rehearse truth, “He’s always provided in the past—in his time. I have everything I need for today.”

I started a daily blessing journal to list how God provides every day. On those days circumstances assault my faith, I review my blessings list.

And today I’m struggling.

It amazes me how quickly a panic attack erases all memories of God’s provision. I agreed to do an assignment that would pay the house payment. The person I relied upon failed to come through, propelling me into begging mode, “God, please, please, please help me.”

So I here I sit rehearsing truth, “People are not the source of my salvation, God is. He will provide.” God offers the most security we can find in this world. I just wish I could feel it.

What’s on my To-Do list today?


Dear Jehovah-Jireh, you are my provider. I want my trust in you to be so strong, that stress cannot affect me. As I take a fresh look at my daily blessing list since beginning this journey of faith, thank you for your marvelous provision. Now I’m watching expectantly for you—the source of my salvation. My God will hear me.