Flooded with Thankfulness

MP900437217

God’s provision can come in an infinite number of ways. This summer my family experienced God’s provision, although at the time we did not see it that way. Looking back we are so thankful that God is always working things out in our lives, even in the trials of life.

Two years ago, my family had a chance to move into a house that would give our growing family more space. I grew up in Florida so I was used to homes that were pretty much the ranch style homes, but my husband grew up in the Midwest and he was used to living in a home with a basement. Our first home purchase in the Midwest was a ranch style house without a basement, but we felt the Lord opened a door for us to move into a different house a couple years after we bought our first home (that is a whole different story).

This new home had a basement and soon after we moved in I understood why my husband loved houses with basements. There was however one thing that I didn’t like to hear about homes with basements; they could flood. I heard plenty of horror stories about basements flooding, including one pretty disgusting one from my husband about one of his childhood homes. Even though I knew what could possibly happen to our basement one day, I just put the thought out of my head.  My basement flooding was not an option. It happens to others, but it won’t happen to my family, I thought.  Well, my pie in the sky thinking didn’t hold up too long.

This past summer our state was experiencing a rash of super-cell storms. The rain was coming down at a rate of one to two inches an hour.  It was a wet mess. What we didn’t know at the time was that our sump pump had quit working. My husband starting putting the puzzles pieces together and he told me that he was pretty certain that our basement was going to flood. I was in denial and pretty much was thinking happy thoughts about how the rain would soon stop and we would be safe and dry.

My husband decided to dash to the hardware store to buy a replacement pump. During that time he told me to keep an eye out for flooding. He gave me a quick talk about what to do in case it started to flood, but I still was in denial and  didn’t really focus in on what he was saying. Once he left,  the rain started to pick up and I kept going downstairs to look into the sump pit and make sure the water was not overflowing. On my third trip down to the basement I was shocked to see the water in the pit was at the danger level of overflowing. I called my husband quickly and told him what was happening. He again told me what to do when the basement started to flood, and he said that he was almost home to help me.

After the phone call, I went downstairs and saw my worst nightmare…my basement was flooding. Fast forward (to make the story shorter), my husband came home and he helped lead the family into an action plan of saving as many of our personal possessions as we could. We all sloshed around in water for about 30 minutes until all of our things were on higher ground and safe from the water. Our basement had flooded.

It was a surreal experience in many ways, but even from the very beginning my family could see God working in all the details. We could see God’s provisions.

-Our first praise was that our basement was flooded with rain water and not sewer water.

-When purchasing home owner’s insurance my husband told me that right before he signed the papers he asked the insurance agent if the policy covered flooding.  Well they did have a policy that would cover a sump pump breaking and that is exactly what happened to us.  We were covered up to $10,000.

-One of our best friends came to our house the night of the flood (it was almost midnight) and he helped us to install a new sump pump.  He was like an angel to us that night because my husband and I were in a state of shock.

-All, and I mean all the people that we had to work with over the next couple of weeks were phenomenal with their customer service (insurance agents and restoration companies).

-Our carpets were totally destroyed, but as far as our personal items we only lost a very small amount of things and they were not anything that could not be replaced.

-The money we received from the insurance policy would end up helping to take care of our family in a time when unexpected financial burdens were placed on our shoulders.

I could go on and list other ways the Lord took care of us through this unpleasant experience, but the most important thing I can say today is that God provides for His children. Many times in life God’s provision comes in unexpected ways, but it still is Him providing for us. Today I am reminded to be thankful for God’s provision and His goodness, and I encourage you to do the same.

Print this entry

Share

Wholly Delightful

Woman Dancing in Flowing Dress

I have been studying James 1:2-4. One day I was reading the verse in the NIV and the words, “pure joy” captured my mind. Say it to yourself slowly, “Pure joy.”

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

So I pulled out my old Strong’s concordance and began to seek the truth-treasures from these words that tell a life-giving story…

You are the ruler of a land.  One day you stand outside on your stone balcony and look out over the land.  Holding your hand over the land, as if to bless it, you move your arm from one reach of land to the other furthest reach and you begin to make a declaration.  Here is what you declare, “I declare it to be completely delightful, these trials that come my way, like thousands of various-looking arrows and bullets coming over the wall to assault me.  All this is purely delightful!”

Unbelievably you are blessing the trials that are completely and utterly surrounding you, so that you may not take a step to the left or to the right without falling into them.  They are your only way to go.  You are going to go through them and fall into them and swim in them.

And these trials are not just big trials, there are also little trials of all different sorts. They are numerous and varied, checkered with built-up stressful, life circumstances. And you are saying, “God bless it!”

Why in the world would you do that? Because in effect you are being put to proof to test the stuff from which you are made. These trials have a beneficial purpose and effect and are being divinely permitted or sent to you to perfect your character. You are finding a new level of fellowship with Christ.  He is refining you into a metal of highest quality, so that you will shine and reflect Him in every way.

And that pure delight in the face of various trials?  It is producing more of the same–cheerfulness, hopeful endurance, constancy, enduring patience and the ability to wait. As the onslaught continues, and it will continue, God is completely transforming your character.  The Lord is pointing His divine purpose towards you, like an arrow full of God-infused adrenaline, aiming with the intent to continue working in you until it is utterly completed.

God will not leave you as a destitute, though. No!  There is not one part or portion of these trials you now face (have faced and will one day face) that the Lord will not complete in you.  He will toil in this labor to develop in you His ability, His character, His strength.

And when He is done, we can exclaim joyfully with Him, “It is finished!”

So here is my version of James 1:2-4, “Deem it wholly delightful and exceedingly joyful when you fall into manifold provocations, because you know the trying of your faith effects cheerful and hopeful endurance.  Let enduring patience result in a complete toil, so that you may be full of every grace and reach Christ’s full purpose in your life, lacking nothing and without delay.”

I don’t know about you, but in my life there are some areas, where I can exclaim, “It is finished!” over a work.  And there are some areas, where I am struggling to see how He is using various trials for the hurts they have caused are still tender. I guess the one thing I do know.  When I can say those words, I have grown thankful and delighted in the trials.

I challenge you to be delighted.  I challenge you to deem it delightful. We are running this race to win it…not just finish. I cannot wait to see your shining face at the end, my friends!

Print this entry

Share

He is Your Peace

Candles and berries

Is all calm and bright on your front this year? Do you struggle with circular thoughts of concern that trouble you and threaten to overwhelm? Well stand up, friend.

Three years of Christmases have brought us trials–job loss, bankruptcy, health concerns and other various turmoils and distresses. And they were hard circumstances. They were overwhelming to us. Today I praise God, not only that those floods have now passed and our current circumstances are relatively calm, but because of those overwhelming trials. They have meant the world to our family. God used the allowance of these trials in our lives to REVEAL His glory in our family! I wouldn’t trade them for anything–hard as they were.

Sometimes, they still are hard. I just saw a friend at the store one day and couldn’t bring myself to speak, only smile at her. You see, she was our bank teller. She knew me well. I walked in with countless deposits. With the bankruptcy, we had to leave that bank. I so wanted to say to her how sorry I was, as we stood in line to check out. So, yes, it can still be hard on some days–days when I feel like a cheater.

But God reminds me that I am His and I can stand on His truth and hold my head up. I am still His own Beloved. So stand in this truth that God has been sharing with me:

“When the enemy shall come like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19 KJV

The Amplified version puts it this way: “So [as the result of the Messiah's intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].”

The enemy will most certainly come, my friend. On that day when Jesus was born, the enemy was on the march. King Herod tried to find baby Jesus and ended up killing all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and in its vicinity.

“When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.” Matthew 2:16 (NIV)

So if Jesus was in a school classroom in Bethlehem, there would be no boys his age in that room. There would be no boys within a two year range. Can you picture that? The enemy has no mercy. Let me say that again. The enemy has no mercy.

He will be relentless, coming like a flood. Sometimes, the onslaught is through our circumstances. Can you imagine the mothers of these young boys? They had dreams and hopes. And they had an enemy on the march.

Sometimes the onslaught is through people, who would like to cause us harm–be it intentionally or not. The enemy is intentional, though. He has a dark purpose. He has no mercy. He is on the war path.

So what do we do? Shall we hide under the covers and hope the flood will not come to us? No, we shall stand on the promise that God fulfilled in this baby we celebrate this day.

For God, my friends, He is rallying to the battle with His flag wildly waving in the wind of His ability. Here’s the fact–He wins. He wins in the battle. He wins in the war. He fights for us. As His promise is seen on the table of history, we have a Savior. He is the one, who was born on our behalf–to hold back the flood of the enemy. He came to bring peace to your souls. He came to be mercy and strength–a weapon that the enemy cannot and will not win against.

Oh, it may appear that he is winning some days. But the revealed things are God’s. He will reveal victory from every single circumstance, person ot event that you are facing, have faced and will face.

So when the enemy comes like a flood upon you, it may not be a silent night–it may not be calm and bright. But it will be Holy. God shall raise His mighty arm to push back the flood. He shall be your peace. He is your peace. He will deliver you, my friend.

Merry Christmas from all of us at A Martha Heart!
Sitting at Jesus’ feet changes us, enables us and gives us everything we need for everything we face today and in the coming year.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Print this entry

Share