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‘Mama, I don’t feel good’.

I look at her pale face, thin body lying in bed. It had been four months of this unknown illness wreaking havoc and robbing her of youthful joy. Four months since she had been in school, missing friends and fun of seventh grade.

As her days filled with pain and loneliness, my days filled with frustration and helplessness of a mama who would do anything for her daughter, but powerlessly could do nothing. Endless doctor visits, each adding only more questions to this enigma. What else could I do to make her better?  Myself sick with worry and stress. Daily pleas turned into constant state of prayer: ‘Please, God, heal her.’ ‘Heavenly Father, please lead us to the answer’.

Nothing.

Only silence.

Or so it is seemed at the time.

Standing in the now, I see with faith-filled eyes that God was not silent during those anxious days eleven years ago.

But wrapped up, consumed in those moments when time stood still, it sure seemed like he was.

Silence can be deceptive.

Unanswered prayer baffles – does God really care? Day after day waiting for an answer – is God really listening? Does he hear? Why doesn’t he show some sign that he is there? Why doesn’t he make this better? Why is this happening? Why? Why? Always the why.

Silence can be deafening.

It deafens so all we hear are our own thoughts, drowning in doubt and confusion. It limits his greatness and goodness, and it masks what he’s really trying to tell us:

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

When God seems silent, he’s actually calling us into stillness.

But how to be still when the world spins upside down?

Where is stillness when the heart sobs in brokenness?

How to find stillness in the tumult of mind’s questioning?

Yet with those words, be still, he calls us into a quiet calm.

How did he come to Elijah on the mountain? Not in wind or quake or fire, but in a gentle whisper. And how can we hear the whisper if we are not still?

In the stillness he whispers:

I love you. I will never leave you.  Joshua 1:5

I have plans for you, so trust me. Jeremiah 29:11

I need you to wait, because the time isn’t right yet. I have something better in store. Psalm 37:7, 104:27, Eccl 3:11

In the stillness he calls us to wait and to wait patiently.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

So we wait.

In the waiting, he is at work. Earthly eyes cannot see or understand his mysterious ways. But with eyes of faith, we trust. His ‘no’s’ may be ‘not yets’. His ‘no’s’ may be a lesson in the now here, teaching us to rely only on him, to lean into him and his promises.

For his love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

So with whatever strength the soul can muster in the midst of the storm, be still and cling to him.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

blessings,

Tracy

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there’s a quote by Helen Keller that says:

‘Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what the sunflowers do. ‘

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it’s true

no matter the time of day,

young sunflower blossoms and their leaves always face the direction of the sun

soaking in their energy source

to grow and flourish

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i bet you can see the lesson already –

when we keep our eyes on the Son,

troubles, pain, afflictions are eclipsed by the brilliance of His glory

and the shadows fall behind us

He is our energy source

He sustains

and gives the strength to walk to path that lies before us

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when life consumes and shadows overwhelm

turn to Him

keep your eyes on the Son

be awed by His almighty power

soak in the warm rays of His great love for you

and like the sunflower leaves,

open your hands to receive gifts of His grace

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‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.’

– Romans 12:12

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Come to me 2

decisions

they are not always easy to make

have you ever felt like you were standing at a crossroads

a big decision weighs heavy on the mind

and keeps sleep at bay

one that will affect your future

and determine which path you will take

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God says in Jeremiah 6:16

‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ 

what wonderful counsel this is!

‘ask for ancient paths’

turn to Him like our ancestors did

like Moses and Abraham did

as i thumb through the pages of Jeremiah and the old testament,

i’m struck by how long ago those words were written

yet how viable God’s promises still are today

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so turn to our faithful God

ask Him which path to take, then walk in it

and the blessing?

you will find rest

not just a good night’s sleep

but a deep-peace-within-the-soul kind of rest

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it reminds me of this invitation that Jesus gives us

‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest’ Matthew 11:28

‘come’

stop trying to do it alone

give Him the weight of that decision

turn to him for counsel

then trust that he will show you the way

rest in him

find peace there

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while visiting a friend’s farm recently

i was drawn in by what i saw and felt

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a  beautiful rural scene of a barn and chickens

a feeling of quiet and peace

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simple things yet profound

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so many of you are carrying heavy burdens on your hearts

God’s words are simple yet profound

and will fill you with quiet and peace

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this is His simple command:

Dwell in June

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dwell june 1b

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dwell june 1c

praying you feel His peace today

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blessings,

Tracy

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i had one of those mornings today

i was standing in front of my closet

surveying stacks of sweaters and a neat row of blouses on hangers

wondering – what should i wear?

to be honest, i’m so tired of looking at those same sweaters, day after day

sick of wearing them for the last 5 months – ugh!!

i’m ready to donate them and start over

i finally walked out the door after 5 changes of clothes

did you ever have a morning like that?

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“She is clothed with strength and dignity;”  – Proverbs 31:25

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this passage in Proverbs is speaking of the woman (wife) of noble character

she is busily providing clothing for her family, but she herself is clothed with something more important

strength and dignity

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so that’s her secret!

i always wondered how that woman did it – the list of her virtues is admirable

but the things she accomplishes everyday are rather daunting to try to live up to

she was clothed with strength and dignity

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that’s something we can pray for –

strength to get through the many things that need to be done today

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:31

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strength to face whatever challenge God has put in your life

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

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and there’s more to that passage from Proverbs:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity;  she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:22

by wrapping ourselves in the strength we receive through Christ

there’s no need to worry about what tomorrow may bring

no worries

just trust

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“the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 22:12

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73:25-26

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so today let’s wrap ourselves in God’s strength

and do some laughing

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that’s much more important than what’s in our closets

blessings cont.

 18. a closet full of clothes

19. clothes that fit

20. laugh lines – yes they are blessings!

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