Is Faith Foolish?

June 28, 2019


“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.  Psalm 39:7

Faith doesn’t exist if I can cope on my own.  Faith begins when a situation looks hopeless and it appears as if Satan is winning.  I’m called to invest my heart when it feels like folly if I do.

Abraham probably felt exhilarated when he received the promise of a child.  High on spiritual adrenaline, he was full of faith.  But when faith meets the real world and the thrill of hearing from God is dulled by life, faith is tested.  The miracle of Abraham’s story and why God blessed him so much was that his faith did not weaken when he considered the odds against he and Sarah.  They had always been barren.  They were now old.  They had never known anyone their age who had conceived.  It seemed preposterous to believe they could be the first.

Faith defies feelings ~ because it requires me to believe God though I have sunk comfortably into disbelief.  It’s so easy to grow complacent, throw my hands up and give up.  I can feel relieved not to trust anymore and to let my hope die.  Faith is uncomfortable, challenging me to confront it and then open my heart to God and the promise of a blessed future..

 When things are the bleakest, faith has a starting place.  And, when there is no proof that faith is rational, that’s when I cling all the more to it.

You are Power, Peace, and the Promise.  I trust.  Amen

 

Great peace have those who love your law, nothing can make them stumble.  Psalm 119:165 When the Spirit of God inspired these words, He used the word ‘nothing’ in the last phrase. What a promise that absolutely the worst thing imaginable can not make me stumble if I am grounded in the word. I have …

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Mourning The Loss Of Our Son

June 26, 2019


Ryan Pic

My dear devotional family,

Our family is grieving.  Ten days ago, on Fathers Day, our son Ryan lost his battle with depression.  He was a quiet soul with a gentle heart, possessed a deep love for his wife, Chantel, and together they reveled in their shared love of animals.  He was celebrated by family and friends in a memorial service last Friday and we’ve now begun our long goodbye. The day of his service was also his birthday.  He would have turned 37.

Are there parties given in heaven? Jesus preceded a great story in Luke by saying, ‘that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one person turns to him.’ That sounds like a celebration to me.

When a party is done right, you have family, friends, and those you love around. Ryan is with family in heaven. He is there with both sets of grandparents. He is there with his Aunt Betsy. He is there with Conrad and Ruth Jensen, an older couple who begged us for babysitting rights when he was born. Conrad, a carpenter, made Ryan his own hand carved toddler bed. It was finished off with handmade quilts and stuffed animals that Grammy made. Each grandparent welcomed him home.

I know in heaven that there is feasting and family. No pain. Only an eternity of perfection.   Yet, we will be taking an extended time to heal as a family. We would appreciate your prayers.  Glory and redemption will come because God is a good Father who wastes no pain, not even of the worst kind.

Are Miracles Gotten Through a Formula?

June 14, 2019


Having said these things, He spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva.  Then He anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.”  John 9:6-7

    Each of us desires a supernatural experience with God.  We have areas in our lives where we long for God’s touch.  Healing, comfort, rescue, instruction, these are sought each day in our prayers.  When we hear that someone we know received the miracle of their lifetime, we rush to hear their story.  We want to know how it happened; when it happened.  As they tell us all about it, we wonder if their story holds the secret to our own breakthrough.

I have been curious as to why Jesus varied His methods of healing.  Once, Jesus put spit on a man’s eyes.  Another time, he just touched them and the man could see.  This time, in John 9, he put mud on them and told the man to make the journey to the pool of Siloam, to the southeast corner of Jerusalem, to wash the mud off.  Why keep changing the methods of healing?

If Jesus consistently sent blind men to the pool of Siloam to wash their eyes, every blind person would have attempted to travel to the ‘miracle pool.’  The power of Jesus would be obscured by the grandeur of the tales about Siloam.  God will not share His glory with another.  It is suggested that he varied the methods of healing so that no ‘formula’ could be derived.  The whole point of a blind person receiving sight was that he had had an encounter with Jesus Christ.

For any who has ever waited on God, we know how hard we work for our miracle.  We pray more, read more, trying to clue in to the secret of getting God to move on our behalf.  If such miracles were dependent on a ‘to do list’, we would all get our breakthrough much sooner.  But on the other side of it, what would be our testimony?  “I did this, and then this, and finally there was a miracle.”  Breakthroughs by means of self-effort erase faith, erase trust, and erase God’s glory.

I have known moments where mud was put on my eyes.  I fell to my knees in gratitude and knew that whatever God had done was undeserved.  I rejoiced with many tears.  Why did He wait so long?  I don’t know all the reasons but in the waiting room, wisdom was learned and my faith was strengthened instead of destroyed.

Like you, I am still waiting for other breakthroughs.  They may come in this lifetime, they may not.  In the meantime, I fix my eyes on the Healer and know that if He chooses to stretch out His hand yet again on my behalf, it will only be because Jesus is glorious and all powerful.

Save me from formulas.  My life’s story is all about Your gift of grace.  Amen