Today was our first trip in 3 months (to somewhere other than the hospital). A friend was generous to let us use his beautiful Wisconsin cabin. And although there is still ice on the lake, the getaway is refreshing.
Our last trip, in early January, was to a different cabin that Tara and I retreated to, celebrating our 19th anniversary (December 31) and to develop a mission statement for our family and a financial plan to coincide. Our vision seemed so clear then. We had a plan. A purpose. A mission to work toward in life. We thought it had to be the right path. It seemed divinely inspired. I was so excited about it, I took the next few weeks to tweak our company’s strategic plan, aligning it more with our personal plan.
Then this. How could we have been so far off? The plan seemed noble and selfless. But now, 3 months later, all we have done is focus on ourselves, trying to survive. Did we miss some clues back in January? We sure didn’t see this one coming.
Like a rescuer being tossed into the rough seas, needing himself to be rescued. We should never view ourselves as rescuers. People always need rescuing. Sometimes the church views its role as “ministering” to others. That is an awful lofty view of ourselves. We have been reminded that we need rescuing too. We are humbled and I think that is exactly where God can use us the most. Thank you, God, for life lessons that are real and practical.
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:13-14)
Yet, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—”(Psalm 103:13-14, 17)
Praise be to God for remembering that we are dust. When we make our plans, he doesn’t wag his mighty head in disbelief, or frown with disgust at our foolishness. His love is with us, from everlasting to everlasting.
Dust. In need of rescuing. Indeed.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings, so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
Let’s not be strong in our will, but strong in the Lord. Not self-sufficient, but drawing from His sufficiency!
I am so glad to hear you got to get away and spend time together and get refreshed, not only with one another but from His mighty power! Love and miss you all!
When hearing this devotional recently it made me think of the Maier family and just wanted to share it with you. You are daily in my prayers – jan
BY YOU, DEAR GOD
To be tattered and torn
Bit by bit, day in, day out
Or to be shattered totally
Like a crystal goblet
Flung fiercely against a giant rock.
To know the brutal intensity
Of pain and despair,
How unbearable it seems
How intolerable as it happens.
But finally, finally
To stand against the storm
To stretch with the strain
To accept the pain
With a measure of quiet hope
To look beyond the intrusion
And above the confusion
To catch a glimpse of rainbow
In an ocean of tears…
O great God
This is to trace at last
Your guiding hand–
To sense Your gentle touch.
This is to know Your presence–
More precious than understanding–
To know Your compassion
Persists through the darkest night.
This is to walk courageously on
In the midst of a desolate wilderness.
This is to be loved
To be held
To be kept
By the Sustainer of the universe.
To be loved
To be held
To be kept
By You, dear God
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the
shadow of the Almighty. This I declare of the Lord: He alone is our
Refuge, my place of safety: He is my God and I am trusting Him.
Psalm 91:1-2 NLT
I KNOW YOU BEST
God so often
I have seen and heard You
And singing and laughter.
But I am beginning to see
I learn to know You best
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it is painful! But afterward
There will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Hebrews 12:11 NLT
Years ago Mick and I took some youth to Mexico on a mission trip. When we arrived to the YWAM facility in Ensenad, the leaders unloaded our vans for us. Our team struggled with this because we were going to serve the community not to be served. The following days were spent in training where we learned how to accept being served. It was such a beautiful lesson and allowed us to have a paradigm shift that forever changed us.
The Lord is so good and his love endures forever!
We love you Tara and Jay!