This Is My Doing

In the span of a week I read the words this is my doing, and this is from me in two separate devotions written decades apart.

If we look at 1 Kings 12:24, we read God told the Israelites, “…what has happened is my doing.”

When I read these devotions and scripture in my perpetual time of wait, I felt as if God reminded me everything is under his control. Good. Bad. Ugly. Disappointments. Successes. Wins. Loses. Pains. Joys. Everything. It is all his doing and his will.

A devotion written by Laura A. Barter Snow in Streams in the Desert discusses this theme. In her devotion, Ms. Snow says whatever rough place we may find ourselves in, God reminds us, “This is my doing.”

God’s strength is with us to carry us through whatever we face. He wants us to depend on him, not on our own abilities. He wants us to glory in him, not in ourselves.

Ms. Snow points out God is the God of circumstances. Wherever we are, we did not come to this place by accident. We are exactly where God wants us to be. Whether to bless or humble.

We need to obediently walk in the way God sets before us. When we do, we can be confident wherever we end up, however long it takes to get there, and however many detours, bumps, delays, and impasses, this is God’s doing.

“This is from Me, the Saviour said, As bending low He kissed my brow,
For One who loves you thus has led. Just rest in Me, be patient now,
Your Father knows you have need of this, Tho’, why perchance you cannot see.
Grieve not for things you’ve seemed to miss. The thing I send is best for thee.

Then looking through my tears, I plead, Dear Lord, forgive, I did not know,
Twill not be hard since Thou dost tread, Each path before me here below.
And for my good this thing must be, His grace sufficient for each test.
So still I’ll sing, Whatever be, God’s way for me is always best.”

Laura A. Barter Snow from Streams in the Desert

Wherever we find ourselves right now, it is exactly where God wants us, whether it’s where we want to be or not. Do you find comfort in that thought?

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‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and went home, as the Lord had commanded. 1 Kings 12:24 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Our Identity

In one of the devotions in her book, Embraced, Lysa TerKeurst says when the heavens opened and God spoke at Christ’s baptism before his ministry began, God was well pleased with his Son. Jesus’ identity was in being God’s Son not in the great works he was about to accomplish.

Her point in saying this is just as God was pleased with his son before Christ began his earthly minister, God’s pleasure with us is not dependent on what we do.

Before we did a single thing for God, he was well pleased with us. Our identity is found in being a chosen Child of God. His son. His daughter.

Our identity is not found in the amount of good works we do.

It is not found in the number of times we say yes to a request of our time or resources for ministry.

Nor is it found in eloquent speech or Christian-sounding words.

In my present situation as a writer, I remind myself my identity is not found in the number of articles, devotions, blog posts, or novels I have or have not published.

My identity is not found in the number of writing awards I have or have not accumulated. It is not in the number of my followers nor is it in the size of my platform.

I would think in your life you have areas where you can say the same.

When we lean too far one direction in connecting our worth with our accomplishments, it can lead to pride. Lean too far the other direction, it can lead to discouragement.

Our identity is found in God and Christ alone.

God’s voice is the One we want to hear say he’s pleased with us. Sure. Having others say we’re on the right track and doing a good job is nice, but that’s not what defines us.

Do you find it difficult to separate how you view your worth from your works?

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Then John agreed to his baptism. Jesus came straight out of the water afterwards, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting upon him. And a voice came out of Heaven saying, “This is my dearly-loved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God Sees

Tuesday I received a text from a friend which brought me to tears. Instead of replying to her text, I phoned immediately. For the next hour her brokenness and emotional pain came through in sobs.

El Roi sees. Jehovah-shammah is there. Jehovah-nissi fights for us.

God sees us. He is with us. He fights our battles.

Two days later another friend entered the hospital for an invasive medical procedure – surgery. Facing the unknown can be scary.

El Roi sees. Jehovah-shammah is there. Jehovah-nissi fights for us.

God sees us. He is with us. He fights our battles.

On Monday of this same week I heard from yet another friend saying she went to an interview for what could turn out to be the long-awaited dream job she hopes for.

El Roi sees. Jehovah-shammah is there. Jehovah-nissi fights for us.

God sees us. He is with us. He fights our battles.

When we find ourselves in situations filled with uncertainty, we don’t have to face them alone. Just as God was with Hagar in the desert and the Israelites in the wilderness, he is with us.

It does not matter the situation. Relational. Physical. Financial. Emotional. The same God who has power over all things is our El Roi, Jehovah-shammah, and Jehovah-nissi today just as surely as he has been in days past. And will be in the future.

God sees us. He is with us. He fights our battles. Wherever we are and whatever we go through, God will never leave or forsake us.

Is there a battle you face today? Hang onto the promise you are not alone in the fight.

El Roi sees you. Jehovah-shammah is with you. Jehovah-nissi fights for you.

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Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” Genesis 16:13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry Learning to Wait

Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, Learning to Wait, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

Learning To Wait

 

Lord, I’m learning

That when You don’t answer

My prayers right away,

There’s a good reason.

Perhaps I need to change first,

Perhaps I need to grow more,

Perhaps I can’t handle the outcome.

So I’m learning to rest in You

As I wait for answers.

I know that You only want

What’s best for me.

I’m learning that You are able

To reveal the reason for Your delays,

But You may not always do that.

I’m learning that Your ways

Are always better than mine;

That You are able to bless me

Abundantly more than I ever dreamed.

Lord, I’m learning.

 

©Frances Gregory Pasch

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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When Our Arms Grow Tired

For Christmas this past year, Pie gifted Pilot and me with tickets to a Beach Boys’ concert which the three of us attended several months ago. We each thoroughly enjoyed the event. Especially Surfer Boy, Pilot.

Near the beginning of the concert Mike Love, one of the remaining original Beach Boys, asked everyone in the audience to take out their cell phones and turn on its light.

He then instructed us to wave our phones through the air while the band played one of my personal all-time Beach Boys’ favorites, Surfer Girl.

It was great. Arms waved back and forth in the audience in time with the song.

Well.

Pretty much.

Some folks were a little off beat.

Nevertheless, it was great.

Until …

I looked over the audience and noticed some arms no longer waved. They’d grown tired. They couldn’t keep up the pace. They fell in defeat.

After thinking about it, several things came to mind. One of those thoughts I’ll share with you today.

When we’re on the front lines for God, doing his work, fighting his battles, we can grow tired. Can we not?

Our arms can grow weak. We might want to fall on our knees in defeat to all the opposition thrown at us. It doesn’t matter our age one bit.

Just like Moses in the desert fighting the Amalekites, we need help.

As Joshua and his men fought the Amalekites, Moses stood on a hill overlooking them. As long as Moses kept his arms and staff in the air, the Israelites prevailed.

Whenever Moses’ arm dropped, the Amalekites prevailed.

Moses’ arms grew weary. He couldn’t help it. No matter how hard he tried to keep his arms in the air, he just couldn’t.

That’s when his brother, Aaron, and friend, Hur, stepped in. The two men found a large stone for Moses to sit on. Then they stood on either side of Moses, holding up his arms.

With the support of these two men, Moses was able to keep his arms and staff held high. Because of that, the Israelites were victorious over their enemy.

Don’t you think we need the support of those around us to fight our daily battles when our arms grow tired, too ?

Some days we’re Moses. Some days we’re Aaron and Hur.

When it’s our turn to hold up our friend’s arms, let’s not hesitate to step up. When we grow weak and need help, let’s not hesitate to ask.

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The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Pick out some men to go and fight the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on top of the hill holding the stick that God told me to carry.” Joshua did as Moses commanded him and went out to fight the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his arms, the Israelites won, but when he put his arms down, the Amalekites started winning. When Moses’ arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on, while they stood beside him and held up his arms, holding them steady until the sun went down. In this way Joshua totally defeated the Amalekites. Exodus 17:8-13 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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