“A Woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

I’ve always thought that was a powerful statement. That in order for any man to find a woman that he should have to seek out God before he can find her. It’s one of those things that I can’t express loud enough to my single friends and daughters. But as incredible as that statement is, it shouldn’t stop there.

It’s easy to see that statement and think about what it looks like before we get married. That in order to find the man we’re supposed to marry that our walk with Jesus should be solid. And it should be. But we married women need that reminder too because that statement should follow us throughout the entirety of our lives. Even once we are married. Because once we’re married we shouldn’t give up on our pursuit of God. He should still be our number one priority. We should be so in love with God that it draws our husbands to Him. We should be so in love with Jesus and spending time with Him that our husbands can’t find us unless they’re sitting with Him too.

It’s easy in marriage to become cynical. It’s even easier to become bitter and resentful after years of unmet expectations and disappointments. It’s easy to cling to hurt and focus on what we don’t have. We women are amazing at doing that! But when we focus on our Creator those things sort of wash away as we take our eyes off our circumstances and look at the One who gave us our spouse to begin with. We can’t go wrong when we’re focused on the right things. Our heart won’t grow cold when our heart is full of love for our Creator.

If you’re struggling in your marriage today, if the love you once shared has run cold and you’re just ready to give up…don’t look in any other direction but up. Go to the source, the One who brought you together to begin with. Focus on God’s love for you and allow Him to place His hand upon your heart and as His love fills you up it will pour out of you and into your spouse. Because the more we pursue God, the more our love and affection for Him trumps all others and the more things in our life will start to make sense leaving us more fulfilled and content.

Those are big words and big steps to take if you haven’t already been living that way. Trust me. I know. It has taken a lot of painstakingly new habits and daily reminders to focus on the things above as a way to remind me to turn my eyes in the direction of the cross. But on the days that I remember to do those things life is different. My day is different. My attitude is different. My heart is different. My reactions are different. The way I love is different.

When we pursue Jesus with all of our heart and allow the Spirit to move within us…everything changes. So be that woman. Be that woman that chases after God so hard that the only way her husband will ever find her is through his own pursuit of God.

The Sideline Shuffle

I came home from work a few months ago to find this little guy in front of our house.  As I walked up, his tiny head turned, and we locked eyes. The second I saw him, my heart hurt. It felt like it was 110 degrees out and the sun was beating down on his little body. I had no idea where he came from. No nest in sight, panic washed over me. Tears filled my eyes. My mama heart took over.

Yes. Yes. I know. It is a bird. But all I could see was this helpless little creature who looked lost and scared.  As I shifted my position to look at him closer, his eyes followed me.  He didn’t look scared.  It is like he wanted me to rescue him. Wherever I moved, his little neck turned. I knew he was young. He still had those sweet soft fluffy feathers. I wondered if he was hungry. I’m sure he was thirsty. I didn’t know what to do. But I knew I couldn’t leave him there.

At this point my husband had joined me to see what I had found. He too looked for a nest of some sort but saw nothing. It was landscaping day so I knew the guys had been through the area with the leaf blower and might have quite possibly blown this little guy right out of his nest.

We decided to walk into the house and watch from the front door to see what might happen next.  And when we moved, he moved. He hopped his little body right toward the front door.  His little mouth was open wide as he began to cry.  I thought I was going to burst into tears. The mama in me couldn’t stand it.

At this point, my husband had begun googling what to do with a lost baby bird and he discovered we had come across a fledgling. This was a not a baby bird in distress, but instead one that was learning its way. The article my husband found suggested that the mother was most likely close by watching her young one, making sure it was okay. But she did so from a distance. I was fascinated. I watched longer as he began to hop and attempt to flap his tiny little wings all while crying out for help.  

As he hopped, he headed for the direction of the bushes and this time when he flapped his wings, he gained a bit of air and landed himself on a branch in the bush. Finally, I felt better and was able to give him the room he needed to do his thing.

Over the course of the last week, I have thought quite a bit about that little fledgling.  How much my heart hurt watching this little bird try to figure out its next move and not knowing what waited ahead for it. It made me think about my children.

Watching your kid struggle is never an easy thing. Especially if they have placed people in their life who add to their struggle.

Four of my five children are adults. They don’t need mom anymore to prepare their meals or do their laundry or keep them safe.  They are on their own and much like that fledging, they are navigating the world around them as I sit in the background and watch from a distance.  I don’t get to pick what they eat, who they choose to allow into their lives or what activities they participate in.  Instead, I watch. I attempt now and again to offer advice or direction when asked, but I know, the only way they will truly figure things out is to let them make mistakes and live out the consequences of those mistakes.

Parenting is hard. But as parents we must know when to let go and allow them to navigate their journey.  And as badly as we want to intervene and overstep, we can’t. Taking a seat on the sidelines and doing what I like to call the Sideline Shuffle all while letting them find their way is the most selfless and loving action we can take. Even when it’s hard.

About 18 years ago, my youngest son became very ill while we were on vacation. He had a very high fever and his breathing had become labored. We found our way to the nearest urgent care where we were told we needed to get him to a hospital.  As I sat in the back seat with my less than a year-old baby, I held him close.  The entire way I prayed.  I thanked God for allowing me to be his mom and that no matter what happened next, I knew my child belonged to God and that He loved my child far more than I could comprehend. I knew God’s plans were greater than my own and that He was in control.  I trusted Him.  But at the same time, I was afraid of what might happen to my little one.  But God.

As parents, we must recognize that our children do not belong to us.  They are His.  He gives them to us for such a short time and our mission is to point them towards truth and to Jesus. To teach them Who should be first in their life. To encourage them to turn from the things of the world that would distract them from following Jesus. To not encourage them to worship idols or material things. We have only been given a few short years before we must push them out of the nest and let them learn to fly. 

Over the last few weeks, I have been able to share this story with a few of my friends who have littles still at home. The wonder and fear that fills their eyes when I say, “those babies don’t belong to you” always makes me smile just a little bit. The moment that realization sinks in becomes a moment that will forever change your perspective and parenting strategy and will forever change the course of not only how you see your children, but the way in which you see your Abba Daddy!

Pushing them out of that nest is a scary move but sending them on their way without Jesus is far scarier. Be confident!  God has them and He loves them!  He’s watching and waiting to catch them! And His love and His provision for their lives is far more than anything we can ever give!

Last Resort

“He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your disease.”

Mark 5:34

Desperation leads to Despair.

What things have to happen before we finally find ourselves turning to Jesus?

When Jesus walked the earth, we saw countless stories about those who turned to Him with their struggles. Most often, they had exhausted all other resources and He became the last resort. They had heard His name and word had spread that He performed miracles, so it was worth a shot to find Him.

The story of the women who bled for 12 years is one on my most favorite stories in the bible.  It is an incredibly short story, but it is packed full of so much goodness and promise.

This woman, who found herself at the feet of Jesus, had tried everything to heal her condition of bleeding that had lasted for twelve long years. Twelve years of balancing the tight rope of hope that this next medicine or treatment would work to heal her condition which would only lead to having her hope shattered. But now she finds herself pushing her way through the crowd of people gathered to get to Jesus. With hope of being healed, she finds herself at the feet of Jesus where she touches his robe, and she’s instantly healed.

But her healing does not go unnoticed by Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, Who touched my garments?” And in that moment, the woman “came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.”

This woman did not know that on that day she would have this powerful encounter with the living Son of God. She knew she wanted physical healing of this affliction, but she did not know that with this healing would also come a spiritual healing and salvation. But Jesus. 

In that moment, He wanted her to own her actions and to share the news with those around her of what had taken place within her body and so He asks, in a crowd of people, “who touch my garment?”. Though she was afraid and most likely expected punishment, she fell before Him and she spoke the whole truth. And in that moment, without judgment, Jesus looked her in the eyes and called her “Daughter.” No condemnation. No punishment. No mistreatment of her with unkindness. Instead, Jesus calls her daughter and tells her that her faith in Him has made her well.

This woman came for healing and though she received it, she also found peace in the security of Jesus. God’s power of love and mercy took away her illness and that illness was replaced with God’s love, His mercy, His compassion, and His peace.

Where in your life do you find yourself exhausted from all that has gone wrong, looking for relief in all the wrong places?  How many times has Jesus been your last resort?

Today, I want to encourage you to take a moment to think through the times He has been your last resort.  Ask yourself why and then throw yourself at His feet. Reach out and grab his robe. Trust that He is loving and merciful and will turn to you with compassion and love. Be confident in knowing that He will look you in the eye and call you daughter and that He will take away the pain and heal your broken heart in more ways than you could ever dream or imagine.

Hidden Treasure

Matthew and I love to wander through the used bookstore.  There used to be one minutes from our house, but it shut down a few years ago and now the only other location is about thirty minutes away which we visit occasionally.  We can always find some kind of hidden treasure within the shelves whenever we go and this last visit was no exception. I’m quite certain we might have just found a real treasure 😊

I have read through a lot of little devotional books over the years. You know those daily ones that take about 3 minutes to read and give you a bit of encouragement to get through the day. They are delightful but typically do have a lot of meat to them.  I haven’t bought one in a really long time for that reason. But on this last visit to our little bookstore, I stumbled across two books: 40 Days of Faith and 40 Days of Grace by Paul David Tripp.  There were two brand new copies of both on the shelf so I grabbed them both and thought why not. 

Last week, I started reading. The daily reading is simple and short but the depth of what is found inside has been truly profound.  I started with the 40 Days of Faith. Mainly because I know that is where my heart is most troubled and needs the most work.  My prayer for the last few years has been, “I believe. Help my unbelief” and it has been a process to say the least.

Day 1 in this little book didn’t hold back and packed a punch right to the gut. One I really needed and it started with these simple words:

It is vital to know that faith is not just an action of your brain; it’s an investment of your life. Faith is not just something you think: it’s something you live.

Here’s the thing. That isn’t some profound truth/statement that I’ve never heard before. However, it is a truth/statement made in a way that I haven’t thought about before.  And each day since has been filled with the same great insight, just like the first. I’m left convicted, encouraged and excited each day about what could be ahead.  The possibilities that could be in front of me. The movement that could take place if I would just trust and have the faith I once held to so dearly to let go and believe. 

I am still a work in progress.  A person with a lot of trust issues still working through all those issues. But I don’t believe for a second that this random little book fell in my lap. I DO believe that God cares enough about me and loves me more than I realize to put that book in just the right place so that He can do that work of answering my prayer of helping my unbelief 😉


The ongoing script pushed by those continuing to sensationalize a false narrative, is that of misinformation and confusion that the church/believers only care about “winning” the SCOTUS decision and/or only care about the birth/life of a child.

I’m pretty certain I can say this regarding the churches I have previously attended, that the sanctity of life is regularly taught and fought for and that those same churches have taken action to help those in crisis. That single moms have been welcomed and those in financial need have been helped and cared for. This I know personally as I have been taken care of in this way by the churches I have attended. The churches I have attended have supported and participated in helping the local crisis pregnancy centers. Foster care and adoption highly are encouraged, supported and an active ministry within the church (and this is most true for the church I currently attend).

All of this to say, believers have not been sitting idly by for the last 50 years just waiting for a change. No. Many have been actively involved in their communities caring for those who needed care. Are you shocked? Maybe surprised? Of course, you are. Because this isn’t the narrative being spun by the media or those pushing a certain agenda. Like every other hot button topic out there, misinformation is shared, and hatred spread thus creating further division through propaganda and scandal. Sadly, this country falls for it each time it happens. Whether it’s Covid, a shot or now this, we play into the hands of those wanting to divide and conquer. Instead of taking a minute and sitting with a fellow human to truly share in real conversation, we feed into the chaos. The chaos created as a way to further push the real agenda of power, control and money.

Once again I am praying that the bickering, arguing, insults, threats and demeaning stop. That we learn to listen and to see one another as human beings worthy of love and respect. That regardless of your stance, it is just that, your stance and a choice made as an individual whether that involves, Covid, same sex marriage, abortion, religion, you name it. To remember that an individual’s beliefs or opinions have never been swayed by a lack of compassion or by abusive and bullying behavior.

For those who label themselves as a believer or follower of Jesus, the belief’s we hold are based on the Truth of scripture and those Truth’s do not change. However, as I’ve mentioned in another post, an individuals’ beliefs about Truth are determined by one’s personal relationship with the Holy Spirit and each relationship is different so we aren’t always going to land on the same truth.

We need to remember, right and wrong/good and evil still exist and even when the world tries to teach something differently, we must hold to the Truth of God’s word. His word has always called for action not just word.  So, we can share our thoughts on these topics but we need to move! Act! Go, Do and BE to those who do not know Him! We are the hands and feet and though we can speak the Truth, the world is changed when words are put into action.

This world desperately needs Jesus, but they aren’t going to find Him through the hateful or demeaning words on social media or picket signs. We should look and act differently than the world and that cannot happen if we are conformed to its image.

We must remember that the posts, the protests, and the hatred being spread, does not and will not change the Truth of scripture and God’s sovereignty.  We also need to remember that none of this is a battle that we need to win because it has already been won. We know He had the victory and that one day, every single knee will bow, and tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! So, rejoice in knowing these things! Pray that eyes will continue to be opened to truth, and pray for true repentance in our country. 

In the end, remember to be strong and courageous! We need to love and respect one another! To stand in strength, in love, in humility, in hope, and in joy! One day, these things will pass away and will be made new through Him!


Aviary Photo_130595244444352172Liberty, not legalism, is what the Lord Jesus Christ offers. Freedom, not bondage. Relationship, not religion. We give up nothing for which Jesus will not abundantly offer more than we could ever hope or dream.

-Adrian Rogers

Not often in life are we given a do-over.  A second chance to get it right. When we do experience a second chance, it is definitely a beautiful blessing. 

I have been pondering that thought for some time now. How exactly does the idea of a second chance fair in the minds of those who follow a religion instead of Jesus.  What does that look like?

Back when my marriage woes became obvious, and my future included divorce, I repeatedly heard I would no longer be in God’s care or under His blessing.  It was typically followed up with that verse found in the Old Testament that says,

“For I, the God of Israel, hate divorce!” I, the Commander of heavenly armies, despise it when people wrap themselves in violence like a garment.  So guard yourselves: be true to your wife and not unfaithful. 

Malachi 2:16

The way in which some use God’s word to manipulate others is frustrating at best. As one who was manipulated, I remember being terrified at the notion and thinking that this predicament I found myself in was not one that I chose or wanted.  Divorce was the last thing I had imagined for my family.  Would God truly “kick me to the curb” because I was divorced?  Would He seriously abandon me in my darkest days?

Oh, the joys of legalism and the way it leads people astray.  For some, this kind of teaching could lead them straight down a path away from God.  Honestly, it led to doubt in my own mind and I withdrew myself from God and the church all together for a short time.  However, God proved them all wrong.

This next bit serves only as my two cents and comes only from my own experience of walking the path of divorce and walking it with God by my side.

In my opinion, there is no doubt God hates divorce.  I am confident He hates what it does to the people involved.  The heartache, the destruction, the negative picture it paints of His love and grace and everything else horrific that follows.  For me, it was the worst experience I have ever faced in my entire life and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.  Ever!  However, no matter what “religious” men say, God does not turn away His children and stop blessing them.  Instead that “God stops blessing you” statement just serves as another lie told by religious men/women to manipulate the scared and hurting.  

The more I think about it, the more I am confident that God hates divorce because there is no way He wants any of His children to endure the pain that it includes. Especially the loneliness. And He surely doesn’t want us walking alone.  I believe He hates divorce, however He does not hate the person struggling through divorce.

With that being said, divorce happens.  Whether we choose it or not, it happens.  For me, I did not file the paperwork and did not ask for it to be processed, yet happened.

Does that mean God no longer wants me and will no longer use me? According to some, the answer is yes. According to God, a gigantic resounding no! Nothing can separate a child of God from the love of God. 

But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.  For I have every confidence that nothing- not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing-can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Now being one who can usually appreciate the good and bad in life, my divorce allows me to say that though horrific, it served as one of the best things that ever happened to me.   I understand that may sound crazy.  You’re probably thinking this chick has fallen off her rocker, especially if you witnessed any of what took place over the last few years. But in all seriousness, it’s true.

The heartache and pain of my divorce left me with more than I could have ever dreamed possible!  Divorce caused me to search after God.  To run after Him in total surrender which brought me to a new place in Christ.  The heartache and pain brought me to a place where I finally understood His grace and His love for me and it taught me the difference between religion and relationship. Even more, it taught me faith and trust in the One who holds my entire world in His hands. 

Just because divorce entered my life, God did not leave me.  Not once. In fact, I felt His remarkable added presence during that time.  He never left my side.  Yes, there were plenty of dark and painful days, but His comfort and strength flooded my life! Because of Him, I made it through the darkest season.  But only because of Him!

I have countless regrets in my life.  A LOT! We all have regrets.  If given the opportunity, many choices in life would be done differently.  Unfortunately, certain choices just can’t be undone. Thankfully, because of Christ and His work on the cross we receive a second chance.   We can have a fresh beginning.  We can have more than we ever dreamed possible! Like abundant joy and a love relationship with the Creator of the Universe just to name a few!


Who are you?

I probably don’t know you or where you live. I don’t know what brought you here or your story.  What I do know is that you didn’t find this post by accident. 

Aviary Photo_130868771856314303

One thing I have learned is that God has a purpose for everything.  He has a plan.  He leads us to things or people we happen to need at that moment.  Whether for encouragement or simple camaraderie, it leaves us knowing we are not alone in our struggles but instead, He is there and has a reason.

Every person deals with stuff.  Good stuff, bad stuff, scary stuff because every moment of life is full of stuff.  The birth of babies, the death of loved ones, marriages, new jobs, homes, and friends and so on and so on because it never ends.

We have lives full of accomplishments and lives full of regrets. Moments we wish we could live again and ones we wish we could leave behind. From the moment of our first breath until the moment of our last, something is always happening.  The question becomes; what does it all mean?

I am a follower of Christ.  I am a walking billboard of the difference Jesus can make in the life of someone who follows Him.  Following Him doesn’t mean life is perfect.  My life remains full of moments of accomplishments and moments of regrets.

I used to find myself defined by my regrets.  My life was a wreck.  A scattered crippling mess.  I felt hopeless and alone.

The enemy would drag me around by my regrets and moments of defeat with whispers that I wasn’t good enough and that God had no place for me.

The enemy whispers to us all preventing us from living a purpose filled life until we discover our true identity. I never thought I could piece together all the missing parts, then Jesus picked me up and placed His hand on my mess.  From there He wove together a beautiful masterpiece of His love and grace that has become my life.  I have a new identity.

For years, my identity was wrapped up in the opinions of others. I spent too much time living a life attempting to impress those around me while missing out on an extraordinary life serving the One I was created to glorify!

I know I am not alone in this.  I recognize I am not the only person in creation to walk around trying to please everyone else.  How do I know?  Books have been written about it.  It’s a disease suffered by those who follow Christ leaving them to miss out on the remarkable freedom of His grace!

Once I discovered my identity in Christ everything changed. I now understand that I am a child of the One True King changing my forever.  Every moment of regret, every step taken in pride, all the feelings of defeat have been stripped away as I recognize who I truly am in the eyes of the One True King.

Nothing you have done, no place you have gone can separate you from the God of this Universe. He wants YOU.  You will never be too far from His love and grace.

 He wants to wrap you in His arms and call you His child.  He wants to love you and show you His plan for your life.  A purpose that will bring Him glory and you true contentment.

When you find yourself questioning yourself, just remember there is a King waiting to call you His child!

I promise you He is real.  I promise you that He wants you and loves you.  Call out to Him.  He is there waiting just for you!!

Where Evil Lurks, Good Abounds

boatShe grew up in an average size town and not long after graduation, married her high school sweetheart.  She envisioned a happily ever after but instead, lived out a nightmare.

Life is funny that way and more often than not, people experience an unexpected ending to their story.  Plans rarely seem to work out, frequently leaving dreams shattered.

What hope exists if the ending to the story typically turns out gloomy?  If the chances of a happy ending rarely occurs, what then can be done to change the inevitable outcome?

In a world that appears dark at times, hope exists.  And where evil seems to lurk around every corner, good truly abounds. 

Facing heartache and struggles often leads to life changing revelations.  Moments when true light bursts through the shadows of darkness, lives are changed forever.  However, for one to find that light leading to change, eyes need opening while hearts left desperate for truth.  Life changing truth.

Many argue the previous statement.  However, to those who don’t believe in the Truth that is Jesus Christ, I repeat something my pastor often says, “I have never known a person who has totally surrendered to Jesus Christ that now regrets that decision.”

So much truth resides in that statement.  And rest assured, there is a difference between believing in Jesus and living a totally surrendered and sold out life to Him.  Following Him on this journey through life, living a life of loving people the way He did, leads to a contentment that can only be understood by knowing Him. And knowing Him can only come from following Him. Recognizing not only who He is but who He came to die for and save changes perspectives.  Realizing that He is not looking for “church people” but instead those who know they need Him.  Those desperate for something much greater than themselves.

The words of Jesus were “Follow me.”   He looked for those who were willing to walk beside Him and love and care for those along the way who needed encouragement and hope.  The people He walked and talked with were often the despised and rejected of their day.  He did not care to hang with those who could recite the Old Testament by heart.  In fact, He called them whitewashed tombs.  He sought out those who knew they were not good enough and who needed His grace.  Jesus knew whose hearts were open to His message. He knew those who longed to be accepted and loved instead of rejected and despised.  He wants the sinful and dirty for those are the ones who have hearts that He can change which allow room for a mighty work in His kingdom.

Where do you stand today?  Are you dirty and full of sin?  Do you feel you’re not worthy of Him or the choices in your life too countless to forgive?  You’re not!  Jesus used some of the worst of sinners to walk with Him and to share His message and He can and will use you too!

Don’t let the white washed tombs of today discourage you from following the One who loves you and died for you.  Don’t allow the judgmental to prevent you from seeking out the One who longs to bless your life with unspeakable joy.  Jesus is misrepresented all over this world, so seek Him out personally. Find a Bible and read about the people whose lives (Paul, The adulterous woman) He transformed because He can do the same for you!!

The Son of Man has come to save all those who are lost.

Matthew 18:11

"Friendly Fire" or Outrageous Accusations or Gossip: When our reputation is on the line.

This guest post is written by none other than my amazing husband.  I cannot tell you how timely his words.  Our church is currently working its way through The Story which is the Bible written in a novel format.  This week we studied the story of Hezekiah.  Many who will read this are unaware of what our family is currently dealing with  but for those who know what we have encountered in the last 48 hours this post is right on time.  Not only that but my husband wrote this several years ago.  In the middle of a stressful situation he sent it to me yesterday and as I read, I was overwhelmed by God’s perfect timing and faithfulness.  Please take the time to read and be encouraged!! 

2 Kings 18-19

What do we do when we’re under attack from others? Whether it’s “friendly fire” from other Christians, outrageous accusations from those who are out to bring us down, or gossip coming from people who have nothing better to do, how do we handle that? It’s difficult enough when our reputations are at stake, but what do we do when there is more on the line than our reputation?
In the middle of 2 Kings 18, we find the king of Assyria threatening to attack Jerusalem. At the time, Hezekiah was the king of Jerusalem, and he knew these were not empty threats. The king of Assyria had not only the capability, but every intention to attack Jerusalem and take the people captive.
Assyria had already done the same thing to Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom. Over a period of many years they had gone on a rampage, extending their reign of terror all the way to attacking and capturing cities in the Southern Kingdom. Now they’re ready to attack its capital.
There are times we are forced to deal with people who come against us. Sometimes they’re just verbal attacks. Other times they make empty threats, and yet other times these people have every intention of inflicting as much pain as they possibly can. Sometimes they have the ability to carry out their threats, other times they are empty and meaningless. When people come against us like this, we don’t always know what their true intentions are or are not, and we experience anxiety, angst, and sometimes torment as we struggle to work through it all.
Look specifically at the threats the king of Assyria is making. In 2 Kings 18:17, he has sent messengers to give a specific message to Hezekiah. Strategies to threaten and scare people today differ little from strategies used back then:
  • He builds himself up. “This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says…”
  • He questions their source of confidence. “On what are you basing this confidence of yours?” In doing so, he questions specifically their military strength, their strategy, and their allies (see vs. 19-21). Not only does he cause them to question those areas, he causes them to question their confidence in what was most dear to them, the Lord their God: “And if you say to me, ‘We are depending on the Lord our God…’”
  • He tries to get them to compromise and make a deal: “Come now, make a bargain with my master…”
  • He claims that he is the one doing God’s work: “Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.”
  • He intentionally sends this message to Hezekiah in such a way so that others hear it. Hezekiah’s messengers responded by saying, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall. But the commander replied, was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the men sitting on the wall…” This is an attempt to create division and cause God’s people to question their loyalty to Hezekiah.
  • He attempts to persuade God’s people to turn away from Hezekiah’s leadership and not to trust in the Lord their God. In doing so, he claims that Hezekiah is the one deceiving them. He turns his attention to the people and says, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ Do not listen to Hezekiah….” Look specifically at verses 28 – 35 for the full picture of how he goes on and on in this attempt to turn their hearts away from Hezekiah and their trust in the Lord. He finishes this attempt to discourage and dissuade God’s people by saying, “Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”
From the beginning of time, one of the most common strategies to discourage and threaten people is half-truths. There is enough truth mixed in with the lies that it could have easily caused God’s people to question their loyalty and faith in Hezekiah and the Lord their God. It’s a normal response for us to question what we know to be true when people come against us with half-truths. This is the case even more so when they throw in “God talk” or claim that they are the ones with God on their side. It can be incredibly disheartening and discouraging.
Hezekiah was not immune from this discouragement. In the beginning of chapter 19, we see Hezekiah’s response. “When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord.” Thankfully, Hezekiah didn’t stop there. While it might have been easier in that moment to throw his hands up in the air and throw the towel in, he didn’t give up. This is often a decision point for us. While it’s very normal to be discouraged, we must not give up. Hezekiah sought the Lord in the midst of his discouragement and we must do the same.
First, he sent messengers to Isaiah, a prophet of God. In those days, the word of God came primarily through prophets, so this was a normal place for Hezekiah to go in seeking out God’s wisdom in the situation. For us today, while we can and should seek out godly counsel from God’s people, we should start with God’s Word. Open your bible, pray, read, and expect to hear from God. Not three minutes glancing over a paragraph, but earnestly praying, reading, and listening. Even if there is not a clear answer like Hezekiah received from Isaiah, you will find wisdom and encouragement when you diligently seek after God in the midst of your storm. In short, he fights deception with the truth of God’s Word.
The report comes back from Isaiah for Hezekiah not to be afraid and that God will deliver Jerusalem from the king of Assyria. What’s interesting though is that the story must play out. The threat is real, the sword is real, and the soldiers are real. Even though Hezekiah has been told that God will deliver His people, it doesn’t happen immediately. God will provide, God will protect, and God’s plans will ultimately prevail, but it’s always in His timing, and so the drama and difficulty continue.
In the midst of these messages between Hezekiah and Isaiah, there is more action out in the field. The king of Assyria gets word that the king of Egypt is on his way to fight against him. At this point the king of Assyria amps up his threats against God’s people. We read the king of Assyria’s response in chapter 19, verses 10-13. 

“Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’ Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And you will be delivered? Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them: the gods of Gozan, Haran, Reseph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, or of Hena or Ivvah?”
He doesn’t say anything new. He only repeats what he has already said. And here we see yet another strategy used by the ungodly as they threaten God’s people. When they run out of other threats, they just scream louder and with more intensity as a scare tactic. 

In the case of Hezekiah, it didn’t work. Hezekiah’s confidence remained in God and God’s ability to deliver His people. But look specifically at what Hezekiah did in response. In 19:14, he took this latest threat to the Lord in prayer. But again, it wasn’t a ten second prayer mumbled in passing. It was diligent. It was earnest. It was heartfelt. He specifically went up to the temple, spread out the latest letter from the king of Assyria, and prayed specifically about the situation. Look at what he prays and how he goes about it in verses 14-19: 

“Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: ‘O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. It is true, O Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men’s hands. Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
Of all the different aspects we could note about his prayer, the three main characteristics that stick out are that
  • Hezekiah praised God for His uniqueness as the one true God and the maker of heaven and earth.
  • Hezekiah had confidence in God’s ability to deliver His people, and
  • Hezekiah asked God to deliver His people for God’s fame and renown, not his own.
We would do well to not just pray, but to pray earnestly and model aspects of our own prayer for deliverance to  Hezekiah’s prayer. Trust that God alone is the one true God and praise Him as such. Believe that God has the ability to deliver you and fight for you, and ask God to do it for His own glory, not yours.
This is one area where prayer and bible reading go hand in hand. When you have difficulty believing these promises, read His Word. Focus, meditate, and dwell on His Word. And as you read, ask God (pray) for the confidence to believe fully His promises about you and your situation as you read.
In response to Hezekiah’s prayer, God sent him a message through the prophet Isaiah. We read the entire message in 19:20-34, but the short of it is that God will deliver Jerusalem from the Assyrians. We read in verses 33-34, 

“By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the Lord. I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.”
We must believe that God is powerful and can do whatever He chooses to do. God’s deliverance from this threat and the conclusion to this story is found in verses 35-38. 

“That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning – there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. One day, while he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.”
The bible is replete with examples of the mighty and powerful hand of God. He may choose to use you or not use you, but one thing we can be certain of is that He does not lack the ability or strength.

In this particular story, God delivered His people using an angel of the Lord. In other places in the bible, He used nature (rocks, hail, storms, wind, etc), His own people fighting against the enemy, the enemy fighting against themselves, and sometimes He just changed the heart or mind of the enemy to bring about deliverance. No matter how He does it, the point is that God’s arm is not too short and that He is able to bring about what He chooses.
One last thought about this story is in order. While Hezekiah did the right thing by seeking out God’s Word through Isaiah and through prayer, and while his example is a model to how we can handle such threats, that’s not all he did. He didn’t stand idly by and do nothing else. He took measures. Yes he prayed, yes he sought after God, but he also did what he knew to do and what he thought was best. His actions were not limited to prophet and prayer. This same story is recorded in 2 Chronicles 32. We read in that chapter that Hezekiah also consulted with his officials, blocked the water flow to the land, worked hard at repairing and building the all around the city, made large numbers of weapons and shields, and appointed military officers over the people (see 2 Chronicles 32: 2-6).
Are his actions and all the measures he took contrary to his faith in God and God’s ability to deliver Jerusalem? Absolutely not. He knew that God could fight for them, but He also knew that sometimes God uses us to bring about our deliverance. He did what he was able to do, but he did it trusting all the while that God was stronger than their enemies.
For us, it means that while we pray and seek after God in the midst of our storm, we also do what we are able to do practically. Not in our own wisdom and strength, but trusting that God is with us and able to accomplish His purposes, with or without our help.
In fact, in the verse immediately following all the preparations Hezekiah made, we read these words that Hezekiah used to encourage God’s people. 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”
The fact of the matter is that our storm may not always end with our complete deliverance as we read about in the way God fought for Jerusalem from the king of Assyria. God allows us to go through storms, but doesn’t always bring about the resolution we want. He may or He may not, that’s up to Him to decide.
However, in the midst of the storm, in the midst of the threats and accusations from those who oppose you, in the midst of the trials you are facing, take encouragement from how Hezekiah handled his storm. Pray specifically about your situation. Read His Word. Do what you can practically. Seek after God. Trust that God is mighty, powerful, and able. And believe that the maker of heaven and earth is for you and will never leave your side.

Fear, an Ambulance and a Promise

peaceFear.  We all experience it.  May even be crippled by it.  It can consume and overwhelm us.  Lead us to a very dark place.  Make us doubt.  Lose sight of what we know to be true.

A week ago today, fear gripped hold of me.  Consumed by the darkness it created, I lost sight of a known truth in my life: God is in control.

After a frustrating morning of car issues and getting two kids to school my phone rang. Almost home I heard my daughter screaming into the phone something about her brother. Panic set in.  A mom knows.  Something was very wrong and I could feel it.

As I raced into the house, I found my little one hunched over on the bathroom floor. In that moment, my faith was forgotten.  The cries of fear escaped my lips.  As I repeated my little boy’s name over through the tears, I forgot Who was in control.  Devastation and heartache of losing something I hold so dear consumed me and in an instant truth disappeared.

How quickly it happens.  One wrong turn or unexplained event and we forget God’s goodness.  All the good He’s given tossed out the window because of fear.  Thoughts of it now lead to great feelings of frustration.  These fearful moments are nothing new.  I’ve experienced them before and trusted His hand in the past.  Why now did I forget?

How easy it is to become distracted and lose sight of His face.  

I am learning the importance of focusing on truth.  Seeking His face.  That morning frustration of a broken down car and an unplanned visit to carpool distracted me. I lost sight of the many other provisions God has placed in my life.  Too busy focusing on the negative and the unknown, His peace had escaped me.


This is My command: be strong and courageous.  Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you do.

Joshua 1:9

God was there.  He had not left my side.  But I had forgotten Him. Sitting in the back of an ambulance looking at my child as he cried, God’s presence overwhelmed me.  As my little guy cried through big tears, “mommy, I’m scared”  it all came back.  My child needed me.  In his moment of fear,  my job was to comfort him.  I needed to remember.


Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth.  Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.  Keep to the script: whatever you learned and received and heard and saw in me – do it –  and the God of peace will walk with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

And in that moment a peace that passes all understanding rocked me to the core.  As I took my little one’s face into my hands truth flowed from my lips, “sweet boy, God knew before we woke up this morning that this was going to happen.  He is not surprised by it.  He is right here with us and gave us these amazing firemen and paramedics to take care of you.  After everything we’ve been through and seen God do, we are not going to doubt Him now.”   And there He was.  He hadn’t left even though I had forgotten.

And with that, all fear was gone.  I remembered who holds not just my life but that of my children in His hands. Suddenly those tears that fell from my little one’s eyes disappeared and he smiled.  

Bad and scary things happen.  We will never escape them but there is someone who knows every detail and give us all we need if we just choose to trust Him in those moments.  He has never failed me.  Not once.  Though I often lose sight of Him, He never lets go of me.

You see all things;

  You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;

Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;

  You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the

sweetness of it.

Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God!  I cherish each

and every one of them!

   How grand in scope!  How many in number!

If I could count each of them, they would be more than all the

grains of sand on earth.  Their number is inconceivable!

  Even when I wake up, I am still near to You.

Psalm 139:16-18

Originally posted on For Always