Saturday, June 3, 2017

Not a Surprise to God



                                                             photo credit: Josh Mckenzie 



“But then something happened! For even before I was born, God had chosen me to be his and called me- what kindness and grace-to reveal his Son within me so that I could go to the Gentiles and show them the good news about Jesus”. (Galatians 1:15-16, TLB)  

These are the words of the well-known author of this letter to the church at Galatia, the Apostle Paul.  
 
Paul was born a son of a Pharisee. He was a Roman citizen and studied under a famous philosopher, Galilea. In his own words, he described his life in those days this way: “I went after the Christians mercilessly, hunting them down and doing my best to get rid of them all. 14 I was one of the most religious Jews of my own age in the whole country and tried as hard as I possibly could to follow all the old, traditional rules of my religion”. (Gal 1:13-14, TLB)  Then Jesus came (see Acts chapter 9) and in an instant, transformed his life. He subsequently became one of the most zealous Christian leaders of that time.


God had a mission for Paul. God planned for Paul to be the spearhead of the gospel before he was born.  God knew what moment in Paul’s life he was going to show Himself to him, and in that moment Paul’s life was forever changed. He went from being a merciless Christian persecutor to being an outstanding evangelist and apologist to all, but especially the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Romans.  From that time on, he ministered for Jesus until his martyrdom according to biblical scholars around AD 67.

Even before he was born, God chose him.  It was Gods purpose and plan for his life.  

While we have no idea why God allowed him to grow up hating and killing those he eventually came to minister to, God knew and planned it while he was still in his mother’s womb (see Jeremiah 1:15).  Paul was destined for his life and particular time and place even before he was born.

Just as God knew what Paul’s life would be like, and how he was going to use his life, God has a specific plan for ALL our lives and of our children’s.  Psalms 138:8 records, in part, “The Lord will work out his plans for my life …for you made me.”

God knew my son would be born with missing “exons” (muscle building proteins) in his DNA. He knew this even before Ryan was born. His diagnosis was not a surprise to God. He saw him, he knitted him together in my womb just the way he wanted him. Not only that but he has predestined a plan and a purpose for his life, just the way he is. 

I may not understand it but this much I know. His disease is not a mistake. It is God’s plan “A” for Ryan’s life.


You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. 

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 

I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand and when I wake up, you are still with me! Psalms 139:13-18 (NLT) 

Just as God knew what Paul’s life was going to be like before he as born,He also knew the specific things he had to experience in order to use him in the way He intended.

I don't know about you but I find comfort in knowing that God knew us before we were born! He planned our days and predestined them with a calling; a purpose that is being revealed in and through our lives. He is continuing to transform us through our trials and difficulties. 

None of what we go through is a surprise to God; none of it is without meaning and purpose!




Originally posted at :Comfort in the Midst of Chaos 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Settled In Your Soul

photo credit: Josh Mckenzie 
My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God, my salvation, and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is refuge for us. Selah.  Psalms 62:5-8  NASB


I glanced up at my friend as she sat down beside me at church. We are both moms and care givers for our adult child with physical disabilities. I recognized the look of fatigue in her eyes. She leaned over and whispered to me that it had been a long morning. She was however, excited to make it to church, even if she was a little late. I gave her a knowing look and a big hug. 

Near the end of church service, we stood with the rest of the congregation to sing the final song.  A unique version of “It is Well” (You Make Me Brave -by Kristen DiMarco & Bethel Music).

As we sang my thoughts went to my friend standing next to me. I thought about how much she has gone through in the past few years and additional challenges in the last few months. Yet despite it all, I heard her quietly singing, Through it all, through it all.. it is well.   I knew it could not be easy.

I have been there, where you strain to sing the words. Wanting to believe it, holding onto the hope that it promises and yet still the internal struggle. Near the end of the song she leaned over to me and said, “You know, it is well doesn’t mean what people might think”.  I gave her a little hug, I knew exactly what she meant!

How do you explain to someone who may not comprehend how, in the midst of heartache and pain, that you REALLY can sing with passion, that it is in fact, Well with my soul?   

It is not a happiness or pretense that everything is great. More like you’re at peace in your spirit. That it is SETTLED IN YOUR SOUL!

Settled in your soul.  Knowing who God is. Trusting him for strength for each day. Understanding HE IS SOVEREIGN, which gives us hope.  Hope not dependent on circumstances. An Eternal hope, where one day there will an end to all heartbreak, pain, illness, struggles and death!

When we know these things to be true in the very depth of our soul THEN we can say, yes even sing… It is well… with my soul. 

Some days may be more difficult than others but we can get to that place where it is Settled in our Soul no matter what!

Well then, how do we, during extraordinary difficult situations, freely sing those words with a deep sense of peace that it will be well with my soul?
By surrendering constantly to Gods will. Believing he is God. Knowing he is in total control. Trusting in his faithfulness to keep his promises.

The real heart of the matter is that being well in our spirit and soul is not about us or our circumstances. It is experiencing His peace that passes all understanding even in the midst of overwhelming odds. It is resting in His love for us knowing that He cares for us. 



Take a moment and Listen to the words to this song we sang . It Is Well - Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music - You Make Me Brave

photo credit : Josh Mckenzie 

Blog originally posted at :  Snappin Ministry, Comfort in the Midst of Chaos