He Makes Everything Beautiful in His Time

master plan

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

About this time last year my family and I were settling into our new home. It was a time a transition for us. The above verse resonated with me as I unpacked boxes and gradually found just the right places for all our stuff.

Something peaceful filled my heart knowing that God makes everything beautiful in His time.

His time.

This time last year, there were moments when I wanted  speed some things up. There were house projects to be done. I wanted to fast forward and feel settled in—but it takes time to transform a house into a home.

It takes time.

We still have a growing list of house projects. We probably always will, but our place feels like home now.

Today, the above verse in Ecclesiastes came to mind again but for different reasons. The past few weeks have been filled with a few changes—good changes, but changes that have also stretched me outside of my comfort zone and filled my calendar with lots to do.

Once again, that peaceful reminder that God makes everything beautiful in His time, is a comfort to my soul.

The truth is, God has a master plan. He has a plan for each of our lives. And the greatest thing we can ever do is yield to His perfect plan and allow it to unfold in His timing. When we do, we can rest assured that He who began a good work in us will carry out until the day of completion.

He makes everything beautiful in His time.

Just like it takes time to transform a house into a home, it takes time for God to transform us into His likeness. It takes time for His plans to unfold. 

If we focus too heavily on trying to fast forward to the  “settled in” moments, we loose sight of the beauty and importance of this moment. There is a purpose for the uncomfortable moments, for the joyful moments, for the confusing moments, and for the laughter-filled moments. Our unchanging God intertwines it all, and makes everything beautiful in His time.

These flowers on my back deck blossomed into something beautiful over time this Summer.

These flowers on my back deck blossomed into something beautiful over time this Summer.


_____
hannah

 

 

 

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All rights reserved

To Really Follow Him

To Really Follow Him

What does it mean to follow Jesus? To really follow Him.

It means taking up your cross daily and walking the road less traveled.

It means choosing humility over pride and joy over defeat.

It means embracing the challenges that invade the comfortable corners.

It means keeping hope alive during the changing seasons of life.

It means looking different and soaring to heights others dare not go.

It means trusting that He is greater when fear echos around you.

It means loving the least of these and praying for your biggest enemies.

It means guarding your words, knowing the power that they hold.

It means accepting His grace when human motives drive your actions.

It means having peace that surpasses your understanding when the unthinkable strikes.

In means forgiving those who pierce your heart with throbbing pain.

It means living with eternal eyes that can see the needs of a hurting world.

It means quenching your thirst for more with His Love that satisfies.

It means clinging to your need for Him with each breath that fills your lungs.

It means risking for the sake of the Kingdom, daring to be brave and bold.

It means taking the wildest ride of your life with The One who holds the keys to Heaven.

It means dying to yourself so that you can truly live.

To follow Jesus. To really follow Him…

Letting Go 2It means that you are a changed soul. It means that you believe in the amazing power of His death and Resurrection. It means that His love lives in you and spills out of you like a gushing river.  It means that you love Him because He first loved you. It means that you accept your imperfections and yield to The Perfecter of your faith.

It means that you are free—not in the way the world defines free, but in the way His nail-pierced Hands bled for your eternal freedom. It means that you believe with every bone in your body that you are a child of The One True King. And it means that you anticipate with great hope the day when you will see the Face of The One who you now follow.

To really follow Him means that you have learned the art of letting go and letting Jesus guide your every faith-filled step. It means that you live with outstretched arms open to receiving the greatest gift ever given to mankind—Jesus. To follow Him is to know Him, and to know Him is the very core of your design. 

For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7: 13-14 NIV

_____

hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All rights reserved.

Soaking Wet Faith

faith

It was a warm, but cloudy Sunday afternoon. After spending the morning at church and then enjoying lunch at home with my little family of three, I carried on with the normal routine of attempting to put my son down for a midday nap.

Once my little one was slumbering away in toddler dreamland, I quickly changed into my running gear and laced up my running shoes. I peered out the window noticing the rain clouds were starting to move in.

No biggie—If I hurry I’ll beat the storm. Besides, this is one of the few times this stay-at-home-mama can go for a daytime run. My husband is home and able to hold down the fort while I sneak out for a little exercise—nothing is getting in my way today. 

I gave my husband a quick kiss good-bye and tip-toed out the front door being cautious to not wake my son. I gazed up at the overcast sky.

Hmm, this might be a mistake.

Even though the sky was gloomy, I decided to take a chance and carry on.

It was refreshing to be outside, alone, away from mamahood for a short time, breathing in some fresh air and feeling the stress leave my body with each stride I took. However, I couldn’t help but notice the dreary storm clouds ahead. As I made my way up the steepest hill of my run, the wind started to blow and a light drizzle trickled overhead.

A little rain isn’t going to hurt me. After all, a few raindrops on a run are actually kind of nice.

But the omniscient clouds ahead looked like they were filled with more than just a few rain drops. At that point, a logical person would have just turned around and headed back home. That would have been the smarter, safer thing to do. But the determined and slightly stubborn side of me decided to keep going.

I approached the top of the hill and turned the corner. And then what I feared started to happen. What was a calm rain shower, turned into a fierce dumping of moisture. As the water splashed across my face I tried to run a little faster but the wind kept pushing me around.

The rain got heavier and heavier—right at the point where there was no place to take shelter. Water was gushing down from the sky landing hard on every part of my body and blurring my vision. And it was piercingly painful.

What in the world did I get myself into. I should have turned around.

Then I heard thunder and it about shook the ground.

Okay God, I’m sorry for my stubbornness. I ignored the weather forecast you painted in the sky. But this rain is really hurting me and I can barely see. Please have mercy and calm this rain down. And please oh please don’t let it hail on me. Just get me home safely.

Then another runner passed me, doing her best to run through the not-so-ideal weather conditions. And I saw a few cyclists make their way through the rain too.

Well at least I’m not the only crazy one out here on this cold, wet path. 

I dashed around the corner to the downhill portion of my run—the home stretch. My clothes were glued to my body and my shoes were like water-bottles. Not the enjoyable, stress-relieving run that I was anticipating. I ran as quickly as my drenched body would let me go. Streams of water were flowing in the street and I muddled through sloppy puddles. The rain didn’t let up. Not one bit. It steadily kept coming.

As I turned the very last corner of my run a glorious sight was in view—home sweet home. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Normally I would stop and walk to cool down. But not that day. I kept running as fast as I could and didn’t stop till I reached my front door.

Dripping with water, I opened the door and stepped into a cozy, dry, and quiet house. My son was still peacefully snoozing and my Husband was there to welcome me with a smile and a warm blanket.

Home never felt so good as it did that day.

~~~

What was supposed to be a short peaceful run, turned into more of a grueling race to get home as fast as my legs would get me there. The warning signs were there but I overlooked them.

As I reflected upon my running adventure, I was reminded that often faith in the Lord requires us to step out into the unknown, not knowing if we will collide with a storm or with sunny skies. While I don’t advise that it’s a good idea to go out for a run when thunder clouds are rolling in, when it comes to our spiritual journies sometimes God will call us to embrace soaking wet faith—moments where we’d rather turn around and head back towards safer ground.

The road Jesus traveled wasn’t easy—it was the road less traveled. It wasn’t the safe road. It wasn’t the comfortable road. But it was the road that paved the way for us to have abundant and everlasting life.

If we want to follow Him, then we have to be prepared to travel a similar road. There will be blue sky days, but at some point the rain clouds will roll in—and those are often the moments that test our faith the most.  Will we run in the other direction out of fear, or will we allow our faith to soak in the lesson of the storm as we run toward the One who promises to be with us every step of the way?

I probably should have rescheduled my run on that Sunday afternoon or at least taken some rain gear along. But I learned a lesson that day. As the rain pounded down on my head, and the lightening lit up the sky, and the thunder echoed in the background…I clung to my faith and reached toward the One who after all was in charge of that rainstorm. I prayed that He would get me home safely.

And soaking wet faith led me home that day.

If the Lord graciously protects us in times that aren’t exactly His leading like my run, won’t He protect us all the more in times when He calls us to step out in faith, trusting that He will eventually lead us home?

For those of us who have chosen to put our trust in the Lord, that’s where we’re headed—home. For those who haven’t, why not today? The invitation is open to all.

Why not let soaking wet faith lead you home. 

psalm 91

 

_____
hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All Rights Reserved.