But If Not, He Is Still Good.

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“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

“But if not…”
I have learned more about faith from these 3 words than anything ever before.
Like Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, I cling to the hope that God
will hear and answer my fervent prayers, move mountains even.

But if not…
I still must trust that He is a good, gracious, and loving God.
I must believe that whether I am rescued from my own fiery furnace,
His ways are higher than my own.
I cling to the reality that I must choose Him over any lesser idol in my life,
and there eternal satisfaction & joy will be found.

I have unfulfilled dreams,
unmet longings,
unsatisfied hopes,
& deep desires that I long to be fulfilled.
I trust that the Lord has the power to satisfy each & every one of those.

But if not He is still good.
Fulfilled longings and unmet desires alike,
I am learning the essence of faith is clinging to His goodness amidst it all.
It means letting go of every longing and trusting that Divine Love will
give and take away all that is needed.

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Why I Don’t Love My Fiance

This is golden, full of truth, saturated in mercy, and framed in grace.
It’s love.
It’s uncertain of what the future holds, but confident of what we are called to.
It’s steadfast & unwavering.
It’s worth waiting for.

Michael J. Pittman

In 130 days I’m getting married, and a friend recently asked me why I love my fiancé. I wanted to share a deeper perspective on Amanda and I’s relationship, so before I answered why I love her, I had to first explain to him the reasons I don’t love my future bride to be.

I came to two conclusions:
First is, I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the outside. I know. It sounds cheesy, it sounds sappy. This perspective is not a novel idea by any means. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t love you for what’s on the outside. I love you for what’s on the inside.” But that brings me to my second conclusion.

I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the inside either.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are many things on the inside and outside that I love about

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Plans & Promises

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

There’s a constant battle in my heart and mind.
Maybe you’re familiar with it too.
I choose to place my security & satisfaction in
planning, in the tangible, in what is seen.
There is something seemingly impenetrable about that,
an illusion of safety.

Yet, it always evades.
One would assume I would comprehend this by now.
Yet time & time again, my identity is found in something other than Christ.
I try to find rest outside of His promises
& confidence outside of His covering.

C. S. Lewis once said,
“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may loose.” 
The reality is jobs are lost.
Plans fall apart.
Feelings change.
People move on.

Quite frankly, anything apart from the
eternal promises of Christ are subject to change.
Yet, if we fix our gaze upon what is unseen,
we can freely & confidently navigate both the joys & sorrows of life.
We do not have to fear tomorrow,
because our trust in the Lord knows no borders or boundaries.

While 2014 has held nothing of what I expected,
I have found an unshakeable confidence in the promises of Christ
as I have learned & experienced that:
The Lord delights in me – Psalm 18:19
He lightens my darkness – Psalm 18:28
He will turn my mourning into joy – Jeremiah 31
God meets all of my needs; I lack nothing – Psalm 34:9
The Lord has declared there is hope for my future – Jeremiah 31
He is the refuge of my life – Psalm 27:1
The Lord does not change – Malachi 3:6
My present pain cannot compare to the joy that is coming – Romans 8:18
He stands with me & strengthens me – 2 Timothy 4:17
The steadfast love of the Lord will never cease – Lamentations 3:22-23

I think I’m starting to understand how that
Proverbs 31 woman laughed at the days ahead.
That’s always boggled my premeditated, planning self,
but she feared Jesus more than anything else.
She was confident because of who Christ created her to be.
She chose His promises over her plans.
And here I have found my heart’s deepest longing.
I too want my trust, hope, & identity to rest securely in the hands of Christ.