The most dreaded thing

“What we judge to be ‘tragic – the most dreaded thing that could happen,’ I expect we’ll one day see as the awesome reason for the beauty and uniqueness of our life as a family.” [page 30]

I appreciate this thought so much. It was written to Elisabeth Elliot from a woman who was born disabled. She was offering some wisdom to a third woman who had a disabled baby. I have found we need to understand this wisdom before “the most dreaded thing” happens. When those thoughts of “What if…” and “I couldn’t handle it if that happened to me” pop up, as they are bound to do, we need to remind ourselves of the truth: If it happens, God would use it. If it happens, God will have ordained it. What great quietness of heart there is in that truth, if only we believed it fully!

This quote is from the book Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot.

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Throwback Thursday: Getting Our Hopes Up

Last week Luke 18 came up in my daily Bible reading, and my heart leapt as gem after gem came up in stories throughout the chapter. […] One short story is as follows…

As [Jesus] drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he came near, He asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.faith

You may be familiar with the many times in scripture when Jesus says someone is healed because of his or her faith, and this story is just another example of that [see links to more examples at the end of this post]. It caused me to immediately consider my own faith. Later, I asked my husband his thoughts on what it really means to have faith, especially in this time of waiting for a child. If you asked me, I would have said something like, “Believing God can do this.” My husband considered it, and, being the Bible scholar that he is, pointed me first to Hebrews 11:1, which, thankfully, defines faith for us: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen.”

We discussed this verse a little more, but it wasn’t until later that day that I really grasped the concept. We were talking about something that may happen next month, and my husband said something about “if we are pregnant…” Now, I don’t know about you, but several months into this trial, I started to refrain myself from speaking or thinking in expectation like this. I slowly stopped pinning things to my secret “Baby” board on Pinterest, and tried to stop factoring this “maybe baby” into our future plans. So, as I had been doing for sometime, I corrected him and said something like, “if we do, but we probably won’t.” He immediately pointed out how that way of speaking shows a lack of faith, which we had discussed earlier. “But I just get scared… I don’t want to get our hopes up,” I replied. To which he said, “Well, Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for… faith is getting your hopes up.”

This really impacted me. As a result, I have been intentionally trying to think and act in a way that better reflects the faith I have and want to have. […] I don’t believe special actions like posting nurseries on Pinterest or starting to say “If we’re pregnant next month…” again will in any way earn God’s “yes.” However, I encourage you to consider how you, like the blind man, can better think, speak, and act in faith. Please share your thoughts in the comments, as well as the little ways you have kept yourself from “getting your hopes up.”

Some others who were healed because of faith:

The Centurion’s Servant

The Paralytic

The Woman with the Issue of Blood

Another Blind Man

Reposted from August 29, 2013.

Keep choosing joy

A great quote on joy this morning:

joyquote

And I just liked this little encouragement, especially in light of the definition above. Maybe you’ll want to print it out and stick it somewhere as a little reminder.

choosejoy

Be truly glad!

joy

1 Peter 1:6-7 (New Living Translation)

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

A prayer for the disappointed

Rachel Wojo posted this prayer recently, and I know disappointment is one of the major emotions that presents itself in infertility. Perhaps today, or in the coming days, you will be able to pray this rich prayer.

wojo

As treasures of the darkness grow

When Trials Come by Keith & Kristyn Getty

The Ground of my life, the Spring of my hope

I read this truly beautiful masterpiece of a prayer from The Valley of Vision during my devotional time this morning. I just had to share — its many truths really pierced my heart. I bolded some of my favorite lines, but truly I love all of it!

Which lines stand out to you the most?

“Glorious Jehovah, my Covenant God,

All Thy promises in Christ Jesus are yea and amen,
and all shall be fulfilled.
Thou hast spoken them, and they shall be done,
commanded, and they shall come to pass.

Yet I have often doubted Thee,
have lived at times as if there were no God.
Lord, forgive me that death in life,
when I have found something apart from Thee,
when I have been content with ephemeral things.

But through Thy grace I have repented;
Thou hast given me to read my pardon in the wounds of Jesus,
and my soul doth trust in Him, my God incarnate,
the ground of my life,
the spring of my hope.

Teach me to be resigned to Thy will,
to delight in Thy law,
to have no will but Thine,
to believe that everything Thou doest is for my good.

Help me to leave my concerns in Thy hands,
for Thou hast power over evil,
and bringest from it an infinite progression of good,
until Thy purposes are fulfilled.

Bless me with Abraham’s faith
that staggers not at promises through unbelief.
May I not instruct Thee in my troubles,
but glorify Thee in my trials.

Grant me a distinct advance in the divine life;
May I reach a higher platform,
leave the mists of doubt and fear in the valley,
and climb to hill-tops of eternal security in Christ
by simply believing He cannot lie,
or turn from His purpose.

Give me the confidence I ought to have in Him
who is worthy to be praised,
and who is blessed forevermore.”

P.S. If you previously enjoyed this book or have been liking my posts from it, it may be of interest to you that you can buy the audio book on CD! So you can listen and meditate in your car, while working at home, or anywhere you want! 

If I ever needed You, I need You now

Oh man, it happened again, you guys. I was innocently preparing Easter treats in my kitchen, listening to the new (or new-to-me) Matt Redman CD my husband got me for Easter (Bonus: I was making these! Yum!)… and this amazing song came on and instantly brought me to tears.

I had to share immediately (I know, you’ll read this when Easter is long over, but I swear wrote it immediately.) I’m sure it’ll make you cry, too. I so very much appreciate when an artist can express my emotions so perfectly.

And of course, living in the desert, I even more so appreciate the desert references…

On this thirsty desert ground,
in a dry and barren land,
I bow down
I need You now.

You will call and I will come
To Your river I will run.
I bow down
I need You now.

Oh, living water. Oh, God, my Savior,
If I ever needed You, I need You now.
Oh, living water, Oh, God, my Healer,
If I ever needed You, I need You now.

Here it is for your heart today…