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Tag Archives: Lamentations

  • The Waiting Game

    Posted on October 6, 2014 by Leah DiPascal

    Leah

    "The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him." Lamentations 3:25a (AMP)

    Sometimes I see God answer my prayers right away. I'm excited, thankful and ready to tell everyone about His goodness. Then, there are those other times when my prayers linger and miracles seem far away. As time creeps on, my doubts creep in.

    I used to think waiting on God to answer my prayers was like playing a game. Who would last the longest? Would I continue to ask, plead and persevere? Or would I give up first because I was tired of waiting? Or maybe God would give me what I wanted because He was tired of hearing all my whining and complaining.

    If my prayers were answered quickly, I'd give Jesus a quick spiritual high-five, shout Hallelujah! and then move on to my next request. But, if time went on and my miracle didn't show up, I'd get discouraged and frustrated. My waiting turned to worry. My perseverance shifted to pouting.

    Lord, why haven't You answered my prayers? What are You waiting for? Can't You see me struggling? You're taking too long and I just don't understand why.

    I began to think God might be holding out on me. Maybe He really didn't care about me. Or, maybe my circumstances weren't important enough to Him.

    But as I grew in my relationship with the Lord and learned to understand His character, my attitude changed. I realized how much God loves me and knows the desires tucked deep inside my heart. He promises to meet my needs (Philippians 4:19), and His miracles are not a thing of the past.

    Today's key verse tells us that after we pray and ask God for a need, want or desire, we should wait with expectancy and hope.

    You might be thinking, Leah, you just don't understand. I've been waiting for God to answer my prayers for so long.

    Maybe you've resigned to believing there's no hope. Sure, you started out confident and faith-filled, but as time goes by you've started to wonder if any good can come from your circumstances.

    Maybe you've wrapped an invisible wall around your heart so you won't be disappointed if God doesn't come through for you.

    Friend, I understand. I've been there. I've felt that way, too, and it's a lonely place to live each day.

    So what does it look like to have an attitude of hope and expectancy as we wait on the Lord to answer our prayers?

    I've learned to intentionally shift my focus to three things:

    God's Promises: I read Bible verses and speak them aloud daily. As the power of God's Word weaves hope into my prayers, encouragement fills the empty places in my heart. I'm reminded once again of God's unfailing love and faithfulness.

    Praise & Worship: I listen to praise music throughout the day in my house, car and at work in my office. The lyrics and melodies splash over me with joy as I sing along. I sense God's peace and pleasure and in those sweet moments, my worries fade, turning my doubts into confident expectancy.

    Thanksgiving: I thank God for the answered prayers and miracles in my past. I remember how God always came through in those tough times of great need, and I thank Him in advance for His answers yet to come.

    If you've asked God for answers but find yourself waiting longer than you planned, take a moment now to thank Him in advance for His answer. Trust that He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Don't give up. Look forward in hope and expectancy for Him to respond and remember that the Lord is good to those who seek Him.

    Lord, thank You for remaining faithful to me. Help me have hope and expectancy as I wait for Your answers to my prayers. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Isaiah 30:15a, "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength ...'" (NIV)

    Isaiah 30:18, "Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    When was the last time you thanked God in advance for an answer to your prayers?

    Write Isaiah 30:18 on a 3x5 card and replace the word "you" with your name. Speak this verse aloud throughout today and wait expectantly as you seek the Lord in prayer.

    © 2014 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • A Resurrection of Compassion

    Posted on April 28, 2014 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie

    "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

    As soon as I answered the phone, I heard the panic in her voice.

    My daughter had called to ask if she had possibly left her new iPod in the car that morning. After searching thoroughly to no avail, her worst fears became a reality — the music player was missing.

    I immediately went to the school and met with the principal to file a report about the missing iPod, where I learned there had been a rash of thefts since school had resumed after the holidays. When my daughter joined us, I could see the sadness in her eyes, hear the loss in her voice and sense the overwhelming regret pouring out of her heart.

    As she settled into the chair beside me, I knew she was beating herself up inside. The lost item had been a special gift. Now it was gone.

    Soon the tears she'd been holding back could no longer be restrained, as she expressed how desperately she wished she could go back in time. What if she had left it at home or in the car? Or not left her purse unattended? What if she had been more responsible?

    Hugging her tightly, I sent her off to class. But as she walked away, slumped shoulders carrying the weight of regret and sorrow, maternal emotion overcame me.

    I wanted to sprint down the hall like a mom on a mission, scoop her up into my arms, and whisk her home where we could snuggle up in a blanket, drink hot chocolate and watch silly cartoons. I felt an overwhelming compassion building up inside me.

    Although my daughter's pain was over a material item that could be replaced in time, in that moment, I just wanted to take away her hurt and regret.

    Could it be that my parental compassion is even a hint of what God feels for us?

    Today's verse reminds us that God feels an immense compassion for us, which far exceeds mine. In Lamentations 3, the prophet Jeremiah (believed to be the author) told God's people that although they had been unfaithful for many years, God would still have compassion on them. And because of that compassion, they could have hope.

    Thinking back on that day at school, I thought of the many years I lived with regret, desperately longing to go back in time and get a second chance. But shame and regret held my heart captive.

    I remembered the heaviness that came with shouldering all the "what ifs" and "if onlys," while beating myself up inside, knowing I couldn't change the past.

    But all those regrets lost their grip on me the day I embraced God's promises of unconditional forgiveness and love. When I finally understood His compassion, I realized that just like the iPod, my past mistakes were history too.

    When we struggle with our own set of "what ifs" and "if onlys," God wants to show us His faithfulness and shower us with compassion, even if we have been unfaithful or messed up more times than we want to count. If we accept Him as our Savior, we open the door for Him to erase our regrets and shame once and for all.

    Last week, on Easter Sunday, we came face to face with the depth of God's mercy, as we celebrated the greatest act of compassion ever known — the death and resurrection of Jesus.

    God was a Father on a mission, compelled by overwhelming compassion and a willingness to do whatever it took to scoop us up into His arms and atone for our mistakes, making them nothing more than history. He died to carry our burdens so we wouldn't have to, and so we could be free to live in peace, not regret.

    Jesus was resurrected so we can experience His mercies anew every day. Now that is an act of compassion worth celebrating.

    Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me, so that I might be freed from my past and have eternal life with You. I praise You for Your undeserved compassion and mercy. I love You. In Your Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have I been carrying the weight of regret rather than allowing Jesus to carry it for me?

    How can I live my life in such a way that expresses praise and thankfulness for His compassion and daily mercies?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 78:38, "Yet He was compassionate; He atoned for their guilt and did not destroy them. He often turned His anger aside and did not unleash all His wrath." (HCSB)

    © 2014 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Your Greatest Legacy

    Posted on April 22, 2014 by Mark Batterson

    Mark

    "Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children ..." Lamentations 2:19b (NLT)

    Nothing keeps you on your knees or on your toes like parenting. Maybe you can relate to these words attributed to John Wilmot: "Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now I have six children and no theories."

    Lora and I have three children (ages 18, 16 and 12), and they have effectively dismantled all of our theories about parenting except for one. And that one theory is the game changer:

    You'll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.

    Prayer is our highest privilege as a parent. There is nothing we can do that will have a higher return on investment. In fact, the dividends are more than generational. They are eternal. Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren and every generation that follows.

    The blood running through my veins is half Swedish. I trace my genealogy back through the Johansson family who made a decision to get on a boat and come to America in the late 19th century. That single decision started a chain reaction that radically altered the destiny of every descendent to follow in a thousand different ways. Just as one decision can change your destiny, so can one prayer. In fact, you are one prayer away from a totally different life!

    Before you were even born, even named, many of you had parents and grandparents who prayed for you. At critical ages and stages, family and friends interceded on your behalf. The sum total of those prayers is your prayer genealogy.

    My grandfather, Elmer Johnson, died when I was just six years old, but his prayers did not. Our prayers never die! They live on in the lives of those we prayed for. Some of the most poignant and providential moments in my life have been the moments when the Spirit of God whispered to my spirit: Mark, the prayers of your grandfather are being answered in your life right now.

    Grandpa had a habit of kneeling by his bed at night, taking off his hearing aid and praying for his family. He couldn't hear himself, but everyone else in the house could. Few things are more powerful than hearing someone intercede on your behalf. His voiceprint left an imprint on my soul.

    I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have inherited a prayer legacy from their parents or grandparents like I did, but you can leave a legacy for future generations. And it's the greatest legacy you can leave!

    I believe there are circles you can pray around your children — everything from praying a hedge of protection to praying the promises of God. But let me share a simple starting point: Go back to the Bible. The Bible wasn't just meant to be read. It was meant to be prayed. Scripture is the best script for our prayers!

    If you'd ask me what I pray for more than anything else, the answer is the favor of God. While it's difficult to describe or define, the favor of God is what God can do for you that you cannot do for yourself.

    When our oldest child, Parker, was a baby, I turned Luke 2:52 into a prayer blessing. This verse says, "Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people" (NLT). And I have circled my children with this prayer thousands of times: May you grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and with man.

    I realize Luke 2:52 isn't a promise, but I think I'm on sound theological ground to use it as a prayer for my children. This one verse is a time-lapse of Jesus' development as a child, and we're called to be just like Jesus. So why wouldn't I turn it into a blessing and pray it around my children?

    Parenting is hard and many days I feel like a complete failure. But prayer covers our shortcomings. So let me say it one more time: you'll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. And those collective prayers are the greatest legacy you can leave.

    Lord, help me let go of my desire to be a perfect parent and, with Your help, become a praying parent. Show me in Your Word what I should pray. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What are your deepest desires for your children? What are God's desires for your children?

    Identify them and use God's Word to pray circles around your children.

    Power Verse:
    Luke 2:52, "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Mark Batterson. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • You WILL be OK

    Posted on March 25, 2014 by Jennifer Rothschild

    Jennifer

    "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail." Lamentations 3:22 (NIV)

    I was stunned. This was not the news I expected.

    "You have atypical ductal hyperplasia, or ADH," the doctor said. He explained that ADH is an abnormal growth of cells within the breast ducts.

    "You need a bilateral lumpectomy as soon as possible," he concluded.

    My first thought was, "Seriously? I'm blind, for heaven's sake! Haven't I already met my quota for suffering?"

    Well, that was my first thought, but it was followed by all the "what ifs." You know — What if it's cancer? What if they don't get it all? What if I need radiation? What if this is only the beginning of something far worse?

    While my heart was racing, my husband Phil's Ph.D. mind was calculating. He broke the silence and said, "It will be OK."

    It didn't feel OK, though. And maybe the reason was that we really didn't know it would be OK. None of us really knows if it will be OK, do we? Life is uncertain.

    We want to live out a story that makes sense. We want poems to rhyme and puzzles to be solved. We just want everything to be OK. But the truth is, we really don't know whether or not "it" will be OK.

    After the call with the surgeon, Phil and I continued to sit in silence. My soul was churning. When all the pieces hadn't fallen into place, a tidal wave of fear washed over me. But instead of being a wave of emotion that drowned me, it cleared my head and awakened me to a vital truth I needed: It may not be OK, but I will be OK.

    I had a deep, inner knowing that within the uncertainty, I could be certain that God cared and was with me.

    During the lumpectomy, the doctor removed two golf-ball-sized lumps and I emerged a 34 used-to-be-B! And this may be too much information, but I was only tennis balls to begin with! (Big goofy grin.) A few days after my surgery, Phil and I met with the surgeon for the results of the pathology. All benign!

    Thankfully, that chapter of my story had an ending that was genuinely OK. However, during the uncertainty, my emotions vacillated between fear and faith, peace and panic. Yet, my soul remained OK even though it, my situation, wasn't. Why? Well, it wasn't because of my great faith! I did trust God, but I was scared too. It was because of the Lord's great love, I was not consumed; His compassions never failed (Lamentations 3:22).

    My friend, because of His great love, you will not be consumed either. Fear, anger or insecurity will not overtake you. His compassions will never fail you. Even in the midst of your heartache, you're still cradled in His compassion. You are as cared for and protected as a baby in a mother's womb.

    That's why you will be OK, my friend — no matter what.

    When we trust the compassion of God, our problems and fears do not consume us. Because of His love and compassion, we are not overwhelmed.

    I was grateful to be among the 70 percent of women who emerge from lumpectomy surgery with a cancer-free result. Many women receive far more difficult news. I couldn't imagine enduring a series of biopsies and surgery just to find myself facing more surgery or radiation, like many women do. Oh, how my heart goes out to them!

    You may be one of those women. You may know and love one. Do God's compassions fail if the diagnosis isn't good? Is a bad diagnosis evidence of God's failure to be compassionate?

    No.

    A surgery may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    A treatment may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    A relationship may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    A dream may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    My friend, no matter what you're facing, God cares for you and will carry you. It may not be OK, but, because of the Lord's great love, you will be OK.

    Lord, carry me today. Show me Your care for me. If I begin to feel overwhelmed, overwhelm me with Your peace and presence. Reassure me that no matter what, I will be OK. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What are you facing that makes you feel fearful — as if it won't be OK?

    How can the Lord's great love for you protect you from becoming consumed by your situation?

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Jennifer Rothschild. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Joy Is Gone

    Posted on February 2, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Joy has gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. Lamentations 5:15

    What happens when the joy is gone? It’s not fun anymore. What we are experiencing is not what we signed up for. Indeed, a joyless state is not a good place to stay over a prolonged period of time. It may be that you just lost a loved one suddenly,without warning. You grieve because of your tremendous loss, but their great gain is that they knew Jesus. It is not unusual for joy to rise from the ashes of our grief. Joy does come at dawn after the dark night of the soul (Psalm 30:5). Your heart laments and longs for one more conversation and warm embrace from the dear one departed to heaven. But joy comes when you know they are with Jesus.

    Jesus and joy go hand in hand. He understands that joy comes from obedience and faithfulness to God’s call. It was for the joy that was set before Him that He endured the cross and despised its shame (Hebrews 12:2). Consider Christ, along with His model of endurance and obedience, in the middle of opposition and persecution. Do not grow weary and lose heart. The Lord is your lesson in joyfulness. Jesus never forgot the bigger picture of hope for a better tomorrow. Hope ultimately leads to heaven. Just the thought of heaven’s hallelujahs brings a smile to the face of the faithful. Joy is set before us in the person of Jesus Christ, reigning on His throne of grace. It is imperative that we stay fixed on Him. Our faith flees when it loses perspective from the Prince of Peace. Joy is found in Jesus. He wrote the book on experiencing joy in the midst of misery.

    Joy, at the very least, lies dormant within every disciple of Jesus Christ. Therefore, awaken it from its slumber if you have slid into a joyless state. Look to the Lord for an infusion of His eternal joyfulness. Joyfulness is found in His hopefulness. Do not allow joy killers to rob you of hope and peace. A naysayer will always be around to remind you of his reality. But for the follower of Jesus Christ, a definition of reality without hope is wrong.

    Reject joyless jabs from revisionists of a hopeless reality. Instead, seek out companions of Christ set on seeing Him as the joy giver. Jesus is a dispenser of joy. Navigate toward His lighthouse of love, and enjoy Jesus. You know His love; this is joy. You know His forgiveness; this is joy. You know His faithfulness; this is joy. You know His mercy; this is joy. Joy is not based on changing circumstances, but on knowing an unchanging Christ. Seek Him in your sad state, and you will not have to search far for joy. When you find Jesus you have found joy. Confusion will try to keep you from Christ, but want of joy motivates you to your Master. Make joy a juggernaut of obedience in your relentless pursuit of Him. Give joy to the world. Giving joy brings joy. Thus, receive Jesus and give Jesus, because He is joy.

    Taken from the February 2nd reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 1."

    Post/Tweet today: Jesus is a dispenser of joy. Navigate toward His lighthouse of love, and enjoy Him. #joyisgone

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Embrace the Wait

    Posted on September 2, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen

    "I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'" Lamentations 3:24 (NIV)

    My three young kids were playing near her feet in her assisted-living home. "How busy things must be at your house these days. Why I'd give anything to be able to spend an ordinary day with my children all little again. What joy!"

    What joy? What was my husband's 90 year-old grandmother talking about?! As a worn-out mom I wanted the kids to get to the next stages in their lives and fast! For one to walk, another to stop wearing diapers and the third to learn to read. I wasn't joyful. I was anxious.

    Now that two of my three kids have graduated from high school, I know what Grandma meant. I'd love to rewind the clock and experience one more ordinary day with my babies. If only I could make time wait, instead of waiting on time to pass.

    Even so, I still have a hard time applying this lesson in the wait. Each morning I wait in the school carpool line. In the afternoon, I wait for my son's football practice to wrap up. Sometimes the coach keeps the team after for a pep talk. Some days it's a lengthy one. And so I sit. The minutes tick by threatening to tick me off.

    You see, I don't like to wait.

    Just this past week I waited in line at the grocery store, sat in the waiting room at the dentist's office, and lingered at the airport, anxious to board my plane. I spent hours at the DVM (Department of Motor Vehicles) so my son could get his driver's permit.

    While these types of hindrances are short-lived, waiting for the next big thing can take longer and be harder. We wait on Prince Charming to appear, our house to sell, our child to take his first steps, a better job, financial relief, or physical or emotional healing to come to us or a loved one.

    Just like when my kids were young, instead of patiently embracing these harder times, I have a tendency to want to rush them. I long for my circumstances to hurry up and change. To fast-forward to the next thing. But Scripture teaches us how to make it through these difficult seasons.

    In those waiting times, even when life is hard, God says to us, I'll be what you need while you wait.

    God steps in to be our portion for that day. He is in the wait and we'll sense that if only we will look for Him rather than always looking ahead to the next stage of life.

    He was my portion as a little girl while I daydreamed about becoming a woman.

    He was my portion as a woman when I waited to become a bride.

    He was my portion as a new bride as I longed to become a mom.

    He was my portion as a young mom as I looked forward to easier days.

    And He is my portion now as I am learning to look to God when my impatient heart waits for the day when my husband and I retire and can travel more.

    The point of life is not to keep looking ahead, but to look to the Lord to be our portion at every stage of life. Will you seek Him as you sit and wait? It makes the lingering have meaning. And tethers our hearts to His as we use these times to pray and ponder His goodness. Yes, right in the midst of those in-between times. It even makes the waiting sweeter.

    But I still suggest you bring along a good book to the DMV!

    Dear Lord, help me embrace the wait and look for You to be my portion during the in-between times of life. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    What next big thing are you waiting for in life? How could focusing on God as your portion help the wait to be easier?

    Power Verse:
    Romans 8:25, "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Dare to Hope

    Posted on February 11, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy

    "Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this ..." Lamentations 3:21 (NLT)

    Have you ever cried until tears no longer fell and your heart was broken in tiny pieces? Have you uttered, "Everything I hope for from the Lord is lost?" Yes? Then you, me, and Jeremiah make three.

    I won't forget those long nights of crying myself to sleep. Some nights, only silent tears trickled; other nights, loud wails accompanied questions and prayers. "Why Lord? What am I doing wrong? Why won't You fix this?" My prayers ended with, "If it is Your will," hoping His will was different than it appeared to be.

    Many nights I curled up in a ball under my covers hoping for a break-through. Yet, the situation seemed hopeless; I believed everything I had hoped for was lost.

    Jeremiah, also known as the weeping prophet in the Old Testament, found himself in a hopeless situation too. He watched the Temple of the Lord being burned to the ground by the Babylonians. Jeremiah's heart broke as the elements of the Temple, such as the water basin and lamp snuffers, were stolen, and taken to Babylon to be used to worship false gods.

    In the midst of the devastation, Jeremiah prophesied God's words to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Unfortunately, it wasn't good news. The Lord's immediate future for His people was one of discipline and the utter destruction of Jerusalem as well as His holy Temple. Jeremiah was chosen by God to deliver these words to His people. Jeremiah did his job and did it well, but not without punishment, ridicule, insults, and imprisonment by the recipients of the news.

    Jeremiah shed tears until he said, "I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken." (Lamentations 2:11 NLT) His heart was broken for Jerusalem and for God's people, his people. In anguish Jeremiah lamented, "Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost." (Lamentations 3:18 NLT)

    Then, in the midst of his despair, he dared. He dared to hope in what he remembered.

    Many of us need hope. To find it like Jeremiah did, let's look at what he remembered that gave him the courage to dare to hope again. What Jeremiah remembered was the key to elevating him from the pit of despair to a place of expectancy. It is our key as well. Jeremiah remembered this about the Lord:

    • His unfailing love
    • His new mercies
    • His never-ending faithfulness
    • His inheritance

    God's Word is just as alive and active today as it was in Jeremiah's day. It is designed to transform us from the inside out. Reading and applying its truths will redirect our perspective.

    During my desperate nights I longed for my circumstances to be different. I cried until the tears would no longer come. Many times I tarried in the pit of despair much longer than necessary. But when I remembered God's faithfulness and mercies to me, my hope was renewed.

    Did the circumstances surrounding my sorrows change because I remembered God's promises? No. What changed was hope slipped in to my outlook. Hope means to wait with expectation, and this is what I chose to do during those hard nights.

    Are you in need of hope today? Will you choose to remember God's faithfulness, love, and mercy, despite the despair and destruction around you? Today, dare to hope.

    Dear Lord, I want to dare to hope, but life around me seems uncertain and tentative. Will You help me remember Your faithfulness, love and mercy? Thank You in advance for what You are going to do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Read Lamentations 3:21-24 aloud. Remember and write down God's expressions of faithfulness, mercy, and love to you. Dare to hope.

    Forward today's devotion to someone who needs hope.

    What stumbling block keeps you from daring to hope? Remember...
    His unfailing love
    His new mercies
    His never ending faithfulness
    His inheritance

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 33:18, "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • A Year of Adventure

    Posted on February 7, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "... great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.'" Lamentations 3:23b-24 (NIV)

    A few months ago my youngest daughter presented me and my husband with a proposal. An iMovie proposal. Complete with dramatic scenes and credits that rolled at the end.

    The message of the iMovie? A request ...

    "Please home school me."

    Oh my heavenly days, no.

    No.

    No.

    No.

    No.

    I'm not a teacher. I'm not patient. I'm not even nice some days.

    No.

    I tried homeschooling this darling in kindergarten and honestly thought I was going to lose my mind. I would watch other moms do this thing right. They were organized and scheduled and undistracted.

    Me? I looked like a dog's tongue when he's got his head stuck out the window of a truck going 70 miles per hour. Messy. Flapping about. Not pretty to look at.

    Can you imagine the conversations she will have about me with her therapist one day? No, let's not add homeschooling to the list of things Mom didn't do well.

    But then I got to thinking. What if I took a year of adventure with this beautiful young woman? What if I hit the pause button on all things typical and just took a year to do things differently? With her. For her. Could I do that?

    Okay, God if You want me to take a year of adventure with Brooke, I will wait for You to show me. I need You to help fill in the gaps where I'm weak.

    Then I met a math teacher who got excited about teaching my daughter a couple times a week.

    And a fabulous reading and writing tutor just happened to have a few days a week to do the same.

    My friend Kristi asked if Brooke could be in her small group Bible study this year.

    Another friend asked if Brooke wanted to take cheer leading classes at her gym.

    And I'd already been planning an educational trip to Sea World.

    So, the year of adventure started unfolding in front of me and I held tightly to these promises: "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him'" (Lamentations 3:21-24 NIV).

    I had no idea how this year would turn out. I thought I might royally mess up my child's education.

    But it has turned out to be a year we will never forget. While we are still living out the adventure, it has been a wonderful experience. One where we are growing, being stretched, and learning. Together.

    One where we've seen God's great love lower stress when stress can run high. A year I have had to depend on His compassion ... to receive for myself and to give to my daughter. Every new day, Brooke and I walk this adventure out, led by God who continues to fill in the gaps creatively.

    You too can have a year of adventure with your children. Maybe it's the year of them learning 12 Bible verses–one per month. Or maybe it could be the year of everybody making their bed at least 3-4 times per week. Or maybe it's the year of letter-writing, where you have them write one letter per week to brighten someone's day.

    One leap of faith. One year. God's compassion is there. The adventure is waiting. No pressure. Just intentional learning and fun.

    Dear Lord, equip me with the things I need for my year of adventure. Give me Your strength to help me step out of my comfort zone. Please use this as an opportunity for me to grow closer to my children and closer to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Say yes to your year of adventure! What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst is the perfect thing to read as you embark on an exciting journey to fulfill God's calling.

    Your year of adventure will hold many joys, but it may also hold frustrations. Be prepared to have godly reactions daily with Lysa TerKeurst's Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What kind of adventurous thing could you do with your kids this year?

    Pick something small. One thing. It doesn't have to be anything complicated, but should be something that will be a stretching experience for everyone.

    Power Verses:
    1 Corinthians 1:7-9, "God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that." (MSG)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

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