Make Time for God’s Timing

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)


I had good intent this morning. I got up early, dressed and prepared to head to my favorite writing spot near Lake Michigan. As I climbed into my car, I silently congratulated myself for getting an early start. Then I said a quick prayer asking God to inspire me with an idea for today’s blog post. I stuck the key into the ignition. I turned it. Nothing. Again I tried, this time holding the key a few seconds longer and giving the engine a little more gas. That’s when I noticed that the car’s interior lights were on and had probably been on all weekend. Dead battery.

With impatience brewing within me, I called the service station. Then I sat down in my living room to wait. “Lord,” I whispered. “I have no time for this. Please make them come quickly.” Almost instantly I heard it, God’s still, small voice reminding me of something that I had read in a book last week: “There is no time in Heaven.”

That’s right. Heaven knows nothing but eternity. The only time that matters there is God’s perfect timing, and that holds true here on Earth. The Bible tells us in Psalm 37:7 to wait patiently for God to do His work. Yet, when I look at my own life, I see that so often I view my time as more important than God’s timing. Patience wins God’s approval. The psalmist David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.” (Ps. 40:1) Whether we cry out to God about little things, like a dead battery, or about matters of life or death, He hears us. “When His people pray for help, He listens and rescues them [in His own time]” (Ps. 34:17 CEV)

I waited more patiently. The service man arrived and started my car’s battery. Now, later than planned, I am at the lakefront writing this post inspired by God.

A Coast Guard cutter floats fifty yards offshore. It travels slowly across the water, back and forth, its occupants searching each square in an imaginary grid. Several dozen people are gathered on the beach,— brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents—all waiting patiently near the water’s edge. A passerby told me that they have no choice but to wait. Their ten-year-old relative, a boy, went to be with the Lord while swimming here two days ago. The boy's family kills time, some ambling along the beach, others sitting in lawn chairs staring toward the horizon, a few hugging and holding tight to each other as they wait for his body to be found. And as I look more closely, I see a small group of them raising their hands toward Heaven, praying.

And here I am, no longer grumbling about a dead battery, but instead praying for a dead child's family, and praying, too, that this blog post will inspire you to be patient with the little things that disrupt your schedule, your time. Because, you see, God knows precisely what He is doing, and His timing is always perfect. Those little interruptions happen for a reason as He moves you through life in His time and His way.

Where has God sent you today? Are you impatient about where you are? Look around. Does someone need prayer? Were you sent by God to help? You are exactly where He wants you to be right now, and, in some small way, you are working out His plan.





The Colors of Heaven

“The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.”
Revelation 21:19-21 (NIV)


I was one of those kids who sniffed a box of new crayons and imagined the Northern Lights, or a double rainbow, or the ocean with clouds drifting overhead transforming the water from teal to pea soup green to robin’s-egg blue. My standard back-to-school box of eight crayons wasn’t enough. I wanted the box of sixteen, then twenty-four, then forty-eight crayons. The big box of sixty-four colors was my idea of perfection. Colors like Prussian Blue, Maize, Orchid and Apricot gave my muse exactly what she needed to let down her hair and attempt to re-create the universe on a piece of stark white paper.

As an adult, I've continued my search for new and exciting colors. My current obsession is with Benjamin Moore’s “My Perfect Color” web site. There, I can peruse colors that match my mood, from sleepy — “Moonlit Sidewalk,” “Silver Clouds," “Quiet Haze” — to bold and adventurous – “Deep Mystery,” “Kilimanjaro Thunder," “Australian Desert.” I've learned that any color I can imagine exists somewhere as a paint chip, each one inspired by something in God's creation.

Last week, I read two books that fed my passion for color, “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” (Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, Published by Thomas Nelson) and “90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life” (Don Piper and Cecil Murphey, Published by Revell). Each tells the story of a near-death experience, and each provides a hint of the colors in heaven. Both are strikingly similar as they suggest that heavenly colors are beyond any earthly description.

Little Colton Burpo tells us that there are “lots and lots of colors” in heaven. Using a preschoolers’ vocabulary, he can only describe them by saying, “That’s where all the rainbow colors are.” Don Piper takes us one step further in his book. He writes, “As I looked around, I could hardly grasp the vivid, dazzling colors. Every hue and tone surpassed anything I had ever seen . . . Everything around me glowed with a dazzling intensity. In trying to describe the scene, words are totally inadequate, because human words can’t express the feelings of awe and wonder at what I beheld.”

Some of the first words that God spoke to us through the Bible were, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3). As He expanded His creation from light to the sky and the earth, God created colors that He allowed man to name. As I write this blog post, I look around me soaking in all those colors and marveling at their beauty. Then I imagine, beyond my big box of crayons and seemingly infinite number of paint chips, the colors that exist in heaven. Vivid colors. Dazzling colors. Colors so stunning and so indescribable that only God can speak their names.

What effect do earthly colors have on your relationship with God?





Are You Home Yet?

“I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. . .”
Jeremiah 2:21a (NIV)



Is there a place that beckons to you? Someplace that tugs at your heart? A place where you always feel at home? For me, that place is Lake Michigan. It captured my heart on the day I was born.

I was just hours old when my parents brought me home from the hospital in a February snowstorm. I imagine that as they took me from the car and into our house across the street from the lake, wild, gray waves crashed over mountains of ice on the shore. Those waves were some of the first sounds that I heard. As I lay on my parents’ bed, bundled in warm blankets, Lake Michigan’s waves sang me to sleep. Their soft, rhythmic rushing brought comfort on many a night when I lived in that big, old house on Fifth Avenue. As I grew, from dawn until dusk Lake Michigan was my constant companion, my playground, my classroom, and the place where I felt closest to God.

I have never strayed far from the lake. I went to school at a university near its shore, my career as an editor took me to live in some of its port cities, and now I am settled just a few city blocks from this vast body of water that behaves like the sea. Often, I stand at the water’s edge in awe of how the sun reflects, like diamonds, on its surface and how the gentle waves make music as they wash over smooth stones. “Thank you, God, for planting me here.”

Do you know that God plants His people? He says, in Isaiah 60:21, that people are the shoot He has planted, the work of His hands for the display of His splendor. I believe that God not only has a plan for His people here on Earth, but also a place. Some find themselves firmly planted from the day they are born. Others God picks up and transplants where they are supposed to be. Wherever our place is, we will know it when we get there because it feels right. It feels like home.

Have you thought about it? Are you at home where you are, or is somewhere tugging at your heart and beckoning you to come? Even if you haven't yet found your place here on Earth, you can be sure of this: Jesus has gone to Heaven to prepare a place for you, and some day you will live there with Him forever.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:3 (NIV)









Trust Your Sonscreen

I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. Hosea 13:5


It’s one of the hottest summers on record. How hot is it? It’s so hot that your car’s seatbelt feels like a branding iron. When you go for a walk, you worry about passing out from the heat and frying on the concrete pavement. It’s so hot that farmers feed their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs! Okay, I’m exaggerating. But it is hot outside.

The media constantly reminds us that a good sunscreen provides the best protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Without it, we risk getting sunburn or worse skin cancer.

Sunscreen is effective in a very simple way. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun consists of several different kinds of wavelengths. Protection from these unique waves comes in different forms. Sunscreen combines organic and inorganic ingredients that either reflect the sun’s rays or absorb and dissipate them as heat. The simple act of applying sunscreen shelters your skin from up to 98 percent of the sun’s harmful rays.

Ninety-eight percent protection is good, but as Christians we have access to an even better 100% guaranteed source of protection. Jesus Christ—the world’s best Sonscreen! Jesus protects our souls from life’s searing heat. The simple act of believing in Him guarantees that He will protect our souls from burning to a crisp or dying an agonizing cancerous death. When we apply Jesus rigorously and religiously to our lives, then we receive the full benefit of His protection. He will either reflect life’s harmful rays or allow us to absorb them and dissipate them in a Christ-like way.

If you trust in the protective power of sunscreen, a simple man-made substance, then how can you not trust in the protection that comes from Jesus Christ, our Savior, created by God Himself? Do you apply Jesus regularly throughout the day, every day? Do you believe that He will protect you?

The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:5-8 NIV)







NEW FROM THOMAS NELSON

CLICK ON THE BOOK TO PREVIEW. VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER BELOW.
FROM BARBOUR BOOKS
I'm proud to be a contributing author to the following series of humorous devotionals.
And check out my "Kid's Bible Dictionary" and pre-teen mysteries, also from Barbour.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.
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I am the author of these books, but I have not been compensated for mentioning them on this blog or linking them to the seller's website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

By Max Lucado, Published by Thomas Nelson
Max Lucado has a unique way with words, and his children's book Hermie A Common Caterpillar is no exception. With simple text and bright, watercolor illustrations, the story of Hermie unfolds.

Hermie wonders why he looks and feels so common. Whenever he asks God why, God simply answers, "I'm not finished with you yet." Then, one day, Hermie feels very tired. He gets into his cozy, leafy bed, and he sleeps. And while Hermie sleeps a transformation takes place. When he wakes up, Hermie discovers that God has done something grand. You can guess what it is. Every caterpillar that lives to adulthood knows the end of the story.

Parents, please share this book and its powerful message with your children. We are all special because God loves us, and He has a unique purpose for our lives. Whenever we slump into feeling ordinary, we know that we have hope because . . .God isn't finished with us yet!


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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