Tag Archives: trust

Quiet and Peace

We are now in Nottingham Rd in a caravan park called Glenschillen. It is an oasis of tranquility. We have a site overlooking the dam.

   The Bible says, ‘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, but you would have none of it.“‘ (Isaiah 31:15 NIV)

On Wednesday, soon after we arrived, we wandered down to the common area, where there are tables and chairs, a pool table and various other amenities for general use. We came across three elderly gentlemen who were having their weekly Bible study and discussion. My husband mentioned that we are members of the Gideons.

Yesterday the oldest of the three, David, who happens to be a co-owner of this place, sought us out. We had a long chat with him. He told us of some miracles in his life and how God has always been faithful, even though he’s had many struggles in his life, including the death of his first wife after three months of marriage.

David is ninety-five and he ended our chat with these words, “The waters are calm, my compass is true. I trust my Captain and I know where my ship is heading.”

I believe the Lord arranged this meeting to bless us and as an illustration a life based on quietness and trust.

My Prayer

Thank You, Lord for this place of quiet and rest. Being here is almost like a retreat. Thank you for enabling us to meet Your servant, David. Please continue to bless him and his family.

Like a Little Child

Jesus said,” Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,…” (Matthew 18:3-5 ESV)

Image by Steven Batty from Pixabay

After church this morning, we met the missionaries our church supports from the Ukraine, Arkadiy and Anneke Naydenov. Since the calamitous events that have been happening in the Ukraine recently, their life has been turned upside down. They managed to escape to Hungary and recently arrived safely in South Africa. They have a five month old baby, a contented, peaceful, happy child. Anneke was telling us that during air raid sirens, crossing borders, living in different countries and four different houses, he would just look at her in complete trust and coo happily. “That,” she said, “is how we should trust God.”

I’ve been meditating on that picture all afternoon. My trust in God is so far from that ideal and yet, all of us, at one time, had that same unquestioning trust in our parents. We could do nothing for ourselves, we were totally dependent on our parents, particularly our mothers. Imagine how stress-free our lives would be if we could recapture that trust and place it in God, Who loves us more than our parents ever could, Who has promised to care for us and provide for us, Who is the perfect Parent.

My Prayer

Father God, I know that You love me. I believe You know how to care for those who belong to You. Why do I find it so difficult to trust You with all my heart? Please help me. Amen.

Threescore and Ten

Image by Pixabay

I will be seventy this year. According to the Bible, that’s about my lifespan. “We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; And if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, Yet is their strength labour and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90 vs 9b -10 KJV)

At the moment I’m reasonably healthy:- My osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and hypothyroidism are all under control as is my hypertension. However, I am beginning to understand that I am going to become less comfortable in my body as the years go by.

A certain amount of suffering in life can’t be avoided. Paul says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV)

It’s not what happens to us that is the issue. It’s how we react to what happens to us that is important. I know that my Father will not put anything on me that I can’t manage with His help. I trust Him with my life, my future and my eternal life.

My Prayer

Father God, I commit my life and my future into Your hands. I trust You. Amen.

Trusting

JusJoJan 20 January, 2022

This year I’d love to trust the Lord more, looking to Him for protection, guidance, provision and wisdom. This morning I realized how far away I still am in trusting God.

Out of the blue, our outside alarm went off. My husband was in his study, the grandchildren, who live next door in the main house, had just left for school. Suddenly I was afraid. I pictured somebody sneaking into the property as the automatic gate was closing and now roaming the garden. I locked the door. I had been about to go out and spend time with the Lord in the gazebo in our garden. Now I hesitated.

Then I heard my husband’s phone. The security company had picked up the alarm activation. Normally they would only phone him if my daughter hadn’t answered her phone. She is the first contact. Perhaps she was driving. I heard my husband say, “False alarm. Everything’s OK.” How did he know? Had he checked?

Image from Pixabay

It’s not as if I had forgotten about the Lord. It’s almost as if I could hear Him say, “What! Don’t you trust me to protect you?” I have no idea why I reacted like I did. I am not normally that fearful. My heart raced and I had this queer feeling in my stomach. All I know is, despite what I profess to believe, I was not trusting the Lord. I was leaning on my own understanding, and especially my own imagination.

Of course, my husband was right. It was a false alarm. He had realized that because the clangor had only been sounding for about thirty seconds, somebody must have switched it off.

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

My Prayer

Lord, I am sorry I am so fearful. I know it is a sign of not trusting You completely, of doubting Your love for me. Please forgive me. Amen.

When God Does Nothing

We’ve been having a cold snap at the moment. (After all, it is winter.) Days are quite pleasant, around 15 degrees C but nights tend to be much colder, at about 4 degrees. We’ve had our gas fire on some evenings and we’ve put our fluffy blanket on the bed.

On Fridays I often take my grandson to Cubs. He was ready in his uniform when I came to collect him at 4.50pm last Friday. In the car he told me with pride how he had been made a sixer (a leader of a small group) the previous week.

I dropped him outside the Scout hall grounds and watched as he ran to sign in, sanitise and have his temperature checked. It was only then that I realised that he hadn’t brought his jacket. The evening was going to cool down and, although I knew they would probably be playing some active run-around games, I thought he would probably get cold. I determined to quickly drive home and fetch his jacket but on the way home I had second thoughts.

How embarrassing might it be for this new little leader to have his Granny interrupt his Cub meeting by bringing him a jacket? If he got cold, he might remember next time to bring something warm to wear. He might learn to take more responsibility for himself.

So I did nothing. It wasn’t easy. I worried. I couldn’t wait for him to get home so I could find out how he had coped.

“How was Cubs?” I asked.

“Great! I got to do the flag.” His face lit up with excitement.

Nobody talked about cold.

Sometimes God does nothing. We wonder why He is not helping us in a difficult situation. Is it possible He trusts us to cope using the skills He has gifted to us? Is there some area of growth He knows we need? Sometimes a little bit of discomfort can teach us things we might not easily learn otherwise.

When Lazarus got sick and his sisters sent an urgent message to Jesus, He did nothing for two days. At first glance this seems very unfeeling. Lazarus died and both Mary and Martha pointed out to Jesus that if He had been there, their brother would not have died. Jesus had a greater plan. Mary and Martha got such a faith boost when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. (John 11: 1-44)

Jesus had just fed five thousand men, plus women and children. “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side… Later that night, he was there alone and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.” (Matthew 14 :22, 23b,24.)

Jesus knew about the storm. He knew the disciples would battle but He sent them out into the storm anyway. Again, Jesus had a greater plan. If the disciples had not had to face the storm, they would not have witnessed Jesus walk on the water and Peter would never had stepped out of the boat to walk on the water towards his Lord. How much their faith grew in that one night!

When God does nothing we usually don’t understand. Our best action is to trust. Trust in the love of God. Trust in His wisdom and overall plan for our lives. It is not easy. But God know exactly what He is doing.

My Prayer

Father God, I don’t understand when You don’t answer my prayers the way I think I need. Please teach me to trust You in every circumstance of my life – even when things are uncomfortable for me. Help me to grow in the areas where You are stretching me and to learn the things You are trying to teach me. Amen.

Wishes and dreams

This post is part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan. I didn’t get down to posting yesterday. I was having too much fun on my day of rest.

Today’s word is “wish.”

At the beginning of this year I thought very carefully about what I would wish for 2021. Was it that my little party business would take off? Was it for the Corona Virus to go away? Was it for my thirty-three-year-old son to come back to South Africa, meet a nice Christian girl and settle down?

In the end, it was none of those things. The deepest desire of my heart for the year was to grow closer to Jesus and that He would become more and more real to me in everyday life.

Psalm 37 reads,

Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.” (verses 3-5 NIV)

So, if wishes are the desires of our hearts, then it seems like wishes can come true. But, as we’ve learned from fairy tales like Linda’s, there are conditions.

Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay

My Prayer

Father God, please teach me to trust You and delight in You. Amen.

What do you do?

What do you do when Jesus sends you out in a boat to face a storm while He disappears up a mountain? (Matthew 14:21-25)

Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay

You trim the sails, row furiously, bail water and trust.

This post is part of One-Liner Wednesday.

Travelling Light

Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them, “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” (Luke 9:3 NIV)

He wanted them to travel light.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I picture Jesus taking me on a long hike. “What shall I bring?” I say.

“Nothing. Just trust me,” He says.

That’s just scary. No hiking stick, no spare clothes, no food. What about a water bottle?

I used to lead a Girl Guide company. The Girl Guide motto is Be Prepared. It would be unthinkable to go on a hike without making preparations and being prepared. Trusting Jesus is no easy matter. It is certainly against all we’ve been taught. We feel we need to be in control. I would be inclined to ask Him for a map so I can see where we are compared to where we intend to go. But Jesus won’t give me one. All He asks is my trust and that I will stay close to Him, following where He leads.

In this Covid season we are in at the moment, everybody feels insecure. Matters have been taken out of our hands. Our well-prepared plans have been summarily cancelled and we have no idea what the future holds. With my mind I know God is in control but I still feel unsettled.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, it’s been a long time since I asked You to come into my life and take over. I am so inclined to try to wrest control back from You. Please forgive me and teach me to trust You and rest in Your love. Amen.

Heart and Will

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I made a decision to trust in the Lord and not lean on my own understanding with regards to booking plane tickets to New Zealand at the best price.

That was a decision of my will. Sometimes it’s harder to do nothing than to do something. I’d like to report that I trusted the Lord with my whole heart, but if that was the case, why was there this constant knot in my gut. I was vigilant. First thing in the morning I would check my emails, concentrating on the promotions. I checked again at lunch time and again before I went to bed.

Once Australia Day had passed with no special, I thought Valentine’s Day would be a good option. When that passed, I held out for Leap Day on 29th Feb.

On Friday I told the Lord I didn’t know how much longer I could keep this up and confessed my lack of wholehearted trust. My Psalm for the day was Psalm 102 and I felt inspired to substitute Zion for my name. So it read:- “But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Jenny, for it is time to show favor to her; The appointed time has come.” (vs 12-13) and “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” (vs 18. both from NIV)

On Sunday (yesterday) I had a Whats App message from my son waiting for me when I woke up. He had sent a link to a special as part of the Travel Expo, and suggested we pull the trigger and book. The price was less than the special in January by about R4 000. This answer to prayer did not come from the airline I was expecting it to. Isn’t that often the way. I think the Lord delights in surprising us with the unexpected.

So now we have our tickets and are really going. I am so excited! The Lord has blessed me, not because of anything I have done (even my trust was wonky,) but because of His Grace. Thank You Lord.

My husband and I went out for lunch to celebrate.

dav

A Change in Focus

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov 3:5 NIV)

My biggest challenge in photography is to get my focus right. In the following picture, the focus is not sharp on the bird’s eyes but at least the bird is more in-focus than the background trees! A change in focus can totally change a photo.

Sometimes in life, we also need to change our focus. We can either focus on the Lord, or our own understanding. Our own understanding comes naturally. It is common sense.

This is an area where I am struggling at the moment. Our family in New Zealand offered to pay for us to visit them at the end of the year, subject to our being able to procure the two-for-one fare we were able to get two years ago. It is offered once a year for 12 hours only and last year it was available on the 24th January. We prayed about it and decided that getting the two-for-one fare would be our sign of the Lord’s green light. Up until this moment, there is no sign of the special, although there is a sale until the end of January where we can save about R 3 500 per ticket, but the price is still R7 000 above the cost of a two-for- one special.

My own understanding, conventional wisdom, screams out, “Buy the tickets now, do it now, quickly before they all run out! After all, a bird in the hand … and all that.”

However, after a lot of discussion and agonizing, we have decided not to settle for second best, but rather trust the Lord to provide the best, and from our side, to do everything in our power to keep an eye on the internet and not miss the offer. Please pray for me. I’m fine now, but it’s still January and we can always change our minds, but how will I cope on the first of February? Do I trust the Lord with all my heart?

This post is part of JusJoJan