He’s Always Listening

by Cindi McMenamin

“Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him. For God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 NIV

I called up my friend, bursting with news to share.

“Guess what?” I blurted out as soon as she answered.

“Sorry, I’m on the other line,” she replied, cutting me off.  “Can I call you back?”

So I called another friend. No answer. Finally, I called my husband. “I’m in the middle of something right now,” he said, rather curtly. “I’ll get back to you later.”

Three attempts to share what was on my heart… all to no avail.

Then, as if remembering a friend on standby, I called on the One who is always available when I want to talk.

“Trust in Him at all times…pour out your hearts before Him,” David sang in his 62nd Psalm about this God Who Listens.

I bowed my head and prayed. I told God all that was on my heart. And you know what? He listened.

Why do I not go to Him first when I have something to say? He’s never on “another line.” He’s never got something else that’s more pressing, or more important than what it is I want to share with Him. Like a Daddy eager to hear from His daughter, He is always listening. So why do I not tell Him first?

We often have something on our hearts we just need to share with someone. Some exciting news. Something discouraging that’s weighing us down. A bill we can’t pay. A concern for something that might happen. Who do you call when there’s something on your heart and mind that you need to share? I’ve learned from experience that if I go to someone else, I’m eventually going to be disappointed – by their unavailability, their less-than-enthusiastic response, or maybe their lack of response altogether.

David proclaimed in Psalm 3:4: “I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy mountain.”(NLT) Did you catch that? He isn’t on another call. He isn’t too busy to pick up the call. He isn’t distracted by another incoming call. He answers me.

As you go throughout this day, with all that comes your way, tell God about it first. Of course, He already knows what it is you’re about to say. But by telling Him your news first, you’re reassuring Him – and yourself – that He is the single most important One in your life. And you have a guarantee that He’s listening.

Thank you, Lord, that You are never too busy, unavailable or disinterested to hear from me. Thank You that, instead, Your ear is always tuned to me. Help me to come to You first as You wait for me to share all that is on my heart and mind.

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including When Women Walk Alone (more than 120,000 copies sold), God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and ministry, and free resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

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A New Identity

by Delores Liesner

Isaiah 62:2 says that … “you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow…”(NIV)

I was the kid who always wanted to be somebody else.  I would practice my new voice, my strut, and my style before the mirror.  When fashion did not make me into something new, I’d change my name – sometimes weekly, on my school assignments.  That abruptly ended when my 7th grade biology teacher, quietly grading papers in class, suddenly held one up and mused – rather loudly I thought – “Hmmmm Terri – who would that be?  I don’t have a Terri in my class… oh, well,” and let all my hard work glide through her fingers into the trash.

Many adults practice identity deceit as well.  Our tricks are more sophisticated, of course.   Whether hiding our inability to read, pretending financial success, using so many beauty enhancements our spouses don’t know whether to sleep on the bed or the dresser, or ditching the evidence of habits or addictions when caught, there is One whom we cannot fool.

Ironically, this very One– the Lord Jesus Christ – has what we long for –– a fresh new start. Isaiah 62:2 says … “you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow,” and 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV)

When God changed my heart, my spiritual understanding changed too. I knew!  Finally, I knew! I had a new identity! Despite who I had been or what anyone else said I was, I was now adopted into God’s family –I was in Christ! God’s Spirit was now living in me and leading my life. Nothing I could do would improve or finish HIS perfect gift. The Bible says wages of sin is death, but Jesus paid my debt in full. It was SO awesome to realize that I did not have to live in guilt or fear anymore.

You know, being convinced that God cares for you will enable you to trust Him through any trial you might face. Life takes on new meaning.  To rightly see myself as God sees me is not about self-esteem, but a reality check: realizing God has forgiven and wiped away my weakness and sin. As I looked into His Word daily, I saw my new identity as clearly as I’d looked into a mirror and seen Justified (legally cleansed of all charges) at the top of the mirror, and Sanctified (set apart for service to God) at the bottom. It truly was a brand-new life.

Have you ever wished for a new start? A new identity has been planned for those who would believe in Christ since the beginning of time. Have you found yours?

delores liesnerAbout the author: Delores is a storyteller. Her passion, whether writing or speaking is to be the miracle for others. Her grandchildren discovered when they spent time with Gramma, something unusual often happened, resulting in another story.

 Over a thousand of those stories, devotionals, and articles are published in print and online and a compilation of 31 stories and life-changing challenges make up her devotional, Be the Miracle! (Elk Lake Publishing). Many other items are listed on her Amazon Author page.

Delores is often spotted reading (3-5 books at a time), trying on shoes, or munching dark chocolate and orange peel. Her personal ministry is to benefit children with life-threatening illness via Fullness of Life Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ

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Join the conversation: What facet of your new identity in Christ do you appreciate the most?

 

 

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

by Karen Porter

We drove through Texas farm country and noticed that some fields were planted and some were lying fallow. We learned that farmers plant their crops on a rotating basis, leaving some fields to rest for a season so the soil can replenish nutrients. The planted fields are filled with lush green plants standing tall and bearing fruit. The unplowed fields grow weeds and stumps in shades of yellow and brown.

According to his crop rotation plan, the farmer will plant the fallow field next season and leave one of this year’s producing fields to rest. When he goes into the fallow field to get started with the new crop, he uses a tractor with a sharp plow to break up the ground, get rid of the weeds, and loosen the soil for the new planting.

Hosea told God’s people, “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord” (Hosea 10:12b NLT). Part of pursuing God is a heart breaking within me. If I long for Him enough to look deep within to discover some behavior or attitude that isn’t pleasing to Him, I can root it out of my life like a plow breaks up ground.

Pursuing Him requires cultivating new habits and routines and preferences. Recently when someone said unkind words, I realized that God’s Spirit was encouraging me to forgive quickly. Normally, I might have wallowed in my pain a while, feeling sorry for myself. But because I felt his urging, I called her for some friendly conversation. My heart was changed dramatically because I dug deep for the godly quality of forgiveness.

Fallow ground is unproductive because it is undisturbed. But once the soil is broken, it will grow abundant crops. Our hearts need to be disturbed because like that fallow ground, we can’t have deep revival. If we allow our hearts to continue unplanted and unagitated, we won’t follow Jesus whole-heartedly.

Jesus allows us to be disturbed so we will grow spiritually. That disappointment or pain might be His tool for breaking up your fallow heart. Losing your job sets you up for a bright new adventure. Breaking a bone forces you to take a much-needed rest. Financial problems allow you trust Him for provisions.

We’d all prefer to be safe and unbothered, living the same as we always have lived. But our Lord prefers for us to grow the lush fruit of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).

Breaking up the fallow ground of our hearts can sometimes be painful. We feel the sting of the Holy Spirit’s conviction for our actions that have fallen short of the way Jesus taught us to live. But that discomfort can cause us to change our perspective. He is in the process of unsettling our smooth life so we will turn our focus to Him. God is worthy of your trust. He is watching every part of your life, and He never lets you stay fallow and unproductive for long.

He knows we must break up before we can break out.

“But in their distress, they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.” 2 Chronicles 15:4 NLT

karen-porter-About the Author: Karen Porter is an author, speaker, coach and successful businesswoman. She coaches aspiring writers and speakers and is co-owner of Bold Vision Books. In her spare time, she pursues her life-long goal of finding the perfect purse.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Karen’s book,  I’ll Bring the Chocolate,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-

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The Myth of God and Math

by Edie Melson

Math is not my strong suit.

I have to smile as I write these words. And I know my husband will be howling with laughter when he reads this. I’m so much NOT a numbers girl, I’m almost handicapped.

At least that’s what I’d thought.

But I’ve recently discovered that my view of God is filtered through an algebraic mind-set. And when I first noticed the signs, I went into immediate denial. There was no way it could be true.

But the evidence is irrefutable.

Without realizing it, I’ve put God in a box, bracketing him inside equations. And I’m betting a lot of you may have as well.

Let me see if you’re familiar with these two logical—spiritual—equations I’m referring to:

Following the Rules + Making the Right Decisions = Living a Blessed Life

Sinning + Bad Decisions = Living a Troubled Life

On the surface these two equations look pretty good. But when I began to dig deeper, I realized that rather than finding God’s truth in the equations above, I’d become tangled in a lie.

I had traded the Truth of God for fairness and tried to call it justice.

God is so much more than fair. His love destroys such a simplistic concept and replaces it with grace.

Along with that comes things I can’t understand—good people who suffer and bad people granted eternal life. At times this world looks like it rewards those who cheat and punishes the one that do the right thing.

But I’ve discovered I don’t have to understand to trust Him.

You may wonder at where I find the evidence for hope. I find it all around me. I’ve seen it played out in my life and the lives of those around me. Beyond that I see examples of it on almost every page of the Bible. God proves over and over again that He gives us so much more than the condemnation that we deserve.

So how about you—have you fallen for some bad math?

“For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 (HCSB)

Edie-MelsonAbout the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, While My Child is Away; Prayers for While Were Apart is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Legacy

by Kathy Howard

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also… But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:14-15 NIV

I carefully unfolded the fragile, yellowed paper and struggled to read the faded ink. The letter was dated March 26, 1914. I found this letter and several others in an old metal box at my parents’ house. Addressed to Howell Adam Shouse, my great grandfather on my mother’s side, they were written by his mother, Mary Dozier Shouse, more than a century ago.

Much of the news was what you’d expect – who had been sick, who had gotten married, and how she longed to see her “dear son.” But one particular paragraph brought tears to my eyes:

“Oh, how much I do pray for you every single morning and night. I pray mightily to the Lord that you Howell and your children may be convicted and converted and sanctified. Never a day do I miss. May God hear and answer my prayers and save us all in heaven.”

My jaw dropped in amazement. Mary Dozier, my great, great grandmother prayed daily for the spiritual well-being of her son and his children. She faithfully petitioned God to make her son and his children aware of their need for a Savior (convict); to draw them into a saving relationship with Jesus (convert); and to grow them up into the likeness of Christ (sanctify).

As I read those words, I knew her prayers also covered me. Long before I was born, my great, great grandmother prayed for me and my eternal, spiritual good.

I do not have details as to the spiritual condition of Howell Adam Shouse, but I do know his daughter – my maternal grandmother – loved Jesus. She consistently pointed me toward the Lord. And my mother has done the same.

This discovery both blessed and challenged me. I am blessed today because my grandmother’s grandmother prayed for the spiritual condition of her descendants. Her faithful sharing of Jesus with her son and his children impacted my life through theirs. But, I am also challenged. Her example challenges me to regularly lift prayers for my children and their children that matter for eternity. Her faithful testimony challenges me to faithfully use every opportunity to share Jesus with my children and grandchildren.

Scripture doesn’t tell us much about Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s grandmother and mother, but what it does reveal is the enormous impact of a spiritual heritage. Lois and Eunice were instrumental in Timothy’s salvation. Their faith concretely demonstrated the reality of Christ and His grace. I long for God to use me that way in the lives of my children.

Yes, I will continue to pray for their physical health and temporal struggles. But I will also recommit to pray for their spiritual health and eternal struggles. And I will tell them about Jesus and His faithfulness every chance I get.

Kathy HowardAbout the author: Kathy Howard encourages women to live an unshakable faith for life by standing firm on our rock-solid God no matter life’s circumstances. The author of 8 books and a former “cultural Christian,” Kathy has a Masters in Christian education. Kathy and her husband have 3 married children and 4 grandsons. Find out more and get free discipleship tools and leader helps at her website: www.kathyhoward.org.

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 Join the conversation: How are you planning to continue what you have been given into the lives of those in your life both now and in the future?

Holding onto Our Unchanging God

by Kristine Brown

Change and I don’t get along well.

We battle. We fight. We throw words back and forth like siblings arguing over a favorite toy. But as much as I challenge change, it always comes back for more.

Change drives me into list-making mode. I weigh out the pros and cons of important decisions, trying to make the best choice for everyone involved. I agonize over it. I lose sleep because of it. I take the situation to God in prayer, but don’t often trust Him with the results.

Fortunately, we can look to God’s Word for guidance when facing change in our lives. One of my favorite women in Scripture knew how to handle change with steadfast wisdom and humble grace.

From her actions, we can learn to do the same. Her prayer recorded in 1 Samuel speaks volumes about her faith-filled heart and willingness to trust God.

“And Hannah prayed and said:

‘My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.

No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.’” 1 Samuel 2:1-2 NKJV

What bold faith! Reading these words Hannah prayed, we might assume all was right in her world. Without knowing what she was going through, we may think everything was just perfect. Because when things are good, it’s easy to trust.

But Hannah’s life wasn’t perfect. In fact, Hannah offered this prayer of praise to God as she said goodbye to her only child. Her long-awaited blessing. She was leaving her young son Samuel at the temple to be raised by Eli the priest. God had big plans for Samuel, and it involved a huge sacrifice for Hannah.

Yet in the midst of that heart-breaking moment, she pressed through the doubt. She let go of the what-ifs and uncertainty about the future. She placed herself in an attitude of rejoicing, thanksgiving, and praise.

She chose to hold onto God, her Rock and her Salvation. From Hannah’s example, we can take away this powerful truth:

As we learn to handle the changes that come, let’s remember to hold onto our unchanging God.

Even though I may not like change, I can face it with steadfast courage. I can even make peace with it. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” NIV

Today, let’s commit to handling uncertainty like Hannah did. Let’s stop challenging the change that comes and remember we have a God who is unchanging. We can praise Him for being our Rock and Salvation, even in times of change.

 

kristine brownAbout the author: A communicator at heart, Kristine Brown teaches about God’s powerful, relatable Word. She is the author of Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. You’ll find Kristine’s weekly devotions and Bible study resources at kristinebrown.net. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Content in Any Season

by Kristi Neace

After being out of town for an extended time, I was more than ready to get back to teaching my precious women’s Sunday School class.  But upon entering the classroom, I was shocked to learn that I had been replaced!

Now before my trips, I had prayerfully turned in my resignation. But I was careful to express I was in no rush and very willing to serve until they found the right person. Now I suddenly found myself replaceable. The sting of that broken tie to the women and church I had grown to love nipped at my soul.

This season has ended, I heard Him whisper into my thoughts as I walked out of the classroom for the last time. Yet it was still a somewhat bitter pill to swallow.

Early the next morning, still nursing the wound, I turned in my Bible to Psalm 1. Combing through the passage, the words which yields its fruit in season jumped off the page. I was again reminded that fruitfulness has an appointed time. Obviously my time in that position had run its course.

Continuing to ponder what God was trying to teach me, I thumbed forward to a familiar passage in Ecclesiastes 3:1… “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (ESV)

Neither verse was new to me, but nonetheless, at that moment, I was freshly reassured that it was God alone who was shifting my path…plotting the next course, whatever that may be.

Though I could choose to be offended at the church’s lack of communication and unexpectedly abrupt ending to what had been a fruitful season, I knew that God had something different for me now, and my transition to the next thing might even include a period of rest.

Over the next several days, I came to realize it all was actually a blessing. God had faithfully provided a competent teacher to take over the class (what I had prayed for!) While she had been moved into a time of fruitfulness, I had been moved into a time of rest from a busy season of fruit bearing. I was now in a season of metaphorical harvest – the fruit having been produced, the tree was now at rest.

I don’t know what season you are in right now. Perhaps you are busy producing the things God has called you to, but maybe you find yourself in a season of fallow ground. Know that no matter where God has you, everything happens in His time. He may have you in times of production but will also lead you into stillness between seasons.

Sweet friend, learn to be content in both. You can rest in His sovereignty and goodness no matter where God has you.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:3 ESV

Kristi NeaceAbout the author: Kristi Neace is an accomplished Author, Speaker and Artist. She is also the founder of a nation-wide, non-profit ministry called Badge of Hope. Join her as she blogs about life as a cop’s wife, offering encouragement in such an upside-down world. Kristi has written several Bible studies, including Layers: Living a Life Unhindered. Her latest book is Under Fire: Marriage Through the Eyes of a Cop’s Wife.

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Join the conversation: What has God taught you during your seasons of rest? Encourage others by recalling God’s faithfulness.

A Different Kind of Love

by Andy Lee

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:11-12.

I smelled like Dial soap, always scrubbed clean and pajama laden, as I sat next to my daddy watching the stars on warm summer nights. I’m not sure which intrigued me the most, the beauty of the glitter flung across the darkness or the constellations’ shapes. I loved to star gaze. The stars beckoned me to their heavenly home but inability to understand their unimaginable size and vast distances between them kept me from true comprehension.

The universe is difficult to grasp, but Psalm 103 boasts a wonderful claim that is equally mind-boggling—God’s love. Surely David also liked to star gaze as he shepherded his sheep. Maybe his eyes found Orion’s belt as he wrote, “As far as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” That’s a big love.

But this love is different than our modern minds perceive. It’s not tied up in emotion and romance, though the heart of the Giver plays the main role. The truth is, we don’t have an English word that adequately translates the word chesed, the Hebrew word often translated as “love.”

Chesed is more than love. It is mercy, grace, and acts of loving-kindness all rolled into one. It usually came to those who were related by family or friendship, but sometimes it was given to strangers.

Chesed is what Rahab gave the Israelite spies when she hid them on her rooftop and diverted the Jericho police search party. Though no relationship had been established prior to their visit, after her kindness, the Israelites returned chesed to Rahab by preserving her family when the walls fell. God’s chesed didn’t end there. Rahab married one of the spies, and became the grandmother of Boaz and the great grandmother of David, the star-gazing shepherd.

God was merciful and faithful to Rahab, a former prostitute and idol worshiper. Maybe that’s why David writes with such assurance of God’s goodness. His family line demonstrated the very nature of God’s merciful, loving acts of kindness. Though Rahab wasn’t Jewish, she married into the family and became the great grandmother of the man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) and became one of four women named in the genealogy of the promised messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Matthew 1:5).

How great is God’s kindness and mercy? It’s mind-bogglingly beautiful, like the stars in the sky, yet not out of reach. It’s given in grace, providing mercy and forgiveness to all who choose to trust in Him.  Hallelujah.

Andy LeeAbout the author: Andy Lee is the author of two books, A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called and The Book of Ruth Key Word Bible Study: A 31-Day Journey to Hope and Promise. Andy is a Bible teacher, blogger, event speaker, and cat lover. She and her orange tabby, Hank, spend many hours in her office writing articles that draw people closer to the living God. She also teaches on Facebook. Visit her website to find out how to join hundreds of viewers on her live broadcast. Come feed your soul!

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Loving Limas

My Uncle Bob grew up hating lima beans. But during army boot camp training, his taste took an unexpected turn. One late evening he returned to the cafeteria, ravenous from an all-day post, to find just one item remaining: lima beans. With no other option, he heaped a generous portion onto his plate. And as he began to chow down, an amazing thing happened: those lima beans tasted delicious! When faced with true hunger, what he used to pass over with disdain suddenly became quite palatable.

My uncle’s story has long been a lesson to me in a spiritual truth. I have found when I am hurting in one way or another, my need is frequently the thing that drives me to seek the Lord. Suddenly I am all ears, eager for any bit of reassurance or guidance He can give. But when all is right in my world, I spend much less energy looking to Him and listening for His leading.

As Calvin Miller wrote in The Song: “When the flesh feeds itself, the hunger of the spirit is forgotten.”

God created us with a need for Him. But our tendency in the flesh is to fill that gaping hole with substitutes. We look to things like careers, people, or material possessions to make us feel significant or whole. As if those temporary things could ever satiate our hunger for God’s presence and peace!

God’s desire for us is to be in an intimate, trusting relationship with Him.

Keeping ourselves from hunger pains can work against that goal. We quickly forget our need for Him when the substitutes we have chosen provide temporary satisfaction. Jesus once told his disciples: “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:24 NASB) Their riches don’t disqualify them. It’s the self-sufficiency that comes with comfort that can keep people from bowing to the cross.

So, in his wisdom and love, God frequently gives us reminders of our need for him. Difficulties in our lives are not in spite of the goodness of God. In reality, they happen because of the goodness of God. We turn to God when we need.

We might pass over limas altogether should we never know what it is to hunger.

 “O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34: 8 (NASB)

Julie-Coleman-headshot-295x300About the author: Julie Coleman helps others to understand and know an unexpected God. A popular conference and retreat speaker, she holds an M.A. in biblical studies. Her book, Unexpected Love: God’s Heart Revealed through Jesus’ Conversations with Women, was released in 2013 by Thomas Nelson. Julie is the managing editor for Arise Daily. When she is not glaring at her computer, Julie spends time with her grandchildren, gardening, or walking her neurotic dog. More on Julie can be found at unexpectedgod.com or on Facebook.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 2.39.03 PMfrom today’s comments. To enter our contest for Julie’s book, Unexpected Love: God’s Heart Revealed through Jesus’ Conversations with Women,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Have there been ways in which you have dulled your hunger for God?

Nothing Too Small

by Joy Anisa

The lights were off, and my little boy was tucked under his covers. As I picked up a few things in his room I heard him say, “Mama, I haven’t prayed for our new house.” As a single mom facing a move out of state, I had a tight budget and limited time to find a place to live. I had mentioned to my two children that we needed to pray that the Lord would provide the perfect house for us.

I teasingly said to my son, “What are we going to live in, a tent?”

He giggled and then said, “I have prayed that God would give me a creek.” Immediately I felt the tears rush to my eyes. Little did he know, the only house that was available for us to look at had a creek running beside the property.

I scooped my son into my arms and said, “I want you to always remember that God cares about little boys and creeks.” By the grace of God, the house with the creek became our new home. For the next year and a half, every time I heard the bubbling of that creek, I was reminded that our God cares about every part of our lives.

Sometimes we can underestimate our Heavenly Father’s interest in the small things. That we should only bother Him with our “big” requests. How often do we “shrink wrap” our trust in Him by what we choose to ask?

The simple faith of a child has taught me nothing is too insignificant to bring before Him. (And truth be told, what request of ours would ever be “big” to God, anyway?)

I often think back to that night with my son and wonder if his unassuming child-like faith gave him insight that His loving, Heavenly Father would not let us be homeless. Maybe he assumed God would handle the big details, so he prayed for the “little things”.

His example set the tone for my own prayer life, and I began to pray about everything. I stopped shrink wrapping my trust in God by limiting what I thought He cared about and what He didn’t.

We can trust God with it all. As He told Isaiah: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 NASB) We can bring all of our concerns to Him, and trust Him with even the smallest details.

A young boy prays for a creek.  A young girl prays her dog will get well. A father prays for the healing of his daughter. A mother prays for her wayward son. A pastor prays for unity within his congregation. A missionary prays for the gospel to penetrate the darkness of the people group he serves. A wife prays for her marriage to be reconciled. He hears all of it, big and small. Prayer is a conversation with God that is rooted in confidence that He will accomplish what concerns us (Psalm 138:8). We can trust Him to answer our requests with nothing less than wisdom and love.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20a NASB

joy anisaAbout the author: Joy Anisa speaks for women’s retreats, MOPS, and Single Mom conferences. Her book, Identity Crisis: Moving from Crisis to Credibility,  offers an invitation to hope in the God who loves deeply, heals wounds, and offers His joy when life around us crumbles. You can find Joy on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. Joy lives with her husband, Jeff and their son, Caid, in Conyers, GA.

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Join the conversation: How has God blessed you in the “small” things?