Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I made a conscious decision today not to look at anything on Facebook. M,y but how the politically inclined love to publicly gloat or lament the day after an election. Granted, the postings I'd see would be few. I don't have a FB of my own and my husband's database of friends is a fraction of some of our nieces and nephews. Who is "friends" with a 1000 people?

I'm sure the newspapers are all offering their wise perceptions too, but I went right for the A&E and Sports sections of the Tribune this morning.

Truth is, no one can predict an outcome with certainty and it seems like a waste of time to ponder "the signs" after the fact. I'm not really interested in analyzing what went right or wrong in anyone's campaign. The stage is set and my plan is to pray for every leader whether local, state or federal, and whether or not I connected a black line by their name (there was a 15 minute wait for the electronic voting).

Yesterday's news, is just that, yesterday's news. I'm much more concerned about the next four years. Or to be honest - the next four days. Because I am keenly aware that time is both fleeting and indefinite.

A friend of mine was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She will have surgery tomorrow and then likely chemo. She's in her early 50's. She has no idea what to expect the next four days, let alone years.

But here's the beautiful thing about my friend. Her hope isn't in the doctor's or the tests, or the treatment. Her hope is in the Lord. And that's precisely why there IS hope.

I read something today on Randy Alcorn's blog "Eternal Perspectives" and posted an excerpt below along with a link to the page if you want to read the rest of the story.

I hope I vote wisely tomorrow.

"The election is over, but the truth is that every season of our lives is election season. Voting isn’t something you do just every few years. We cast multiple votes each day. We cast votes for Heaven or Hell, for grace or truth. For self-control or self-indulgence. For the Spirit or the flesh. For abiding in Christ, or independence from Christ. For wisdom or foolishness, and blessing or curse. We can’t solve all our nation’s problems, but we can address the issues of our own hearts. Our next chance to vote is right here and right now, whether we spend time with God, pray for His help, read His Word, serve our family, help the poor, dying and needy, entertain this thought, speak these words, watch this television program, or click on this Internet site. (You already vote often; vote wisely.) The key to change and influence in this world is not, and never has been, politics. It is faithfulness to Jesus." To keep reading, use this link;

Friday, November 2, 2012

Merciful Suffering

I had a moment this week - well actually it was more like an hour - when a dark and overwhelming feeling came over me. That hadn't happened in awhile so it took me a little by surprise. Generally speaking it wasn't one of the more difficult days I'd ever experienced so I felt kind of pathetic about my state. That wasn't necessarily helping.

The good thing was my instinct was to pray. Or at least one of my instincts was to pray. I had another to call someone in hopes of getting either some encouragement or some pity. I think I was craving the latter just a bit more. I managed to follow the prayer instinct which in my experience has always been the best first course of action.

It's interesting to me how quickly my view of my circumstances can change. The circumstances themselves don't vary much - the house has some significant unattended projects, I need to lose thirty pounds, my daughter's been sick for almost two weeks, money's been tight for a lot longer than that and so on. What I think happened in that hour was a perspective change.

I was much more consumed with my temporary situation than the eternal truths that God has so graciously shown me.

And I grossly misinterpreted my condition. It's not like I live on the Jersy shore in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, right? I'm sure a lot of people on the east coast are feeling a lot more overwhelmed today.

But here's what I think the thing is - God allows suffering. In fact, I would go so far as to say He sends it. I mean if He's sovereign and totally in control (and I believe He is) than nothing that happens can be outside of His providential will. So why does a good God send suffering?

I don't have all the answers to that one, but I think part of it has to do with His mercy. I may have just lost a few of you. But I honestly believe it's an act of mercy to show us how desparately we need Him. Because I can be living in the best circumstances in the world with a self-absorbed heart and a dying soul. If I don't think I need God, I"m certainly not going to pursue a relationship with Him, but if that's what He desires (a relationship with me) then He will use wisdom beyond my limited knowledge to bring it about.

That sort of stuns me. That the God who made the universe would first desire a relationship with me, and then care enough to make it happen to orchestrate events in my life that keep me close to Him.

And it's not like he's callous or unacquainted with suffering. It's the opposite - no one suffered on this earth more than Jesus. I would do well to consider the amount of suffering I avoid because He took it on Himself. And I would do better to remember that I have an advocate who can comfort me better because He suffered first and worst. Hebrews 4:15 says He sympathizes with my weaknesses. Astounding.

So I got discouraged and overwhelmed this week. But I prayed and cried for help. And God in his faithfulness reminded me to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

I find that merciful.