The Wonder of God as Witness

Do you ever feel invisible, as though you or your efforts are unseen?
At the same time, do you ever feel relief that no one sees some of the things you think, watch, or do?

“I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the LORD.”  (Jeremiah 29.23b)

People we live with, work with, have fun with, share deep things with see us – in part. Some love, forgive, help, hold us accountable, pray. Others judge, criticize, are indifferent, talk. And the same can be true about us toward others – in part, we see.

God alone is the one who KNOWS. God alone is WITNESS. Nothing is unseen by God.  Nothing confounds Him. Nothing changes His Perfect Love for you and me.

He is witness to our hurts and offenses—and how we hurt and offend others. He is witness to our words toward and about others—and others’ words regarding us. He knows when we’re trying to follow His ways—and when we’re willfully choosing our own. He knows our hopes and disappointments, how hard some things are for us, and how we feel about our self. We cannot wear a mask with God. 

“I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the LORD.”  (Jeremiah 29.23b)

These words may comfort us or make us uncomfortable.
Embrace both and draw nearer to Him. Be awed and humbled, healed and changed.

God made us for relationship—with Him. Perfect Love shaped you and me. Think about that for a minute. . . Perfect Love held you and your days were written, “…plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29.11b) This has not changed—God continues to hold you; He isn’t rewriting or editing His plans for you or me. Our sovereign Father IS completing His work in and though us, all to His glory.

Dear God,
We are comforted by your deepest knowing and witness to our heart pain. And, we are humbled by all that you know and witness in our heart and life, yet your love never changes. Thank you for Jesus, your amazing grace, that we can know your love in both comfort and in correction. Help us remember that you are with us all through the day and night. Teach us to depend on you and trust you as you fulfill your plans in us. Amen.

What To Do With Our Hopes

“Can we talk to God about our pets?”  His soft-spoken question and curious eyes exposed that his understanding of prayer was broadening in the moment, as our little group learned about talking to God. The other 1st and 2nd graders listened, as he added, “My fish is sick.”

“Yes, you can! And we’ll also pray together for your fish in a minute.”

HOPE.

This precious little boy hopes his fish will get well. Even better, now he knows he can talk to God, about what he hopes for. Before, his hope was only a thought.

Do you have any hopes that are only thoughts—or maybe, only wishful-thinking conversations with friends?

We hope . . . it doesn’t rain during our event that’s going to be outdoors . . . she believes we’ve forgiven her . . . he realizes the consequence if he disobeys . . . she knows how much God loves her . . . we handle a situation the right way.

“…we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4.10)

Throughout a day and many a night, I have wrestled, stressed, cried, feared about a hope I have. Hope is hardest when the focus of our hope is a person, a relationship, ourself, or a circumstance. We watch—the person, the relationship, the circumstance. We watch for what we want. Possible outcomes—founded on evidences we collect by sight and experiences—flood our mind, and our thoughts often swirl into a torrent of negative feelings and outcomes.

When I take these ‘hope-thoughts’ to God, my soul rests. In the handoff, my focus shifts to God and He fills those places in me with His peace.

At the same time, hope can be hard even when God is our focus, because we have to learn to trust Him. You and I have lived a lot of life relying on people, circumstances, and our self. We have to practice trusting God to learn to trust God. . . just like we practice reading to learn to read.

As we practice placing our ‘hope-thoughts’ in God’s hands over and over again, we open our heart to try on trust. The focus of our hope becomes God.

Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God.  (Ps 146.5)

God sees and attends our heart according to his view of our genuine need. He pours grace so that His love, healing, and strength inspire us look to Him, listen to Him, and loosen our grip on the object of our hope—that He becomes our HOPE, our TRUST.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”  (Jeremiah 17.7–8)

. . . Whether my new little friend’s fish gets better or not (let’s pray it does), he engaged with God and God heard him. Their relationship grew because this is what God does. He gives growth–to our knowledge and understanding, our faith, our relationship, as we engage with Him.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15.13)

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Also, I want you to know…

Becoming A Peaceful Mom is only $9.00 on Amazon!   Here’s the link:  https://amzn.to/2Kxmi8Y.

The price returns to $15 on July 1.

I’ve had so much fun over the last year speaking and sharing the book, and it’s fun to hear the many ways you all have shared it!  (Thank you!)  Want to hear a few of them? … Birthdays … Welcoming moms to your church … Moms of teens … New moms … Moms having another baby… Moms of moms 🙂  Older moms mentoring younger moms … Small group studies!

Sooo… maybe grab a few copies and have FUN blessing some women around you.

A Prayer for Moms

My husband wrote this prayer years ago. Though it was first shared on a Mother’s Day, it’s a prayer for any day…

O Heavenly Father,

We praise and thank You this day for Your gift of mothers in this world.

For the profound love You pour into their hearts and the many sacrifices they make for us their children.

May You bless the women who are at the beginning of their journey of motherhood with newborn babies and toddlers.

May You bless the mothers who are in the midst of raising their children.

May You bless the single mother who is challenged to be all things to her children.

May You bless the mother who chooses to love and nurture the child of another.

May You bless the mothers who continue to encourage their children and the next generation, as grandmothers.

May You bless the mothers who grieve the loss of their children.

May You comfort the women who yearn to know the blessing of motherhood.

Continue to bless these women. Keep them healthy in body, mind, and spirit. Call them to turn to You when they struggle in their daily lives. Give them the courage, compassion, and vision to meet each daily challenge.

For those of us whose mothers now share Your heavenly banquet—
May You enable us to recall special memories to help us endure the loss we feel from the absence of our mother in our daily life. Thank You that they are in Your presence knowing joy that we cannot imagine.

All this we ask in the name of the One who also knew the loving touch of His own mother, Mary—Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN