Friday, May 24, 2013

Empty Things -
      It was a day of filling things up - empty things. The sugar bowl was empty when I found it with my black coffee. The sugar canister, the second place I looked, was empty too. The day required me to problem solve before I had my first cup of coffee! I filled every sugar container to the brim, added some to my cup and drank the lukewarm liquid.

      Dishes waited on the counter to be washed (they are always waiting); signs of boys raiding the kitchen after dinner last night. No soap in the dispenser! Empty! No washing until filling, no filling until finding. Where is the soap? Rummaging through half empty bottles under the sink, I find the dish soap and fill the dispenser – washing can begin.
      There are days I feel like an empty dispenser....(continue reading over at Laced with Grace)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Growing in Hard Places

      Have you ever found yourself growing in a hard place? A place where you felt pressed from all sides with nowhere to go, nowhere to look, but up? I am in such a place right now. It's a hard place to be and yet I know I am growing here; perhaps more than I would if the ground around me was soft. If I had a choice I might spend too much time spreading out or looking around...getting distracted with the space, but here between the rocks I must look up; grow up.

      A hard place can be any place that is beyond our ability to thrive apart from the help of God; a difficult relationship, sickness, finances, anything that presses in and threatens to squeeze the life out. But God has not just promised us life, but abundant life (John 10:10), not just provision, but all our needs (Phil. 4:19), and exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20-21).

      So why the hard places? I can't tell you all God's reasons for allowing hard things in our lives, but I can tell you this - He keeps His promises! Somewhere in the hard thing is a good thing growing...a flower that will bloom. All things are possible when we look to Him in the hard place. When we look up, and grow up. He is there with us in the rocks.

Growing in the Rocks

Sometimes you’re asked to grow,
In places that are hard.
To sprout among the ashes,
Of things that have been chard.

A place where nothing else will grow,
And no one wants to be.
A spot you view as barren,
No good thing there you see.

But God says, “I have planted you,
For others who are near.”
To grow beside these harden rocks,
And show my beauty here.

When others watch you growing,
Within this rocky place.
Your Father will be glorified,
As He shows in you His grace.

He raises the poor out of the dust,
And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
That He may seat him with princes –
With the princes of His people.

Psalm 113:7-8
In His abundant care,