Eclipsed by Glory

Ever hear a line in a song that just sticks with you and is revealed to you in a new light?  Well this is one of those moments.  Yesterday as we were singing “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan and one of the lines, though I have heard it hundreds of times, just cried out to me.  But first, a little back-story.  I am a newlywed.  In this day and age, that means I am poor…ok not poor, but on a strict and tight budget.  You get back from your amazing week-of-bliss honeymoon with your new husband and what is there to greet you?  Bills.  Mortgage.  Electricity.  Gas.  Cable.  Internet.  Car payments.  Insurance.  Tithes.  And our new little addition: School loans.  Not to mention, it seems like every time we turn around, something comes up and someone is billing us for something unexpected or my huge family will decide to have all their birthdays and weddings in a 5 week span (I am only teasing- I love all of you!).  All of this adds up to a stressful life if you’re not careful. 

So, back to the song.  First of all, it’s one of my favorite worship songs.  I love how it reminds me just how much He loves me.  This particular Sunday, I was just struck by one of the lines in the first verse: “When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory."  Can you imagined being so focused on God's glory and love, that the cares of this world are just forgotten?  It reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures throughout college: Romans 8:18- “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  In light of God’s glory, in light of His Great Love for me, my sufferings, my stress, my worries are nothing.   He loves me enough to sacrifice his one and only Son so that I would not have to die in my sin.  Do you think He would go through all of that just to leave me hanging?  Just to let me get eaten up by a few bills?  No way!  God is my Provider!  He has promised not to put more on me than I can handle, and that includes the stress of a newlywed, budget-centered life.  All I have to learn to do is cast my burdens upon Him and He will sustain me (Psalm 55:22).  We are learning how to cut corners here and there and have come to find that, when we put God first (i.e. pay our tithes faithfully) we always have enough.  Even when logic (and math) say “if you give up that 10%, you’re gonna be 10% short at the end of the month”, we always come out on top. 

God’s love is unconditional and everlasting.  Whatever present you may be suffering through, remember that future Glory that God will reveal in you and it will far outweigh this measly little obstacle trying to get in your way.


He's so Good to Me!

I have been reflecting the past couple of days on how good God has been to us.  It has been a summer full of Blessings and miracles that only God can do!  Just to name a few...

1- Jehovah Jireh, My Provider 
I am getting a promotion at work, which is not only great because, hello, it's a promotion, but it's actually something I enjoy doing.  I am an analytical, attention-to-detail type of person.  The Lord has brought me to a place in my career at EOG where my job description is to actually be the OCD person I am!  How great is that!  Most people who know me know that I worked at EOG as a contractor for over 2 years.  I felt discouraged that no matter how many times my boss promised me that I would be hired on as a company employee, something or someone always stopped that from happening.  I felt unappreciated for the work that I was doing.  I felt frustrated.  I didn't have insurance which meant I could never go to the doctor when I was sick and that I had to continue dealing with the bunion I had that was giving me a lot of pain.  Well, God is always on time.  "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

One month before getting married, I was finally hired!  Just in time to get myself and Brock some much needed insurance and benefits.  Just in time to get paid vacation hours for our honeymoon.  What a blessing to be able to enjoy a week in Hawaii with my new husband without worrying about the money I would have been losing on pay day.  Now, a few months later, my hard work over the past 3 years is paying off and I am getting promoted!  God is Good, All the Time! (Shout out to Mary Carter there!) :) I feel appreciated.  Accomplished.  At Peace.  Encouraged.  Blessed.

2- Jehovah Rophe, Healer and Jehovah Shalom, my Prince of Peace
I have seen God's healing hand this year!  I believe our church, Diamond Oaks Worship Center, is a place where miracles happen and prayers are answered.  

First- In December, one of our members (a Sunday school teacher) was in a terrible accident.  She suffered so many injuries that I can't even remember them right now.  She was in the hospital for weeks and our church was getting everyone we know to pray for her life and her healing and recovery.  Now, she is one of seven people EVER, to survive an internal decapitation!  She is back teaching her Sunday school class which I know makes her happy.  She is such a joy to everyone she encounters-and what a great testimony she has!

Second- A few weeks ago, my very best friend went to have a mole removed from her leg.  The next day the doctor called her back into his office and told her it was melanoma.  When she told me, I was kind of speechless.  This is my best friend, the sunscreen queen.  She can't have skin cancer.  How is that possible?  She was referred to an oncologist and he quickly scheduled surgery for the next week.  The ladies of our church all decided to set aside time to fast breakfast and pray one morning.  While I was praying, I was reminded of the father in Mark chapter 9 who asks Jesus to heal his sick child saying "If you can".  Jesus replied, "If you can?  Everything is possible for him who believes."  The man replied, "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief".  I started to pray this prayer "Help my unbe--" and I stopped myself right there.  I realized, I didn't have any unbelief in this matter.  In my soul, I believed that God would heal her.  There was no doubt in my mind that she would be cancer-free.  So fast-forward a few days and it is surgery time.  I had to work so I just asked her husband or mom to let me know when she was out of surgery.  Well, almost 2 hours pass from the time her 45-minute surgery is supposed to start and I have not heard from anyone.  I start to get a little uneasy.  I have had praise and worship music on in my office but wasn't really paying attention to it.  The very next words that a sung say "Be still my soul, be still.  Wait patiently upon the Lord.  Be still my soul, be still."  Once again, God is always on time!  I was immediately at peace again.  Well, she had her surgery and although she may still be in pain, the reports have come back- she has no cancer in her body!  Praise God!

Ok, this has been a really long post and I can assure you that future blogs will probably not be this long :) but I just had to give God glory because he is Mighty and Worthy to be Praised!  So if you're in a state of waiting, doubt, discouragement, worry, or (I could go on and on) anything that does not speak Peace right now, be encouraged!  Have faith that God can do what He says He can do! (Beth Moore, Believing God- Great book!)  Know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him!" (Romans 8:28).