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GOD’S PURPOSE

god will fulfill

GOD’S PURPOSE  – God taking what we deem to be impossible and turning it into something miraculous.

For many years I lived with the notion that life should be happy all the time.  Then reality struck.  Hardship arrived.  Suffering barged in uninvited.  But unbeknownst to me it would evolve into one of the greatest gifts I had ever received.

Yes, I do believe that hardship is a gift to human nature.  Hardship provides substance to our life.  Walking through difficulty takes us into a dimension in our character that will provide deep transformation – if we allow it.  And right in the middle of  the hardship there is GOD’S PURPOSE.  However quite often GOD’S PURPOSE is drowned out by the pain and suffering that hardship brings with it.  But be assured GOD’S PURPOSE is there.   In many ways GOD’S PURPOSE is shouting I’m here, and in other ways GOD”S PURPOSE is quiet and requires stillness to find it.

We were all created with powerful heavenly purpose.  But we were also created with free will.  Those two elements quite often collide because we want our way and we think we know what is best for our life.   And right in the middle of all of that there is a God who has a marvelous plan for our life.

There I believe is where hardship often comes in and plays a divine part in the making and shaping of our character.  Because it is when the LARGENESS OF LIFE hits us that we can really begin to see that we are just mere humans with extreme limitations but HE IS GOD WITH NO LIMITATIONS.

Whether we are dealing with a terrible disease, a loss, divorce, financial hardship, painful situations, we will at some point come  face to face with the reality that we don’t have the answer.  We can’t fix this. Or we don’t know what to do.  This is where the treasure is found.   Right in the center of anything you may be facing God is at work.  And His purpose is being divinely woven.

No matter what you may be facing;  whether your situation seems impossible or makes no sense to you – in the hands of a powerful all-knowing God there will arise great purpose.

If you are going through a difficult season I encourage you to go straight to Romans chapter 8 and into chapter 9.  There you will find truths that will help you along, reassure you, and provide hope.

ONE THING IS FOR SURE…

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose…” Roman 8:28

We can live with the assurance that GOD’S PURPOSE  is at work in our lives.  And at some point…at some time…good will come from whatever we are facing and persevering through.  Trials are not God’s punishment in our life, but rather His means to drive us deeper into His love and grace.  They are instruments that teach us to trust in a faithful God.

No matter what you may be facing today rest assured that Your Creator sees what you are going through and He is at work.  And your hardship is producing bountiful blessings inside of you that will be revealed in due season.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

GOD’S PURPOSE  –  God taking what we deem to be impossible and turning it into something miraculous.

God has a purpose for you and your life!

“Dear Jesus…help us to trust you with our whole heart.  Provide us the strength we need to persevere through the trials we are facing.  And to trust that you are working all things out for our good.”

Amen

God’s strength and blessings to you…

Marta

The richness of adversity…

” I have been driven many times to my knees by the
overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go.
My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed
insufficient for the day.”
Abraham Lincoln

Do you ever feel like life is just a bit overwhelming?  Like your hanging by a thread.  The challenges and problems that coexist with every day life seem to scream for all of our attention.  Yet our hearts cry out for peace, stillness, reflection and answers.  And mixed in with all the  mysterious of life  there is a beckoning.  A call” Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30   The love of God is lavishly poured out as it were from heavens gates right into the frailty of our human condition.  Jesus doesn’t just tell us it will all be alright  – but assures us that He will provide the strength we need to go through the trials and storms of life.

For the last few months I have been going through a very challenging time in my life.  One that has brought me to a deeper understanding of what it is to Praise God when things are quite imperfect in our life.  I remember as a child I had so many notions of how life would be for me.  I dreamed of happiness and longed for the day when everything would be okay.  But what I have discovered along the way is that life is one gigantic learning curve.  And God’s imprint upon a life comes with great complexity, as His refining and purifying process is worked out in us.  And quite frankly that work often appears to be messy.  Yes, in a society where appearance is so important and control trumps humility,  God has a wonderful way of bringing us to the end of ourselves.

What is our story today?  What are we walking through that is so much larger than us and demands the intervention of an all knowing God to see us through?  How are we facing what is before us?  Are we trusting  Him or are we wanting to fix it our way?  Are we experiencing joy in the storm or holding out for happiness and relief?  If we could but for a moment have a peak at the undertakings, the behind the scenes of what God is up to in our lives I can only imagine that we would be blown away.

Trials come to prove and improve us.  St. Augustine

It is in those places of crisis that we can truly discover the manifold riches that are unleashed when we are solely dependent on God.   Like sustaining joy, continuous peace, grace, love, direction, revelation, hope, purpose, and destiny.  How about healing, restoration, and redemption.  God’s ways are so much higher than ours.

I have to be honest I used to really not appreciate the following Scripture.  I just could not understand how God could allow adversity. I surely appreciated the good things of life…..but I didnt want to share in the sufferings.    “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”  Job 2:10  But I can tell you that the richest times in my relationship with the Lord have come during my most desperate moments in life.  And while right now it may seem like we are holding on by a thread…that thread is Christ and He never lets go of us.

Our suffering is not worthy the name of
suffering. When I consider my crosses,
tribulations, and temptations, I shame myself
almost to death, thinking what are they in
comparison of the sufferings of my blessed
Savior Christ Jesus.
Martin Luther

By Marta VanGerwen © 2011

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.      

Control…control…control…

WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE?

© 2011 By Marta VanGerwen

How many times have you been lunged into a new course in life?  The unexpected comes.   The loss of a loved one, a sickness overtakes your body, a job change,  or having to move to a new place.  Or a relationship is crushed as the imperfections of our humanness take center stage. Life can be very hard and painful.  It is filled with continuous change.  And I resist change.  I am a control freak.  Yes, I admit it.  I like to be in control.  Or should I say I live with the notion that I am in control.

I wonder if there is a sense of comfort in thinking we are in control.  And yet when the largeness of life comes, I am continually reminded just how much I am not in control.  I certainly did not have the power to control my exit from Cuba.  Or in the case of my amazing 17-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with MS four-years ago.  If I was in control I would not have willed her to be diagnosed with this terrible disease.

When my life set sail literally on a new course out of Cuba I had no idea what awaited me on the other side.  My heart resisted the change with everything within me.  From that point on I developed the pattern of wanting to control my own life.  I embraced the perception that if I could just control the situations of my life, I would never again have to feel the pain that had infiltrated my heart.

But something remarkable has happened in my life that has carried me from the passage to pain to the passage of freedom.  For as much as I have strived to be in control I have miraculously discovered the joy of letting go.  My journey out of Cuba not only provided me with the right to freedom as a human being versus the grip of communism and or socialism.  But it was also to be the catalyst that would unfold the path to the freedom for my soul,  whereby I would experience the life saving grace of Jesus Christ.

What’s on the other side?  The beauty in life is really found in the continuous metamorphosis that surrounds our journey.  A journey filled with new beginnings and new seasons and the adjustments that come with the ever-changing scope of our life.  God has placed us in this world infused us with the ability to love, hurt, feel, think and even doubt, and sets us on a journey of grand mystery.  The unpredictable looms every day.  And yet we are to trust, have faith, and move forward in the unseen.

Quite often, it may seem that staying in the current situation we are in is easier than facing where God may want to take us.  When God rattles our world, we can suddenly be hit with sticky fingers clutching the very life we have grown accustomed to having, yet knowing how desperately we need to let go.

I never could have envisioned what that painful passage of change from Cuba to Spain to America would provide for me.  That I would have the privilege to live in this great nation, to be blessed with everything I need and to experience learning a new language and a new culture.

You see on this side of change it’s hard to see all that God is up to.  But this is where letting go of the illusion of control, and allowing the powerful hand of God to move in our lives comes to play.  There is a peaceful confidence to life when we are being guided by Someone much greater than us.  Someone that knows the beginning to the end of our journey, and knows what is best for our life.

What is awaiting us on the other side of change?  What is God asking of us today?  Let go, trust Him and watch and see what God does in your life as you surrender to Him.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

© 2011 Marta VanGerwen

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Passage to Pain…

© 2011 By Marta VanGerwen

It was like so many other days where the sun shined its brilliance upon the beautiful coast of Cuba. But on this particular day amidst the refreshing coastal air there would be heartache and sadness.  The backdrop was a seaport where a very large ship stood filled with children.  Pandemonium, sadness, and separation could be seen everywhere.  Moms and dads clinging to their children, sons and daughters sobbing, uncles, aunts and grandparents painfully saying their farewells.  Right there submerged in the emotion of all the activity is where my life would take a sudden and dramatic turn. 

I was born in Havana, Cuba during the time of Castro’s insurgence.  I have many memories of Cuba, but the one that carved its most significant imprint on my life was that day on the seaport.  I was five years old and my brother was eleven.  From a distance I spotted the activity. There were people everywhere looking lost, confused and very sad.  Children walking up the ships ramp without their parents, and countless kids lined up on the ship’s deck crying and waving at their parents.

As we got closer to the commotion my mom gripped my hand as if to prepare me for what was about to strike our family. My small little mind could not wrap itself around the seriousness of what was taking place.  Something was not right.  I looked up at my mother to catch a glimpse of comfort but she was drenched in her own emotion.

I glanced at the ship, then at my mother, then at the numerous children waving from the ship.  I looked at the people crying and waving good-bye to their kids and the countless children walking up the ramp.   And then without warning, reality struck like a lightning bolt through my heart.  “No, I don’t want to go!” I looked at my mom, and said, “You are coming with me, right?”  Kneeling down to make eye contact with me, my mom said, “No, I can’t.  But I will see you very soon.”  Frantically I said, “Please come with me Mommy, I’m scared.  I don’t want to go. Please!”

Desperately trying to be strong for her two children, my mom begins to direct us to the ships ramp where she is about to make one of the greatest sacrifices a mother can make.  The ships last call echoed throughout the port.  The excruciating final moment had arrived.  My brother began to peel me away from my mom as I drastically held onto the only security my little life had known.  But to no avail my destiny was out of my control.  My brother gently escorted me up the ramp as I wept profusely.  Within seconds I found a spot on the deck where I could see my mom and dad and began to wave at them as the ship sailed away.   My eyes remained glued to my mom, who was immersed in her own tears of relinquishment and sacrifice, as she watched her only two children sail away into the sunset. 

“Bye Mommy, I love you.  I will miss you.” I whispered to myself, as my heart nudged into complete chaos.  The ship sailed further and further away and my life’s purpose seemingly diminished.  My parents were in a desperate situation.  Life in Cuba was changing quickly and dramatically.  The only option they had was to send us away.  Unbeknownst to them was the extent of their sacrifice, and what they were truly rescuing us from:  the communist takeover of Cuba by Fidel Castro.

From that point on I would view my life through the lens of pain and heartache.   My perspective was tarnished and my heart would set sail on its own lifelong journey to find hope and healing.  Whether it is pain, disappointment, failures or regret life has a way of revealing to us just how much we really are not in control.  You may be reading this and have your own painful story.  Maybe you were plunged into a journey which you did not choose, and you carry the marks of abandonment, rejection or hurt.  You may be regretting poor decisions you have made in your life that have left you with painful consequences.

I have found that it has been in the most difficult moments that I have experienced the magnificence of a God that loves us and desires to heal our shattered hearts.  No matter what has happened God has a plan for our lives.  Whether we are in the midst of the hardest trial we have ever been in, or are living with what seems like an impossible situation God is still in control and He can work all things out for our good. 

More to come in Risendreams..…and I hope you come back and visit again…

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

 © 2011 Marta VanGerwen                      

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.