Tag Archive | trust

Trusting An Unseen God

                                                                                                                                                                     

For many a life yielded to God appears weak, boring, restrictive and too religious.

I had the privilege of growing up in Culver City, California.  A city filled with great enchantment for a child.  My backyard for several years was attached to the Desilu Studios.  At that time I didn’t realize just how very unique my surroundings were.  From daily seeing the Batmobile, Lassie,  Bruce Lee and his son living two houses from me, to sneaking into the studios to see such shows as Andy Griffith, Gomer Pile, and F Troup being filmed.  This was the era where children played outside until dark, and neighbors talked with each other for hours.   And it was in the center of that backdrop where I first saw them.

Theirs was a feat not many could withstand, and yet they seemed to do it with such grace and joy.  I was around ten years old the first time I spotted them. Instantly my heart was drawn to their plight and mesmerized by the beauty of their harmony.  They walked simultaneously, synchronized like a beautiful orchestra, guided only by what they held in their hands.  This extraordinary couple was blind, and their walking stick was their only means of experiencing freedom in their world.  I had the opportunity of watching this amazing couple walk the streets countless times during my childhood.

I found it difficult to comprehend such an enduring hardship.  For a moment, my little world seemed insignificant compared to what I was witnessing.  I looked with wonder at the confidence they placed on the instrument they each held. It led them. It guided them.  And protected them.  And yet I wondered how they could put so much trust in this stick with all the danger, obstacles and challenges surrounding them.  Their blind faith captured my heart.

They depended unreservedly on their instrument to direct them every step of the way. They held the walking stick in front of them, and with complete trust surrendered to the instrument leading them and protecting them from what was ahead.  Trusting that it would guide them in the unseen avenues of their world.  I would watch as they approached a crosswalk,  tap the stick to feel the street and listen intently for traffic.  Then when they sensed the road was clear they crossed the street completely trusting their walking stick.

Little did I know the impact those repeated scenes, etched in my memory, would have on my life; how the memory would draw a parallel to my learning to trust in an unseen God for everything in my life.  It is one thing to say “I trust God” and then another thing to really live that out in life.  Just as this blind couple totally relied on their walking stick to experience freedom in their world, I have had to learn how to totally rely on the Lord to experience freedom in my world. 

For many a life yielded to God appears weak, boring, limited, restrictive and too religious.  And yet what I have discovered first hand is that real freedom comes by way of letting go and trusting God.  Yet, as humans we strive and stumble trying to do it our way.  Convinced that we know what is best for our life.  Trying everything under the sun to mask the emptiness and dissatisfaction we feel.  All the while God is  lovingly and passionately pursuing us waiting for us to open our hearts door to His AMAZING GRACE. 

At this very moment God issues invitations by the millions.  He says, “Come, enjoy me forever.”  Yet many people have no desire to do so.  He speaks; they cover their ears.  He commands; they scoff.  They don’t want him telling them how to live.  They regard his son as a joke and the cross as utter folly.  They spend their lives telling God to leave them alone.   Max Lucado

 Jesus offers the invitation in Matthew 11:28:  “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

What about you?  Are you depending on the things of this world to satisfy the longing in your heart?  GOD LOVES YOU!!!  And while you may not know it yet – The unseen God is really clearer and nearer than anything else in this world.  Take the step today to trust the Lord and watch and see the miracles He performs in your life.  

God’s blessings……….I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS….

Marta

By Marta VanGerwen © 2012

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

 

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Whatever you’re doing inside of me…It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace.   It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see…Sanctus Real

There is an appointed time for everything.  And there is a time for every event under heaven…Ecclesiastes 3:1

I don’t know about you but change is hard for me.  I kind of like things to just stay the same nice and cozy.  I’m not much for my world being rocked out of its comfort zone.  And yet isn’t that what life is really about seemingly.  Just as we experience the beautiful seasonal changes in our weather so it is with our lives. Life truly does not remain the same.  It is a journey filled with continues changes, and I find that the more I fight change the murkier the view ahead becomes.

My daughter is graduating in a few days and I am reflecting on all the times I longed for this day to come. The day she would finally be finished with High School.  No more last-minute typing reports, or rushing to Walmart to get a glue stick for an assignment.  No more boring lunches, arguments about her getting her homework done, or going to bed or getting up.  No more missing socks or uniform pants.   No more driving her to school.  No more last-minute phrases from my car as I drop her off – “I love you Cece!  I believe in you!  You can do it!  Your awesome girl!  Make good decisions.  Make it a good day.”    The season is now finished.  Graduation has arrived.  And yet, I find myself still wanting to hold on to her like she is five years old.  As she ventures out into her new season, her new world I just want to  keep her in a protective bubble to make sure nothing hurtful happens to her.

Change is hard!   And letting go is even harder.

I am facing a new season in my life and CHANGE is flooding in with unstoppable force, spurning on deep reflection.  And while I know that change is inevitable!  This new wave is challenging me to look at everything I believe in.  And as much as I want to hold onto the safety of what is comfortable,  it is time to step into the unknown and trust God for the new season.  It is time to move on and move forward. Taking the joys and pain of the past and using them as stepping-stones on the new road.    Moving forward triumphantly knowing God works all things out for our good.    And as I stand gazing at the road ahead there is much uncertainty.  It’s like standing at a crossroads and having to determine which road to travel on.

                                   

I remember another big crossroads in my life.  I was around the same age as my soon to be graduating daughter.  It was a magnificent Spring day in Westchester, California.  Something had been stirring in my heart and I was not sure what it was.  But when the opportunity arose.  When the challenge came.  I took the step of faith.  I did not know what was next.  I could not see far.  All that was clear was my next step.  But with a fresh and new deposit of faith my heart leaped into the unknown season that would end up completely transforming my life.  On that day I decided that inviting Jesus Christ to enter my life was far better than continuing my journey without Him.  And that was 35 years ago and there has not been one day, minute or second that I have regretted that decision.  For it was that turning point, crossroads, new season that provided my life with healing, wholeness, peace, fulfillment and everlasting acceptance and love.

So as I stand facing the road ahead not knowing what lies beyond my next step, I can walk with resounding trust knowing that it will be God’s faithfulness that illuminates the path.    Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

What about you?  Are you needing direction?  Is your life at a crossroads?  Are you uncertain about what is next.  Is there a tugging in your heart   that change is needed but your hesitant or afraid.   Step into the loving embrace of a Savior who not only knows your future but has the expertise to get you there.  JESUS LOVES YOU IMMEASURABLY.

Thank you for stopping by…I close with some words from a song that is actually one of my links under  my Blogroll on the right side of my blog.  It’s worth taking the time to listen I think you will be blessed by it….

Whatever you’re doing inside of me…It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace.   It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see…but I’m giving in to something heavenlyTime for a milestone…Time to begin again…Reevaluate who I really am…Am I doing everything to follow your will…or just climbing aimlessly over these hills…So show me what it is you want from me…I give everything I surrender…To...         Song by Sanctus Real “Whatever you doing (Something heavenly)   

More to come from Risendreams….PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT….

 By Marta VanGerwen © 2012            

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

FROM DISTANT TO MY HEART

God seemed untouchable to me.  Detached from His creation.

I remember as a teenager my thoughts of God were filled with both fear and astonishment.  Who created God, I wondered?  What do you mean He always existed?    Watching the movie, “The Ten Commandments” left me with a confirming sense of just how small I am – in comparison to how big and gigantic God is.  I would picture His thundering voice resounding with a deep penetrating energy that could shake the ground.  God seemed untouchable to me.  Detached from His creation.   Like looking through a telescope and seeing that very far away dazzling bright star.  It’s unreachable; distant and beyond our human grip.

But at the age of 19 that perceived distance broke through my doubting heart.  I made the greatest decision of my lifetime, and discovered that with the Lord it’s the opposite of that distant star… we don’t need a telescope to find God.   He is as close as our heart.   But just how can the Great and Mighty God even relate to us?   It can be a bit overwhelming to consider how the God who created it all can bridge the gap and enter into our world.  But that is exactly what He did by sending His Son Jesus Christ.

The decision involved inviting Jesus Christ into my heart into my life.  And it was that choice that bridged the gap between me and what I thought was a distant God.  When I said “Yes” to Jesus – He entered into His rightful place as King of my heart.    He was now my dear Heavenly Father who lives not in some distant place but in my heart.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelations 3:20

How about you?  Where is the God who created you seated in your life?  Is He distant?  Are you keeping Him at bay as you  live your life your way.    I sure kept the Lord at a distance.   I was under the great assumption that I could handle this life without Him.

It is clearly the most reassuring truth to know that GOD IS NOT SOME DISTANT GOD who sits on His throne looking down and watching all of us trip over ourselves, as we try and figure out this thing called life.  Instead He is our greatest cheerleader.  An adoring fan.  Who has our back.  Who holds our destiny.  Who carries us during the most difficult times of our lives.  Who above all is the strength of our life…the wind beneath our wings…He is God!  The great I AM.  Who chose (instead) of relating with us from a distance –  to dwell within the human heart.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  Galations 2:20

Blessings to you…….more to come from Risendreams…

By Marta VanGerwen © 2012

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

I BELIEVE…

“My eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.” George Mueller

“But the righteous will live by faith.”  Habakkuk 2:4b

Oh to have such faith that when you pray you actually believe that God will answer your prayer.  That Jesus always has our best interest in mind.  I want to share the following devotional by STREAMS IN THE DESERT that I hope will encourage you to trust God wholeheartedly,  with whatever is troubling you today.  With whatever you are seeking Him about.  That our trust in a faithful God would be complete, and that we would not only trust but believe for those things that seem impossible in our life.   Because with God all things are possible!!!   “And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

A Simple Prayer     BY STREAMS IN THE DESERT  Online daily devotional

L.B. Cowman

“I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).

I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, “The last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said, “Captain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon.” “It is impossible,” I said. “Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.”

I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can that man have come from? I never heard of such a thing as this. “Mr. Mueller,” I said, “do you know how dense this fog is?” “No,” he replied, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.”

He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. “First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.”

I looked at him, and he said, “Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone.” I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement.      

I pray this devotional was uplifting to you…I know reading it really impacted my life today…as I think about how awesome God truly is and how much He loves us and desires to meet our needs.  If you want to read more about the life of George Mueller please read below….

God’s richest blessings to you….

More to come from Risendreams…

By Marta VanGerwen © 2012

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


George Mueller was a native German (a Prussian). He was born in Kroppenstaedt on September 27, 1805 and lived almost the entire nineteenth century. He died March 10, 1898 at the age of 92. He saw the great awakening of 1859 which he said “led to the conversion of hundreds of thousands.” He did follow up work for D. L. Moody, preached for Charles Spurgeon, and inspired the missionary faith of Hudson Taylor.

The aim of George Mueller’s life was to glorify God by helping people take God at his word. To that end he saturated his soul with the word of God. At one point he said that he reads the Bible five or ten times more than he reads any other books. His aim was to see God in Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead in order that he might maintain the happiness of his soul in God. By this deep satisfaction in God George Mueller was set free from the fears and lusts of the world. And in this freedom of love he chose a strategy of ministry and style of life that put the reality and trustworthiness and beauty of God on display. To use his own words, his life became a “visible proof to the unchangeable faithfulness of the Lord.”   Desiring God   God- Centered Resources from the Ministry of John Piper

For more information on George Mueller (you will be encouraged by reading about his life) type the following linkGeorge Mueller’s  strategy For showing God simplicity of faith

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.      

Don’t worry…I GOT IT!!!

   

© 2011 By Marta VanGerwen

I can’t make it through another day!  The pain is unbearable!  I feel like my life is over!  I have no hope!  I can’t keep up this façade.  Why did this happen?   It’s so unfair!  These statements have been uncovered during many coffee times with precious women that are going through difficult times in their lives.  And some represent the cry of my own heart.   The older I get the more I realize that life is mostly hard, but…..God is good.   There are days when I am so saddened by the burdens that family and friends are walking through that all I can do is –  cry out to Jesus for a miracle.  Some may wonder where God is, and why does He allow so much pain?  Does He really care?   It seems the hardships appear to be escalating whether it be financial, physical or emotional.   So what are we to do with so much pain?  What do we say to one another as we face the daily challenges that come our way?  Can we trust that God’s got it?   Or is it easier to worry and wonder?  Is there comfort found in resting in the goodness and faithfulness of God, or is it more assuring to try and figure it all out?

I remember the day that I found out my daughter was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Waiting for the MRI results had proven to be agonizing.   I spent hours online looking up the possibilities of what it could be based on her very abnormal eye activity.  The doctor suspected a brain tumor.  And while the wealth of information afforded us online is truly amazing, in moments like these it can be overwhelming.  At my fingertips I found every imaginable thing it could be.  By the time we went to the doctor to get the results I was convinced my daughter had a brain tumor. 

“Well,” said the doctor, “I have good news.  It is not a brain tumor.”  “Yes!”  I was overjoyed.  But I have other news.” continued the doctor.  “ Your daughter has MS.”   What?   It was like someone punched my stomach and knocked the air out of me.  More like the life out of me.  I wanted to scream.  Amidst the turmoil quickly brewing in my heart I thought,  No this is my daughter!  It can’t be!  I just brought her in because her eyes were doing strange things.  She will be fine.  She does not have MS.  This is just like the other visits where she has a virus and she will be better in a few days.  But the stark reality of the moment seized my attention, and I was forced to face what was unfolding.   I was overtaken with crippling fear.  What did this unexpected turn mean for my daughter?  How would we face this trial?

The doctor waited while I gained my composure and my sweet daughter sat there staring at the wall wondering what in the world just happened.  Thinking, “ Im 12 years old and you are telling me that I have an adult disease.”   I always knew she was an extraordinary girl but it was completely confirmed on that day.  She sat there with the poise of a champion listening to her doctor explain what her future held with this invasive disease.   Only 2% to 5% of children have MS.  And my daughter was now calculated in that small percentage.  Like an arrow striking her out of millions of children.

I am thankful the trials that come into our lives don’t come with complete enlightenment, but only with what is needed for the moment.  For if on that day the window to the future would have been opened,  unveiling what was ahead for my daughter it would have been seemingly too much to handle.  But that is the gift of grace provided by our Lord, that He only gives us the strength we need for each day to get through whatever may come   – moment by moment.

And while it is often hard to understand why the hardships come, I am moving into a deeper understanding that the storms of life truly do point us to a loving God who holds our lives strategically in His care.  Nothing goes unnoticed by Him.  And while the doubts shout with potency throughout our minds,  there is a calm in the storm that can be counted on.  There is a peace that settles in our hearts like a trusted friend.  While our situation may seem to be coming undone God is anchoring every broken piece with certainty.   A surety that no matter what… “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall ABIDE  under the shadow of the almighty.  Psalm 91:1

My darkest moments have been drenched with the radiance of a nurturing and loving God who not only holds us,  but guides us through the unexpected storms of life.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;  but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”  1 Peter 4:12-13

Most of life is sprinkled with uncertainty and lacking the WHY answers.  We are not to know everything.  And I imagine there are profound reasons why our view on this side of eternity is limited.    “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;  now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”    1 Corinthians 13:12      And so while we may not have the answers we do have the assurance that the God who fashioned this world can and will most certainly bring us through anything that comes our way.    One thing is for sure and you can bank on this  – “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all…Psalm 34:17-19a

Somehow I can visualize God declaring from heaven….Don’t worry…I GOT IT!!!     

More to come on RisenDreams…as always I welcome your comments….

Marta        

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

I know what is best for my life! Really?

© 2011 By Marta VanGerwen

“You’re not the boss of me!” declared my four-year old granddaughter to her siblings.  I waited to see if I needed to jump in and referee. But with a little give and take they worked it out and Kylie marched on victorious.  As I watched her maneuver her little world, I reflected on the different places in my life where I demand my way.

Of course it is a different scenario when an adorable four-year old shouts out that statement versus an adult.  I have spent many years, telling others and God, “You are not the boss of me.”  Oh, I didn’t use those exact words.  But you know the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”

Makes me think of the old song by Frank Sinatra, “My Way” that states the following, “And faced it all, and I stood tall; and did it my way.”  I have always struggled with those lyrics.  I wonder would we really at the end of our life be proud because we did everything our way?  As I look back at my life the places that have caused the greatest regret have been the areas where I did it my way, and where my actions shouted, “You are not the boss of me!”

I asked Jesus to be my Savior many years ago.  His powerful presence and transforming love set me on a journey of great healing.  But even as I yearned for Him to be my guide I still clung to my life.   And while I desired for Him to be in control of my life, my actions shouted,  “I still want to be in charge. You are not the boss of me!”  Again, I didn’t actually say those words to Him but through my stubbornness and demanding  way I was really saying I know what is best for my life.

In the bible we see a potent statement made by John the Baptist, that I feel really captures the essence of our relationship with the Lord, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30   Yet human nature wants its way.  And in the midst of our scramble to try and figure out  life, our Creator who has the answers longs to flood us with direction, fulfillment, purpose; and above all the gift of  Jesus.   And yet we continue striving and attempting to understand or make sense when it is impossible without the missing link.

This adventure was not intended to be self-directed, nor was it to be navigated by our finite perspective.  But instead to be relinquished to a loving God who desires to take center stage in our lives.  To supernaturally fashion His purpose for our lives in and through us.

After a few really costly mistakes I began to see that there is another way to live life.  I saw more clearly how the misguided view of “You are not the boss of me,” was driving me deeper away from God’s purposes for my life.  I saw how doing it my way is not the best for me, how it leads to disappointment and despair.

Demanding my way complicates.  Allowing God to direct ignites freedom  –  A freedom that sets in motion God’s amazing destiny for our lives.  I mean really who knows what is best for us but the ONE who created us.

So “Your not the boss of me,” is not my assertion anymore, but rather, Lord, help me decrease so that you can be all in my life.

And LORD, YOU ARE the boss of me!

Maybe you too have struggled with this in your own life.  I welcome your comments and or feedback… I think there is much to be learned from the journey of others…

More to come on RisenDreams…

You are HIS prized possession….

Marta          

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