Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strings and Knots

"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things." Ecclesiastes 11:5

When I was younger, I used to love to cross stitch. Of course, back then I seemed to have more patience to sit there for hours. Moving the needle in and out, hoping that soon, what I was 'attempting' to make would look something like the picture it came with :-) One day, I was about to continue with one of my projects. As I went to get the cross stitch piece I was working on out of my sewing box (yes, I had a sewing box! What of it!!), I noticed all these knots and strings on the back of my picture. For a second, I was amazed that so many ugly looking pieces of strings and knots could actually turn out to make such a beautiful picture. God has since then brought my 'cross stitching' days of glory back to my mind. He reminds me that His children (myself included!) are always looking at the knots and strings of His will for our life, questioning, wondering, why, why why? Yet, our Father, the designer of our life, is looking at the finished product. He knows the purpose for every string, every knot, every turn, and every loop. We plead for glimpses of that finished product, but sometimes they come and sometimes there is only silence. What does this mean for us as God's people? He will tell us in this post... I think I could learn something new about God every second of my life until the day I die and I would have still never scratched the surface of who this magnificent God really is. However, at the present moment in my Christian walk, He is working with me on belief. A question that I have often asked myself is, "Why can't I just believe God?" The answer to this question goes back to the Garden of Eden. Believing God seems like such a simple concept. Though the concept is simple, God's people often find it to be so difficult. The reason is sin. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of life. He didn't tell them every detail or go over the complete plan, but He told them what He wanted them to know for the moment. You know, the 'strings and knots'? But then, Satan came into the picture. He gave Eve reasons (illusions) of why she should eat from that tree and not believe God. Sin is still the reason God's children find it difficult to believe Him today. You see, sin creates distance between us and God. We often think of sin to be murder, stealing, big lies (as opposed to little white ones), sexually sins, etc. But in God's eyes, sin is sin and sin equals distance. Do we ever think that pride is sin? Arrogance? Putting other people (even if it's our own family) before God... it's sin too. The reason we fail to believe God is because we allow (notice I said 'we' allow) sin to wedge itself between us and God, slowly creating distance. Satan does this by telling us lies. You may be saying, "Corrie, what lies? I know when I am being lied to!" No. Satan is very good at deceiving. Have you ever found yourself asking the question of, "Will God really help me in this trial?"; "What if He doesn't rescue me?"; "What if everything I know about God really isn't really true?" My friend, these are the lies that take our eyes off of our Father. And the moment we look down, the waves seem to wash over us, crashing, smothering us as if to feel as though we are drowning. So, how do we believe God and not the lies? How do we wait when we only see the 'strings and knots'? I believe the answer is in God's word. I started looking at people in the Bible who God gave instruction to trust Him, believe Him, with only knowing very limited information: Abraham- God tells him to just pack up everything and everybody, move'm out and follow Him! Strings and knots. Abraham is also a good example for us to see what can happen if you want to flip over the cross stitch to see the finished product way too early! (But after that, Abraham did believe God for the rest of his life); Moses-God tells him to go tell this big scary tyrant to just 'let the people go' and if he didn't, to threaten the big scary tyrant with a bunch of plagues! Strings and knots. Mary-God tells her she is having a baby (and we all know all the biology that was missing there!) and the baby would be the Messiah! Strings and knots. David, Samuel, Job...strings and knots. I could go on and on of people who believed God when they didn't know what the completed picture would be like. So, if sin existed then as it exists now, how did they believe God? The reason is the relationship these people had with God. These people spent time with God, talking to Him and listening to Him, confessing sin so that they could be close with Him. When they became afraid, they drew closer and closer to God (James 4:8). That is the answer for us today. We believe God when we are close to God. The closer I get to God, the more I seek to be like Him. The more of His identity I can take on, the less sin can wedge its way in between us. When the distance is gone, trust is built! Spending time with God also includes reading and studying His word. But, in order for God's word to bring us comfort, encouragement, power, etc, we must be able to believe the one who wrote it (Proverbs 30:5). What about you? Are you struggling to believe God in a trial right now? The way we can believe Him is to confess the sin that is causing the distance between us and God. We must stop buying into the lies of Satan and allowing him to intimidate us into doubting a God that is true. I love to read Hebrews chapter 11. It is a chapter completely devoted to God's people who believed Him when they only saw the 'strings and knots'. You and I must be willing to believe God even though the wind howls around us. We must choose to believe Him when Satan stages the illusion of no hope being anywhere in sight. When Satan roars in our face, we must remember he was stripped of power at Calvary and that he is a lion with no teeth. We are God's people. We must prove faithful. I will end the post with Lamentations 3:21-24: "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him." ****Here's to 'strings and knots'! Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, forgive me for wanting to rush ahead of you in your plans for my life. Those strings and knots that I have seen have been so purposeful in my relationship with you and they still are. Help me to wait on you and boldly follow you with total belief in who you are... not only for what you do..

Sunday, July 5, 2009


"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage each other with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:42 As I have shared with you before, after God gives me the post to write, I immediately begin to pray for Him to give me the next one. Then, rather than panic, I have learned to wait for Him. Just a few hours ago, God overwhelmed my heart with this particular post. I must say, it is perhaps one of the most encouraging and exciting post He has ever given me. I hope in reading this, God will change the perception of your day today... I am sure many of you celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks (unless you are like me and live in the woods and can't because you might start a forest fire that would burn for days!). Anyway, tonight at my church, we continued the celebration by gathering together to honor both our Lord and our men and women of service. We also had the privilege of hearing our Congressman, Robert Aderholt, share his heart. After the service, hot dogs and ice cream were served. And then came the fireworks. As we all stood outside, everyone seemed to stop eating and talking as the fireworks show began. The sky was beautifully lit up with an array of color and explosions of loud sounds that indicated the beauty that would soon come behind them. All of a sudden, God allowed me to see something wonderful and exciting... so exciting that I have chills again writing about it. There, all around me, stood 2 or 3 hundred people, gazing up at the sky. They couldn't take their eyes of what was happening in the sky. Suddenly, I felt as though I had caught a tiny glimpse of what it will be like when our Lord returns for us. I feel as though some times, we begin to think that our lives, our trials, are to hard to bear here in this old world. Satan plants the doubts of 'is this man really coming back for us?' My friend, God placed this post on my heart tonight to encourage you who are weary. This includes me. So many of us are undergoing trials that seem to take away our very breath. The endurance for another day seems almost to hard to bear. We must remember that we are not orphans who have been abandoned or discarded. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords! We are royalty, but we wait as though we are forgotten children. You and I must understand that HE WILL BE BACK! Prophecies have been and are continuing to be fulfilled. It is getting closer and closer to the day when the trumpet sounds and our eyes are drawn to the activity in the sky, once again. But this time, not for fireworks. The Lord Jesus has come to do as He promised! Our loved ones ,who have accepted Him through salvation, will rise first and then us--His children! We will be changed! My heart beats faster as I write this post. But as much as I long to see my Saviour and those who have gone before me, there is much work to be done. Jesus did not tell us to rest with our feet up while He went to get everything ready. No, you and I must share with others about the day of our Lord. Even though I know I will be a part of that glorious day, if it were today, I would be heart broken. Heart broken for those I have not told about my Lord. Do you know if your spouse has accepted Christ into their heart? Other family members? Your best friend? What about that person who is sitting next to you right now? I have failed my God miserably in this area, but I am going to strive to change that. Perhaps your are going through a difficult trial in your life right now. You never seem to be able to 'get everything together' here on Earth. If your are God's child, He tells us that we are aliens and strangers to this world. We are temporary. And for that reason, we must depend on God and His power to take us through the 'land of the living'. We have work to do, guys and gals. He is returning. What we have read is true. My heart tells me it is. But for today or tonight, whenever you are reading this, I challenge you to do something that I did tonight: Look at the sky for just a moment. If you are His child, anticipate that day where we will be caught up in the air, the trumpet... the rapture. As for our trials we face today, 1 Thess. 4:18 tells us that the return of Christ should encourage us as believers. But until that day comes, we must continue to do the work... His work. Love, Corrie (Note: If you have never asked Christ into your heart to be your Lord and Saviour, I would be honored to share with you how to do that. Please contact me by phone or by email (both my email address and phone number can be found on the home page of the website). It will be the best decision you will ever make :-) My prayer for today: Lord, how thankful I am that you have gone to prepare a place for me. A place that I can't even imagine. I nailed you to that cross and you gave me eternity in return. I don't know what to say except that I am thankful. I will proclaim who you are until you return.