Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Master of Breakthroughs

A few years ago David and I went through a very difficult time in ministry. We both struggled to find peace. He had become very despondent and was losing sight of his calling. I knew that he was at risk of becoming very bitter, very hardened.  Who am I kidding? We both fought the same battle.

One Saturday evening David was relaxing on the computer messing around on Facebook. I was in the den, but I could hear praise music coming from our bedroom. Song after song, the Name of Jesus was being praised. One hour went by. Two hours went by. About seven o'clock I called David for dinner. He said, "Darlin', I'm not hungry. Do you mind if I don't eat right now?" Actually, I did mind, but I didn't say anything. I ate alone. I watched television alone, turning it up loud so I could hear above the praise music that continued from our bedroom. 

I was sulking when I heard the Lord whisper, "Nan, this isn't about you. Let Me work."

I wish I could say I was filled with grace at that moment, but I wasn't. I just reduced the size of my pout. Five hours went by as I hid out in the den. And then my husband appeared in the doorway. His face must have been like Moses - it was glowing with the Light of Jesus. Joy was on his face. I could sense peace for the first time in months. For seven hours David had been praising God and leading praise on Facebook. By posting music on Facebook, a night of praise was born. There was interaction among Facebook friends as they glorified the Lord together, praying for one another, and being strengthened in the Lord. Now, almost two years later, FB Worship still occurs every Thursday night at 7:30.

 "And the Lord said to David, 'Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.' So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, 'The Lord has broken through my enemies, before me, like a breakthrough of water.' Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim (Master of Breakthroughs)" ~ 2 Samuel 5:19,20.

Have you ever seen a dam break? The water surges over and through its barrier, bursting full throttle onto the scene below. The water's power is unleashed. It consumes anything that would dare stand in its way. Its angry authority commands attention. That is what the Spirit of God did for David in 2 Samuel and that is what He did for my David. When my husband began to praise the Lord with total abandon, the Spirit of God unleashed His power, broke through the enemy of David's soul like a breakthrough of water, and set him free.

Hell has known no fury like that of our loving God, Adonai. He cares for you. He loves you with an everlasting love.

Father, thank You for the power of praise! It is mighty for the pulling down of strongholds, for setting the captives free. I ask that You cause praise to swell within us and burst through the deception of the enemy and draw our focus to You. Thank You Lord. You are amazing. We love You and we give You praise forever and ever. Amen.
Would you like to join us for FB Worship? Come on over to David's page on facebook Thursday night at 7:30. Bring your prayer requests, your praise reports, words of encouragement, but most importantly, your heart. We'd love for you to join us.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to worship with the David Crowder Band as they sing "O Praise Him" recorded live at Passion 2012.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ I Have Come Because of Your Prayer

Our little country church was considered a community pillar, at least in days gone by. In its heyday, we were told, its walls were bursting with families. Church pews held many people hungrily searching for God. Excitement had filled the halls; the glory of God beamed in the sanctuary. And  then, as so often happens, a stillness settled on the congregation. Negativity permeated its heart. The church's outreach turned inward and a death quell extinguished its light.

But God had other plans. He sent David and me to restore His joy to this precious church.

When we arrived there was a strong sense of sadness and defeat. Week after week we worked diligently, but made little headway. One Wednesday night after church services, David and two other men became desperate for God. They began to pray earnestly - fervently - for God's favor. They boldly asked for revival.

The harder the men prayed, the stronger the spiritual opposition fought back. Let me say that again. The harder the men prayed, the stronger the spiritual opposition fought back. They were tempted to give up, yet each of them understood they were on a heavenly mission. For weeks the men sought God together, often into the wee hours of the night. People began to sense a stirring in the congregation, an awakening. The pews began to overflow with church members who had long before left its chambers.

And then revival burst forth!

David was baptizing several each Sunday. A drunken man showed up one Sunday stating that God awoke him in the night and he knew he had to be saved. A prostitute appeared on another Sunday and walked away a new creation in Christ. It was totally amazing! But I ask you: what would have happened if David and the men had stopped praying?

Goodness, do I have an answer for you! Are you ready? Let's look at Daniel, chapter ten.

Daniel had been fasting and praying for twenty-one days - mourning over the plight of Israel. On the twenty-first day an angel appeared to Daniel and said this, "Do not be afraid Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia" ~ Daniel 10:12,13, NIV

Did you catch what the angel told Daniel in verse thirteen? He said that the prince of the Persian kingdom (a principality of darkness) resisted him for twenty-one days. Twenty-one days! The exact amount of time Daniel had been praying. The angel had been dispensed with an answer to Daniel's prayers the moment he began to pray, but it took him twenty-one days to reach Daniel because of the spiritual warfare. What if Daniel had stopped praying?

What if you stop praying about a particular situation?

How often have we waited for God's intervention only to become distracted by the frustration of the seeming silence or impatient with the slow progress? And in the distraction we cease to pray.

I have learned that when you think God is doing nothing that is when He is dong the most. He promises to hear us when we cry out to Him. He promises He will answer us. When we are in a season of waiting we must believe that God is working. We must resist the notion that He is ignoring us. We must. That idea is contrary to God's word.

Always, always, remember this: "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results" ~ James 5:16, NLT

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I'm featuring Jaci Velasquez singing, "On My Knees". Oh! What a beautiful way to spend a moment with the Lord. Sweet blessings to you, Nan

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Rising Up From the Ruins

"A song of adoration will rise up from these ruins and I will worship You and give You thanks."

These lyrics traipsed through my mind as I strolled along our country road. I needed a few moments alone with Jesus. You know...clear my mind, roll some burdens over on Him. I wanted to remind myself of His faithfulness. I needed to press in.

And then the most amazing thing caught my attention. On the side of the road, broken limbs and huge branches littered the edge of the woods. A few months back we had a horrific snowstorm. Branches snapped in yards and forests like rapid pops of gunfire. The damage was mind-boggling. Although most of the yards have been cleaned up, the forest remains a visual reminder of the destruction left in the wake of this massive storm.

Now...this is important. The branches that caught my attention have been lying broken on the side of the road for over two months. They were torn away from an ancient apple tree that grows on a meadow's edge. They are not in the ground, but on top of it. There are no roots attached. The branches lie in a jumbled pile of brokenness. Can you see that picture yet? Okay.

Popping out of the tips of the branches are APPLE BLOSSOMS! Yep. That's what I said. The only thing I can figure is that, although the branches were broken and left for dead, there was enough sap within them to produce new life when the spring sunshine began to bathe them in its warmth. I stood there dumbfounded and then raised my head towards heaven. My face relaxed into a bright smile.

And then I thought about the goodness of God.

I have felt so broken these past few months. I know I am not alone. I know a young family evicted from their home while the mom battles cancer. I know an abuse victim who walks on eggshells to avoid a beating. I know a cancer patient who just discovered the beast is back and invading her body. Many, many of my Christian brothers and sisters are facing desperate situations.

And yet they praise their God.

This kind of praise goes much deeper than a happy dance. Their praise is born of pain. It's born of understanding the suffering of Christ. Their praise flows from the rivers of Living Water itself. It's rich and has substance. Their praise is surrounded with groanings too deep for words.

How do they do that? How do I do that? I think the apple tree holds the answer. Just as the broken branches contained the dormant sap necessary to produce blossoms, the Spirit of God remains strong within His children, flowing through their veins, maintaining life within. In our brokenness, when we need Him the most, His Presence gives way to praise. How? Why? Because in our brokenness He reveals His tenderness and opens our eyes to see and know Him.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 reads, "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed - always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."

Beloved, the Lord is near to the brokenhearted. He will never leave you to suffer alone. Never. His Spirit dwells within. In due season this, too, shall pass and you will behold the glory and the power of the Lord.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to worship with Mandisa as she sings, "Broken Hallelujah". I know you will be blessed.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Light In A Dark Cloud

The wind kicked up fallen leaves swirling them into tiny whirlwinds. A thunderhead began churning on the horizon. As the massive clouds streamed overhead, the sun became obscured. I rocked on my porch and watched darkness settle on the mountainside.

Just that morning I had read the story of Solomon building the temple.* "The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud," Solomon told the children of God. I looked up at the afternoon sky, thick with dark storm clouds. I pondered what Solomon had said. I was looking for answers. I was looking for hope. Life had been so difficult lately because of job loss. I knew we had not been forsaken by the Lord, but I couldn't put the pieces together. God is light and love and all things wonderful, so if I belonged to Him, how could life be filled with such darkness? There had to be an answer.

The sun peaked out from behind the darkest cloud in the sky. It was only for a moment, but it was a God-moment. As the sun revealed its crown of brilliant light, the cloud grew darker. Why? Could it be the darkness of the cloud was actually a shadow cast by the glorious light of the sun? That makes sense, doesn't it? Without the presence of the sun, I don't believe the cloud would be dark.

The light of God's Presence must cast a shadow also.

Exodus 20:21 reads, "The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was." Throughout the Old Testament God shrouded His glory with a cloud. I had always pictured this cloud as being bright. But, according to my new theory, if God is in the cloud, the cloud would become dark because the Light of God's Presence would cast a shadow.

When I understand that God is with me and yet I find myself in a dark place, could the darkness actually be because He is with me? Could it be the brilliant Light of His Presence overshadows the evil invading my life? If so, the reality of my darkness becomes the reality of His Presence.

Let that sink in: The reality of my darkness becomes the reality of His Presence.

*2 Chronicles 6:1,2

Father, I thought I understood about finding Your light in the darkness - finding Your Presence in our struggles. But now, I can sense Your Spirit coming on the scene when Your child calls out to You and the brilliance of Your Light overtaking the evil darkness. Praise You, Father! My darkness is but the shadow of Your wing. Bless Your Holy Name!
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to be encouraged as Meredith Andrews sings, "Can Anybody Hear Me?"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Grace Set On Fire

"We'll contact you next week to set up the second interview," she said. 
"Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you," he said. He pulled on the heavy glass door and walked with a spring of hope in his step.

That was two weeks ago. After more than two years of unemployment, a spring of hope in his step felt good. Really good. Qualified for the job? Check. Impressive interview? Check. Gifted in areas necessary to fulfill this job well? Check. Interviewer indicated he was perfect for the job? Check.

But he didn't get the job. Here's the kicker: The interviewer was so impressed with my man that she gave his resume' to the director in case another position opened up. What? Are you kidding me? Boy! Talk about deflated hope. Talk about pressing in to Jesus. 

And that's the good news. Really.

There's a verse that many Christians are familiar with, 2 Corinthians 12:9: "And He [Jesus] said to me [Paul], 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness...'" Often we stop there, but let's keep going. The next verse, verse 10, reads, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Oh my goodness. Say what? These verses are in reference to Paul's "thorn in the flesh" - an unidentified affliction or difficulty that required him to lean on Jesus. On three different occasions Paul asked the Lord to remove this affliction from him. He was denied the request.

We begged God for this "perfect" job and were denied the request.

I know now that the reason is because God - our Daddy God - wants us to have the best. I'm not referring to the 'best' job (although that would be totally awesome). God's best gift of all is to know Him more. We are depending on God for every minute of every day now. Goodness! We have a shoutin' hallelujah time over finding a quarter! No kidding. Happened just last week.

No matter what we face - no matter what you face - God's grace is sufficient. The heart-knowledge of this truth is worth far more than rubies or gold. The heart-knowledge of this truth will not teeter-totter when your world falls apart, when you think you don't have the strength to face another day. His Truth will stand. Always.

And herein lies the truth: God's grace is sufficient because when we can't solve the problem on our own, we realize (through His grace) that nothing is too difficult for the Lord. Nothing. This knowledge takes root in our knower. His power is emboldened by our weakness. His grace is set on fire by His love. His grace washes over us like a refreshing rain, cleansing us of fear and anxiety. It washes the film from our eyes so we can behold our God.

I want you to imagine yourself sitting on a riverbank with Jesus. You feel afraid of the future. You're weary from the struggle. Jesus takes your hand in His, lifts your chin to look you straight in the eye and He says,  "My grace, My favor and loving-kindness and mercy, is enough for you. It is sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully; for My strength and power are made perfect - they are fulfilled and completed, and show themselves most effective in your weakness. Rest in Me, Child and in the knowledge of My grace."*

If God be for us, who can be against us? His grace is more than enough.


*Based on 2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10, Amplified Study Bible

As you listen to this beautiful music video, let it be your prayer today. I believe it must be a recording of a spontaneous time of worship. Close your eyes and let it soak into your spirit. Put all the distractions away for a few minutes and concentrate on Jesus. Be encouraged. God is with you. Always. Sweet blessings to  you...
Are your ladies desiring a prayer retreat or a special evening with Jesus before the busyness of summer is upon us? I would love to spend time with you and God's girls. My website, www.jubilantlight, has all the info or you may contact me directly at nan@jubilantlight.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please, please go to the Morning Glory page. I found a music video by Julie True that is pure worship. The title is "I Need You Lord, Meet Me Here." It will lift you up above the stress of the day. Bless you!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Scriptures of Hope ~ When the Iron Bolt Slides Shut

Prison walls etched out a small space in my mind's eye. Chains clanged in the distance. The smooth glide of my cell door's iron bolt ended abruptly as it secured the lock. Mocking laughter from my enemy screeched from the dark corners of the prison hall. I tossed and turned as the nightmare transformed my reality into my spiritual battle. In horror, I sat upright in bed. 

"JESUS," I screamed. 

"Jesus," I whispered. 

His Presence calmed me. I snuggled next to David who, by this time, was awake. The nightmare was over. I only wish the battle would end.

What do you do when an iron bolt slides shut, imprisoning you in difficult circumstances? How do you survive? How do you cling to God's goodness?

Geoffrey Bull, a Scottish Christian missionary, was imprisoned for three years by the Chinese Communist government in the late 1940s. Sentenced to solitary confinement, he was tortured mercilessly over and over. How did he keep his sanity? How could the joy of the Lord be his strength?

In his book God Holds the Key*, Geoffrey Bull writes the following:

"I had no Bible in my hand, no watch on my wrist, no pencil or paper in my pocket. There was no real hope of release. There was no real hope of life. There was no real possibility of reunion with those I loved. The only reality was my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Divested of all, He was to become everything to me. He was to break my bars and enlarge my coasts in the narrow room. He was to be my fullest nourishment amidst the meager food. 'My meat," which my captors 'knew not of.' He would make me glad with His countenance. He would let me hear His voice.

"My portion was to be in the contemplation of the Lord of glory in the secret place...To see the King in His beauty must be our one desiring; to hunger, thirst and take our fill of Him. And if He makes us stand in some obscure and darkened corner of His palace yard, we can be sure He puts us there because from that distinct advantage we, with our present stature, will behold Him best whenever He comes passing by."

So. What do you do when an iron bolt slides shut, imprisoning you in difficult circumstances? How do you survive? How do you cling to God's goodness? You kneel before the One who loves you, who suffered and died that you might live. You open your eyes to behold the Lord of glory in the secret place beneath the shadow of His wings. 

And you wait with great anticipation for the moment He passes by and unlocks the prison door.

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works" ~ Psalm 73:25,26,28

*Geoffrey Bull, God Holds the Key (Chicago: Moody Press, 1959).

Father God, in Your great mercy hear our cry. You, Lord are the Comforter, the Lord of lords, the Great I Am. You are all that we need. In a world that is falling apart, in a world where there is no peace - You, Lord, are our peace. Your Presence is sweet. Your Presence is life-sustaining. Your Presence gives us strength. Draw near O God with Your precious Presence and calm our weary souls, for it is in You that we find our rest. We love You Lord...we love You.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I'm featuring a powerful, heart-searching worship video by Jason Upton titled, "Silence". All I can say is, "Wow!"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Dirt Therapy

Disappointment draped the air like dusty cobwebs. Ugly. Dirty. Needing to be cleaned up. But wasn't my pity-party justified? Well, yeah! I mean, I could justify it just fine, thank you very much. 

But what did God have to say about it?

After I sobbed (did I mention wailing and gnashing of teeth?) I sat quietly. My bottom lip pushed forward in silent defiance. But, at least, my tantrum was over. 

The Spirit of the Lord whispered to me, "Come on outside with Me."

I walked to our porch swing and sat down. The warmth of spring felt good on my face. I wiped my tears.

"I want you to get your garden gloves and clean out those flower beds," the Lord whispered.

"What?" I said. "I prefer to sit here and sulk."

"It's your choice, but I wish you would do it," He said.

I sighed a great attitude-laden sigh, pursed my lips, and twisted my mouth with more silent defiance, but...I got up, put on my garden gloves and got to work. Stray grass and stubborn weeds littered my beautiful beds. I pulled hard, making sure to get the roots out.

"Thata girl," the Spirit of the Lord whispered. "Get it all out. Even the roots."

One weed in particular had a huge taproot on it. I pulled and I yanked. I yanked and I pulled, finally resorting to using the shovel to remove every bit of its root. I loosened the dirt around its base and grabbed on with both hands. I heaved with all my might and the root, including its tendrils, let go.

I stood in the middle of my flower bed. I looked at this invasive, strong weed and then I turned my eyes toward heaven. "Very funny, Lord. I get it."

Disappointment was the superficial result of something bigger. Deeper. Something with roots and tendrils. Destructive disappointment was the result of not trusting in the sovereignty of God. Either He's God, or He's not. Either I believe He directs my path, or I don't. 

I asked the Lord for forgiveness, right there in the middle of a pile of stray grass and stubborn weeds. But, guess what I did next? I began to sing songs of God's faithfulness. I began to call out the goodness of the Lord:

"You are faithful, Lord."
"You are able - You've never failed us before and I know You won't fail us now."
"You are merciful and kind, good and mighty."
"You are God and You alone are worthy of my praise."

My spirit began to rise in me. Just like King David, I encouraged myself in the Lord.

And my God responded with His gift of hope, peace, and contentment.

"I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth" ~ Psalm 57:9-11

Do your ladies need an evening of hope, or a day of refreshment? I'm filling my spring calendar and would love to add your name. Visit my website, Nan Jones at www.jubilantlight.com for more details, or contact me directly at nan@jubilantlight.com. I don't consider any group too small. Every heart is precious to the Lord.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to encourage yourself in the Lord with Meredith Andrews as she sings, "Not For A Moment". This is the song I sang while working in my flower beds. I sang it over and over. I think it will give you strength for the journey.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Cooperation + Authority = Joy

Blue and I trudged up the gently sloping hill along our country road. His muscular body tugged at his leash. My arm stretched out in response to his strong will. He was dead-set on getting ahead of me. I exerted my authority and pulled him back.

But the great adventure called to him.

There were rabbits to chase and cats to tree. Not to mention our neighbor's chickens. But, I knew there were hunters in the woods and speeding dump trucks could appear at any moment around any of these mountain curves. Like it or not, Blue had to trust the restraint I put on him.

Blue relaxed and joined stride with me. When Blue cooperated, our journey was pleasant. When he cooperated and trusted my authority, we found joy in each other's company. A gentle breeze breathed refreshment into my weary spirit. I felt the tension ooze out of my body.

We rounded the next curve. Blue stopped. His nose began to twitch. His tail stiffened. Oh no...here we go. I wrapped the leash around my hand one more time. With the strength of a bull, Blue took off. I spread my legs to find some balance and grabbed the leash with both hands. It was like holding back an 18 wheeler from the edge of a cliff! No joke.

"Blue!" I yelled. But all he could think about was the squirrel racing up the pine tree. "Blue!" Just as quickly as he had run with complete abandon he stopped and looked back at me as if to say, "Sorry, mom. I forgot you were back there."

I stood there for a moment to catch my breath. He dropped his head and lifted his forlorn brown eyes in my direction. "I know, Blue. I forgive you, you silly baboon." I hugged him and we went on our merry way.

Can you feel a God-moment coming on? Oh brother, did He get my attention that afternoon. How often have I run ahead of Him, get myself in a tizzy over nothing and hear Him calling, "Nan! Nan! Slow down. My restraint is for a reason. Stop getting ahead of me."

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven...He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor - it is the gift of God" ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1,11-13.

When Blue cooperated, our journey was pleasant.
When he cooperated and trusted my authority, we found joy in each other's company.

I get it Lord. Thank You for Your insight.

Guess what? I've been featured in a regional magazine titled, "All About Women". If you'd like to see the article, click here to access the online edition of the magazine. I'm on page 22 and also in a small block across the bottom of the front cover. Is God good or what?
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. The featured music video is Selah singing, "Press on". I know this song will inspire and strengthen you today. Sweet blessings to you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Small Potatoes?

Our son called. His voice brimmed with wonder as he relayed the faithfulness of God.

After a period of unemployment, he has secured a job that requires three weeks of job training in Charlotte. Charlotte is over two hours away. One way. Every day. For three weeks. Ugh. How in the world were we going to do this? How in the world, indeed.

Those of you who find themselves unemployed know how difficult it is to make it to the grocery store and church every week. Can you imagine adding a four-five hour daily trip to that mix? Our little family pooled money the first week to help out. By Friday, the well was dry...the world's well, that is.

Our son called Friday evening. "Guess what, mom? Y'all aren't the only ones helping me out this week."

"Really? Awesome. Who else has helped you?"


"God? Well, of course God has been helping you."

"No," he said. "I mean God is helping me. I was stuck in traffic and my tank was flat empty. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me get home. Mom, I sat there and watched the needle on the gas gauge go up! I'm not kidding! God gave me enough gas to get home."

Oh. My. Goodness. Is God good or what? But there's more...

Week two of driving to Charlotte was looming as we prepared for Easter morning. Our son won't get his first paycheck until the end of this week. We all prayed and asked God for a miracle.

Sunday morning at church a precious woman of God gave us a card with $50 inside. "Praise the Lord!" we exclaimed. We drove to our son's home Sunday afternoon to give him the $50 to get to Charlotte Monday morning. We told him he could use our debit card to get back home because our check from church (David pastors a small church of about 30 members) would be in the bank by then. Of course, David and I are facing a week of bills and expenses and over two years of unemployment. Every penny is accounted for. We desperately needed God's intervention.

A young woman very dear to our hearts called Easter afternoon. She heard that for the first time in thirty years of marriage I couldn't prepare an Easter dinner for our family. She was at her mom and dad's and wanted to bring us a plate from their dinner. "How sweet!" we said.

Awhile later, she came with our Easter dinner. "I have a surprise for you," she said. She pulled a $100 bill from her pocket. "Mom and dad wanted to help you."

Oh. My. Goodness. Can you imagine the tears and goosebumps? God more than met our need.

Sweet friend, here's the take-away...Our God sees and knows all about it! El Roi is one of His Names revealed in the story of Hagar in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Hagar, a servant girl, was banished to the wilderness by Sarai (Abraham's wife) because of jealousy. Hagar had conceived Abraham's son, Ishmael, out of obedience to Sarai. Now, she sat alone and afraid by a spring in the wilderness, not because of anything she had done. Her suffering was a result of others.

The Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar, ministering comfort and guidance. "Then she [Hagar] called the Name of the Lord who spoke to her, El Roi, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, 'Have I also here seen Him who sees me?'" ~ Genesis 16:13

The God Who sees and knows all about it. You, friend, are not alone in your suffering. You are not alone in your trial.

"So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his  unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever" ~ Corinthians 4:18, The Message.

SELAH. Pause and think about it.

Father, Your goodness astounds me! You never fail Lord. Ever. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Help me walk out this lesson every moment of every day. You're teaching me Lord to depend totally on You, to rest in Your Presence. I ask that You impart this priceless lesson to my readers also. Seal this Truth within our spirits causing anxiety and fear to lay void and powerless at our feet. Thank You Lord. You are an awesome God.
If you received this via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to worship with Meredith Andrews as she sings, "Not For A Moment". If you are in the throes of a battle, this song will lift you up above the storm and strengthen you for the journey. I promise.