Just wanted to share a quote I saw on Karen's blog that jumped off the page at me. (Wish I had seen it before Julie's Quirky Quotes Contest.)

"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." (Corrie Ten Boom)



"In addition to all this, take up the shield
of faith, with which you can extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
(Ephesians 6"16)

Just got home from an early morning Bible study on the book of Nehemiah, which is about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and how a city without walls is an open invitation for enemy invasion. We are looking at the steps Nehemiah took to accomplish this project, and how we can apply them to the rebuilding of our own lives.

Today's lesson dealt with opposition, and one line on the page really jumped out at me: Do you want your life to be comfortable, or do you want your life to count? Hmm. My life has been far from comfortable these days, but I don't know how much it counts.

It seems like every time I give a testimony or post something on my blog that might be an encouragement to someone else, I get attacked by another fiery dart of the enemy. I feel like one of those Rolly-Polly type toys my kids had when they were little, that when punched down would pop right up again, and in that instant that I am down I feel like a hypocrite. Does the fact that I keep popping back up exonerate me? Just a thought.



"And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or
what ye shall drink, neither be ye of
doubtful mind. ...your Father knoweth
that ye have need of these things. But
rather seek ye the Kingdom of God;
and all these things shall be added
unto you." (Luke 12:29-31))

Aargh! That's how I've been feeling lately. Nothing seems to be going right.

The last couple of months have been marked by one setback after another. If it's not health-related, it's finances, or a disappointing turn to what seemed like a great relationship, or something promised and greatly anticipated not coming to pass. Plans keep falling through--even simple ones, like a list of what I need to get done on any given day. Something always seems to come up to upset the apple cart, and for someone like me who likes to feel in control, it has been totally frustrating and unsettling.

Last night I went to bed feeling as though my bucket of dissapoinments was so full it couldn't possibly hold another drop, only to discover yet another one trying to sneak in and join the rest. My transcription software decided to stop cooperating, and I haven't been able to troubleshoot the problem, there is no tech support number for me to call, and my friend's husband who has very graciously offered to stop by after work to see if he can fix it will not be here until the end of the day. So I guess I'm on leave without pay at a time when I really can't afford to be.

At this moment my wish is that someone else would step in and make things right for me, like a fairy godmother who could just wave her magic wand and make all my problems go away, but I know that would only be a temporary fix, and the Lord is trying to show me a far better solution. But what, and how? I'm guessing He's planned this unwanted day so I can ponder such weighty matters and give Him my full attention without any guilt feelings about work not getting done.

The first thought that comes to mind is TRUST. Do I really trust God to keep the promises in His Word, or am I more likely to be moved by the things I see and hear and feel? Trials are one sure way to find out. Without a TEST, there can be no TESTIMONY. How true. I have a little card on my refrigerator door that says "We are not operating in the arena of faith unless we are dealing with problems that at the present moment appear unsolvable." Maybe I need to remind myself of that a little more often.

Now I may not be able to change my circumstances, but I do have 100% full control of the thoughts I choose to dwell on, and if I change my thoughts, my feelings tend to follow, and before long I'm seeing things from a whole different perspective. As Martin Luther once said, "You can't keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair."

I used to think a lot about things like that, and some years ago I started keeping a notebook which I entitled "Memories to Ponder on Difficult Days." It is a personal reminder of God's faithfulness, and the many awesome ways He has come through for me when I was facing issues that seemed insurmountable. It is also a great reminder of His unconditional love, and how much better His timing is than mine. I am so impatient, and so driven by the little piece of the puzzle I am looking at at the time, I tend to forget that He sees the whole picture and knows what is best in the long run. This book helps me see, in retrospect, how grateful I need to be that some of my prayers weren't answered when and how I wanted them to be.

Well, the day is now almost over, and I'm feeling surprisingly relaxed and refreshed. My friend should be here soon to get the software up and running again, and I've actually had a chance to do some blogging, which I haven't been able to get to for quite some time. I'm also looking at a little sticker pasted to the cover of my notebook that says, "God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him." So things are looking up again, and I'm feeling hopeful and encouraged. Maybe it wasn't a wasted day after all, and just maybe someone else will find encouragement through these rambling thoughts.



Julie is hosting a "Quirky Quotes" contest. Click here if you want to participate.

My entry (which I think will be my one and only--even though we are allowed two) is from W. Phillip Keller's book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.

"He who has no sense of self-importance cannot be offended or defeated."