Recently my husband and I went on vacation for a few days in Prague. I know – Prague. But we live overseas so we can find super cheap flights.
Anyway, while there, my wonderful husband treated me to a beautiful concert at St. Nicholas Church – a church made famous because Mozart played there. Amazing.
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“God helps those who help themselves.” “Maybe you need more faith and that’s why you didn’t get [fill in the blank].”
Tell that to my friend who was persecuted mercilessly by her family because she decided to follow Jesus. Tell that to my friends who were put in prison for sharing the Gospel. Tell that to me in the deep sorrows of my heart.
No, we are all desperate people unable to do anything. We are broken.
And God is all powerful.
He knows our limitations and so, as it says in Isaiah 64:4, “acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” We recognize our weakness and seek The Lord. And he shows up. Every time. Maybe not how we anticipated. Maybe not to fix things the way we want. But he’s there working. Because we can’t.
And so I find myself pondering Scripture as I delve deeper into the character of God, feverishly writing verses that pop off the page into my “Sword of the Spirit” journal. This journal only has Scripture in it. No words of my own, only God’s. And it reminds me of all that God is.
For the last several months I have been contemplating suffering. I’ve spent many hours reading, praying, researching why suffering happens and what it means for me.
Today my eyes are opened to another side of suffering: the joy.
First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. Hebrews 10:8-10
The writer of Hebrews was referring to Psalm 40:8 when speaking of Jesus. “I delight to do your will.” (NASB)
I trust everyone. It’s the devil inside them I don’t trust. (Stella from The Italian Job)
Walking along the streets of Cairo makes for an interesting day. Dodging cars, praying my toes aren’t crushed by mopeds, seeing misspelled signs and trying to avoid the weird guy selling who knows what is a skill. A decade in the Middle East has given me some tough skin and the ability to say no to any peddler no matter how cute. (Unless, of course, it’s something I actually want.)