September 6, 2008 at 11:00 am (My Journey) (, , , )

As I was praying last week, and unfurling my scroll listing all my needs, I felt a prompting from the Lord to stop fretting and asking and pleading and manipulating, and to simply trust

But Lord, I thought I was trusting.  After all, I stepped out in faith and landed a big full-time, non-paying ministry/job!  Doesn’t that show that I’m trusting You with my needs. 

Well, noooooooo. 

There are at least three different ways to trust: in word, in appearance, and in deed.  When we truly trust, our words, appearance, and deeds are all affected.  I had two out of three going for me, but I realized my mind was full of worry and doubt, and my thoughts revolved around what I could do to fix my finances – how I could make it work.

So I resolved to make September a month of intentional and continual trust.  Today is September 6, and already, we have seen God provide in unexpected ways.  Supernatural to be sure, but using ordinary means and simply humble and obedient servants.  So, no complaining, doubting, or long faces here – at least for the rest of September! 

In the Amplified Bible, Proverbs 28:25 reads, “He who puts his trust in the Lord shall be enriched and blessed.”


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Hand to the Plow

April 9, 2008 at 4:11 am (My Journey) (, , )

The words in red letters from Luke 9 have always held my interest.  Verse 62 tells us that “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” 

My daddy grew up on a farm – well, as he was born to sharecroppers, he grew up on several farms.  I remember that my first understanding of this verse came from his explanation from his own experiences.  He said that a person plowing with a mule would set his sights on a particular tree or fence post at the other end of the garden in order to keep the furrows straight.  Anyone who was constantly turning to look behind would plow a crooked row.

I see so many connections to my life.  Some days the rows were straight, and some days not so much. 

This past weekend at our regional conference I heard another description of Jesus’ illustration to which I can also relate.  Some days the ground is hard and no matter which way you look the row is going to be crooked.  So, I’m thinking the issue must not be how straight your rows are; the issue is whether you are still holding the plow when you get to the end of the row. 

Have you ever TRIED to hold onto a plow in the hard soil?  Are you kidding me?!  I wouldn’t know which end of the plow was for the mule and which end was for me!  However, my imagination (which is quite vivid based on all the stories I’ve heard from my daddy) helps me understand why when I get to the “end” of my row, my hands are raw, my knees are bloody, and there’s mud on my face.  But there’s good news!  As hard as life can be, I can live with the Jesus’ promise in Matthew 10:22, “He that endures to the end will be saved.”

In this fourth month of my year of significance, I refuse to be defeated.  I refuse to look back.  I refuse to turn to the left or right.  My row may not be perfectly straight, but I will get to the end of it.  When I do, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The apostle Paul encouraged his apprentice, Timothy, with the same thoughts.  He said,

  • I have fought a good fight, (It wasn’t easy plowing, but I kept at it.)
  • I have finished my course, (I’m still hanging onto the plow at the end of the row.)
  • I have kept the faith: (I realize it wasn’t about me; it’s about His plan for me.)
  • Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  II Timothy 4:7,8

So, don’t give up, and don’t give in!  Hang on, the end IS worth the means.

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