Saturday, September 13, 2014

Waiting on Jesus, part 24: monuments to the miracle of grace.

He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. (Luke 8:54-55 NASB)

To Jesus, that dramatic miracle of healing was one part of a day filled with miracles. That little girl was equally as important, equally as precious as all the other people who received miracles that day. She was as important to Jesus as Jairus and his wife. 

To Jairus and his wife, however, that two-word miracle of "Child, arise!" was the most amazing and important thing they had heard in their entire lives. When Jesus took their hopelessly dead daughter by the hand and helped her to sit up, restored, everything in their world changed. Their understanding of God, of Jesus changed. For the first time in their lives, they knew the Almighty. God had invaded their home and their hearts and turned everything right side up. 

Their miracle of grace was more than having their daughter restored. The God they had worshipped and to whom they had sacrificed all their lives knew their names, cared about their heartaches, and was willing to do the impossible for them. From that day forth, every time they looked at their daughter, they experienced that miracle all over again. Her life was a monument to the miracle of grace she and her parents had received. 

We, too, were condemned to death by our sin and given new life through the blood of Christ. We, too, should be monuments to that miracle of grace. Our lives should reflect the grace and glory of God in such a way that all who see us will be utterly amazed at what God has done in our lives.  As we face the trials of life, even the utterly hopeless moments of life,  the evidence of grace and the hope we have in our Lord should be clearly visible to those around us. We should stand as a road sign, pointing the way to God. We should serve as evidence of the power of God, but do we?

Selah. Pause and consider. 

If people look to us for the evidence of God at work, what do they see?  Can they find enough evidence to support a decision to believe?  We may be the only true disciple of Christ some people will ever know. Are we a monument of the grace of God for them?

Pray today that the evidence of God's grace in our lives will be so clear that our loved ones, as well as those with whom we have contact, will be drawn to Christ by what they see in us.  
Link to last night's post is here: I got a little side tracked on Friday Night with Friends. Instead, here's a little story about my daily fig. "It wasn't long before I walked to the barn one morning, paused at the fig tree, and thought, "Give me this day my daily fig.""...

The joy of singing

As you may remember, I joined the choir recently. It had been three decades since I last participated in a choir or enjoyed college voice lessons. Other than a precious time when I took voice lessons from Gail Harris (who is absolutely the best and most encouraging teacher), I had sung very little since my college days.  My minister of music, Doug Spires, was gently relentless.  I gave up counting the times he asked me to join the choir.  One Sunday not long ago, he had asked again.  That very Sunday, our interim preacher, who doesn't even know me, spoke right to me.  "Some of you have been asked to do something over and over and you keep saying no."  That's not quite how he said it, but I was pretty sure he was speaking to me.  I text'd Doug and agreed to give choir a try.  I was just going to give it a month. The next thing I knew, I was signing up for the Christmas music. It looks like I'm singing again.  At least for a while.

There was a song in our folder that first night that I just loved. Jesus, Only Jesus by Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Nathan Nockels, and Tony Wood.  Every time we sing it, I feel like Buddy from the movie Elf.  "The best way to spread Jesus cheer is singing loud for all to hear."  The words are so powerful, and they are so very stuck in my head, that I decided to share it with you.  This vimeo video is of our little choir singing it one Sunday morning.  I'm not sharing this because of how well we sang.  I'm sharing it because I want you to hear the words and the music. We would do really well if we all had these words stuck in our heads and tattooed on our hearts.

"You stand alone, I stand amazed.  Jesus, only Jesus."  

Who has the power to raise the dead
Who can save us from our sin 
He is our hope, our righteousness
Jesus, only Jesus

And who can make the blind to see
Who holds the keys that set us free
He paid it all
To bring us peace
Jesus, only Jesus

Holy King, Almighty Lord
Saints and angels all adore 
I join with them and bow before
Jesus only Jesus

Who can command the highest praise
Who has the name above all names
You stand alone
I stand amazed 
Jesus only Jesus 

Holy King, Almighty Lord
Saints and angels all adore 
I join with them and bow before
Jesus only Jesus

You will command
The highest praise
Yours is the name 
Above all names

You stand alone 
I stand amazed
Jesus only Jesus

One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.  There is no better way to prepare for eternity than to join with the saints and angels in praising Jesus.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

My daily fig

The insanely arctic temperatures this winter knocked the poor old fig tree pretty far down. It struggled to produce any figs at all, so the first ripe fig was a cause for great celebration. I love figs, and have an outrageous collection of fig recipes, including lemon fig preserves and fig cobbler for which I am (unfortunately) somewhat infamous. 

That first ripe fig was followed by another fig the next day, and another ripe fig the day after. It wasn't long before I walked to the barn one morning, paused at the fig tree, and thought, "Give me this day my daily fig." I laughed out loud and said, "Lord, you are too funny! Let me look for that fig you sent me!" It was there, along with two more. Breakfast!!

Days have come and gone, and still I have my daily fig. Every morning, I pick the fig and have a good laugh with the Lord. Today, I went to the barn to feed and stopped at the fig tree. No fig. "What? You aren't giving me my daily fig today?" I asked. "Maybe I'm getting something else today," I thought. Finished at the barn, I headed back to the house, out of habit stopping at the fig tree again. In the back of the tree, what looked like a little brown fig was dangling. I waded through the weeds, reached across, and at the tip of my fingers was a small ripe fig. The daily fig!

The provision of God is an amazing thing.  Like manna in the desert, His provision is as reliable as it is good. Bountiful and generous, our Father is faithful to provide for His own. The challenge for us is to keep our eyes open to recognize it and our hands and hearts open to receive it. 

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:26, 31-33 NASB)

Waiting for Jesus, part 23: out of the crowd

And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus' feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house; for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him. And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, (Luke 8:40-43 NASB)

As you may remember, Jesus had just returned from His exciting boat ride to the Gerasene region, where He healed the Gerasene demoniac. There was a crowd waiting for Him when He returned, and they quickly surrounded Him. Jairus, the synagogue official whose only daughter was dying, and a woman with an incurable hemorrhage were both part of the crowd. Everyone in that crowd was there for a reason. Everyone was there to gain something. Either they were looking for entertainment, hoping to see Jesus do something exciting, or they wanted enlightenment, hoping to learn more of this radical life of love about which He spoke. Some of the people in that crowd were there, however, because they had reached a point of utter hopelessness and needed a divine intervention. They had come because Jesus was the last hope they had left. 

It is not likely that Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage were the only two in the crowd that day with desperate situations. It is not likely that they were the only ones who were hoping for Jesus to help them, yet they are the only two recorded as receiving help from Jesus. Why is that? 

There is something radically different about Jairus and the woman in comparison to the crowd. Jairus and the woman both stepped away from the crowd and toward Jesus. They reached out to Him, admitted their need, and asked Him to help. It is critical to understand this concept. The people who kept their place in the crowd might have been entertained and they might have been informed, but they were not personally transformed by the power of Almighty God. It was only the two, the ones who stepped up to Jesus, who received all they hoped and more. 

This is important for us to understand. If we want all that Jesus longs to give, we cannot stay as just a face in the crowd. We cannot just talk about wanting Him to help. We have to step out of the crowd, step away from the "wanting" crowd, and step up to Jesus. When we step up to Him, however, we are not just receiving. Jairus knelt at Jesus' feet and gave Him his pride and his control. Nothing was held back. He put his dearly loved daughter in the hands of Jesus, and he left her there. 

Once that was done, Jairus walked with Jesus. They walked together toward the solution of his need. Jairus did not just tell Jesus what he needed and go his way. Jairus stayed at Jesus' side. He walked with Him, and it is what we need to do, too. 

At our place of utter hopelessness, we need to do more than dump our trouble at the feet of Jesus. We need to dump ourselves and our life. The old life needs to go in the pile at His feet and we need to begin walking with Jesus in that new life only He can give. Dear ones, Jesus means to transform more than our situations. He means to transform US. What we need to decide is are we willing to be transformed? 

Selah. Pause and consider. 

Why are you a part of the crowd around Jesus? Do you want only a solution or do you want transformation?  Are you willing to put everything at the feet of Jesus, and not just your problem?  Give every bit to Jesus, nothing held back. You will find, like Jairus, that what Jesus does in response is utterly amazing. 

Link to last night's post:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lessons from the battlefield, part 19: fighting on our knees

2 Chronicles 32


Senacherib arrived outside Jerusalem with a challenge for the people.  “Look at my big bad self and tremble!” he told them.  He actually expected to take the town with bold words, terrifying threats, and empty claims.  In other cities, this technique had, amazingly, worked.  In Jerusalem, however, it failed miserably.  

Senacherib failed not because Hezekiah and his army were bigger or tougher but because Hezekiah used his most powerful weapon right from the start – PRAYER.  The king and the prophet Isaiah “prayed and cried out to heaven,” abandoning themselves to the mercy of the God who never fails.  Before the attack could begin, God sent a warring angel to annihilate the army of Senacherib.

Hezekiah had prepared as much as he could, but he fought his battle on his knees.  We too, will need much preparation, but just like King Hezekiah, the battle for the hearts and lives of those we love, as well as the great trials of our lives, will be fought on our knees.  

WaIting for Jesus, part 22: and so she ate

He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. (Luke 8:54-55 NASB)

And so she ate. I'm sure she did, aren't you? Jesus "gave orders for something to be given her to eat".  That wasn't just a random array of words. He sent someone, probably her mother, to get something for her to eat with the expectation that she would eat it. That may not seem remarkable until you remember that this young girl had been terminally ill, had died, Jesus had called her spirit back, and He had brought her to life again. She had had a pretty exciting and difficult time of it. The natural inclination after that would be to prop up the pillows, lie back, and luxuriate in the joyful greetings of friends and loved ones. There would be a tendency to bask in the attention the situation and miracle would bring. 

That was not at all what Jesus intended. He didn't bring her back to life to lie in the bed. He brought her back to life to LIVE, and living would begin by regaining her strength. Regaining her strength would begin with proper nourishment. She had been back to life for just a few minutes and already Jesus was putting her on a "training program". It did not matter that she was not yet twelve years old. Living was what He intended, and living is what she would do. 

The thing we often forget is that LIVING is what Jesus intended for us, as well. He was very clear when He said, "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) There is nothing about abundant living that involves luxuriating at our ease. The word translated as "abundantly" is  perissos. describes  perissos as "superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon".  That is exactly the kind of life Jesus came to give us, and it is the life He intends us to live. Imagine that! What Jesus wants us to do is live "superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon" lives, and when we do, our very lives will be like road signs pointing people to Jesus.

Is that the life you are living? Is it the life your loved ones are living? If not, why not? If Jesus came to give you a perissos life, and He did, why not live the way He intended? It all begins with nourishment, and perissos nourishment begins with the word of God. 

Dear ones, have a super extraordinary, surpassingly uncommon day, and do it because that's what Jesus said for you to do! 

Link to last night's post:
On this anniversary of 9/11 pray for those who lost so much in that tragedy but also pray for those who put their lives on the line daily to keep our nation safe from further attack. Pray that the efforts of those who would attack us would be thwarted. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lessons from the battlefield, part 18: working together

After these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself. Now when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he decided with his officers and his warriors to cut off the supply of water from the springs which were outside the city, and they helped him. (2 Chronicles 32:1-3 NASB)


Hezekiah was king.  He could do whatever he wanted because, ultimately, he was responsible for any decision that was made.  The buck stopped with Hezekiah.  When Sennacherib decided to make war on Jerusalem, Hezekiah could have made a plan and demanded that it be implemented.  He could have issued orders and insisted on obedience.  

Instead, Hezekiah met with his officers and his warriors (the leaders and the workers) to formulate a plan.  They worked as a team and Scripture tells us “they helped him.”  His officers and warriors not only helped Hezekiah implement the plan, they helped him make the plan, and it was a better plan because of their input.  King Solomon wrote of this truth in Proverbs 11:14

“Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory (deliverance)”

The work of the local church is also dependent upon teamwork.  When we work together to be the Body of Christ in action, the work of reaching the lost for Christ and making disciples will be accomplished quicker and more creatively.  When we work together, we can do more and do it better than when we try to be a "lone ranger".  

This is true for the local church, but it is also true for the greater body of Christ. This may surprise you, but there is nothing at all in Scripture about separation by denomination. Jesus meant for all His people to work together, regardless of what kind of sign was on the building where they worshipped.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the denominations had such unity of spirit between them?  Perhaps when we do, we will finally accomplish the job of going to all the world (every single "people group") making disciples and teaching them to be obedient.  

Jesus expressed it another way:

“I in them and Thou in me,

that they may be perfected in unity

that the world may know

that Thou didst send Me.

John 17:23

Waiting for Jesus, part 21: back to reality

He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. (Luke 8:54-55 NASB)

Her spirit returned. That means her spirit had left her body. We are not just a jumble of cells. We are physical and spirit, body and soul. In case you have wondered, every human on earth has both a body and a soul, (or spirit). Ultimately, those souls are under the command of Jesus, and one day they will receive direction from Him who cannot be disobeyed. This day, her spirit, just on its way to its eternal destination, was ordered back, and did exactly what it was ordered to do. The spirit returned to the child and she arose. 

This next action of Jesus always makes me laugh. He ordered her some lunch. Well, actually He told them to bring her something to eat. As a physician, when a patient tells me they are "eating better", I take it as a sign of significant improvement. More than likely, encouragement to eat was intended as an indication that her health and her life were restored. She was "real" and not a phantom or a ghost. She wasn't a zombie escaping the grave. She was a real, live girl. Their daughter was back. 

When we have waited through that dark night of our soul for the intervention of God in a desperate and difficult place, it is hard to believe when the answer, the intervention, finally comes. The grace of God is so amazing that it is hard to comprehend.  How do you respond to the truly miraculous? In this instance, apparently, they responded with food for the little girl. Nourishment. 

There are two important lessons from this. First is that, when God restores in a miraculous way, we still have to return to our "regular" lives, with the mundane tasks of living. In this instance, Mrs. Jairus had to leave the site of the miracle and prepare food.  We have to carry on while taking that miracle with us. We return to the routine, but we are to return permanently changed by what God has done. 

Second, when God restores our souls, nourishment should be uppermost on our minds. When Jesus called for food, you can be sure her mother did not bring dessert. She brought the most nourishing food in the house. So we, too, should be providing the most nourishing spiritual food possible for those whose lives have been restored by Christ, and that will come only from the Word of God. 

Perhaps it is a reminder for us as well. Nourishment is vital for both our physical and our spiritual health, and we should choose that nourishment well. What does your spiritual diet include? Do you have a steady diet of Bible study and quiet time with our Lord? There is a place for spiritual books, magazines, websites, and blogs, but nothing should replace the Word of God, the entree of Scripture. Everything else is a side dish or dessert. 

How is your spiritual diet? After her miracle, the girl needed nourishment to carry on, and we do, too. Let's make sure we get the spiritual food we desperately need. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Haiku #2

There is a good plan
You may not know or see it
But your Father does

Waiting for Jesus, part 20: believing until we see

And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. (Luke 8:53-55 NASB)

Poor Jairus. He was a jumble of emotion and must have been near the breaking point. First, there had been the anxiety of his daughter's illness, then the fear when he realized how sick she was, the desperation as he sought healing for her, the rending when he became willing to break with his synagogue and seek help from Jesus. He finally made it to the feet of Jesus only to have a devastating interruption that lingered just a little too long, the heartbreaking news that his daughter had died, the death march to the house with Jesus, and the insanity of Jesus saying a dead daughter was asleep. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. 

In the next moment, Jesus reached out His arm, picked up the little girl's limp hand, and spoke the two words Jairus would remember as long as he lived. "Child, arise!"  There was not a moment's hesitation. Immediately, she got up, because when the Son of God says arise, that is exactly what you do. 

Imagine for a moment how Jairus felt when he saw that strong right arm reach out for his daughter's hand, when he head those words calling his daughter back. Did his fear, desperation, or the interruptions along the way matter then? They did not. All that mattered then was that his daughter sat up and opened her eyes. Everything that had happened before faded into unimportance in the light of the work of God. 

The truth is that everything fades in importance in comparison to the work of God, but we often fail to recognize it until that very last moment. Because we lack the omniscience to know the future, all we see is where we've been and where we are. When the movement of God finally comes, it is the most joyful, amazing thing imaginable because we truly could not see it coming. 

We, of course, only want to believe what we see, but Jesus said we were blessed when we believed without seeing. (John 20:29). That's what Jairus did. He believed Jesus could save his daughter long before he saw Jesus save his daughter. When all hope was gone and his daughter was dead, Jairus stayed the course, still waiting on Jesus. In the end, he was so glad he did. 

When we combine obedience to the admonition to "fear not" with the command to "only believe", trusting our Lord to move in our situation of utter hopelessness, we can expect an amazing intervention of God. It may not look like we expect. It may not come when we want it, but when God moves to intervene on our behalf, it will not only be unmistakeable, it will be unforgettable. 

We learned this song as children, but it is no less true today.  

"Trust and obey. 
For there's no other way,
To be happy with Jesus
Than to trust and obey."
(John H Sammis 1887)

Are you in the midst of an utterly hopeless situation? Take your eyes off that situation and focus them on Jesus. Look to Him, trust and obey, and hold firm until His redemption comes. 
Link to last night's post:
Please continue to pray for those who have linked their lives to the evil of terrorism, that they would be brought out of darkness into light. Pray for those in their path of destruction to remain firm in their faith and to be protected in times of great danger. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Soap Box: The "Crooked Politicians"

In every walk of life, there are honest people and dishonest ones. There are people who care about their work, and those who don't. Most people who "work for a living" are working for the money their work earns that pays for the living they enjoy. Most people actually do their work "for the money".  They may love their work or hate it, but the bottom line is that the money matters. 

It is often said that politicians are "just in it for the money", and when I hear that, I laugh to myself. It shows just how much those speakers don't know. Being an elected official is a 24 hour a day, seven day a week, 365 day a year job. I'm an elected official in my town. As an alderman, I make $85 per month. In case you are wondering, that translates to 11.6 cents an hour. I don't get any extra for being vice-mayor. That may seem like big money to you, but I can guarantee you I'm not in it for the money. 

Being an elected official requires a committment to learning laws, ordinances, regulations, codes, and standards that often change on an annual basis. It requires staying current on all those changes and deciding how they affect your constituents and how you can make life better in the midst of whatever change is afoot. I just spent time this evening at a training session, listening to an update about recent changes in law, strategizing about how they affect my town, and arranging for community events that are scheduled in the coming months. The conversation around the tables was about our towns. We shared the good things in our towns, the problems, and those who had found solutions shared that, too. The room was filled with "politicians", and not one of them was there for the chicken and green beans. 

I love my privacy and I really prefer for "my business" to stay "my business".  Once I became an elected official, for good or bad, I became part of the "face" of my town. I'm a public representative of Blue Springs.  That means that, if I do some good things for my town, I might get my picture in the paper or my face on TV. If I make a bad decision, however, it has a high likelihood of being a public bad decision. I cannot begin to tell you how much I fear making a mistake that goes public. 

Being an elected official means that, when something goes wrong in your town, you are responsible. When a natural disaster happens in your community, you deal with it. 24/7/365. You take care of your community needs first and your own needs later. I remember a mayor attending a meeting just after Katrina in very casual attire. He was wearing the only clothes he now owned. He had worked non-stop for his town and wasn't stopping to go shopping for new clothes. 

I know there are people who take advantage of their position for their own gain. There are people like that in every walk of life. Before you lump all politicians, all elected officials, in that category, I wish you'd stop and think about the thousands of local elected officials who genuinely want to make a difference, who want the best for their communities, and who work tirelessly to make that happen. 

Before you grumble about politicians, there's something you should think about. Have you prayed for those politicians? Have you asked God to help them digest the mountain of information, make wise decisions, avoid the pitfalls? Proverbs tells us:

The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1 NASB)

That's right. God can do whatever He chooses with those in authority, and He often chooses to do it in response to your prayers! Even when those "crooked politicians" don't seem to be doing their part, be sure you are doing yours. Pray, and don't stop until God's will is done. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas

Tonight was the preview for the choir Christmas music and, as a new choir member, I am officially on the cutting edge of the holiday season! Our music is sometimes peppy, sometimes incredibly beautiful, and (sigh) sometimes too high for me. It's a good thing I don't mind singing tenor. 

What I realized as I carried the CD of music to my car is that, for the next three or more months, I will be immersed in Christmas as we learn the music, memorize the words, and put it all together in a meaningful presentation. My Christmas immersion will not be about shopping or about decorating. It will be about Jesus. How amazing is that? I am beginning a holiday season swathed in songs of the Savior, and it seems like the perfect start to Christmas. 

How are you preparing to celebrate Jesus' birthday?  Why not make this the year that you begin the season by giving yourself to Him first of all?  Join your church choir for the season. Commit to volunteer with a local relief ministry. Find a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus and start doing it now, then continue it all the way through the holiday season. Make this the year that Christmas really is all about the Christ child. 

Let me be the first to wish you a "Merry Christmas", and may this be the start of the holiest holiday of your life. 

Waiting on Jesus, part 18: who to trust

When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl's father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, "Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep." And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. (Luke 8:51-53 NASB)

As they entered the house, everyone was crying and mourning the girl's death. It was a typical death bed scene, with brokenhearted parents, grieving friends and family. The death was so tragic that even the crowd outside was moved. 

Jesus, however, looked at all the crying people and said what seemed harsh and callous. "Stop crying, people. She's not really dead. She's just asleep."  Jairus and his wife looked at Him and they were, at the least, surprised by His words. What in this world was He thinking? Experts had seen the girl. It was obvious she wasn't breathing. Of course she was dead! His words were so ludicrous that everyone started laughing. They didn't know what Jesus was thinking, saying something so crazy. They knew she was dead. Everyone knew she was dead. The experts (the doctors) knew she was dead. Everyone knew that hope was gone. Everyone, it seemed, but Jesus. 

This is a critical juncture in Jairus' journey of faith. On the one hand, people he trusted and considered reliable said his daughter was dead. On the other hand, Jesus said his daughter was not dead, but only sleeping. Who was He going to believe? 

Jairus didn't know what to do, so he did the only sensible thing. He kept still and waited to see what God would do. We will soon see that, in the face of conflicting opinions, the only opinion that matters is that of Christ. The only words that matter, are the Words of God. 

What about your life? Are people telling you all hope is gone? Are they laughing at your hope in Jesus? Trust anyway. Wait anyway. The end has come only when God says it has come. 

As you pray for friends and loved ones, as you consider those difficult circumstances in life, remember that there is only One who sees the beginning and end. Only our triune God knows what the ultimate outcome will be. The outcome you expect may be completely different from the one He has planned, but one thing is certain. His ending is worth waiting to see. 
Link to last night's post is here:
Please pray for the people of Nigeria, particularly the Borno state, as Boko Haram continues their merciless effort to conquer their country.