Edges of His Ways

Time flies. Days pass, moments disappear.
Life is full.
Full of study, of ministry, of simply living, of taking time amidst the crazy busy to remember that He is God and there is none else.


The sun that rises faithfully each morning.
The rain that washes clean the earth.
The heavens that sparkle with beauty.
The power that stills the storm.

All this is but the edges of His ways.

To watch plans seem to shatter, and then to see them rebuilt by a God who’s always right.
To see the workings of Providence.
To watch a life be changed by grace.
To see God work impossibilities.

All this is but the edges of His ways.

To wake up each morning, gifted with life.
To rejoice in a God that is true.
To live for His favor, to know His smile.
To know that in His service is joy….

All this, yet sill, is but the edges of His ways.

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(See Education, page 131; and Job 26)

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My Plans or God’s Plans

I had my life planned out when I was 16.

I was going to finish high school at home and then I was going to go take the lifestyle educator course from Wildwood, and then I’d go through nursing school at Southern.

Well, it didn’t happen that way. We moved from Georgia to Arizona when I was 17, and there went my plans out the window. I didn’t want to be that far away from home and besides, I had been called by God to work among the natives in Arizona. I wasn’t going anywhere.

Instead of finishing high school I skipped 11th and 12th grade and took my GED when I was 18. Instead of going to Wildwood and taking the course on campus, I enrolled in their online course (which I’m still taking, by the way). Instead of going to Southern and taking nursing, I was called to youth ministry.

So much for my plans.

None of them were happening.

Instead, I was cooking at the mission school; teaching Sabbath School: first to rowdy children under 10 and second to indifferent juniors; organizing a youth horse camp of sorts, selling hay, and taking care of foster children.

And so, I re-planned my life.

I planned to stay at home until I got married; keep directing the youth camp; finish up my online course; help at the health center in Monument Valley; and quite possibly take an EMT training course and volunteer as an EMT on the Navajo Reservation.

They were good plans, or so I thought.

But once again, God had other plans.

It wasn’t that long ago that He decided my world needed some changing. In fact, it was just over a year ago that I made the decision to move here to work at Young Disciple. It wasn’t an easy decision: in fact, it was quite possibly the hardest decision of my life (so far). I still remember the fear of the unknown… the desire to stay with my family-the only home I’d ever had…the questioning if God really knew what He was doing.

But, by the time I left home in the beginning on January, I was excited. I was happy. I wanted to work here at Young Disciple. And in the 10 months I’ve been here I’ve never once regretted that decision. I know that this is where God has called me to be. I know that this is the work He has called me to do.

So, what exactly does the future hold?

I don’t know. I don’t need to know. Of course, there are things that I’d like to do.

But this I know…

I wouldn’t trade any of the life that I have had for a different life. I wouldn’t trade the years spent on the Navajo reservation, I would trade the time I have had here at YD, I wouldn’t trade the hard times… nor the good times. Because as I look back over my life, I see the faithfulness of God. I see that the plans He had for me were infinitely better than any that I could have planned for myself.

The same God who has planned and directed my pathway up to this point is still the same God who plans the pathway that I have not yet walked.

And I know… assuredly…that He is still faithful.

And He always will be.

“We have not wisdom to plan our own lives. It is not for us to shape our future….Christ in His life on earth, made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will. As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps. Too many, in planning for a brilliant future, make an utter failure. Let God plan for you. As a little child, trust to the guidance of Him who will “keep the feet of His saints.” God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him” {MH 478, 478}.

Intense. Joy.

{Zeph 3:17}

He will joy over thee with singing…

Joy in this sense is to spin round while under the influence of violent emotion. (Strongs: 1523)

I can’t picture that. I’ve tried…

But imagining God Almighty spinning round with joy over His ransomed ones is something far beyond the reaches of my imagination.

Part of that may be because I can’t imagine myself spinning round with joy… (I guess maybe I value calm and under control a little too much).

But I’ve decided that I don’t really need to be able to picture this.

It is enough to know.

I’ve been pondering this phrase for the last week. It still boggles my mind.

To rejoice like that….

Must mean that God loves… only loves.

Autumn Blessings

Raindrops patter on the roof,
Steam down my window glass.

Golden leaves come floating down,
Gently rest upon the ground.

Sunrise blaze spreads ‘cross the sky,
Ushers morning light.

Blessings, too, come tumbling down,
Grace and mercy cloak my days.

God’s faithfulness shines through each day,
His love fills and surrounds.

And all the Earth, rejoicing, sings,
The glory of our King.

2011

2011. It’s been an intense, yet amazing year.

It’s been a year of finding blessings in hidden places, of learning to find joy in pain, of discovering the beauty of rain.

A year of discovering the amazing grace of God that picks me up, time and time again.

A year of learning to let go, to surrender, to trust, to seek for nothing between my Savior and me.

A year of learning to depend upon God, that in my weakness His strength is made perfect, that there is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out all fear.

A year of fighting giants.

It’s been a year of wonderment, of amazement.

A year of discovering that God is faithful, that He delights in answering prayer, that I am never alone.

A year of learning to love the dreams that God has for me.

A year of learning to be willing to let go of the life I have planned for myself in order to have the life that God has planned for me.

A year of learning that His plans are so much better than mine.

A year of learning to listen.

A year of learning that it’s not about me, but about Christ.

 

 

This year I’ve sensed more than ever how intense the battle between righteousness and unrighteousness is and at times I’ve wondered how I could possibly press on. But this year I’ve also learned that no matter what my natural inclinations are, no matter what temptations I struggle with; God has promised grace sufficient to overcome. I’ve learned that God never gives us anything but what He knows we can overcome. I’ve learned that I can’t even walk without Him holding my hand.

At the beginning of this year I thought I knew who I was and I was shocked to discover that all is not as it seems and when I asked God to do whatever it took to change my character into His I never imagined that He would move with such life-shaking, life-changing action. But I’m grateful, for He’s teaching me to trust Him even when I don’t understand, even when I can’t see the path. Yet, through it all I see a God who never fails. A God who is teaching me, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, that He is faithful and that through Him I can overcome.

And through the pain,  the tears, the rain…I’ve learned God is faithful and that He never fails. His promises are sure. His love is everlasting and without limit.

Thanksgiving came and went this year, and back then I didn’t feel very grateful. But the past week and a half has taught me that a spirit of thankfulness can lighten the darkest cloud. And so today I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for

Rain and it’s cleansing properties.

The little things, for sometimes they are really the biggest things.

Darkness, for it is there that light shines most brightly.

The laughter of children.

A God who delights in doing the unexpected.

God’s faithfulness.

Memories.

Calvary, for it is there I am set free.

Love, stronger.

Songs that express my thoughts.

And if you’re broken, if you think you can’t go on, if you’re at the end of your rope, if you’ve spent your resources; just know, God can heal the broken, He can give strength; He can teach you to hold on; and His resources are endless. And remember, that as God is shaping, molding, chiseling you; He is making you into what He wants you to be. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace.

The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Joy in pain

I’m learning to find joy in and through pain.

Joy in a rainbow, exactly when I need it.

Joy in a song that expresses my thoughts completely.

Joy in the faithfulness of my King.

Joy in the knowledge that I am never alone.

Joy in a friend (or two), who without even realizing it, gives me the strength to press on for a few more minutes…and then does that time and time again.

Joy in the children who ask so many questions.

Joy in the heartache.

Joy through the tears.

Joy in the realization that His wisdom is sufficient.

Joy in those who do my responsibilities for me when I don’t feel up to doing them myself.

Joy in teeny, tiny, cool-colored spoons.

Joy in the knowledge that things could be much worse.

Joy in knowing, and experiencing for myself, the fact that His grace is sufficient.

It isn’t always easy….but neither was the cross.

Thank You, Father, for Your strength in my weakness.