It's there, I know it: a beautiful summer sunrise in the northern horizon. It's brilliant orange and reds blurred as in an abstract painting through the foggy pane of the window. Only when I step outside into the damp, crisp morning air can my eyes focus on the glory of this gift.
Isn't it the same in the midst of pain, struggle, trial and testing? I know God is there in the midst of trial, He has a path for me to walk on and His glory, like the radiant sunrise, is present, but I have only an obscured view from behind the foggy window pane. I can't see or grasp it fully.
Consider David, fleeing from King Saul: exiled, a nomad, living from cave to cave, running for his very life.
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O LORD—how long?
Turn, O LORD, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
The LORD has heard my plea;
the LORD accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment. Psalm 6:2-10
I can't help but get this picture of David pouring out his heart to God and then in verse 3, he says, "Yehovah…." and with a deep sigh thinking, You can relieve this pain, You are able, but "How long will you make me wait?" and by the way, what's the purpose of this struggle? Can you relate?
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13
Four times David asks, "How long must I wait because I know you can deliver me, Lord." It's never a question of God's ability, but usually a question of His will. Even Jesus prayed, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine," (Matthew 26:39). So David too, leaves room for God's perfect will and in the meanwhile, David trusts in God's plan and timing, rejoices that he's saved and he sings.
David hasn't forgotten the ultimate truth. Yes, he's miserable. David knows God is present yet he can't quite see God's glory, goodness and plan in all of it.
An hour later, the heavy dew evaporated by the warmth of the sun, my view of the morning sun is unobscured. It just takes time. But His glory, His presence, His power has been there all the while. Sometimes in the moments of anxiety or trial, I love to sing to God, inviting His presence to my life. This is a favorite by Francesca Battistelli.
Cry out to Him because you know He's listening and His glory is present. Trust in His sovereign plan, rejoice in your eternal salvation and sing.

Black bird

Spying on the black birds raiding the garden, I try determine the cause of their charge. His head, buried under a newspaper left for mulch, lifts the paper up and down. After minutes of satisfied pecking, the black bird flies away. What did he find under that newspaper? I hope it was something good: a grub, worm or bug that filled his belly.
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. Philippians 3:7-8
There was a lesson in the black bird. His sights were on finding the goods and he did whatever he had to do to get them. He pushed the garbage out of the way. Do I move the garbage out of the way and dig for the good stuff? Do I move the "to do list" out of the way, the busyness of each day, stubbornness, bad habits, false emergencies, pride, worry, fear? Paul said all these things are worthless garbage even if the world esteems them. Even our dreams and goals can keep us from finding what's valuable.
What's good? What's most valuable? Knowing Jesus so intimately that you are becoming one with Him or becoming more like Him every day. This is a present tense action verb and is on-going, not a one-time event. He desires a relationship with you and you can intimately know Him. Will you push the garbage out of the way and dig?
What garbage do you need to push out of the way to get to the the most valuable treasure of knowing Jesus? After God reveals what your garbage is, make an action plan. How will you push that item out of the way and focus on Jesus and grow in intimacy with Him?


The mind is a constant interpreter of what we hear and experience. My ears hear, "Wow, that is some really pink nail polish." My mind interprets, That is the ugliest color in the world; you are ugly. I experience a sassy, yelling at others golden head and my mind interprets, You're doing a horrible job as a mother.
The mind is a battle field between truth and lies, good and evil. Satan is constantly trying to tempt, distract or attack us and it starts in the mind. The mind interprets based on a primary emotion or fear that often finds its root in an early experience. While it may be interesting to pinpoint the experience that sprouted all this (facing it, forgiving and begin healing), what's more important is knowing the root emotion. In the case above, the emotion is fear of conditional acceptance. When you can pinpoint the primary fear or emotion, you hold it up to the flawless Word of God and speak truth.

  • He chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world that I should be holy and blameless before Him. (Ephesians 1:4)
  • See what kind of love the Father has given to me, that I should be called a child of God; and so I am. (1 John 3:1a)
  • I can go to Jesus and He will never reject me. (John 6:37) 
To believe anything counter to God's Word is to believe a lie and fall victim to Satan's attack.
What emotional language does your brain interpret? Spend time identifying the root emotion or fear and then search God's Word for the truth of the matter. I love these truth statements from Neil Anderson. 


Canoeing down the St. Croix, we were curious. Squinting at the map, we followed the blue squiggly line and spotted the source in northern Wisconsin, from which water runs year round into this 169-mile river. It's precious beginning is how the river gets its substance; including housing nearly 100 different species of aquatic fish. God is the source of true life.
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. Revelation 22:1-3
And [Christ] is before all things (the source) and in [Christ] all things hold together. Colossians 1:17
He creates and sustains the tree of life that bears twelve different fruits, one being harvested every month. There is no tree that does that now, but He is making all things new in heaven (Revelation 21:5). Fruit is sweet, refreshing, nourishing and desirable. I think about how after the cold winter, comes the first round of tangy rhubarb; the fruit of the plains. And I could hardly wait to chop up my first batch of chives: something fresh, that grew right outside my door. In His eternal presence, because He's an ever-present source for the tree of life, there will be no fruitless winter! A revolving door of sweetness in our lives after we've been healed.
The leaves of the tree of life will be used to heal believers. When I was twenty, I thought some people just had it all together. As I approach 40, I realize that no one has it all together and if it appears they do have it all together; they're just good actors. The truth is we all need healing. As I think about the scars in my life that need permanent healing I recall the apostle Paul and his thorn (2 Corinthians 12:9). God did not take the thorn away on this earth so that Paul would find rest and power in Christ, not himself. But in heaven, our thorns will be taken away, scars dissolved by the leaves from the tree of life. In the new heaven and new earth, there will be no more scars, pain, loss, addictions, insecurities, bad memories, infirmities, imbalances…but permanent healing. In Christ's presence there is healing.
I recall the story of the poor woman who suffered bleeding for twelve years recorded in Mark 5. She knew that if she could only be in Jesus' presence, if she could only touch the edge of His cloak, she would be healed. Do we seek His presence that much? In heaven, we will be forever conscious of His presence, the Source of all wellness and therefore healed. Yet even on earth, the more we are aware of His presence the more healing we will experience now. 
We have so much to look forward to in heaven. But we don't have to wait. Jesus said that eternal life starts when we know the One true God and Jesus Christ the one God sent (John 17:3). So what do we do now? How will you be aware of His presence in this day? Find the Source, know the Source, talk to the Source, listen to the Source and begin to experience the sweetness of healing.


What does trust look like? I keep wondering the difference between trusting in the Lord and the Lord being my trust in Jeremiah 17:7.
[The Lord says,]
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. KJV 
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
The original Hebrew uses the verb batach in the first half of this sentence. This action verb means to trust or trust in, have confidence in any one. I enjoy backpacking. The worst part is having to carry everything you need on your back. Water seems to be the single-most heavy necessity. And thankfully, the engineer typically carries that two-liter reservoir in his pack; it lightens my load by nearly five-pounds. I have confidence in the engineer's strength as well as trust that at any time I have access to that water. Trusting in the Lord is choosing to throw my fears and needs on His back therefore lightening my load. It is after this choice that God becomes my trust or confidence.
In the second phrase, the noun form of the same root Hebrew word, mibtach, is used. In addition to trust and confidence, the idea of refuge, confiding and security is expressed. Because God is trustworthy, He is my go-to or safe place. Without second-thought, I should be tossing my heavy-load items on His back.
You can put your trust in a lot of things; people, jobs, homes, family, wealth... These aren't necessarily bad things, but are they worthy of your complete confidence? These things are temporary, imperfect  and eventually fail.
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie! Psalm 40:4
God is the only permanent, dependable one. When your confidence is fixed anywhere else, you never know when it will be ripped away from you.
He is torn from the tent in which he trusted...Job 18:14
As I think about the daily grind full of trials, what does this kind of trust look like? When the bad news keeps piling up, anger and resentment reigns, decisions need to be made, people need to be managed, meetings need attending…how do you minute by minute place worries on His back when the world is coming apart at the seams?
It begins with knowing Him by studying His Word. As you know Him more, you'll consistently find that He is worthy of your trust. His own written Word is the best resource you can have to know Him more.
Next, it's practicing the presence of God, not compartmentalizing Him. Unfortunately, you can't ical Him into one segment of your day. He's always there, but do you consistently acknowledge His presence? If you would your day would have
  • No fear
  • No anxiety
  • a continual flow of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
This is trusting in the Lord; the Lord being your confidence. It begins with a choice and progresses into a lifestyle. When you've walked this road a while, God becomes your trusted go-to, your safe place no matter your situation.
Does your life seem raveling at the seams? Know Him. Feel Him. Throw the resevior on His back and keep walking with Him. This is trusting Him.