All posts in “GOD”

Bryanna Tabler 1

GOD -BRYANNA TABLER

GOD

BRYANNA TABLER

John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Have you ever felt like you’ve been orphaned? Orphaned by your family, by your friends or by your significant other? Being orphaned or abandoned hurts and it often gives birth to mistrust and resentment, but God calls us to a higher standard, he calls us to love and to forgive those who have failed us. In our fallen world it’s inevitable that someone will eventually fail you, but God sent his son Jesus to show us a better way. Jesus knows what it’s like for people to fail him and Jesus himself has experienced being abandoned. He was abandoned by his disciples, he was abandoned by the world, and when dying upon the cross, he was, for a short time, abandoned by his heavenly Father as he left him to die upon the cross at Calvary (Matthew 27:45-46). The good news, of course, is that the Father raised Jesus from death to life and now we can experience his joy and resurrection in our own lives.

Jesus could have held resentment towards the world for abandoning him, but in the end, Jesus forgives us and he loves us and calls us to do the same. God wants you to love and forgive those who have hurt you, and that’s not always easy. Let’s be honest, it’s never easy. But God wants you to be free and the only way to be truly free is to first give your pain and hurt over to God and second let God come into your life and fill the void. In doing this you begin to love those who have hurt you as Christ has also done for you.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever been orphaned or felt like someone has orphaned you?
QUESTION 2. Do you still hold resentment towards someone that you need to hand over to God? Have you let God fill the void in your life by loving and forgiving the person who abandoned you?
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to let go and let God be the love of your life and know that God will always come to you, and he will never leave you as an orphan.
Lavoisier Cornerstone 1

GOD -LAVOISIER CORNERSTONE

GOD

LAVOISIER CORNERSTONE

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

So many of us try to squeeze God and all his infinite power into a little box. We build the god that we want, throw it in the box and then toss away the bits and pieces that aren’t popular. When we do that, the god that we make becomes just our own flawed intellectual idea that has no basis in the God of the Bible. One of the many problems with taking bits and pieces of what we like and don’t like about God is that anyone else’s ideas or biases can also be mashed into our homemade god. But this isn’t God, no matter how much you wish it could be; God is power, he is infinite, he is awe-inspiring, and he will not be boxed in.

God is God and he won’t be answering to you for what he does or says in the Bible, whether you like it or not. It is impossible to understand God, but that is the beauty of it, and the good news is that even if you are in a rut trying to comprehend God he wants to meet you where you are. Talk to him and tell him that you’re having struggles and that you don’t want to box him in anymore and he will listen. He won’t smite you; he won’t be angry. He loves you and even tells you in the Bible to seek him and then you will find him. Seek God with all your heart and be okay with the fact that you will never fully understand him because he is more powerful, more fearsome, and more awesome than you can ever comprehend this side of heaven.

QUESTION 1. . Do you ever put God in a box, trying to understand him by lessening his power?
QUESTION 2. Do you actively seek God and be honest with him?
CHALLENGE: Stop boxing God in. Ask, seek, knock and let God meet you right where you are.
meghan fitzmartin 1

GOD -MEGHAN FITZMARTIN

GOD

MEGHAN FITZMARTIN

Matthew 7:11

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Sending letters in the mail is a lost art form, in my opinion. I love when words travel on paper from somewhere else in the world and end up in my mailbox, just for me! There is something so special about the time, thought, and effort put into such a gesture that makes me feel loved and cared for. I remember rough days that have been turned around because I went to my mailbox and found sweet encouragement just waiting to be opened.

When I was in college, I would check my mailbox every day [everyday is an adjective] to see if something new was tucked away for me. At my school, an orange slip in our box was a sight for sore eyes because it meant there was a package waiting to be picked up. If there is one thing better than a letter from someone I love, it’s a package! Unless I had been on an Amazon shopping frenzy, packages were a rare treat for me (sometimes I would shop online just to receive a package). I’m telling you, they are a big deal for me! My friends and family that were far away knew that about me, so every so often they would send me a box filled with my favorite things, and it was awesome!

Scripture says that God gives better gifts than anyone else we know. Think about the best gift you have ever received from someone else–God’s gifts top that! He loves to provide for us because He loves us so deeply and He wants to see us full of joy. His gifts don’t always show up on our doorstep though; they are meant to be more intimate than that. Sometimes He gives us gifts that require us to pay attention and sometimes He gives us gifts that get our attention. God always knows exactly what we need and he is so good at blessing his kids!

QUESTION 1. What gifts has God given you recently that made you smile?
QUESTION 2. How can you use your gifts to encourage and bless others?
CHALLENGE: Keep your eyes open today for ways that God may be trying to fill your life with joy!
matt buckner 1

GOD -MATT BUCKNER

GOD

MATT BUCKNER

Psalm 145:18-19

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

My freshman year of High School started off promisingly. I was on the volleyball team, I finally got to go to school with some of my lifelong friends, and the opportunities seemed endless! I was ready and excited to make High School the “best four years of my life.” However, that quickly changed when my energy began to drain. My body felt weak and soon I could not function like I usually did. My body had contracted an autoimmune disease, which means my body was basically fighting against itself. This disease led to months home alone locked away in my room. I missed school, volleyball practice, youth group, and most other fun social gatherings. It seemed as though I was “out of sight and out of mind” to most people. As if fighting a disease was not bad enough, I had to fight the powerful force of loneliness.

In the midst of this ongoing battle, I started to believe that God had forgotten about me just like everyone else. I did not want to turn to Him because I was afraid He would reject me or let me down. After months of pain, medication, medical tests, and hopelessness, I had run out of options, so I chose to cry out to the Lord for help. I was at the very end of myself, and there He was waiting for me to turn to Him!

Psalm 145 says that the Lord is near to all who call on Him in truth. The truth is, no matter how I have felt in my lowest points, God promised he would never leave me, and he always keeps his promises. We can call on Him knowing the truth: He hears us and He is excited to listen! When I started to call out to him, I began to find hope again because I was in the arms of a God who desires to hold each of us close so we can see the beauty of his love!

It is easy to pray to God expecting that he will say the word to make all your problems disappear. While He is powerful enough to do so, that is not always how He works. He wants to be near to you because He knows how to provide all that you need in every situation. Allowing God to be with us in the midst of our problems is a much slower “fixing” process; however, it is much more personal. Time with Him is more rewarding than any quick fix. God really likes you and he wants to walk through life with you!

QUESTION 1. When life is hard, what is your response to God? How can you adjust this response?
QUESTION 2. When life is going well, what is your response to God? How can you adjust this response?
CHALLENGE: Ask God to show you the power of his presence in your life today. Without giving Him a list of things you want Him to do for you, just spend time with Him right now!
lauren berryhill 1

GOD -LAUREN BERRYHILL

GOD

LAUREN BERRYHILL

Romans 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

I recently went through a couple really rough patches in my life where I felt like God was nowhere to be found. When I prayed, it was like I was talking to the ceiling. I didn’t want to read my Bible because it felt like an obligation and I thought I had nothing left to learn. My heart was a rock and the last thing I wanted was to hear someone tell me how to get out of my funk. I was so stubborn and bitter that I felt dead inside.

I knew something needed to change, so I began to seek God again. This time, I was going to seek out the character of God as a being, not as a feeling. When I began to seek Him, I discovered that if His Word is true then He never left me. He may have been silent, but He was present. It was then that I realized that God is so much bigger than our feelings. If you don’t feel the love and presence of God, take him at his word. He never leaves and He never stops loving…ever!

QUESTION 1. What circumstances or choices have left you feeling separated from God?
QUESTION 2. How have you been actively seeking God? How can you seek Him today?
CHALLENGE: Read through passages that describe the character of God and align your view of God to whom he says he is. (Here are some passages to get you started: Ephesians 2; 1 John 4; Proverbs 30:5.)
jessica dunn 2

GOD -JESSICA DUNN

GOD

JESSICA DUNN

1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

There isn’t a more beautiful act of love than dying for the person you love. It is the ultimate act of selflessness. It’s fairly easy to imagine dying for a family member or closest friend, but what about people you don’t know? Not so easy, is it? When Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, he became the ultimate sacrifice by dying for everyone who lived or ever will live. A greater love has never been known. He went to the cross knowing full well that there would be billions of people who would continually reject Him and never know Him; but He laid it all out there despite that. He loves us that much.

And yet so often we look up at God in times of trial and troubles and tell him that he doesn’t love us, that he certainly must hate us for allowing this to happen. How can we be so naïve? He loves us more than we could ever even hope to understand despite all our flaws and sins. There will never be a minute, a moment, a second, when God will say, “Oh, now I can’t love you anymore.” This unconditional love and beautiful sacrificial act is His gift to us; all we have to do is accept it.

QUESTION 1. Who in your life would you die for? Do you love anyone that much?
QUESTION 2. Is it hard sometimes to imagine God as a god of love when you see so much hurt and pain around you? Talk to Him about these feelings, He understands.
CHALLENGE: Have you really accepted the gift that God has given you? If not, talk to God and accept his perfect gift.
Mark Felder 1

GOD -MARK FELDER

GOD

MARK FELDER

Matthew 6:31-33

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Worry is a slow killer. We worry about so much, like how we’ll have enough money to make our next car payment, and we really want to get dinner with friends tonight but we also have to pay for groceries this week. Our worry may be about trivial things or our worry may be about big issues like health or a dangerous situation or what college degree we’re supposed to pursue. These are all legitimate issues that can cause us to worry, but Jesus asks us, “Who of you, by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:27)

This is a great question. Have you ever made it through something you had previously been worrying about and thought, “Man, I’m really glad I spent time, energy and emotion worrying so much about that”? No! Jesus tells us to give our worries to him and he will carry them and take care of us. That frees us up to seek God’s kingdom first instead of wasting all our time worrying about something that he has already taken care of. Our time on this earth is so short, in James 4:14 it says that we are mists that appear for a little while and then vanish, so why waste precious time worrying about things we have no control over? Give them to God and experience true peace.

QUESTION 1. When you start to worry about something, whether big or small, how do you handle it?
QUESTION 2. Have you ever been glad that you worried about something? Why or why not?
CHALLENGE: Seek God first and trust him to provide all that you need in this world and stop wasting your time worrying.
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GOD’S PRESENCE -NICK COCALIS

GOD’S PRESENCE

NICK COCALIS

I was alone and even as a college student I was scared. My parents who have always been by my side were on vacation thousands of miles away. Some of my best friends lived half way across the country. For one of the first times in my life I felt alone. I remember that afternoon lying on a hospital bed, tubes in my arms, the room completely empty and for the first time in my life really crying out to God. I said God—I’m scared. I feel alone and I need to know that things are going to be okay. If you are real please be with me, I need you. I said the prayer out loud right there in the room and in that moment I felt a comfort and a calmness come over me that I had never experienced before. I felt wrapped in God’s arms and a confidence that he was there with me. For the first time in my life I could say I really felt the Holy Spirit.

QUESTION 1. Think of a time when you have been scared or alone. Who did you turn to?
QUESTION 2. IIn John 14:27 the Bible says Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. What is Jesus saying in this verse as it pertains to being afraid and all alone?
CHALLENGE: Have confidence in your Savior, and know that Jesus Christ can and will grant you peace. All you have to do is ask!
vanna ruiz 1

GOD -VANNA RUIZ

GOD

VANNA RUIZ

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Do you remember the children’s story about the three little pigs who outwitted the big, bad wolf? I cannot tell you how many times I heard that story growing up. It’s a classic! The three pigs each build a house–one out of straw, one of sticks, and one of bricks. Then the big bad wolf comes knocking on the door of the first pig saying, “Little pig, little pig, let me in!” At the sound of his voice, the pig shudders in fear. When the pig refuses to let the wolf in, he huffs and puffs then blows the house down. You know how the story continues.

When I read this verse in Revelation, it oddly reminded me of this story because it showed me the power of someone’s voice. I imagine, since the first two pigs were pretty lazy, their houses did not have windows. So, when the wolf came knocking on the door, the first pig had no idea it was him. However, the second the pig heard the big, bad wolf’s voice, it was clear who was knocking on the door of his little straw house. He refused to let him in. If the pig had heard a sweet, familiar voice of a trusted friend, he would have gladly invited the one on the other side of the door into his home.

Jesus’ words in Revelation reveal a beautiful picture of Him standing at the door of our lives and requesting an invitation. He did all the hard work on the journey to get where you are. He comes right to where we are, but will not force his way through the door. Not like the big, bad wolf. Jesus is far more interested in a reciprocal invitation than a forced interruption. He is the sweet, familiar voice asking to come spend time with you. He came all this way to be with you, and He patiently waits for you to recognize His voice and open the door.

You do not have to clean up the house or prepare a feast to present to Him when He comes in. Jesus wants time with you: time in your life and in your heart to show you the beauty of His presence. Will you open the door and invite Him in as you hear Him say “Here I am!”?

QUESTION 1. How have you responded to Jesus’ knocking on your heart today? ?
QUESTION 2. If your heart was a house, what would Jesus see when He walked in?
CHALLENGE: Imagine you are sharing a meal with Jesus; ask Him what it is He wants to say to you right now. Listen for His voice.
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EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED -TODD GEHRMANN

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

TODD GEHRMANN

Have you ever heard the phrase Expect the Unexpected? While traveling through an AIDS camp in the Bahamas, the unexpected is exactly what happened to me. I came across an older woman who had contracted AIDS and she called me in from her little shack that she lived in. All the while I could hear her just praising God! She seemed like the happiest person in the world! However, as I approached her, I began to smell a stench that radiated from her and her shack. It smelled of urine, body odor, and feces. She invited me in, and I felt that as a Christian I should oblige her. However, all I was really thinking about was finding the nearest escape route. I even remember praying for a way to escape the smell, but that’s when the unexpected happened! As I was talking to this woman who appeared malnourished, smelly and un-kept, that’s when Christ showed up. While I was praying for an exit, she was thanking God for the great day, for her family that never visits her; she even asked if she could read the Psalms to me! As she began to read her Bible, the Holy Spirit convicted me and I felt ashamed and sick to my stomach. You see, all the stench that I thought was so awful I realized wasn’t actually coming from her, but from inside me—from my very soul! This is a woman who has AIDS, lives in a rundown camp in the middle of nowhere Bahamas, and can basically be forgotten by society as a whole. This is a woman who has everything to be discouraged about, but instead, she is praising God for all that he has done in her life. That is a day I will never forget, a day when I saw Christ in the flesh through an old Bahamian woman who contracted the AIDS virus, who smelled, was dirt poor, lived in a tiny shack, and yet was giving God all the glory for her life!

QUESTION 1. Have you ever had an unexpected visit from the divine? Has Jesus ever called you out for your sinful condition?
QUESTION 2. Who we are is not based on the outside appearance, accomplishments or fame, but rather on our identity in Christ.
CHALLENGE: It’s funny, for some reason we still to this day always expect Jesus to be riding in on a white horse robed as a king, but in reality Jesus always comes as a servant, riding in on a donkey. Or in this case as a Bahamian woman who showed me my sinfulness. We challenge you to look for God in the unexpected and remember who you are in Christ.
KAren Mckinny 3 lg

GOD -KAREN MCKINNY

GOD

KAREN MCKINNY

Matthew 1:23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'”

Romans 5:6 “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”

If there is one thing a Christian should do, it’s to take the cross seriously. Jesus’ last words on the cross were My God, My God why have you forsaken me? Christ came to die For Us! That’s the mystery of the cross: that God would come to this world in the flesh, get up there on the cross and die, For Us; that God reached down his hand and raise his son back to life again, For Us!

FUWU … FOR US WITH US!

So next time you’re feeling misunderstood, lonely, sad, angry or discouraged, FUWU! That’s our God and he will always be there For Us and With Us!

QUESTION 1. Have you ever thought that God had abandoned you? (Explain)
QUESTION 2. In your own words, what does the word FUWU mean to you?
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to remember FUWU the next time that you find yourself in a bad situation, depressed or alone … FUWU, God is always With Us and he will always be For Us!
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GOD -GABRIEL HYMER

GOD

GABRIEL HYMER

Have you ever been afraid or found yourself in a situation where you felt all alone? Hebrews 13:5 reminds us of God’s awesome promise. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. For you and me, that’s great news! No matter what your situation may be, or what fears you may have, know that there is a God who loves you, who cares for you, and who will always be at your side.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever been gripped by fear, or found yourself in a desperate situation? (What was it?)
QUESTION 2. Have you ever really relied on God and turned your fears over to him? What happened when you did this? How did God interact within your situation?
CHALLENGE: God promises to never leave you nor forsake you. We challenge you to come to your Father, and rely upon his promises. Our God is not a liar, and if you trust in him, he will never let you down. He will be there to comfort you and care for your needs, but it’s your choice. Will you place your trust in Him today?
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GOD -MELANIE ROBERTSON

GOD

MELANIE ROBERTSON

Do you ever have questions or doubts? Questions about God’s love, his plans for your life, or even his existence? If you do, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. Many people have the same questions and doubts that you have. But here’s the good news, Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew that we should “keep on asking, … keep on seeking … keep on knocking”… because in the end, Jesus says that “everyone who asks, receives, everyone who seeks, finds and everyone who knocks on the door, the door will be opened to them” (Matthew 7:7-8). If you truly pursue God and are seeking God in your life, he promises that he will show himself to you.

QUESTION 1. What questions or doubts do you have about God or your relationship with him?
QUESTION 2. Have you ever sought out God so that he would show himself to you? If so, how did He show himself to you?
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to seek God and seek him with all your heart. We ask you to bring your questions and doubts before Him. One thing we know for sure, He won’t let you down and He’s waiting to receive you with open arms.
brianna kwaitek 2

GOD -BRIANNA KWIATEK

GOD

BRIANNA KWAITEK

Genesis 16:13

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

When we are in our darkest moments it is hard to believe God is there with us. It is hard to believe anyone is there with us at all. It is the loneliest of places. But here is the good news, even when you feel like no one else understands, notices or sees you, God does.

In Genesis, there is a woman named Hagar who is at her wits end. But just as the darkness seems to overtake her, dawn breaks. She encounters God. It is at that moment that she names God, El Roi, which means, “The God who sees me” It is a beautiful moment for her and a beautiful reminder for us.

When nothing seems to be going right, when no one else understands, remember El Roi. He sees me and he knows me. You don’t have to tell Him why you are upset or sad; He already knows your situation better than you do and He knows you better than you do. Just sit in His presence and let it out, and then take comfort in knowing that El Roi is right there with you.

QUESTION 1. Are you feeling alone, like no one understands or cares?
QUESTION 2. Is it hard to believe that God sees you and knows your situation better than you? Do you doubt He can comfort you?
CHALLENGE: God sees you in your present circumstance. He loves you and He is El Roi. Just be in His presence and let His peace wash over you.
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GOD -NATHAN WHITMIRE

GOD

NATHAN WHITMIRE

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A distant relative of mine used to have a pet monkey; his name was Mr. Keys. One weekend, my family got to babysit the monkey, which was quite the interesting experience. Monkeys have such a fascinating personality and they are so sassy. Mr. Keys had this blanket that he was so incredibly attached to. Whenever anyone tried to take it from him he would get so upset and would grip it with such strength that you would think his life depended upon this little square of fabric. They were inseparable.

When I read the passage above from Romans, I am reminded of how desperately Mr. Keys would cling to his blanket. As far as he was concerned, nothing was going to separate him from his blanket. In a similar fashion, nothing at all is going to separate you from God’s love for you. You are loved. There is nothing you have done or can do that will separate you from the identity of God’s beloved. He is clinging to you like a baby monkey clings to a baby blanket. Trust me, He is not letting go!

QUESTION 1. What have you been clinging tightly to in your life that has kept you from focusing your attention on God’s unending love for you?
QUESTION 2. Is there anything in your life that is hindering you from believing that God’s love for you will never run out?
CHALLENGE: Grab on tightly to the love that God has for you and don’t let go!
nacci palloto 2

GOD -NACCI PALLOTO

GOD

NACCI PALLOTO

Exodus 14:13-14

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

We enter into a conversation Moses is having with the Israelites as battle is surging and they are worried. They fear for their very lives and the lives of those they love. To be told that all they need to do is stay still sounds crazy to them. How can they be still at a time like this?!

God comes through for his people in the most unexpected ways. He does so in order to make it clear that He is at work. So often, God moves and we try to take credit for it. However, the ways of God are so far beyond anything we could do on our own that they cannot actually take place out of our own strength. Even still, God chooses to use us to be a part of his story. He wants us to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

In order to allow God to move in their battle, the Israelites had to place their trust fully in God and His promise to carry them through. There are so many times in life when the opportunity to rely on our own strength appears and it seems easier than trusting God. However, we can take Him at His word. When He says that He is always with us…He means it! When He says that He is mighty and powerful…He means it! When He says that He is able to do far more than we could ever hope or imagine…He means it! When He says that He is fighting for us and with us, not against us…He means it!

If you have a hard time sitting still and allowing God to move in your life, reexamine the battle you are in. It is not yours to fight and it is not yours to win. Scripture says we are in a battle that is not flesh and blood but of the spirit. This is a battle that you cannot win on your own, so allow the God of Victory to fight on your behalf.

QUESTION 1. What battles are you fighting in your life today?
QUESTION 2. What is keeping you from trusting God fully to fight on your behalf?
CHALLENGE: Sit still and ask the Lord to show you where he is fighting for you and where you need to let him on the battleground.
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GOD -COURTNEY LUKE

GOD

COURTNEY LUKE

1 Peter 5:7

“Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.”

I have always had really vivid dreams. They are wild and crazy sometimes, but other times they are just normal enough to feel like they are really happening. Many times I have woken after dreaming about something and I’ve had to try to figure out what was real and what was just a dream. I’ve had to wipe tears from my eyes, forgive friends and family, and check the facts of a situation all because of events that took place in my mind as I slept. Other times, I won’t remember a dream right away, but later in the day something will trigger my memory of a dream and I’m left sorting reality from imagination.

 I have also been a vivid dreamer about how I think my life should be. I have all these plans and ideas for how I think things should go for me, and they don’t always turn out how I planned. I find myself disappointed by hardships because they were not what I wanted. I get angry and bitter when reality does not align with the expectations I have for my life or the lives of those I care deeply about. Reality does not compare with my thoughts, dreams, or expectations. That’s because reality was never meant to compare.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming or desiring more from our lives. God gave us that ability for a reason and he wants us to dream big! However, there is something wrong with holding those dreams so tightly that we have no room for God to show us his plans in the midst of our reality. Things will not always go the way we planned. Sometimes they are harder than we wanted, but other times they are far better than we imagined. If everything happened exactly how we expected it to, we would miss out on opportunities to see God move in ways that are bigger than ourselves.

Dream. Dream big. Work to make those dreams come true. But don’t do any of it without bringing your desires and expectations to God constantly. Hold your expectations and plans in wide open hands as you hold them out for Him to use. In doing so, you will find that reality is less disappointing and more of an opportunity for more dreams, hopes, and desires to be fulfilled in ways you may have never imagined. Reality will not always look exactly how you’d hoped it would. Even still, you have a God who cares about your dreams, expectations, and desires. So share them with Him and see what happens!

QUESTION 1. What are some of your biggest dreams, desires and expectations for your life?
QUESTION 2. How have you been disappointed by reality lately? Why were you left disappointed?
CHALLENGE: Spend some time writing down your dreams and your disappointments in a letter to God. Be honest with Him – He wants to sit with you in your pain and give you the desires of your heart.
lauren ankenman 1

GOD -LAUREN ANKENMAN

GOD

LAUREN ANKENMAN

Genesis 16:13

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

 We all want to be noticed. Some of us wear tie-died shirts, get Mohawks, and stalk someone until they go on a date with us, or jump off a roof into a swimming pool. Yes, these are extreme examples, but many of us will go to some insane lengths to be noticed. We just want others to acknowledge us and to let us know what we do matters.

The verse above from Genesis has given me so much comfort when I start to feel like no one notices or no one cares. God cares. God sees. Think about this truth for a moment. The God of everything, of all seven billion people alive today, sees you and knows you intimately. That is complete craziness, and so very comforting.

No longer do we need to try so hard to get others to notice us. Isn’t it enough that our God sees us? And He not only sees you, but also knows you better than anyone ever will on this planet and better than you even know yourself. Take comfort in this. When you start to feel alone and unnoticed, go to God and lay everything down before him. Ask Him to help you see yourself through His eyes and He will.

QUESTION 1. What are some ways in which you try to get others to notice you? Have they worked?
QUESTION 2. Do you take comfort in knowing that God sees and knows you? Why or why not?
CHALLENGE: Meditate on these truths and, when you start to feel alone and unnoticed, go to God and remind yourself of your worth in him.