Friday, April 1, 2011

Honest Struggles and God's Tender Heart

I confess. Wednesday and Thursday were harder days for me. I was in the throes of a conflict and was trying to respond well to it. I was hurt, angry, and discouraged.

Waking up early Thursday, I made some strong Turkish coffee and hunched over the kitchen table with my Bible, journal and Bible study book. God, with his funny sense of humor, had best planned the timing of this conflict by having me be several weeks into a study called "Conversation Peace" by Mary Kassian. The verses we had worked so hard to learn were popping into my head at the right moments.

"For whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech, he must turn from evil and do good, he must seek peace and pursue it" (I Peter 3:10-11). Wow, I needed to love life again this morning. This two-day funk had stolen my normal joy and hope. I would keep my tongue from evil... seek peace, and pursue it. Okay, God.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer," (Psalm 19:14) I remembered. Whew, that's hard, God.

"You were taught with regard to your former way of life to put off the old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires and to be made new in the attitude of your minds, to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).

I spent some time in prayer, smiling with my God, then I loaded my family into our green van for our weekly Bible study at church. This group of multi-generational women are a treasure for me! Older and younger women come together in laughter, tears, honesty and a love for God's Word. That morning, I 'fessed up to my feelings of struggling. They prayed with me, offered me warm smiles, and our day continued. But my Father's words continued to work on my heart. He helped me seek peace and pursue it. Peace followed!

This July in North Carolina, Proverbs 31 Ministries is hosting their She Speaks conference for women who wish to build their writing and speaking skills for God's glory. I'm saving up, and entering scholarship opportunities to go. If you are interested too, check out this link. These are women who delight in God's "perfect timing heart" and tender love for us too.

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