5 Prayers I’m Glad God said “No” To

Sometimes another person’s journey with God speaks into your own, reminding you that no, you are not crazy, or alone: that God, the same One who’s been guiding and blessing your life, is also at work in those around you. My friend Courtney is one such person in my life. It’s amazing and wonderful to hear her God stories because they not only reflect my own but speak into my life too. She also happens to be a pastor and an author (the kind whose work you WANT to read because it’s fun and filled with meaning and poignancy hiding just below the humorous surface).

Today’s devotion is from her. And can I just add my Amen to her post?

P.S. And today, happy day, her book Uncluttered is out on Amazon! I’ve been so blessed by that book. I’ve mentioned it in a previous post and you’ll be hearing about it again. Please check it out and support her. ☺️

5 Prayers I’m Glad God said “No” To

By Courtney Ellis

1. Please fix this immediately

We’ve all prayed this one, haven’t we? The job loss, the colicky baby, the years of singleness, the financial strain.

Yet the lessons learned in the waiting often cannot be learned any other way.

Continue reading…

Sinking Lifeboat

Our sweet and stressed out fluffball, Muppet.

My dog is playful and fun and sweet with people, but on walks… well our walks are proof positive that you can love and hate something at the same time. Our 25 pound fluffy buddy gets so excited as the leash goes on but becomes an anxious and sometimes difficult to manage companion once we hit the pavement. I don’t know what he went through before we got him, but I don’t think being a stray was fun for him. He startles at noises and falls apart when he sees another dog. I’ve done my best to build his confidence, hired a trainer, watched all the Dog Whisperer, but I guess there’s only so much I can do. He needs healing in his doggy heart.

And a better world to live in.

Today as we walked (ran, startled, cowered, bolted…) I sighed and longed for the day to come when all things will be made new. When there’s no more anxiousness or fear. When there’s nothing left to cause harm in all creation.

And I asked the Lord what He had to say to us, as we suffer many difficulties and fears in this present, broken world, and I felt His kindness toward us. Then in my mind I saw us in a sinking lifeboat – the world as we currently know it – and Him holding out a hand of rescue to us from a mighty ship passing by.

“Behold I am making all things new…” Rev 21:5

He’s going to make everything right, friends! Hallelujah!! And He offers us all to be part of that new world. That is the gospel, the GOOD news! Good wins, evil and death and suffering are cast out forever, and a remade creation thrives in peace, justice, goodness, and perfection under the kind and wise rule of a leader, Jesus, the Creator whose very essence is Love.

Hallelujah!! What a God, what a hope!

Reach out Him, friends! Pray! If you’ve never taken His hand of rescue, today is the day.

“What I mean brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. … For the world in its present form is passing away.” 1 Corinthians 7:29a, 31b

Faithful Father

Old Faithful in Yellowstone photo by Emily Campbell on Unsplash

I recently read The Epic of Eden, a fantastic book on ancient Near Eastern culture and how it shapes our understanding of the stories in the Old Testament. In one particularly moving part the author explains the meaning of a story in Genesis 15 where God makes a covenant with Abram – a covenant involving a flaming torch and smoking oven that float between the cut-up pieces of sacrificed animals. Ummm…? I used to walk away from that story thinking, “Dude, ancient people were weird.”

But as it turns out, it’s a beautiful picture of God’s love!

(Did not see that coming.)

In the culture of that day, when a weaker person or nation wanted to get protection, they would go to a more powerful king/individual and enter into a common kind of covenant called a suzerain/vassal covenant. The powerful one would agree to look out for the weaker person and usually grant them land, in exchange for tribute and military service. To seal the deal, the weaker member would bring an offering, cut it up, and walk between the sacrificed animal pieces as a symbol that, should they violate the terms of the treaty, may they come to a similar end. (yikes!)

So Abram, in a moment of doubt about God’s promise to give Canaan to his descendants, asked God “How can I know that you will give me all this land?” God then enacts this kind of treaty with Abram, so that he could understand God’s promise to fulfill this land grant. But here is the truly beautiful part – rather than Abram walking through the bloody pieces, God did it Himself, effectively saying, “If you, Abram and your offspring, fail to keep your covenant with Me, may *I* suffer this fate in your place.”

We know well how Israel failed to keep the covenant. And we know Who paid the price for the disobedience of all of us children of Abram…

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

What a kind and merciful Father we have!! Faithful to a thousand generations, whether they be faithful or not.