Archive | December, 2011

Life brings on unexpected changes but we must carry on despite it…

31 Dec

Well 2011 has been quite a year for our family! (That may be the understatement of the year right there.) The year began with a big change for our family as we began at a new place in ministry, and the year will end with the hope of yet another new place in ministry. We have been through some very trying times this year. However, I know that God led us every step of the way.

There were times during the big transitions that we were going through that I wondered what God was doing. I wondered if I had done something wrong. I wondered if I had made a wrong turn or ill-advised decision. However, through it all I can now look back and see where God was molding me and shaping me into the man that He has created me to be. I know that I am simply the clay. I cannot see what God is shaping me to be, but I know that He, as the Potter, has infinitely more wisdom than I do. He alone can envision what He wants me to be. Who am I to question how He is shaping me? As the clay, I have learned, I may not like how I must be pounded and reshaped at times, but it will ultimately bring God glory for me to be shaped the way He has planned. I know that I must endure the shaping process in order to fulfill the purpose that God has for me. I wait for Him to shape me knowing that He has promised future glory in the life to come. I can look and identify with the sailors on the boat with Jonah in Jonah 2. They were caught up in a storm due to events that were completely out of their control. However, God in His infinite grace used that storm that was meant for Jonah to draw the sailors closer to Himself. I have been drawn to God the Father over the past six months like never before. His provision and grace and mercy never cease to amaze me. It truly is incredible to look over the past year and see time after time where God has provided in ways that I would never have imagined. It has been a crazy year.

There were times where I spoke out loud, “God I would not have done things this way.” How arrogant?! Again, I go back to the fact that I am merely the clay. However, I can see that I am now in a place spiritually, relationally, and mentally that I would not yet be had I not gone through the circumstances that God saw fit to put us through. She-Wood and I are much closer as husband and wife because of this year, and I was afforded the opportunity to spend invaluable time with the Wee-Woods as well. It has been a great year.

I think of God’s words in Isaiah 43. He spends the first half of that chapter reminding Israel of the many great things that He had done for them and through them. I love how God recounts the ways that He has guided and protected the Israelites. It is inspiring and comforting! I also love what one commentator said regarding what God says in Isaiah 43. He writes, “Our past is meant to be a guidepost and not a hitching post.” You see, God is my one and only amazing Savior who has done amazing things both in and through me. However, I cannot hold to those things of the past simply because they were great in the past. Nor can I dwell on the hard things I have had to learn in the past. God still has great things to do in and through me. Great new things! I must press forward knowing that God has great things in store for His glory.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “How blessed the hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone.” WOW! I want to be in that storm so that God should be magnified. While this past year has held things that I would not have willingly put myself or my family through, I know that I can cling to the words of Paul in Romans 8:28 when he states, “He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” I know that the “good” Paul is referring to is whatever ultimately results in God’s glory, and I am perfectly okay with that.

So I look forward with great expectation and enthusiasm to 2012. There are HUGE things planned for the coming year. We await the call for our adoption to be finalized. We await the decision to move to another city and begin a new ministry in earnest. We await a trip to visit the greatest place on earth. We await whatever God has up His sleeves for our family. It is sure to be a year of ups and downs, joy and strife, victories and set backs, but through it all God will be glorified in He-Wood, She-Wood and the Wee-Woods.

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What are You waiting for

9 Dec

Isaiah 30:18 reads, “Therefore the Lord wait to be gracious to you…” What an incredible idea!?! God wants to be gracious to me but my stupidity, arrogance, pride, stubbornness, or laziness is making Him decide to hold out and wait. I wonder how many times I have caused God to wait to pour out graciousness until I am in the right place. I don’t in any way see it as God being stingy, but rather I see it as God being merciful and patient. He is waiting for me to be in the right state of mind or heart to receive the grace, and I see that as an incredible act of love.

Thoughts?