Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

true faith

From Streams in the Desert:

The land which I do give them, even the children of Israel (Joshua 1:2).
God is speaking about something immediate in this verse. It is not something He is going to do, but something He does do, in this very moment. So faith ever speaks. So God ever gives. He meets you today, in the present moment. This is the test of faith. So long as you are waiting for a thing, hoping for it, looking for it, you are not believing. It may be hope, it may be earnest desire, but it is not faith; for "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The command in regard to believing prayer is the present tense. "When ye pray, believe that ye receive the things that ye desire, and ye shall have them." Have we come to that moment? Have we met God in His everlasting NOW?
--Joshua, by Simpson
True faith counts on God, and believes before it sees. Naturally, we want some evidence that our petition is granted before we believe; but when we walk by faith we need no other evidence than God's Word. He has spoken, and according to our faith it shall be done unto us. We shall see because we have believed, and this faith sustains us in the most trying places, when everything around us seems to contradict God's Word.
The Psalmist says, "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living" (Ps. 27:13). He did not see as yet the Lord's answer to his prayers, but he believed to see; and this kept him from fainting.
If we have the faith that believes to see, it will keep us from growing discouraged. We will "laugh at impossibilities," we shall watch with delight to see how God is going to open up a path through the Red Sea when there is no human way out of our difficulty. It is just in such places of severe testing that our faith grows and strengthens.
Have you been waiting upon God, dear troubled one, during long nights and weary days, and have feared that you were forgotten? Nay, lift up your head, and begin to praise Him even now for the deliverance which is on its way to you.
--Life of Praise

Talk about being convicted. The Lord used this, among some wise words from loving friends, to bring sweet conviction to my heart this past week. The revelation I am seeking to take firm hold of, is that true faith is different, much different than pining away for something, waiting and waiting looking for evidence that the thing is on its way. It is believing that God has done the thing, and in HIS perfect time, will be given and revealed to me. How comforting, how challenging, how simple. 
All this time, I have been wrestling, and growing. But now I think I am seeing and believing. True faith is the assurance that God is a promise keeper, that he is good, that he does not withhold, and that he knows far better than I. 
Just wanted to share this little tidbit of grace. 

.to know the giver of the gift.

I've recently been pondering what the divine purpose to the Lord's plan to withhold another baby in our family might be. While I know the scriptures tell me over and over how unlike God I am, how His thoughts are not my thoughts, and how high and lifted up His ways are, I have still found myself eager to see deeper into his purpose for this time in my life. If I am to be tested I want to grow. I do not want to remain stagnant in this life. 
I can think of many many reasons for this "closing of my womb" that make logical sense. I can see, when I am being my most objective, how it is wisdom to be all here right now with my three rascals that need all of me now. I can see how, if I had gotten pregnant 9 months ago when we began to try for baby #4, it might not have been the best timing. I an see these things. I may not like them. But I can see.
A dear friend who has been carrying my desires to the Lord in prayer these past several months, reminded me of the all-knowing God, who knows the plans He has for my life, and warned me of the dangers of demanding my will of God. She reminded me that like Job, I long to be heard and have an answer from God. Do I really want my will over the will of God? 
Some days, the answer to that is yes. Yes when I hear of another friend who is pregnant. The days when tears come readily and I cry to the Lord as a child who feels forgotten. Yes, when I just don't understand his good plan and  I just want my way. But then I am reminded to step back and pray. To recall the past Providences of the Lord. His many faithful perfected ways He has led me, protected me, and saved me over the years. And then my hard stubborn and proud will that cries, "My way is better" gets softened. And I end up wanting the will of the Lord more than anything. And it is well with my soul. It really is amazing how He changes my heart again and again. It gives me hope, knowing that although the "thing" I want, I am not getting; the greater good is happening in my heart. He is making me grow in trust, helping me lay down my desire for control, and deepening my roots of faith into the truth of His word. 
I read this excerpt from Streams in the Desert this morning and it really effected me. It helped me to have peace when I do not seem to get an answer from the Lord. I long with all my heart to be like the last woman in this story. I pray that if you too are feeling that your cries to the Lord are met with silence that you be encouraged as I was. To fight the temptation to believe that He has forgotten you, and cling to the truth that not one moment passes that we are not out of the loving care and gaze of our Father in heaven. 

He answered her not a word (Matt. 15:23).
He will be silent in his love (Zeph. 3:17).
It may be a child of God is reading these words who has had some great crushing sorrow, some bitter disappointment, some heart-breaking blow from a totally unexpected quarter. You are longing for your Master's voice bidding you "Be of good cheer," but only silence and a sense of mystery and misery meet you --"He answered her not a word."
God's tender heart must often ache listening to all the sad, complaining cries which arise from our weak, impatient hearts, because we do not see that for our own sakes He answers not at all or otherwise than seems best to our tear-blinded, short-sighted eyes. The silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His speech and may be a sign, not of His disapproval, but of His approval and of a deep purpose of blessing for you.
"Why art thou cast down, O…soul?" Thou shalt yet praise Him, yes, even for His silence. Listen to an old and beautiful story of how one Christian dreamed that she saw three others at prayer. As they knelt the Master drew near to them.
As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her in tenderness and grace, with smiles full of radiant love and spoke to her in accents of purest, sweetest music. Leaving her, He came to the next, but only placed His hand upon her bowed bead, and gave her one look of loving approval. The third woman He passed almost abruptly without stopping for a word or glance.
The woman in her dream said to herself, "How greatly He must love the first one, to the second He gave His approval, but none of the special demonstrations of love He gave the first; and the third must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all and not even a passing look.
"I wonder what she has done, and why He made so much difference between them?" As she tried to account for the action of her Lord, He Himself stood by her and said: "O woman! how wrongly hast thou interpreted Me. The first kneeling woman needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in My narrow way. She needs My love, thought and help every moment of the day. Without it she would fail and fall.
"The second has stronger faith and deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me however things may go and whatever people do. The third, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect, has faith and love of the finest quality, and her I am training by quick and drastic processes for the highest and holiest service.
"She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so utterly, that she is independent of words or looks or any outward intimation of My approval. She is not dismayed nor discouraged by any circumstances through which I arrange that she shall pass; she trusts Me when sense and reason and every finer instinct of the natural heart would rebel;--because she knows that I am working in her for eternity, and that what I do, though she knows not the explanation now, she will understand hereafter.
"I am silent in My love because I love beyond the power of words to express, or of human hearts to understand, and also for your sakes that you may learn to love and trust Me in Spirit-taught, spontaneous response to My love, without the spur of anything outward to call it forth."
He "will do marvels" if you will learn the mystery of His silence, and praise Him, for every time He withdraws His gifts that you may better know and love the Giver.