4 Things To Do While Waiting

WaitingNobody likes to wait. It’s frustrating. It feels cold. And it’s easy to let a seeming delay mess with your faith.

God sees time differently than we do. When He promises something, He will fulfill it – on His timetable. I believe God understands our frustration perfectly well. But somehow He never lets that interfere with His plans.

“Then why does He promise me something and make me wait? That’s even more painful than if He had not promised me anything at all!”

Perhaps Abraham felt that way when God promised him a son, and he had to wait 25 years before Isaac was born. (Genesis 15:5-6, 21:1-2) Perhaps David felt that way when God anointed him king, but it was about 17 years in coming. (1 Samuel 16:13, 2 Samuel 5:3-4) Perhaps the children of Israel felt that way in Egypt – for 400 years! (Genesis 15:18, Exodus 12:40)

Why does God promise us things, and then make us wait? And more importantly, what are we supposed to do while waiting?

I especially like the story of David in thinking about that question. David didn’t only get older during those years between the time Samuel anointed him and when he was crowned king of Israel. It was during those waiting years that he BECAME a king. It was the running from Saul, the writing of Psalms, the learning to lead his band of followers, and the trusting in God that made David what he was.

God does not promise us things so that we can sit back and wait. God promises us things to give us the faith and motivation necessary to develop into someone who can receive that promise!     Tweet that.

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Knowing God as Your Husband

Knowing God as Your Husband

If you’re a single woman, the idea of God as your husband may be a wonderful comfort. Or it may sound like a cruel joke. If you’re a married woman, it might also seem very confusing. What does that really mean?

I lived as a single woman for 48 years before meeting my husband, and I felt more than my share of loneliness. I asked “Why me?” more times than I can count. Every now and then I’d hear some other single lady talk about the comfort she found in knowing God as her Husband, and I’d wonder what she had that I didn’t. (See Isaiah 54:4-5)

But it really didn’t make much sense to me. I wanted a husband with skin on! I wanted someone to kiss me and hold me, to go to bed with at night and wake up with in the morning, to keep me from being lonely. I wanted someone to talk to when I needed. Although I became very good at taking care of myself, I thought it would be awfully nice to have someone take care of me every now and then.

And although I loved God, He doesn’t have skin on! How could He be those things to me?

My picture of God went through a lot of cleaning up and growing up during those years. And over time I learned what it was those ladies talked about when they said, “God is my Husband.” And I can honestly say that a few years before I met my husband Al, I too learned to know God in that way. It became the most important dimension of God’s work in my life.

And I still know Him in that way. If anything, being married has deepened my understanding of who God is to me. And I’m absolutely certain that this aspect of my relationship with God has made me a much happier and more successful wife.

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Marriage Under Pressure: Staying Intact Through Difficult Times

Marriage Under Pressure: Staying Intact Through Difficult Times

Every marriage faces times under pressure. Sometimes you overschedule your time or money, and the pressure builds. Sometimes an unexpected illness or accident threatens your well-laid plans. Sometimes your attempts at a project result in only frustration, or a misunderstanding creates hard feelings. Sometimes outside “stuff” comes against you that threatens your sense of normalcy.

Whatever the source, how you act when under pressure says a lot about your level of maturity and the strength of your relationship. When the heat gets turned up you find out what you’re really made of.

Al and I faced a big pressure-cooker day recently. As things calmed down we reflected together on what to do when tough stuff happens. I think you’ll find our combined suggestions here helpful for when your own marriage gets put under pressure. (This works when both husband and wife are people of good will, and care about their marriage.)

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If Your Wife Does Not Respect You

If Your Wife Does Not Respect You

Men thrive on respect. It’s right there at the top of a man’s emotional needs. If your wife does not respect you, you probably feels like a failure, at least at home.

God understands this need. He built it into a man’s heart. It’s why Paul wrote: “Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

When a man feels respect from his wife, he feels like he can take on the world. When he doesn’t, he feels isolated, angry, frustrated, and powerless. And if such a man feels respect from someone other than his wife, it will be hard for him not to wander from his marriage.

If you’re a man who does not feel respect in his home, you probably already know that it’s not something you can authoritatively command. At best, trying to force respect leads to grudging words and passive aggressive behavior. At worst it leads to active resistance or running away.

So what’s a man to do? Here are 5 things you can and should do if this is you. (Remember, I’m only talking about what YOU can do. And don’t worry, ladies; I’m writing another post for you.)

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What Should Christians Do About Ebola?

[guestpost]Since this post was first written Thomas Duncan, the Liberian national, has died. Two nurses who were caring for him and became infected with Ebola have thankfully recovered. And the debates over quarantines, travel restrictions, and preparedness continue. These recommendations still hold.[/guestpost]
Ebola ContainmentNews that a Liberian national visiting relatives in Texas is being treated for Ebola virus disease at a Dallas hospital has brought this crisis much closer to home for many Americans. It’s not just missionaries in some foreign land that are being affected now: it could be a student in your child’s school, the next patient you treat as a nurse or doctor, or someone you pass in the restroom at the airport.

There are a number of places where this current case of Ebola could have been caught earlier. The man himself could have told the truth on his entry questionnaire. Customs and immigration could have done more screening than a simple checklist questionnaire. The emergency room personnel could have communicated better at his first visit to the hospital. Ambulance and other first responding personnel could have been more alert and taken further precautions. Let’s pray that the current contact surveillance by public health personnel keeps this current individual from spreading the disease to others.

If the Dallas experience has shown us anything, it is that even our best-laid plans for protecting ourselves and others from such things as Ebola are not foolproof. And then there’s the issue of Christian love and humanitarian caring. How can we respond to such a crisis? How should we both protect ourselves and do our duty to those in need?

During some of history’s worst epidemics Christians have played an important role. When the Black Death ravaged Europe, killing 30-60% of the population during the 14th century, many times the Christians were the only ones who would care for the sick, putting themselves at significant risk. We must take seriously Christ’s command to love “the least of these,” but we must do so with wisdom.

Here are some things we MUST do now:

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