How to Know God as your Husband

How to Know God as your Husband

There’s that Scripture you know should mean more to you: “Your Maker is your husband.” (Isaiah 54:5) But you’re just not feeling it. You’re single, and you desperately want to feel some “skin in the game,” not some nebulous spiritual platitude. Or you’re married, and if God is anything like your husband you’ll pass, Thank you very much.

God blessed me with over seven years of a loving marriage. I wrote about what it means to find God as your Husband a couple years ago, and my marriage certainly helped me understand some new dimensions of God’s love. Now that I’m single again after my husband’s death the reality of God as my Husband has taken on a new depth once more. And it’s got nothing to do with some nebulous spiritual platitude.

For all the ways in which modern Western society has allowed women to take care of themselves (and that’s a good thing), there’s a part of us that still needs a man. Or at least some of us think we do. Some of us rush from one relationship to the next, unconsciously (or consciously) desperate to find the one who will finally make us OK. Others of us refuse to pretend to need a man, ratcheting up our independence, certain that we’ll be misused or betrayed or at least disappointed – again – if we let our heart risk allowing a member of the male species inside. We may parade our independence in front of our friends, or we may relentlessly complain about how the man we ended up with is making us miserable.

Some of us are miserable without a man. Some of us are miserable with the man we chose. Remember, if you’re out there looking for Mr. Right, there are a lot of married women who be happy to give him to you! Ladies, this ought not to be!

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When You Can’t Let Go after Your Spouse Leaves

When You Can’t Let Go after Your Spouse Leaves

Marriage is supposed to be forever! When you said “I do” you looked forward to joining your lives, building your family, and probably growing old together. And then something happens. Your spouse leaves, and you can’t let go.

Here’s part of a message Gerry (not her real name) wrote to me recently: “I am unable to let go of my husband. He left me a few years ago for another woman. He still relates cordially with me and our kids, but it’s so painful to watch him go home to another woman. It hurts. I desire to have him back but he seems disinterested. I am sexually starved and feel so empty and worthless. I don’t know how to cope.”

It’s difficult to describe the trauma that happens when your relationship breaks apart, and your former spouse acts as if there was never anything between you. In some ways it’s more painful than if that person had died. They’re still out there, but they’re not with you. You can’t get rid of the images in your mind – either real or imagined. The what-if’s won’t leave you alone.

A marriage unites two people together, and there’s no way to separate them from one another without significantly tearing your soul in shreds. God hates divorce not because of some arbitrary directive from on high, but because of the way in which it hurts his children. And it’s especially painful when it appears your former spouse is doing great even though you’re in agony.

It’s bad enough to have to learn how to live single again after being married. But Gerry talked about something much deeper.

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How Getting Fired Can Become Priceless

How Getting Fired Can Become Priceless

I’ve only been fired once. It happened in one of the worst possible ways. The email arrived on a Sunday night: “You are being taken off the schedule immediately.” There was no warning. No “opportunity for improvement.” No due process. Even looking back from the vantage point of years I can see no warning signs leading up to that traumatic evening. Nobody had the guts to approach me and explain what was going on.

I had it easier than most people who get fired. That position was not the only “job” I had at the time. I was working in three different settings, and was able to quickly increase my hours in the other two positions. Financially I experienced only a minor hiccup, but the internal impact on my psyche wasn’t nearly as minor.

Through that experience I discovered that being fired is good for you. Oh sure, it hurts. But it’s an experience that can spawn a great deal of wisdom, clarity, and maturity if one allows it to.

Here are several things being fired helped me understand, and that you can learn if you have a similar experience:

  1. Life isn’t fair. It’s not worth the emotional angst to try to make it fair. Some people are just jerks. Stuff happens. Maturity sees the good things in life as an undeserved and welcome gift, and doesn’t get too surprised when the not-so-good stuff comes along.
  2. You can choose the meaning getting fired has for you. I could have become bitter and angry over the unprofessional manner in which I was fired. Instead, after a short period of shock and dismay I chose to look for what new opportunities this reality could make possible.
  3. You are more than your job. You know this if you’re a parent; your young son or daughter sees you as their hero regardless of your job title or bank account. They need and want YOU. Who you are is much more important than what you do – not just to your kids, but in every part of your life.
  4. Investments in relationships are priceless. Your connections with your spouse (if married), your family, your friends, or other professional or business acquaintances will become invaluable. Care about other people for who they are rather than what they can give you, and in some way the favor will be returned to you.
  5. Physical and spiritual health provide resilience. If you’ve taken time to keep the other areas of your life healthy you’ll be able to rebound in the financial/vocational area of your life much easier. And continuing to invest in these areas will keep you resilient as well.
  6. Necessity can breed creativity. How many people hate their job?! Perhaps you did too. God put within you a valuable gift that the world needs, and getting fired may provide you the motivation to finally bring that gift to life. Flexible work arrangements, a new business, or some other creative endeavor may be just around the corner if you look for it.
  7. God has a plan. Sometimes you get fired because you did something wrong. Other times you get fired because you did something right. If you let Him, God has a way of taking these experiences and using them to bring you ever closer to the purpose He has for you. Nothing you give to Him is ever wasted.

If I had been fired at a younger age I might have grown up faster in some respects. But the important thing is that right now I’m closer to the purpose for which God put me on this planet than I’ve ever been before.

A forest fire may be devastating, but it’s necessary for the long-term health of the forest’s ecosystem. The entire area can be invigorated by the new trees that grow out of the ashes. And if you’ve been fired, the experience can do the same for you.

Your Turn: Have you been fired? What valuable things were you able to learn from the experience? Leave a comment below. 

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The Ministry of Presence: Being There

The Ministry of Presence: Being There

Sometimes you can tell somebody what they need to know. That feels good. Sometimes you can fix things for them. That often feels even better. Sometimes you can even help them grow strong enough to fix it themselves. That feels best of all.

But sometimes there’s no fixing it. Nothing you do, or they do, will make things any better. In those times the best you can offer is you. It’s being there – the ministry of presence.

As a physician I’ve developed a style of relating to patients that helps them feel comfortable and reassured. But I didn’t fully appreciate how powerful that kind of relationship can be until I experienced it from the other side. Some time ago my husband was in the hospital, and we were both understandably anxious. Several new doctors quickly became involved in his care. But everything changed the moment his regular doctor walked into the room. My husband was getting the same treatment, but the presence of Dr. Pohl made us feel comparatively confident and safe about everything that was going on.

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This Is NOT God’s Will

This Is NOT God’s Will

Bad things are happening – to people you know, to Christians here and in other places, and perhaps to you also. For people of faith the question continues to arise, Is all this really God’s will? If He is good and powerful, why do so many bad things continue to happen to good people?

Many have tried to answer those types of questions with high-sounding theological arguments. But in the end the only answer that really counts is the one you come to in your own heart after an encounter with God.

What is God’s will? The witness of Scripture and of other believers helps with that question. Remember that in the Bible very bad things happened to God’s best friends. In today’s world, here are some things that are NOT God’s will.

Recent Events in the United States

  • The shooting and massacre during a prayer meeting in a church in Charleston, SC this week.
  • The continued violence and lawlessness in Baltimore, MD.
  • The escape of two murderers from a New York state prison.
  • The destruction of property and loss of life from the floods in Texas, Oklahoma, and beyond during the past few weeks.
  • The exploitation of events and people by those who would profit from a culture of victimization.
  • The flaunting of a liberal sexual ethic that makes mockery of God’s plan and standards.
  • The politicization of Christianity on both the right and the left.
  • The public failures and shaming of Christians in the public eye.

Conditions in This Country and Around the World

  • Exploitation of those who are vulnerable by those who have power.
  • Lack of personal responsibility leading to laziness, dependency, and disease.
  • Domestic violence, violence against women, and exploitation of children
  • Poverty, racism, illness, and corruption.
  • Terrorism, anti-Semitism, ethnic cleansing, and war.
  • Irresponsible destruction of Earth’s natural resources.
  • Religious abuse and violence.

Circumstances In Your Own Life and Family

  • Lack of money, opportunity, or other resources.
  • Sickness or disease.
  • Broken relationships between family members.
  • Isolation from others in the body of Christ.
  • Guilt, shame, fear, depression, or anxiety.
  • Betrayal, infidelity, or addiction.
  • Not fully fulfilling the purpose for which God put you in this world.

There are many things in our world and our lives that are not God’s will. This is not the way He intended things to be!

Thankfully the Bible provides a picture of the way God originally created this world to be. (Genesis 1 and 2). And it also provides a picture of the way things will be when God completes His work. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Aren’t you eager for that day?!

The world is groaning for the end to come. (Romans 8:22-23) Until then:

  1. Do your job. Whatever it is that God has placed in your hand to do, do it with integrity, excellence, and faith. (Luke 19:12-13)
  2. Don’t lose hope. Our suffering here, as real as it is, is nothing compared to the glory God has waiting for us. (Romans 8:18)
  3. Remember eternity. We know the end of the story! It’s the joy in front of us that gives us the courage and hope to persevere. (Hebrews 12:2)
  4. Trust God. While we may have trouble here, God’s always got your back. He will never leave you alone. When you can’t see anything good, remember He’s in charge. (Matthew 28:20)

Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

Your Turn: Is there something in your life that is NOT God’s will? What helps you look forward with hope? Leave a comment below. 

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  • Not everything that’s going on in this world is God’s will.        Tweet that.

Do you want to live FULLY ALIVE?

There are simple steps you can take EVERY DAY that will propel you forward in experiencing the kind of life you want, and that God wants for you physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.

Get your FREE Resource Guide now: 7 Keys to Living Fully Alive – from the Inside Out.

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