Where Were You? (John 11)

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21) There are moments when we wonder where God is.  If only He showed up in the situation, then things wouldn’t have turned out the way that they did… I wouldn’t have lost my job… my loved one wouldn’t have died… the accident wouldn’t have happened… things would be different.  ... [Continue Reading]

How Much Do I Trust? (Matthew 9-10)

Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2) Trust seems like such a simple thing, and in some respects it is.  It's simple to trust that the chair I'm sitting in won't collapse under my weight.  After all, I have lots of experience sitting in chairs.  It's ... [Continue Reading]

Just When You Thought All Hope Was Lost… (Ezekiel 36-37)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:5-6) There are moments in time when life feels hopeless, aren't there?  The ... [Continue Reading]

A Simple Prayer (Isaiah 31-34)

Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.  Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33:2) In times of trouble, it's natural to turn to God.  In fact, many people turn back to God when things in their lives are less than ideal.  Isaiah models a simple prayer for us to pray when we face. Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. God, we ... [Continue Reading]

The Manipulation Trap (1 Samuel 27-29)

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.” (1 Samuel 28:8) When things don't go the way we want in life, it's tempting to try and manipulate our way into a different outcome.  Such was the case with Saul as he visited a witch in order to ... [Continue Reading]

God of the Impossible (1 Samuel 13-14)

Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook.  It was a panic sent by God. (1 Samuel 14:15) God is the One who moves hearts and minds. When I think about how hard it is for me to simply change myself, I come to the realization of just how hard it is to try and change someone else.  Why ... [Continue Reading]

What Will it Take? (Judges 3-4)

Because [Jabin, the king of Canaan,] had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help. (Judges 4:3) Twenty years of oppression is what it took for Israel to turn back to God?  Seriously?  Twenty years? It's remarkable to me that it took so long for the nation to realize that it was ... [Continue Reading]

Limited Vision (Genesis 41-42)

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.  You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders.  Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” (Genesis 41:39-40) When life gets the best of us, it's easy to think that we'll never get out of the depths ... [Continue Reading]

God Knows and Cares (Genesis 27-29)

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. (Genesis 29:31) There are moments in time when God feels conspicuously absent, aren't there?  In Leah's case, she was forced into marriage in the place of her sister - the desire of her husband Jacob's heart.  Her father, Laban, essentially used her as a bargaining tool ... [Continue Reading]

Where is Justice? (Job 21-23)

Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? (Job 21:7) Job's friends argued with him that the suffering he was dealing with was as a result of his sin.  If he simply removed the sin, his life would suddenly be all roses.  Job wasn't too pleased with their perspective because he understood a deeper truth: good behavior doesn't always lead to the ... [Continue Reading]