Dear Ones,
Happy Holiday weekend and hope it is an enjoyable one for you. Today is party day here so Al and I will be going to Costco when it opens to get the Birthday cake. I have 2 good helpers and we set up and serve and have fun! Relatives will be going to the lake today and we hope the mosquitoes aren’t too bad that we can still have a picnic this weekend.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   I think we have all questioned at different times why God lets people suffer and doesn’t do something about it. We can wonder if God is really listening to our prayers and if He is, why doesn’t He act now! I am reading Larry Crabb’s book, When God’s Way Makes No Sense and he addresses this issue and causes me to search my own heart and its motives.
   When we suffer or see our loved ones suffer, we can respond in several ways. If His ways don’t make sense to us, Crabb writes that we can resist and run. Just like Jonah who at first refused to go to warn the people of Nineveh that if they didn’t repent, they would get wiped out. But since they were his enemy, he didn’t like what God was saying and went as far as he could in the opposite direction. Maybe we do that too.
   The second way we may respond is to distort scripture of what we want to believe about it to suit our own ways. We try to shape God in what we want to fit our own preferences, often to fit into the culture as well.
   The third way Crabb mentions is to tremble and trust. When things happen, we first may tremble as we feel our confusion but then we go on to trust that He is good and will lead us until the day He takes us home. Habakkuk got a message from God that he was to deliver but didn’t like it at all, for his enemy was going to punish Judah. However, he didn’t distort the message but gave it as it was given him and trusted God.
  We may all ask why God allows our pain to remain and why He doesn’t do something about it. We may think we deserve better than that, and ask why we couldn’t grow in other ways than suffering? But God leads us through suffering and failures to bring us to maturity.
   The question is asked, “Am I following the Lord or asking Him to follow me?! As it says in Isaiah 55:8 that His thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. We need to trust Him even when we don’t understand or know the outcome. He is all the time shaping us and forming us more into His image. And He uses what He is doing in our lives for the good of others as well.
  He is always, always worth of our trust, even when it doesn’t make sense, especially then! One day we will all be free of hurt and pain and fully enjoy heaven forever more.
Challenge for today: Value what the Lord is doing in you and don’t resist His hand.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy