Bible Verses about Rain

  • Leviticus 26:3-4 CSB
    “If you follow my statutes and faithfully observe my commands, I will give you rain at the right time, and the land will yield its produce, and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.
  • Deuteronomy 32:2 CSB
    Let my teaching fall like rain
    and my word settle like dew,
    like gentle rain on new grass
    and showers on tender plants.
  • 1 Kings 8:35-36 CSB
    When the skies are shut and there is no rain,
    because they have sinned against you,
    and they pray toward this place
    and praise your name,
    and they turn from their sins
    because you are afflicting them,
    36 may you hear in heaven
    and forgive the sin of your servants
    and your people Israel,
    so that you may teach them the good way
    they should walk in.
    May you send rain on your land
    that you gave your people for an inheritance.
  • Job 37:6-7 CSB
    For he says to the snow, “Fall to the earth,”
    and the torrential rains, his mighty torrential rains,
    serve as his sign to all mankind,
    so that all men may know his work.
  • Psalm 68:8 CSB
    the earth trembled and the skies poured rain
    before God, the God of Sinai,[a]
    before God, the God of Israel.
  • Psalm 72:6 CSB
    May the king be like rain that falls on the cut grass,
    like spring showers that water the earth.
  • Psalm 135:7 CSB
    He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.
    He makes lightning for the rain
    and brings the wind from his storehouses.
  • Psalm 147:8 CSB
    who covers the sky with clouds,
    prepares rain for the earth,
    and causes grass to grow on the hills.
  • Isaiah 45:8 CSB
    “Heavens, sprinkle from above,
    and let the skies shower righteousness.
    Let the earth open up
    so that salvation will sprout
    and righteousness will spring up with it.
    I, the Lord, have created it.
  • Isaiah 55:10-11 CSB
    For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
    and do not return there
    without saturating the earth
    and making it germinate and sprout,
    and providing seed to sow
    and food to eat,
    11 so my word that comes from my mouth
    will not return to me empty,
    but it will accomplish what I please
    and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
  • Jeremiah 14:22 CSB
    Can any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
    Or can the skies alone give showers?
    Are you not the Lord our God?
    We therefore put our hope in you,
    for you have done all these things.
  • Ezekiel 34:26 CSB
     I will make them and the area around my hill a blessing: I will send down showers in their season; they will be showers of blessing.
  • Hosea 10:12 CSB
    Sow righteousness for yourselves
    and reap faithful love;
    break up your unplowed ground.
    It is time to seek the Lord
    until he comes and sends righteousness
    on you like the rain.
  • Joel 2:23 CSB
    Children of Zion, rejoice and be glad
    in the Lord your God,
    because he gives you the autumn rain
    for your vindication.[a]
    He sends showers for you,
    both autumn and spring rain as before.
  • Zechariah 10:1 CSB
    Ask the Lord for rain
    in the season of spring rain.
    The Lord makes the rain clouds,
    and he will give them showers of rain
    and crops in the field for everyone.
  • Matthew 5:45 CSB
    so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
  • Acts 14:16-17 CSB
    In past generations he allowed all the nations to go their own way,  although he did not leave himself without a witness, since he did what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and filling you with food and your[b] hearts with joy.”
  • James 5:17-18 CSB
    Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.

15 Bible Verses and a Prayer About Provision

verses-for-provision

  • Genesis 22:14
    “So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.’”
  • Deuteronomy 2:7 NIV
    The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
  • Deuteronomy 11:14 NIV
    then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.
  • Psalm 23:1 NKJV
    The Lord is my shepherd;
    I shall not want.
  • Psalm 37:25
    “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsakenor their children begging bread.”
  • Psalm 65:9 NIV
    You care for the land and water it;
        you enrich it abundantly.
    The streams of God are filled with water
        to provide the people with grain,
        for so you have ordained it.
  • Psalm 68:10 ESV
    your flock found a dwelling in it;
        in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
  • Psalm 111:4-5 NIV
    He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
        the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
     He provides food for those who fear him;
        he remembers his covenant forever.
  • Psalm 132:15 NIV
    I will bless her with abundant provisions;
        her poor I will satisfy with food.
  • Matthew 6:25-34 NIV“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
    “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  • Luke 12:24 ESV
    Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
  • Luke 12:29-31
    “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
  • John 16:23-24 NIV
    In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
  • Philippians 4:19
    “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
  • 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 NIV
    And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
    “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”
    Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

prayer-for-provision

Weekend Walk: Feeling Needy but Giving Praise

I want to say a big thank you to John King over at Smoking Newspaper and Bill Jones at I Was Thinking the Other Day About... for their guest posts this week!

And I want to give a shout out of congratulations to Wesley for winning the book giveaway!!!  I hope you enjoy reading Don’t Smoke the Newspaper and Other Lessons Learned by a Pastor.  And if you didn’t win, you can check out the book on Amazon.com here!

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On Thursday morning, I pushed a cart all around Wal-Mart.  It was already feeling a bit crowded and crowded to me is like narrow and close to others, like an MRI for someone with claustrophobia.  My heart beats a little faster, I’m certain my temperature shoots up about 5 degrees and I feel like I could just sit down on a random store bench and cry.

But I survived with a cart nearly overflowing, shopping for my family, for church events, for prayer group breakfasts, shared meals, and Operation Christmas Child.  My massive list had been divided into five sections for all that week’s events.

Then I had to go back the next day.

Because while I had seemingly put every item on the Wal-Mart shelves in my cart the day before, I hadn’t bought all of the necessities for the prolonged power outages carried along on the wind and rain of Hurricane Sandy.

I was an optimist, hoping the storm would turn or move north or simply disappear off the radar.

So, I reluctantly went back.  Two trips to Wal-Mart…Two days in a row…With a 3-year-old… Pressed in on every side by every other person in my town also rushing the aisles for water, canned goods, paper products, and batteries.  One friendly guy (not an employee) scaled the now-empty shelves and reached to the far back to hand down the last four cases of bottled water to those of us waiting below.

When I arrived home from picking my other daughters up from school, I loaded the cans of soup into the cabinet and piled the water in the laundry room.  One of the girls yelled that her drink spilled and I reached my hand across the kitchen counter to yank off a paper towel….

Only to find that it was the last one on the roll.  A quick search through our pantry revealed no hidden stock of paper towel rolls.

I was completely out.

That’s right.  All of that shopping, and I still didn’t have everything I need.

Sometimes life feels just about that way.  Fill up, consume, search, receive…and still we long for more, still there is the desire, still there is the need.

Perhaps we’ve tended to certain areas, all of our energy and sweat-browed focus exhausted on just getting through this one challenge.  Then we finish.  We make it.  And we realize all that we’ve ignored, the other needs now screaming out for attention.

One crisis ends, another arises.  Storms that never made it onto our radar suddenly threaten.  Or maybe, like me, you’ve squinted your eyes shut to the possibility, choosing optimism ….or willful blindness.

We’re needy folks.  Like baby birds sucking down the prize worm, we so quickly lift our heads and scream for more.

And it’s not that our needs are always imagined or that like spoiled consumers we’ve mis-defined “needs” and “wants.”

Sometimes it’s just because we’re thoroughly dependent on a Dependable God, aware of our insufficiency, surrendered to our out-of-control state and trusting in His guidance, mercy, care, and provision.

This week, I’m not sure what kind of power and Internet outages I might experience with the coming storm.  You might not hear from me as “regularly scheduled” or maybe I’ll happily be online for regular devotionals.  Just know I’ll be up and running as soon as I can.

In the meantime, here’s a verse for the week to remind me of all that God provides to someone as needy as me and that I can give praise and be true deep-down grateful for each need He satiates.

And that I needn’t scream in fear and desperation—because He’s provided before, He will take care of me again.  That’s what gratitude does.  It gives us peace.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever.  Amen
(Philippians 4:19-20)

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

It’s A Miracle!

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him (Lamentations 3:25)

Years ago, the sweet man who led our choir then leaned back in his stool at the front of the choir room.  He told us in a slow southern drawl what he remembered about his mother. I think about his story often.

On the dark and stormy nights of his childhood, when the thunder raged and lightning struck close enough to illuminate his room, he would awaken to find his mom sitting in a chair at the foot of his bed.  She sat with him through the storms, praying over him, even while he continued to sleep.

That’s what he remembered about her: her presence in the stormy nights.

Last night, I supervised the brushing of teeth and the donning of pajamas, packing lunches and backpacks, and laying out clothes for the new day.  We read bedtime stories.  We prayed as a family.

This morning, I poured cereal and buttered toast.  I placed ice packs in the lunches and zipped up the backpacks, all full for the day.

I helped with shoes and socks, combed hair, and reminded my daughters (too many times) to brush their teeth and to do it well because they don’t want cavities or bad breath and, by the way, we’re going to the dentist next week.

Sticking my head out the door for a moment, I checked the weather.  Then I held jackets open for each girl to slip in her arms.  I broke up a fight and gave a crying daughter a hug, calmed her down, and then placed the two sisters on a school bus.

And the day went on with more little tasks and routine activities.

I don’t remember these moments from my childhood.  Do you?  I don’t remember my mom tying my shoes or helping me put on my jacket.  I don’t remember her supervising bath time or pulling my hair into pigtails.

Even though I don’t remember those things, she did them.  I was clean, fed, dressed, and groomed.  My life must have been filled with years and years of everyday love that I don’t remember.

Usually these acts of love remain unnoticed and undervalued . . . unless they’re missing.  Those children who aren’t fed well, bathed, read to, hugged, kept safe, and tucked into their own cozy beds at night feel the lack.  Only they perhaps really know how important the small things are.

What will my kids remember about this time with me? It’s not likely they’ll remember the moments of jackets and breakfasts and backpacks.  They don’t lack for these things.  They likely take them for granted, just as I did.

But they might remember something unique or big, just like the man who recalls his mom sitting with him through stormy nights.

I wonder, then, what do I remember about God, my Father?  When I tell about His presence in my life, what has become part of my story? Usually, it’s the stormy times when I awaken in fear only to find His presence by my side.  It’s the times He’s kept me safe and delivered me from danger.

Yet, we so often overlook the miracles of everyday grace, the simplest signs of His affection and the fact that He cares for our needs and yes, sometimes even our desires.

When we always look for the glorious miracle, the immediate and the extraordinary, we miss thanking God for the gradual, the expected, and the small.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “A slow miracle is no easier to perform than an instant one.”

Yet, we revel in the answers to prayer that come fast. The ones that don’t require interminable waiting and inconvenient patience.

We pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” and then miss the miracle of everyday provision—until it seems in jeopardy.

In the book of Nehemiah, the exiles who returned to Jerusalem skipped sleep, fended off enemies, prayed, and labored with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other.  They hefted bricks until the walls of Jerusalem were complete, all in just 52 days.  It was a miracle.  Even their enemies knew that:

When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God (Nehemiah 6:16).

How easy it would be to forget that, though, because God chose not to build the walls with a word from His lips or destroy their enemies with an earthquake or flood.

As Kelly Minter writes in Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break:

“It’s worth noting that so far we’ve read nothing of angels, burning bushes, or talking donkeys.  Instead, we’ve seen God use what we might consider ordinary to bring about extraordinary transformation: prayer, repentance, willingness, hard work, sacrifice, humility, faith.  Though miraculous displays of God’s power are to be desired and cherished, I’m equally impressed with God speaking silently to Nehemiah’s heart in the most ‘normal’ of circumstances.  Be encouraged that the common, everyday realities are ideal environments for God to put something in our hearts to do” (Minter 116).

Take time to thank God today for the daily bread, for forgiving our trespasses, for His mercies made new every morning, for His great faithfulness, and because He is good to you (Lamentations 3:23-26).  Thank Him for answered prayers and ministry opportunities.  Thank Him for the quiet ways He speaks to your heart and for the encouragement He brings you day after day.

It may not be spectacular, like fireworks in the night sky.  Still, it’s love.  That’s worth remembering.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

A Week of Thanks: Forget Not

Forget Not
Originally Published 04/08/2011

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will consider all Your works and meditate on all Your mighty deeds.”
Psalm 77:11-12

Today, a dear friend of mine is celebrating with her husband, a job after a period of unemployment.  She is rejoicing in God’s faithful provision, His heart so full to pour out blessings and to meet needs as we look to Him for help.

Today, I remember that same celebration happening in this home.  God brought water forth from rock, something out of nothing, during months of unemployment.  Then, the phone rang on a busy spring day and I stood motionless in the kitchen, keeping all children quiet, as my husband accepted a job—provision so perfect, timing just right.  In that moment, a spotlight shone on God’s activity in our lives and we saw with unmistakable and rare clarity God at work.

Now, years later, I sometimes still remember to thank God for this job wrapped up in paper decorated with God’s handprints and topped with a bow showing off God’s grace.

I remember wanting so desperately to see God in the midst of our need, waking up in the still-dark hours of a frigid morning, leaving children and husband asleep, and driving to church in silence on Resurrection Day, when God forever declared His ability to bring life from death.  Then, with fellow Christ-seekers, crowding around a rough wooden cross stuck into ground, singing a hymn, reading Scripture, watching the sun rise over the river.  Hearing the pastor: “God knows why you have come here and what it is you are looking for. ” I caught my breath.  God met me in the sunrise at a cross.

I remember.

I flip through the pages of my journal from that time, each covered margin-to-margin with God’s promises, encouragements, and challenges—to trust Him, to stop whining and complaining, to be grateful, to know He is in control.  It’s a record of my spiritual growth, tracked on paper like marks on a wall showing how tall I was then, and then, and then—a growth spurt caused by required dependence on a God so dependable.

I remember.

I pull out my favorite pair of shoes, white and covered in colorful flowers, shoes I bought after my husband’s first paycheck at his new job.  Bought on clearance at Target, they were inexpensive and yet totally precious to me.  My “James-got-a-job shoes.”  Every time I wear them . . . I remember.

Jennifer Rothschild wrote, “Remembering is a discipline that takes effort and focus.”

After all, I’m a forgetful creature.  I walk into a room with an agenda, quickly get distracted by toys and books.  Mess, mess–always mess.  How do we make so much mess?  So, I tidy and busy myself (while whining and complaining) and then leave the room empty handed.  My original purpose long forgotten. What did I come in here for again?

I trek to the grocery store with one item I really and truly need and walk back out with ten items in my cart, none of them the one vital ingredient for tonight’s dinner.

I start sentences and then somewhere in the middle lose track of thoughts and words and trail off into silence.

Worrying at night over bills and forgetting past provision.  Fretting over children and forgetting His past activity.  Stressing over a decision and forgetting how He led me through dark and shadowy places before.

It’s an enigma really.  Words spoken and things seen that I long to forget replay in my mind with troubling regularity.  Life necessities and God’s promises that I simply must remember, I forget with ease and . . . troubling regularity.

I’m not alone.  Over and over, in broken record style, God told the Israelites to remember what He had done, to recollect the miracles of their past, and over and over they forgot.   He tells them, “You have forgotten God your Savior.  You have not remembered the Rock, your fortress” (Isaiah 17:10, NIV).

They tried, really tried.  Joshua commanded 12 men from 12 tribes to hoist 12 stones from the dry bed of the Jordan River onto their shoulders, carrying reminders of a miracle as the nation crossed through.   Stone memorials to

“be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.  And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:5-7, NIV).

My special shoes are the same (I prefer my shoes to large river rocks!).  Physical reminders of a God-intervention.  A sign on my life-road saying, “God at Work!”

Ann Voskamp wrote this week about this world breaking us apart.  Chips, broken pieces and cracks in our soul made by the daily and the difficult.  Kids fighting.  Bills due.  Sick husband.  Dying mother.  Lost mail.  No job.  Shattered relationship.  Wandering child.  Missed appointment.   Trust destroyed.  Marriage dead.  Dinner ruined.

The world chips and chips away at us.  “It never stops dis-membering” (Voskamp).

In the Psalms, David sometimes talked to himself.  He bossed his emotions around a bit and told his mind and soul what to do.  He said, “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2, NIV).

And so today, I am commanding my soul to remember.  Not just the broken and chipped me, made less by the world’s incessant bullying.

No, “all that is within me,” altogether me, every bit of brokenness restored and made whole.  As Ann Voskamp said, I am re-membered and re-collected through forgetting not.  It’s a discipline and a choice to live the here and now in view of past blessings and provision.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

Weekend Walk, 10/29/2011

Hiding the Word:

It’s the season of fear.  Driving down Main Street in my town, I see goblins and ghosts adorning the shops.  Families have turned their front yards into mock cemeteries.  People flock to haunted houses and scare fests.

Real fear, though, the kind that keeps you up at night and makes you dread tomorrow, isn’t funny or fun.  It’s not easy to overcome, but it is an enemy which we can fight.

So, this week’s verse is a Scriptural weapon in my arsenal against fear.  I’ll be meditating on it all this week.  I hope you’ll join me or choose a verse of your own.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Weekend Rerun:

Water Without A Bucket, Originally Published 03/03/2011

Every Thursday, I sit for 1-1/2 hours at the ballet studio while two of my daughters take lessons.  At first, I was totally convinced this would be a disaster for my 1-1/2 year-old daughter, who gets to tag along for the ride.  There really isn’t that much in that little waiting room to hold her attention and keep us both from going crazy.

But, there is one thoroughly exciting thing in that ballet studio waiting room that has saved the day — the water cooler.

I can’t explain why this water cooler amazes my daughter, but it does.  And, it’s not just her.  The little girls in their leotards and tights seem to think that nothing is so wonderful as water from this water cooler.  Clearly, it’s better than Mommy’s bottled water or the water we can get at home.  The ballet water is special and I feel sorry for the ballet studio and all the money they have to invest in supplying the plastic cups these girls go through every week.

It reminds me of the woman at the well in John 4:1-26.   There is something about this Samaritan woman’s conversation with Jesus that captures my heart.   She’s just so practical.

Jesus says to her: “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (verse 10, NIV).

And this precious woman looks up at Jesus and says, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?” (verse 11, NIV).  To rephrase—-“Mister, I don’t know how you think you could give me any ‘living water’—you don’t even have a bucket!”

I’ve done that to God.  He’s offered to give me provision, healing, comfort, direction and peace and I’ve turned to Him and said, “God, what You offer sounds so great, but it’s impossible.  You don’t even have a bucket!”

Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest wrote, “My misgivings arise from the fact that I search within to find how He will do what He says .”  We think God is confined to what we have to offer and what we are capable of doing in this practical, physical, fleshly reality of ours.  We forget that God is bigger than that.

It reminds me of the passage from yesterday’s post, when the disciples faced the storm out on the sea in Mark 6:45-52.   In the middle of this tempest, Jesus “saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them” (NIV).  These were expert fisherman,who had probably faced many storms on the sea.   They knew what to do in a storm and they spent hours employing all their skill and expertise, trying to stay alive.

But, the storm was too much for them. 

We say all the time as Christians—“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”  Do you know that isn’t in Scripture?  It’s a misquote of  “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV).

I think God gives us more than we can handle all the time.  I know He does for me!  Whether it’s a big life crisis or just my kids fighting for the 20th time in one morning, it’s too much for me.  I can use all my expertise and ability to try to rescue me from a storm of circumstances, but the bottom line is I am not enough.

The Psalmist wrote, “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in You” (Psalm 39:7, NLT). Don’t place your hope in what you have or who you are.  Don’t look at your circumstances and discount God’s ability to care for you in the midst of them.  He is God.  He doesn’t need a bucket to give you living water.  He isn’t confined by the expertise and ability of professional fishermen to save you from life’s storms.

Oswald Chambers also wrote, “We impoverish and weaken His ministry in us the moment we forget He is almighty. . . .”  Place your hope to survive the daily annoyances and the huge life storms in the Almighty God and leave it to Him to figure out how to save you.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

Weekend Walk: 10/08/2011

Hiding the Word:

Decisions, decisions.  It seems like I’m making so many of them lately.  Big ones with significant impact.  Little ones about my daughters taking ballet.  Yet, somehow they are all enough to send me to my knees, searching for God’s will and wisdom.

I’m comforted by the fact that if I mis-step, the Lord will lift me up.  It is God who orders my steps and who guides my way.

So, my verses for this week are:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
         And He delights in his way.
 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
         For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Psalm 37:23-24

I hope you’ve picked a verse or two to meditate on this week and memorize!  We’d love to hear what your verse might be!

Weekend Rerun

Walking on the Smooth, Straight Road, Originally published 02/22/2011

“Love for God and obedience to God are so completely involved in each other that either one of them implies the other too.”
~F.F. Bruce~

“If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15, NIV).

Obedience is on my mind.  That’s partly because I’m a mom and I spend most of my every day giving commands for my kids to obey.  “Brush your teeth.  Get your lunch.  Don’t forget your homework.  Practice the piano.  Move faster.  Don’t run.” If you’ve never seen Anita Renfroe sing her William Tell Momisms, a quick listen will show you how most of my days sound.  If it’s been a while since you heard her sing this, treat yourself to another listen and a good laugh.

I’ve also been thinking about obedience, though, because since the start of this year, God has been gently compelling me to take new steps of obedience, to follow Him into some new areas, even though I don’t know if it will be “worth it,” or why it’s important for me to do these things.  I don’t understand; I’m just obeying.

As I’ve meditated on obedience, I’ve realized that healing, deliverance, blessing, and provision come as we obey—not before we obey.

When we hear God tell us what He wants to do, we could sit back and say, “Okay, God, I’ll totally give that after You provide” or “God, I’ll be happy to minister in that way after You deliver me from my pain.”  I’ve been telling Him I’ll obey after He gives me the time to do it or after He shows me whether what I am doing will matter.

That’s not how God works, though.

In Luke 11:11-17, we read about Jesus healing 10 lepers.   The men were outcasts of society, who cried out to Him to “have pity on us!  It says, “When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.”

At a recent women’s conference, Lysa TerKeurst emphasized how Jesus’s instructions were so strange.  Technically, these men weren’t supposed to leave the leper colony.  If they thought they were in remission, they were supposed to call for the priest and the priest would come to them.  Only when the priest verified that they were “clean” were they allowed to go back to the village.

Yet, Jesus told them to leave and go get the priest before anything had changed for them.  They weren’t healed yet.  The Bible says, “As they went, they were cleansed.”

Sometimes God tells us to obey even before we’ve seen the provision or the healing.   I love reading about families who are adopting and their testimonies are almost always the same.  God called them to adopt.  They were overwhelmed by the financial cost and they had no money to pay for it.  They pursued adoption anyway and God provided every penny at just the right time.

As they obeyed His call to adopt, God gave them the resources they needed.

As you obey God’s call to give, He will provide.  As you obey His call to minister, He will equip you.  As you obey His call to go, He will direct your path.

The blessing is in the going and in the obedience.  In Psalm 128:1, it says:  “All you who fear God, how blessed you are! how happily you walk on his smooth straight road!” We’re blessed when we are walking on the straight road that God has directed us to take.  Our blessing is not in sitting beside the road watching others go by.  Our blessing isn’t in trailblazing our own road, heading in the direction we choose.  It’s only when we are in motion and taking steps of obedience, that we are blessed.

As it says in Psalm 128:2, 4:  “Enjoy the blessing! Revel in the goodness! . . . Stand in awe of God’s Yes. Oh, how he blesses the one who fears God!” (MSG).

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

One Lump or Two?

My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
Psalm 62:5

It’s my nightly routine.

Place favorite mug on the counter.
Heat up the water.
Lay tea bag in the mug.
Pour steaming hot water in and let it steep.
Add spoonfuls of sugar.  (Yummy and sweet).
Splash in some milk.

Evening tea.  It’s been years since I’ve gone to bed without drinking it and it’s become a sort of security blanket.  I’m not sure if I could sleep without a cup.

Even worse, maybe I’d lie awake just because the tea wasn’t in my favorite mug and instead dumped into some random coffee cup grabbed from the cupboard.  That’d be like someone trying to swap a precious teddy bear for some unfamiliar spare stashed at the bottom of the toy box.

Last night, I sat down to my steaming cup, took a sip,  . . .

gulped and grimaced.

Instead of sweet tea, I tasted bitterness.  I’d filled the sugar canister, but never put any sugar in my mug.

Have you ever been a little disappointed?  You hope for something sweet and taste undrinkable bitterness instead?

The Israelites wandered through the desert for three days, searching for water.  Each day, their hunt must have grown more desperate.  How long could they survive out there, moving through endless wilderness without water to drink?  And then they arrived at Marah and there was water and they felt that rush of joy that accompanies salvation!

But the water was bitter and undrinkable.  It seemed like cruel disappointment considering their true need.  They weren’t asking at that point for luxury; they were asking for necessary provision and it seemed like God had failed them.

Yet, there at Marah, “Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink” (Exodus 15:25).

The Israelites placed their hope in their water-finding abilities.  They hoped for an oasis or a stream in the desert. And when they found what they had been looking for all along, they also discovered disappointment.

Moses placed his hope in God instead, knowing that even bitterness can be transformed into water for the thirsty.

When we place our hope in God, we will never be disappointed. But when we instead look for what we think we need, we misplace our hope in:

the job we think is secure
the financial answer to our bills
the debt program that’s going to transform our life
the 401K that’s going to make our retirement comfortable
the weight loss program that is going to make shedding the pounds easy
the husband who is going to make us feel loved and not lonely any more

the ministry that we can put our energies into
the friendship that makes us feel connected
the church with the programs we think will fit our needs

There are oh so many places to deposit our hope and each could yield bitter disappointment.  But the Psalmist wrote: My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him” (Psalm 62:5).

We wait for God only.  Not God plus the answer to our problem.  Not God and the life preserver from some friendly bystander who sees us drowning from the shore.

God.  And if He what He offers to us is a program or plan or a friend, then we accept His gift, but we never depend on the gift itself. 

We hope in God alone.  Only He can provide what we truly need.  And if it’s insufficient or bitter, He can transform it into plentiful abundance and sweet blessing, making “everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Well-Hunting in the Desert

“Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs”
(Isaiah 35:6-7).

When we first moved into this house, we quickly discovered something unnoticed during the walk-through or inspection.  The water smelled like rotten eggs. As a result, I was brushing my teeth with bottled water and holding my breath while taking a shower.

Like any good 21st century homeowners, we Google-searched our way into solutions and scoured the Internet for answers.  Which we found.  Simply open the top of our well and shock the water with a $1 jug of bleach.

Sounded easy.  Until we realized that somewhere on this half acre of land is the top to a well that we could not find.  We knew it had to be there.  We had running water and didn’t pay the city for it.  We consulted drawings of our property and sheepishly hinted to the water specialist (whom we had to call since we couldn’t fix the stinky water ourselves, having not found the well), that we really would like to know where the well was hidden on this land of ours.  He wasn’t helpful.

We have a guess as to where it might be, but we are in some ways still well-hunters, searching for the source of our water, assuming its presence without seeing it ourselves.

I’ve been well-hunting recently in real life, too.  Like Hagar, wandering in the wilderness, running low on provisions, hopelessly lost and not able to go back and yet not certain where to go instead. Out there in her wilderness, “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water” (Genesis 21:19).

“Open my eyes,” I’ve prayed, “to the well of your provision, to the fountain of Your presence, to the water of sustenance and hope. I want to see the well You have provided in this desert place.”

Because I’m parched and yet I feel like I’m drowning.

It’s so often God’s way to bring water and with it so much more to those in His care.

To Hagar, a well in the desert that she hadn’t seen before.

To Elijah, “bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water” to sustain him on a 40-day walk to the Mountain of God (1 Kings 19:6).

To the Israelites who complained, “there is no water to drink!,” He brought forth water from rock.

For the redeemed, He promises that “water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs” (Isaiah 35:6-7).

To the woman sitting next to a well with a jar on her shoulder, living water drawn up even without a bucket (John 4:10).

Out of nothing, amidst wilderness and desert, even burning sand, He brings water that heals, sustains, provides, and gives life eternal.  He brings it in abundance with bubbling springs, streams filled so quickly that they are pooling, water we could drink that would satisfy us forever.  All out of nothing.

We could spend our lives sitting by clear-running streams of water, never risking the travel through the valley.  We could pitch our tents there by the known source of water and never lose sight of the well, never grow uncomfortable, never walk far enough away to be uncertain of provision, never venture one step into the wilderness.

But we’d never make it to the Mountain of God like Elijah and the Israelites.  Never know the God Who Sees like Hagar.  Never know the Giver of Living Water like the woman at the well.

So, as we scan the horizon and see only barren land, rocks of gray and dusty earth cracked from lack of rain, we search for the well.  It’s there.  Maybe hidden now so that we cannot see, but God works in the hidden places to bring us provision at the exact moment of our need.

David searched for the well in the desert.  He wrote:

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

and

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2)

David, my fellow well-hunter, knew the best way to find the hidden water, even when his soul was downcast, even when he thirsted for God’s presence like a deer dehydrated after too long a journey away from the stream.

  • Put your hope in God.
  • Praise Him even in sorrow.
  • Remember what God has done.

He says: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you (Psalm 42:5-6).

Years ago, Caedmon’s Call sang these words: “Down in the valley, dying of thirst.  Down in the valley, it seems that I’m at my worst.  My consolation is that You baptize this earth when I’m down in the valley.  Valleys fill first.”

Valleys fill first, my friend.  When God brings the water, when He rains down “showers of blessing” in their season (Ezekiel 34:26), the valley is where you will want to be so that you can fully receive all that He pours over your head.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This, Part III

“Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say, All my springs of joy are in You'”
Psalm 87:7, NASB

Years ago, I fell in love with a song we used to sing at church called Jesus, Lover of My Soul.  The song begins with a simple, worshipful declaration that, “It’s all about You, Jesus.  And all this is for You, for Your glory and Your fame.  It’s not about me, as if You should do things my way.  You alone are God and I surrender to Your ways.”

Frequently, I would belt out the first line of this song with an impassioned Freudian slip, crooning, “It’s all about ME, Jesus.”

Oops!

I didn’t really mean it, of course.  There are just some lyrics I manage to mix up at times.  None of them, though, quite as telling as that mistake.  Sadly, but truly, there are so many days and moments when my focus is on me and not on God at all.  It’s those days and seasons of my life when I wish God would just do things my way and when “surrender” becomes my least favorite word.

I began this week struggling, fighting to have a good attitude and a smile when my day was difficult and downright yucky.  During that bad day, though, God spoke truth to me and drew me in closer to Him.

You can read the previous posts here:

And now, Lesson Three: It’s Not About Me; It’s About Him

Part of my struggle on my bad day was wondering how I could possibly minister to others when I was working hard at basics like keeping calm with misbehaving children and not stressing about my calendar.  When I felt so empty, how could I pour out to another?  It’s one thing to serve and encourage when we’re overflowing; God’s goodness just sploshes over the tops of our lives and refreshes all who cross our paths.

But, what about when our cup seems dry?  What happens then when a thirsty neighbor lifts up needy hands in our direction and we ladle out empty air?

And that’s where I was.  All day I met up with those hurting and thirsty; I sat at the computer looking at drafts of devotionals, knowing I couldn’t complete them for the day.  Then, I heard it– my own voice echoing in my head, singing “It’s all about ME” from years ago.

Wasn’t that what I was saying?  That when a friend has a problem, the source of my answer is Me?  That when I sit to write this devotional, the words and the thoughts are dependent on Me—my ability, my ideas, my inspiration, my quiet times?

It carries over into my everyday life, too.  As I lift my baby out of the crib far too early in the morning and she’s tired and cranky and she doesn’t even know why—I could depend on Me to be calm and cheerful or comforting or I could depend on God.  When I pull my older girls close as they cry out tears of disappointment and I scan the house and see all of the cleaning I’m not accomplishing in that moment, I could stress out because I’m not sufficient enough, but then I’d be depending on Me once again.

Sitting on my desk (on top of the paper stacks), is My Utmost for His Highest, with the words from today’s reading underlined and starred.  Oswald Chambers wrote: “Jesus was saying, ‘Do not worry about being of use to others; simply believe on Me.’ In other words, pay attention to the Source, and out of you ‘will flow the rivers of living water’ (John 7:38).”

Similarly, the Psalmist wrote, “Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say, ‘All my springs of joy are in You‘” (Psalm 87:7, NASB).

God is the Source, the Spring from which comes all my joy.  He’s not an immovable Fountain either, located at only one place or accessible at only certain times of the day.  He is my Portion and Provision every moment of every day.  When I find myself carrying my cup back to Him like Oliver Twist in the orphanage, asking shamefacedly, “Please, Sir, can I have some more?,” I’m forgetting that I serve a generous God, who longs to pour out His grace on me.  He isn’t stingy and doesn’t want me thirsty or starving.  The more times a day I lift my cup to Him, the more times He will fill it.  If that means I’m having a quiet time every five minutes all day long, then that’s what it takes to fill up at the Fountain of God.

When I’m running back to the well every few minutes, I know it’s because I’m a leaky person, with holes punched all in my heart from stress and busyness.  Yet, it’s also because I’m pouring out to others and God is willing, even joyful, to replace what I’ve spilled over into the cups of my husband, my children, my friends, my Bible Study girls, my church members, the Wal-Mart cashier and the girl who cuts my hair.

The frequency of my visits to the Well doesn’t reveal my weakness or failure.  It reveals my dependency on Him. 

Yet, when I peer into my empty cup and think I’m too dry to walk this Christian life, too empty to share with another, then I’m forgetting that It’s All About Him.  None of the ministry I perform in my home or outside of it is contingent on my ability, brains, beauty, education, character, or godliness (thank goodness!).

At Iconium, Paul and Barnabus “spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of His grace by enabling the to perform signs and wonders” (Acts 14:3).  The ministry they performed was only possible because God enabled them to do it.  He empowered them, He directed them, He filled them up, and then He blessed what they gave.

He is enabling us, as well.  Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) and Cliff Richard wrote, “The more we depend on God, the more dependable we find He is.”  On the days when we feel like everything is good, we’ve got everything under control and our cups are filled to overflowing, it’s hard to tell whether we’re depending on God or on us—whether it’s all about Him or all about Me.  But, in the tough times and on the bad days, there’s no question about it.  We’ve got nothing to offer.  He’s the only Source.  He’s what fills us up.  He’s what provides what we need for our own cup and also for the cups of those around us.  It’s all about Him.

So, if you’ve had a bad day this week and need a pick-me-up moment and a chance to refocus, I hope you enjoy some songs with me! 


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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King