Underwhelmed

un·der·whelm  • fail to impress or make a positive impact on (someone); disappoint.   Yep. Underwhelmed. In a world where everyone seems overwhelmed, I’ve had the humble privilege of being in the center of several conversations recently where the person sitting across from me, or on the other end of the phone, transparently admitted, usually with a pause or heavy sigh, that they were simply underwhelmed by God and that ironically led them to feel completely overwhelmed. Underwhelmed by life. Underwhelmed by God and what He is doing. Underwhelmed by God’s timing. Underwhelmed by current circumstances and situations. Underwhelmed by what can seen going forward. Underwhelmed by the monotony of life. Simply stated, underwhelmed. Let me be clear, these are people who LOVE Jesus. These are women who, for the most part are mature, wise women who are, by all accounts, living and walking out in obedience all that God has for them. They aren’t turning from God, but in the moment, in the midst of the circumstances of life, they are underwhelmed. It’s all part of the beautiful journey of Jesus when together, we can come in trusted relationship to share our life struggles with each other. God used these conversations and circumstances, as He often does, to have me verbally speak the very TRUTH I need to hear myself. I hear myself sharing and preaching the very things I need to hear. Well played God, well played. I too have been underwhelmed. Most recently when my unspoken expectations were not met by God and I was left standing completely and utterly disappointed. You see we recently relocated...

But Jesus

It happened in the Garden first. At the moment sin entered God’s perfect creation, the first man and woman saw their nakedness…. And they hid themselves. They had believed the deception of the serpent, enticed by the luscious fruit on the tree and the promise of being like God, and they chose to disobey their Creator. What follows is the greatest tragedy in the course of humanity’s existence, as history was forever changed by their decision to rebel. Immediately, their eyes were opened. They saw that they were naked. They were ashamed. They hid. More specifically, out of their desperation and shame, they sewed a covering out of fig leaves to conceal their nakedness. This was their first attempt at concealing, hiding their shame from one another. But they had a greater problem. Hearing the Lord God walking in the garden, they ran for cover in the trees, a second attempt to conceal their transgression, this time from the Almighty Himself. Didn’t they know there is no hiding from their Creator? Surely they did, but that does not stop the desperate from trying anyway. Thus began the art of concealing. It is an art that has been attempted by all and mastered by many over the course of history. We become expert manipulators and chameleons, presenting what we hope others will believe about us, concealing what we hope they will never find out. As children, it is imperfect: the toddler who attempts to sneak out of his bedroom after bedtime; the child who eats forbidden cookies but fails to wipe the chocolate from her mouth; the brother who hits his sister while...

Why Am I Like This?

 …She said, “If all is well, why am I like this?…” Genesis 25:22 (NKJV) God has it all under control. You know that, right? Nothing happens without being sifted through His fingers. He may not like all that happens, but He allows it. It is all for His glory. All of it. In God’s view all is – or at least will be – well. And we have no reason to worry or fret. But still we do. Or at least I do. I can’t count the number of times I have sat in the midst of my life and fretted. Asked  why. Worried about the future. Wondered what in the %&#@ (pardon my French) God was doing. Rebecca, wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob and Esau, did it too. I was reading through Genesis  25 just a few days ago, and I noticed my own heart’s cry on several occasions there on the page – from the mouth of one of the matriarchs. Let me set the scene. Rebecca had been married to Isaac for twenty years, and they were childless. Isaac pleaded to God for her, and she conceived. I’m certain she was thrilled with this. But everything wasn’t ideal during this pregnancy. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?”… Genesis 25:22 Lord, if you gave me this writing gift, why am I so frustrated? If my husband’s health issues are in Your perfect plan, why is it so stressful and hard on all of us? If You trusted me to raise my children,...

The Familiar Wasn’t Familiar

It was a familiar passage. One I’ve read many times. But, I didn’t want the familiar-read-through of the black and white before me. My heart craved more than the norm, the same—because the normal same leaves me, well…the same, in a normal kind of way. So, I prayed… Speak a new word, Lord. Make the familiar transform. May the living and active Word work mightily in my heart today. “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1) The words swam around in my head and then plunged deep into the crevices of my heart. IN THE BEGINNING GOD… There’s such truth in those four words. Great power. Hope assured. Peace offered. In the beginning of pain…God. In the beginning of loss…God. In the beginning of sorrow, heartache, and tragedy…God. In the beginning of failing marriages, unexpected illness, difficult surgeries, unanswered questions, wayward children, infertility, empty bank accounts, the suicide note, the drugs and alcohol being ingested in hopes of numbing unbearable hurt…God. In the beginning of joy…God. In the beginning of laughter…God. In the beginning of healing, hope, and redemption…God. In the beginning of promotions, salvations and baptisms, hugs and kisses, happiness and health…God. He IS the very beginning all of things and the ending thereof. He says this of Himself, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8) He is the only One who is there—always—from beginning to end. Yahweh Shammah, the LORD is there. When life sucks, He is there. When life prospers, He is there. My friend, He is there....