Whimsical nor Random

God is neither whimsical nor random in His involvement in the lives of His people. He provides, at just the right time, the right circumstances and people to make certain His plans are accomplished.

I read this during my quiet time this morning. I noticed a common thread while I read my devotional- “If its worth doing alone, its probably not worth doing”. I think back on all the ways God has blessed my life, even in the rock bottom hard times. I continued to read and this is what struck me:

“In The God Hunt, Karen Mains suggests four ways to perceive Gods active presence:

  • 1. Any obvious answer to prayer (even the smallest)
  • 2. Any unexpected evidence of his care
  • 3. Any help to do God’s work in the world
  • 4. Any unusual linkage or timing

Karen suggests that we remember these moments, crafting them into stories to be told around our tables, with our families, with our friends. That we remember. So that others may know that this God is a God who takes an intimate and personal interest in our lives.”

I had to stop and re read the list.

Any obvious answer to prayer– Yes! I look back at my life and can see His hand all over it! From the moment I found out about Emma Grace to the cancer that has entered my life these last few months.

Any unexpected evidence of his care– Yes! My finding out about the brain tumor without experiencing one symptom was an unexpected evidence of his care. My trip to Mayo was an unexpected evidence of His care (and how God worked through you to make that trip possible!). Finding out about Emma’s heart defect at exactly the right moment while pregnant (and His moving us at that time to Sarasota) was an unexpected evidence of His care. My life is riddled with many unexpected evidences of His care.

Any help to do God’s work in the world You guys are proof of that.

Any unusual linkage or timing I answered this one in number two!

But we are not powerless. From the beginning of the world, God designated naming rights to human beings. You too have naming power: the ability to speak into a situation to call forth life from that place. You have the power to refuse to be an Eeyore, who famously said “Tut tut, it looks like rain.” You have the power to refuse any doomsday-prophet syndromes. You can refuse the darkness and look for the pinprick of light, look for the good in a bad situation, choose to see God’s hand in rock hard times instead of turning your back on him.

Wow. I really really needed to hear that today. I cant tell you how much I needed to hear that. And then I thought if I needed it, maybe one of you needed to hear it today too…

But as for you, you meant evil against me: but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:20

Edited to add: Nicole Medsker left this in my comments this morning:
Heather, I read you blog everyday and you are such an inspiration to me and so many other people. Your blog is like a daily devotion and the band of Christian people that surround this site is amazing. I have a favor….there is a young woman in Kansas City (I don’t know her personally) that has a very rare form of colon cancer and I think she would benefit from having the love that surrounds you and this blog surround her. She has just received some scary news and could use our love, support and prayers.
Shawndra Turner

Wont you help me bless her today?

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Comments

  1. Thank you Heather…what a wonderful read this morning. God is very active in our lives…and sometimes we can see the “forest for the trees”. Thank you again for the gentle reminder that God is there always. You are such a blessing. May you find a overwhelming calm and peace today that lightens your spirit!
    Many Blessings,
    Paula

  2. So good! I think that is an answer to prayer and an obvious evidence of his care!

    Our tongue has the power of life and death. I’m choosing to speak life over you today! God is so good!

    a

  3. Yes, Heather, that was a blessing for me to read this morning. It’s so fun to examine our lives and SEE God firsthand orchestrating events according to His timetable and plans.

    I found a family the other day and they brought YOU to mind. They have little children…. 2 year old triplets and 1 year old twins. And they just found out the dad has cancer. Of course it was a complete shock and they’re beginning to walk this road of “One of us has cancer. We have 5 small children and one of us has cancer. Reality check.” Knowing you, I figured you would be grateful to have their blog address for mutual understanding and encouragement. So here you go…. they look like an absolutely precious family!

    http://www.jbrooke7.typepad.com/

  4. Heather,
    You are so right. We are called to remember what the Lord has done in our lives. WE are to remember so that our children wil remember and also be able to tell their children.
    God does so many amazing things in our lives every day and we would realize that if we would just stop and pay attention.
    I am remembering the things he has done in the last year in my own life and it is a source of encouraement to me as I face my next scan next Wednesday!
    I also wanted to comment on your last entry…our children do understand and they are watching us. It is OK to cry in front of them and be real and it is even better for them to see us then turn our fears over to the Lord. This situation in your life is doing so much to grow their faith too. My children were some of my greatest encouragement and comfort during my cancer and I am sure yours will be too!
    Love,
    Gina

  5. Thank you.

  6. Nicole Medsker says:

    Heather, I read you blog everyday and you are such an inspiration to me and so many other people. Your blog is like a daily devotion and the band of christian people that surround this site is amazing. I have a favor….there is a young woman in Kansas City (I don’t know her personally) that has a very rare form of colon cancer and I think she would benefit from having the love that surrounds you and this blog surround her. She has just recieved some scary news and could use our love, support and prayers. http://www.shawndraturner.blogspot.com/
    I pray for you and your wonderful family daily…you are in my heart.

  7. Teresa from SC says:

    Pin Prick of Light…..Hope. I claim it today, thank you Heather. Have a good weekend, my sister comes tomorrow ! Yeah, I need her hug.

  8. Erin from WA state says:

    Heather,
    I think all of us needed to hear that today. Sometimes in our daily lives we allow ourselves to get tangled up in the secular world. At those times it is easy to forget the way God lives and works through us DAILY in our lives. There are so many ways we can perceive Him, and sharing your devotion with us today reminds us of those ways!
    I hope you and your family have a blessed weekend!

  9. Thanks for posting this today. I felt compelled to write these 4 points of “Perceiving God’s Presence” in my notebook. I think a visual reminder of remebrance is what I need to have, something I can put my hands on when the enemy tries to discourage me!

  10. Thanks heather for directing us to encourage and pray and support others…You are truly a blessing and He is using you and your blog to bless others…..I am awed and grateful for your journey.

  11. I needed to hear that today too Heather. THanks for sharing.
    I want to refuse the darkness!

  12. Heather…thank you so much for this great reminder. I’ve been meaning to start a journal dedicated just to God’s “active presence” in our life. It’s so easily forgotten after the initial moment of awe. Thanks for speaking truth today.

  13. Karen D. says:

    Heather,
    You lift me up every day. You are just what I need, the essence of who you are is a gift to me. THANK YOU! I am facing my own (non-medical) trials and remembering that I am a child of God fills my heart with joy.

    Thank you, blessings!
    Karen

  14. Lynne B. says:

    Dearest Heather,
    I was on early this morning and was disappointed you hadn’t written yet (silly me…who would want to be awake so early in the morning?!) The point is, I was having a “bad” day…and telling God all the things I didn’t want! I, I, I…then I came on the computer, and there was your devotion, and your sweet spirit, and I had to confess to Him my attitude. Thank you so much for being transparent to us all. Thank you so much that you are open to His guidance and trust in His care. After my cancer, my friends told me to toss my Eeyore collection…gotta tell you, its hard to let go of. Thank you for pointing us to God. Praying for you always

  15. Sunshine says:

    Hey – I read everyday…sometimes I am too stunned or deep in thought to reply – you give so much for the heart to ponder – thank you so much. I am lifting you and your family up in prayer. Sunshine

  16. I read your blog daily, Heather, and I cannot tell you what it means to me (but, of course, I’m going to try). I’m an “early adapter” to the internet, and had an online journal in the mid-90s, before they were called blogs. It’s so easy to adopt “internet speak” – to try to belong out here, in this anonymous world. Your words, your stance, your witness have shown me that Christ is Lord over this space, as He is over all others. You’ve taught me so much – would it surprise you to learn that I’m probably older than your parents? I’m anxious to keep learning from you about the presence of God in our lives. And if there’s one of me – one backslidden, sarcastic, cynical, middle-aged woman – there are more. Your obedience is being honored, Heather. He’ll see to it.

  17. Sometimes it’s easy to miss God’s work in our lives when there is difficulty all around, but it’s always there! It is! We just need to realize it!

    I’ve been counting down for you…is there an “End of Radiation” party in store?

  18. What a beautiful quote. Thank you so much for sharing. :)
    JoAnn

  19. Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.

    The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

    The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

    Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

    When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

    “Nothing, I just helped him cry”

  20. Thanks Heather.

  21. I am having an “on the verge of tears” day today. That was very comforting. thanks

  22. Being a management major in college led me to a concept that goes along with your first words…”just in time” is where the items that are shipped somehwere do not arrive early or late…but just.in.time!

    God is like that…He sends what we need at exactly the time we need it–no sooner and no later. He is never late! Yay! That makes me want to shout some Praise, today!

    Continuing to lift your name up to Him daily,
    Love in Him,
    Holly

  23. Dear Heather,

    Less than two months ago I stumbled upon your blog (maybe this falls under: #4. Any unusual linkage or timing). I was touched by your story, your obvious love for our Heavenly Father and your openness and honesty. About five weeks ago my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer that had moved into her liver.

    I have been a part of the family for around five years, and while we have a good relationship and I am blessed with my husbands wonderful family, we have never been close, geographically or emotionally. There was a distance between our hearts that was difficult to cross. This illness has brough thigns into a different perspecitve for all of us.

    While we were visiting shortly after her diagnosis for a graduation, I spent the majority of my time taking care of her. Making sure she was comfortable, had what she needed and settling little things. We connected in a new and wonderful way.

    After surgery and two rounds of chemo and four weeks, I am back again to help take care of her, relieve some of the burden on local family and be her nurse. What joy there is in following the leading of our great God. Who provides all we need, more than we can ask or imagine.

    Reading your blog has given me insight into what she may be feeling or dealing with but is unable to say. Thank you for courageously speaking the truth and being honest with all of us. I pray that I may encourage and uplift my dear mother-in-law as you have me.

    Myca

  24. Annamaria says:

    I know someone who says “Don’t you think God has better things to do than be concerned about every little thing about us?” I say, “NOPE! God is my Father, and yours! What is more important to a father than being concerned about every little thing about his children?” God is big enough! He knows the very hairs on (or off) your head!

    I have cirrhosis. Also, had gallbladder removal, and two knee surgeries in the past 10 months. Here is my version of your meditation for today:

    ANY OBVIOUS ANSWER TO PRAYER: So, so many…but related to my cirrhosis, God has alleviated the fatigue and made it manageable and bearable. I offer that suffering for my marriage to be strenghtened and more Godly.

    AN UNEXPECTED EVIDENCE OF HIS CARE: I was planning to have a simple arthroscopic surgery of my knee. The pre-op tests pointed to elevated “everything.” Surgery was cancelled and within a week my gallbladder was removed and a liver biopsy revealed (NASH which is non-alcoholic) cirrhosis of the liver. Without this having happened “the silent killer” may have taken me unaware. As it is, I can amend my diet, try to keep my blood sugar level, and slow the progression of this deadly, uncurable disease. I could even get a liver transplant. But, we will see what we will see.

    ANY HELP TO DO GOD’S WORK IN THE WORLD: I use the internet…like this. I participate on http://www.sparkpeople.com to let people know how much strength God can give us and how much he loves us. I use my confirmation name “Annamaria” as my character’s name on a RPG (role-play game) on which I am a moderator (helping to keep the game clean and fair) That let’s me tell others about my faith too.

    ANY UNUSUAL LINKAGE OR TIMING: My daughter was finishing up her nursing classes last fall. She had to choose and be accepted for a position in a clinic or hospital during the last semester. She went to work at a local hospital that is world-renowned for their LIVER TRANSPLANT UNIT! HEATHER, TWO WEEKS BEFORE I EVER HAD A CLUE THERE WAS ANYTHING WRONG WITH ME, GOD PUT MY DARLING DAUGHTER TO WORK IN THE VERY LIVER TRANSPLANT UNIT THAT MY (SOON TO BE REFERRED TO) HEPATOLOGIST WORKED IN. SHE WORKS WITH MY LIVER DOCTOR!!!! NO one can call that a coincidence. When I told my neighbor, she put her hand out, gently cupped and said, “HE has you right here…in the palm of His hand!”

    Yes, I believe.

    Thank you for your ministry.

    And, please, really consider letting Easton have her own blog for kids of parents with cancer. It would be such a learning experience. You can preview and edit it as you wish. I REALLY believe it would be rewarding for her.

    My day is not complete until I read you. And, you are asking us to bless others…Heather, what a girl! Your family must be sooo proud of you! God loves you, Heather.

    Peace be with you,
    Annamaria

  25. Isn’t it just awe-inspiring the blessings God is giving through you and what has become a network? Thank you for answering his call by sharing your own story, not once but day by day. God bless, and you are in our prayers.

  26. Heather,

    You seem like such a wonderful person. I have so many times in recent months contemplated suicide and have even been hospitalized states away from where I live, but you are an inspiration to people. I used to be close to God, but haven’t spoken to Him in many months. I feel like I’m too far away now to ever go back. I love your blog. I wish I were as strong as you are. I wish you well.

    http://katiebug1219.typepad.com/my_weblog/

  27. The thread God is weaving in your tapestry is gracing the lives of so many people. God reall did guide you through so many maizes to get where you are and the lives you have touched and turned back to the Lord will one da be a throng in Heaven Thanking you.

    On a ligther note….I know eeyore is gloomy at best most of the time, but he is not the only one that says “Tut tut it looks like rain” sometimes it is your best friend trying to help you out. For it is Christopher Robin that dons the umbrella and says “tut tut it looks like rain” in order to help Pooh pretend to be a Little black rain cloud.

    Maybe you are Christopher Robin helping out your friends and you didn’t even know it?

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  28. God is neither whimsical nor random in His involvement in the lives of His people. -I sometimes think God pulled a joke on us but after reading that Ii realize not.We moved to North Carolina in December 2005 for my husband’s new job.3 months to the day he was let go.15 months later it is still hard to get over it.Here is why-my husband took the job so he wouldn’t have to travel but guess what,the only jobs that he has found in a year are the traveling ones.

    Please pray that I can get over this bitterness and make friends where we live.I don’t know when of course when my husbadn will ever get a local job but until then our family has to learn to like our circumstances and grow in our faith.

  29. Thank you for sharing what is on your heart. We each have our own struggles….some bigger than others….yet God has his hand on each one. You remind me of that with every post. That I can continue with my burden, with joy. No matter how heavy my burden is God is helping with the weight.

    Thank you Heather. Continued prayers for you and yours.

    ~K~

  30. I have been so down lately, and today has been really hard. I have felt so alone, even when surrounded by people, and have longed to just run away and hide for a really long time. I’ve been tired of being strong, tired of trying to make a new country and new community my home, tired of trying to figure out who I am now that I’m in a whole new life as a married woman in a whole new environment, and just tired. Ironically, my heart hurts so much that my normal emotional self cannot even let loose with some cleansing tears. But then I read you today, and I am reminded of doing God hunts once again (we did those thanks to the Mains for 40 days before Easter one year, and it became a habit). And I’m also reminded that even though I feel like being an Eeyore, I don’t have to be. So even though I’m still tired, I feel like there is one safe place for me to go to find encouragement and hope. And that place is here. Thank you for that. I needed your words today.

  31. Megan Elizabeth says:

    Put this under #4:

    I am a Catholic. One of the readings at Mass for yesterday (Saturday) reads, in part:

    “Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people.”

    It is a very small thing, perhaps, to read that same verse on your blog, but it really came home to me. God has always spoken to me in small whispers, as He spoke to Elijah on Mount Carmel. Nothing God does is ever, ever random.

  32. Heather, this really spoke to me, thank you!! I hope you don’t mind me using it here (http://wibbzways.blogspot.com/2007/07/in-response-to-yesterdays-floods.html) but it was just too relevant for me to just leave… Do drop by if you have a minute :)

  33. Amazing things here. I am very happy to see your post.
    Thank you a lot and I’m having a look forward to
    contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?