Tag Archives: faith

God Doesn’t Explain Himself

In January of 2013, Bruce and I decided that we needed to be closer to our church in Longmont. So we put our beautiful Estes Park house on the market, confident that we would soon be packing and moving into a house within a few minutes of church.

Each new year, I ask the Lord for one clear message to focus my heart and mind around. This year, it was “trust in God.” As a believer I constantly remind myself that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Co. 5:7). This message and my trust would be tested over and over in the coming months.

Each Sunday, after church, Bruce and I would drive to various housing areas and study the locale.

Weeks passed. Our house attracted many lookers, but no takers. We shook our heads. Our house was beautiful, fairly priced, in excellent condition, in a good neighborhood, and located in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Months passed. We prayed for clarification. Why, Lord, is the sale of our house taking so long? We trust You, but…

The summer months arrived. And still no contract on our house. People at church constantly asked us, “haven’t you sold your house yet?” And all we could do was shake our heads and say, “The Lord must have some reason why He’s delaying the sale.”

We were doing the right things to sell the house.We were praying.
Our friends were praying.
We had the right reasons for selling.

In mid-August, Bruce was advised by his boss at work that it would be best for him to work on site at the plant. That’s south Denver. About 50 miles south of our targeted home search. I  had my heart set on the Longmont area, but thought, maybe this is why the Lord hasn’t allowed us to sell our house yet.

The very next day an older couple came to see our house, fell in love with it and made a fair offer. Yay! Thank You, Lord!

If our prayer had been answered way back in January or February, we would have bought a house in Longmont. Then we would have had to turn right around and sell that house so we could be closer to Bruce’s work in south Denver.

God doesn’t always show us why He withholds a blessing. And I’ve never known Him to explain Himself. Because we Christians are commanded to “walk by faith and not by sight.” And, 7-20-11 017after all, He’s the Lord of the entire universe!

But this delayed answered helped Bruce and I to grow in trust. God walks ahead of us, to prepare places that our feet will tread. He loves us, as any wonderful Father does, and wants to bless us and protect us.

Yes, we have also experienced times when the Lord has not intervened even when we’ve been on our face, pleading for a quick answer. Perhaps we’ll never know why He delayed.

We must walk by faith even then.

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV Bible)




Some things Don’t Change

I believe a lot of us think that things were different back when Jesus walked the earth.

That people were more heroic. That faith was different.

That faithful people were somehow more faithful. The Spirit-filled more filled with the Spirit.

But this morning as I read the passages in Luke about Mary’s meeting with her relative, Elizabeth, a verse really grabbed me.

Elizabeth said, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” (Luke 1:45)

Later, in the gospel of John, we read how the people asked Jesus what they must do to do the works of God.

Jesus answered: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”

When the angel Gabriel announced to the priest Zechariah that he would have a special son, named John, Zechariah expressed doubt. This is why Gabriel pronounced a discipline on him: he would not be able to speak until the baby was born.

But when the same angel, Gabriel, came to announce to Mary that she would be the mother of God, Mary simply said: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

God always rewards belief.

Because it is not us that accomplished great deeds for His Kingdom.

It is God who accomplishes.

Our part is to get alongside Him, to believe and trust in what he is doing.

When Abraham believed, God reckoned it to him as righteousness.

When Elizabeth believed, she was greatly blessed.

When Mary believed, she was given the highest honor a woman could ever receive: to be the mother of God.

What blessings would each of us receive from God if we simply believed His promises?

(Instead of doubting His Word and living as if we have no power or authority from the indwelling Holy Spirit?)

God is incredibly pleased when His children believe His Words.

That has not changed throughout the ages.

Even though our individual works of belief and faith are not recorded in the Bible, we can be sure that our choice to believe is recorded somewhere in heaven.

And that God is glorified by every secret turning from doubt, and responding in obedience.

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7: 38 NIV Bible)



A Simple Move?

Our beautiful Estes Park house has sold. We’re packing up out things for a move down to south Denver.

We’ve ordered boxes and wrapping sheets, bubble wrap, tape.

We’ve made all the necessary small repairs, spackled all the holes where our family photos once hung, reserved a moving truck.

I was thinking the other day how complicated it is nowadays to move.

Wouldn’t it be great to just pull up stakes—literally—like Abraham and move on out?

But then I opened to Genesis and read about how wealthy Abraham was. Wealth in those ancient days was measured in livestock, of which Abraham had plenty.

It wasn’t a simple affair to move. Abraham had to consider the needs of the household members: wife, children, servants, tents and supplies.

He also had to consider how to move thousands of animals to places along the way where there was food and water and shelter. Someone had to go on ahead and scout appropriate areas. And Abraham would have had to get permission to move his herds and people across someone else’s land.

There were tribal laws to obey, treaties to make, tolls to pay. And his servants and hired workers would also have had to be able to defend themselves in case some hostile tribe decided to attack.

There were no Marriotts along the way. No comfy beds and clean bathrooms where Sarah could shower away the day’s dusty, dirty, sun-scorching move.

What faith on Abraham’s part to make such a monumental move.

But the Netherton move is also a move of faith. We do not know the people in our new neighborhood. We haven’t yet found a new church. We’ll be renting for at least a year. That will feel strange. Bruce won’t be telecommuting anymore. We’ll both have to get used to his commute to work.

And we’ll miss our dear friends at church and our neighbors.

I’m praying that our move turns out to be a wonderful opportunity to follow the Lord through an uncharted (for us) future.

“So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.” (Gen. 13: 18 NIV Bible)