Tag Archives: prayers

Investing in Blessings

 

INVESTING IN BLESSINGS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord,

Jeremiah 29:11-14a NKJV

Do you ever feel as if your spiritual gas tank is running on empty? Does it seem like your prayers go no further than the ceiling? Is your bank account of blessings almost overdrawn?

At times, we may reach a spiritual lull. That should send up a red flag. Warning lights should flash as sirens blast. Something is just not right.

The causes can be numerous, but let’s examine the most likely culprit. We have a deceptive enemy who strives to pull us away from God. Any of the following symptoms can be attributed to our adversary: times of prayerlessness, a decline in church attendance, slack in Bible reading, or sin.

Satan may already have a stronghold in your mind (2 Cor. 10:4). Don’t despair! God has given us spiritual weapons for the tearing down of strongholds. Prayer and the Word of God will put us back on track. And if there is sin in our lives, God is faithful and just to forgive when we repent (1 John 1:9).

As our verses from Jeremiah tell us, God has plans for us. Plans that include a future and a hope. The next verse directs us to pray and seek God. God isn’t a cosmic Easter bunny hiding eggs from us. But we must invest ourselves. We must give God our time, our lives, our money, and our all.

Consider your 401K. Your return is based on your investment. A person depositing $100 may earn $10. The individual contributing $1,000 may earn $100. The more you invest, the more you earn.

Look at a farmer who plants a full acre of crops. He tends to his crops and reaps the harvest.

But a farmer who only plants half of that acre and pays little attention to it will reap a much smaller harvest.

When we fill our days with everything but God, can we really expect him to bless us? God loves us. He desires to commune with us. He wants an intimate relationship with us, His favored sons and daughters.

I have wonderful news! You can start anew today. Get alone with God. Tell Him how you feel. He won’t rebuke you. Ask Him to help you in your desire to spend more time with Him. You will be met with interruptions and distractions as you devote more energy to the Lord.

A life invested in God will be a life of rich blessings. Maybe not worldly riches. Maybe not wealth. Maybe not a trouble-free life…definitely not a trouble-free life. But a life rich in God.

Lord, forgive us for distance. We yearn to draw near to You knowing You will draw near to us. Guard our precious moments together. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

HIKING THE TRAIL

When you begin to devote more to God, the enemy will counter attack. What can you do to be prepared for this temptation and battle? I keep in mind that He will seek to steal that time or money away, and when it occurs, I know it is the enemy, and I stand firm.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

A Bundle to Love

 

A BUNDLE TO LOVE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no Children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!”

Genesis 30:1 NKJV

At age twenty-three, that longing hit me. You know the one. The desire to have a child is strong by nature. Some women elect not to have families, but for the rest of us, a life without a child is empty. The yearning is so strong because it is God’s plan for us to be fruitful and multiply. When that overwhelming longing hits, nothing will satisfy it, but a little bundle of joy.

Discovering that becoming pregnant is difficult can create despair. I went from taking my temperature every morning and faithfully keeping the charts through all the infertility tests. Each month, I eagerly awaited the good news, and each month, the doctor started the process over again. Pills to jump-start my cycle, and fertility drugs followed. For six months, that was the routine.

Strolling through the baby department, gazing at the adorable outfits, the tiny sleepers, and all the baby gear was thrilling. So soft and so cute! Then my eyes sprang a leak, and I made a quick exit, leaving the store to cry.

I prayed nightly for a child. It could be a boy or a girl. It did not matter. I just wanted a bundle to love. I wasn’t attending church. Wasn’t reading my Bible. Wasn’t living for God. The truth was that I did not know Jesus Christ personally at that time. I prayed, unaware that my prayers never hit the ceiling. After I was genuinely born again, I learned that God does not hear the prayer of a sinner, except the genuine request for salvation. Once I was gloriously saved, I struggled to accept the fact that God did not hear those prayers because He answered them. Yes, I finally became pregnant, but it had nothing to do with my prayers. It was part of God’s amazing plan.

Scripture is filled with barren women whose wombs eventually carried babies. Sarah miraculously bore Isaac in her old age (Gen. 18:10-11). Rachael’s need for children was stronger than life itself (Gen. 30:1). Not only did Hannah weep for a child, she endured the biting words of Elkanah’s other wife, who became pregnant easily (1 sam. 1-20). God blessed all these women with newborns, but that may not always be the case.

Your answer to prayer may come in the form of adoption or a foster child. Some couples remain childless. We can’t wrap our minds around the fact that potentially good parents cannot conceive, but many unmarried women have multiple births. It is not for us to understand, just trust God.

That is much easier said than done. I wish I had the answers you long for, but Jesus is the answer. He is the source of life, the master of miracles, and the carpenter for the broken.

  • This is an excerpt from the chapter “When a Mom Hurts” in my memoir, “Believe: A Journey of Faith” which I am currently writing.

Heavenly Father, we lift up barren wombs to You today. Throughout Scripture, You brought life to many who were dead: Sarah, Rachel, and Elizabeth, just to name a few. Please open the doors to give mommas and daddies a bundle to love. Until then, or if it is not Your plan, shower them with amazing grace. We thank You and we trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 30:1-24.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Infertility is difficult year-round. Don’t allow a national holiday to overpower you with despair. Pray, guarding your heart through Mother’s Day and throughout the year. There is always hope with Jesus. The impossible becomes possible in prayer.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.