job is to keep the pantry neat and clean. He straightens
cereal boxes, stacks cans of vegetables in neat rows, puts
boxes of rice and macaroni back on the shelf and straightens
the napkins. Yesterday as he walked up to the door he exclaimed,
"What?! It's messy again??!! I just cleaned in here!
All I ever do is clean the pantry!" With a look of
despair on his face, he began putting the boxes in order
just the way I feel, I thought as I watched Elijah work.
Seems like we go through hard times, then just when I think
things will get better, there we are with a messy situation
ever feel that way?
Grayson, and I have been studying the life of Abraham. Every
night, before I go to bed, I study a portion of Scripture.
Then, prayerfully, I type out a study sheet for them. The
next morning, they study that portion of Scripture and complete
the worksheet I have for them.
end of December, we were in Revelation. On January 1 we
began again in Genesis. For several weeks now, we've been
studying Abraham. (Well, his name is still Abram since we're
only in chapter 15).
considered his life? First of all, he packs up his wife
and nephew and follows his dad, Terah, out of town. But
why? Ur was a big city! It even had a library (one of my
family's favorite places).
beckoning was more important. God was moving Terah onward…but
then they stopped in Haran and settled there…who knows for
dad died -- the one leading them! And responsibility
fell upon Abram. It must have been hard. Abram was singin'
the blues of grief and loneliness and total uncertainty.
Ever been there?
Watching Jonah struggle now to use his hands fills me with
grief. On wheelchair days -- when his legs are aching and
he just can't stand up for long -- crippling sadness fills
my heart. The uncertainty of the days ahead can have me
singin' the blues. It can consume me if I let it.
God doesn't want me to stay there! Like Abram, He wants
me to move on!
Abram to move on in Genesis 12:2-3.
will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing;
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you
I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through
have given Abram such relief -- what an encouragement! God
had such great plans for Abram, even in the midst of death
and sorrow! Abram obeyed immediately. He packed up his stuff
and traveled awhile.
Then, he built an altar and
praised his God.
ways, O God, are holy! What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your
power among the peoples,
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people…
when the famine hit! Food was so scarce that Abram made
a bad decision. He went down to Egypt…"down" is
right! Egypt had a gravitational pull on God's people --
not just geographically -- but spiritually! Egypt was a
pagan nation full of idol worship and compromise.
just taken Abram to a new land. Why would Abram leave God's
best and go to Egypt?!?
perhaps. Lack of trust. Did Abram doubt God would do what
He said He would do?
took matters into his own hands.
day Jonah was having a particularly painful time. I held
his hands gently and said through my tears, "Jonah,
I would take all of this for you if I could! I would take
the pain and the weakness and anything else you are suffering!"
can't, Mom, don't you see? This is not your journey. You
aren't strong enough; you couldn't handle it. God is allowing
this in me because this is His plan for me, not you."
don't worry about me because God will not give me more than
I can handle."
Jonah to the Lord a long time ago. God has promised to care
for Jonah -- to strengthen my son, to comfort my son, to
fulfill my son. He would never forget His own.
Abram forgot this truth. I know I did.
was soon singin' the blues of disobedience. Abram lied to
the Pharaoh and got into a tangled mess. God protected him,
but not without the sting of consequence.
deliverance from Egypt, guess what Abram did? He built an
altar. Praise and worship were on the map this time:
Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times
Those who know Your name will trust in You,
for You, Lord,
have never forsaken those who seek You!
after this altar experience? Fighting from within! His own
family just couldn't get along!
ever sung the family blues? We sure have. Abram and Lot
didn't have enough pasture space for their animals. This
was causing huge arguments among the ranks.
relate to that. Fights break out regularly around here!
He's singing in my ear!" "MOOOOOMMMMM…NOBODY'S
CLEANING BUT ME!!!!"
pushed me!" "She bit me when I pulled her hair!"
"He breathed on me and he hasn't even brushed his teeth
She slapped me!"
the most ridiculous Lovelace argument was over a dream Emalee
had. She dreamed Emerson was a black-eyed pea. Since they
were invited to a party (in her dream) Emalee didn't want
Emerson to miss it, so she put Emerson (the black-eyed pea)
in her pocket.
while at the party, Emerson fell out of Emalee's pocket
and Emalee accidentally stepped on her and squished her.
was truly shaken! The memory of that dream was haunting
her! She had stepped on her sister (the black-eyed pea)
and smashed her!
Emalee's dream, there was fire in Emerson's eyes!
Why was I a black-eyed pea!?? I'm so mad at you! At least
you could have made me a pinto bean!"
stared at Emerson in disbelief.
I feel more like a referee, judge, and jury, than a mom!
It's crazy! Trying to be diplomatic and patient and wise
all at the same time? That's hard for me! I'm not very good
was amazing at it. In Godly wisdom and humility, he offered
his nephew Lot a choice of land.
the best for himself, but Abram wasn't angry; he wasn't
rude or self-seeking. Abram gave Lot his blessing as he
watched him walk away.
at this moment that God spoke, again, to Abram. Isn't God
just like that? He knows just the right thing to say at
just the right time.
up your eyes from where you are and look north and south,
east and west.
Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land,
for I am giving it to you.
Genesis 13:14, 17
must have been deeply encouraged. Guess what he did?
guessed it! He built an altar.
Are you singin' the blues this
week? There's always cause to praise Him. Build an altar!
Tune in for more on Abram's
I will extol the
Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together!
You turned my wailing
into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with
joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.
© 2012. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights