A cold, clamminess washed over my body.
I broke out in a sweat.
Stunned, I stared at the monitor.
A teardrop ran down my cheek.
One of relief, yet one of sorrow.
Blinking my tears away I remembered how I had angrily defended my
body as MY property, not property of the state where anyone could make medical
decisions that affected MY body.
I was confident that since the child could not live outside of the
womb before 12 weeks gestation, it was not a living thing—it was just tissue.
Now I realized I was wrong—dead wrong.
I was seven weeks pregnant.
The day before, I started to bleed.
Terrified, I rushed to the doctors.
Concerned and with worried eyes, they did an ultrasound and
exhaled as they saw the screen.
I was fixated on the blinking number on the bottom right.
That number was the source of my tears…
It was a heartbeat—the heartbeat of my baby.
A tiny seahorse-shaped being, yet fully alive, with a strong
It wasn’t tissue.
It was life.
I realized then I had been lied to and I had swallowed the deception
I finally understood the truth: life begins at conception.
Although this isn't a video of my baby at 7 weeks (which was 18 years ago -- before the advent of smartphones) it's a video of a baby at 7 weeks, the same gestational time I had my ultrasound.
Years later as a became Christian, the reminder of this truth brings
me to prayer…
Praying for our God to drop
the scales from those who have also been deceived.
Yes, the body of the mother is to be held with the upmost value.
So is the body of the baby carried in the womb.
Both have equal rights.
Both are life.
Praying for a diametrical change
in our view of life inside the womb.
Praying all humanity will
see that a baby IS life, whether it resides inside or outside the womb.
Praying we would confess that
a child’s life has value as well.
Praying for repentance as a
nation that condones murder under the guise of abortion.
Praying for those who have
believed the lie and have participated in an abortion.
Praying they would leave
their pain at the foot of the cross with the knowledge that their sins have been
Praying that they would no
longer feel any condemnation, knowing that through their faith in their Savior
Jesus Christ, they are forgiven.
Praying for peace and forgiveness
for all who have participated in the act of abortion.
Praying for all of us,
including Christians, to have mercy on those who have contributed to the performance
of an abortion and the entire industry.
Praying for us to show love—to
each other and especially to that little life inside the womb.
In Jesus’ precious name, I
“I uphold everything…”
Upon considering Jesus’ power, wisdom, transcendence, I wondered, how does something that is formed respond when its very Creator walks among it?
Did the earth groan when Jesus came down from his heavenly throne to be born of flesh with human limitations?
Did the waters quake in reverence?
Did the skies just breathe a sigh of relief that destruction did not abound on this trip?
Did our Lord smile with each step, knowing the composition of each particle he stepped on?
Did the earth beg to be restored to its former glory—the one Adam and Eve so freely enjoyed when they thrived in the Garden?
Or did Jesus tell the earth’s core to “Hush!” as he did the storm?
Did he lovingly pour out his peace, so the planet wouldn’t shudder, as he proclaimed the good news, performed miracles, and died on a piece of its wood from its womb?
Seeking wisdom and understanding, I prayed. The Spirit of the Lord stirred my heart. He spoke, “I uphold everything. I AM big enough to permit the earth to withstand my presence and not collapse upon itself.”
In awe of how creation withstood such holiness, I am thankful Jesus stepped down from his heavenly throne, humbled himself, and became a baby, born of a virgin. I am captivated with gratitude as he lived a life without sin. With a grateful heart, I am enthralled by his humility, as he received all the punishment for my sins on the cross from a tree he created, and rose from the dead in victory, so I am now reconciled with a holy God.
Dear God, help us see with new eyes the immensity of your mercy and love. Give us an eternal perspective on the miracle of Christmas, the sinless life Jesus lived, and his work on the cross. Have us praise our Savior with a greater appreciation of how he stood in our place. Bless those who are struggling right now, help them lift their gaze to you the author and perfecter of our faith. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).
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I know it's hard to trust God with all things! But, snakes?! Really? Even though these helpful reptiles (the non-poisonous ones at least) are a blessing to us as they remove all the critters around us, I'm still not crazy about them. Maybe being a daughter of Eve, I'm still holding a grudge from the interaction in the Garden.
But God...he calls us to trust him with all things, including our problems, trials, loved ones, health, and finances, and yes, even snakes that slither across our paths.
Sometimes he doesn't answer our prayers in our timing. It might be because he has a better view of the situation and needs to hold us back to protect us. Or maybe we aren't ready for what we are praying for and we need to wait on him. Possibly we need to wait for the snake to pass by.
Regardless, we are to lean not on our own understanding but trust him. After all, he is sovereign, we are not. If we knew what he knew, we wouldn't change a thing.
Rest in him, he's got this.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
My shoulders slumped, tears swelled up in my eyes -- it seemed the more I tried to "show Jesus" to this person, the more they sinned against me.
Beyond weary and tired from the battle, I was now filled with anger. I was angry at this person, the situation, how I was being treated...yada...yada...yada....
Seeing no end to the persecution, I cried out to God. "Why don't you do something? I mean, hasn't this gone on long enough?!"
I had been praying for years for this situation to cease and no reprieve ever came. The circumstances just seemed to get worse.
Taking a deep breath, I prayed again. This time I confessed my sinful anger to God and asked him to change me instead of changing the situation.
His words pierced my heart, "Why are you so angry, my beloved? Am I not sovereign? Do I not hold the hearts of each man on Earth? Why do you direct the anger of your heart at this person?"
I swallowed hard as the Creator of the Universe continued, "Direct your anger at me. After all, I am sovereign. I am allowing this time of persecution to come upon you for such a time as this to make you more like my Son. Don't you trust me?"
I squeezed my eyes shut with conviction as tears rolled down my cheeks. I repented. This time when I prayed, I asked God to forgive me for my anger against him and my unbelief that he can even work good out of evil.
This time, my heart emerged with a different posture -- peace. The situation did not change. Instead, God changed me.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Why do we sometimes feel like we need to rush God? Or to help him when things aren't moving at our pre-determined speed? Maybe the outcome isn't quite what we would have desired?
Trusting God can be hard, especially when the answer to our prayers is seeing the very person you are praying for move in the opposite direction! I had been praying for a loved one's heart to become softer, more open to hope, and to turn from their sin. But instead their heart just seemed to become harder, oppose God even more vehemently, and move deeper into behaviors that pulled them away from the Gospel.
While running, I cried out to God on their behalf, I begged for mercy, redemption, and faith to prevail in their life. That's when he clearly spoke to my heart.
"Beloved, would you interrupt an earthly father disciplining their child? Then why are you praying for me to truncate the very process that will lead them to repentance?"
Convicted of pride in telling God what do, I repented. I had wanted God to lift the pain of suffering in their life, but that was the very tool he was using to break them, have them turn to him in repentance, and to save them. After all he is sovereign and he is big enough to even use our sin for our good and his glory.
"Not my will, but yours, be done." Luke 22:42
Spiritual Fruit from Running Up Hills? REALLY?
We become stronger in our faith through trials.
"Beloved, there is no progress except through pain." God gently spoke to to my heart.
Ugh. Those words stung as I ran or rather trudged up and down hills for ten miles. I was training for a marathon and it wasn't pretty. Apparently, hill training (running up and down hills) and trials have the same effect: they break us. Hill training breaks down our muscles and when they repair, they are stronger. It's the same with trials. Trials break down our self, or pride, making us more dependent on God, therefore stronger.
Both produce fruit: hill training makes the runner faster, trials create amazing spiritual fruit. Both are beneficial and painful. But in both casese, hope does not disappoint because of the faithfulness of God...
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
What's our response when the waves come crashing down in our life?
Trust God (of course)!
How many times do we meet trouble half way? Get anxious when we see a trial brewing? Or a wave is anguish is about of crash down on us and we panic? Okay, maybe that's just me. Sometimes, when a potential difficult situation is arising, I forget my God--the all-powerful, amazing, omniscient God who loves me enough to die for and who doesn't withhold any good thing from me. Yup, that's me. And as I scurry around in worry, what kind of witness as a child of God am I?
As I watched this little boy brave the pounding waves by closing his eyes, clasping his hands in prayer, and calmly looking upward focusing only on his God, I was convicted. Whay would my life look like if that was my response to trials? How much more peace would I have in my daily life and walk with Christ?
As you take a breath today and ponder your response to trials, remember to be still and know that he's God (Pslam 46:10).
"See, I can even bring the dead back to life." ~ God
An Avocado Seed of Faith
Sometimes we all get weary. Well, at least I do. I get so discouraged, especially after praying for something or someone for a long period of time. I just look at things in the natural, with eyes of the flesh, not with eyes of faith with an eternal perspective. Sadly, I am often too quick to put God in a box and think this is too hard for him.
Are you guilty of this sin of unbelief as well? Do you also forget how big your God is?
If so, be encouraged. There is nothing too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:27). He is the God of all flesh, including my weak flesh. Your lack of faith is not beyond God. You are special. You are treasured. You are the child of the God most high. He died for you -- so you can be reconciled with a holy God. If you trust in his Son Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are saved.
This doesn't mean you won't go through trials, my beloved. It just means God will use them to shape you into a more perfect version of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Be blessed and lift your gaze.
God's got this!
Minibikes and Omnipotence
"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27 ESV
Our God is a God who speaks to us, even when we least expect it. When I dropped off my son's bike at school the other morning, the Lord surprised me with one of the most poignant and convicting messages. We (well, at least I do) sometimes get so wrapped up in fear and anxiety with our present situation and faith-testing trial that we forget our God.
I wonder how different our life would be if we lived like we know deep in our heart who our God really is, an omnipotent (all-powerful) God who loves us enough to die for us? How would that peace (the one that transcends all understanding) manifest itself in our daily life? I can only image how different our outlook and response to life might be.
Just a thought to ponder on today as we stop and take a God breath.
"You have no idea of the power that under girds you." ~ God
Jumbo Jet Suspended in Mid-Air!
God is moving behind the scenes even if we don't see the results.
Patience is something I struggle with, especially when I have been praying for something for days, weeks, months, and even years. It can be hard to trust and wait on God in his perfect timing, when you don't see any confirmation in the flesh.
When I saw that jumbo jet, seemingly suspended in mid-air, my heart stopped as the Lord spoke tenderly to my heart.
Take a minute to watch my vlog today and be encouraged: The Lord God hears your prayers and working all things out for you good, despite what you see in the natural.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
~ Romans 8:28 ESV