A blog where women are inspired and encouraged to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Is This Your Hour?



You have an important story.  Some chapters are written with laughter and joy, and some chapters scribbled with tears of frustration, sorrow and pain.  Every page is important and all of the content is allowed (I didn’t say caused) by God.

I saw a really frazzled mom in the grocery store the other day.  Her baby-in-car-seat was strategically wedged into the shopping cart with diapers, wipes, toilet paper, lettuce and cans of Spaghettios packed in every little crevice.  The baby was obviously not crazy about mom’s decision to shop... she was crying LOUDLY, having rejected both the pacifier and bottle. Frazzled-mom looked like she wanted to scream or cry... or both.
For what purpose was this mom allowed to come to this hour?

I know three beautiful women who’ve recently been handed the verdict of cancer... No one is adequately prepared to hear that wicked word.
For what purpose have these precious women been allowed to come to this hour?

I know several people who are either unemployed or under-employed and are struggling financially. 
For what purpose were they allowed to come to this hour?

I’ve had severe head pain and migraines every day since I was 19... Coupled with intense daily body pain due to several injuries, nerve damage and FM. For this moment, God has chosen not to alleviate the pain. He’s chosen not to “save me from this hour”.  Perhaps tomorrow will be different… 
For what purpose was I allowed to come to this hour?  

"But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify your name."
John 12: 27, 28 ESV 
   

How do we glorify His name? 

Well, some days it's as 'simple' as dragging ourselves out of bed when we don't want to.  Getting showered, dressed and making ourselves do what needs to be done.  It might be doing laundry, feeding the baby, going to the grocery store, or driving to the office.  It might mean being wife, mom, worker or boss. And in the middle of it all, it means:

We love.
We forgive.
We become like Him.
We boast of His goodness.
We allow our faith to increase.
We allow Him to be our strength.
We praise Him in the middle of it all.
We recognize His presence moment by moment.
We train our minds to focus on the goodness of God.
We endure the trial, and allow ourselves to be changed. 
We don't entertain the seed of bitterness.  It can grow so quickly. 
We don't compare our life's limitations and trials to others.  Not so easy.
We continue to believe, despite and because of, the frustration, pain or sorrow.
We persevere.  Yes, we keep moving forward even when we feel like giving up.
We allow God to squeeze out the 'poor me', 'It's just too much', or 'I can't do this anymore' thoughts.

Our trials and suffering present opportunity to hone our faith-unshakeable.

 "So be truly glad.  There is wonderful joy ahead,
even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine.
It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-
though your faith is far more precious than mere gold."
1 Peter 1: 6, 7 NLT

What trials are you going through right now?
How are you glorifying God through your trials?
What changes is He making in you in this hour?
Or, perhaps you don't see Him in the middle of it all..
I'd love to hear your story.
Leave a comment!
 Living in His grace,
  Mary  
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53 comments:

  1. Mary, this really touched my soul. I needed refreshment today, thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Ashley! God's word brings such refreshment!
      I always appreciate your visits!
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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    1. Grace, I'll second that hearty AMEN to bringing glory to God's name in this hour.
      Thanks for coming by, my friend!
      Blessing to you ~ Mary

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  3. My Dad's cousin just lost her battle to cancer. She fought the good fight, and through every single day of it, she brought beautiful glory to God's name. I loved your listing at the end of all the ways we glorify His name. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Amelia, I'm sorry for your loss. Cancer is such an ugly thief... and yet, this beautiful woman didn't allow it to rob her of her joy, hope, and faith. Oh, yes! She certainly brought glory to the holy name of God!
      Thank you so much for sharing this!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  4. A dear friend of mine is suffering so much right now. As I prayed for her on the phone today, I asked God to meet her. She has brought so much glory to His name already. But I am so sad for her. And sorry for your daily pain, too.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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    1. Glenda, it's so hard to see those we love suffer. I'm thankful that you were there to pray with her... that means so much. I rejoice that her life is glorifying the name of our Abba Father. I'll pray for you both tonight. Thank you for sharing this.
      Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  5. Mary, I'm so sorry to hear of your daily pain. I have often wondered why He allows us to suffer so much. At the end of the day, I know God is still on the throne and one day we won't have to suffer anymore. This post took me out of my own predicaments and made me realize there are so many others whose battles are much greater than mine. Thank you.

    XOXO,
    Meredith

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    1. Meredith, I'm convinced (by His word) that our trials are allowed to strengthen our faith and bring a 'glow' to His name. I just keep thinking... no matter what, I am His and He is mine... so thankful for that!
      I'm so glad you made it by. I appreciate you!
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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  6. I hear such hope in your words and in the scriptures. God is always working, I have learned that. Sometimes I don't see it in the midst of pain but reckless trust in Him gets me through. I have learned that too, the hard way. Blessings to you! Love, Rachael

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    1. Oh Rachael, I love your 'reckless trust'! It's so true, that when we don't understand... we trust the One who does.
      Blessings and love, my friend ~ Mary

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  7. Dear Mary
    As I started to read your words, I thought immediately that it is all to give our spirit into our Pappa's hands in trust, asking Him to glorify His name! To experience physical pain and exhaustion daily is not easy. Still, it is wonderful in the sense how we learn how to live in Him every second of our lives and draw from the well of grace for just waking up in the mornings. We might not understand, but we know the One who does! That is more than enough for me.
    Thanks for a great post!
    Mia

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    1. Mia, I know you understand the trial of daily suffering. I'm so thankful for the richness of trust and depth of relationship that He hones through trials... even/especially when we don't understand.
      Blessings and love, my friend ~ Mary

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  8. I promised in response to your comment to come back here. And here I am. You've written another wonderfully powerful blog. I think you're a season further than me. Little more mature :-)

    I'm glad that God in some situations doesn't say: Count your blessings. He said to me a amidst the trials: "Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away." Let us speak well of Jesus. Let us recognize that He is there to to catch you when we fall and stumble. That's aslo praise.

    Lieve groet/ hug.



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    1. Oh Jedidja, I'm so glad that He knows our heart's deep hurts and doubts. And yes, His arms are so strong and outstretched, catching and holding us when we stumble and fall... and we do. I appreciate you, my dear sister.
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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  9. I am so grateful that we serve a Lord who is right in the middle of it all.

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    1. Me too, Marlece! I'm so thankful that He's in the middle of the mess!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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    1. Leslie, I agree with your AMEN! Believing and trusting Him in the trials brings glory to His name.
      I'm glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  11. Oh, Mary, I cannot thank you enough for writing these words for they have touched my heart deeply. Not only do I want to glorify God in all I am and do, but I want to better understand and be in the moment where He has me without the complaining, the bitterness, the fears, and all of those other things that crop up. I am grateful that you listed some ways to bring Him the glory no matter the circumstances. I lost my Mama 1/30 (98 years of age) after caring for her and being near to her these past 15 years. I have FM, have had four surgeries in two years. I can easily say, "Why me?' and "How can I deal with this?' or ??? BUT..."But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." John 12: 27, 28 ESV Amen. And no questions asked because He is with me and I am His.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda @ Being Woven

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    1. Linda, I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mama. After caring for her for so many years, you must have a huge cavern that only our Abba Father can fill. I hear deep love for our Father in your words... honed, I'm sure from years of pain, trials, and suffering. Yes, for this purpose you have come to this hour, my sister... Father, glorify your name through Linda.
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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  12. Mary, thank you for your beautiful post. I'm a relatively new Christian and will be honest...at times I fear will my faith remain strong when trials come. I mean those big trials. Like the trails I went through when I would either blame God or believe God forgot about me. So I pray and take in His Word daily as I know He is strengthening my faith in Him. Your words touched my heart today. Thank you.

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    1. Beth, I'm so glad you're here today. I appreciate your honesty, and I'll be honest too. There are times when I fear my faith won't be strong enough to go through trials. But like you, I'm taking in His word daily and I'm trusting Him to extend His grace into all my trials and suffering. I remind myself that His grace is sufficient.
      Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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    1. Thank you, Beth. God's word is so beautiful and life-giving!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  14. You asked what trials- here are some strange ones- Thalassemia which caused my deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. I also have Pemphigus Vulgaris. But this is the best time of my life, proof that nothing is impossible with God, if we trust Him, thank Him and try to embed His word in our hearts. I know there's even more fullness to come! Blessings to you! patsy

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    1. Oh Patsy, your words are so encouraging! I'm sorry for your trials... it's only with our Abba Father, that you can say 'this is the best time of my life'! Thank you for sharing a piece of your story, my friend.
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  15. I liked that you started the "Glorify" list with the word "we." Together we bring the most glory. Of course, individually our hearts need to be there with intention, but many hearts intent on Him bring much glory!

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    1. Dea, I love the picture you've created... 'Many hearts intent on Him bring much glory!'
      And the multitude rejoices! I really love this!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  16. I just found out that a 19 year old healthy young man, a friend of my son's died today. I am thinking about the trials that his parents will be going through. I know they have God in their lives so I hope that will bring them some peace. I enjoyed your post!

    Visiting with DYWW

    http://agutandabutt.blogspot.com/

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    1. Oh Betty, my heart sank when I read of your son's friend. I'm just so sorry. I will pray for your son and this dear family. Sometimes the trials seem too much... I'm thankful for the only One who can bring peace and comfort at these times.
      I appreciate you sharing this.
      Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  17. Wow, Mary! As I read this, I kept hearing in my spirit the writings of Paul in 2 Cor. 12:9,

    And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

    Have a blessed week!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you shared this verse! His grace IS sufficient!
      Thanks for coming by and sharing such a pertinent and important verse!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  18. I need this as I just miscarried my baby recently and have been struggling in my relationship with God.

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    1. Oh Catherine, I'm so sorry. I've personally known that deep-in-the-gut pain of losing a precious baby. Share your disappointment, anger and heartache with Him... He cares so deeply for you. I'm praying for you now...
      Blessings my friend ~ Mary

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  19. My husband, who claimed to be a godly man, abused me in ways I never thought possible for most of our marriage. We separated when he tried to kill me six months ago. I wrestled with the morality of that for a long time, until my grandfather, who is an Elder of his rather strict church, pointed out to me that my husband broke faith with me. A friend pointed out that divorce is permitted if an unbeliever and an unbeliever are married, and that my husband may not be a believer anymore (if he ever was) because he is clearly not listening to God.

    A few months ago I was raped by a man I thought was a friend. He came over for coffee, but wanted something else instead.

    God is carrying me through this. He's sent me the most wonderful people I could ever ask for. Do I hurt? Yes. A lot. But I'm doing better each day and I'm trying to live my life focussed on "kingdom things".

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    1. I'm sorry, if a BELIEVER and an UNBELIEVER are married.

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    2. Oh Lydia, my heart aches for you. I'm so sorry for the horrors that you've lived through. I'm praying that our Abba Father continues to surround you with godly counselors with wise, listening ears to hear your anger, pain, and frustration, and bathe you in prayer and speak life-giving words of hope to you. He knows those fears, and deep-gut feelings that you can't even put words to...
      Please continue to let me know how you're doing.
      God bless you, my friend ~ Mary

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  20. You are such an encourager. Keep bringin' the word! You shine for Him, friend!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! His word and presence is so life-giving!
      Blessing to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  21. Amen and amen!! What a sweet encouragement to us and for us to remember who is at the center of it all and that HE has a purpose for us! Thanks for linking this up with me this week.

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    1. Kate, thanks for coming by. And thanks for so graciously hosting the linkup!
      Blessing to you ~ Mary

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  22. Coming to you from Intentional Me Link up- great reminder- these same thoughts have been where my head is at lately.

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    1. Hi Ren! A Great Mind must have put it in both our heads! :) I love when the Lord does that!
      Thanks for coming by. I'll be over!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  23. A beautiful reminder to live for His glory.

    Delighted to meet you today. I hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip into goodness.

    Splashin.
    Sarah

    http://justsarahdawn.blogspot.com/2013/06/on-daddys-toes.html

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    1. Sarah, I'm glad to have you here! Your reference to 'splash' made me smile... It's been raining like crazy here today and I'm feeling a bit soggy!
      Thanks for dropping by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  24. Simply amazed on how much God loves me! He knew I needed to read this. I needed to be reminded to keep holding on to Him. 9 months ago I moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles because I felt this is where God wanted me to serve. Being a young and single mom and away from my family has been extra challenging here. Plus not having a stable place to live and having to move here constantly til God opens the next door is not as easy as I thought. In the beginning of this new journey I was excited and found so much joy knowing I was living out what I believed in.

    As time has gone by I have become a bit weary and even bitter. Hate to admit that lately I've been telling God I want to give up, that I can't do this anymore and questioning on why He chose me.I've even had a few pity parties (so dumb when I know there's starving children somewhere and young girls stuck in human trafficking)

    You're blog helped me remember that that even when lonely sets in, or I feel like giving up because it feels things won't get better and even when I don't know the next place my son and will live in God is with us in every season. He is more than worthy to surrender my all to and believe in His faithfulness.

    Blessings,

    Sandra

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    1. Sandra, it takes a lot a courage to pack up and move both you and your son to an unfamiliar area. The unknowns in life can drain the trust right out of us if we're not extremely vigilant... I've certainly been there! Keep reminding yourself that your Abba Father is worthy of ALL your trust... He knows your deep in-the-gut fears and anger. He knows the next bed you and your son will sleep in, where the next meal will come from.
      Please know that I'll be praying for you and your sweet boy.
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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  25. Do you have a post where you share about your daily pain? If so, I'd love to read it. I felt lousy and had a slight headache because I painted today but I have no idea what it would be like to deal with daily pain. Even the migraines I once had were painful but not constant. It is so good to share these things so we can pray for each others.

    Thanks for linking up with WholeHearted Home this week, Mary. It is always good to click open your blog!!

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    1. Judith, I'm sorry to hear about your headache... paint can do that! :)
      Here are a few posts about my days and how our Abba Father meets me in the midst.
      You're right. It's good to share so we can pray for each other!
      Thanks for so graciously hosting WHH!
      Blessing and love ~ Mary

      http://marywomantowoman.blogspot.com/2012/12/do-you-trust-him-enough.html
      http://marywomantowoman.blogspot.com/2012/03/ive-been-asked-several-times-recently.html

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  26. Wow, You are all so encouraging. Thank You.

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    1. Hi Loni! I'm glad you were encouraged! God is so good at that!
      I'm glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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Your comments mean so much to me. I love reading each and every one! Thanks so much!