Carla's Blogs

God’s Diversions Bring Surprising Blessings: Moments Part 1

Ever had one of those really frustrating weeks where everything is going wrong? I know, stupid question. It happens to all of us. Well, I had a royal frustrating 10 days that ended up with God intervening with a beautiful kiss of blessing and patience… 

 My computer quit working, I got the wrong part, then our swimming pool chemistry developed into a royal green mess while we were on vacation. I had to reschedule swim play dates for my granddaughter.  After spending a ton of time, money and canceling the rescheduled play dates, I messed up the pool protocol the first time I did it. I was at my rope’s end having to go back to the swimming supply store and send a computer part back through the UPS store.  

On top of it all, I was wrestling with God about some serious prayer requests that He didn’t seem to be answering. Added to that was feelings of guilt for being ungrateful in the whole mess. I really was acting like a child with my reactions to all these distractions in my life.  

So, last Thursday, I drove to the UPS store and pool supply store later than planned and took longer than expected buying more pool chemicals, so instead of going into another parking lot to buy milk at my usual Fred Meyer, I decided to save time and walk next door to Albertsons for milk before heading home.  

Walking through the door, I glanced at the first checker to my left and stared in disbelief. There stood a missionary and former special student of mine, Breanna, who had been suffering and close to dying with a bizarre infection in Asia for the past two months. I knew she was doing better and had just arrived back in Boise, but never expected to see her out and about walking with her usual beautiful smile. You can imagine my emotions exploding to actually see, in physical form, the answer to my prayers and those of so many others around the world. Of all the places and timing, for me to see her, this truly was a gift from my merciful patient God.  

Breanna

I ran to her, we hugged, cried, and laughed, making quite a scene, while hearing her Boise doctor had given her a good report that day. The checker, a lady about my age, stood with an amazed questioning look. I explained that Breanna was an answer to my prayers after being so sick in Asia. Then Breanna adding to the story, left the woman almost speechless and in awe with her eyes wide hearing the brief powerful story of God’s healing.  

As I walked to the car, Jesus whispered in my heart, “I wanted you to touch this answer to prayer for Breanna so that you remember My power when you are bringing me all your requests and doubting my plans.” 

My swimming pool and computer messes were not just another bad set of circumstances for me to deal with; they were allowed by God to defer me onto a path that led to a great blessing for Breanna, me, and a stranger in Albertsons. It will be a continued reminder to me when I feel God is taking too long to answer my other prayers… 

Humbly Hopeful, 

Carla 

Psalm 36:5-9 NIV 
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, 
    your faithfulness to the skies. 
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, 
    your justice like the great deep. 
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. 
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! 
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 

They feast on the abundance of your house; 
    you give them drink from your river of delights. 
For with you is the fountain of life; 
In your light we see light. 

Carla's Blogs

Rainbow Promises

Hebrews 2:8-9a

In putting everything under Him, God left nothing that is not subject to Him.  Yet at present we do not see everything subject to Him.  But we do see Jesus…

 

This verse was sent to me, yesterday, by a dear friend’s son who was praying for me. He didn’t realize the complete set of reasons Jesus wanted him to send me these words of promise. Like most people, there are always a plethora (I love that word) of reasons for me to trust that everything is under God’s control – reasons to keep me on my knees placing my children, our marriage, our jobs, our health, etc. on the altar of His grace and mercy, trusting in His promises.

It reminded me of a time, about four years ago, when the Lord kept putting rainbows in my life.

About six years ago, my 12 year old daughter and I flew to Seattle. We were praying extra time for the Lord to put his arms around our plane as we were descending through a storm in a double cloud cover, with the Space Needle just waiting to jump out in my imagination.

I closed my eyes to pray, opened them and found myself adjusting my glasses to make sure I wasn’t seeing something weird through my lenses. My daughter, with her glasses, was doing the same thing. She said, “Do you see that?!” “Yes, do you?”

What we saw was a “Glory” – a perfect rainbow in circle with the shadow of our plane in the center of the perfect promise. This wasn’t just one of those summer moon-dog marvels, but a real perfect rainbow in full color. Our Creator allowed it to remain there about 5 minutes for us to marvel.

I looked up this phenomenon and found that it is called a “Glory”. Different sites explained that when the first people found a perfect circle rainbow in higher elevations, they called it a glory because no one had seen it before and no one had seen “God’s Glory”.

As I meditated on this precious vision from my Creator, I realized the rainbows we see in the lowlands, are only half the promise that is revealed in the heights. We don’t realize what He is doing behind the scenes in our lives or lives of our children in the heights and where our eyes cannot see, but we can watch Jesus in His Truth and the Spirit working around us preparing us for His glory of the full promise in Heaven one day.

Other Rainbow Moments

Shortly after our Seattle trip, I had a bad morning before arriving to lead chapel for our school. The front door of the church would not accept my key, so running late and frustrated, I stomped all the way around the building to the back door. When I turned the corner, there was a rainbow over the school; God humbling and calming my spirit J.

The next week, as I arrived at school, I felt prompted to call a dear friend going through marriage problems. We prayed asking God to give her a sign that He cared. After our goodbye, opening the car door, a rainbow graced our sky over our school, in exactly the same place as the week before, except that it was a double rainbow. I called my friend back and sent a phone picture, telling her the Lord had given us a double promise in answer to our prayers to show His Faithfulness and love.

With tears of joy, we wondered why we were fretting.

No matter what we are going through, He has put everything subject to Him and given us His Spirit and Jesus, The Truth to guide us as we trust Him.

We can’t see all the great things He has planned for us, but we can watch with anticipation for His Glory at every turn and that final Glory when we are all with Him forever in the heights.

 

 

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Remembering My Child-Like Faith

I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
John 10:10 (The Message)

God is our refuge and strength. Our very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear.
Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV)

When I was only five years old and attending Vacation Bible School, our pastor told me about being a Jesus follower. Truths about having peace and no fear, and going to Heaven rather than Hell, made an impression. I remember thinking about it, then going home and thinking about it some more. At bedtime, I told my mom I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. From that day on, I was determined to love Jesus and make Him my best friend forever.

In the third grade, a broken leg landed me in the hospital. In 1971, kids with fractures spent at least one or two nights in the hospital. Because of work, my parents were unable to visit me, so other than my two Sunday school teachers, I was alone for a couple of days, and tempted to be frightened.

With determination to remember Jesus was with me, I decided the situation was like my Bible story from the Sunday before – Paul and Silas in prison. A bit dramatic for the much more mundane truth of my hospital stay, but I still decided to praise Jesus in the midst of my trial and pray for the girls in my room.

During crutch lessons with the physical therapist, I noticed other children up and down the hall who were very sick. I asked the nurse if I could go up and down the hall in a wheelchair praying for the sick kids. She granted permission, so off I went in my prayer machine on wheels.

One family, in particular, touched my heart. Their baby girl had pneumonia, and the doctors were not hopeful. I asked the parents if I could pray for her, and they eagerly agreed, wheeling my chair into her room. I prayed a simple little girl’s prayer for this baby asking for healing, and for her parents to not be afraid.

The next morning, I awoke to her mom and dad standing over my bed, tears in their eyes, holding a rosebud for me. Thinking the worst because of their tears, I asked what was wrong. But they quickly assured me that not only was their baby girl all right – despite not being expected to live – but the doctors were actually sending her home. The doctors, they said, were amazed that the baby was better. They thanked me for my prayers, and told me that Jesus had used me to bring healing to their little girl.

At that moment, I realized that being a Christian was not just a free ticket to Heaven. It is also a free ticket to join Jesus on the adventure of life, looking for opportunities to partner with Him in bringing abundant life to others.

As the years have passed, there have been many times that discouragement and doubt try to settle in. But each time I take those fears to Jesus, He reminds me of that little girl who knew no fear and His promise to be my lifelong partner in the best adventure of all.