Girlfriends in God - Oct. 2, 2007


October 2, 2007

Never Alone

Part 1

Mary Southerland



Today’s truth

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


Friend to Friend

The Bible is filled with miracles where God intervened directly in time and space.


·         Dividing the Red Sea

·         Raising the dead

·         Healing the blind

·         Turning water to wine


God used miracles in a limited world to demonstrate His unlimited power. It is easy to see Him in the miraculous events of life. But in reality, God’s greatest work is in our everyday lives where He takes the ordinary and uses it to create a magnificent design! We are experiencing God daily! We simply don’t know how to recognize Him.


I heard about a pastor’s young son who came in from playing. Spotting the boy’s dirty hands, his mother told him to wash his hands. “Why?” the little boy asked. “Because there are germs living in that dirt” the mom replied. The little boy refused and began to complain, “Germs and Jesus! Germs and Jesus! That’s all I ever hear around this house, and I’ve never seen either one!”


Just because we can’t see God, doesn’t mean He isn’t there. God is always at work in our lives. We just need to look for Him.


1.       Look for God in circumstances.

God is constantly at work in our lives preparing us to do what He created us to do. A.B. Simpson says: “God is preparing His heroes. And when the opportunity comes, He can fit them into their place in a moment. And the world will wonder where they came from.” When we understand that God integrates every circumstance to accomplish His will, it is easy to trust Him. Even when we do not understand, even when we can’t explain it, even when it doesn’t make sense or seems wrong, we can choose to trust Him. It is easy to trust Him when the seas are calm and the skies are clear! But the strength of our faith is measured in the midst of a storm!


A crisis always reveals what is really inside! Letting go means that we trust God enough to obey Him. Trust is demonstrated by obedience. What I do reveals what I believe about God, regardless of what I say! God will not waste direction on a disobedient heart. The more we obey the more we will trust. The more we trust, the more we will obey. God reveals His plans to an obedient heart. When we trust God enough to let go, we will find that He is Lord of our circumstances.


2. Look for God in people.

Proverbs 27: 17 “As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other”. In this verse, “each other” literally means: companion or friend; neighbor or associate. In other words, God uses every relationship to improve us and to accomplish His will for our lives. People come into our lives for eternal reasons. Relationships are mirrors! In them, we see reflections of ourselves! Relationships expose the weaknesses we try so hard to bury! Relationships teach us important lessons like forgiveness, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control. Many times, God builds His qualities in us by allowing certain people to come into our lives. He calls it “Iron sharpening iron”.


If we need to learn patience, He brings irritating people into our lives. If we need to learn to love, He will bring the unlovable! God takes those people we call “difficult” and uses them as pruning tools, tools of molding and refining. If we fail to learn from one, He will send another! Even if we do learn from one, He will send another to teach us a different lesson.


Relationships are compasses. Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (NIV) God brings all kinds of people into our lives to teach us, encourage us and guide us.


3. Look for God in mistakes.

Romans 8:28 “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan.” This is a perspective that each one of us needs to gain. Even the disasters that strike us are intended for our good. God is in control! Ivory soap is the “soap that floats”. But it wasn’t always that way. Years ago, this soap was just another brand among many. Then a factory foreman made a mistake. He left a batch of new soap in the cooking vat and went to lunch. He was late getting back and the soap overcooked. It seemed to clean the same. It was just lighter. The foreman had two choices. He could report the mistake or he could make the best of it and ship it out. The results surprised everyone. Instead of complaints, the company was deluged with orders for this floating soap and the foreman was promoted. God takes our mistakes and brings good out of them. If we let Him, God will use the pain of our sin the destruction of our mistakes as the foundation upon which to build a new and better life, Isaiah 55:8-9 "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (NLT)


Strength that comes through pain can be gained no other way. His presence always changes everything.


1 Kings 18:37 “LORD, answer my prayer so these people will know that you, LORD, are God and that you will change their minds." (NCV)


What we call “dis-appointment” is really “His appointment”. While God uses our mistakes as a test, He does not waste a single experience. There are no “scraps” of life to be thrown away!


Let’s pray

Father, I want to thank You for Your presence in my life. Help me see Your hand at work, even when it doesn’t make sense. Teach me to be a woman who is willing to trust her God. Help me choose a daily attitude of joy and a perspective of faith. In Jesus’ name…Amen.


Now it’s your turn

Think back over your day.

Examine each circumstance, looking for the hand of God at work in that circumstance.

In what way(s) did God alter the outcome of that circumstance?

What were the results?

How would that situation have played out if God had not intervened?


More from the girlfriends

Stepping out in faith is one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. You see, I have such great ideas about how each day should be lived and I have incredible plans for “fixing” the people in my life. Eventually, I realize and accept the fact that God’s plan is best and His plans are higher than mine could ever be. Yes, friend, I am a slow learner! Need help, too? Check out my audio CD, “Stepping Out in Faith”.




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Originally published Tuesday, 02 October 2007.