Bee Stings of Life

I’m a beekeeper and my family will occasionally help with the inspections and honey collection.  We wear bee jackets, screened hoods with jeans, closed-toe shoes, and gloves.  We nearly always have the smoker lit and ready to puff.  I carry a spray bottle filled with sugar water to ‘distract’ the girls.  It’s as much protection as we can prepare for against their natural defense mechanism to sting predators.

Still, they manage to sting us occasionally.  Usually, it’s when I get careless or move too quickly around the bees.  Sometimes it’s when I least expect it, such as several yards away from the hives on my way back to the house. 

One sting leads to another. Why?  The bee’s message via stinging is a loud call to all her sisters that they are under attack.  If one bee stings, others will follow.

Beekeeping is like committing sinful behavior.

Once we become Christians, we try our best to protect ourselves against scenarios that tempt us into sin.  I remember in my adolescence; new Christian teens would purge their music collections of secular music.  I’ve seen couples create joint social media accounts to avoid the temptations of some sins. I specifically avoid the New Age/pagan/occult portion of bookstores.  Perhaps people start to dutifully pray against certain sins.  Job changes, blocked websites, financial overhauls, moving churches…the list goes on and on about how we try to protect ourselves from falling into sin. 

1 Peter 4-5 are great chapters instructing us on the battles of sin.  It opens with Jesus conveying that while on the cross, He sacrificed everything in the battle against sin. Literally everything; including his life.  The verses continue with Paul calling us to also give everything against sin in our lives.  Paul continues by encouraging and providing instruction that when we live fully for Christ, we tend to pull away from the longing to be involved in sin-filled behaviors. 

There are practical ways to guard against sin, such as avoiding certain books, changing social media activities, or even changing music habits.  The longer-term way to align with less sin is to draw closer to the Lord.  Increasing our prayer life, daily Bible reading, and surrounding ourselves with accountability partners are all additional ways to try to prevent one sin from becoming multiple sins. 

Like with bees, sin can circumvent the protective measures in place.  One sin often leads to more sin…just like the stingers of one bee leads to others following suit. So we must acknowledge sin in our lives and safeguard against it.  We then begin guarding against known stumbling blocks…just like the beekeeper who wears appropriate clothing and is prepared against stings with smoke and sugar water.


Oh Beloved S’mores

For me, summer officially starts with an evening of family and friends gathered around the fire pit with sticks a-ready for toasting marshmallows. I’m happy to provide graham crackers and chocolate to go along with the marshmallows.  I’m even willing to “go gourmet” and get fancy with cookies, peanut butter cups, or york peppermint patties.  More than once, I’ve initiated a conversation about the toasting methods and preferences (for the record, Erin’s burning of marshmallows is wrong).

As you imagine that perfectly toasted, gooey mess, melting into a perfect square of chocolate placed onto a crispy vessel for eating…remember this; there is no polite way to eat a s’more.  You can’t delicately eat it with a pinky finger up expecting that the entire bite will go nicely into your mouth. No, indeed, you will make a mess.  On your mouth, on your fingers, and maybe even on your shirt.  You have to go all in so that you can enjoy the fullness of the s’mores experience.

Like eating a s’more, you have to go all in when following Christ. It’s all or nothing.  It’s all-encompassing for your life…and at times, it will get messy.  But the reward of being a Christ follower is worth it.  The closeness of a personal relationship with God will produce infinite benefits to your life, not to mention your assurances for eternity. 

We are to love as Christ loved, as dictated in John 13:34 (NIV), “A new command I give you; Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  

As we love others, our hands will get dirty.  In the world, human relationship is hard. It’s messy. So to show kindness to the homeless may require being dirty.  To tend to the ill or infirm, it may be distasteful.  Caring for widows or orphans may be hard and mentally taxing.  All types of love and service require us to get into the trenches and get dirty. 

When we get dirty when loving others, we are serving the Lord.  And He is pleased way more than we are when we get messy eating s’mores. 

Eat the s’mores.  Enjoy them.  Get messy.

But remember to love, serve, enjoy one another…and get messy being the hands and feet of Christ.


Down In The Dumps

I’m four weeks past having had a major surgery and I’m exhausted from laying around doing nothing.  And yet, doing nothing is all the energy I have.  Recovery is tough for someone like me, who has an extremely busy schedule.  It makes me feel “down in the dumps” when I can’t do everything that I want to do…or that I normally do. 

Have you ever noticed that when you are out of your comfort zone or doing something hard that your spiritual life becomes more important?  I’ve also noticed that more often than not, my spiritual life also becomes less apparent in my life when the times are most hard. 

When facing struggles, we often believe that it’s a natural battle; one that may be a result of surgery or an altered schedule.  The reality is that it may be a spiritual attack that has been launched at a time when you are least expecting it.  One of the primary tactics of the enemy is to deceive us to the point we don’t really realize what is taking place.  These spiritual attacks are often a series of events that have us disbelieving the promises of God, oppressing a believer, or circumventing our faith.

In 2 Corinthians 2:11, Paul reminds us, “lest Satan should take advantage of us.  For we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Throughout the Bible, we are told that the devil uses various schemes and lies to get us to a place where we question our faith and fall away from our walk with God.  It’s important to remember that Satan is smart and he’s been studying humans since the beginning of time.  He knows exactly what will tempt us. 

How have I been identifying spiritual attacks over the last few weeks?

-Frustration Increases: The enemy works to oppress my mind and create chaos, which in turn, creates frustration.  It leads me to feel anxious and panicky.

-Lack of spiritual passion: Perhaps our prayer life slows down.  Our faith is tested, but we feel like we’re failing the test.  In particular, I feel like I’m going through the motions of my Christian walk. This leads to…

-A Sense of Confusion About Purpose: Laying here in bed for weeks upon weeks, makes me question what my purpose is in sharing the Gospel. Am I using my spiritual gifts? Am I doing enough?  Am I doing what God wants me to do? Questioning my role in the Kingdom leads to…

-Unrest:  The continued temptation to give into negative thoughts steals my sense of peace and causes me to have unrest.  It leaves me exhausted mentally and quite frankly, irritated. It leaves me frustrated, which is the first thing I identified.

Thus the cycle continues, over and over again. 

While I have felt like I’ve been down in the dumps over the last few weeks, I’ve also realized that Satan has used this time to mess with my mind.  I’ve been distracted, anxious, irritable, and just plain grumpy.  I’ve allowed Satan to overwhelm me, which has impacted my walk with the Lord.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “…without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” 

Once I acknowledged I was faltering, I turned to James 4:7. “Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  A simple prayer, in which I told the Lord that I was turning this over to Him in submission. At once, I felt peace and was no longer “down in the dumps.” 

My circumstances have not changed.  I was still post-op from major surgery with pain, medications, restless nights, and physical therapy. However, my negative attitude and doubt about my faith had turned around and I felt aligned with God again.

If you’re facing a scenario that has you feeling “down in the dumps” please know that you are not alone.  God is with you always.  And the ladies of the Iron Porch are willing to pray for you, so comment if you need us to pray!


Snack Money & A Mother’s Love

I recently gave my son $5 as he left for school.  He said, “What’s this for?” as he looked at the bill in his hand.  I told him to get something he wanted for school snack time.  It was a treat…not something I would normally fund for his daily school activities.

The moment I explained he could get anything he wanted for snack time, I had a flashback to my own Middle School experiences when my Dad handed me extra money for a treat from the lunchroom.  I had forgotten he did that until I did it with my own child.

It was a small gesture of love.  Much like praying over their sleeping bodies, running your hand over their head as they pass by, cheering for them during a home run hit, or simply making their favorite meal.  A small gesture of a mother’s love.

One of the first gestures we see of a mother’s love is the gentle caress of a pregnant belly. You know exactly the gesture I’m talking about.  The one where a pregnant woman runs her hand over her baby bump. Doesn’t matter if it’s small, medium, or large…that pregnancy belly gets a lot of hands running over it!

The Bible doesn’t specifically speak of mothers running their hands over a pregnant stomach, but I can only imagine that it’s a universal sign of impending motherhood.

When Elizabeth found out she was pregnant, she went into five months of seclusion (Luke 1:24).  In her sixth month, Elizabeth was visited by her cousin, Mary, who had just been told by the angel that she was also going to have a baby. 

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” ~Luke 1:39-41 (NIV)

While scripture does not say this, I have a visual of Elizabeth running a soothing hand over her unborn child while he was “leaping” in her womb over being near the mother of Jesus. 

As much as a mom loves her child, imagine how much more the Father loves us.  An unimaginable amount more than we can fathom…that’s how much more He loves us.  It’s more than a pat or some extra snack money.  God’s love for us is so big, He took steps to ensure that we could accept the gift of His mercy and forgiveness, through the death of Christ. 

1 John 4:9-10 states, “This is love, it is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins.”

No matter how much I love my child…no matter how much snack money I give him.  No matter how much Elizabeth loved John the Baptist as he was leaping in her tummy.  No matter how much Mary loved Jesus…in the stable and at the cross.   None of it holds a candle to the amount of love our Lord has for us. 

I pray each of us has a week of maternal love, but more importantly the Father’s love.  If you don’t know the love that God has provided through our personal Savior, Jesus Christ, please contact us at the Iron Porch.  Erin and I would love to chat with you about what your salvation looks like. 


Mother’s Day Wind Chimes

A few years ago, my son got me wind chimes for Mother’s Day.  It’s a big one that rings loud and clear with just a whisper of a breeze. 

I love these wind chimes.  First because my then 8-year-old picked them out.  Second, they instantly make the noise of the world disappear.  I could be sitting on my back porch and hear the distant barking of a neighbor’s dog, or someone mowing their lawn, or even an airplane flying high overhead.  But those chimes take the place of any other distracting noises.

The sweet sound of bells tinkling instantly centers me.  I love the music of chimes.  The noise of the backyard is gone in a moment. 

Our daily lives are filled with distractions and noise that grab our attention.  These things vie for our attention in our hearts and heads…which makes it easy for us to lose focus.  Lose focus on what?  On the things that are important: our families, our marriages…our God. 

It’s important that we have distraction-free time with God so that we can focus on prayer, fellowship, and mediation with our Heavenly Father.  It’s one-on-one time with the Lord, where we draw closer to Him.  It’s during that time that we are able to “hear” His voice.  And it’s at that distraction-free moment that we grow as disciples.  Psalm 119:15 (NASB) says, “I will meditate on your precepts and regard your ways.”

I’m guilty of “squeezing” God in when I have free moments.  For instance, I have a prayer board in my bathroom so that I can pray over requests while I get ready for the day.  The prayer time is good and deliberate.  But if I’m brushing my teeth or doing my make-up, it’s not prayer that is distraction-free. 

The bigger issues that distract us from God are ones we need to take note of.  These are typically heart issues, which will reveal what we love.  Martha experienced this revelation of her heart.

Martha was busy in the kitchen, preparing for her guests, while Jesus was teaching in her home.  Martha began complaining that her sister, Mary was not assisting with the preparations. In fact, Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to His lessons.

In response to Martha’s complaint, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42.

Martha had been distracted from Jesus.  How had she been distracted? Her tasks? Her entertaining agenda? By the guests?  No…Jesus reveals that she’s distracted by her own anxiousness.  What was she anxious about?  Entertaining? Her guests’ comfort?  The temperature of the food? More than likely, she was most anxious about how everyone would think about her and her household if she was not successful at serving the guests.

Martha didn’t acknowledge her distraction…not until Jesus pointed it out to help her see the heart issue of her distraction.  She thought she was doing the right thing…but her values were not on point because of her distractions.  She was then able to shift her attention to what was more important…the Lord. 

In our distracted lives, in our busyness, we should be asking ourselves about what is truly distracting us from our relationship with God.  Are we choosing the “good portion” or something less?

I’m praying this week that we each find the peace that wind chimes bring me and that we each have an undistracted experience with God. 

Happy Mother’s Day.


Giving Up Titles

All of us have titles.  Professor. Mrs. Miss. Ms. Mom. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Ministry lead. Grandmother. Supervisor.  The list goes on and on.

Because I work on a military base at a military museum, I have two titles that cause confusion at work: Chief and Doctor. 

I’m a retired Chief Master Sergeant. In some circles, it is considered rare to see a female Chief.  Less than 8% of Americans have ever served in the military.  It’s less than 1.5% of female Americans who have served.  Within each branch of the service, the top 1% of the enlisted corps makes E-9…or in my case Chief Master Sergeant (aka Chief). I happened to retire after 25 years of active-duty service at the same location I now work as a civilian. As a result, some still call me Chief.

While I was near the end of my career in the military, I earned my Doctorate Degree.  It doesn’t matter if you are a Medical Doctor (MD), a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), or a Doctor of Education (EdD), you’re referred to as “Doctor.”   I happen to have a civil service job, where I am routinely referred to as Doctor Shade.

I joke that I worked really hard to make Chief and I worked really hard to finish my doctoral degree.  However, I happen to really like the name my parents gave me: “Emily.”

And yet, I will give all those earthly titles up for the one title that my heart desires most. 

“Child of the One True King.”

I’ve found that when I disregard my titles, I think of myself more as a servant of God.  A servant does not try to glorify themselves or honor their own accomplishments, but they divert that glory and honor to their master.  In John 8:50, Jesus said, “And I seek not mine own glory.” Four verses later in John 8:54 He continued with, “…if I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father who honors me.”

We see the example of diverting attention to the master through the behavior of Jesus, who repeatedly was asked if he was the Messiah, and yet He continuously re-directed the conversation to the Father. 

Philippians 2:5 -11 (NASB) states, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bondservant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. For this reason, also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This gives me pause on using my own titles.  Perhaps I should give them up…

The Bible is full of examples of others who don’t give themselves titles.  Moses doesn’t refer to himself as “Prophet Moses.”  We don’t see Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, or John the Baptist call themselves “Prophet.” Paul doesn’t refer to himself as “Apostle Paul.” 

When referring to myself with a title, am I elevating myself past “servant”?  Perhaps.  Maybe this is simply splitting hairs because we live in a society that uses titles to determine status.  However, I’ve truly given a lot of thought this week to my own titles…and how I can become more servant-like. 

What titles are you striving towards?  Which titles are you willing to give up?


Storm Shelters of Life

After several tornado watches and warnings in our area over the last few months, I began to think we should get a storm shelter for our property. I begged for one.  I nagged about it.  I requested it for my birthday.  I researched them. I organized the site visit. And then I ordered the shelter for delivery.  Once it arrived, I painted it and moved emergency supplies into the ginormous above-ground cement and rebar structure.  It’s rated for an EF-5 tornado wind strength and can hold 10-12 people…and then our inner circle started teasing me. They thanked me for purchasing the shelter in the thought that it would be insurance to prevent any more tornado storms from coming through our area.

It might give me peace of mind that we’ll have a safe location in the event of a tornado, but it won’t protect us from all the storms of life.

In fact, Jesus told us that we weren’t safe from the storms of life. He gave us the formula for how to withstand storms by building our foundations on God’s Word.  In Matthew 7:25-27 (NASB), we read “And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against the house, and it fell—and its collapse was great.”

Our storms may vary from person to person or from culture to culture.  They could be financial, marital, health scares, career or workplace-related, relationships at church…or they could be ones of gossip, lying, and stealing amongst dozens of other scenarios. 

No matter what our storm looks like, someone else has had a similar storm.

No matter how severe the storm is, others experience worse storms.

No matter when our storm appears, God can use it for His glory.

Think about it…Abraham had a storm.  All of Jesus’ disciples experienced storms.  David faced a storm. Everyone in the Bible saw storms and each had to respond accordingly.  Even Jesus faced a life-altering storm when accused and condemned to die on the cross.  It’s our response to the storm that is important.  We see Jesus ask God to remove the persecution, but he does it with the correct heart when He specifically prays for “God’s will to be done.”

It’s important to remember that God will not abandon us in the midst of these life storms.  Deuteronomy 31:6 (NASB) re-states that promise. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.”

Does that essentially make God our storm shelter?  I’d say “yes”!  I’m over the moon excited that my family now has a storm shelter on the property as protection against tornados, but I’m even more excited to know God is my personal storm shelter for those storms of life.

If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior…if you don’t have confidence that He’s your storm shelter, please contact us at Iron Porch. Erin & I would love to talk to you about how to get that assurance in your life!


Rumor Management

Three days ago, a mass shooting happened in a town very close to where I live. 

Several children were killed.  Dozens were injured.  In a small Alabama town with a population of 3,000, not far from where my child goes to school.  In a town where I have friends living.  In a town where I’ve shopped in a cute little yarn shop. In a little town with a veteran-owned creamery that has amazing ice cream.  In the little town where some of my favorite Alabama hiking trails are located.

In a town that became the center of a rumor mill…overnight.

Rumors about who the shooter was…about how many shooters were involved.  Post the first photos and videos.  Who had been injured? How many? Did you know someone, who knew someone who had been murdered?  Which hospital was most frequently used? Rumors about why the press conferences weren’t happening…why was information being withheld or overshared?  

Isn’t it appalling and intriguing that we live in a society that encourages instant news…and all the better if you are the one with the news first.  It’s true of mass shootings, but it applies to everything.  Why do we want to be the first to share the news?  Did you hear about the new grocery store being built? So-and-so is sleeping with so-and-so.  The lady down the road caught her carport on fire.  Someone else got arrested.  Did you hear…

What would have happened if the disciples had been so quick to start gossiping and spreading the rumors? Imagine, if you will…the rumor-filled conversations that could have happened.

Did you hear what Judas had done?  He betrayed the Lord with a kiss! A kiss? Are you sure…that doesn’t seem right.  He was paid.  How much? Thirty silver coins…that’s it?!?!?!—that doesn’t seem like very much.  The Jewish Chief Priests paid him! Surely not.  Well, I heard that Pontius Pilate’s wife tried to get him to let Jesus go. Who did you hear that from?

But they didn’t have those conversations with one another or with others.  We see in the Gospels that they were more focused on their own journeys and interactions with Jesus.   An interesting observation here…if we focus on Jesus and our own business, we aren’t involved with rumors or gossiping. 

Scripture gives us plenty of examples:

David says to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David is seeking to harm you’?”-1 Samuel 24:9 (NASB)

 “You shall not give a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked person to be a malicious witness.” -Exodus 23:1 (NASB)

“An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.” -Proverbs 27:4 (NASB)

“Do not accept an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.” -1 Timothy 5:19 (NASB)

There are plenty more…Proverbs 20:19, Leviticus 19:16, Proverbs 18:7-8, Proverbs 26: 20-21, Proverbs 11:12-13, Psalm 41:6, Romans 1:29

Why is there so much focus on rumor control within the scriptures?  God knows that rumors are dangerous.  Humans are distracted by them, therefore, Christians should not listen or spread rumors in order to attempt to stay focused on the Lord.  We should not entertain rumors or gossip in any capacity.  To the best of our ability, we should allow rumors to stop at our ears.  We should attempt to not internalize them, and we should certainly not start them or repeat them.

Like the disciples refraining from gossiping about Judas, we should also stop ourselves from being involved in the sharing of information that does more harm than good.  Our conversations shouldn’t be guesswork about the neighbor, lies about our co-workers, fabrications about our classmates, or any generalized gossip and rumor. 

In the case of a mass shooting, we should remember to keep our conversations God-centered, truth-focused, and sensitive to the families and victims of the tragedy. 

While we are praying for each of us to watch our tongues this week, please join us on the Iron Porch in praying for the community of Dadeville, Alabama, and the people impacted by the events of Saturday night.


Violent Drivers

On a busy stretch of highway between Birmingham and Montgomery, I found myself in a traffic jam of epic proportions.  A trip that normally takes 1.5 hours, took me over four.  While waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic that was stopped more than it was rolling, I took note of a Dad pulling to the side so his child could get out and pee.

As traffic started to slowly move out, I crept slowly forward and suddenly heard the loudest crunch and horns blaring behind me.  I didn’t feel the thump of movement on my own vehicle, so I was confident I hadn’t been rear-ended. In my rearview mirror, I watched the truck directly behind me moving forward while a smaller vehicle had been zipping up the shoulder and had to stop because of the child using the side of the road as a restroom…and yet the smaller car tried to nose its way into traffic ahead of the truck.  Essentially striking the truck, which DESTROYED its bumper and the hood started to crumple.

That wasn’t the alarming part of this road rage story.

I then saw the driver of the small vehicle on the shoulder (the one who was very clearly in a hurry and frankly, in the wrong), exit his car and come running up to the truck’s passenger side window.  He launched himself into the window and started screaming…and from the rearview mirror, it looked like he was about to start hitting the teen driving the truck.  He reached for the gear shift or the keys. 

In all honestly, I thought I was going to watch him shoot the driver of the truck. As I watched in my rear-view mirror, I was dumbfounded by the scene unfolding directly behind me. I then glanced left and saw the Dad hustling to get his kid back into their car and out of the direct line of fire.

I prayed out loud for the Dad and young child. I prayed that the angered driver would calm down. I prayed that the teen driver of the truck wouldn’t be harmed. 

While I was praying, Proverbs 14:29 came to mind, “One who is slow to anger has great understanding, But one who is quick-tempered exalts foolishness.” (NASB).

The very angry driver was the one who had been in the wrong.  Compounding his negligent driving was the fact he was out of control with his anger.  In fact, he looked very scary and dangerous.  Foolish.

Our ability to control our anger is a reaction that is learned.  God gives us directions in the book of James regarding being slow to anger.  “You know this, my beloved brothers and sisters Now everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for a man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (NASB). 

I’m sure in the heat of the moment, the angered driver didn’t give two hoots about honoring God.  However, as a Christian, a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, and as an example of what it looks like to walk with the Lord…I want to honor God in all that I do.  Including how I would react in a car accident so that I’m not seen as the violent driver!

In the next week, I pray that we each have opportunities to exercise our own “slowness to anger” and that all of us are walking examples of Christ’s love.


Longing for Brighter Days

In the past few weeks, I’ve received some emotional prayer requests from two families that likely feel like the dark clouds have rolled over their homes.  Sometimes, it feels as though our prayer requests are filled with details that seem to crush us…crush our hearts, crush our spirits & crush our outlook on life.  It’s not always easy to see where God is working during our feeling of being crushed.  The psalmist wrote, “He….guides them by the skillfulness of his hands.” (Psalm 78:72)

The blackened clouds do come.  And they will continue to come.  They become a part of our life, but through God’s grace, we don’t have to be discouraged by the presence of the dark clouds.  Just as physical clouds protect us from the bright sun or provide us with much-needed rain, the spiritual clouds provided by God protect us from things only God knows and help us see the faithfulness of the Lord.  We see this in the example of the children of Israel being led into the Promised Land.  As they travel through the wilderness the Bible tells us, “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way.” (Exodus 13:21)

If you are feeling the despair and depression of clouds over your life, just know that God can turn those clouds into goodness. 

Sin may still hang over us, much like a cloud, but Christ has provided a brighter day with the forgiveness of those sins. 

Sickness and death may hang over our loved ones, but God provides a way to have eternal life.

Depression and mental health issues can hang over our households, but the Lord provides a glimpse at the heavenly happiness promised to each of us. 

The dark clouds of daily living can overtake us.  But the provision of our faithful and gracious God allows us to know that in our moments of darkness, there is hope that brighter days will be coming.  No matter the prayer request, God is already skillfully guiding the situation with His very own hands. 

We just have to have faith.  And patience.