Our Powerful and Faithful God Breathes Hope Through His Creation

Opening our ears to the sweet symphony of nature, our eyes to its calming palette of color, and our understanding to our Creator’s faithful care cannot but give us hope in times of uncertainty. Its steady rhythm reminds us that some aspects of our lives are not affected by the chaos and destruction of the coronavirus.

God’s Almighty power created the heavens and the earth, and it is so evident He is still in control. He faithfully brings the change of seasons, no matter what is happening in this world.

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Genesis 8:22

Every moment He faithfully watches over and cares for His creatures. Every morning the birds start an early chorus of praise to God. Unfettered by the cares of this world, it’s like their focus is fixed on their Creator alone.

“Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away
in barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more
valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying
add a single hour to your life?”
Matthew 6:26-27

No, we can’t add a single hour to our lives or others’ lives by worrying, but I see and hear worry everywhere these days. In my own heart. In the eyes and voices of so many. Behind the tough exteriors of those who try so hard to be strong. In the text of our young grandson when he heard I was sick again and was being tested for Covid, how he expressed his worries of me as high risk and how they were praying. When he found out the test was negative, his words soothed my soul, “God has a plan for you and it doesn’t stop now.”

Yes, God has a plan for us. Even in the midst of uncertainty, sickness, and loss. We may rebel and think our plan would be better, but it’s not. There is going to be suffering and dying, cold and hunger, and loss of all kinds in this world. Do we always understand it? No. Can we make sense out of it? No. Can we run our lives better? No. From our side things look like a mess, like the threads on the underside of a weaving, but what God sees is the total picture of His plan, beautiful and glorious beyond compare. And we are included in that plan and never forgotten. We are the ones He calls much more valuable than the birds of the air He faithfully cares for.

“I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

When you allow your senses to soak in God’s creation, whether outdoors or from your window or doorway ( or even from photos), does it breathe hope into your soul? What does it say to you about God’s faithful character?

All of the bird photos were taken through my tinted office windows.

My view from my office window. A house finch pair built a nest! The little ones have now hatched and are being fed.
Here is Papa!
“Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:12

The sun feels much warmer than the snow!
On the same day, this robin was also trying to keep warm.
This same robin devours seeds like he’s starving. He throws out the safflower seeds and seeks for the sunflower chips. Maybe when it’s warmer, he’ll check out the worms and bugs?
A chipping sparrow has been visiting.
The goldfinches left for a while after the big snow we had on Easter, but now they’re back. Hooray!

Maker of the Stars
by Demetrios Leiloglou

“I sat and watched the evening sky as it turned shades of red
One by one the stars came out like diamonds in a sea of black
And as I started to count them all I realized they had no end
That’s the way it must be with God’s love… the Maker of the Stars…”

Giving Our Lives Into the Potter’s Hands

“So I went down to the potter’s house,
and there he was, working away at the wheel.

But the jar that he was making from the clay
became flawed in the potter’s hand,

so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.
The word of the LORD came to me: ‘House of Israel,
can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?’ —
this is the LORD’s declaration.
‘Just like clay in the potter’s hand,

so are you in My hand, house of Israel.'”
Jeremiah 18:3-6

“A good thing is never made in a hurry,” said Great Woman in Lois Lenski’s Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison as she instructed impatient Corn Tassel how a slower, more loving process leads to a more beautiful, valuable, and sturdy pot.

I identify with Corn Tassel’s impatience of the process. I can be a petulant child when it comes to God’s forming me and molding me to be more like Him. I long and pray to be made more like Jesus, but I want it to be immediate. I don’t like the life-long, painful process.

Certainly He can do it in a moment, but His slower, more loving process is better as He gradually increases Himself in us and decreases our self-centeredness.

We can be so rigid with our way and our plans for our lives. As our Potter works to make us pliable enough to shape to His will, we rebel and cry out, “No! No! No! Not that way. That curve needs to be straightened. That section doesn’t need to be shaved off. I will yet burst from the pain!”

“You have turned things around,
as if the potter were the same as the clay.
How can what is made say about its maker,
“He didn’t make me”?
How can what is formed
say about the one who formed it,
‘He doesn’t understand what he’s doing’?”
Isaiah 29:16

I continually kick against the Potter’s way and don’t trust that I’m in the best hands I can be in. He knows perfectly what He is doing and He knows best how to shape me into a vessel that will hold and pour out His glory. Oh, how glad I am that He is so infinitely patient with me!

There are so many processes in life that never benefit us by trying to hurry them along. We want immediate fixes and visual evidences of a positive result. We want God to instantly answer our prayers and grant us our desires, but we don’t realize that His refusal or waiting does us more good than immediate affirmation. Many of the things we ask for, either for ourselves or others, aren’t even good for us or them.

It’s so hard not to fight against the process God uses to mold us or our loved ones, isn’t it? To trust in His all-knowing, skillful hands? To trust His process and timing to make us more beautiful, valuable, and usable vessels of His glory?

“Thank You, O Precious Potter, for counting us worth creating and molding, for caring for us so lovingly and freely with Your full attention on each and every one of us. Make us willing in Your hands and help us to trust You with the process of bringing us closer to You. Sometimes we can hurt so much, but help us to trust that any pain allowed in our lives serves to mold us to be more like You. To love, nurture, and understand others more like You do. So many are wounded and weary, Lord, but all power belongs to You. Remember each wounded spirit. Touch us with Your grace. Heal the deep layers of pain in each of us. Fill us with Your Spirit so that all will see that You are living in us! Make us pliable in Your All-knowing, Almighty hands and form us into vessels of Your grace and glory. Thank You, Jesus, for sacrificing Your life for us! Thank You for Your all-sufficient grace and complete forgiveness and unconditional love!”

“To me, the form and shape of my life look irreparable.
To the Potter?
He sees an opportunity to show off His best work.
All of it is redeemable.
The impossible and imperfect, the broken and beat up.
Nothing is wasted in His expert hands
as He remakes us into something beautiful.”

Michele Cushatt (I Am Book)

“The Potter’s Hand”
by Hillsong

You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide Review


Do you want to embrace who you really are? To become all God created you to be? To better share Him in your own amazing way wherever He places you?

Holley LifeGrowth GuideIn the You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide, Holley Gerth leads us through an interactive journey of discovery of who we are and into a deeper relationship with the God Who has created each of us to be an amazing masterpiece for a special purpose in life. The LifeGrowth DVD is meant to be used along with it. With each session, Holley sits with her cup of coffee and offers additional hugs of encouragement. Both are intended to be companions of the book she previously published – You’re Already Amazing. These resources can be used whichever way works best for you: a group study, an online study, one-on-one, or an individual study.

Sometimes I still fear that thinking of ourselves as “amazing” is prideful. According to the church we grew up in, it was prideful to say anything good about ourselves. And for sure we were not supposed to love ourselves. I still struggle with this, and it’s hard for me to grasp the thought that it hurts God when we condemn ourselves just as much as when we condemn others. I’m learning, but I’m still a work-in-progress. Holley’s books have helped me a lot in this area. I can no longer ignore those two words at the end of this verse – “as yourself.”

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:37-39

Holley believes that “seeing who God made us leads to praise, not pride.” Her purpose in this book is to give God praise and to encourage us to go out and love as only each of us can, equipped with the strengths and skills God has uniquely gifted us with.

“For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things
He planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 2:10 NLT

you're already amazingThere are six sessions:

1. Who God Created Us to Be
2. What’s True No Matter How We Feel
3. Our Amazing Journey with Jesus
4. God’s Plan for Our Relationships
5. God’s Purpose for Our Lives
6. How We Can Thrive for a Lifetime

Each session is filled with heart-freeing truths along with questions and activities that help us to better understand who God really made us to be and to discover our LIFE (Love Is Faith Expressed) statement.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision
nor uncircumcision has any value. 
The only thing that counts is
faith expressing itself through love.”
Galatians 5:6

With the help of lists of specific strengths and skills, the choosing of which ones fit me, and the guiding prompt Holley gives, I have discovered my LIFE statement: “I am created to express my faith through love, especially by bringing encouragement and hope in Jesus to hurting hearts through words.”

Probably my greatest “aha” moment of this book is that I’m exactly where God wants me to be. I have been beating myself up far too much that I’m “not doing enough,” but I need to just be me, the me God created. I need to quit putting so much pressure on myself and to let go of fears and insecurities that are holding me back.

As Holley writes – “Insecurity or fear of rejection keeps us alone.” And when this happens “we let the world miss out on who we are, what we have to give, and the beauty God has placed within us.”

Friends, we all have something to give because of the beauty God places within us. I encourage you to prayerfully read and personally interact with the truths in this book. Try to discover your own LIFE statement, and let it guide you and free you to be who you really are.

Perhaps your shoulders will droop and your eyes will look blankly at the lists of strengths and skills and think – I don’t have any. I remember thinking that the first time I read Holley’s previously published book You’re Already Amazing. That’s what happens when we’re all down on ourselves. I hope you will not give up on yourself as I often have. I believe as surely as I am writing this that everyone who reads this does have God-given strengths and skills. Sometimes we may have to dig deep past the garbage of our insecurities and toss out lots of lies to find them, but they are there.

Once we’re more clear about who God created us to be, will it always be easy? No way. Satan doesn’t want anyone to use their God-given gifts for God’s glory, so he will sometimes sock us right in the gut of our vulnerabilities. There will be days where we feel so weary that we don’t think we can take the next step. Days we will fall down. Days we will feel like failures. But let’s remember that in our weakness we are strong in the grace of Jesus. With His power in our hearts, we will keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And remember that no matter what, God loves you just as you are.

“God loves you for who you are.

You don’t have to earn His love.”
~ Holley Gerth



GIVEAWAY – Visit Lori Schumaker for a chance to win one copy of Holley Gerth’s “You’re Already Amazing” Book and Study Guide.


Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

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