Questions That Can’t Be Asked: A Prayer By Tammy Nicole Glover

Heavenly Father,

I thank You for Your mercy and patience with me. As I sit beside my sister’s hospital bed, watching her fight for her life, I have questions but I can’t ask them. I know that You are able, faithful and good. You are a miracle worker and a way maker but I still have questions that I can’t ask. I know Your Word. I know the elements of faith but in this situation I have questions that I can’t ask.

If You, My Almighty God, would indulge me and allow me to ask, I would of course ask why. My sister gets up at 4:30 a.m. everyday to spend time praising You, praying for others and studying Your Word. I’m ashamed to say but sometimes I get annoyed by how loud she gets when she’s praising You. If this can happen to her, what am I in for? I would ask when is your miracle going to kick in. I would ask, why is it that even though I know how to pray confidently in Your Word, in this situation, sitting beside this hospital bed, my words stumble out or don’t come out at all. I got serious questions, Lord, but I can’t ask them.

I’m supposed to write this blog to encourage others who have questions that they don’t dare ask. I feel like I’m failing in this assignment. Lord, Your people, Your sons and daughters, Your beloved ones have questions that we can’t ask. All we know is that we look to You, the Most High, the Lord Almighty, for strength, comfort and wisdom. We seek Your voice, waiting to hear, “peace, be still,” in our storms.

Thank you, Lord, for hearing and answering our prayers.

“I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.” Psalm 120:1 NIV

 

 

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Perspective By Tammy Nicole Glover

A couple of days ago, I was feeling sorry for myself and I started complaining about how unfair my life was on social media. I got a few likes and comments because who isn’t going through something, right? Knowing that I wasn’t alone in my misery felt so good until I saw some of the people commenting. I knew that some of them were dealing with things that make my issues look like a joke. I’m talking about truly unimaginable, life altering issues, yet, they still took time to encourage me. If they knew what I was complaining about, they could have gotten offended and let me have it, especially since I knew what they had been dealing with and probably hadn’t called to check in on them.

At that moment, I had to ask God for forgiveness because at the end of the day, I’m blessed. What I should have posted was: Thank You, God that even though I’m dealing with some things that I don’t understand and I think is unfair, You’re still with me. You are still merciful and patient. You still love me. You are greater than my problems, my drama and my temper tantrums. You are not a God of chaos or confusion but a God of peace. These light and momentary troubles will last for a while but Your love and Your faithfulness will last forever. I know that the plans You have for me are to prosper me and not to harm me.

Now, this would not have been a popular post but I wish I had the boldness to have posted it anyway. In the middle of trouble we can never stop praising God. It’s not the trouble or the problem that we’re thanking Him for, it’s the help, peace and wisdom that He provides. Know that the moment we turn over our problems over to God, the battle is won. We may not see it immediately but it’s done-yes and Amen. Just give Him the praise for it.

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3 NIV

When It Hurts to Walk in Love By Tammy Nicole Glover

“Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV

Love is a vital part of being a Christian. Walking in love is one of those things we’re taught a lot about in church. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We are also commanded to do everything in love.  We forgive because God forgives us. Why, because He loves us. We give because God gives. Why, because He loves us. We have compassion for others because God has compassion for us. Why, because He loves us. Love is the currency with which everything works in the Kingdom of God. Walking in love seems like such a simple thing yet it is the most difficult things to do when we’ve been hurt. Our spirit wants to bless them and embrace them with love but our flesh wants so badly to retaliate and make the other person feel as much pain, if not more, as they have caused us.  We are constantly in a battle between our spirit and our flesh. It’s a painful battle.

We may start out walking in love with ease but as the betrayals, insults or lies increase, the more difficult our walk becomes. We may even be forced to see the person that hurt us everyday. They may constantly talk about or undermine us and hurts so much that we may want to just give up, even on God. We may think, if we could just let them have it one good time all our problems would be solved. But we don’t because it would probably get us fired or arrested. Frustration builds up and it can even become physically painful. So what should we do when it hurts to walk in love? I have five tips to share with you.

  1. Pray immediately: Prayer isn’t just asking God for things, it’s having a conversation with Him. We may be tempted to talk to our friends and that’s not necessarily bad but sometimes we go to the friend that will fire us up to respond in a way that will get us into trouble. When we pray to God we can receive the help we need to forgive, wisdom to deal with the situation and peace.
  2. Study and meditate on the Word of God: Whatever is in our hearts flows out into our lives. If we haven’t read about the love of God, that love won’t come out. We learn how to act and think by learning what God says about it, which is found in His Word. Yes, it’s great to go to church and watch ministers on TV but we need to read the Word of God for ourselves. The Word of God is our weapon against the attacks of the enemy. If we don’t study it, we have no real weapons in our arsenal.
  3. Don’t dwell on the past: Have you ever forgiven someone but find yourself later thinking about how they hurt you? You find yourself telling them off in a conversation that has only taken place in your imagination. Just me? Well, if that does happen to you, cut those thoughts off with something positive. Remind yourself that you have forgiven them and pray that they be blessed with the knowledge of God’s love for them. This requires us to pay attention to our thoughts.
  4. Surrender: This really goes along with prayer. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV says, “cast all your care on Him because He cares for you.” God doesn’t want you to carry the burden of anger and bitterness. Sometimes the only way a situation can be turned around is by God. It takes longer for Him to resolve an issue when we keep jumping in to fix it ourselves. We have to acknowledge that we don’t know what we’re doing and let Him take over.
  5. Forgive as soon as possible: In Ephesians 4:25 NIV it says, “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” The longer we hold on to our anger, the more it grows. Eventually, it will consume us mentally and physically until it takes us out completely.

You’re probably thinking, this is a lot of work. Of course it is, nothing worth having is easy. Our peace is a precious commodity and worth more than anything on earth, so guard it well. Remember God loves you. He hears the cry of His people and He is willing and able to move on our behalf. Forgiveness is hard but God would not have commanded it if He had not placed inside of us the ability to do so. He is our strength when we are weak and He is inside of us.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 NIV

Nothing Wasted By Tammy Nicole Glover

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

When was the last time something happened to you and you thought, what a waste of time? Did you invest your time and heart in a relationship that went sour? Maybe you went to school for one thing and then years later realized that you should really be doing something all together different. Could it even be a mistake that you made and now you’re suffering the consequences of it?

The good news is that God’s love, mercy and grace covers all of that. Nothing is ever wasted when God gets involved. God uses every disappointment, heartbreak and loss for our good. I know this can be hard to believe when we’re in the midst of a storm. God knows the end from the beginning, so nothing ever surprises Him. He’s not shocked when we make mistakes or when someone hurts us. He has plans in place for turning everything bad in our lives into something good. Isaiah 61:3 (NIV) says that God will, “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy, instead of mourning and a garment of praise.

That setback is setting you up for a better opportunity. The heartbreak you experienced will help you comfort someone else who experiences the same loss. The skills learned for one job will eventually help you in the job you’re supposed to be in.

God can do exceedingly more than anything we can think or imagine, even if it means using the wasted things in our lives. It’s not our job to figure out how He will work it out. Our job is to trust and believe that He will. He is God Almighty, nothing is too hard for Him.

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.” Psalm 30:11-12 NIV

God Is Good…Yes, All the Time By Tammy Nicole Glover

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV

Someone recently told me, quite angrily, that God may be holy but definitely not good all the time. All my efforts to explain why God is good all the time came across as condescending towards them. They thought I was dismissing their pain. I was so taken aback by their reaction that it left me questioning my purpose as a writer. The whole reason why I write is to encourage the heartbroken and those who have lost hope. I felt like I had just failed an important test. Was this really what I was called to do?

As much as I tried to shake it off and not take it personally, I just couldn’t. Writer’s block set in. It was like I had subconsciously refused to allow myself to write. The longer I went without writing the more fear, anxiety and doubt took over. Where did I miss it?

After a lot of prayer and sleepless nights, I realized that my answer to the person didn’t come from a place of sincerity or love. I was angry that someone was questioning the goodness of my God. I also felt like my character as a compassionate human being was being attacked. My answer, although polite and “churchy,” was not the answer that person needed. In a sense, I was dismissing their pain. I didn’t realize that they were speaking from a place of intense pain and in their eyes the only person that was big enough for causing that pain was God. I’m sure I came across as someone who is clueless to the pain of others with my positive and upbeat response of, “God loves you and I’m praying for you.”

What was really needed was an honest answer that would probably mean I would have to allow myself to be vulnerable and share a testimony. I don’t share a lot of my personal struggles, especially on social media. I usually try to keep a smile on my face and post words of encouragement, which is probably why people assume that I never have any problems. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I say that God is good all the time, it is because I have been through something. I’m not just saying a catchy, church phrase. When I say God is good, I mean He was good when I was emotionally and physically abused. He was good when my grief was so overwhelming it felt like I couldn’t breathe. He was good when I didn’t think I would see another day and wasn’t even sure if I wanted to. He was good when I was paralyzed with fear, He was good when I was lied on, lied too and betrayed. He was good during every family drama and every moment of loneliness. In sickness or health, He is good. In lack or in plenty, He is good.

Why?

Because no matter what the situation, He never left my side. He never lied to me and promised that I would never experience hardships during my time on this earth. Life doesn’t become perfect when you accept Jesus as your Savior. In fact, He promised that I would definitely face many hardships of various kinds but He promised to never leave me. He loves me so much that He sent His One and only Son to endure unspeakable torture and death just so that I could receive His mercy and to have a relationship with Him on earth and in heaven. He has never been the cause of my pain but He has always been my solution. No matter how angry I get because I have to endure pain or I want to turn my back on Him because He isn’t answering as quickly as I want Him to, He is always faithful. He is my Healer and Restorer. No matter how hopeless my situation looks, He always gives me the victory.

The fact that no one can tell that I’ve been through the fire is because He was by my side, shielding me from the flames. I came out healed and stronger. I don’t know what you’ve been through but I know what I’ve been through. I know that God is not indifferent towards my pain. He is merciful. He is the one that created me and He doesn’t owe me anything. I’m the one that owes Him for all of the blessings He’s given me. I also know that if He did it for me, He can do it for you, if you’re willing to let Him. It may not be instantaneous and it probably won’t happen when or how you think it should but it will happen.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV

Catching My Breath | Resilience In the Storm By Tammy Nicole Glover

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 NIV

This month has been filled with one betrayal and attack after another. At first, I did a great job of keeping my head up and staying in praise. I was determined to stay positive but as the blows came harder and faster, it became more difficult to catch my breath. I started to become frustrated and angry. Of course, I wanted to be angry at God. Why was this happening when I’ve been doing my best to be a light in a dark world?

Darkness was starting to get the better of me. I started to believe that I was completely unqualified to do what God called me to do, which was to encourage. I felt like I was a disappointment to God. It hurts when you know you’ve disappointed a parent but it’s devastating to feel as if you have disappointed your Heavenly Father. It was as if I could feel Him looking down from His throne, shaking His head and thinking, this is who I called to fight in my army, pitiful.

Depression started to kick in and I knew that if I allowed it to continue, it would be an extremely difficult road for me to come back from. With tears in my eyes, I called out to God and begged for strength. Quitting is not an option. I would like to say that God gently patted my head and told me to be of good cheer because He was taking away all my problems. Nope. Instead, He firmly told me to remember His Word. All things work for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). If He is for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31). I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). He has chosen me and not rejected me. He will strengthen me and help me. He will uphold me with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41: 9-10). He has commanded me to be strong and courageous. I have been commanded to not be afraid or discouraged because He will be with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9).

I sat up in my bed, still sore from my wounds and blurry-eyed from my tears and said, “I will not give up! I will never stop praising the Lord! No matter how many people try to tell me God is not good, I will continue to proclaim His goodness, power and His love!”

Fully armed with God’s Word, power and army of angels, I’m getting back in the ring. I may look like a hot mess, with my black eye, missing teeth and bloody, bruised body but I promise at the end of this fight, I will be completely healed, fully restored and God will get all the glory.

Round Two, Let’s Go!

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3 NIV

 

 

Be Still By Tammy Nicole Glover

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NIV

Being still seems like it should be such an easy thing to do but have you ever had to be perfectly still for any amount of time and all of a sudden you get an itch? You try to ignore it but the more you try, the stronger the itch gets. Just when you think you can’t take it anymore you’re finally free to move.  Sometimes, it’s like that when God tells us to be still. All of a sudden we get an itch or an urge to do something. The itch could be caused by rumors of possible layoffs, a bad prognosis from the doctor or a troubled relationship. The fear, anxiety and sheer unpleasantness of the situation feels so unbearable we feel like we have to take matters into our own hands and do something but we hear God telling us to be still and know that He is God.

Being still is definitely not for the faint of heart. It requires completely putting your trust in someone we’ve never seen. His power is so miraculous and mysterious that it’s sometimes hard to wrap our heads around the fact that He is, He can and He will. How can we be sure that a power so great truly cares for us? We know because He sacrificed His only Son for us. He not just cares for us, He loves us completely. We are His children and He takes pleasure in taking care of us. If we can just be still in His love we can see mountains move, the dead rise and chains of despair broken.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37: 7 NIV