Well Done By Tammy Nicole Glover

Someone recently shared a beautiful story about what they witnessed at a young man’s funeral. I was given permission to share this story in the hopes that it would encourage others. Losing a loved one can be one of the most emotionally painful things we can experience. It’s especially painful when it’s someone who is young. However, even in the midst of our pain and sadness, God can turn our mourning into joy because He will use what the devil means for evil and turn it around for our good. This is exactly what happened at this funeral.

It was a young man, twenty-nine years old and he was a believer. He was also a musician and he used his gift to spread the love of God. He tragically passed away in an accident and left behind a young daughter but he also left behind a ministry that touched so many lives that he probably never realized. Just like everyone else, he had setbacks and fell down but he always got back up. He never stopped pressing toward the goal which God called him to. It wasn’t his failures that were remembered but how he got back up and allowed God to work in his life. As the pastor spoke  about how this young man lived his life, God moved and spoke to the hearts of the people in attendance. Although, they were celebrating the life of this young man, God got the glory. At the end, the pastor asked if there was anyone who wanted to give their lives to Jesus Christ and about forty people answered the call. People’s hands raised up as if reaching towards heaven for a Loving and Almighty God that is able to deliver, heal and comfort. A God who is willing to accept them where they are and use them to accomplish great things in this world.

Our lives minister to others whether we realize it or not. this story made me ask the question, what is my life ministering. If I were to leave this world today, would my life inspire anyone to give their life to Christ? Have I truly allowed people to see Christ work through me? The purpose of every believer is to bring as many people to Christ and the main way we do that is the way we live our lives. We should all strive to hear God say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

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I Missed You By Tammy Glover

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NIV

I missed you, Lord. I didn’t know if you were still listening to me anymore. I felt so alone. I prayed. I begged. I pleaded. I fasted and yet, my situation never got better, it only got worse. There were times when I wasn’t sure if I was truly thankful to have woken up in the morning. Your silence was as painful as what I was going through. I thought, how could you abandon me during one of the worst times of my life.

Finally, the thing I feared and prayed to avoid happened. “Where are you,” I cried out. “Did I offend you in some way that you would allow this to happen to me? Did I pray right? Did I fast enough?” My grief was so bad that I just couldn’t think straight anymore–maybe that’s why I can’t hear you.

Eventually, I heard a whisper. You were still with me. I couldn’t see or feel you then but now I know. I was never alone. When I didn’t think I had the strength to hold on another day but somehow I made it through, I know that was you. When I cried alone at night, it was you who heard me. It was you who would urge someone, who didn’t even know what I was going through, to give me a word of encouragement or a hug.

Even though you didn’t answer my prayers the way I wanted them answered, you still heard and answered. The answers were according to your will, which is perfect.

We may not always know the why behind the what but we can be sure that it is always in your hands, Lord. There is no darkness that your light can’t penetrate, no enemy that you can’t defeat, no sickness that you can’t heal, no broken heart that you can’t comfort. We just need to trust you. To be perfectly honest, the hardest thing to do when you’re going through something is to give up the illusion that you’re in control. How great you are, Lord, that even in the midst of our troubles, you still bless us and that your arms are always open and patiently waiting for us. It’s good to be back, Lord.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV

LIFE GETTING IN THE WAY By Tammy Glover

“You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted, you encourage them and you listen to their cry.” Psalm 10:17 NIV

This week, I had planned on writing something entirely different. I had the topic, the scriptures and the words that would soothe the soul and bring encouragement. It was going to be eloquent and profound. I sat at the computer to write but then life happened…

Everything I wanted to say felt fake and contrite. I struggled all week but the right words refused to come out. The more life happened, the more the words eluded me.

So, it’s now Wednesday and I’m still at a loss for words. I don’t know if I want to curse or to cry or whether I should give up or continue to fight. I’m sitting here angry, broken-hearted and disappointed with life. What can I say to encourage you? What can I say to encourage myself?

I can say that God is still good. Even though my heart is broken, He is still healing. Even though I’m unsure about my life, He is still guiding me. Even when I’m at my worst, He is still at His best. Even though I feel as if I’m alone in my struggles, He is still holding me in His hands.

Keep looking up my sisters and brothers in Christ. God still loves us and He hasn’t abandoned us. The sun will shine again, just keep praising Him.

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:11-12 NIV

DURING A STORM By Tammy Glover

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” Psalms 107: 28-29, NIV

It’s easy to be positive, strong and bold when everything is going well. It’s easy to stand firm and to be of good courage when the sun is shining on you, but what about when the storms come? Do you start to worry when the skies darken and the rain starts to fall? Do you start to look for a place to hide when the thunder and lightning strikes? Do you still give thanks and rejoice in the Lord when the hail starts to pelt you upside your head? Does doubt creep in as the waters rise around you?

A life free of pitfalls was never promised to us while we are on this earth. There will be storms and some of them will hit harder than others. The storms will feel like they last for far too long and you will wonder if they will ever end.

The good news is that they will not last forever and God has promised to be with us every step of the way. He will see us through every storm if we trust in Him. Don’t try to ride this storm out alone. When lightning strikes seek the shelter of God’s arms. When the flood comes, stand on the rock of God’s Word. When the hail falls, put on the armor of God. His favor will cover you as a shield. He hears your prayers and He is faithful. Remember, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1, NIV.

Stay encouraged, friends.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6, NIV

THROUGH A STRANGER’S EYES by Tammy Glover

“Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble.” Psalm 41:1, NIV

What if you were granted the ability to see through another person’s eyes? What do you think you would see? Do you think that you would see that the well-to-do couple down the street is completely happy or would you see that they are stressed out because they are living above their means? Do you think you would see the little boy that has been causing trouble on the block is being told by his parents that they wish he was never born and that he will never amount to anything?

Do you think that you would see your boss gleefully finding ways to make your life difficult or instead would you see that his boss is threatening to fire him if he does not perform? Do you think that you would see that the coworker who couldn’t be bothered to say good morning to you, weeping in her car because she found out that the lump in her breast is cancer? Do you think you would see that the coworker in everyone’s business is so lonely that she is contemplating suicide?

Maybe you could see the lady that cut you off on the way home was running away from an abusive husband? Could you see that the cashier that was rude to you just buried her eleven year old son and she couldn’t afford to take time off work to properly grieve? Could you see your friend who refuses to return your calls was raped a week ago and she’s ashamed to tell you?

If you could see these things, would that change the way you felt about them? Would you still be angry and judgmental or would you pray for them? Would this be the only way you could feel compassion for them? Well, we don’t have the power to see everything that is going on in someone’s life, nor can we see what people are thinking. We all have emotional scars that we’ve caused each other and ourselves. God still expects us to have compassion for each other just as He has compassion for us. We all need to be shown love, even if we don’t show it.

As difficult as it is, before you become angry or start to complain about someone, try to take a step back and consider that maybe something deeper that you can’t see is going on with that person. Show compassion. Pray for those who hurt you because you never know what that person maybe going through.

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless; like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36, NIV

SEE THE RAINBOW By Tammy Glover

“Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:15-16 NIV

Are you in the middle of a flood? Is the rain falling so hard and fast that the water is rising all around you? Does it feel like the rain will never stop? Sometimes, life can feel like this. Family, work and bills can turn into wave after wave of problems that knock you up against jagged rocks. You wonder if the next hit will finally break you.

You think that if you could just grab a hold of a branch, step foot on a patch of land or if you could just see a sliver of sunlight through the clouds, you’ll be ok. You look around and see miles and miles of water and it becomes harder and harder to find joy. You start drifting aimlessly in a sea of negative thoughts. Thoughts like, you’re not going to make it, this is too much for you, even if you do survive this, you’ll never be able to handle the damage left behind.

I imagine this might have been how Noah felt at times during the flood of his day. It must have been overwhelming and extremely stressful being cooped up in that boat with animals. I’m sure his family may have gotten on each others nerves too. He may have even wondered if God had forgotten him. Even through the discomfort and stress, Noah still trusted in God. He knew that God was a faithful God. He wouldn’t have told him exactly how to prepare for this disaster if He wasn’t planning on seeing Him through it. The Lord kept Noah and his family safe when the world around them was being destroyed. After the rain, the sun shined again and the Lord gave Noah a sign, a rainbow, to remind him that, “never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” Genesis 9:15

When the floods of life hit and it feels like all will be destroyed, trust in God and see the rainbow. Problems will come but God will not let it destroy you and He will never leave you alone. You are always safe in His presence and He always has a plan to see you through whatever life throws at you.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isaiah 60:1-3 NIV

I KNOW YOU… By Tammy Glover

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 NIV

“Excuse me, don’t I know you,” I ask staring into a pair of eyes full of tears. I take a step closer, “you were there when my heart was broken. When I was rejected. When I was at my lowest. You said that fighting was hopeless. You said that I wouldn’t make it. You said that my situation would never change. I heard your voice in the middle of the night begging me to give up because it was just too much.

“I almost believed you. Your voice was so familiar and soothing. It felt like you were trying to spare me further pain, but before I gave up, I had to face you one more time. I had to look into those eyes so that I could know for sure what I was dealing with. I can see that you’re scared and frustrated. Life has beaten you down. You’re tired of crying yourself to sleep. I understand, but it’s time for you to shut up and listen to what God has to say. It’s time for you to be still and stop trying to fight this battle alone. It’s time for you to let go of your pride.

“I know it’s scary and it hurts. I know it feels like this struggle will never end. I know it’s lonely. Your Heavenly Father is with you. He loves you dearly. He loved you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. He created you in His image. He knows exactly how many hairs are on top of your head. He knows how many tears you’ve shed. He knows all your weaknesses, all your secrets and all your dreams and yet He still loves you and wants you to succeed. He has been trying to get your attention. He wants you to open your eyes and see the blessings He has in store for you. He wants you to fully receive His gifts. He has plans for you that are so amazing you can’t even begin to imagine. You have to allow Him to mold you and guide you. You have to place all your worries and fears in His hands. You have to let Him heal your emotional and spiritual wounds.

“Yes, I definitely know you. I’m looking at my own reflection in the mirror. I’m going to keep on encouraging you. I’m going to keep on being patient with you. I’m going to keep on loving you. I will never give up on you and neither will God.”

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18 NIV