Archives for posts with tag: trials

Am I ever glad this is a new month, a new week, and a new day. The past few weeks have been frustrating to say the least. You know how that is at times, right?

My Internet router went kaput a month or so ago…after I had gotten a totally new one in January. A visit with an online tech got it going again. Then three weeks later off it went, and this time the tech couldn’t get it running, so they ordered a personal visit from a repair person…in another week. Argh!

While messing with the router’s settings, something happened to the computer which totally messed up everything so that my writing documents were not showing up, and even worse, the word processing software was not showing up either! Yikes.

On top of that, the printer wouldn’t work, and still is not. Joys!

Then last Thursday evening our water heater had a pipe that broke (not found until Friday morning) and a few inches of water had sprayed into the basement. Luckily our 115-year-old basement floor tilts toward the drain, so most of the water was already running out; and it is not a finished basement, so no damage there. Just no hot water. We got a plumber to come out late afternoon on Friday and fix the broken pipe and fitting; however, he said we needed a new water heater since the bottom of this one had gotten wet and would not light and heat safely (this one was only 3 years old).

working water heater

Then Saturday morning (remember the record-setting cold air that swooped down last weekend?) we found out the furnace had apparently had some water spray onto it and it would not work. (House temp was 55.) We toughed it out–with the help of our gas fireplace and its blower and lots of blankets and a few floor heaters in the basement keeping the pipes from freezing–until we called a furnace repair company to come out. They got here on Tuesday, assessed the actual damage and said a new furnace was needed (this one was 15 years old).

On Wednesday, a new furnace was installed.

Thursday, got us a new water heater. And a new router.

So…..despite my husband’s right arm being in a sling from shoulder surgery three weeks ago, we are doing okay. But am I ever glad we have had electricity and gas throughout all this. Counting blessings despite the adversity of modern life conveniences.

But let me tell you, in the midst of all that turmoil, my attitude took a nose dive. Especially my inner desire to continue writing. I was at the point where I threw my hands up and said, “Okay. I’m just not going to write anymore. And computers are too much of a hassle. I’ll do email and Facebook on my phone and that’s it.”

And frankly, if it weren’t for my husband that may have happened. But I knew he really wanted a Wi-Fi network for his computer. So I trudged along waiting for the repair tech to get here on Thursday.

Sometimes life just gets overwhelming, doesn’t it?

Sometimes no matter what you do, things fall apart.

Sometimes you want to crawl back into that couch-cushion pillow fort with your coloring books.

But day-by-day, hour-by-hour, my “world” got straightened out. And I praised God that we had the financial ability to do what we did. We lifted prayers for all those who did not and for those who have problems so much greater than ours. We had “first-world” problems. Hot water, heat, and computer problems.

As the season of Lent is upon us, you may want to consider what you can do without in this First World. Some of my friends are giving up Facebook until after Easter. Some are going without sweets of any kind.

I wasn’t raised in a church that urged a “denial” of anything leading up to Easter, so it is really a foreign concept to me. But what I have focused on is what I need to ADD to my spiritual life.

I need to add a truly thankful heart for every single thing I have. And a big, extra-thankful heart for me is that my computer documents are all back again! Whew!  But I’m not thankful for just family and friends and “things;” but forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Without God being perfectly Merciful, full of Grace and showering His creation with Forgiveness, I would have no hope.

No hope.



“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!”

by Cindy Best

You know, I can’t count how many times I was told as a child about the three young men thrown into the fiery furnace.  Those three young teenagers were Hebrew kids, born and raised on Law of Moses.  In other words, they knew right from wrong.

When they were ordered by their captors (some really bad guys) to bow down to what was an idol to them, not the true living God, they had the guts to refuse, even though they knew the consequence of their action…to be thrown alive into a burning hot furnace.

The flames in that furnace were so hot the men who threw them into the fiery pit were burned.  If you’d like to review all this, you can read the account in the third chapter of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament.

As a child, I focused on the fact the three would not bow to someone or something who was not their known and revered God–the One and Only Living God—and the miraculous way they survived that horrible fire.  I knew from Scripture that I should trust God in the face of any test, no matter how severe.  Especially anything that might take the place of my God and Savior in my life.

As an adult, I was studying this passage and noted another way this story could be applied to my life.  The Word says the three men were bound with rope of some kind…leather or twine…when they were thrown into the flames.  When King Nebuchadnezzar later looked at the results of what had been done, he saw the three loosened from their bonds and walking in the midst of the fire!  (And you will find as you read the account, there was a fourth man with them, too…an angel of God protecting them.)

When the men were brought out of the furnace, it is noted the fire had not touched their bodies.  They had no singed hair, scorched garments, nor even the smell of smoke wafted after them.  The ONLY thing that had burned had been what had bound them.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t count the times I’ve cried out to God to take me out of whatever fiery trial I’m in.  Immediately, if not sooner, please!  I don’t like the heat.  All the while, though, He is using the flames to burn away those things in my life that are of this world and have ultimately bound me.  Spiritually speaking.  Things like pride, selfishness, fear, independence, doubt or worry.

Now, when I realize this world has wrapped itself around me and tentacles are clawing at me, dragging me away into a fire of despair, I cry out to God to put me back into His purging fire so that I may come out and walk freely in His ways.  It’s better to endure some heat in the fire of life and be free to walk with God than to be surrounded with the bonds of the cares of this world and miss sweet fellowship with the Lord!

The author of the book of Hebrews tells us that we are to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us” (Heb. 12:1).  If you’ve done any exercise where you add weights to your ankles or wrists, you know exactly what this verse means. We’re told to throw off the things of this world that keep us from running the race of righteousness.  Running that race in God’s power, with His help, will ultimately bring glory to Him.

Ask God to burn the things that bind you and slow your running.

by Cindy Best

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