Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The other day after I wrote the post about God moving mountains, I hadn't even closed my laptop when two new mountains appeared.

Actually, they weren't really new. They've been around for awhile. I just believe God allowed them to sink into the sea until the time was right. Until the time was right for us ( that would be me and Him) to deal with them. And although I know He will be faithful, I feel a sense of dread. The dread of another battle.

That dread makes me feel a little guilty. I doubt the Israelites jumped up and down for joy when God told them they were going into battle with Him. Even though He told them they would be victorious, I imagine they felt anxiety and fear. Still I wonder. How can I say I trust Him and feel this dread at the same time? I asked God that last night. And I believe I heard Him tell me two things.

One, My burden is light. So, obviously, this is a burden I haven't given to Him yet. I'm in the "thinking about handing it over to Him stage." I have a vision of a two year old little boy standing with something dangerous in his hand. His mom stands in front of him, telling him to hand it over. And though he knows he'll eventually have to give it up, for a few more moments, he holds onto it a little tighter and tighter. That's me. From the first moment these two mountains appeared, God has been saying, give them to me. Place them in My hands. And I've just been standing here, holding on tighter and tighter. Squeezing all the "what ifs" out of them. Trying to look at these mountains from every angle. Describing them, talking about them, dreading them. Give them to me, Cheri. My burden is light.

The second thing I believe I am hearing is, You haven't seen Me face to face. I have always had such a tendency to beat myself up. To expect perfection. I have no idea why. It's kind of like an elephant expecting to wake up weighing fifty pounds. I don't have a lot of experience in the perfection category. But, God says to trust, so I better trust Him. Did you hear that better? I better trust Him, if I know what's good for me. But that's not God. That's me. That's a lie I have believed about God. God is merciful. He knows my weaknesses. He knows my fears. God isn't standing there with His hand held out saying, you better give it to Me now or you'll be sorry. He isn't like us.

I read a quote from Brennan Manning that says, "God expects less of us than we expect from ourselves." My first thought when I read that was, "HALLELUJAH!" and I hope it's true. As I get to know Him more, I believe it's true. He knows me. Everything about me. All the experiences of my life. All the hurts and disappointments. God knows this isn't the life He wanted for me. That I wasn't made for this world. He wanted me to live in a garden with Him. He never wanted me to have to deal with the problems and consequences of sin. And even though He tells me that I am more than a conquerer, He knows that until I see Him face to face I'm going to struggle. Sometimes more than others. God knows that what I want to do, I don't always do. And, He knows the things I don't want to do, are the things I do so many times. That includes this matter of trusting Him.

But He's patient with me. Longsuffering is another word for patience. When I think of how He waits for me, I think the word should frequently be pronounced loooooooooooooooongsuffering! He waits for me while showing me His grace and His faithfulness.

He is like the mother of the two year old. He waits with His hand held out for me to put these mountains into. He wants it to be my choice. He waits for me to trust Him enough to open my fingers and let go. For my faith to bring obedience. It pleases Him, when He says, let go and I let go.

But I've also known Him to be like the mother of the two year old that will not let go. When told to put it in the mother's hand, the child just clutches it tighter and tighter. Strong-willed. To do it his way no matter what. So, the mom steps in and takes the hand of her child and peels his fingers loose, one at a time. She will use as much pressure as it takes to protect her child from the dangers of what he's holding on to. I've been there with God. When He has literally had to peel my fingers off of something. And He used just as much pressure as it took to get me to let go. He knew then, and He knows now, that what I am holding onto will hurt me and it will hurt the people around me.

Either way, He protects me. I'm His child. He has promised me that over and over again. But when He has to pry my fingers off of what I am holding onto, I miss something huge. I miss the opportunity to tell Him I love Him by trusting Him. I miss giving Him a blessing by letting Him know I remember His faithfulness. His goodness. That He is a good Shepherd. Abba, a good daddy.

So, this morning, I'm making a decision to let them go. These two mountains. I'm going to drop them in His hands. I have no idea how He's gonna move them. None at all. And I know I can't. But He can.

Think about God's creation. All the colors. All the details. All the beauty of the blue sky, the oceans, the stars at night. Think about all the birds, the flowers, the face of a precious toddler. Yet, the thing He says that pleases Him most, is our faith. Trusting Him. Amazing. It's just so amazing that we matter so much to Him. The good news is that His Hands are big enough for all our mountains.

What has all this got to do with my cousin Brenda?

Everything! I believe the many prayers that Brenda has prayed for me and my family over the last 4 1/2 years is one of the things that has brought me to this place. A place of trusting God. A place where I can see His faithfulness and goodness. A place of letting go.

God has brought many people into my life. He has brought teachers. He has provided people to encourage me. To lift my spirits when they're down. He's brought seasoned counselors into my life to help me find His wisdom. He has given me people that I could pour my heart out to with openness and honesty. But there is no one that He has brought into my life that has prayed more for me and my children than Brenda.

Weeks go by and we don't talk. Months go by and we don't see each other. But, I know, she is praying for me. Praying for Ethan. The times when I can't pray, when the words won't come, she is lifting us up to the Father. The times when my mind is run over with fears and doubts and I can't find the faith, she's there, with her faith, lifting us up. When I call Brenda with a problem, she doesn't tell me she will pray for me. She prays right then, over the phone. She prays without ceasing. I want to pray like that.

What she wants for her children, she wants for mine. What she prays for her children, she prays for mine. She knows that God has more than enough to go around for all of His children. And she knows that what would make the Father happy is for them all to trust Him. So that is what she prays. For what will bless our Father. For our children to know and trust Him.

Like David, Brenda has a heart like His.

That is why this post is dedicated to her.

Happy Birthday Brenda!

We thank God for all the blessings He has given us through your life!


  1. Beautiful. Thank you. LOVE YOU MaryLois

  2. Thank you, Cheri! You have made this day worth living. Now why would I make that comment???? Because to live and to be able to know that in some small way I am a part of God's hand in the life of another is God's way of assuring me that my life IS for a reason and for a purpose. That is what makes today worth living. I am sure that I am not as great as you make me sound (we have similar struggles with our self-perception)but if my prayers have somehow given you the strength to carry on in the face of the huge mountains you face, then Praise God! Like you said in one of your blogs "It's all Grace" and for that I am eternally thankful. I love you and please give Ethan a big hug for me and tell him I still see him walking and leaping and praising God!