Tag Archives: David

A God we can count on


2 Samuel  24 :10  “David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

Four months. After a simple basketball injury, tearing his ACL and his meniscus, my in-great-shape husband underwent a seemingly simple surgery that we thought would be followed by a seemingly simple recovery. I thought a couple of weeks would be the maximum recovery time needed, but his physical therapist thought otherwise.

He said there is a real possibility that it could be four months before my husband is able to return to work.

I won’t lie, it was tempting to freak out. While his job is great and a definite blessing from God, it provides nearly no “sick days” and what little they do give disappears at the end of the year. So he had two weeks of vacation leave he could use, and after that, we were on our own.

So I started counting. In my mind, I remembered our savings account (thank you, Dave Ramsey, and my dear husband who doesn’t like to waste money), not to mention the gazillion church friends and family since then who have insisted on helping financially, and with dinner and in other random ways – (we LOVE each of you!). I was able to remain calm, knowing we were going to be okay.

Counting it all up made me feel secure.

David tried something a little similar in 2 Samuel 24. He chose to comfort himself by counting all the military guys he had at his disposal.

He was even advised that this was a bad plan by his wise friend, Joab. Joab knew that regardless of the number of men, God could provide whatever military force they needed.

But David didn’t listen. He had all the men who were fit for fighting tallied up, and between Israel and Judah combined, there were 1.3 million able-bodied men.

Then David’s conscience got to him. He saw what he had done as sin.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I had never thought of counting as being sinful in any circumstance.

David says to God, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” (v.10)

Counting wasn’t sinful, but not trusting God was. By counting his guys, David was ultimately trusting in his own power. He was trying to be self-sufficient, and he knew that God prefers quite the opposite.

God wants us to trust Him. He has shown us over and over again how trustworthy He is, both to others in biblical accounts and to ourselves in the past.

David knew how God had already provided for him, from the very beginning – saving David from a lion and a bear, winning the fight against Goliath, and blessing David’s reign as king. And somehow he lost sight of that for a minute, and became immersed in figuring out his own capabilities.

He forgot to trust in God.

Thankfully as soon as he realized what he had done, he quickly turned to God and repented for not trusting. David was a man after God’s own heart.

My first inclination in most circumstances is to see if it is something I can handle on my own. It’s easy not to worry when I can see I’ve got the resources to take care of it.

But if I don’t, that’s a different story. Worry creeps in and gets comfy, making itself at home.

I have a lot to learn from David.

While I have already counted our own resources and I can’t really un-count them, I have decided not to worry regardless of how things go. If every appliance we own stops working all at once, and if Shawn is told it will be twice the time off, I will know that I can still trust God to take care of us one way or another.No matter what.

God has proven himself trustworthy to David, to me, and to you. Thank you, Lord!

Take a couple of minutes to make a note (mentally, in the comments section, on the back of a receipt, or otherwise) of some of the ways God has already proven himself faithful and trustworthy to you. I’d love to hear about it!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

What I learned about ordinary jobs – Ecuador, part 3


The beginning of Noah’s mime career 🙂

I’m not gonna lie – sometimes I get jealous. There are some skills and talents that just seem more awesome /helpful /needed /appreciated than others. And while I know in my heart that God sees things differently than we do, sometimes I forget.

So, as we prepared for this mission trip to Ecuador, I had already kind of questioned how useful I would be. Some people have awesome medical skills and training, which always come in handy. Some actually speak the language of the country we would be visiting – you can probably imagine how helpful that is.

I’ll start out by saying that I do believe God has given me gifts. He gives them to all of us. It’s just sometimes hard to see where they can make a difference in some situations.

There were times I had some ordinary, seemingly small jobs during this trip.

Shawn rocking on the soccer field

One of the many, many, many flyers we passed out 🙂

During the soccer tournament in Ibarra, Shawn played soccer, Noah performed with the drama team – I was mostly the keeper of the backpacks.

I also did A LOT of passing out flyers in Ambato – flyers about the church, flyers about the medical clinic, flyers about the “big event” with the Colombian pastor who used to live a life of drug crimes, but now speaks the love of Jesus to the largest church there. There is certainly nothing fancy about passing out flyers.

In addition to these things, I prayed a lot. There are plenty of opportunities to talk to Jesus while being keeper-of-the-backpacks. And it was needed. As I shared before, prayer is a big deal.

In 1 Samuel 30, David shares how we should view the keepers-of-the-backpacks.

David and his men had gone off to fight, and when he made it back to his town he saw the Amalekites had taken everyone from his town, including his two wives, and burned the town down. David heard from the Lord that he would assist them in rescuing the people. Six hundred people started out, but two hundred of them stayed behind because they were exhausted.

The four hundred remaining men were successful with God’s help and were able to bring back their people and valuables. When returning to the town, some of the four hundred decided it wasn’t fair for the two hundred who stayed behind to get any of the “plunder.”

David disagreed. In verse 23, “David replied, ‘No my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and handed over to us the forces that came against us. Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.’”

Every victory that happens is because of God, not us. Because of that, there are no small jobs, and the obedient keepers-of-the-backpacks can hold their heads up just as high as the warriors can.

All of the jobs we are given are important, both in Ecuador and at home. Nothing we do for God is wasted. (Thank you, Lord, for that!)

The Sunday morning after the soccer tournament, we heard news that 75 people from Ibarra attended church that morning at Puerta Abierta, a record for this young church. Many of those individuals came because of the activities that happened on Saturday, like the soccer tournament. Out of that 75, many came forward to pray, with 8 of those accepting Christ for the first time!

In Ambato, more than 400 showed up to learn about the redeeming grace of God, with 76 accepting Christ that evening! And others came to know Jesus the next morning in the Ambato church service.

Like the kid who gave his lunch to Jesus in John 6, where Jesus took what the boy offered and multiplied it to fill the need and fill the bellies, Jesus took what we had to offer, and did something big with it.

A song we used to sing in church said, “Little is much, when God is in it.”

We each gave our little– playing soccer, praying, giving candy to a child, joining them in a hula hoop game, taking a temperature, and passing out flyers.

But God turned it into much, as more than 100 people were blessed with a new relationship with Christ and the promise of Heaven. Thank you, Lord.

As we gathered for our own worship that Sunday afternoon, our speaker, Chris Stringer, gave us a message about obedience. He said, “Complete and immediate obedience is your greatest calling as a Christian.”

It’s not which job we have that matters, but whether we choose to obey.

Whatever your job is- whether you are on a mission trip right now, or reading this from your home in your pajamas, be obedient. If He is asking you to move to South America, to the inner city of the area where you already live, or to offer to babysit for someone who needs a break, do it.

He will do much more with it than you can imagine.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” I Corinthians 12:27

Noah and Hannah in the drama skit 🙂

The Chicos Blancos, with Shawn proudly displaying his penalty card 🙂

Beautiful volcano in Ibarra 🙂

Noah and me 🙂

Me (and all the bags) with Pastor Fernay 🙂

Hungry, tired, and thirsty in the desert


Other than Jesus, David is probably one of the most famous people from the Bible. We heard about him as little kids, watching how brave he was to be the good-looking, littlest brother of the family, going up against a giant with 5 small stones and a whole bunch of faith in his big God.

We read some of his psalms, heard about him chosen by God as king, also about some sin along the way, including adultery and murder. We even heard God call him a man after His own heart! How cool would that be to hear?

There was also a time in his life when David was being hunted down by his own son who wanted to kill him. In 2 Samuel, chapter 17, David is being chased by Absalom, and thankfully, God intervenes and David and his people are able to escape. Absalom hears they are headed one direction, but friends of David tell them to go another way, so David and his people head to Mahanaim.

Here is where I want us to focus. As they get to this town, three guys there start bringing them things – bedding, bowls, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, curds, sheep and cheese, “… For they said, ‘The people have become hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert,’” (verse 29).

How many times do we notice someone who is hungry, tired and thirsty in the desert? Maybe they aren’t literally running for their lives, but just worn out? Could be a friend in a ministry that is just exhausted from the expectations and disappointments. Maybe a friend who is literally worn-out from an illness.  Or a mom who is frazzled from trying to please everyone all the time.

You can probably think of someone now. Someone who lately just doesn’t seem themselves and could use some encouragement.

There are times when I notice someone seems discouraged, depressed or defeated. And if I notice, I for sure will have intentions of helping, but sometimes that’s as far as it goes. And that’s not okay. My good intentions mean nothing if I don’t put some action behind it.

David had people seeing his need and meeting it, simply because they noticed, they cared, and they followed through. I want to be like these guys. I’ve had people be like these guys to me.

I have received flowers from some dear friends when the thrill of pregnancy turned into the disappointment and grief of a miscarriage. And other sweet friends who have experienced the same heartbreak let me talk to them for hours about how I was feeling during that time.

During the death of my father-in-law, a friend offered to watch Noah, who was a toddler at the time, during the funeral.

Other friends have sent encouraging notes just when I need them.

I have friends, even now, who I know are feeling like David. They are hungry, tired, and thirsty in their deserts, and I’m sure you do too. It’s our job to make sure we can give them what they need. Think of your person today, and what you can do to help.

If you have any ideas of what we can do to be an encouragement to someone, please share! Maybe it will make those of us with good intentions put them into action. 🙂