While Waiting – Pray, Trust and Work

Today is day seven since we officially put our home up for sale.

For a couple of years now, my husband Chris and I have been saying that we need to downsize and get a smaller one-story home.  Our home has served us well and we love friends, neighbors and the neighborhood, but it’s time to move.

In July, we contacted a realtor in our neighborhood.  For four and a half years, we’ve watched Lily’s work.  We’ve seen the difference in people’s homes who’ve gone with our realtor and those who have used other realtors.  When we had a question on remodeling decisions, she freely gave her advice on what buyers like.  When the time came to sell our home, we contacted Lily.

Over the last 6 weeks, Chris and I have been working to get our house ready to put on the market.  I can’t tell you the number of trips we’ve made to Good Will, or how much we’ve given away or thrown away or how many trips we’ve made to put things in storage to make sure our home is clutter-free.  We’ve had handymen in to take care of some odds and ends repairs.  We have thoroughly cleaned our home and worked in the garden.  We wanted to get our home ready, not only to sell but also prepare it for new owners.

Family and friends have assured us that our home will likely sell quickly and that is what we are praying and hoping for.

This last weekend, we had our first open house.  I had big expectations that we would get a lot of people coming to see the home and that perhaps we’d even have offers.

We had five families that came to see our home.  They said it was clean and well maintained.  Some people thought the yard was too small and some raised concerns about living near power lines.  It didn’t seem like anyone was eager to buy our home.  We’ve had no realtors contact us to set up a viewing for their clients.

Can I confess…I was disappointed!  Disappointed because I had the wrong perspective.

Since then, the Lord has been reminding me daily that everything, including the sale of our home, is firmly and fully in His control.  Our home will sell when He brings the people that He wants to be the next owners and not before then.

If our home had sold on the first open house, I would have been attributing the success to our realtor.  Or being prideful and thinking that all our hard work had paid off.

No matter what…whether it’s a quick sale or something that takes a while, the sale of our home will be the Lord’s work.

Each day…I go through a routine of getting our house ready just in case we get a call that somebody wants to see it.  I vacuum our house top to bottom.  Counters and bathrooms are cleaned, furniture, shutters, and blinds are dusted.  Once a week, I’m thoroughly cleaning each area or zone.

While I’m cleaning, I’m praying for the family who will buy our home.  Perhaps they don’t even live in Texas yet but will be making a move here.  Maybe they are trying to sell their home and are waiting to look for a new home until it does.  I’m praying that they will be the right family for our neighbors and neighborhood.  If they have children that they will have an easy transition into new schools and make good friends.  That the husband and wife will agree on what they want in a home and for wisdom in making decisions and for their finances.  That perhaps the changes and improvements we’ve made to our home will be something that they will enjoy.

All the efforts from our realtor and our hard work to get our house ready and keep it ready are good and necessary.

During this time, we’ve looked at homes and have a better idea of what want to buy and where we want to live.  So, it’s not been a waste of time.  Perhaps the Lord’s timing is different than what we had hoped for because the right home for us is not on the market yet.

While I may not know why there is a delay in selling our home, I know that it’s perfectly in the Lord’s control, timing and plan.  On those days, when I get tired or have doubts…I have to remind myself to trust the Lord, know He is good and that He has a good and perfect plan that He is working out.  I can trust and depend on God while we are waiting.


A Defiant Faith

She has a defiant faith
One that rests
Not in her circumstances
But in God alone

When her prayers seem to be unanswered
And God is silent
She strengthens her heart mind soul and spirit
In God’s perfect and inerrant Word

When others give way to doubt or fear
She instead sets her mind on Christ
And remembers His benefits
Her soul bursts forth in worship and praise

She knows of her heavenly Father’s great love
Before the foundation of the world was laid
He called her to salvation through His Beloved Son’s sacrifice
He has sealed her with the Holy Spirit

If He has met her greatest needs
Surely, He will care for her needs today
She chooses to trust God as He has revealed Himself to be
Her confidence rests in His unchanging, merciful lovingkindness

She has a defiant faith, a confident faith
One that does not waver
Like a light that does not dim
She rests secure in the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ

By Susan Wachtel
December 19, 2018

To a strong woman of God who is trusting God in her time of waiting upon the Lord.


Trust God in the Darkness

Ps 91-2

T – Trust God in the darkness
When the future is unknown
When silence pierces
My heart, mind and soul

R – Remember God is faithful
As He has revealed Himself
In His Word
In prayers answered in His perfect timing

U – Understand God is good
Even when circumstances are not good
Utter His praises all day long
He is able to do far more than I can imagine

S – Salvation and deliverance
Grace and mercy from His hand
Discipline and encouragement
Strengthen my weary heart, mind and soul

T – Thank the Lord
For His past faithfulness
His ever present goodness
His never changing perfect character

Election Confessions

Daniel 2-21

Lord, I confess
As the election begins in earnest
There are times my heart is anxious
My mind filled with worry

I look around and see a nation
Seeped in sin and unrighteousness
Will You rightly and justly
Give us over to the judgment we deserve

Or will You respond with patience
In Your lovingkindness and mercy
Will You raise up a Josiah
Give us a godly leader who fears You

I see candidates of all kinds
Prideful, arrogant, rude
Contemptable, dishonest, liars
Who believe they are above reproach

Yet there are some
Men and women of integrity who fear You
Who desire to be upright and blameless
And humbly serve this nation

I see people deceived
Even believers have been taken in
I ask that You give Your people discernment
Help us to choose wisely

I confess my anxiety and worry are a sin
I have failed to trust You fully
But You are God who is sovereign and in control
You raise up kings and leaders and bring them down

When I feel anxious
Help me to repent and pray
Trust the One True and Living God
To whom we will all give an account one day

by Susan Wachtel
February 1, 2016

Sunset to Sunrise

Sunset to Sunrise


From sunset to sunrise
I look to You O Lord
I find my security in You alone

My stomach churns in these uncertain times
Is this fear or anxiety
No, I think this is what grief feels like

I know You are at work in my circumstances
But what exactly what You want to accomplish
I don’t know, I can’t see it from here

May I trust You with the unknown future
May I remind myself You are good
You are and always will remain faithful

As the sun sets and darkness falls
Once again, I see fresh beauty anew
As if painted from the hand of the Creator

Help me to trust You O God
To bring beauty from these ashes
Reveal Your purpose in the pain

by Susan Wachtel
December 15, 2015

Five Minute Friday – Truth Be Told

Ephesians 3:20

LORD, the truth be told,
I’ve been struggling
with fear and doubt

Try as I might
I can’t control the future
or guess what will happen tomorrow

In my fear
I’ve gotten my eyes off of You LORD
that You are able
that You have a good and perfect plan
which You are working out in my life

I’ve lost sight of the fact
that You walk with me always
both in the peaks and valleys of my life
You use all circumstances
To help me grow and change
You expose my sin
So that I will confess and repent
You buff out that which is displeasing to You
and reveal conduct unbecoming a Christian

Help me walk by faith
May I not doubt Your goodness
or Your ability to accomplish what concerns me today

May I remember that with each step I take
You are with me
You alone know what my future holds
You are perfectly able to direct my path

Help me to keep my eyes on You Lord
Not my circumstances
Not the people that surround me

Help me to trust You
to the end

Five Minute Friday
It’s another Saturday morn and I wanted to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  Head over to her website “Lisa Jo Baker Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

Thoughts & Reflections on Fear, Worry and Anxiety

Yesterday I felt worried upon hearing and reflecting about some sad and bad news.  Last night before bed, I read Ana Dagarin’s post at “Ramble On” for Five Minute Friday, and I’ve been meditating on something she said about fear...here’s what I jotted down. 
Fear crowds out faith
Anxiety leaves no room for peace
Worry takes away the option to trust God
Self-focus obscures my ability to see God
Fear is a sin
Anxiety steals peace from my heart and mind  
Worry is a waste of time
Self-focus is boring
Lord, I take comfort in knowing that nothing takes You by surprise.
You are never anxious.
You don’t wring Your hands in worry.
There is not a path worn out before Your throne as You pace back and forth with worry
You alone know the future
You have perfect vision, un-obscured by sin
You will make wrong things right
Justice will be served in Your perfect timing
Evil and sin will be punished
All things are under Your control and firmly held in Your grasp
I can only be fearful, anxious and worried when I take my eyes off of God.
Despite reading God’s word each day and praying, I’ve felt like lately there has been silence from God.  Here are some thoughts and reflections of why I’m silent towards someone.  I’m not saying this is why God seems silent, but perhaps I need to ask the Lord why I feel as though He seems silent to me. 
I’m silent when someone isn’t listening.
I don’t want to waste my time and words on someone who doesn’t seem to care or pay attention to what I have to say.
I’m silent when I feel hurt by someone.
Lord are You quiet because I haven’t obeyed Your last instructions to me?  Please help me to obey, just follow through and not make excuses but make the time, not find the time, to do what You are calling me to do.
Perhaps I have too many other voices and noise competing for my attention.  Help me to listen clearly and incline my ear towards You Lord Jesus.

Preconceived Notions

Squeaking breaks were more than just an annoyance or an indication that I needed to get our car serviced to insure that I was safe on the road.  This would be another repair on a car that’s 11 years old.  A repair that might cost more than what the car was worth.  Our car had become a money pit and it seemed like we were throwing good money after bad. 
After the last repair, my husband Chris and I discussed the possibility that it might be the time to consider getting a new car to replace our aging car. 
The squeaking started just a few days before we were going on vacation and whatever action we decided to take would have to wait until we returned.  Thankfully both Chris and I had taken an additional day off from work following our vacation.  It proved to be helpful as we went car shopping yesterday.
God had some lessons for me to learn in the middle of our car troubles.  One of the top lessons was to not be anxious.  Our car problems didn’t take God by surprise and He would go before us and give us wisdom to make good choices. 
Yesterday, before we set off to look at vehicles, I felt that God was telling me to let go of my preconceived notions.  Based on prior bad experiences with two car dealers, I was tempted to dismiss two cars that we should consider because they had good ratings for safety and value.
Prior to our vacation, I had done some research on AAA’s automobile car shoppingservices and had a good idea on what cars we should look at.  It’s a great tool that proved to be very helpful in our search for a car.  If you are a member of AAA you can contact the designated dealers and arrange to meet with them.  In doing this, you eliminate the high pressure sales tactics associated with car buying.  You will also avail yourself of the AAA agreed upon discounted rate.
Before we left the house we prayed for God to give us wisdom to determine the best car to purchase and trust His leading and timing.  We asked that we would both be in agreement as to what car we should purchase and for His favor.
We set out with a plan to look at three vehicles, test drive them, find out what finance options were available so we could choose the best car for us and be responsible with the resources God has given us.
God did indeed go before us and we both felt comfortable with purchasing any of the top three vehicles we were looking at.  We had set a plan to look at all three vehicles before making a decision and we stuck to that despite heavy pressure from one dealer to make a decision right then and there. 
As it turned out, we ended up getting the vehicle that was last on my initial list.  We both liked the car and the tipping point was that we were able to get 0.0% financing for 60 months.  That was too good to turn down.
Now every time I look at the car I am reminded of God’s faithfulness, His provision in finding the car and getting a good deal. 
I know it’s silly, but I like to name my cars.  Last night after we got home, I decided to name our new car Ebenezer because it will be a reminder, “Thus far the Lord has brought us.”

Looking for God in the Midst of Trials

A comment that Denise from Refine Me made provoked some thinking about God’s presence and His work in my life, even in the midst of trials: 
So true Susan; when our hearts and minds are open to receive (even through our trials and when we are suffering!) our actions and outlook begin to change, and we open ourselves up to appreciate and accept every blessing with grace and sincere appreciation.  Have a joyful weekend!  Denise
Am I aware of God’s presence and nearness, even when my feelings don’t feel it?
Do I override my feelings with the truth from God’s word?
Do I looking for the blessings that God may have veiled during the everyday trails of life?
Am I trusting God to do a good work through the trials of life, even if the situation itself is not good?
Am I trusting God to refine me and buff out the things in my character that are sinful and not pleasing and glorifying to Him?
Do I have the eyes to see God’s goodness woven into the difficulties?  They are like roses amongst the thorns and manure. 
Do I say thank You Lord for this trial, for this lesson?
When I walk by faith I can see trials as: 
grace, mercy; favor, kindness, mitzvah; advantage, aid, assistance, gift, help, relief, support; comfort, consolation, solace; bonus, extra, delight, joy, pleasure
Or when I walk by sight I perceive trials as:
bother, irritant, nuisance, pest; disadvantage; cross, misery, tribulation, something to be avoided at all cost
Lord…help me to walk by faith, trusting You at every turn. 
Please check out Denise’s blog at Refine Me.  You will be challenged, convicted and built up in the faith.  Her blog is one of my regular and favorite reads.  

Abiding in Christ…What does that look like?

As I start this week, I’m asking the Father for help.  How can I not just tolerate the unlovely, but actually love them? 
It impossible in my own strength, to love those who are unlovely.  Impossible to love those who are unlovely in their character, whose words are ugly, boastful, prideful or mean-spirited.   Yet God calls me to love those very persons whom He has placed in my life. 
As I was listening to a sermon this weekend by John Piper I got a better understanding on how I can walk in the Spirit by abiding in Christ.  What does it mean to abide?  John’s description helped me to see in a practical way what abiding looks like in everyday life.
“And if you wonder what hour-by-hour abiding in Jesus means, it means hour-by-hour trusting him to meet all our needs and be our supreme treasure. And when we are confident that he will meet all our needs and be our treasure, we are freed and empowered to humble ourselves and meet the needs of others.”
Hour-by-hour abiding in Jesus…Lord that’s what I need to do.  Lord, help me to do that this coming week, so I can obey Your command to love one another and even love my enemy.  May I remember that I too was the unlovely one that You chose to love.  How amazing is that?

Five Minute Friday – Trusting God

When I saw today’s word for Five Minute Friday was trust, I was pleased because that’s a subject I’m familiar with. 
I guess I could go into all sorts of reasons psychological and otherwise why trust is hard for me, but at the end of the day I still need to learn to trust.  I need to be able to trust people and more importantly I need to trust God.
Obviously, any obstacle to trusting God is within me and not related to God.  When I’ve felt it was hard to trust God, it’s not because He’s changed or that He’s not good, or that He has selfish motives behind what He’s doing in my life.
Trusting God has been a twofold process for me.  The most important and influential piece that has helped me to trust God more is to know the word of God.  To read the Bible on my own, participate in an in-depth study and sit under the teaching of Pastors who are scripturally grounded and unafraid to preach the word, in season and out of season. 
In studying the Bible, I see what the Lord does in the lives of other people and what happens when people choose to sin or to remain steadfast and obedient to God.  I see the realities of life: sickness, pain, death and sorrow will touch each life and I can be certain that I won’t escape them either.  It would be unrealistic to expect that God will or should exempt me from the difficult things of life.
The second thing that has helped me learn to trust is to walk with God over time.  I see mercy God’s goodness and faithfulness to me.  I see His and compassion even when I don’t deserve it.  I reap the consequences of my poor sinful choices and know that my heavenly Father disciplines me. 
Trust for me has been both a learning thing and a faith thing.
This post is being linked to Gypsy Mama’s 5-Minute Friday where you simply write for 5 minutes without worrying if it’s right or not.  Head on over and give it a try!

On the Lookout

As I was praying this last week, I felt rather downcast and hopeless.  I had finished praying for the salvation of people whom God has laid on my heart.  It seems that the list continues to increase.  Some of the people have been on the list for many years.  Some people have moved on and I may never see them again, but I continue to pray for their salvation. 

As I walked into Corner Bakery to pick-up my breakfast, I felt that the Lord rebuke me for my downcast attitude. 

Here I am praying to the God of the universe…the Creator of all things, the One Who spoke the words and our world came into existence.  God, Who from before the foundations of the world, knew me and chose to save me from my sin through the atoning death of His Son, my Savior Jesus Christ.  God Who knows me intimately, knows the number of hairs on my head, knows my thoughts before the words come out of my mouth and puts my tears in a bottle.  I’m praying to Almighty God and I’m feeling downcast?  Are you kidding me? 

I felt as if God challenged me that day.  I pray many prayers, but am I on the lookout for God at work each day.  Do I look expectantly and am I excited to see what God is doing each day?

To prove His point, later that day I had an encounter with someone for whom I’ve been praying.  I got to hear what God is doing in their life, a definite God thing…a work that only He could be doing. 

My downcast and hopeless feelings were nothing short of unbelief, which is sin.  I didn’t have my eyes on God, nor trust Him and His perfect timing to answer my prayer. 

Now I’m choosing to remind myself to Whom I’m praying to each day, and be on the lookout for the answers to those prayers and see God actively at work in all situations. 


After seven months of being in pain, 24/7, I’ve finally come to a decision to undergo surgery for my back problems (stenosis, bulging disk, bone spurs, sciatica, etc).

Not only has this impacted me, but it’s adversely effected my husband Chris most notably regarding sleep.  When mama ain’t sleeping, ain’t no body sleeping!  On a good night, if I take a pain killer right before I go to sleep, I may be able to sleep for about 5 to 6 hours before waking up in pain.  I have back pain as well as pain in my right ankle from sciatica.  On a bad night…there’s not a whole lot of sleep happening at the Wachtel household.

I’ve tried some of the more conservative methods to bring pain relief including a course of three epidurals.  The second epidural made the most impact by reducing the pain for about three weeks.  Other than that…there’s not been a whole lot of relief. 

Chris and I met with a neurosurgeon to get a second opinion.  I feel confident that this was the right doctor to entrust my back to.  She had studied my MRI and was able to show us exactly what’s happening and what treatment she recommended.  I felt relief at her words, “After undergoing conservative treatment for several months, which has brought no relief, surgery is a reasonable option.”

People’s reactions and opinions are kind of funny.  I’ve had advice from many different perspectives.  There are those who are dead set against surgery and suggest seeking help from chiropractors, acupuncturists, spinal decompression, etc.  There are people who had back pain who have undergone surgery with great success.  I know one man who had surgery who had more pain following surgery than he had before.  The one thing I know for certain is that there are no guarantees and everyones body responds differently. 

People’s responses have been passionate!  They relate their experience and what worked for them, confident that’s the step I should take, some without knowing what’s happening with my back.  I’m sure that their intent is good and they desire that I find permanent relief from the pain, but honestly often I walk away more confused than when I started. 

When I mention I’m considering surgery, I’ve experienced a lot of disapproval from people who think I’m making a huge mistake.  After being in pain for seven months straight, not having a good night sleep in months, not being able to sit or lay down without being in pain, surgery seems like a good and reasonable option. 

We both know that if there is any healing or relief from the constant pain, that it’s the Lord doing the work.  He uses various means to accomplish healing, including doctors, medicine and if He so chooses, a miraculous healing that can only be attributed to God. 

We know that we need to trust the Lord in this situation, no matter what.  Should He choose to heal me, we will praise Him.  Should He choose to not heal me, we will praise Him.  Our praise of God is not contingent upon a favorable outcome. 

The one thing that is certain, our dependence upon God has deepened.  When crying out to Him for pain relief and when seeking wisdom to make life altering decisions, like surgery, we are depending upon and looking to the Lord.

The Winds of Change

This week the infamous Santa Ana winds were blowing on Wednesday.  Whenever the winds blow hard the phrase “the winds of change” comes to mind and probably even more so this week because we anticipated that there might be changes coming down the pike at work.

With the economy continuing to tank and folks losing their jobs and remaining out of work for extended periods of time…I always have in the back of my mind the possibility that a work layoff could be in my future.  Each day, it makes me so grateful to have a job…and not take it for granted.  It reminds me that every good and perfect gift, employment and the ability to perform the work, is a gift from my heavenly Father above.  I’m also mindful to be thankful for today what God has given me and try to be faithful through His power and strength. 

While we anticipated the strong possibility of changes coming at work…we didn’t know exactly when, who or how many folks might be effected.  I was praying in the weeks and days leading up to this time and I’m so grateful that God gave me such a sense of peace regarding my work situation.  I had peace with the thought that I might be let go and I gratitude if I was permitted to keep my job.

Thankfully work has been very busy, so there wasn’t any time to waste being preoccupied with thoughts of “what if”.  Instead all of us were working hard to keep up.   

When praying about work, I found that my will was fully submitted to God’s will for the situation.  This time around I wasn’t dictating to God what I thought was the best outcome.  I had been through similar circumstances four years ago and handled it much differently.  But this time…I was absolutely at peace with whatever happened.  God had indeed given me the peace that passes all understanding.  My husband Chris was praying that by God’s mercy my job might be spared so that we would continue to be able to meet our financial obligations without undue stress.  However, I continued to pray for God’s will to be done.  It almost felt like if I prayed that my job would be spared, I was in essence praying for my co-workers to lose their jobs.  So instead, I prayed for God’s will to be done. 

I praise God for the peace that He gave me…absolutely trusting in His will and plan.  I was confident that God knows my future and my friends and co-workers future…and He has a good and perfect plan for each our lives that He is working out.  I may not always understand why God permits certain circumstances…but in heaven it will all be made clear.

While I anticipated changes…I didn’t know the exact day they would hit.  Just in case I would be let go, I ordered my prescriptions while I still had a job and insurance coverage. 

This week that fateful day came…a little earlier than I expected.  It was a hard day as people whom I consider friends were laid off.  It didn’t seem to make any sense who was laid off because I knew the great work they did and the positive attitude they brought to work every day.  It was a hard and sad day. 

When the dust started to settle, I went to lunch and called Chris. I told him that it had been a very hard and ugly day, but that his prayers had been answered.  At the end of the day…I still had a job.

A number of folks talked about having “survivor’s guilt” and not understanding why good people were let go when others still had jobs.  I guess to some degree I felt that way.

I’m certain with the new responsibilities that I will have due to the recent layoffs, it will cause me to depend upon God even more.  There is no way that I could manage it on my own strength and might.

When I pray each day…there has been an ongoing list of people whom I’ve been praying for regarding their employment situation.  Now my prayer list has greatly expanded.  But I know my God is faithful.  He is merciful and pours out His loving kindness on each of us.  I pray that the God of all comfort will draw each of these people near and reveal Himself as Jehovah Jira the God who provides for all our needs.

Things won’t be the same at work and I’m already missing the people I worked with each day.  Oh Lord…cause me to depend upon You more, be filled with gratitude and faithful in prayer. 

Do I Really Believe?

I can say the scriptures from memory. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  “God works all things together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purposes.”  I can recite the scriptures word for word…but do I really believe them? 
Perhaps God allows difficult circumstances or people in my life to cause me to depend upon Him and to reveal areas in my life…where I’m not walking in faith. 
What does it mean in my everyday life that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?  How will that change what I think about my circumstances?  If I really trust in the Lord with all my heart how will that change how I will choose to respond to people or situations that are difficult?
When I’m treated wrongly by people that are just plain stinky…every part of me wants to do a smack down…verbally or even physically.  But there is that still small voice within me that says, “Susan, be quite and don’t respond.  Trust Me.  I see what’s going on and I will direct you…draw close and follow Me.”
It’s there in the middle that the Holy Spirit is prompting me to have an eternal vision.  To know and to trust that God is at work in my circumstances…even though it’s not evident at the moment.  That’s where I have to walk by faith, not by sight.
Perhaps He is doing a work in me…sifting me to remove something that is sinful, displeasing or dishonorable.  Perhaps…He is causing to me look to Him and depend on Him even more.  Perhaps He will use me, when I respond in obedience, to work in the lives of those that don’t yet know Him.
Am I willing to endure difficult circumstance without knowing exactly what God is doing or when He will bring relief?  Isn’t that part of “trusting in the Lord with all my heart”?  I can trust God…even in the storms because I know that God is good…all the time.  Even when I’m hurting or troubled…He is good.  
In myself I have such limited vision…but when I look through the eyes of faith…I can trust God. 
When I start believing that “God works all things together for good for those that love Him”, then I can trust Him in all circumstances…including when wrong is done to me.
One of the most freeing things that I can do in the middle of difficult circumstances…when I have been truly wronged is to pray.  Not only pray for God to deliver me…but to pray for the persons who are sinning against me.  Not that God will bonk them upside the head…but to pray for what they are facing in their lives.  Pray for their salvation.  Pray for them to have a conscience that is tender and sensitive towards God and yielded unto Him…that God will plow the tough and rocky soil of their hard heart and plant the seed of the Gospel message.   That it will come to fruition according to God’s perfect timing. 
Time and time again…God has been faithful to work in various relationships when I have trusted Him and forgiven my enemy.  It seems there is no better way to get rid of an enemy than to make them a friend…and God has done that in my life. 
So today…when I’m facing difficult people or troubling circumstances…and part of me wants to scream for God to deliver me…if I can just remember the past…remember what God has done…how He’s faithfully brought me through…then I am freed up to pray for those who despitefully use me.   
How about you….do you really believe?


A recent conversation about trust got me to thinking.  In practical terms what does trust mean?  What does trust look like being lived out in my everyday life?
I often respond to be people through the framework of my past…both good and bad experiences, healthy and unhealthy.  That may cause me to unfairly evaluate a person’s actions and attribute motives that they may not have.   

I believe that trust can begin with the character of the person in whom I trust. 
Here are some of the characteristics that may influence me to trust.  When I believe someone is basically good and has good and kind intentions towards me.  When they don’t seem to have a hidden agenda that influences their actions or words.  When a person is open and transparent.  When they are quick to apologize if they’ve done wrong or said something unkind.  If they take ownership of their words, action, attitudes and choices…and don’t play the blame game.  Someone whose mood and actions are not easily influenced when things aren’t going their way.  When they are consistent in words and deeds.  Someone who is humble, teachable and growing in grace and wisdom. 
With that said…people are flawed, sinful and may not always act in a way that evokes trust.  What am I to do, how should I respond?  How does trust grow relationships with two people who are growing, changing and are a work in progress?  I’m not sure I have the answer to that question.  Perhaps it’s something for me to contemplate and bring before the Lord.
When I look at the attributes of someone who is trustworthy…God is so far beyond anything on that list.  From His word and from His present and active work in my life…I can know with certainty that He is good and only has good intentions for me.
So why is it that sometimes I don’t trust God? 
For one thing…often I see people…including God through lenses that have been shattered by life and people that are sinful.  God may allow things in my life that are painful and difficult.  God may answer some of my prayers with a resounding “No” or I may only hear silence.  In my humanity…it may be difficult for me to see that God truly is working things out for good for me.  The good that God is working out may only be manifest in heaven…not here on earth.  He may be allowing pain with the purpose of growing me or causing me to depend on Him. 
As I grow in my knowledge of God and who He is…my trust in Him will grow.  When I choose to believe His word over my feelings and circumstances…my trust will remain steadfast.  If I believe that God is good and working out everything for good…I can trust Him and the work He is doing even in the midst of difficult circumstances.  When I have an ongoing relationship with God…I can come to Him and ask for wisdom and discernment when dealing with people.  When I am willing to bring God my wounds and let Him bring healing…I can learn to trust people and see how my past has colored my vision. 


I had a “tude” today
I could have given you a laundry list of everything that’s wrong
Lament about things that aren’t fair
Drone on about things that are just not right

I know that there is a fine line
Between a heart that is hurting, sadden and grieved
And spirit of grumbling and complaining against God
I crossed that line today

But my God was patient and gentle with me
I know that instead of whining and complaining
Against circumstances, people and God
That I should go before God with my cares and concerns

Today, He went before me
Offered grace and mercy when I deserved none
He heard my cry of pain
Thinly disguised as complaining

He worked out the circumstances of a busy day
Smoothed out the path before me
Allowed me to accomplish all that needed to done
Showed me that my fear was for naught

He led me to the healing balm of praise and worship
Through hymns, songs and spiritual songs
Reminded me of His sovereignty in all things
Assured me that He is working all these things for good

While I may not know His purpose
In allowing things that are wrong, not fair and just not right
He does have a purpose and a plan
None of it escapes His notice

At God’s appointed time
He will provide deliverance
Work through my circumstance
And bring much more than I could ask or imagine

Susan Bunts Wachtel
October 3, 2009

Yester day my attitude stinketh.  I meditated on everything that wasn’t fair or right.  I mulled over the things that are wrong in my life. 

But I was amazed at how gently God dealt with me.  I know that just like the Israelites grumbling and complaining as they walked through the desert was wrong and an offence to God…so too is my grumbling and complaining.

In the midst of my bad attitude day…God led me to put in a worship CD from Kristen and Keith Getty called “Awaken the Dawn”.  Was a wonderful way to be reminded about the sovereignty of God!  Of His tender loving care even in the midst of difficult circumstances. 

In thinking about the sin of grumbling and complaining…I see that it is simply a manifestation of doubt and unbelief.  It’s doubting God…doubting that He is who He says He is.  Displaying a lack of confidence that He can do what He says He can do.  It’s my failure to trust His goodness and character.  It’s focusing on me.  It’s wanting things my way, in my timing.  It’s having no regard for God’s plan, purpose and timing.

Grumbling and complaining is doing the easy thing.  It’s not disciplining my heart and mind to go to God in prayer and lift up what concerns me. 

When I grumble and complain…there is no room for thanksgiving or prayer for others.  Just as the Israelites complained about the manna that God provided…my bad attitude and grumbling was really a complaint against what God has seen fit to provide me.

When I grumble and complain, I fail to recognize that God is doing a greater work to conform me to the image and likeness of Christ. 

Complaining make my heart hard and resistant to the hands of the skillful, knowledgeable Potter who seeks to form this pot as He sees fit.  The hardness of my heart against my circumstances and God makes the work that God is doing in me, more painful than it needs to be. 

Thank You Lord Jesus for Your mercy to me.

The Road Beyond

I’ve been down this road
So many times before
I ought to know it well

Instead of doubt and despair
My mind should be filled
With excitement and prayerful expectation

The road begins
With a prayer
For God’s soon deliverance

Then the wait begins
Sometimes the delay appears to be a no
For God’s timing is oft much different than my own

He takes me to the brink
Where I feel like I cannot endure
Not even one more day

Then God takes me beyond
To the place where I must choose
To doubt or believe God

In the place of beyond
I wait upon the Lord
With faith look for God’s miraculous deliverance

Oh my soul, take courage
For God will never disappoint
When He takes me down the road and beyond

Susan Bunts Wachtel
August 12, 2009

Faith Meter

Recently I’ve been experiencing some spiritual battles that left me feeling soundly defeated. Rather than believing God that I am more than a conqueror and acting on it…I believed the lies of the enemy. Much to my chagrin I’ve taken the bait one too many times.

That’s when I realized…I’m tired be living a defeated life. Tired of choosing fear and anxiety rather than trusting and believing God. Tired of looking at my circumstances and letting them be the measure of my faith. When my circumstances are good and everything is going my way…the faith meter is so high it’s off the charts. When troubles abound and the fiery darts of the enemy assail me…you can’t get a reading.

If my faith meter was instead a heart monitor…the doctors would pronounce me dead and pull the sheet over my head.

Isn’t my faith, to some degree, a measure of my heart towards God? Am I a person who loves God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength? If I don’t believe God is good…no matter what my circumstances…then how can I love Him when life turns ugly?

While meditating on my faith failures…God challenged me with the following thoughts:

  • Will I choose to love God when I don’t understand what He’s doing?
  • Will I choose to bless His holy Name when I don’t understand His purpose for allowing the enemy buffet me?
  • Will I choose to thank Him in all things?
  • Will I choose to obey Him when it’s the hard thing to do?
  • Will I choose to trust Him when I’m hurting?
  • Will I choose to look to Him, not my circumstances?
  • Will I choose to listen to Him only, not give an ear to the enemy?
  • Will I choose to pray rather than fret and imagine the worst?
  • Will I choose to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ?
  • Will I choose to dwell upon that which is good, lovely, and pure and of good report?
  • Will I choose to continue to bring my requests to God…trusting His timing and answer to my prayers?
  • Will I trust that God is working out His good and perfect plan in the trials and tribulations of life?
  • Will I bring my loved ones before the throne of God and seek His wisdom on how to respond?
  • Will I choose to believe that God is doing a work in others, even when it’s not evidenced in the now?
  • Will I choose to saturate my mind with God’s word?
  • Will I seek to know God more?
  • Will I choose to say “Blessed be the Name of the Lord” in good times and bad…and mean it with all my heart?

Fear and anxiety are doubt and unbelief being worked out in my daily life.

Today I choose to believe God, love Him, trust and obey Him. By His power, through Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling within me…I will be more than a conqueror today.

Tomorrow…I’ll be faced with that choice all over again. But for today…I choose to believe God.

Susan Blog Sig 2

Dare I?

Dare I let tomorrow
Steal today’s joy

Dare I doubt
Rather than trust and believe God

Dare I hold on to the past
At the expense of today

Dare I hold on to a grudge
While I plead for forgiveness

Dare I esteem the inconsequential
Rather than value that which is eternal

Dare I force my plans
Rather than yield to God’s plan

Dare I?
I dare not!

Susan Bunts Wachtel
June 22, 2009

Susan Blog Sig 2