His Word, Words of Endurance

And the Lord told Moses,
“When you arrive back in Egypt,
go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles
I have empowered you to do.
But I will harden his heart so
he will refuse to let the people go.”

The first time I read the words “I will harden his heart,” I realized that God has more power and control over human lives than we often think. Although Pharaoh hardened his own heart during the first five plagues, God confirmed Pharaoh’s willful action by hardening Pharaoh’s heart in the remaining plagues.

Here’s what occurred to me as I considered that concept: When I’m struggling with issues in my own heart, issues I feel powerless to change, I need to remember that God can influence and even change the human heart. But I have to ask. I have to surrender. And ultimately, I have to trust that God will do it in his own time.

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
PSALM 51:10 (NLT)



Perspectives, Words of Endurance

But when she could hide him no longer,
she got a papyrus basket for him
and coated it with tar and pitch.
Then she placed the child in it and
put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.

Moses’ mother had hope and faith in God that He had special plans for her child. So she laid him – her most precious possession – in a basket and released him fully to God’s care.

The torturous act of trusting our precious possessions to God is the only sure way to peace. This truth is more than theology for me. I’ve tested it.

The morning after my arm and shoulder were amputated to stop the spread of cancer, I went to the bathroom mirror. I stood there pale and rumpled in my hospital gown, staring at the image that stared back at me – the image of a one armed man. I was in shock at how radically they had cut the arm back. The arm was gone. The shoulder was gone. The shoulder blade was gone. And the left side of my collarbone was gone.

“Okay God,” I said, “This is what I’ve got to live with. Put this behind me… let me go forward.” And when the one armed man looked back at me, there was peace in his eyes.

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.
JOHN 14.27 (NLT)