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8
April 2021
Waiting
12
November 2020
The Gift of Self
4
November 2020
False Guilt
4
November 2020
Living Hope (part 2)
28
October 2020
Living Hope
7
October 2020
Consider It Joy
7
October 2020
Seize the Trial
10
September 2020
Take Heart and Endure
2
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Free From Fear
20
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Our Unseen Hope
20
August 2020
The God of Peace
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Loneliness, The Search for Answers, Words of Endurance

“There are great perplexities in life,
but thank God, if we will trust,
with the bold, implicit trust
of our natural life, in the Son of God,
He will bring out His perfect, complete purposes
in and through our particular lives.”
OSWALD CHAMBERS



I can remember it as if it were yesterday. It was June of 1982 – we were living in Honolulu, HI where Dave had been playing Triple A Ball for the Hawaii Islanders, the San Diego Padres minor league team. On our team that year were seven other Christian couples. We had all accepted Christ the season before in Double A Ball in Amarillo, TX and it was amazing that we had all been promoted to Triple A together!



That season had so much promise to be the best summer of our lives. We were playing ball in Hawaii, with our most precious Christian friends and five of the eight couples were expecting their first child – all scheduled to deliver during that baseball season in Hawaii.



I was the second one of the group to give birth and our baby was due on June 20th – perfect timing – Dave would be in Honolulu for the birth and then be home for two weeks after. BUT Tiffany was born on June 6th – Dave was in Phoenix with the team – Dave missed her birth by an hour – but I was not alone – God provided. Six wives took me to the hospital and they took turns doing labor coaching, waiting room duty, keeping Dave informed as he made his way back and finally, Mary and Katie (both pregnant) helped with the delivery.



While I was so disappointed that Dave missed the birth once he was there – I couldn’t have been happier. I looked forward to a wonderful summer with my husband, our new baby girl and all of our Christian friends. BUT …


We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
but God’s purpose prevails.
PROVERBS 19:21 (THE MESSAGE)



THEN – when Tiffany was two days old – THE PHONE CALL came. Dave was called up to the Major Leagues. He left the next day – leaving Tiffany and me behind – alone to pack and follow him to San Diego a few days later.



I was devastated – I couldn’t believe it! I was alone and afraid – forced to leave my friends and move to a strange place where I knew no one – with a new baby – life was not going as I planned. I cried out and asked God WHY and WHY NOW?



Just before I left for the airport, Sheila, one of the wives, gave me a handwritten card to encourage me. In it she wrote out Proverbs 3:5-6. – A verse I had never read before – a Word from God – a lifeline verse to which I would cling.



Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
PROVERBS 3:5-6 (THE MESSAGE)



Of course, Dave went on to a successful career in baseball and shortly there after several of our friends from Hawaii were called up to the Major Leagues with us. Looking back, I can now see His Purpose and His Plan. This was my first baby step of trusting God and enduring when I did not understand – it would prove to be the training and preparation for the times that were to come that would be much more difficult to endure.



All Things work for our good.
Though sometimes we can’t see how they could.
Struggles that break our heart in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth.
Our Father knows what is best for us.
His ways are not our own.
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just can’t see Him,
Remember you’re never alone.
God is too wise to be mistaken,
God is too good to be unkind,
So when you don’t understand,
When you don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand,
Trust His heart.
“TRUST HIS HEART”
BY EDDIE CARSWELL AND BABBIE MASON



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Prayer, The Search for Answers, Words of Endurance

“When I lay these questions before God I get …
a silent certainly not uncompassionate, gaze.
As though He shook His head
not in refusal but waiving the question.
Like, Peace child; you don’t understand.”
CS LEWIS (A GRIEF OBSERVED)



When she was a young girl, Corrie Ten Boom once asked her father a difficult question, the answer for which she would not be able to understand and the reality of which she would not be able to bear. In her book, The Hiding Place, she describes her father’s answer:



He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads and set it on the floor.
“Will you carry it off the train Corrie?” He said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
“It’s too heavy,” I said.
“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions – for now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.
THE HIDING PLACE BY CORRIE TEN BOOM



It absolutely drives me nuts when I don’t know the answer – when I don’t understand! But my questioning, impatient spirit is quieted within me when I realize there will come a time when I will know everything completely. I can trust my Abba Father because I know …



When I was an infant at my mother’s breast,
I gurgled and cooed like any infant.
When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly.
We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.
But it won’t be long before the weather clears
and the sun shines bright!
We’ll see it all then,
see it all as clearly as God sees us,
knowing him directly just as he knows us!
1 CORINTHIANS 13:12 (THE MESSAGE)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Depression, Prayer, The Search for Answers, Words of Endurance

God, are you avoiding me?
Where are you when I need you?
PSALM 10:1 (THE MESSAGE)



Why is it when we are on the mountaintop we can feel God’s presence but when we are experiencing adversity – the wilderness which seems like a hot desert – a time when we need Him most – He seems to be avoiding us totally. He seems to be nowhere to be found.



On the day of Dave’s comeback game and even in the following game when he broke his arm throwing his career ending pitch, we both felt God’s presence so strongly. We were on the mountaintop and we wanted to bask in His presence forever.



But one year later – after two more surgeries, two separate rounds of radiation, a staph infection and depression – we found ourselves in the wilderness with no way out and God was nowhere to be found. But we learned …



“Looking back, we have learned that the
wilderness is part of the landscape of faith,
and every bit as essential as the mountaintop.
On the mountaintop we are overwhelmed by
God’s presence. In the wilderness we overwhelmed
by His absence. Both places should bring us to
our knees; the one, in utter awe; the other,
in utter dependence.”
(WHEN YOU CAN’T COMEBACK BY DAVE & JAN DRAVECKY)



If you are experiencing adversity – wandering in a wilderness which seems like a hot desert – drop to your knees in utter dependence. The Scripture assures us that God is with us …



But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
ISAIAH 43:1-2 (THE MESSAGE)



Is He with us in the wilderness? Oh yes! He is not only with you and me everytime we find ourselves in the wilderness but He promises to meet us there and make a road through our desert …



Be alert, be present.
I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
ISAIAH 43:19 (THE MESSAGE)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Depression, Prayer, The Search for Answers, Words of Endurance

God, God . . . my God!
Why did you dump me
miles from nowhere?
Doubled up with pain, I call to God
all the day long. No answer. Nothing.
I keep at it all night, tossing and turning.
PSALM 22:1 (THE MESSAGE)



For many of us, as well as with King David, the pain and suffering of life draws the nagging question Why? out into the open.



Few of us ask the question Why? when life is going well. But when life doesn’t go the way we think it should – when a tragedy befalls us or our loved ones – when we can’t make sense out of what is happening – we cry out to God – Why???



That was how it was for Dave and I. Our life was going great – almost like a fairy tale. We were young and healthy – we were growing in our faith – we were happily married – we had two beautiful children – Dave’s baseball career was successful.



And then from what seemed out of nowhere …



Wham!!! Dave is diagnosed with cancer that resulted in the loss of his physical health and baseball career.



Wham!!! I experience a debilitating depression in the midst of Dave’s cancer battle – the loss of emotional health – unable to fulfill my duty as a wife, mother and caregiver.



We felt blind-sided and I asked God Why???



Have you ever felt blind-sided on your journey? Are you asking God Why? Then join me on a journey into God’s Word in search for the answer to the question … Why???



I found truths in the pages of the Bible that brought peace to my questioning mind and set me free. Over the next several weeks – together – I will be sharing those truths with you.



I leave you with the following Scripture – a prayer of the ever-questioning King David. Please make it your prayer too!



Show me how you work, God;
School me in your ways.
Take me by the hand;
Lead me down the path of truth.
You are my Savior, aren’t you?
PSALM 25:4-5 (THE MESSAGE)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Perseverance, Purpose in Suffering?, The Search for Answers, Trust, Words of Endurance

Endure hardship as discipline;
God is treating you as his children.
For what children are not disciplined by their father?
If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—
then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.
How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best;
but God disciplines us for our good,
in order that we may share in his holiness.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace
for those who have been trained by it.
HEBREWS 12:7-11 (NIV)



I was home alone. It was the day before Dave and I were leaving for Sloan Kettering in New York where he was to have his left arm amputated.



They had announced via the national media that Dave was going to have the amputation and now our phone was ringing off the hook. People from all over the country were calling to tell Dave not to have the amputation –they told us to have more faith – they shared that God does not intend for us to suffer.



Still, in the throes of a dark depression and a mind that felt like a rusty computer, I can remember hanging up the phone for the tenth time that day and feeling nothing but confusion. I grabbed my Bible and threw myself on the floor in our family room.



I cried out to God and I pleaded, “If you don’t intend for us to suffer then why are we suffering? Father, it can’t be this hard. Please take away the confusion and show me Your Truth.”



I had placed the Bible before me on the floor and as I opened my tear filled eyes the Bible had opened up to Hebrews 12 and my blurred vision then focused clearly on verse 7 “Endure all hardship as discipline; for God is treating you as his children…”



As discipline. It didn’t say hardship was discipline. It didn’t say God was bending us over the bed and beating our backsides to get us to straighten up. It said to endure hardship the same way you would endure your parents’ discipline. And how do we do that? By submitting to it, enduring it and learning from it.



I skimmed through the passage and stopped at verse 11: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”



Peace, That is what I needed. That is what I so desperately longed for. I realized then that peace would come but that it would come later, as the fruit of my struggle, as the harvest of a long growing season. What I needed until that harvest was a farmer’s patience.



I also needed to trust the love of my heavenly Father and know He was there in the midst of our pain and confusion. He was leading and teaching us for our good so that we may share in His holiness and the result was a peace that surpassed all understanding.



Be assured that God is in the midst of your pain and you can trust Him to guide and lead you through any valley. As you submit, endure and learn from it there will be a harvest of righteousness and peace for you –



God disciplines and teaches us because He loves us.



Though the Lord gave you adversity for food
and suffering for drink,
he will still be with you to teach you.
You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.
ISAIAH 30:20-21 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Hope, Perseverance, Purpose in Suffering?, The Search for Answers, Trust, Words of Endurance

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good
of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son,
so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
ROMANS 8:28-29 (NLT)



Probably one of the most quoted scripture shared with those who suffer is “… God causes everything to work together for the good …”. While Dave and I were in the midst of our pain and we would hear these words, we would think, “What good can come out of cancer, loss of arm and career, depression and the loss of loved ones?”



As we looked to the Scripture for answers we noticed that verse 28 is often quoted alone without verse 29. Verse 29 is important because it qualifies verse 28 and answered our question: The good that comes from our suffering is so that we may “… become like his Son …”.



And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. PHILIPPIANS 1:6 (NLT)



Please know that while we were in the midst of our trials we were not aware of the good work that was being done within us. But now that we are on the other side of our valley we cannot deny the good that has come out of our suffering. (Remember that hindsight is 20/20!)



  • We learned God’s Word. It was and still is our lifeline. PSALM 119:71

  • We learned that God could be trusted in the midst of our trials even when we did not understand.

  • He directed our path. We know we can trust Him in every trial. PROVERBS 3:5-6

  • We learned that God’s presence was not dependent upon our feelings. HEBREWS 13:5

  • We learned to persevere in the midst of suffering and our character matured – molded and shaped by the affliction. JAMES 1:2-4

  • Our faith was refined and our convictions were strengthened. 1 PETER 1:7

  • The ministry, Endurance, was birthed. We answered the call to comfort others as we ourselves were comforted by God. 2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-5


You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.
He brought me to this position
so I could save the lives of many people.
GENESIS 50:20 (NLT)
(Words of Joseph, son of Jacob, spoken to his brothers who sold him into slavery years before.)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Hope, Pain, The Search for Answers, Words of Endurance

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering,
as though something strange were happening to you.
1 PETER 4:12



I am a planner and I don’t like surprises. So when Dave and I were taken by surprise by our season of suffering, we felt blindsided. Our faith was challenged and it sent us reeling spiritually.



To complicate matters worse, many well-meaning Christians tried to encourage us by telling us that it was not God’s Will for Christians to suffer. I remember thinking then why are we suffering – are we not truly Christians?



Even though I had solid Bible teaching and had learned a lot on my journey of faith, I had not addressed the issue of suffering and the Christian. So I turned to the Word of God to see what God had to say. And I found these encouraging words of Jesus –



I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. JOHN 16:33 (NLT)



I found so much hope and promise in this scripture. Even though I did not like learning that Christians will have trials and sorrows on this earth (no suffer-free passes for Christians), I did like being warned in advance so I would be prepared somewhat when they did come.



Jesus was warning his disciples (and us) that there would be trials ahead so they (we) would not be taken by surprise as if something strange were happening to them (us). He was preparing us for what was ahead.



Secondly, by being forewarned and trusting Jesus to lead us through, we can experience peace in the midst of our trials. We are assured by Jesus to not lose heart because He has overcome the world.



I leave you with the following verse to reflect on and rejoice in its promise. He will overcome!
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
REVELATION 21:3-5



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Hope, Pain, The Search for Answers, Trust, Words of Endurance

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
s0 far from the words of my groaning?
PSALM 22:1 (WORDS OF KING DAVID)



For many of us, as well as with King David, the pain and suffering of life draws the nagging question why? out into the open.



Few of us ask many questions when life is going well. But when life doesn’t go the way we think it should, when a tragedy befalls us or our loved ones, or when we can’t make sense out of what is happening, the question why? often pops to the surface.



That was how it was for Dave and I. Our life was going great – almost like a fairy tale. We were young and healthy – we were growing in our faith – we were happily married – we had two beautiful children – Dave’s baseball career was successful.



And then from what seemed out of nowhere …



Wham!!! Dave is diagnosed with cancer – the loss of physical health and career.



Wham!!! I experience a debilitating depression in the midst of Dave’s battle– loss of emotional health – unable to fulfill my duty as a wife, mother, and caregiver.



We felt blindsided… and I asked God … why?



Have you felt blindsided on your journey? Are you asking God why? Then join me on a journey into God’s Word in search for the answer to the question … why?



I found truths in the pages of the Bible that brought peace to my questioning mind and set me free. Over the next several weeks, together, I will be sharing those truths with you.



I leave you with the following Scripture – a prayer of the ever-questioning King David – please make it your prayer.
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
PSALM 25:4-5 (WORDS OF KING DAVID)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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