“All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of His face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him.”
~ 2 Corinthians 3:18, The Message

I read something this morning that rocked my world:

“The nearer you get to Me, the more will you see the unlikeness to Me. So be comforted My children. Your very deep sense of failure is a sure sign that you are growing nearer to Me. And if you desire to help others to Me, then that prayer-desire is answered.

“Remember too, it is only struggle that hurts. In sloth – spiritual, or mental, or physical – there is no sense of failure or discomfort, but with action, with effort, you are conscious, not of strength but of weakness – at least, at first. That again is a sign of Life, of spiritual growth.” (God Calling, A.J. Russell)

Little did I know that within an hour of reading this, God would choose to seal these words in my spirit.

I felt prompted to check our online banking. We live penny-to-penny due to unemployment so our finances require a careful eye. I logged in. Answered the security question. Punched in the password and nearly fell out of my chair. Our balance presented itself in an angry shade of red. RED! We were overdrawn. Again. In the course of a very stressful week, I had forgotten to account for the automatic withdrawal of our life insurance.


I began to cry. What began as a pity-party quickly evolved into remorseful weeping – remorse for not being a more careful steward of God’s money; remorse for crumbling into a state of panic over how we would buy groceries this week, and enormous remorse over not trusting in my God.

I ran to my precious husband. “Honey, why are you crying?” he said.

“We’re overdrawn! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!”

I’m not sure which was angrier – the bright red on our banking statement or my heart. I wasn’t angry with God. Goodness knows, this wasn’t His fault. I was angry with me because I let it happen and I was angry with me because I felt like I had failed God once more.

David let me cry in his arms and then the Lord reminded me of the message He had spoken through God Calling this morning, “…it is only struggle that hurts. In sloth (laziness or complacency) there is no sense of failure or discomfort, but with action, with effort, you are conscious not of strength but of weakness…”

I cried some more, but this time my tears cleansed an angry heart and gave birth to thankfulness. David and I prayed and asked God for a miracle to sustain us through the week. As David prayed I remember him saying, “Lord, you knew before this happened that we would have a need today and I know You have already made provision for us. Thank You, Lord.”

Within a few minutes, through a phone call, some friends asked us to lunch. Their treat. At the restaurant we exchanged celebratory hugs of friendship and then they handed us an envelope. The back said, “Love, God”.

“What is this?” we asked.

“We’ve had this for two weeks. God blessed us and He asked us to share it with you. This morning He told us today was the day.”

Oh. My. Goodness.

Our God is an awesome God.
I want to be just like His Son when I grow up.

Father God, Awaken our hearts to recognize Your transforming work within us. We long to be more like Jesus – to bring the reflection of His love and grace into a hurting world. Give us strength for the journey. We love You, Lord…so much.
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