Author Archives: Martha VanCise

Everything Happens for a Reason??

God's will

While conversing with a group of friends about a recent local tragedy, one person tried to console us by saying, “But everything happens for a reason.”

Psychology Today published the following statement. “The saying that everything happens for a reason is the modern, New Age version of the old religious saying: ‘It’s God’s will.’” The phrase “God’s will,” implies that God or a cosmic force is behind every event. “God’s will” for humans never included the atrocities that capture headlines or even the selfishness that destroys family structures.

While Christians may not use the phrase “It’s God’s will,” many attach the same meaning to Romans 8:28. I listened with horror as one Christian stopped before a miniature casket and emphatically told a grieving mother, “Remember! God works everything together for the good!” It was if he said, “It’s God’s will that your baby boy died.”  I don’t believe it was “God’s will” that the baby died. The baby died due to an obstetrician’s negligence. Satan used the death of that child to destroy a marriage and the faith of the mother. God doesn’t devastate us to teach us a lesson, but God does comfort and strengthen us in our most devastating moments.

Oswald Chambers said, “Life is immensely precarious, haphazard. A Christian does not believe that everything that happens is ordained by God; what he believes is that he has to get hold of God’s order no matter what happens … All things are permitted by God, but all things are not appointed by God, they appoint themselves; but God’s order abides, and if I maintain my relationship to Him He will make everything that happens work for my good.”

Romans 8:28 is not for everyone. It is for Christians. Whatever comes to us, God is beside us, rearranging the broken pieces into something good for us. A classic modern example of this is the ministry of Joni Earekson Tada. Joni never regained use of her limbs, but God brought immense “good” out of a devastating diving accident.

Check out Joni’s Favorite Quotes. http://www.joniandfriends.org/jonis-corner/jonis-bio/

Martha Hawn VanCise©2017 www.signpostsonhightrails.com
Photo: Shutterstock, Piotr Krzeslak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fallow Field

Barren Land

Her heart is as a once productive field
with stubby remains of a long‑ago‑harvested crop.
Despite neglect, a few signs of spiritual life still sprout.
May she realize her soul barrenness and
Glimpse again bountiful harvest possibilities

It may take deep painful plowing to break up the hardness,
to bury the husks of “not wanting to hear” or “to see.”
May she, though – even with trembling hands –
hand you a renewed life-time lease of her life.

“…break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12

Martha Hawn VanCise©2017 www.signpostsonhightrails.com
Photo: MHVanCise

Update on SIGNPOSTS ON HIGH TRAILS

still plodding

Yes, I’m still at it – with cup of coffee in hand – still plodding on the path of  writing a novel with a missionary setting. As I searched my journals for material, though, I noticed a theme of “intercession” and decided to take a break from fiction and post a few signposts on prayer. Intercessory prayer is more than repeating “save, keep, help, and protect” mantras

It is not
 
– praying for what we think a person needs or
– what we desire for them

It is
– standing in the gap between God and a person
– asking for God’s perspective of their need
– praying specifically as the Holy Spirit directs

In the 1980s, it seemed that God asked me to “stand in the gap” for specific people. Now, 30 years later, I am posting a few of these journaled prayers in www.signpostsonhightrails.com.  These prayers may resonate with some readers. Other readers may wonder if Martha is suffering from religious dementia! The first of these posts on Intercessory Prayer is titled FALLOW FIELD. You’ll find it at www.signpostsonhightrails.com.

Martha Hawn VanCise©2017 www.signpostsonhightrails.com

Photo: Shutterstock