Why Would God Let This Happen?

I wonder what would happen in our lives if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love. I mean, as Christians we know He loves us. We sing the songs, we quote the verses, we wear the T-shirts and we sport the bumper stickers. Yes, God loves us.

I’m not talking about knowing He loves us.

I’m talking about living as if we really believe it.

I’m talking about walking confidently in the certainty of God’s love even when our feelings beg us not to.

I’m talking about training our hearts and our minds to process everything through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love. Period. Without the possible question mark.

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a precious mom whose eldest daughter is nearing 30 and has never had a boyfriend. The younger siblings have all gone through the whole dating thing and one is now engaged to be married. The eldest daughter sat on the side of her mom’s bed recently with tears slipping down her cheeks and said, “Why mom? Why can’t I find anyone to love me? What’s wrong with me?”

This mom was asking me for advice in helping her daughter process these questions. These feelings are real. These feelings are tough.

And I’m sure if I were able to untangle all the emotions wrapped in and around these questions, somewhere deep inside I would find this girl doubting God’s love for her.

I remember being single, the only one of my friends without a boyfriend, and wondering why. I would see these nice boys and think God could make one of them fall in love with me but He hasn’t. And that hurt.

But here’s the thing I wish I had known then … I must process this through the filter of God’s love not through the tangled places of my heart.

When I process things through the tangled places of my heart, often the outcome is, “If God loves me so much, why would He let this happen?”

Instead when I process things through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love, the outcome is, “God loves me so much therefore I have to trust why He is allowing this to happen.”

I took the mom’s hand who was asking for advice and told her to help her daughter rewrite the way she is processing this. It’s okay to feel hurt, lonely and sad. But these feelings shouldn’t be a trigger to doubt God’s love for her. They should be a trigger to look for God’s protection, provision and possible growth opportunities.

I know this can be hard. But what if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love?

I want to help you walk in that truth. That’s why my team at Proverbs 31 Ministries and I are hosting a FREE online Bible study of my book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. Sign up today and be equipped to:

• Stop going through the motions of religion and learn how to experience Jesus in a personal way.
• Overcome the issues that pull your heart away from the Lord by gaining passion and confidence about your faith.
• Move past simply knowing about God and discover how to become vibrantly alive as you apply Biblical truths to your life.

Sign up here.

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Why I’m Breaking Up With My “Quiet Time”

I’m taking a break from having a quiet time. Because sometimes I can get in a rut. Even with good things. And having a daily quiet time is a good thing. Until it becomes more about routine than actually connecting with God.

When God becomes routine rather than revival, it’s time to switch things up.

Otherwise, I might start seeing this time as less important. It becomes the second or third thing I do. After other things. Seemingly more pressing things. Before I know it, it’s been days since I connected privately and personally with Truth.

And then my soul feels a bit off and sluggish. Like when my stomach has been denied food, a desperation starts creeping over other parts of the body. That happens with soul hunger too.

Only the triggers for stomach hunger are much more apparent. My brain quickly reminds me, “You feel awful because you need to eat.”

Sometimes my brain isn’t as quick to pick up on soul hunger. So I just lumber forward but wonder, “What’s wrong?” I think of a list of reasons… I’m tired, I haven’t had enough fun, girlfriend time or my butt looks big in these jeans.

And while some of those things may be true — it’s not why I feel off.

I need more time with God.

Not more quiet time.

More listening time.

This morning as I sat with God with nothing but willingness to listen, three things popped into my mind. I can’t say “God spoke to me” but it felt right. I need to do some new things as I listen. Listen. Listen.

* Study wisdom by reading a chapter in Proverbs everyday.
Ask God to reveal “my verse” for the day and think of ways to apply it. I listen.

* Read something from someone I admire.
I need to study leadership right now. So, I pick up a book written on this topic by someone I admire and glean from their wisdom. I listen.

* Read something from someone I trust.
There’s a book I’m reading right now that is whimsical and grounded all at the same time. It makes me feel like this writer gets me. They get my struggles and offer up advice I know I can trust. I listen.

Maybe you think all this still sounds like a quiet time, but to me it’s different. It’s a listening time. A time to shake things up a bit and get outside my normal routine. A time to listen to God speak. And He does speak… through His book of wisdom, through someone I admire and through someone I trust.

And this morning? My soul felt that thrilling and comforting full feeling. Complete. Satisfied. Deeply nourished.

What do you need to break up with so you can connect more closely and listen more intently to God?

If the topic of relationships and conflict is something you’re wanting to study right now, my book, Unglued, will help you have better reactions. This might be a really good thing to study as the holidays are approaching. To find out more, click here.


Something I’ve Been Avoiding

Welcome to the Proverbs 31 Devotion friends. I’m glad you’re here. The verses you’re looking for are below.

In today’s devotion, I asked, “Is there something you’ve been avoiding because you’re afraid?” And my answer is yes. I have a friend going through a divorce and it’s hard to know how to help – what to say – what not to say.

It’s just hard. So, I’ve been avoiding reaching out for fear of saying the wrong thing.

Until last week when a moving truck pulled up to the front of my friend’s house. Sometimes moving signifies something exciting and new. Sometimes it doesn’t.

This move signified an end. A few hours into the process of emptying her home, the movers carried out her wedding portrait, and called to her, “You want the photographs in the stairwell to go with us, or are you taking those separately in your vehicle?”

“I’ll be taking those separately,” she said the irony not escaping her. Separately. That was how she’d be living her life now. Separate from the neighborhood where her kids had grown up. Separate from her husband. Separate from the way she thought her life would be.

She took the wedding portrait from the mover as a feeling of confusion washed over her. She sat down on the front steps and called me. Through her tears she said, “I don’t know what to do with this portrait. What do you do with the things that have no place anymore? We built a life together and now there’s no more together. There isn’t a place for that in my mind. What am I going to do?”

As soon as I heard her shaky voice, I felt so awful for not calling.

And though I still didn’t know exactly what to say, I knew this was my time to say something – do something.

I knew better than throw out a quippy little bit of Christianese. I once had someone tell me as I stood over my dying sisters bedside, “You just have to let go and let God.” I knew they meant well.

But honestly it infuriated me.

No, I wouldn’t throw out something just to fill the uncomfortable silence. Trite sayings weren’t going to help my friend. Well meaning phrases weren’t going to crawl up in bed with her tonight and hold her broken heart threatening to beat out of her chest.

That would be like holding out scotch tape and suggesting it could fix a broken life.

I finally said to my friend, “I’m crying with you. I don’t have answers, but I do have prayers. And I’m going to write out conversations I have with God so you’ll know He’s not being silent right now. He sees you. He hears you. And through His truth He will comfort you.”

I pulled out my Bible and poured out the hurt and sadness. “God show me. Show me the right truths. Use my hand to write out some comfort from Your Word for my friend. She’s afraid and needs Your comfort more than ever.”

Me: Lord, I have to tell You it is a hard thing to watch my friend hurt so much. She begged You to help save her marriage and honestly we’re confused why it all still fell apart.

The Lord: Do the words of Job 17:11 express the way you are feeling? My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.

Me: Yes, Lord, and I’m confused. Lord don’t You see her tears? If seeing her sadness breaks my heart, I know it must break Your heart too. It is hard for me to understand why this all happened.

The Lord: Recall the beauty of trusting the only One who can see what is and what is to come. Remember my words in Nahum 1:7…The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.

Me: I do trust You Lord. But for everything to end like this is so hard. It just seems so pointless.

The Lord: Oh, nothing I allow is pointless. Nothing you go through is pointless. Even in the midst of hurt I will work good. I will work good for her now and I will work good for her in the future. I still have a grand plan and purpose for her. Proverbs 19:20-21…Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Me: I just need to know why she has to go through this.

The Lord: You don’t have to have answers Lysa. You just need to trust. Isaiah 55:8-9…For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Me: But what about the desires of her heart Lord?

The Lord: I am the only one who even knows the full scope of those desires Lysa. I will give her new desires and help her so those desires come to pass. Just encourage her to trust me and make wise choices. Psalm 37:3-4…Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

After I wrote all this out, I sent it to my friend. My letter didn’t fix her hurt or answer her questions. It didn’t give her a place to put those things that seemed to have no place right now. But it did get her to open up God’s word and start having conversations with Him for herself. And as she moves on, this was a good first step to take.

No matter what you’ve been avoiding out of fear, determine to take one positive step today. Here are a few empowering verses to use when fear is holding you back:


1. Psalm 27:1-2

The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?


2. Isaiah 41:10:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.


3. Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.


4. 2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.


5. Hebrews 13:6

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”


6. Psalm 34:4

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.