All’s Well

They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” Mark 7:37 NASB

I was weary from the week and to be honest I kept having to take baby steps to get to the next thing. When I was a child I used to play a game called “Mother May I?” The object of the game is to reach the mother and the finish line. Baby steps are advantageous to the mother but frustrating for the children, it takes so much longer to reach the finish line when one is shuffling along as opposed to giant steps that are a much wider gait.

 Baby steps these days were apart from the “Mother May I?” and they looked a bit more like,

“Get dressed for work.” 

 “Get to the car.” 

“Choose your radio station, pick the one with the Bible quiz every morning.”

“Okay now Swing by the McDonalds and grab a sweet tea with a lemon. Go to the one that gives you a tiny bag of individual lemons.” 

If it were a “giant step” morning it would be “Go to work.” 

I was baby stepping my way to work in the cold rain and had pulled over to the aforementioned McDonalds. I paused in the parking lot long enough to turn the radio back up and I could hear the radio host speaking. The host sounds like a pastor to me. His words are always measured and deliberate. He pauses when he asks a question and he is friendly and kind. The radio host’s unconfirmed pastor’s voice came through the speaker. It was calm and measured and I recognized he was praying. 

He does this every morning. He chooses a people group and he prays for them; he asks the audience to pray with him. I used to feel awkward praying with a person I have never met, but I don’t anymore. My tea purchase had caused me to miss for whom we were praying for today, and for what. 

Some days we have prayed for husbands; we have prayed for wives, for stay at home parents, for people in the entertainment industry. We have prayed for those who are in a job search and those in the clergy. I was unsure who we were praying for this wet dark morning but he made a statement that was sobering and shook me to my core. 

He prayed, “If I should die in the next hour, may my heart cry out forever ‘My God has done all things well. Amen”

As soon as the statement registered I felt the pang of conviction, I heard that still small voice of the Spirit speak and I knew without question that should I die in the next hour that would not be what my heart would cry out. There was no way it could, if I couldn’t honestly say it for one minute now, how could my heart cry for eternity possibly be “My God has done all things well”?

I was shook, shaken, flabbergasted, astonished, bewildered, stupefied, taken aback, and all other vocabulary-list-worthy words conveying shock. 

“My God has done all things well.” 

It was a statement and not an interrogative, but the realization in that moment as I sat frozen and fixed, was that I realized my heart cry is actually “My God has done all things well, question mark.” 

Seriously, all things? All the things? I mulled over in my mind. All things? I began to dialog directly with God. 

“All things? No Lord, not all things.”

“All things Amy.” 

“But Lord, not all things. What about this circumstance that resulted in that outcome that has left these consequences? Not these things?”

“All things Amy Elizabeth.”

But Lord, all things? Really? But Lord you know right now, this moment, this hurt and season of despondency I am feeling, this is done well?” 

“Yes. All things. Have you forgotten my very nature, that I am incapable of not doing all things well?”

When He asks me questions, He knows I am forced to think.

I had not forgotten. The realization was, I had not even considered that aspect of His perfect nature. I had somehow in my mind compartmentalized and separated His perfection with His doing all things well. I had relegated His doing things well to the first six days of creation when he saw it as good. 

Tears came to my eyes and before long my face resembled the windshield in front of me. I told the Lord I was sorry and asked Him for His forgiveness that He had long ago already given me, and I thanked Him for being kind and patient, for abounding in love and for showing me that true nature of my heart and of His. I asked Him to help me to remember to take baby steps each day remembering and living out, “If I should die in the next hour, may my heart cry for eternity be. ‘My God has done all things well.’”

“You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:68 NIV 


We had walked around for about an hour when my grandson, Xavier, started telling me his “feets were so tired.” We had taken him to a car show and had seen everything from green cars to purple cars to trucks to motorcycles to old cars to new cars and everything in between. He had a photo op with some Star Wars characters that made his day, and he was just rounding the corner of politely being done and an all out breakdown. Can’t lie…I’ve been there myself.

We stepped to the side and he climbed up on a stage and on to his Papa’s shoulders. As we made our way back through the arena heading towards the door he started perking up. “I see an orange car over there, Gigi,” he shouted and pointed that little finger to his right. “Wait, I can see waaaaaay over there now, Papa!” “Papa, go this way…no this way…wait, I see a truck over there…go that way!” With every step taken on his Papa’s shoulders a whole new world was visible to him.

I started walking a little slower to fall in behind them. I soaked in the conversation they were having. The excitement from Xavier was contagious, and the joy that poured out of Shane was almost more than I could take. My eyes filled with tears and my heart almost burst. The image will forever be imprinted in my mind because it was such a beautiful moment between a grandfather and his grandson, but I just couldn’t remove the imagine of what life looks like on Jesus’s shoulders!

Friend, we spend a lot of time going through the motions. We walk with our head hung low because we’re just trying to make it through the day or the week or the month or sometimes just through the hour, and everything around us is buzzing by. We see it, but we don’t SEE it. And, then, one day Jesus comes along and picks us up and tosses us on his shoulders and starts carrying us. We’re so high that we can see over that mountain that is in front of us, and we can see the blessings that are all around. We exclaim “Jesus, I see it over there!” “Wait, Jesus, this way, I see something!” “Jesus, I didn’t know it was this…(sigh) beautiful!” Everything changes…when our view changes!

A change in view is life changing. That shift in perspective is literally the difference in existing and living. So, if you find yourself simply existing today, can I just encourage you to climb on Jesus’s shoulders and rest. Allow him to carry you and show the goodness that you can only see from his shoulders.

May the End of Your Story Be His Glory!

“This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4

Sometimes a single word can light up your brain with a whole story or a huge lesson. Names especially can do this: Nemo… DeSoto… Madame Curie… and from scripture, names like Zaccheus… Lazarus… You could give me The Story on each of these most likely. I thought I could too. At least until yesterday when I saw something new in the Lazarus narrative I had never seen before. Studying through the book of John, something leapt off the page of God’s Word.

Last week, in preparation for Sunday, I had read John 11 in its entirety, read some commentary on it, and was sitting in Sunday morning Bible class participating in a discussion pretty familiar with the chapter. As we reflected on details, we flipped back and forth observing verses that fleshed out the basics we can all re-tell so easily. We had looked at every kids’ favorite memory verse in John 11:35 – “Jesus wept.” Now, the focus of the moment had turned to Jesus’ behavior at the first part of the chapter when He received word that His friend was sick, before Lazarus had died. The part where Jesus didn’t rush to Bethany and prevent Lazarus from dying!

As I flipped back to look at what happened, verse 4 caught my eye.

“This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4

Right here, at the beginning, Jesus had told His disciples that this wouldn’t end in death. Then he lingered before He went, and Lazarus died. BUT this was only the middle of the story, not the end. You know the end: stinky four-day-old corpse, opening of the tomb, Jesus speaks a command, and out walks Lazarus, Zombie-style in grave clothes – Alive! It was a Hallelujah ending!

What began with sickness and a plea to the Messiah for help, proceeded through death, burial, and grieving, but ended with Glory!

Ladies, I wish I could tell you to just follow Jesus and your life will be rainbows and sunshine. But we all know “No rain, no rainbows.” What I can tell you with assurance are these things:

  • God is allowing your story to be written according to His plan. Jer. 29:11
  • You can call to Him and He will hear. Jer. 29:12-13
  • Like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ story, there will be sadness, grieving and death in the middle of our stories.
  • BUT – and I pray Dear friend, that you know Christ, because if you do – you can be certain that the end of your story will be Jesus’ glory!

So take heart this week. If it seems Jesus is delaying in doing something you are asking Him to do, or if He isn’t preventing death from entering your story, remember that He has Glory for the End of Your Story! Hope in the Lord!

A Simple Yes

Several years ago my kids and I were driving home from church down the interstate just at sunset. The colors in the sky that evening were absolutely breathtaking! The kids were commenting on their favorite colors and how pretty it was, and they started cheering as I drove. It looked like we were literally chasing the sun as it set! We had the windows down, sun roof open, and praise music playing pretty loud on our journey home!

I listened as the kids sang the words of the song! I looked in my rear view mirror and saw four little faces, the sun reflecting a bit in their eyes and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Greg and I and our girls said a simple “yes” to what God was calling us to do. We listened when He called us to just walk, just move when He needed us to. The part that hit me that day is that if we had said “no” or decided that we were too busy or scared that we would get “too attached,” we would have missed this. All of it. These faces that were singing praise, we would have missed it all.