Thin Places

Driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the hillsides and trees exploded with spring colors. God’s presence in creation was palpable. The mountains were singing of our redemption, “The tomb is empty! We are born again to a new and living hope!”

The Irish have a concept, Thin Places, where heaven and earth touch, a place where we tangibly experience God. Habakkuk wrote of a future time when “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (2:14). Until that time, we catch glimpses of His glory.

Singing certain worship songs mentally transports me before the heavenly throne of our King where I can almost hear angels and saints from all ages praising God.  The experience of walking behind a roaring waterfall brought understanding to John’s description of Jesus in Revelation 1:15, “His voice was like the roar of many waters.” Even a lunch with friends is a holy place when we realize the Holy Spirit is orchestrating our conversation.

Lord, in the midst of my ordinary days, let me discern more of those thin places where heaven and earth merge.


I long to discover a burning bush
To hear God speak
To be called by the Lord
To encounter YHWH

I long for my ordinary moments to become sacred
To stand on holy ground
To watch You bring deliverance
To behold Your wonders (BIG and small)

Rejoice in Trials?

I keep encountering verses about testing and proving. For example….

In this greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perished even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine. 1 Peter 1:6-7

We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2

Although I know nothing about Greek, Blue Letter Bible ( allowed me to explore these verses. The Greek word dokime appeared in various forms. For the verses above, these definitions were given
1. proving, trial
2. approved, tried character
3. a proof, a specimen of tried worth

I wanted to examine in more depth, “How do we rejoice in suffering?” Peter gives us one clue stating, “In this greatly rejoice,” but in what? In 1 Peter 1:3-6, we rejoice because in God’s great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope and into an inheritance that will never spoil, fade or perish. Furthermore, we are being guarded by God’s power for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Next, we can choose to set our minds on eternal things instead of the current hardship. We can’t visualize things the ways God does. Similar to the difference in perspectives from ground level and an airplane flying at 10,000 feet, our perspective is so limited compared to God’s. In John 13:7, Jesus told his disciples, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

Finally, we are to rest assured of the future God has promised. Paul says it so perfectly in Romans 8:18, “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Somehow, God will redeem our pain.

Challenge: Can we somehow gain a paradigm shift in our thinking from, “I have to go through a trial,” (being punished mentality) to “I am appointed to go through this trial.” We are entrusted with an opportunity to grow and for others to see Jesus. Whether God is personally teaching me a lesson on putting my life on display so others can learn something, this trial is not without purpose.

Obviously, this is all easier to write than to put in practice; however, I aim to train myself to rejoice in whatever God allows to come my way instead of wallowing in every unpleasant circumstance.



During a marriage conference my husband and I attended, the speaker, Jimmy Evans, stated that the number one cause for divorce was not conflict about money or in-laws but disappointment.  In other words, this marriage did not turn out how we had hoped and expected. 

Disappointment leads to distance, not only in marriage but in our relationship with God. Because God promises never, ever to leave or forsake us, the feeling of separation results from how we perceive God, not that He has distanced himself from us.  

One source of our disappointment with God may be an unanswered prayer. When we ask the omnipotent, sovereign king of the universe for something we desperately think we need (either for ourselves or for someone we love), and He does not grant our request, we experience disappointment.  

How did others in the Bible handle God not granting their requests?  In Luke 22:41-44, God did not remove the cup of suffering from Jesus but sent an angel to strengthen Him for accomplishing God’s purpose on the cross. When He knew that he would have to experience the angst of the cross, Jesus told his Father, “Not as I will, but as you will.”  

Paul urgently prayed that the thorn would be removed from his flesh, but God denied him, telling Paul that the thorn would develop the quality of humility and cause Paul to lean upon God instead of himself.  Paul concluded, “His grace is sufficient.”  

Finally, consider John the Baptist. He was the voice crying in the wilderness with the good news Messiah had come.  A few years later, John was in prison awaiting execution on the whim of a crazy king.  He had heard about miracles that Jesus was doing for others – the blind received sight, the lame walked, yet John was beheaded. Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:6 to John were, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” John could look around and see the Lord was at work even if His power was not manifested by releasing John from prison. Earlier in his ministry, John stated, “He (Jesus) must become greater; and I must become less.” 

If your prayer is answered, who will get more glory, you or Jesus? Hebrews 5:8 tells us, “Jesus learned obedience from what He suffered.” His response to the Father was always reverent submission, and I pray for mine to be as well. 

Lord, forgive me for my prideful expectation that you will do this my way and for taking offence when your answer is not want I wanted.