Why oh Lord?

Moses experienced some major ministry issues while leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, especially in Numbers 11:
Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.
11 He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?
12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers?
13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’
14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.
15 If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now–if I have found favor in your eyes–and do not let me face my own ruin.”
God allowed this for the same reason God allows any affliction in our lives – to compel us to trust in Him all the more, to partner with Him in overcoming obstacles, and to love and praise Him all the more through our increased dependence on Him and the greater deliverance He brings.
Moses responded as we sometimes do:
“If You really loved me LORD, why would You bring all this upon me?” God’s response is ever the same: “It’s because I do love you that I am training you, building you up in faith.”
Then God taught Moses a lesson: God wanted Moses to see his wretchedness  – his inability to fix this problem – apart from the mighty hand of God. When Moses sees his wretchedness – his weakness, then he can be strong in God’s strength. As Paul learned: God’s strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
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Romans 7

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.-Romans 7:13-25 (ESV)
The glorious truth remains: there is victory in Jesus! Jesus didn’t come and die just to give us more or better rules, but to live out victory through those who believe. The message of the gospel is that there is victory over sin, hate, death, and all evil as we surrender out lives to Jesus and let Him live out victory through us. “A short epilogue, in which he teaches us, that the faithful never reach the goal of righteousness as long as they dwell in the flesh, but that they are running their course, until they put off the body.” -Calvin

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I just finished my last round of midterms of dental school. Ever. These cookies were made in celebration of that, and I just realized they’re perfect for St. Patty’s Day. To tell the truth, I’ve always hated this holiday because every year back in elementary school, I’d forget to wear green! This was mostly because I didn’t really own anything green. Thus, I DREADED this day because I would always get pinched! One year, when I had actually remembered it was St. Patrick’s Day, I was praying and hoping that my teal shirt would pass for green because it was the only thing I had. Sadly, I don’t think it passed. Oh, the joys of being an 8-year old.IMG_1399

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Naked

“But we cannot escape the embarrassment of standing stark naked before God. It is no use our trying to cover up like Adam and Eve in the garden. Our attempts at self-justification are as ineffectual as their fig-leaves. We have to acknowledge our nakedness, see the divine substitute wearing our filthy rags instead of us, and allow him to clothe us with his own righteousness.”
– John Stott

His Love Gives Everything

But real love isn’t something you can measure. The love God has for us is beyond numbers and can’t be tallied. When God promised to bless Abraham with countless children, he used the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore as a metaphor. These are things people simply cannot count. Paul described the love of Christ as surpassing knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). And the psalmist wrote, “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5).
God’s love for us goes farther than even time itself, into the deep recesses of eternity past. It stretched all the way from forever, forward to the cross, and will continue into eternity future. “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4–5).
His love for us is a love that doesn’t hold back. His love gives everything, to the point of sacrificing his very own Son. At the cross, the perfect eternal love of the triune God was shown most vividly as the Son bore all our sins for us. This is unquantifiable, immeasurable love.
Unlike many human relationships, we can’t add to God’s love for us. We can’t do anything to make him “unfriend” us. His love for us is perfect and complete. It is not based on what we can do for him or what we have to offer. It can’t be that way simply because he has no needs that we could ever meet. His love originates in himself and not in anything we have done or will do. This unconditional love is the love he set on Israel and it is the same love he has for us. “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you” (Deuteronomy 7:7–8).

you are truly loved, beautiful, adored, and cherished.

thank you, Ari, for this wonderful reminder!
from Desiring God

Black-edged Envelopes

“I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days. And when God has seemed most cruel to me he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father’s wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm. It brings healing in its wings and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.” -Spurgeon