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Extravagant

“He brought me to His banqueting table, And His banner over me was love.” Song of Songs 2:4

We just bought a home in Idaho and I’ve been gathering household items to bring since there aren’t many big stores in that area. Not knowing what the former owner would leave, I bought some cute Target towels to bring with me, just in case. But I did browse the high-end stuff at Bloomingdale’s at Valley Fair just to dream. Abyss towels felt out of this world but they cost some crazy amount like $100 a towel. I took a picture of them, that’s all.

When we moved into the house, we discovered the former owner had outfitted each bedroom with lovely bedding and the bathroom with, you guessed it, Abyss towels. I wanted to cry.

You wouldn’t believe that towels could be the catalyst for a spiritual experience, but stay with me. Do you sometimes get the impression that God, yes God Almighty, actually gets a kick out of blessing you? It’s almost like you could look across the room and catch Him just smiling at you, waiting for that look of delight and wonder.

One quiet morning in the new house I was sitting with my Bible and coffee and just gazing out the window. Normally, the hundreds of aspens in my view would merely blend into a dull kind of gray, but in the quiet of this particular morning, each tree seemed to stand out individually. I held the beauty of them. A black and white magpie darted through the trees.  Geese honked overhead as they divebombed the river. The silvery light cascaded through the cottony flowers of the aspens. The entire scene took my breath away, and in the moment, I actually felt loved. Again, it was as if I could look across the room and catch Him watching me, seeing if I found delight in His gifts. Both of these moments—the towels and the morning view of aspens– felt extravagant.

It’s interesting that the definition of extravagant reflects a negative perspective: “exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate,” “lacking in moderation, balance and restraint,” and “over the top.”  But sometimes “over the top” is wonderful. Sometimes we pray that God would connect with us in an unrestrained way. We scour the old stories for new sprouts of truth and life. We look for His face in common events.

And that’s what happened for me that beautiful silver morning when the first song on my Sonos playlist was a Casting Crowns song, “Your Love is Extravagant.” The harmonies are spectacular but the lyrics just wrecked me: “Your love is extravagant, Your friendship, it is intimate. Spread wide in the arms of Christ, is the love that covers sin. No greater love have I ever known than You considered me a friend.”  The fact that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners is extravagant, over the top, love. How He made us to relish beauty and to connect with nature in a spiritual and sensuous way totally lacks moderation. The way God inspires people we don’t even know to give gifts we couldn’t give ourselves, truly exceeds reason. 

God gives good gifts to us: beauty when our hearts ache for inspiration, nature moving in a complex system with cohesion releasing peace to our tech weary eyes. He offers avenues of protection, channels of provision, streams in a desert. Recklessly, He throws reason aside and loves unconditionally. Like a lottery winner we can’t believe our good fortune that God, yes God, Almighty loves us, extravagantly. 

Have you recognized the love of God in your life recently? This week, scan the landscape for ways that God is smiling at you. Steal moments from a busy world to gaze upon beauty, walk in nature, be still, and be at peace. Let Him love you!

Do you know someone who could use some inspiration in life right now? Share this blog or gift my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. Go to www.MargaretAllen.org for “Mondays with Margaret” and other resources.

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Monthly Mashup

Welcome to my monthly mashup! These are some of the things I’ve enjoyed or pondered this month:

A Devotional I’m loving: Igniting Faith in 40 Days by Steve & Wendy Backlund

If you are open to a new perspective, check out this little devotional. Igniting Faith is a mere 44 pages, but it packs a punch. Some of the illustrations from the Backlunds helped shift my focus to a much more positive and faith-filled expectation. Their notes on Romans 4:17 (God calls the things that are not…) and Ezekiel 37 (bringing life to dead places) are absolute fire. This is my fourth time through Igniting Faith and it’s still an inspiring way to start the day.

A video I enjoyed: “An ER doctor on how to triage your busy life”

 If, like me, you have fallen out of love with TEDX talks, this one may win you back. It’s not that I dislike TEDX talks, I just got tired of wading through ones that didn’t apply. But Darria Long’s talk as an ER doc was fun, inspiring, and practical. Her presentation helped me to rethink some ways I was organizing my life and also be more thoughtful about how I talked about my life. Check it out: https://youtu.be/Fe1z22_Qd9E

A cookbook/insta account I adore: Half Baked Harvest

I tend to get stuck in my cooking creativity, making the same tired meals each week. My daughter Miranda offered to cook for me when she was home. She came in with Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp in Coconut Milk and proceeded to Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar. I was practically licking the pan as I asked, “Miranda, where did you get these fabulous recipes?” She laughed, “Aren’t they great? And they are so easy!”  If you have an insta account, look up @halfbakedharvest.

 A young gal named Tieghan Gerard started creating fabulous recipes at a young age and founded Half Baked Harvest. She is a NYT best-selling author of HBH Super Simple cookbook. Her insta account @halfbakedharvest provides daily inspiration for dinner and desserts. I thought I knew how to make tacos till I made her Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch! Check out Easy Greek Sheet Pan Souvlaki and Potatoes or Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with Whipped Mascarpone. So good! Try it out and let me know your favorites!

A Quote I’m pondering:

“Stop trying to get from people, what you will only ever get from God.” – Christine Cain

Thanks for reading! I always ask for feedback on the blog and recently a friend mentioned that she was not able to leave comments. Has anyone else had trouble commenting or sharing it on their social? Please let me know! You can sign up to receive my blog in your email every Monday at www.MargaretAllen.org at the bottom of Monday’s With Margaret. And, if you are reading through my book, Gracious Living, I would love to hear what resonates for you. Have a beautiful week everyone!

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Good Friends

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

Do we consider ourselves friends of Christ? Honestly, sometimes it’s easier to just be a servant! We secretly attempt to compartmentalize our faith by choosing to “serve” at strategic junctures while keeping some parts of our heart separate, private. And even while Christ deserves obedience, what He has called us to is actual friendship. This friendship is a little key that opens the big doors of blessing from God.

When we consider friendship with Christ as the overarching principle of being a Christian, then the underlying character traits make sense. Stay with me: last week we saw that humility and worship were ways of partnering with God to unlock the doors to a full life. If I am truly focused on being a close friend with Christ, humility is a natural response! Worship makes total sense. If I am vulnerable and transparent before the Lord, seeking to be His friend, then a hunger for righteousness is completely in line. Gratitude isn’t so much a practice as it is a natural outflow of my friendship with our loving Savior.

This week I’ve reflected on my friendship with God. I’ve asked Him how we could be closer. I’ve also asked if there were thoughts or behaviors that initiated distance rather than intimacy. I have discovered over and over that distance is my choice and not His. But when Jesus said, “I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you,” He was establishing His desire for closeness and communication.

Think about your friendship with God this week. Do the things that good friends do: spend time together, share your heart with honesty and vulnerability, laugh, sing, cry. Give honor and credit. Be grateful. Value what He values. Ask questions.

May the joy and peace that uniquely belongs to Christ, fill you to overflowing this week. May this key of friendship with Christ open beautiful doors of blessing in your life.

Check out my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. Read it on your own or go through it with friends. I enjoy zoom calls with groups that are reading through Gracious Living together and discovering such joy in the journey. Check out my website for more at http://www.MargaretAllen.org

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Partnering with God

A few weeks ago, I posted a reader’s question concerning the law of partnership. We talked about ways we inadvertently partner with the enemy through our participation in fear, anxiety, shame, anger, pride and so on.  Today I want to focus on specific ways of partnering with God that bring blessing and peace into our lives. Little keys open big doors. What are the little keys, the ways we hold hands with God, that open the big doors of blessing and peace?

One key is humility to seek God’s Face

“all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5: 5-7 You might need to reread this scripture in order to see that one of the ways we humble ourselves is by casting all of our anxiety on Him.

Proverbs 22:4 “True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.”

 Let’s dig into a story that illustrates this key of humility unlocking the door to God’s blessing: in 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat, King of Judah faced terrifying armies coming against him and he was deeply troubled. But rather than partner with fear and anxiety, he humbled himself and turned his attention to seeking God. He fasted. Then he stood before his nation and proclaimed the promises and faithful nature of God. He recounted God’s goodness out loud. In faith he declared that God would hear and save because they had cried out to Him in their affliction. Jehoshaphat prayed, “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 2 Chron 20:12

We all have prayed that prayer at some time, haven’t we? Lord, I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you! And just as God answered the humble and vulnerable prayer of King Jehoshaphat, He answers us as well. “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” v 15 God was saying your problems are now MY problems! I got this. Study your Bible my friend and see if you don’t find time and time again, God exalts the humble. This one little key will open the door to riches, honor, and long life.

Praise, Worship, and Adoration

Listen to how King Jehoshaphat responded when he heard from God: “Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and everyone worshipped the Lord. They stood up to praise the Lord God with voices loud and high.” 2 Chron 20:19

Does God come through for you and then it’s back to business as usual? Let me encourage you, after doing the hard spiritual work of seeking God’s face and fasting, get your praise on. Shout hallelujah. Proclaim His goodness and His faithful promises out loud to your own self and to anyone else around. And when the Spirit of God shows up, no matter how He shows up, worship and adore Him with voices LOUD and HIGH! That’s right, get your praise on! 

Jehoshaphat believed so strongly in the faithfulness of God that he put singers in front of his soldiers. They praised the beauty of God’s holiness, saying “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” Get this now: WHEN they began to sing and to praise, THEN the Lord ambushed the enemy. (2 Chron 20:22) God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3) He waits for one sign of our worship, our obedience, our trust in Him, and He reveals His goodness and faithfulness. 

When you don’t know what to do with the multitude coming against you, whether it’s health issues, marriage problems, finances, or more, partner with God through these simple key acts of obedience.  Humble yourself, cry out to God and seek His face. As you worship Him and proclaim His goodness you will experience God’s blessing and peace. 

These are just a few of the keys to unlocking doors to blessing. Do you have a testimony of God coming through for you? Please share it in the comments. We will examine a few more keys next week as we set our hearts on partnering with God to walk in blessing.

Check out my website for more information at www.margaretallen.org. Find me on insta @margaretallen.gl  

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A Quick Thought

My friends, due to a wild week and crazy delays in Maggie Land, I won’t be posting my blog this week.  The scheduled topic of How to Partner with God to Walk in Blessing is just too important to approach hurriedly. Look for the full discussion next week!

I have one story that I’d like to share from this week: my son, Cooper, told me when he was reading his Bible on Friday something in Psalm 91 stood out to him. It read, “For God will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. On their hands they will lift you up, so that you do not strike your foot against a stone.” The very next morning he was involved in a terrible ATV accident. Even though the ATV flipped over, Cooper landed unharmed. He was able to lift the vehicle off several people who were pinned beneath and get medical help. Through the entire traumatic situation Cooper felt God guiding, comforting, and drawing them near.  

I wondered if the Spirit of God, speaking through Psalm 91, was encouraging Cooper and strengthening his faith ahead of time. God promises to protect His children, but how much more when they ask? God promises to be NEAR to His beloved, but how much more when they welcome Him?

Happy Easter this week- Christ IS risen, He is risen indeed! May His peace and power be evident in our life. Feel free to share this story with anyone who needs to hear it! My blog is at http://www.MargaretAllen.org along with encouraging resources.

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Reader’s Question: Law of Partnership

Just as the law of gravity orders our physical world, spiritual laws govern the spiritual realm. The law of partnership is one of those laws. In my Real Talk interview with Pastor Lily Olgiati I explained that in this law of partnership, God is a gentleman. Meaning that He waits for our engagement with Him, never intruding on space we have not offered. In contrast, the devil is terrifyingly intrusive, taking ground that was never intentionally offered.  Any experience with addiction, anger, or fear quickly verifies this. We may open the door to a temporary experience and find we have fallen down a slippery slope of painful behaviors. 

Throughout the Old Testament, we read statements like this: “If you would only obey Me, then…” (see Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 4,5,6, 1 Samuel 7) Is God on a big power trip about obedience? No, rather I believe He created this law of partnership, that He LONGS to bless us, pour good into our lives, IF we will only PARTNER with Him. God cannot force blessing upon us but eagerly waits for us to open the door to Him.  Similarly, if we partner with the enemy, we have empowered him (the devil and demonic spirits) whose goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. (Jn. 10:10) We see in scripture that when God’s people pray, fast, dedicate themselves, and obey, then peace follows. God delivers them from oppression of every kind and pours out blessing and rest. And when God’s people wander from Him and follow (partner with) other gods, the door to oppression, sickness, and lack opens.

How can we identify partnerships in our life? Think about the last experience you had that felt off, uncomfortable, or confusing. As you reflect, ask yourself- was I holding hands with fear? Anger? Rebellion? Or in this situation was I truly participating with faith, patience, obedience? We can partner (participate, hold hands) with the enemy in many subtle ways. Let’s take fear for example: maybe we come from a family who worries a lot. In every situation we have been trained to look at what could possibly go wrong and how we could be in danger. Even though we are Christ-followers, fears tumble out of us, keeping us awake at night as we fret over the health of our children, our finances, careers, politics, and so on. We partner with fear by obsessively controlling our relationships, health, and environment, constantly scrolling, posting and speaking our fear multiple times a day.

I was at a women’s group once where I heard a woman say to four different people that she had gotten a mammogram that day because her mother had breast cancer as did her grandmother also. All day and throughout her life she rehearsed this fear and spoke it to anyone who would listen: my grandmother and mother had cancer and I fear that I will as well. What would partnering with faith look like in this situation rather than holding hands with fear and foreboding? She could acknowledge her fear to God and hand it to Him to carry. She could then speak life over herself saying something like I am a blood-bought daughter of Christ the King! He says I am beloved and blessed. I am so sorry for my grandmother and mother’s experience but that is not my inheritance! I believe that God’s goodness will follow me all the days of my life because His plans for me are not for calamity but for good. (See Jeremiah 29:11) Throughout her life she then partners with God’s design for health in her eating, drinking, relaxing, and speaking. 

Have we opened doors to the enemy by partnering with rebellion rather than obedience? (I share my story of this in my Real Talk interview with Pastor Lily- watch it here: https://youtu.be/KZhNtOhpEwA ) Have we spoken fear over our life and now feel almost bullied by dread and foreboding? Have we held hands with a political spirit so much that we have alienated friends and family? 

When we discover how we’ve partnered with the enemy, we need simply to break that alliance. I’ve woken up some days in a pissy mood and then declared out loud I will not partner with this spirit! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! And the power and love in God’s Name comes to me. Whatever your situation, say to the Lord I am holding hands with You today. I will not hold hands or partner with_____. I renounce it and break all ties with it. I command that spirit to leave in Jesus’ Name. I ask You Jesus to fill in all that space with Your peace and love. Amen

A friend asked how I developed this understanding of partnerships and laughing, I said, “I’m not that smart- I’m just a good reader!” My professor from Fuller Seminary, Dr. Charles H. Kraft brought this law to light. I highly recommend his books, I Give You Authority and Deep Wounds, Deep Healing.

An easy way to partner with God is to daily open the door to spirit-filled information and dialogue. You can get fresh input into your spiritual life by checking out my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. You can find it on my website (along with this blog) www.MargaretAllen.org or anywhere books are sold. Next week we will explore powerful ways to partner with God to open doors of His blessing and protection.

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Forgiving Past Hurts

Do you want to forgive someone but just can’t seem to make it happen? Many times, we will genuinely want to release past hurts or offenses but our efforts don’t stick. We continue replaying hurtful conversations and experiences even though we want to be rid of them. Let me describe a process to journal and pray through that will lead us into complete forgiveness. First, let’s look briefly at what forgiveness is NOT:

Forgiveness is not erasure. We don’t come along with a white board eraser and wipe it from the slate. Rather, we write Paid in Full next to the offense.  It is paid for through the blood of Christ. It cost Him something and it has cost us something.

Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. We can forgive someone but that doesn’t automatically mean we want to have dinner with them. We can forgive the offense and honestly say they don’t owe us anymore, while also holding the boundary that we don’t desire to continue opening our life to them.

Forgiveness is not rationalizing or marginalizing what someone has done. We don’t say things like “oh, he had a rough childhood” or “she’s just that way.” Rather, we acknowledge the wounding that happened and release it to Jesus Christ, asking Him to carry it for us.

When I began to study the Bible as I processed wounding from my childhood, I was struck by the fact that Jesus expected us to forgive others. How could He demand this? Did He not know the horrible things that could happen in life? Yes actually, if anyone could ever understand injury and betrayal it was Jesus. Will you take a moment and read Matthew 18:23-35? It is Jesus’ answer to the question of how many times must we forgive someone? In the story a man does not forgive because he did not fully perceive his own freedom and forgiveness. Our forgiving others and even ourselves is anchored in one simple fact: Jesus purchased our forgiveness with His blood. It is paid for-past, present, future. Christ-followers forgive because God has forgiven all of our sins. When we can own the radical, brazen love and forgiveness of God for ourselves then we are free, truly free to love and forgive others.

Grab a journal and some Kleenex and find a quiet space. Anchor in the love of God and then ask Him to show you any hurts, offenses, or unforgiveness that you may be holding toward anyone. Write down what He shows you, listing the person, the offense, and all the effects that have rippled through your life. List the emotions that came with the hurt—perhaps betrayal, anger, shame, fear and so on. For each event acknowledge that Jesus is just, and He will deal with that person rightly. I acknowledge that Christ died on the cross to pay for that hurt with His precious blood. “Then, I take the offense, hurt, and every connected emotion, and lay them at the feet of Jesus.  Each time I say something like, I have every right to be hurt (angry, bitter, jealous, afraid, etc.) but I know if I hold on, it will ruin me.  It’s too heavy for me to carry, Lord. I ask Jesus to carry that hurt or offense for me.” (Gracious Living, p. 240)

After laying these things at His feet, “I acknowledge that the hurt has taken up space in my heart and mind that needs to be filled with something else. If I’ve held bitterness, for example, I will ask Jesus to replace it with a sweet and tender spirit. If I’ve held on to fear and foreboding, I’ll ask Jesus to pour joy in every place that once carried fear.” (Gracious Living, p 241) Do you understand the process so far? We list the hurt and all the effects it has had and we consciously lay them at the feet of Jesus, asking Him to carry it for us. Then, we replace those emotions with ones that Jesus gives us. Now, one last step: “Because demonic spirits often inflame unforgiveness, I conclude my forgiveness practice with a prayer of renunciation and protection. I’ll pray, I no longer partner with unforgiveness (bitterness, fear, anger, hurt, etc.). I command these spirits to leave in Jesus’ name. I forbid them to return or torment me about this hurt again.” (Gracious Living, p 241)

For years I struggled with shame and anxiety but when I spent just a few hours focused in this way, laying shame and anxiety at His feet, I was changed. A true exchange happened! Take some time this week to process forgiveness. If you stall out, get a trusted friend or counselor to walk through it with you. My book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion spells out the process in greater detail. Go to www.MargaretAllen.org for the book, the blog, and free resources.

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Monthly Mashup

Welcome to my monthly mashup! These are some of the things I’ve enjoyed or pondered this month:

Book I’m reading:  Boundaries, when to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

 I buy multiple copies of this book to give away. Every page has highlights and notes I’ve made over the years. “People often focus so much on being loving and giving that they forget their own limits. Have you ever found yourself wondering: can I say no and still be a loving person? How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? How do I stand up to hurtful behavior or abuse? Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries?” Seriously, get this book! I’m rereading it right now because I caught myself recommending it to three different people this week. As I go back through all of my highlights, I still can’t believe how much wisdom is packed into these pages.

Toy I’m enjoying: Taotronics Massage Gun

After shredding the pow at Snow Basin, our friends Jorge and Gina pulled out this massage gun for my aching quads and man I was hooked. I immediately bought one and use it almost every day for sore neck, legs, feet, even on the palms of my hands feels great. The Taotronics Massage gun is great for deep tissue massage as well as for any prep or recovery from any workout. It has a great battery life plus multiple levels of intensity. Such an easy way to feel better!  There are a number of good Massage Guns out there, Taotronics happened to work for me.

Song I’m proclaimingGod Favored Me by Hezekiah Walker https://youtu.be/gb8YW64dL5c

A few years ago, my son Cooper broke his nose from a fall while mountain biking. It happened two weeks before the big waterski weekend with his youth group. I told him there was NO way he could waterski with a broken nose, but I would acquiesce to the recommendation of our pediatrician Dr. Vereschagin. That day at our appointment, Dr. V said Yes where mom had said No and a jubilant Cooper played this song, singing at the top of his lungs, “God Favored Me” as soon as we got in the car!

What I’m celebrating: Forgiveness, knowing that I am forgiven, and through Christ, I have the power to forgive others. I’ve gotten so many responses from my post last week of Real Talk at FCC about forgiveness. One young woman told me that she listens to many podcasts and sermons but was searching online for a gentle, wise, and motherly voice to help her process forgiveness when she found my interview. I will outline my process for forgiveness on next week’s blog, so stay tuned! If you want to give the interview another listen:  https://youtu.be/KZhNtOhpEwA   

Quote I’m pondering: “Name a single time in history when the group fighting to censor speech and ban books were the good guys.” @ksorbs

As always, please give me feedback on the blog. What do you want more or less of? Feel free to share the blog on your social! You can sign up to receive it in your email every Monday at www.MargaretAllen.org at the bottom of Monday’s With Margaret. If you are reading through my book, Gracious Living, I want to hear what resonates for you! Tag me on insta @margaretallen.gl Have a beautiful week dear friends!

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Real Talk

Finding a faith-based women’s group that feels safe, fun, and inspiring is not always easy! When I traveled to Israel last year, I met Pastor Lily of Family Community Church in San Jose and a wonderful group of women from the church who were all traveling together.  I’ve enjoyed being a part of this group ever since. Pastor Lily interviewed me to talk about my faith journey and writing my book, Gracious Living. I thought for the blog today it would be fun to share our interview. The sound is a bit quiet for the first five minutes but hang in there because my mic does get turned up! We talk about dynamics of walking closely with God, forgiveness, shame, and more. Listen to it at: https://youtu.be/KZhNtOhpEwA

And remember, I have free encouraging resources on my website www.MargaretAllen.org Sign up for the blog at the bottom of Monday’s with Margaret. You can find my book there or anywhere books are sold: Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion.

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God Alone

If 2020 was the year from hell, then 2021 is the year hell freezes over! Oh my goodness friends, in the past few weeks, I have been shook. I can tell you I’ve been through it. There were moments when nothing was left to stand on except this one fact: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. (2 Samuel 22) If you have been through a hard season, you know what I’m talking about. Time stands hushed as we realize we have nothing; and we know of nothing that will help us except the mercy and goodness of God.

Have you ever visited that place of desperation? I was surprised at how little mattered besides knowing God’s voice. Advertising meant nothing to me—a new lipstick or a new car-it would not matter. I looked at the sweet faces of people around me, though they cared deeply, they couldn’t walk through this for me. What do you do when no person and no thing can help you in the midst of your pain? What do you do when every possible avenue has been explored and no options remain? Cry out to God, my friend!

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.” (Psalm 3:3-4)

“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 4:1)

“Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, for to You I will pray.” (Psalm 5:2)

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:6,19)

It’s hard to believe God delights in you when you are crying your guts out and snot is covering your pillow. But scripture reveals that God delivers us because He actually delights in us! Even at our darkest moments, in our deepest pain, God hears. He cares. He answers. He’s been there all along, waiting for us to cry out to Him for help.

Jesus Christ is King. He alone can deliver us from our enemies and save us, spirit, soul, and body. Every other avenue we pursue for our health and salvation will come woefully short. Next week I will be able to share more about this desperate season, but for now I commend you to God. Seek His face! You will find God’s heart in the psalms. I pray that you hear His voice throughout your day and into the night.

I don’t know how long you will be able to find me on social media so please sign up to receive my blog in your email at www.MargaretAllen.org at the bottom of “Monday’s with Margaret.” You can get my book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion on my website or anywhere books are sold!