Father Said

You are not your own preserver;
You are not your own keeper.
Look to me; I will supply.
I’m not a man that I should lie.
Have not I told you in my word,
I would feed the little bird?
You by far are more to me,
Than any little bird could be.
So do yourself a real big favor:
Count on me and do not waver.
Forget the things that are behind,
Mistakes you made when you were blind.
Remember: I have set you free,
So don’t look back, but stick with me.

Margarett Inez Bates

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”

Matthew 6:3, KJV

“God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”

Numbers 23:19, KJV

“…[T]his one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13, KJV

Christian philosopher, Bible teacher, author, and prolific poet, Margarett Inez Bates is a graduate of Mount Vernon Bible College with a Bachelor’s degree from the Christian International School of Theology. Actively involved in Christian service for over forty years, she currently resides in her hometown, Kokomo, Indiana. Margarett has published two books: Poetical Insights: Lifting Up a Standard, and Poetical Insights Vol. 2: A Closer Look. You can read more of her work at Kokomo Poet.

How Are You Doing?

“So, How are You Doing?”

The scene is too numerous to count.  My daughter Stephanie and I enjoying a girls’ day out shopping, we pull up to the register with our cart, and she asks the cashier “So, how are you doing?” Then she would wait.  Was it the tender way she asked the question?  Maybe they could see kindness in her eyes.  Whatever the reason,  time and again I would watch tears fill their eyes as a story of pain would escape from the heart.

Then I would observe as weeping turned to joy.  And for a moment, they were free.

I have experienced the power of this simple question many times. 

Last year my husband was hospitalized with double pneumonia brought on by mold exposure.  Stephanie knew I had been pushing through taking care of Steve as well as my dad while fighting a severe upper respiratory infection myself. To say I was bone tired is an understatement. 

One day I get a phone call from Steph. She informed me she was on her way to help. No arguing. She arrived just in time.

The hospital was getting ready to release Steve. Steph and I went to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine when she dropped the question. Up to this point I had held it together. Then she looked at me with one eyebrow slightly raised, her deep blue eyes penetrating straight to my soul and asked, “How are you doing really?” I lost it. I could not stop the flood of tears that I had been choking back.

In these times of uncertainty, when the world we have known is turned upside down, can I be so bold as to ask, “How are you doing?”

If you are like me, on any given day you find yourself on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The day starts with your feet firmly planted in faith. Then the twists and turns brought on by the latest round of information and new restrictions leave you feeling like your faith is free-falling into fear.

When this happens, it is the perfect time to pause and ask yourself, “How am I doing?” Better yet, let’s take a cue from David in Psalms 139. Let’s ask God to reveal how we are doing.

God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart.
 Examine me through and through;
 find out everything that may be hidden within me.
 Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.
 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,
 and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—
 the path that brings me back to

Psalm 139:23-24, TPT

Dear friends, it is time for us to rise and be found faithful to the Faithful One. The only way for us to do that is to lean into the word and ways of our Father. To allow His gaze to search us, to sift through all our fears and anxieties. Why?

Soul searching is always about freedom from the chains that hold us back.  With freedom comes the ability to walk through our temporary trial with eternal hope. A hope that understands these momentary trials are working in us an everlasting glory that will outlast the current crisis. 

Isn’t that what God wants for us, that we would live in the light of His eternal hope?

In her book Be Still, Cleere Cherry says, “Living in our hope is the most powerful sermon we could ever give. It is the decision to believe God, to trust Him with our future, and to walk forward, fully confident that He is at work. A steel-like hope… that is what He wants for us.”

So, I ask again, “how are you doing?” Perhaps it is time to pause, push away from the news of the day and sit with the giver of the Good News. Invite Him to gaze into your eyes and search your heart. Let Him set you free from whatever it is that holds you back from walking in His eternal hope. 

A hope that cannot be taken away. A hope that will not be shaken. A hope planted in the heart of the One who holds our tomorrows. 

Until next week, let’s keep finding hope in the journey.

P.S. If you know someone who is struggling right now, please share Hope for the Journey with them. If you are struggling, let me know how I can pray for you. This is a long journey, and we were never meant to travel alone. So, let’s be intentional and creative with staying connected so that we may encourage one another. 

Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.”

Hebrews 10:24, TPT

Hi There! My name is Evelyn. I am a lover of all things family, faith and Fall. So grateful that you found your way here. The chaos of life can leave us feeling a bit worn around the edges. Sometimes a little ray of hope is all we need to provide courage for the next step in our journey. So come on in, take a deep breath. My prayer is that in this space, you will be able to grab hold of hope. For more of my blogs, visit my website Hope for the Journey.