Refusing to Stop God’s Work


by Lauren Craft


The stench stung my nostrils. A second later, I saw the source. White smoke was seeping from the hood of my car. I would need to pull over, call for help, and miss dinner with my fellow missionaries.


We’d been training all day to evangelize at the huge multicultural festival happening the following day in a neighboring town. Finally, our training was done and a church was hosting us for dinner. I could always grab food somewhere else, but I would miss out on the encouragement and fellowship.


As I parked and turned the engine off, I took a deep breath. The last time my car had trouble was the weekend of a different multicultural festival a year ago. The enemy’s involvement was unmistakable. He didn’t like what we were doing. That made it even more important that we show up with smiles on our faces.

ministry, Satan, spiritual battles, victory, Nehemiah, Refusing to Stop God’s Work, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Delighting in God’s Training

by Lauren Craft

Does anyone like me? The footsteps and laughter of second graders filled the playground, but I stood there with a void in my heart. My family had just moved in the middle of the school year, and I missed the smiling faces of my friends.

At recess with my old class, I invented a game everyone loved: I pretended to be a film director and cast my classmates as actors in my adventure stories. It made them feel like movie stars.

On my last day, my teacher seated the class down on the rug where she normally held up vocabulary flash cards. Instead of beginning a lesson, she announced that it was party time. A goodbye party for me!

With this new class, I felt like a bug crawling on the jungle gym. Everyone already had their circles of friends, though I tried to push my way in. When I asked one girl for her phone number, she wrote down a set of digits on my notebook. Then I overhead her say to a friend, “It’s a fake number.”

It wasn’t just the girls. During class one day, I asked the boy seated next to me a question about a reading assignment. He squinted, saying, “You gotta figure it out yourself.”

That was more than twenty years ago, and the scar has long healed. I’ve learned to be thankful for that time because it made my heart a little bigger. In future school years, when a new kid joined, I was always welcoming. At my job, I’m quick to invite new coworkers out to lunch. If I see a woman sitting alone at church, I gravitate toward her and introduce myself.

I know it’s not just me. God gives this character training to you, me, and everyone. And He often does it through trials, just like my move in second grade. Whether He’s the one that caused the hardship is rarely clear, but what matters is that He uses those sufferings to sculpt us into the people He wants us to be. He sees our life from beginning to end, so He knows exactly what strengths we’ll need to fulfill His plans.

adversity, character, Delighting in God’s Training, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Forgiveness

by Lauren Craft

Have you ever tried carrying a week’s worth of groceries from your car to your house? If you can shoulder the bags all at once, you’ll avoid making multiple trips, right? Not quite. When I’ve tried this, something is usually dropped. A potato slips out of my hands, an apple rolls under my car, or a milk carton lands on my front lawn.

More than anything, though, carrying too much is exhausting. My muscles ache and my breaths become labored. This reminds me of how it feels when resentment weighs me down. Its heaviness sucks joy and peace out of me, leaving unpleasant, sinful thoughts in their place.

Recently, I was upset with several people in my life. They’d made comments that seared like an electrical shock to the heart. I tried to clear the resentment on my own, telling myself, “I’ve made mistakes too” and “They probably didn’t mean to hurt me.” 

 

 

forgiveness, healing, freedom, grace, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies