Monday, September 29, 2014


Postcards from the Bible?

Here's some I think you'll never see:

"Sunny skies as far as the eye can see!  Noah"

"Having a whale of a good time.  Wish you were here.  Jonah"

"We should arrive in the Promised Land any day now.  Caleb"

"Delilah thinks I need a trim.  Samson"

"Enjoying my retirement years being a shepherd.  Moses"

"No plans  just on the roof sunbathing.  David"

"Life is good.  Job"

Yup, these would number among the most unlikely postcards ever.

Sentiments that were proven wrong in short order.

Heading in one direction, each of these people experienced a great reversal in their lives.  Life took a huge turn in another, completely unexpected, direction.

The Bible is like that.

Not full of contradictions, but filled with plenty of re-directions.

Unlikely circumstances that lead to blessed outcomes.  Setbacks that become divinely-planned appointments.  Desperate situations that bring great leaps of faith.

And what about the people?

The Bible contains a motley crew of misfits who somehow bear the image of God, and are used to advance His purposes in the most unusual ways.

Sometimes when people doubt the veracity of the Bible, I think about this fact.

Who in their right mind would compose a book full of flawed heroes, scared prophets, foolish servants, evil kings, stubborn messengers, impetuous disciples, and disobedient men and women?

Well, I guess God would – for that is what He has done.

He has written His love story truthfully.  Interwoven with real people, with real flaws and real problems.

And, in His divine wisdom, all the ragged and unraveled and frayed ends of thread that look like a chaotic mess somehow weave together to a specific end – a beautiful tapestry of intentional purpose.

I'm thinking about my own life.

And the lives of others.

I love Blog Land.  I struggle with Blog Land.  For in my travels I come in contact with many people and many stories.

Many of those stories are uplifting and inspirational.

But I am also deeply touched by some really hard things out there, too. Cancer, death, depression, physical illness, wayward children, addiction, job loss…

The list could go on.

Maybe your story fits in there somewhere, too.

And at times I am overcome by sadness at what I read.  Dismayed by the difficult twists and turns that life can take.

I sometimes wonder…

"Where is God in all of this?"

Most likely, He's right where He's always been – behind the scenes, weaving and weaving.

(Think of the book of Esther.  God's name is never mentioned.  But does anybody have any doubts that God wasn't behind the scenes orchestrating every single moment?)

For yes, God is a God who allows unlikely circumstances, great reversals and setbacks, desperate situations…

But always for a reason.

He has intentional purpose in everything that happens.

Whether we understand it or not, nothing is changed.  His will is accomplished as a foregone conclusion – for God has already gone to the future.

So God is always working His purposes out – and always working them for good.

I believe this statement…intellectually.

But my feelings doubt it all the time.  How can bad circumstances work good purposes?  How can pain bring sanctified blessing?  How can suffering bring about something wonderful?

I think the answer must lie in perspective.

Long-range perspective.

The kind that God possesses – outside of time, eternal, all-encompassing, omniscient, perfectly holy and wise.

How do I know this?

Well, I'm pondering another rather unlikely postcard from the Bible:

"I have a plan for the sin of mankind.  Sending a baby.  God"


Would you have picked this plan?

Who would have thought that a baby who couldn't feed himself, couldn't clean himself, couldn't stay alive without nurture and care would end up saving the world?

Um, I guess God did.

And this is the Truth that I hold on to as I face my own struggles, and read about the ones that you are facing.

This one stunning reversal of fortunecradle to crucifixion to conqueror – this is the shocking truth that I hold on to so tightly.

It is the one truth that gives me hope when circumstances unravel, when plans and dreams fray, when emotions become ragged.

The end of the story has not happened yet – not mine, not yours, not the Lord's.

The threads are still being woven.

His purposes are being worked out in the most unlikely characters, in the most unusual ways, and in just the right timing.

I've got proof!

Noah's stormy skies didn't prevent him from saving a remnant of God's creation.

Jonah's boat ride and whale-watching expedition didn't keep him from saving an entire city of repentant people.

Caleb's wilderness trek of 40 years didn't exclude him from the Promised Land.

Samson's haircut didn't stop him from destroying the Philistines.

Moses' age didn't impede his role as the leader of an entire nation.

David's sin didn't disqualify him from the kingship that God had ordained.

Job's obvious and terrible suffering didn't thwart him from winning a terrific victory against the devil.

And my trials, my suffering, my struggles, my doubts – nor yours eitherwill avert God's ultimate purposes for our lives and our roles in His story.

No thing, no one, no how!

And someday, there will be an end to the story, for it has been written by God Himself.

It WILL happen…

In just the right way, and just the right timing.

We can hold on to that Truth when we're in the middle of the book.  Keep your eyes on the epilogue, for the story has a very happy ending.

Here's one more unlikely postcard:

"I win.  The Enemy."

Uh no, you don't.

History is His Story.
The future is already written.
And the story ends
happily ever after!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)

"O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us.  Your plans for us are too numerous to list.  You have no equal.  If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them." (Psalm 40:5, NLT)

"Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan." (Ephesians 1:11, NLT)

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 
(Romans 8:28, NASB)

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good..." 
(Genesis 50:20, ESV)

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)

"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37, NASB)

"'I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.'" (John 16:33, NLT)

"...'Lord, to whom would we go?  You have the words that give eternal life.'" (John 6:68, NLT)

Are you confident in the way the Story ends?  How does that affect the way you live out today?

Linked with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Oh Sharon ... how wonderfully and humorously have you woven so many truths together, like thIt is the one truth that gives me: "hope when circumstances unravel, when plans and dreams fray, when emotions become one that stood out for me " How does your postcard read? I know that both of us, no- many of us face an unraveling and uncertain journey filled with twists and turns, expected and unexpected, seen and unseen, catching us off guard and many times re-directing our journeys. Yet we gotta cling to how the Story ends, or for that matter, how it unravels. Not quite sure how my postcard might read ,,, from afar but this Truth I like in being part of His happily ever after story:

    "O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them."

    HE WINS and CONQUERED SIN and DEATH, a VICTORY for those who place their trust in Him and know that they know "the plans He holds for us in and through all THIS stuff ... GOD is GOOD! His postcard, "God so loved the world..."

    Love God's total sovereignty encompassed in your penned thoughts --- send me a postcard ... (via blog comments, in fact, you do and have and I appreciate every 1!!!
    Love, prayers, blessings and hugs,

    1. sorry ... looks like part of my first thought was cut out ... it is there but one part is inserted after :like th: ..."It is the one truth that gives me: "hope when circumstances unravel, when plans and dreams fray, when emotions become ragged:... then continued after this . is one that stood out for me Then that part should be. That's what I get for hurrying to be 1st, which I do like that I'm here early enough for that...

  2. This is a good way of thinking about our own trials...what postcards would we send back to our loved ones once we're gone...Maybe: The journey seemed so long, the road was rough in places...Got lost a few times...broke down along the way, but finally made it here..It's more beautiful than I imagined and I'm having so much fun...wish you were here!
    Oh Sharon, I just love the way your mind works! It is so much fun reading your posts, and always so much to learn from you!
    Love and blessings~ Lisa

  3. I love the postcards, Sharon. It is hard sometimes when we see all the evil and sadness in the world to realize the big picture and how God indeed does weave it all together. I am glad he is very good at doing so too, even when sometimes it doesn't make sense. However, the best gift given was that baby who later grew to Jesus who would save us and give us hope for all eternityh!


  4. You are speaking directly to my heart today, dear friend. I love you and God Bless you!

  5. Hi Sharon! Love those postcards you made up in the beginning of your post. So creative and so funny too! But you make a good point, as you always do. One thing that really stuck out for me was the word 'perspective.' I wonder how my own life post cards would be different if I wrote them at the beginning of a struggle, and then again at the end.

    God is in it for the long haul, and I am looking so closely at the right now I usually can't see that far. Satan has won? Sometimes it looks like that, but in the end he never does. He can't, he's already been defeated!
    Nice to see you again :)

  6. I love this post, Sharon. Postcards sent by those Bible characters - what a unique idea... and the twist that you mention at the end. This post certainly caught my attention.

    "n His divine wisdom, all the ragged and unraveled and frayed ends of thread that look like a chaotic mess somehow weave together to a specific end – a beautiful tapestry of intentional purpose."

    The past month of August was a painful yet sweet month for me - felt like I was a train travellling on two tracks simultaneously. And in truth I was. Yet a message God spoke to me one morning spoke powerfully - that He still is in the pieces of putting the pieces of our life masterpiece together - all the pieces tell a story and contribute to the whole picture, the masterpiece in the making...

    This post really confirmed in black and white what God has been speaking to my heart.

    THank you, dear friend.

  7. Correction: "He is still in the PROCESS of putting the pieces of our life masterpiece together..."

  8. I love this so very much, Sharon! "I have a plan for the sin of mankind. Sending a baby. God" Oh, how grateful I am God takes the messiest of circumstance and makes everything beautiful in his time. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

  9. Those postcards are so cute. Redirections. Yes. I'm familiar with those myself. I don't always like them at first, but in the end, they're always worth it. It's just sometimes it takes awhile to get to the end... Hold on to hope in the meantime.

  10. I love your postcards and had to smile at them. God does have the big picture and He is still in control. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

  11. LOVED the way you ended this. I actually loved the whole thing, and I even stopped to copy the part that I was just certain was my favorite. Since I copied it, here it is:

    "Who in their right mind would compose a book full of flawed heroes, scared prophets, foolish servants, evil kings, stubborn messengers, impetuous disciples, and disobedient men and women?"

    I loved that because that's what I would tell my class all the time. GOD is the main character of the Bible. The rest are all just flawed foils for His perfection, just like you and I.

    Then, I got to the part about Samson and the hair. Honestly? Apart from the end, that is actually my favorite. I feel kind of like a short haired Samson right now, as if I have given away God's glory over me and the secret to His strength in me. You make me feel as if there is still some fight left, and it's going to be a death blow.

    But then the end? That's my favorite.

    I love being on the receiving end of your gift.

  12. Hi Sharon, your writings are so inspired and interesting, May God continue to bless you and make you a blessing.

  13. I just appreciate you so much, Sharon. You have a way of communicating your heart that just so jives with me. And I love how our hearts seem to be beating with the same "perspective" this week. Here's to cleaning our glasses!

  14. You are so clever, Sharon! I love the way you tell a story, get your point across, and stomp on Satan's head! You've been in my prayers this past week, even though I've been out of town and not around blogland much. Blessings, my friend!~

  15. Loved everything about this post. So encouraging! Thanks!

  16. Hi Sharon. All the twists and turns, the ups and downs in this life can be a rollercoaster ride. But it is refreshing to know God never leaves us and is working all things out for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. Also we know how the book ends.

  17. Holy Smarkolians… This is a whale of a post. You've got an amazing gift to take simple stories that we all know and bring them into an even sharper Light and perspective that points, as I believe all of scripture does, to the sovereignty of our Father.

    Awesome and needed post for my heart today, sister. Thank you.

  18. Sharon - Stopping over from Coffee For Your Heart! Thank you so much for your post...beautifully written.


  19. What a great post - using postcard quips!! I love your creativity here and how much you could say in just a few clever words imagined scribbled on the back of a postcard! Each one of the postcards at the outset of the article could be a post in itself!! I am lifted and encouraged to be one of those misfits because I sure don't feel like a success story. And - I will wait for the Lord to write my postcard quip - He's not finished with me yet. Or my dreams. Twenty-two days left in my book campaign and way too long to go. How the Lord will pull this off, I just don't know. Just know this is where I'm to be in the moment. Oh! The faith walk!!

  20. God sure picked an unlikely crew to display the wonders of His plan. One that continues to confound the wise among us. Such a great job how you weave together these truths Sharon.

  21. Wow, Sharon! This is an amazing gives me hope. That even though I am so bewildered about so many things right now, He IS weaving...behind the scenes, under the surface, in the darkness. I needed this encouragement so desperately right now. I'm so thankful for the reminder that my story isn't over yet. God bless you for sharing what He definitely placed upon your heart. So thankful the stories of our lives are intertwined. :)

  22. I loved and laughed when reading the adjustment of the Words at the beginning of your piece you shared. I think you obviously understand reality. I'm a reality person, thoroughly inside and out.

    AND, BTW, thank you for your comment re: my "Buffalo" story. Since I've been married to Dave for 29 years, no matter where I'm driving around and about, when I see the "buffalo" I always start laughing. AND I still take a photo just to make my hubby and others grin, too. You were a treat, so thank you much!

  23. Oh Sharon, I LOVED this! Thank you for linking up with us at #TellHisStory. I love your humor and your encouragement.

  24. Loved your unlikely post cards! Hilarious! And yes, God is good at re-directing us. My job is just to follow along. Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

  25. Hello Sharon.... Popping over here from Faith Baristas link up!
    Grateful for your post and the opportunity to read it!!!
    Rich Grace to you, Sister!

  26. Hello Sharon, This was so unique and made me laugh and want to praise Him!
    Thank you for your ministry to me tonight!
    You have blessed me!
    Always, Roxy

  27. Amen, Amen, Amen....nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and the battle is already won. Why do I keep fighting something He has already won for me? The Bible is raw with real people and I am so glad God write just that.
    Great post!!!

  28. Thank you for linking up with WYWW! I really enjoyed your post this morning!

  29. Oh. My. Goodness. Sharon, I think this is my favorite post of yours so far. This one is going to stick in my head for a very long time.

    You are kind of my favorite. For reals.

  30. Love this and it is so true. I have finally begun to truly embrace every moment and circumstance He places me in. In has already been a long, hard road, but God always know just how to reach me. And then, of course, I scroll down from your first and see my favorite verse (Jeremiah) at the top of your list which reminds me God is speaking and I need to be listening. Glad to have discovered you through Missional Women link-up.

  31. "The Lord will do what is good in His sight" II Samuel 10:12 What powerful words to grasp in the mysteries of life only He knows. The twists, turns and redirection are always in His hands.

  32. Such a hope filled post. I've missed you dear friend. So glad I did not miss this post. Much love. xoxo

  33. This is a great post full of wonderful encouragement!

  34. Growing up we never went to church and there was alot of fighting and four letter words used. I was always told that I was worthless and no one could love me and my dad told me he hated me, so I guess i didn't believe God could or would love me. I have started reading the Bible and in Genesis 6 v6 God talked about it grieved in His heart. I never meant to grieve God with my sins. Do you think God will forgive me for this.


    1. Sue, I am so grateful for your comment. And my emphatic reply to your last question is, "YES! Absolutely God will forgive you." How do I know this? Because I have His very own words in His Word, the Bible. These are some wonderful verses:

      "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:16-17)

      "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death." (Romans 8:1-2)

      "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

      "He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." (Psalm 103:10-12)

      "Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:7)

      (These are God's own words!) "For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins." (Hebrews 8:12)

      These are only a few of the many verses that speak of God's forgiveness. I would recommend to you that you start reading the book of John in the New Testament. I believe that it will make things a lot clearer as you will learn about Jesus, the Son of God, who came and died for our sins, and rose again to bring us eternal life.

      On the side of my blog, I have a section called Pages. If you click on the link Plan of Salvation, you'll discover the way to have your sins forgiven forever by believing in Jesus.

      I hope you read this reply, and know that I will be praying for you, Sue. Trust me, trust God - He is waiting to embrace you with His love, His forgiveness, His salvation, and His grace.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask them. I will check back often to see if you have added anything else.

      May God bless you, Sue.

      "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in..." (These are the words of Jesus Himself)

    2. And, if you'd rather communicate by email, and if you're willing to give me your email address in a comment, I can reply to you that way.

      GOD BLESS!

  35. Wonderful post, Sharon! I think this is my first time visiting here but it won't be my last. I'm now a GFC follower.

  36. These are such wonderful little postcard ideas. I love how they all share God's love and stories from the Bible in little snippets.

  37. Love the postcards! I too think about these things and the type of people God uses. so glad we don't have to have it all together!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)