notesbynora

Walking by Faith Alone

The Best…last

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Quick Note:

I adore Jesus’ personality. He had quite a sense of humor and of timing. He could deliver a line and tongue tie the wisest of men. One of my favorite stories of Jesus is the wine to water miracle from John 2:1 -11.

Wedding celebrations bring out the best and worst in most people from stress and anxiety to overwhelming joy and laughter. Jesus and his Mom attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee – an all day event of friends of the family – and Mary became concerned for her friends when the wine runs out. In those days, it was public humiliation for the father of the bride’s family to run out of wine. On such occasions, the bride’s family served the best of the best at the beginning of the celebration and as people became more festive and less conscious of the quality, the less expense wine was served in the latter part of the evening. But to run out of wine…

Mary brings her concern to Jesus.

3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” 4 Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” 5 His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”.

I always smile at this because my son Ben calls me “Woman…” While many might find it disrespectful, I love the endearment of it. Regardless of the timing, Jesus comes to the rescue and changes the water into the finest of wines. The guests are elated because their host (the father of the bride) has saved the best wine for the end of the celebration.

Isn’t it just like Jesus to come in at the end with the best of all best solutions. Because He is all-knowing, Jesus knew they were going to run out of wine. He knew His Mom would request of Him to do something. I love His teasing manner as well to His mom, and her assured response, knowing He would do as she asked.

In your trials and struggles, always remember that Satan gives his best first – God saves His best for last. Like a giant broom, God comes in and sweeps up all the mess and always turns what Satan deemed to be a destroying blow, into a victory for God.

Our job is not to doubt. Like a knight on a white horse, God is on the way with the best of the best. Be assured.

 

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made…

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Quick Note:

Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful.”

I recently encountered a precious four-year old in a gift shop in North Carolina. We were standing in line, and she was admiring her shoes.

“I got new shoes,” she said to no one in particular.

“I like them,” I whispered.

Her big brown eyes looked up at me with a sheepish grin as she pondered her next statement. I could tell she was thinking intently;  about which I could not imagine.

“God made me really beautiful. He did you too!”

“Yes He did make you beautiful,” I answered with a smile, “And me too. Thank you.”

The familiar verse came quickly to mind from Psalm 139, remembering just recently complaining to the mirror at home about my own inadequacies. I no longer looked or felt 19 and somehow I thought I had been robbed. Why did we have to change as we grew older? Oh to fit into my 19-year-old clothes again – pre-children body.  I wondered if butterflies questioned their beauty or how they measured up. Did the Tiger Swallowtail wish to be more like the Virginia Lady? Did she long for orange speckles instead of yellow and black stripes?

Just last night my son Will and I took a long walk to a beautiful pond behind my house. David Thoreau’s Walden couldn’t compare to the natural, private setting of this dwelling. I noticed a tree that has probably been around 100 years, with thick twisted branches and a large rounded trunk. Its roots ran deep, obvious to all that it had probably weathered.  As I pressed my hand against the bark, Will asked, “Trees are so much prettier when they’ve been around a long time, aren’t they?’

Storms, seasons, snowy days, drought, flood –  all combined give the tree its magnificent splendor.

Aren’t we the same? Shouldn’t we all state with the confidence of that brown-eyed four-year old, “God made me really beautiful” each and every day?

We are a combined total of our experiences, challenges, joys, sorrows, and laughter. We are created uniquely and individually – like no other.

Celebrate who you are and the Artist who carefully constructed you. Like the tree, it is the strength of our roots that give us our splendor.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

To Caroline…

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I’m so excited today! Know why? Today is May 5th the running of the Kentucky Derby. I love the Derby – always have. When I was your age, I was going to be a horse trainer; run a barn; live in Kentucky; and yes – win the Derby. : )

Dreams fill our lives from when we are 2 and 3, from wanting to be policemen or firemen or teachers or astronauts to even in our older days dreaming of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, beautiful gardens, or a vacation home on a remote island. Life is full of them. And they are all good and important in the eyes of God.

One of my favorite Bible verses was written by Paul through God’s inspiration. It comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, ” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Today you are being confirmed into the church, your training ground for the big race. In your lifetime you will hear that a person doesn’t have to go to church to go to Heaven. And that is true. But as you know with cheerleading, you cannot be a part of the squad unless you train, practice, work hard, keep your body free of alcohol and drugs, keep your grades up, and attend practice. You are dedicated to your sport because you want to be a part of the winning team. There are many cheerleaders out there – yes there are. There are many teams. There are people who wish to be a part and people who want you to succeed and those who want you to fail. It is part of the game.

Paul is telling us through God to take our walk with Christ like a race, only we are running for “the crown.” There are people who attend church but then Monday morning treat people or act in ways that is not worthy of a person on God’s team. They are seeking prizes that do not last. Be the one who trains to win the race Caroline. Be the one who trains as Christ longs for us to train, as active members of our churches, readers of the scriptures, prayer warriors, but most importantly people who love other people.

One of the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36 NIV).  Jesus replied, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

And that’s how you win the race…

I am proud of who you are and who you are becoming. Do not lose sight of where you are running and who you are running beside. Be strong and bold for God. Have faith in Him. Most importantly know that as you become a part of the Body of Christ (the Church), you are representing Him in everything that you do.

Much love to you today. Never forget that you are the apple of God’s eye and a daughter of the King of kings.

As I watch the Kentucky Derby, I am going to think about you. I am going to envision the race you are running in your life for Christ. And when the winning horse crosses the finish line, I will rejoice and be glad because I know in your race, you will win for Christ.

God Bless you and keep you. May His Son shine across your face. May He forever hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

Aunt Nora

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Encouragement at the right time…

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A Quick Note:

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Yesterday one of my dearest friends called me with a word of encouragement. It couldn’t have been a more appropriate time or delivered better. She  is Puerto Rican and has the enthusiasm of 100 cheerleaders. And when she speaks, you know, the spirit of the Lord is in her.

Sometimes God calls on us to be a source of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to others. The question is “are we listening?”

Do you know that for every negative statement made to a person, it takes 10 positive statements to begin to undo the negative? The spirit of God produces “Joy” not despair. When we use our tongues to degrade others; when we overlook someone who is hurting; when we make derogatory statements against each other, what spirit are we representing?

As I sat on my front porch yesterday, praying to the Lord, I asked God for encouragement. My soul felt downcasted and I did not want to lose His ‘joy’. No sooner had I uttered this prayer, then my daughter brought me the phone and I heard her encouraging words.

Someone needs to hear from you today. Be the voice that uplifts and strengthens. Be the person God can count on to deliver hope to His people.

  • Speak words of Belief : God is in control. As David stated in the Psalms, the righteous will not be forsaken. We are children of The King! He will take care of us!
  • Speak words of Help: Offer insight and inspiration to those who struggle. Relate to similar problems in your own life or others. Ask what tangible thing you can do to help.
  • Speak words of Affirmation: God is the same God today, yesterday, and forevermore. Nothing surprises Him. No matter what happens in life, He will turn it for good, if you allow Him to do so.

Live daily the role of “Christian.”

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Impeccable timing…

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Sometimes in life, problems, struggles, trials rear their ugly head and we find ourselves in circumstances with no easy solution. I, myself, opened my eyes this morning to the reminder that such is in my life right now. Those mountains we just can’t find a way to climb; the valleys we just can’t figure out how to cross; the pain that just will not go away. If you are facing giants right now, as I am, we’re in good company. Many have before us and many will after us, it’s all in the process.

Esther is a young woman in the Bible who gives me great courage on many occasions of my life. Her story is one of intrigue. She is made the Queen of King Xerxes after the king finds displeasure in his wife Vashti. Esther is a Jew, living with her Uncle Mordecai, in a land where the Jewish people are not favored. Under the direction of her Uncle, Esther withholds the information to the King that she is a Jew.

Haman is a man hungry for power. He has worked his way through the ranks to earn the favor of the king and his hard work and diligence has landed him second in command under King Xerxes. The scary part about Haman is he hates Jews and with the elevation of his rank, he declares that the Jews are to be put to death – a decree unknown to King Xerxes. Mordecai gets word to Esther she must go to the king. She must use her royal position to save her people. The request is dangerous, for a queen cannot go before the king without an invitation. Disobedience is death.

Esther 4:15, “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: Go gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

On day three, she goes to the king and he happily receives her. She invites the king and Haman to lunch. During lunch the king asks her, “What do you want? For you can have half my kingdom if requested.”

Esther 5:7: “Esther replied, ‘My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

While this titillating detail leaves us on the edge of our seats, I wonder why? Why the delay? Did she get cold feet? Did God speak to her heart, “Wait Esther!”? Did she sense something none of us can interpret from the reading? I don’t know. But in the middle of the climax…in the midst of the tension and anticipation…the racing pulse…the nearness to solution, God throws in a DELAY.

The answer is there but the timing is not right. God is never late and I can say with certainty, He is never early. Like a Southern lady, He knows just the right time to enter and the perfect moment to leave. Imagine though the Jewish people, fasting, praying, no food, no water, their lives hanging in the balance and Esther has requested another meal? You mean we have to wait another day?

Sometimes, we disrespectfully grab the lapel of God, and pull Him off His thrown, and with anger we shout, “God! Why are you doing this to ME!” As if we have a right, tiny specks of dust, flowers fading in the wind, little beings with NO clue as to the battles of spirituality that rage around us for our soul. Each one of us is desired by God to live in His kingdom for eternity. On the flip side, we are pawns, playing pieces, tokens for Satan to draw into the gates of Hell – we are victory pieces to throw in God’s face by the demon, the archenemy of good. And we question God’s motives, His intent, His solutions?

During the night King Xerxes is striken with insomnia and requests the royal reader to read the Book of Chronicles – accounts of the kingdom. Probably the ideal material to lull a king into dreamland, I would think. In listening to the Chronicles, Xerxes learns of an incident five years ago in which a man name Mordecai helped the king. Xerxes asks what was done for Mordecai and learns that Mordecai was never rewarded.

DELAY…Mordecai uncovered a plot to have the king assassinated by two men of Xerxes’ court. Don’t you know, Mordecai felt a bit put out that he was never rewarded? If he is like most of us, he has probably felt God did not give him validity for doing what was right; God did not give him recognition. “I give and give to that church and this is what I get from you God? I ALWAYS do what’s right and she does what’s WRONG but you recognize her God? I go on mission trips and this is my thank you! What about that time God that I stood up for you and how have you repaid me – are you going to let my enemy win!” Entitlement we scream as we stomp our feet and beat our fists upon the wall. “Who do you think you are?” we shout to God, the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. What are you doing?

The next day, King Xerxes honors Mordecai in the streets, an honor 5 years overdue. Dinner is served by Queen Esther and her petition is brought before the king. When he learns that Haman has sentenced his wife and her people to death, is planning to hang Mordecai, the man who saved his life, Xerxes orders Haman immediately to be executed. God’s perfect timing.

I don’t know what larger than life issues you are facing right now but listen for the wisdom of God in your circumstances. As you walk, believe He is positioning your foot at just the right angle to lead you in the direction He deems right. Sometimes the solution seems so impossible, so out there, we allow abandonment to weigh on our spirits. People discourage us with their ranting and raving, “It will never work! I told you, you should have done this or that. You are doomed!” Remember Christ felt it too, just before He submitted to death questioning Why God had forsaken Him. God’s timing is impeccable. He hasn’t forgotten you. He isn’t surprised. He isn’t throwing His arms up in the air, wondering, “Oh no! What is going to happen to Nora!” He’s got this. What He needs us to do, is believe in Him for the right answer.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

He has us covered…

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A quick word:

Yesterday I was reminded of a Bible story from 2 Kings 4:1-7. It is a story of a recently widowed woman who came to Elisha for help. Her husband, who was a man of God, died, owing a debt. She had very little money and the Creditor was coming to take her children to sell into slavery. I can only imagine the terrifying and gripping fear of this dear woman. Many people in today’s economy have lost material things – maybe a house foreclosure, a car repossessed, a business closing, job loss, 401k depletion – but children? Being seized and sold into slavery? I frantically created scenarios of what “I” would do: hide them in a secret room under my house; send them to relatives overseas; cross the border into Mexico. All ridiculous, I know, but I felt her pain.

Elisha asks her what she has and the only thing of value is a little bit of oil. He tells her and her children to go through out the neighborhood and gather jars. When the task is completed, Elisha, through God, begins to pour the oil into the jars. Before her very eyes it multiplies until there are no more jars. She takes the oil, sells it, and has enough to live on the rest of her life. Creditor paid in full!

Sometimes when I am praying I feel God shout out to an angel, “Can you get me a pen? Nora Hatchett’s on her knees again!” Of course I am teasing but oh the problems I bring to God for myself, my children, my friends, the government, world hunger, the military, Israel. I wonder if I give Him a headache.

I ask myself, “Why did Elisha have the power to multiply the oil and save the widow’s children? Is he a super hero? Is he different from me?” And the answer is Elisha and I were created by the same God. We serve the same God. God is the same today, yesterday, and forevermore.

Elisha called upon His God and had the FAITH to know God would prevail.

God knows your burdens. He knows mine. And He cares about every single one of them. What’s missing in our story and Elisha’s? The Faith to know He has us covered.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Are you sharing your lifeboat?

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I grew up hearing about the Titanic. Just as 9-11 stands in our minds, my grandmother, who was 12 years old, remembered vividly where she stood when the news that the “unsinkable” ship had sunk, reached Atlanta, Georgia. Of the 2,228 passengers who boarded the Titanic, only 7o5 survived – 312 were found floating in life jackets, frozen by the below freezing temperatures of the ocean. Tragically, the lifeboats were not utilized to full capacity and many who plunged into the icy waters could have survived if only someone would have made room on their boat. Survivor after survivor echoed the same sentiment, they’ll never forget the cries for help from those floating in the frigid water as they passed them.

It seems ludicrous to imagine that people could literally keep rowing passed mothers, children, fathers, the elderly, young men and women for reasons we may never understand. Maybe the person was of a different “class,” did not have the same education, did not have the same color skin, or spoke a different language. Standing back with an outsider view, we all gasp. How could such exist?

The other day I took a brief walk in Gainesville, Georgia on one of the prettiest spring days I can remember. In the past 10 years of my life, I have been through much. I passed a church with a Prayer Garden. The inviting stoned walkway led me to a cross surrounded by blooming shrubs with a cement bench in front of it for meditation. The gentle wind flowed around me as I sat and thought about how I have come to be who I am. The answer is simple really – God. On every occasion of my life, in my day-to-day walk to the larger than life experiences, I can pinpoint God. There are circumstances I do not understand; events of time that leave me puzzled as to why such could have occurred. Even in my tears before the makeshift cross behind that church, I realized regardless of the tragedy, God has always carried me  safely to the other side. How blessed I am to know God and grateful He is a part of my life. How blessed I am to have been pulled into the life raft.

I thought of the Titanic and the nameless graves holding the bodies of those the other’s passed by in the water. Do we do the same thing? Do we see people who do not have God in their lives – people destined for an eternity of Hell- and pass them by? Do we hear their cries for help but look the other way as our lifeboats row safely to shore? Afterall, we are saved! Heaven Bound! And they look different, smell different, act different, live different, eat different, and speak different. Why would we stop? Let someone else. There’s another lifeboat behind us. Let them deal with it. Do we relive the tragedy daily on a spiritual realm because we are too uncomfortable to save someone destined for destruction?

Jesus’ one request of Peter, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” John 21: 15-17. How many sheep have you fed today?

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

A Cuckoo in the nest

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Spring rebuilds, restores, and rejuvenates. I find myself spending more and more time outdoors listening to the birds, watching the sunset, and weeding my garden. A little Mama Finch has returned to build her nest in the corner of my garage. The friendly bird seems to enjoy my company as I watch her strategically restructuring her nest from last year. As a mother of six, I understand her need to make everything “just right.”

Recently the kids and I got direct TV. It has been three years with no TV but with the upcoming Olympics we decided to return this luxury to our lives. Discovery Channel has become my favorite. I watched a documentary on the Cuckoo Bird, one of those late night jewels certified to put even the toughest insomniac into a deep lull. Cuckoo birds are notorious for perusing the forest, finding another bird’s nest, depositing her egg, and flying away to live a carefree, no responsibility lifestyle. Sadly, various mother birds, oblivious to the large, differently colored egg in their nests, nurture the cuckoo bird’s egg until it hatches and then work diligently to feed it and their young. The worms are never enough for all the baby birds and eventually the mother bird’s own babies starve to death or are pushed from the nest by the oversized bird. The Cuckoo baby bird thrives, consumes the nest, and destroys all that is around it.

How could a mother bird not know the baby cuckoo bird isn’t hers? And how can she, day after day, feed the cuckoo bird until it ruins her home and kills her children?

It’s easy to recline on my couch and shout out to the mother dove, “Throw the cuckoo bird out of your nest!” But the reality is many of us have them in our homes, in our lives, and in our hearts. We justify our sins by ignoring their existence or qualifying them by admitting to “love” God but ignoring His “laws.” In the process of “not knowing,” we blindly wreck our homes.

When I was a little girl, my brother Lindsey and I made a club house out of an old chicken coop. We painted, cut down briars, raked up old manure, and spent hours establishing laws to govern this two member club establishment. Several days after the reconstruction began, I noticed two large red whelps on my arms, followed by blistering red, oozing sores on my neck, stomach, and even in my ears. Since Lindsey and I were not supposed to be around the chicken coop because of rattlesnakes, I hid my deformities from my Mom and even my brother. He didn’t appear to be itching so I assumed I was the only one. Before I knew it, I had spread the disease to my sister and my grandmother, and my brother was covered head to toe in impetigo.

Sometimes we first must recognize there is a Cuckoo Bird in our nest. Failure to see the signs of sin; to acknowledge its existence; or to continue feeding it daily, will result in our ultimate demise. Sometimes we recognize the existence of the sin, but are too afraid to admit it or get help. We walk around blindly exposing others to our bad choices.

I have a friend who spends a great deal of time exercising. She believes in staying physically fit, eating healthy, and taking vitamins and herbs; however, she continues to lead a lifestyle of sin that will ultimately destroy her family. Is she blinded to the consequences of her choices or nonchalantly interacting with sin as if it will all work out?

What are the Cuckoo Birds in your nest? How long are you willing to feed them daily until all that you know and love is gone?

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

March 28, 2012 at 2:22 am

Happiness on hold…

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The hold button…if I could only count the number of times I’ve been on hold…waiting, waiting, waiting…longing to hang up but knowing if I do, I will just have to wait again. The other day, I had an issue with my computer. A patient and calm man from India named Fred – I actually questioned him, “Your name is really Fred?” He responded, “No. But no one can pronounce mine” – walked me through the issues of my computer,  but the majority of my time was spent holding, waiting, wondering.

I heard two women talking the other day. They were waiting for their daughters to finish dance class. One remarked, “When I get the kitchen finished things will be different. Right now, it is just horrible the way we are living.”

We tend to put ourselves in happiness “on hold” modes, convincing ourselves that if we just have this then everything will get better. If I were thinner, taller, richer, prettier…if I were faster, stronger, bigger, smarter…when I get my new car…if my hair only looked like that…when the kids are older…if only they were still young.

I could be happy if I could sell this house; I would be happy if I had not married her; there would be more to do, if I didn’t live here; I’d have a different job if I had studied harder; if he were more like her husband, my marriage would be good.

And one day, somewhere in later life, we realize happiness was always holding.

The choice is really ours; how we look around at our world and choose what we see. Our affirmations for the day can be positive or negative, its all in the way we view the surroundings.

I remember a time in my life when I was sick and I had to drive to Atlanta for medical care – an hour and a half if traffic was good. My appointments were scheduled usually with a lady who loved to sing, not that she could ever have a record label, but her songs filled the room while we waited. One appointment she looked at me and whispered, “Why don’t you sing with me?”

I thought about it for a moment and declined. Singing was the last thing I wanted to do. She smiled at me, “Girl, there is no better time to be happy than right now.”

Life is filled with challenges. No one is exempt from struggles and trials. If we spend all our time waiting for happiness to find us through what we perceive to be “the answer,” it never will.

My family had a yard man named Lee Cullin. He could tell the funniest stories and always had a saying or some tid-bit of advice. One day I heard Lee tell my grandmother, “Ms. Dolly, I work like I don’t need no money; I pray like I has it all; and I live like I knows Jesus is coming today.”

As I finished my conversation with Fred, I thanked him for helping me fix my computer and asked, “What is it like in India?”

“In India?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Oh, it is always wonderful in India. But I live in Austin, Texas.”

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

March 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

…then I prayed

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I worked in international and domestic adoption and humanitarian aid for close to eleven years – a decade of emotions: joy, tears, fears, anxiety, hope and despair. There was one particular adoption which to this day I marvel at the presence of God and His abilities. In the beginning, the parents wanted a little girl – there were none to be found. It is hard to imagine a “shortage” of baby girls but such was the case. Looking back I realize we were blinded by God because within minutes of this family accepting a healthy 2 day old baby boy with the most beautiful lips we’d ever seen, four girls became available. When I told the adoptive Mom of the baby girl possibilities she said defiantly “No!” like a woman in the delivery room. She knew he was her baby. And this baby boy was special. I knew it the moment I saw him.

The process seemed smooth – everything in place; documents just the way they should be – the parents happy, the government happy, U.S. immigration happy – I honestly believed the obstacle in this adoption was Mom agreeing to a boy. Somewhere in between the fourth and fifth month, the last and final anticipated signature of the Birth Mom, days from a hearing and finality, Birth Mom disappeared, leaving no trace. All of our internal investigation proved it was her intent to “leave no trail” for it was as if she never existed. Suddenly, this simple adoption turned into a two year abandonment, heavily battled in court, huge expense, nightmare to bring a little boy home to his parents in the United States.

There is a story in the Bible about an Israelite who worked as a slave for King Artaxerxes of Persia. His brother came to visit him and when he asks about Judah, the news he hears upsets him. Jerusalem’s wall is broken down and the people are in a great amount of danger. During this time period, a city with no walls was vulnerable to attack. Nehemiah prays for several weeks wondering what he should do to help his family and people.

Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king. One evening when instructed to bring the king his wine, Artaxerxes notices that Nehemiah is sad, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” (Nehemiah 2: 1)

Sometimes God answers our prayers by giving us windows of opportunities to respond when asked particular questions. (Nehemiah 2:2-6) “I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, ‘May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?’ The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?Then I prayed to the God of heaven…”

Courage comes when we least expect it. There are times when God puts us in the middle of something we cannot understand. Whether it is our own doing or the consequences of someone else’s mistake, trials come into our lives for reasons that do not make sense. I remember the day I received a call from one of  my adoption team members, “We found her.” All of us knew who “her” was. We’d spent the last two years in pursuit of her. We’d battled the Guatemalan Government, the court, the records bureau. My breath left my body for we were days away from winning the case and bringing our paperwork to the United States Embassy to process for Immigration. “You found her?”

“She is sitting in my office now.”

I had made an unexpected trip to Guatemala that weekend with two of my children just to ‘get away’ from the issues that confronted me at home. A window of opportunity had opened and I was very much afraid.  Her presence now could harm two years of effort and what if she had decided she wanted him back? Or wanted money in exchange for disappearing again? What if her plan was to once again mess things up? It was difficult to understand her motives.

My children and I walked from our apartment in Guatemala City the few blocks it took to get to our office.  As we walked we prayed, for they had grown to love this baby boy, now toddler, as much as his parents and I did.

The king graciously provides a way for Nehemiah to return to his home and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2: 8) “And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.”

When I walked into the office, I noticed her lips, beautiful and full, just like his. My heart sank for I knew she was his birth mother. As I sat and listened to her story, I felt the gracious hand of my God upon me. God can handle any problem in my life. She came because she was no longer going to run. She came to do what was right and sign over the baby she had birthed to his rightful parents.

I was very much afraid…then I prayed.

I keep a victory shout out list on paper and in my head. When evil attempts to cripple me, I voice the “wins” of my God. I verbalize the double-overtime, miraculous triumphs of my Father and King. When things seem “out of control” and there appears to be no possible way, I remember a little baby boy, with beautiful lips, born in Guatemala and his courageous parents who never gave up on bringing him home.

God has your solution. Wait for it to come in His time.

As for that precious baby boy with the beautiful lips? I talked with his Mom just yesterday. He will be the ring bearer in my wedding.  God is always on time.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

February 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm