One thing I really like about God (and 6 reasons why I’d probably never seek him out)

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments


When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God.
God called to the Man: “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9 (MSG)

There are lots of things I like about God. 

But the thing I like the most about him is that he seeks us out. 

God doesn’t wait for us to come to him. 

I like that. 

I like it because I’m kinda shy.

I like it because there are so many reasons (but I'm only going to list 6) why I’d probably never seek God out:

God's better than me.

He’s perfect, while most of the time I’m a mess. 

Sometimes I’m angry with him.


He is without sin. And I have sin attached to me like the sun spots on my forearms. 

I’m a person and well, He’s, umm, God. 

But none of those reasons have ever stopped him seeking me out. 

It’s right there in the first few chapters of the Bible. 

God coming to us. 

God with us. 

God seeking Adam and Eve out after they’d messed up. God looking for Adam and Eve right after they’d just done exactly what God had told them not to.

Love finds us where we are. 

Love crawls into the dark places where we are hiding and says, “I’m with you.”

Because that is what Love does. And God is Love

I don’t know your story, I don’t know why you’re trying to hide from God, or why you think no one will notice if you’re not around, but I do know this: 
Love will always find you where you are. (tweet this)

Ponder: Do you believe that God seeks you out? Is there a time in your life when you thought God wouldn’t find you but he did?

Prayer: God, that you for finding me where I am. Amen.

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To the ones who struggle to cope with death

12:33 pm Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Look at the myriad of stars and constellations above you.
Who set them to burning, each in its place?
Who knows those countless lights each by name?
They obediently shine, each in its place,
because God has the great strength and strong power to make it so. 
Isaiah 40:26 (VOICE)

Friends of mine have three little children. 

The oldest, Ethan, is six. He wants to be a pizza delivery man when he grows up and marry his childhood friend, Isabella. Four year old, Emma vacuums up spiders, dances in tiny ballet shoes and is one of the most beautiful little girls I know. Caleb is the type of guy who smiles in the direction of a girl, says “Hey!” and wins her heart. He is only two but I reckon he will still pull it off when he is seventeen. 

About a year ago a friend of theirs, a little two year old boy, passed away suddenly. 

It amazed me that the death of their friend did not diminish life for  these three small children; it simply altered it for a time, until once again they could play with their friend. 

Their mom told me how while her kids understood that their friend could no longer come and play with them, they would still ask when he was coming to visit. 

Ethan, grasps their friend is in heaven, but could not understand why they could not visit him the way they could friends in Cape Town or London. 


For Caleb, Sophia and Joshua death is only a postponement of pleasure; it is eating the main course so you can have dessert; reading a book from the beginning without skipping to the end. 

To these under six’s, death is the anticipation of something good; like waiting to open a present till Christmas morning. 

I would like to view bereavement like these children: not as the termination of life with a friend but as an invitation to spend an eternity with them; infinity without death or separation. 

Shortly, after my brother heard his best friend had died in a cycling accident, he told me through tears, dripping like wet paint down his cheeks, that he now had a reason to look forward to heaven. 

Now, that is viewing death as a little child does, as an invitation to have a play date that has no end, a play date that has just begun for one of the friends. 

It is also the realisation that the one who set out first is probably having a better time in heaven then they ever had on earth. 

I struggle with the fact that death has to exist. 

Death is the one thing that makes me question God’s existence. I know it’s a part of life. I appreciate that life often follows death but that doesn’t make me understand all the hurt and pain that comes with it. 

Even while I struggle with the idea of death I have learnt some mechanisms to cope with sorrow

I cry and I get angry. 

I remind myself that Jesus doesn’t like death either which is why he came to give us eternal life. 

I share stories about those I have loved who are now heavenly men and women. 

I laugh at the good times we shared. 

And I look at the stars

I lie on my back in the country and stare up at the cosmos which stretches farther then our strongest telescope can see. I look up at the stars God strung just to astonish us. The stars he named to reveal his bigness, his majesty and his sovereignty. 

I look at the stars because they remind me of who God is. 

The stars tell me that God is not spiteful but awe-inspiring. 

The lights shining in the darkness remind me that God is both, Jesus weeping for his friend, and the One who breathes light out his mouth. 

The stars expose how big God is and how tiny I am. 

I consider the stars and remember that they only burn so brightly because they are dying. (tweet this)

As each star burns out, and shoots across the sky, I remember that in each death,  there is beauty and mystery, if I choose to see it.

Ponder: What helps you cope with death? 

Prayer: God, I don’t get death but I find comfort in the fact that you don’t like it either. Help me to see the new life being birthed out of pain in my life. Amen. 

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7 bible verses to comfort you in tough times

12:23 pm Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. Psalm 119:50 (ESV)

Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room.

A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life... and her family waited. 

Six days turned into eight weeks. Helo awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn't feel half of her face, couldn't hear from one ear, and could not speak. 

While intubated in the ICU with a breathing tube, Helo Matzelle gestured for her sister-in-law to give her a pen and paper. She had undergone surgery for a rare brain tumor and then suffered multiple complications during recovery.

Helo writes, "This was the first time since surgery that I had initiated communication. I could've written anything, but what I wrote still moves me to this day. It took me five minutes with fragile hands to write three simple words, ‘God is amazing.’”

I’m pretty sure my first words after going through what Helo did would not be “God is amazing”. 

I kept reading, and was stunned to read in her book, “Halo found Hope”, the story of a woman who learned how to hang onto God while learning to walk, sit, and cook again. 

One bible verse she pointed out from Psalm 119 really struck me: 
This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. (tweet this)
I realised as I read, how often in Xylon’s struggle with cancer, it was the promises of God that kept me going, that gave life.

These are some of the promises I hung on to:
1. God’s promise to always be right there (Psalm 34:18) 
2. God’s promise of peace (Micah 5:5)
3. God’s promise of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
4. God’s promise to be a place of safety (Psalm 18:2)
5. God’s promise to be my help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)
6. God’s promise of life, life, and more life (John 10:10)
7. God’s promise to birth new life out of pain (Isaiah 66:9)

Ponder: What promises from God have helped you through hard times? 

Prayer: God, help me to remember your promises to me so that they can be a comfort and give me life. 

More about the book mentioned in this devotional: 
Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles. Helo's story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo's story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn't need to be recognized by you, to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope. 
Buy the book here: http://amzn.to/1Ftsx7D

Disclosures: 
*This post includes affiliate links
** I was given this book for free by LitFuse in exchange for an honest review. 

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One thing to do when you wish you were happier

12:51 pm Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments


A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 (MSG)

I let my fingers find my husbands as we walked along the pier. 

We spoke about contentment. 

We talked about what it meant to us. We wondered at friends of ours who keep moving cities but never seem happy no matter what their address says. We mused about whether they are discontent because of their inner selves rather than their surroundings. 

And we didn’t have answers. 

But we were okay with that because we’re learning that there is so much in life which we don’t have answers for. 

I thought about German proverb I read recently which said, 
“When you're happy don't wish to be happier.” 

And I thought about the women in South Africa who have so very little but still laugh with their friends as the walk to their tiny tin house. 

And about how I must never let the things I want make me forget the things I have. 

I love how the message puts 1 Timothy 6:6-8: 
A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.

Together, we paused at the edge of the pier and watched the ocean pulling and pushing in an endless rhythm. 

And I was content. 

I stood there trying to figure out how to stuff that moment into my heart, to carry it with me constantly so that my heart learns the rhythm of leaning into God for what I need today, and being satisfied with that. 

But I didn’t know how to do that, so instead I did the one thing I know works when I wish I am happier, I offered gratitude and let me heart whisper, “Lord, thank you for bringing me to this place.”

Ponder: What keeps you from being content with your circumstances right now?  

Prayer: Father, give us this day our daily bread and help my heart to know that is enough. (tweet this)

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When you need God to show you he cares

2:35 pm Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

“Do you think you can explain the mystery of God?
    Do you think you can diagram God Almighty?
God is far higher than you can imagine,
    far deeper than you can comprehend,
Stretching farther than earth’s horizons,
    far wider than the endless ocean. Job 11:7-9 (MSG)

He met God on a beach in Cape Town. 

Homeless, Gavin found himself digging his feet into the sand, while his hands fingered the only possession he owned: a crack pipe. He had the clothes on his back and this one crack pipe. 

At 27, he had been a crack addict for 10 years. Most of the people he had shared drugs with were dead; many he had seen take their last breaths before stealing their stash and running out the door. 

He listened to the water shifting the sand and then he heard his own voice asking God to show him if he existed.

Gavin got up off that beach, or he stayed there and fell asleep, I am not really sure what happened next. 

I do know that a short while later a lady met him and invited him to go to rehab. He had been to rehab more times than most of us make it to gym, but for some reason he said, “Yes, I’ll try one more time.” 

He stood, fumbling one of the holes on his dirty t-shirt, in the office of the rehab and let words about how he could not pay fall out his mouth. 

He was still speaking when the rehab phone rang. 

Silencing him the administrator answered the call. After listening for a short time, she turned to Gavin and said, “It’s for you!” 

Gavin took the phone, and a person he had never met – but who knew his name – told him that he would like to pay for his rehab. 

That is a mystery. That is God. 

I do not mean it was actually God on the other end of the phone asking for Gavin. I know it wasn’t. But to me this mystery has the finger print of a God who is there, who cares about me, a crack-addict, and you, written all over it. 

I love how God shows up when we least expect it, and reminds us that we are worth his attention. (tweet this)

My mind cannot comprehend a Being who can gather the wind in the hollow of hands, or wrap the waters in his cloak, and still care enough to give me the grace I need to make it through Monday. 

My intellect cannot grasp a Deity that calls the stars in the sky by name, commands the morning, and yet numbers the hairs on my head. 

How a God whose eyes shoot the rays of dawn, and whose breath exhales light, cares about the troubles in my life is beyond comprehension.**

A Holy Being who embraces the entire universe in the span between his index finger and thumb. And finds time to sit beside an addict on the beach. Or create rainbows and write love songs just for me. 

God is a mystery. At least, he is to me. (tweet this)

Ponder: In what ways is God a mystery to you?

Prayer: God, open my eyes to the mystery of who you are. Meet me today in a way that only you can and surprise me with wonder. 

** These are all descriptions of God found in the Bible. Good starting points for such descriptions are: Proverbs 30:4 or Job 40 – 41. Also see Psalms 8:3, 139 and 147.

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When you need to take a breath and find God’s grace (again)

12:57 pm Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of grace who has called you [to His everlasting presence] through Jesus the Anointed will restore you, support you, strengthen you, and ground you. 1 Peter 5:10 (VOICE)

Some things in life feel like they will never end. 

And then one day they do. 

We’ve been renovating our house for four months. Since we moved in two weeks ago there must have been about 80 different people coming through knocking this into a wall, or fixing this cabinet here. 

It’s been exhausting and my husband and I keep looking at each other and saying, “When will we have the house to ourselves?”

When Xylon had treatment for cancer it felt like that too. Each checkup would make us think surely this is the end and then we’d be told about another round of chemo or radiation or medication that he needed. 

But it did end. 


And there have been a lot of mixed reactions to it. 

I’m not used to having to field that many comments on this site or facebook or twitter. It’s been tiring and I’ve been forgetting to breathe, forgetting that it will pass and that Jesus will restore, strengthen and ground me. 

I think we often forget that nothing lasts forever. 

No matter what kind of mess you've made of your life there is always hope.

The hard things will pass, and Jesus will will restore you, support you, strengthen you, and ground you.

Take a deep breath: restoration, support and strength through Jesus, are on the way. (tweet this)

Ponder: What is happening in your life right now that feels like it will never end?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you’ve promised to restore me, support me, strengthen and ground me once this over. Give me the strength and courage I need now to make it through. 

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Why I'm coming out as a Christian who doesn't go to church

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (VOICE)

She was from my past.

From the past where I went to church every week, was a leader in youth group, and even allowed to play the guitar on stage if my volume was turned down real low.

She asked where I went to church now. I swallowed and replied, "I don't go to church anymore."

And I waited.

I've learnt that every Christian has a response to this answer. Most of the time the response is one that makes me feel small, irrelevant and unworthy.

The truth is I don't identify as a churchgoer anymore. 

I haven't attended a standard Sunday church for five years (maybe more). I can’t really remember when I stopped going only that Jesus is still the most dear and precious thing in my life. 

For me faith is all about staying close to God. It's about hearing Jesus say, "Come follow me" and then leaving everything to walk as close to him as possible.

It's about believing that when Jesus said, "I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” that he meant it. That John 14:6 weren’t just pretty words to Jesus but an invitation to a future of life, life, and more life

I’m putting all my faith in fact that Jesus plus nothing is the only math I need. (tweet this)

One of things I haven't left behind yet is my desire to please others, to please you guys. As a Christian blogger, and as the manager of a Christian TV station before that, I live (and lived) in fear of Christians discovering my secret: that I don’t go to church anymore.

I've learnt that in the world of sharing Jesus publicly not attending a church is a shame to hide, something to whisper. 

Maybe I'm still trying to earn love which is why I've lived in fear for so long that someone will find out I don't go to church anymore.

And then my voice won't matter.

But the truth is I don't think I'm alone. I think there are a lot of us out there. Jesus lovers who don't fit the sunday-church-goer-midweek-meeting-mold and who are scared of the reaction other Christians will have towards them if they knew.

I have friends who attend church, work in church, love church, and I've friends who aren't too sure how to spell church. 
I'm not trying to make you behave like me. 
I just want you to feel free to live in such a way that daily you find yourself being pulled into an embrace by God, that you find yourself so close to him surgeons would have a hard time cutting you apart.

I'm coming out as a Christian who doesn't go to church. (tweet this)

I'm coming out as a Christian who doesn't go to church, but is still deeply in love with a God who hung on a cross to ensure I would live with him forever. 

I'm coming out as a Christian who doesn’t go to church, who still has doubts and fears and questions about God, but loves him anyway.

And I know after this post, some of you might stop reading the encouragement I share here but I'm okay with that. 
Now. 
After all these years.

I'm okay with it because part of coming to Jesus - and believing I don't have to bring anything to be acceptable to him - is stripping off the lie that I have to be a church-going Christian to saved.

My only salvation is Jesus. 

My salvation isn't about what I do on a Sunday, whether I write devotionals, if I have a whole book of the bible memorized. It's Jesus plus nothing. Always.

Ponder: What do you think of Christians who don’t attend church? What drives these thoughts: the bible, culture or leaders opinions?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for giving up everything to be with me. Draw me closer to you everyday and teach me moment by moment to live life the way you want me to. Amen.

** This was prompted in part by this beautiful post Why I'm coming out as a Christian by Ana Marie Cox. It also includes ideas I’ve been brewing since Donald Miller wrote this post, I don't worship God by singing, and this post, last year.

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