Browsing Tag

Digging Deep Comfort

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

1…2…3…GO! The Crown!

The sun has set on the last official day of the “God of all Comfort” study. It’s never been this hard to put a book back on the shelf and dig into the next one. I’ve been comforted, bolstered, made glad through His people and, actually, I have been transported from the darkest moment of my life, thus far, to a place of peace and hope. I have been amazed at His faithfulness, though I should never be surprised at His ability to provide in all ways. I am determined never to doubt Him. He is the God of more. 

When we wake up tomorrow it will be day one of the study of “The Crown.” I know my excitement is child-like and kind of over-the-top to any casual observer. I admit, the new study is like the most anticipated gift of Christmas morning to this child! It’s unwrapping and sharing is the most exciting thing about every summer! So, no apologies for being like a kid at Christmas. I just love the digging and you and the way God has seen fit to bless our digs—that much!

Somehow, when I look ahead a little, I am convinced that this study will be no less comforting than the last. For me, right now, that is a craved redundancy. I’m glad for passages like this one from chapter one. In fact, it is hard to move very far from the “Comfort” topic when we are in the Word. The Bible is a security blanket like no other until we are face to face with its Author!

Here’s another excerpt from the brand new study:

The staff. Sometimes the same Hebrew word is translated interchangeably, either rod or staff. In Psalm 23, of course, two different Hebrew words are used. The staff in this psalm is different from the rod of power or authority. It’s the stick of support for the shepherd. David was speaking here of the peace he derived because he leaned on God, Who has a comfort staff. He leaned on the strong support of God. 

This support stick is also used to draw the sheep together and to draw the sheep to the shepherd. In addition, it rescues the fallen lamb. It is said that sometimes a shepherd will walk along beside a sheep and keep the crook of his staff on the side of the sheep, just to signal his nearness. We can recall the artists’ renderings of Jesus with a shepherd’s staff. The staff has become symbolic of the compassion and grace of the Lord. It’s what rescues and supports us.

I have been through some pretty dark passages in this lifetime; some paths that were treacherous and, frankly, it was the staff of God that pulled me from deep despair. It was the staff that blessed and comforted when there was no other comfort. Sometimes, when things are going well, when resources are at hand, when friends surround me, when health is on my side, and the schedule is manageable, I can almost catch myself choosing “self-support” over the staff of God. (Then I realize that everything about that “self-support staff” is really from God, as well. I just start to think I own my own staff, but I never really do!) Never choose money over its Maker. Never choose health over the Healer. Never choose power over the Prince. Never choose rest over the Restorer. Never choose earthly relationships over eternal redemption. Choose His staff!

Please keep inviting, especially during this first month. Moments in the Word are potentially the most valuable moments of our lives. You can help someone redeem time, while there IS still time. You may  influence someone’s eternity. Several people did just that during the last dig. The thing is, when they began digging last September, they had no idea that the study would reach a lost soul for heaven. We serve the God of more than we can imagine. I keep saying that, but He just keeps being that God!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Praying the Psalms in Missouri and in the Bahamas

This last month in Digging Deep has been an exercise in deep prayer rooted in scripture. I hope you have benefitted from it. It did my heart a lot of good this past weekend to travel to a relatively remote area of Missouri and meet some representatives of a little pod of diggers who are meeting together weekly for three hours each Tuesday and spending that time in the Words of the Holy Spirit.  You cannot look at the message ion the Holy Spirit for three hours with other believers without becoming more like the Spirit…more holy.

Sometimes we have a tendency to underestimate our connectedness with diggers all over the country (and some in other parts of the world, as well.) I think I would have never heard about these eight women who have grown together and are now introducing neighbors and friends to their study and to the Lord’s church. I am praying for them today. I want to be more like some of those women who came to talk to me last Saturday. I love them and will treasure their encouragement to me for a long time to come. I want to be around the throne with them.

As we begin the study for the month of May, I want to share this photo from one sister who lives in the Bahamas. Shameika Hanna is studying along this year, as she has for several years. A busy mom of five, she amazes me with regular evangelistic studies with women who need the Lord on the island of Grand Bahama, in-depth memorization and conceptualization of Scripture in her home with her children, and preparation and delivery of lessons to women of God. (You can hear her at this year’s Polishing the Pulpit in August;

Here’s her Psalm one prayer. It’s the prayer of a thirty-something mom on Grand Bahama. I’ve prayed this psalm recently as a sixty-something grandmother in Alabama. One of the things I love about praying the psalms is that, no matter your age or station, these psalms are incredibly relevant and practical.

Finish strong in your comfort prayers and let’s move forward to some comfort in the “grace space” described in the book of Romans. This part of the study has been extremely beneficial to me already!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Is He in the Fire?

This month of studying the comforting power of prayer has once again called me to self-examination. Do I fully rely on the Lord to keep His promises when persecution or trials come my way or do I make myself physically ill in worry over things I cannot control? Do I pray daily and directionally as a matter of routine (to click on “completed”) or am I passionately interested in talking to Him? Maybe most importantly, am I putting my own efforts behind the things for which I am asking or am I putting my own ideas and effort first and then praying, just in case my ingenuity doesn’t work? In other words, am I just praying to “cover all the bases”?

I have dear sisters who are suffering through persecution from those in the body (similarly to Nehemiah when his own countrymen in Jerusalem tried to stop the wall-building). I have sisters who are grieving the loss, both physically and spiritually, of adult children. I talked with a sister yesterday who is on her way to file for divorce after the painful discovery that her husband is living in adultery. I spoke with a young friend earlier in the week who is standing, almost alone, for righteousness on a college campus where there are lots of others who should know truth and should be coming to her aid.  I spoke with a mom who is fighting for the mental and spiritual health of her young and innocent daughter against the missiles of the devil in our world. These things are just at the top of a long list of unimaginably painful paths.

Let me say this with great affirmation. I do not always get it right. But one thing I have learned in the past couple of years is this: My current estimation of how earnestly God is working to aid my cause or the cause of truth/righteousness is not accurate. There is just no way the human mind can, in a time of trial, comprehend the providence that is occurring in events that are hurting His people. There will be days in your life when you will cry out in anguish to Him and then, as you go through another heart-wrenching saga or a day of unexpected and sad plot twists, you are tempted to think He did not hear you at all and that, indeed, He is not listening.

And then there will be another day: A day when you see, and you do so rather clearly, that God had to bring you through excruciation (each hard thing had to transpire) to bring you to a point of victory, vindication or rejoicing. He had to bring you through decisions that you could not control–decisions that, at the time, seemed defeating and cruel; that, in fact, those agonizing decisions, events and persecutions that you loathed, were the very ones that ended up working together to be the deliverance from the situation, the enemy, the fiery trial that was the curse in your life.  As many have said, “God does not always save you from the fire. Sometimes He saves you through it.” It is the very hard thing–the thing that is a test of your very endurance– that is required to bring about the end result that is productive and, yes, comforting.

It’s important to remember that:

  1. The spot of comfort may not even occur till heaven. (That’s hard to think about on time’s side. But one day, all people will “get” the rapidity with which all struggles find their final cold, hard, stop and transfer, in a defining moment, to eternal bliss or eternal damnation. This life is just a breath.)
  2. It’s impossible to recognize the good in the pain when you are in the hottest part of the flame. Faith does not consist of being able to understand or figure out. It’s trusting till you do, even if that time is not on this side of the great Judgment Day!
  3. The day when you DO finally see that every ridiculously hard thing was required by His providence for the ultimate victory and rest for His own, brings a measure of comfort you would never have experienced without the hard things.

I am not a wise woman. But I am blown away every day by the amazing wisdom in the Word. I can do anything for this short lifetime. May He keep giving me the good things, easy and hard, soothing and painful, heart-rending and heart-mending, until He takes me home. When you’re through the fire–whenever that is– the warmth of the very flame that tested you feels so very good!

Psalm 37! Just take the time to go and read it. He says it so much better than I could even begin to say it!



Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

We can add a little blessing!

I hope you can take a minute today to read the following letter I received from my dear old friend Nancy Cooper (on the left the photo), of Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Nancy lived across the hall from me in Scott Hall on the FHU campus back in some really fun and preparatory days of our lives.  I plan to love her for all of eternity (if there could ever be an “all” in an “eternity” modifier.) Nancy is now an avid digger, encourager and kingdom worker. In fact, there’d be a great hole in lots of hearts, families, and in the church in Mount Sterling, if Nancy were not present in these entities.

She’s very encouraging to me about Digging Deep. But, as you know, any good that comes from Digging Deep is not to my credit. God saw that it was begun, that it reached a lot of women and he is responsible for its continued growth. I’m just a broken tool that He’s redeemed and made new and that he continues to bless in His hand. The picture and the story below are precious and I knew you would want to be a part of encouraging this lady. I got Nancy’s permission to share her letter with you and then I asked if it would be okay for all of us to send her cards of encouragement. She said that would be wonderful… that JoJo loves to get mail! Let’s be sure she gets some and that her husband is reading lots of cards to her.

Here’s Nancy’s letter. It blessed me and it’s an honor to get to send this card and to pray for this sister. Pray she’ll be attending again soon. Pray she will be encouraged in the faith by her new relationships. Pray for her influence at home. There are scores of you who are extremely good at sacrificial prayer and writing encouraging cards. I know this, personally! (You can even substitute this card for your “practically speaking” this month, if you’re over-the-top busy.)

Here’s Nancy’s letter:


Good Morning Cindy. This is a picture of my good friend Jojo Walker and me taken last May at my daughter’s Derby party…hence the hats. The party is just a fun time to stuff your face and watch the derby together. Jojo is a year younger than me. She grew up in a neighboring congregation, but we went to school together and church camp every summer. Several years ago she was diagnosed with cerebellar degeneration with ataxia.
She is wheelchair bound, pretty much blind, has only limited use of right hand…no left…very little understandable speech. Her mind is still very sharp.

Anyway, Covid really isolated her and her husband. Even more so for her, because with this condition she can’t take vaccines. Through Covid she began calling me. I gently tried last spring to encourage her husband to get her out a little. So by August, he agreed she could come to Digging Deep. I pick her up each time and sometimes she comes to my house for a while after class. She has a wonderful sister who helps oversee a lot of her medical care. So they were just able to get a wheelchair accessible SUV, which makes transport soooo much easier and much safer for her.

But my real message here is that Digging Deep has opened up her world in sooooo many ways. She now has Christian sisters who never knew her before. She got a new phone and I am working with her to help navigate it so I send your dig-a-bits.  So she has a way to get fed spiritually through the week. Reading is just out. Her husband is a very good, devoted man to Jojo. He is amazing at all he does for her complete care. But he is not a Christian. Jojo asked me to set up a meeting with our  preacher after our study on Tuesday. She rededicated  her life.

Our preacher encouraged her that while Roger is not receptive right now, she can be a great influencer just continuing her studies and being a good wife. Roger has been diligent to bring her to church until Covid. So just another story, Cindy, of the impact Digging Deep has had on another soul. I am very hopeful that, by May, Roger will bring her back to church. She has friends now, sisters who support her, something to look forward to each week, a way to be spiritually fed between worships, and the topic of comfort could not have been more appropriate for her.

So just wanted you to know just one more precious soul fed and comforted through your hard work and dedication which we all count to God’s  glory!!!
Much love and admiration!

She would so love a card from you.
Here is her address:

Jojo Walker
700 Lyon Ave.
Mt. Sterling, Ky 40353

Diggers, you’re the best! Thanks in advance for being a channel of His goodness to this sister!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Extremely Muddy, Putrid Place ( A current Digging Deep nugget)

Some people act as if they are laying claim to—as if they can own— the borrowed lives, time, circumstances and blessings of this temporary life. They take clear parts of the Word that belong to God and wrest them to make their current circumstance of business, marriage, or pleasure palatable to a quickly hardening conscience. They attempt to seize the terms of faithfulness that belong to God. They act as if the very earth on which they are sojourners is theirs for all time and eternity. They transgress His law, His precepts, His testimonies and His commandments. They take these commodities that can only rightly belong to Jehovah and pretend they own them. They sometimes even pretentiously say the words “I am going to live my life for God” while making decisions that are diametrically opposed to the clear counsel of the I AM,. The I AM has clearly rejected the notion that we can claim any “confusion” inherent in the statutes of the God of lovingkindness. He has rejected this notion with redundancy and clarity. If we cannot understand His commandments, we might as well throw the Bible into the trash heap. But we can understand.  His word is profitable for training in righteousness and for correction in our lives, (2 Timothy 3:16). We can understand Him. We just find it convenient, when we are tempted to sin, to wrest/twist the scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). It is a great temptation of the master tempter and I cannot ever claim immunity from the temptation to twist truth—to challenge His sovereignty.

In the LAMED section of Psalm 119, we see at least 8 immutable commodities to which the Lord lays solid claim: 

The word


The earth

All things

The Law

His precepts


His testimonies

His commandments

While there may be some redundancy here, we can boil this passage down to a clear emphasis on the sovereignty of God. The earth and all of the life on it are His. We do not decide if we are His. We only choose whether or not to accept that reality. Faithfulness is HIs. It is inherent in the divine nature. Because we are His and He is faithful, we choose to follow the law, commandments, precepts, and testimonies that He has issued. He issued them, not because He is tyrannical or vindictive, but because He is faithful. 

Not to oversimplify, but when we walk away from His precepts, it is because of one of two things. It is because we have been convinced that He does not exist or it is because we have vainly decided that we know better than the God of the universe. We are arrogant before Him. 

In my judgment, the person who has believed the lie of Darwinian evolution, or of some other of the world’s blatantly idolatrous religions, is perhaps less culpable, in some ways, than the person who has studied Him, knows Him, and then pretends that there is confusion about His precepts. ( I can quote the golden rule and I know what the Word says about good stewardship, but I believe my trips to the casinos can be justified because of the ‘social/educational merits’ of gambling.” …  “I can quote Matthew 19:9, but I have decided of late, in view of my circumstance, that this means something other than the surface text implies/warns.  I’ve studied and learned that I can remarry anyway.”…  “I know what the Bible says about purity of thought in Philippians 4:8, but I think I can go on and allow my children to be entertained by material that has a few curse words or that mocks God in various ways, without harm. My kids know I want them to serve Jesus and that’s what matters.”… “I’m rethinking worship and authority and Christianity and I am not even sure we can truly replicate the New Testament church today.” … “I know there are commands. But my God is not sitting around hoping I will mess up. He is a God of mercy, so I am on a journey to love Him and experience His grace, not necessarily to dot every i and cross every t. I want to love and embrace His mercy, so I am less concerned about statutes and laws.”  “I don’t want to talk about sin x. That’s something with which I struggle and I don’t want to discuss my continuing participation in that particular activity. God knows my heart.” (Notice the interwoven truth in the conscience-soothing rationalizations. That’s what makes them palatable)

I’m  not saying that the person who rejects God entirely is “less lost” than the person who is on a pew somewhere on Sundays and becomes unconcerned  (or unwilling to talk) about holiness and who finally “reinvents” the word of God to fit a lifestyle of worldliness.  Neither am I saying that those who continue to be concerned about commandment-keeping can feel smug and secure about their own salvation. All of us must be giving diligence to show ourselves approved of God (2 Timothy 2:15) and all of us are hopeless without the blood. I am saying that when we know the Word and then convince ourselves that we can alter or amend what is undeniable truth, we do so to our own peril. We become like the dog returning to his vomit or the pig that goes back to wallowing in the mire. God says it is a sorer punishment for the man who walks away after experiencing the grace coupled with faithful obedience.  It’s not hard to understand: 

For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (2 Peter 2:18-22). 

It’s interesting to notice that these people who have left righteousness and returned to the “vomit” are speaking great, swelling words of vanity. They are professing their own righteousness, while they are servants of corruption, entangled in sin, and overcome. It would have been better if they had never even know the way of truth. 

Cindy Colley can never go back to a place of “not knowing truth.” If I am lost, my punishment will be the sorer one. I need His mercy even at my miserable best. But may I never tout his mercy to the exclusion of keeping His laws. Have you known the way of righteousness? If so, don’t ever look back. It’s a putrid and muddy extreme to which you can only travel once you have known the way of righteousness!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Seizures of Horror ( A current Digging Deep study)

In the section called ZAYIN of Psalm 119, the passage says this in the ESV: 

Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,

who forsake your law.

Your statutes have been my songs

in the house of my sojourning.

Has hot indignation ever seized you because of wickedness in your circle of family or friends? The KJV calls it horror that seizes the righteous. I know if you have lived very long as a child of God, you have experienced this spiritual seizure. The word of interest here, translated hot indignation or horror, means a glow of wind or anger, a consuming famine, a burning or raging heat. Has sin that affects your household ever made you feel that way?

The word is found one more time in the Psalms. It’s in chapter 11, where the psalmist says this: 

The Lord tests the righteous,

but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;

fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.

The scorching wind of this passage is the horror or hot indignation of God on the wicked. This is the prayer of the righteous man…that God would allow a scorching wind  to be the portion (or inheritance) of the wicked. 

Notice one distinction as we think about this word. 

Hot indignation seizes the righteous. But there’s a remedy. The horror is sandwiched between these two verses: 

When I think of your rules from of old,

I take comfort, O Lord (v. 52)


I remember your name in the night, O Lord,

and keep your law.

This blessing has fallen to me,

that I have kept your precepts (vs.55-56).

But the horror of the wicked is described as their portion (their allotment by providence or law.) It (along with fire and brimstone and snares) is what has been reserved and allotted to the enemies of God. It’s their inheritance (Psalm 11:6). 

It’s a temporary seizure with a remedy vs. a portion or final allotment. I choose the seizure of temporary horror inflicted on the people of God. I do not want the portion of horror that is eternal. When it’s the darkest and I am terrorized by the enemies of my Father, I will remember His name in the night. I take comfort in His name.