Susan Jane King

Thriving with Jesus in life's ongoing challenges

The Perfect Fit

Sydney and I in our Great Gatsby dresses

I tore open the bag and slipped out the royal blue dress with sequins, beading, and fringe. I was looking forward to wearing it to my daughter Sarah’s bridal shower. My sister Danielle and sister-in-law Jodi were planning a fun, Great-Gatsby-themed party for her in my hometown of Louisville, Ohio. I pulled the dress down over my head and looked in the mirror. Uh oh. The dress was way too tight on my stomach and hips. I can’t wear this dress, I thought, the fit is all wrong.

Well, maybe I can exchange it for a larger size, I decided. I looked for a return slip in the package and couldn’t find it. I scoured my emails for the notice about the dress. Nothing. I had thrown away the delivery box and couldn’t even find the name of the company that sent the dress. I guess I’ll just have to find another dress, I concluded. Then it hit me. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT).

So I prayed, “Lord, will you please provide a dress for me to wear? I would like something comfortable and modest and pretty. What would You like me to wear?”

I prayed that way because I didn’t want “finding a dress” to be a distraction during this happy time. I prayed that way because I know the Lord loves me and cares about me and interests Himself in even the little details of our lives. I prayed that way because I want to dress for Him. Little did I know that He was going to teach me some important lessons about “the perfect fit.” Here is what He showed me:

The Lord can do way beyond what we try to do for ourselves.

I wish I could say I dropped the issue after my prayer. In a sense, I did wait for God to answer, but in another sense, I tried to “help Him” provide an answer. I went to two different consignment stores, thinking, Maybe the dress God has for me is here. I even bought a low-priced dress from each store, but neither of them felt right when I wore them. I looked through my closet and found a plain, black dress that I could wear with some fancy jewelry. I even tried the blue dress on several times to see if it really was that bad (and it was). I drove up to Ohio with all four dresses in tow. I modeled all four of those dresses to my mom and Sarah, and we decided on the plain, black one. I could live with that, I thought, but it wasn’t the perfect fit. I knew it deep down.

The day before the shower, I got a call from my sister Danielle. “The dress I ordered for the party is too tight on me, and I’m not going to wear it. Would you like to try it?,” she said. “Sure, why not?,” I answered. We decided she would drop it off at my mom’s house, and I would swing by and try it on briefly before we drove to the party. I got ready in my plain, black dress and jewelry. “You look nice in that; I think that dress would be fine to wear,” my sister Jennifer said after I got ready at her house. But when we walked into my mom’s house and saw Danielle’s dress hanging on the china cabinet, Jennifer said, “Woah! You need to try on that dress!”

It was a beautiful, black, 1920s-style dress with black sequins and tiny multicolored beads that created lovely, intricate patterns all over the fabric. I went to another room to slip on the dress. When it slid over my head, it felt so comfortable. I liked the length and the style. I walked to the living room to look in a mirror there, and when I rounded the corner, my sister exclaimed, “That dress is beautiful on you, and it fits you perfectly! You have to wear that dress!” I looked in the mirror, and I knew God had provided the dress I was supposed to wear. We got in the car and drove to the bridal shower.

I learned from that experience that I should stop trying to “work things out” in my own strength. If I ask God to do something, He “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NASB). He always has “the perfect fit” in answer to our prayers. He can do so much more than we can do ourselves, and His plans are always “good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NASB). He knows what is best for us because He knows us far more intimately than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:1-4). He wants us to trust Him, knowing He desires to bless us abundantly (Jeremiah 29:11).

The Lord’s perfect fit sometimes involves someone else.

Before my sister Danielle offered her lovely dress to me, I had offered my blue dress to her daughter Sydney. When Sydney arrived in that dress, everyone at the party noticed. It fit her perfectly, and she looked stunning in it with her red hair and beautiful complexion. Lots of people at the party told her how beautiful she looked, and it opened the door for conversations between her and the guests. I watched as she radiated beauty while interacting with the people at the party. I’m not just talking about how she looked. The dress created an opportunity to engage with Sydney, and when people did, they could see she was beautiful inside and out. It’s a tough world for teenagers these days. Most teens I know want to feel valued, loved, and accepted. The blue dress opened some doors for Sydney to experience those feelings. It was meant for her. It was her “perfect fit.”

Philippians 2:3-4, NASB, says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” In other words, sometimes, when life goes in an unexpected direction, it’s about someone else and not us. I rejoiced to see what God was doing for Sydney because my blue dress didn’t fit me. I’m going to ask God to help me see the bigger picture in all my disappointments, to show me someone He wants to bless through that situation. He always see the bigger picture, and I can trust Him when I don’t.

The Lord’s perfect fit is for our good and His glory.

I waited a while between the time of my prayer and God’s answer. He taught me so much during that time about waiting on Him. Psalm 27:14, NASB, says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” That word wait carries the idea of waiting confidently and expectantly. In other words, we put our confidence and expectation in God. We know He loves, protects, and provides for us, and we choose to hold onto Him and look to Him for our “perfect fit” in every situation. He is so faithful (Lamentations 3:23b).

When the Lord reveals Himself to us in that way, we catch a glimpse of His glory. He also tells us in His Word that He wants us to display His glory too (Isaiah 43:7, Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 3:18). He has given us gifts and has determined places He wants us to use those gifts in order to reveal Himself to others (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Any fruit that comes from those gifts is a direct result of our relationship with Jesus (John 15:5). All that we are and all that we have are meant to bring glory to God (Matthew 5:16).

Finding the right dress for a party isn’t that big a deal in the grand scheme of life. But it was a big deal to me . . . because of what the Lord taught me through it. He reaches out to us in the big and small events of life because He wants an intimate relationship with each of us, because He loves us. In fact, He provided the perfect fit to our sin problem as evidence of His great love: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB). Anyone can receive God’s free gift of salvation by believing in what Jesus did and by receiving Him as Lord and Savior. God’s solution is one size fits all: “ But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12, NASB). Won’t you embrace His perfect fit today?

Question: How has the Lord provided a perfect fit in your life? Comment at the link below.

1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 3:20; Romans 12:2; Psalm 139:1-4; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 2:3-4; Psalm 27:14; Lamentations 3:23b; Isaiah 43:7, Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; John 15:5; Matthew 5:16; John 3:16; 1:12


When Things Don’t Make Sense

Two months ago, I wrote about my dear friend and prayer partner Phyllis, who died unexpectedly (possibly from a brain aneurysm). A few days ago, her sister Suzanne went home to be with Jesus after a 3-year battle with cancer. The sisters were 58 and 46, respectively. Their mother Patsy lost her two daughters in two months. In addition to those tragedies, Patsy lost her dear husband Jesse to cancer, and her granddaughter Julie (Phyllis’ daughter) in a car accident when Julie was only 28 years old. Life can be so hard, and sometimes, it doesn’t make sense. In thinking and praying about these recent events, I just have to go back to what I know:

God loves us.

We are told in Psalm 100:5, NASB, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” The Hebrew word for lovingkindness is checed, which means covenant love, steadfast and merciful. In other words, the Lord made a covenant of love with us, and He will never break it. He cares about us deeply, so much so that “He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB). He allowed His own Son, whom He loved, to suffer horribly and to pay the price for our sins (death) in our place. When we admit our sins, believe in what Jesus did, and accept Him into our hearts to rule there, we are granted forgiveness of our sins and eternal life with Him.

Whatever we are experiencing needs to held up against the backdrop of the cross. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? . . . For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:32, 38-39, NASB).

Years ago, I asked Phyllis to share with our Sunday School class how she was able to survive the loss of her precious daughter. She stood in front of all of us with tears in her eyes and said, “I know Jesus loves me.” We can stand on that same truth in whatever we are facing.

God is infinitely wise.

I have been visiting Patsy the past several weeks. Her faith blesses me greatly and encourages me to keep walking with Jesus. On one of our visits, she told me, “I don’t understand why any of this is happening, and God has not answered my prayers the way I wanted . . . but He is God. He does not have to explain Himself to me. I will still praise Him.”

Over the years of walking with her Savior, Patsy has discovered, “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!” (Romans 11:33, NLT). He is so wise and so mighty (Job 9:4, NLT). We have to decide on our own if we will trust His wisdom and His sovereignty like Patsy did, even though we might not understand everything this side of heaven.

God is trustworthy.

If God loves us, and if He is infinitely wise and powerful, then we can trust Him with the details of our lives. Psalm 100:5, NASB, says it this way: “His faithfulness [is] to all generations.” That word faithfulness means loyalty, steadfastness, steadiness. In others words, we can trust and rely on Him, even when the circumstances around us don’t make sense. We can look away from those things and look at Him. He never changes (James 1:17).

Many of us are grieving the recent deaths of Phyllis and Suzanne, especially their precious family. Yet, in the midst of our grief, we have hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We have hope because God loves us, because He is infinitely wise, and because He is trustworthy.

“This I recall to mind; therefore, I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:21-26, NASB).

That’s what we can remember when things don’t make sense.

Question: How can we pray for you about circumstances in your life that don’t make sense? Comment at the link below.


Psalm 100:5; John 3:16; Romans 8:32, 38-39; 11:33; Job 9:4; James 1:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Lamentations 3:21-26


Jesus Wins!


The devil sauntered in front of the rock-hewn tomb and snarled, “I got Him, and now I’m going to get all of you!” My daughter Katie looked at me in horror.

This scene took place 24 years ago as we attended a Passion Play in Charlotte. Katie was 5 years old at the time.

“Wait. It’s not over yet,” I reassured her.

Suddenly, a low rumbling started behind the rock. The music mounted, and then, wham! Light burst forth from the rock as it split in two. Jesus confidently stepped out of the tomb.

“I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it!,” the devil shouted.

Katie’s expression changed from panic to elation.

She couldn’t contain her excitement.

She leapt up from her seat and shouted at the top of her lungs, “Believe it!”

The stage opened up, and the devil fell into pit of red smoke.

Triumphant music swelled into the arena, and Katie, overcome with joy, jumped into the aisle and began dancing! She freely celebrated her Savior’s triumph on her behalf.

That memory usually comes to mind each Easter season. I smile because Katie’s response reminds us of an essential truth:

Jesus wins.

He won that fateful day He gave His life on Calvary. He won when the tomb broke open and He rose from the dead. He triumphed over the grave.

“In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross” (Colossians 2:15, NLT).

And Jesus still wins today. He is greater than the enemy. His power is surpassingly greater than any other power (Ephesians 1:19).He is greater than anything that comes up against us.

And we win because we are in Him and He is in us. “We overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NASB). “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4, NASB).

No matter what we face in this world, we can know it’s not over yet. We have a Victor and Defender, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

“Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NASB).

And that’s something worth dancing about!

Question: How have you experienced the victorious power of Jesus in your life? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website:

Susan Jane King


Standing on the Rock


Doctors amputated Sam’s leg two weeks ago. One of my heroes of the faith, Sam has been the subject of my blog before. See

My husband David and I went to visit Sam at the rehabilitation center this week. Sam is the one with the enormous smile in the middle of the photo. That smile remained on his face throughout our visit. The joy of the Lord continues to be Sam’s strength (Nehemiah 8:10). That’s because Jesus is Sam’s Rock.

“He has been with me the whole time,” Sam said, referring to his medical issues. “He has led me, helped me, and taken care of me. I am so thankful that He never leaves me.”

Sam shared story after story of how the Lord helped him decide to have the amputation, strengthened him during the rehabilitation, and made him aware of His presence all along the way.

1 Samuel 2:2, NASB, says, “There is no one holy like the Lord; indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”

Sam would agree.

Rocks offer strength and support

We are told if we come to Jesus, listen to Him, and do what He says, we will be “like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke 6:48, NASB).

The Lord is a rock of strength, a stronghold to save us (Psalm 33:12). He holds us up when He is the foundation of our lives.

Rocks provide protection

The Lord told Moses, “and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by” (Exodus 33:22, NASB).

The Lord keeps us safe. He is, “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge” (2 Samuel 22:3, NASB).

Jesus is our Rock!

“’Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel” (Exodus 17:6, NASB).

God the Father was painting a picture of Jesus in that rock experience. The Israelites in the desert “all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4, NASB).

Jesus, our Rock, had his body broken on the cross, and living water became available to all who would drink it (John 7:38; Revelation 22:17).

Sam has found his strength, protection, and life in Jesus. That’s why he has such a big smile. He’s standing on the Rock.

Sam played his guitar for us before we left. He sang a song about the good life he was enjoying. He smiled the entire time.

“I just keep telling people about Jesus,” Sam said. “They need to know about Him.”

With Sam’s wonderful attitude, I’m sure they will!

Question: How has Jesus been your Rock? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website:

Susan Jane King


Life out of Death

Baby Deal

My friend’s daughter-in-law went for her routine prenatal exam . . . and there was no heartbeat. After praying for, celebrating, and naming their little boy, this young couple—and all of us who loved them—were confronted with a new and very different outcome than planned.

Yet, in the days that followed, I watched as that family chose over and over again to trust God, to praise Him, to commit their child to His keeping, and to embrace hope. I watched the church surround them with love and compassion, and I witnessed firsthand the peace that surpasses all understanding.

The young mother wrote on Facebook after she delivered her son:

“I’m sitting here in the quiet and stillness of this hospital room and am reflecting on God’s goodness and His sustaining grace. I am so overwhelmed! He has not only given us a peace, but allowed us to finally meet our sweet, precious baby boy. I am so grateful for every prayer that was lifted on our behalf. With your love and support from all over, and I mean ALL over this world, we wouldn’t be able to fathom smiling, much less singing His praises. But God! He has given us a perfect and WHOLE son! We prayed so long for this child, our sweet Hutch. To be able to meet him, to see his beautiful body, and to get to held him. How amazing is it to know that this isn’t the end. He and his other 2 siblings are playing together in heaven, and are just waiting on us. How glorious!

I am so thankful to have family and friends that are the real deal. They don’t just say they are praying for you, but they pray over us, they read scripture to you when you are in labor, they photograph precious memories, they sing praise songs with us in our hospital room and hallway. They fill up 2 waiting rooms and sit with us for 12 hours. Our medical team we were given, some brand new faces, some old family friends, have loved on us and prayed with us. How can I keep from singing Your name?

Although Hutch’s time with us was but an instant, he is loved by so, so many. He has impacted our lives in so many ways, and filled our hearts with so much joy! How beautiful the Father’s love is for us!

And to think, the first thing he saw when his little eyes opened was the face of Jesus.”


We just celebrated Easter this past Sunday. This young mother has taken the Easter message to heart. Yes, she grieves in her loss, but she knows that Jesus’ death and resurrection ensures:

Death is not the end

Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, and God the Father raised Him from the dead because Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient to bring us back into right standing with God (Romans 4:25). When we believe and receive what Jesus did for us, we enter into a restored relationship with God (Romans 5:1), and we receive life, not death (John 10:10). Jesus rose from the dead, and death has no hold on Him (Romans 6:9). Since we are in Christ, death doesn’t have a hold over us either (Romans 6:5).

We have life in Jesus

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26 NASB). He says, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40, NASB).

Jesus is alive, and those who belong to Him will live with Him for all eternity (John 14:1-3).

We have hope in the midst of our sorrow

Death has a sting. It hurts (1 Corinthians 15:55). But death has been swallowed up in the victory accomplished for us through Jesus’ sacrifice (1 Corinthians 15:54, 56-57). We have hope in our grief: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:14, NASB). That’s what we can confidently expect (the Biblical definition of hope).

I am very grateful for this young couple, their family, and their church, who are living out their hope in front of the world. It’s the best Easter sermon I have ever experienced.

Question: Have you entered into the resurrection hope found in Jesus? Share your story with us using the Comment link below.

Visit Susan’s website:

Susan Jane King


Keeping What’s Important

moving boxes

Yesterday, I helped my daughter pack her things to move out of an apartment in Charlotte. We went through all her belongings, boxed up some, and discarded many others. It took us 7 hours to process her possessions through the sieve of what remained important and what needed to be tossed.

We are called to do the same in our spiritual lives . . . to hold on to the truth, what remains relevant and important . . . and to throw out the lies, distractions and other junk.

Jesus made a point about doing so when He said, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22, NIV).

He was making a reference to the gospel, that God in His lovingkindness chose to send Jesus to save us from our sins. The Lord was doing something new. Man’s old system of working to earn God’s approval under the Law was being tossed, replaced by grace. What man could not do, God did—sending Jesus to take care of the sin problem. The two systems cannot exist together (grace and works). One has to go.

Toss the Works 

Any time we find ourselves thinking our worth is based on our performance or feeling condemned because of something we have done, that’s the old system of works. It needs to be tossed. We are not under works but under grace. The Law with its rules and regulations was never meant to be an end in and of itself. It was designed to make us realize we need Jesus (Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:24-25). Jesus met the requirements of the Law. He was the only One who could.

Live in Grace

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB). God decided to lavish His favor on us through Jesus, not because of anything we did to earn it. He chose to love us. Period. He still does. His magnificent love led to His magnificent sacrifice on our behalf. Since He paid so great a price to give us His grace, we need to hold onto it and live in it, never tossing it aside, always taking it with us. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us do that.

My daughter will be moving to Raleigh to attend graduate school in the fall. All the boxes we filled and placed in our attic will be going with her then. I will be praying she also takes and lives in the grace of God during this new season of her life.

May we all do the same in whatever season we find ourselves.

Question: How do you keep yourself aware of the grace of God? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website:

Susan Jane King

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Delighting in the Snow


This past week, our area was blanketed with snow, the thick, fluffy kind that turned our everyday landscapes into breathtaking scenes like the one at the top of this blogpost (the view out my front window). Since I live in North Carolina in a region that rarely experiences these kinds of snowfalls, everything came to a screeching halt. The world became quiet and still for a while. School was cancelled, businesses closed, and vehicles stayed off the roads.

The 4 to 5 inches of snow offered me to experience the blessing of being alone in the stillness. My husband and daughter were out of the country on a mission trip. My other daughter was out of town. My married daughter was happily tucked away in another city with her husband. My son was away at college. I was steeped in the quiet stillness (except for the company of two big, slobbery dogs). I found a special joy in embracing the snow because it reminded me of some vital truths.

The Lord blesses us with stillness.

During the snow, I stayed at home and enjoyed the Lord’s presence throughout each day. I slowed down, savoring each moment, talking with the Lord, thanking Him for His great love that sustains me in everything. I wasn’t dashing around to appointments, trying to complete my “to do” list. I got to experience what it says in Psalm 46:10: I got to be still and know that He is God.

That greater realization reminded me how the Lord has set us free from works. The literal translation of Psalm 46:10, NASB, is “Cease striving, and know that I am God.” We must quit working, trying to earn God’s favor. We don’t have to do anything because the work has already been done on the cross by Jesus. We can “let go” (of works) and “sink into, relax, and be quiet [rest]” in what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf. Those are the definitions of the original words for “cease striving” in the Bible.

The Lord creates a beautiful, new landscape in the stillness.

As I watched the transformation in nature around me and in the atmosphere inside my home, I thanked God for the way He makes all things new. “Says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18, NASB). Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is enough to pay for our sins. His resurrection is proof that His payment was sufficient.

If we believe that truth, a special transaction occurs, and we are changed: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB). We are forever changed, destined for a forever home with Jesus. We are blanketed with His righteousness, like the snow that covers the ground. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB).

The Lord allows us to delight in Him.

I was stopped from working during the snow. It was a season of rest and restoration. In the same way, each of us can continually enjoy a rest from “works,” trying to earn the Lord’s love and approval. We are loved and approved in Jesus. We are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6, KJV), and no one can snatch us out of His hand (John 10-28-29, NASB). We can admit we need Him, receive Him, and choose to live the rest of our lives under His leadership.

Instead of working, we now get to delight in the Lord and what He has accomplished for us. We can rest from works and rejoice in the work that Jesus did on our behalf. “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10, NASB). We don’t approach a holy God based on our own works, but on the completed work of Jesus. When we do, we find ourselves delighting in the Lord—even more so than the beauty of new-fallen snow!

Question: Have you allowed the Lord to free you from working to please Him? Have you accepted His free gift of new life in Jesus? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website:

Susan Jane King