I am a 50-something vessel who loves to chronicle what God speaks to me through His Word, the Bible. Additionally, I am still enjoying a long career as a Physical Therapist, being a wife to husband of 26 years and mother to 2 grown sons and our dogs Lilly and Dude. Along the journey this pot became quite cracked. I am thankful to my Savior Jesus for how His sacrifice sealed up those cracks and turned them into a beautiful mosaic. I pray that through those cracks God's light shines to bring Him glory. I pray the words I write will speak into your heart and bring light into the dark corners.
“Sacrifice a thank offering to God, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on Me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.””
Psalms 50:14-15 HCSB
God does not want my offerings of duty with a begrudging heart. He longs to have me sincerely give over my whole being to Him in gratitude for His own sacrifice. My outward being matters not if my my inward person is filled with pride, prejudice, and dishonesty.
Surrendering my heart to Him means trusting Him with my troubles and concerns while giving up my selfish desires to have things my way. This means the “rescue” He promises might not look the way I am expecting or dictating to Him in my prayers. But His deliverance will stop me in my tracks and have me falling on my knees in worship to honor Him.
Are you having difficulty letting go of your picture of how you thought things should look at this point in life? Turn that messiness over to the One who loves you and desires to disentangle you from the world’s trappings of what you thought life should be to offer you something the best. 🚦
“God, within Your temple, we contemplate Your faithful love. Your name, God, like Your praise, reaches to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is filled with justice.”
Psalms 48:9-10 HCSB
Dealing with disappointment can be tough. When reality does not meet up with expectations, where do you turn? How do you respond? After the knee-jerk tears and/or anger subside and thinking clears, where do you take your pent-up frustration?
I wish I could say I immediately take those concerns to the cross where I am told to lay my worry, but it takes me a while. I am thankful for those faithful friends who point me to God’s goodness and faithfulness. You and I can trust God’s timing, His perfect wisdom to say, “yes,” “no,” or “not yet.” What seems unfair will no doubt see justice by the strong right hand of God. He is there in the mix of it, working things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
Be still of heart even as you may be called to action. Rest in the knowledge of His faithful righteousness as you move forward in your next steps. He is with you. 🚦
“Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with a jubilant cry. For Yahweh, the Most High, is awe-inspiring, a great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us and nations under our feet. He chooses for us our inheritance — the pride of Jacob, whom He loves. Selah”
Psalms 47:1-4 HCSB
This morning’s six am phone call from my youngest son yielded a pep talk straight from Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends And Influence People,” convincing me sometimes I have to smile, and the feelings and attitude will follow suit. Likewise, we cannot always wait to worship for the feeling to hit us because God deserves our devotion whether or not we have the emotion in the moment. He will inspire you to greatness as you lift up your voice to Him in gratitude and thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for this morning? Offer God a grateful shout of praise! 🚦
“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah”
Psalms 46:1-3 HCSB
What does it look like when you trust God with your worries? For me, it is messy and hard, even when I try to make it look neat and pretty and wrapped in a bow as if I was giving Him a gift. I tearfully warble my concerns before Him in my heartfelt prayers, and then I rest… for a while. But when my requests are not immediately answered with a resounding, “yes,” I take back my worries and nurse them some more, building up a frenzy of anxiety within me. Until I find myself back at the foot of the cross once more.
That’s not such a bad place to be, now is it? Sure, I’d rather rest continually, and God is showing me over time and from one trial to the next that if I stay at the cross, instead of going back and forth, I can find that rest all of the time. That’s what He means when He talks about remaining in Him. Perhaps it’s about staying in an attitude of prayer all the time so that I can have His peace with me always.
What does it look like for you to trust God with your worries?🚦
“The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.”
1 John 3:8 HCSB
In his perverse logic, Satan tempts us to sin then shames us with that very sin to which he tempted us. Author and researcher Brene Brown writes,
“I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging—something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”
When we feel shame we duck our heads and tails and hide from others, especially God. We feel unworthy of relationship and being used by God. Satan’s big win is making believers ineffective for the kingdom of God by making them think they have nothing to offer to build up the rest of the body of Christ because of something in our past that he torments us about endlessly.
But Jesus came to destroy this work of tempting us to sin and shaming us that the Devil has been doing since the Garden of Eden. He ended it once and for all on the cross when He took on all the sin of the world in one fell swoop. He endured that painful separation from God so that we would never need to be separated again.
Is Satan shaming you today? Have you asked for forgiveness for sin? Please don’t let Satan win this game of making you ineffective for the body of Christ. 🚦
“You are my King, my God, who ordains victories for Jacob. Through You we drive back our foes; through Your name we trample our enemies. For I do not trust in my bow, and my sword does not bring me victory. But You give us victory over our foes and let those who hate us be disgraced. We boast in God all day long; we will praise Your name forever. Selah”
Psalms 44:4-8 HCSB
“Enemies? What enemies do I have,” you may ask yourself. Indeed, it may seem as if most people like you or are at least okay with you. After all, no one is chasing after you with a machete, right?!
But there is a different kind of adversary God regularly chases back on your behalf who terrorizes your joy, puts up a wall between you and Him, and detracts from His kingdom: sin.
Put that way, what foes has the Shepherd beaten back in your life that once were irrepressible opponents? While you may not have the concrete, obvious enemies of drugs or alcohol, what about jumping to conclusions and being quick to judge others? I remember a time when anger and envy were driving forces in my life, most definitely putting wedges between me and God and others. Who wants to hang out with the angry, jealous chick? Perhaps gossip is your jam. Or you just can’t stop yourself from telling those lies even when the truth would have been Through You we drive back our foes; through Your name we trample our enemies. just as easy. Stealing pens from the office? Or maybe it’s simply holding back on giving of your time and talents to the kingdom of God through saying “yes” to volunteerism.
God wants to trample these enemies that separate us from Him and from living victoriously to His glory. As a child of God, you are not a slave to these sins. The thief Satan comes to steal and destroy, but God tells us in John 10:10 He came so that we would have abundant life. That means life overflowing with His goodness and mercy! 🚦
“By this I know that You delight in me: my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. You supported me because of my integrity and set me in Your presence forever.”
Psalms 41:11-12 HCSB
Hey you…yes, you. You, struggling to make ends meet but cooking a meal for the sick man who just took a nasty spill in his driveway. You, whose former spouse keeps turning the children into pawns in a game of cat and mouse as the school year ramps up. You, waiting prayerfully, painfully for your wayward child to return home.
God sees you. He delights in you! He recognizes your faithful goodness and counts it as righteousness. He is rewarding you even now with His presence. He is here with you in the mess of the struggle. You are not alone ever.
Even at the worst of times, you need only breathe “Yah-weh” to know He is there, filling your being. He gives you the Holy Spirit to guide you, comfort you and protect you. Reap this rich reward. 🚦
“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”
Psalms 40:1-3 HCSB
Why does it always seem to take so long for God to answer? Doesn’t He hear me and understand that I need help NOW?!
Certainly, God and I are on different timetables, and it is hard to remember that HIs is perfect while mine is, well, let’s just say it’s unfortunate.
My own timing is much like that dream where you are trying fiercely to get away from someone chasing you, but your feet are caught in quicksand that keeps them from moving. You wake with a desperate sense of urgency to escape.
The dream only tells half the story though. This world with all its trappings does seek to pull us down into a quagmire, but we are not without hope. The God of the universe, at just the right time, reaches down with His strong right arm and pulls us out of the entanglement. He’s never early and never late. His timing is impeccable.
““Lord, reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days. Let me know how short-lived I am. You, indeed, have made my days short in length, and my life span as nothing in Your sight. Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor. Selah “Certainly, man walks about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they frantically rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them.”
Psalms 39:4-6 HCSB
At a lunch meeting yesterday the topic arose of the volume of material possessions being left behind by parents when they pass on to the next life. Most of us want sentimental pieces of some sort but lack space to add more stuff to our already overflowing homes. One meme I recently saw depicted an elderly man supported by his walker in front of a jam-packed, junk-filled garage, saying to his stunned offspring, “Look, son, one day this will all be yours.”
While 70-80 years may seem like a long time, if we are blessed to live that long, in light of eternity it is but a blip in time. Given that perspective, do we want to spend our days continuing to store up possessions, or do we want to create memories with those we love? What is the legacy we want to leave behind when we are gone? What can we do now to start building that legacy? 🚦
“So I confess my guilt; I am anxious because of my sin. But my enemies are vigorous and powerful; many hate me for no reason. Those who repay evil for good attack me for pursuing good. Lord, do not abandon me; my God, do not be far from me. Hurry to help me, Lord, my Savior.”
Psalms 38:18-22 HCSB
“I can’t win for losing!” Or at least that’s what this forlorn psalmist appears to be expressing in his angst-filled plea to God. His pursuers are relentless, with David’s guilty conscience only weighing him down further. He confesses his sin, but maybe all the sources of his anxiety are not gone.
In her blog, “Beyond the Front Door,” Nancy Lucenay describes cultural dynamics as,
“the values, traditions, beliefs, and attitudes that cause people to do what they do. They’re the hidden assumptions we make about life and the lens through which we interpret our world.”
There is more at play than David’s sin alone, and if he gets caught up in thinking it is all about him, his anxiety will weigh him down completely. Ms. Lucenay’s description of cultural dynamics gained from her years as a missionary in an eastern country give us a glimpse into the realization that other people’s actions toward us are not all about us.
Rightly, David turns it over to God for help. He realizes the issue is out of his control, and power beyond his ability is needed. Our tears should always lead us to the Father for comfort, shelter, and protection. What cares do you need to take to Him today?🚦