It can be easy to get caught up in what has been lost or stolen at any time of our life. There is a time to grieve and mourn. If you are in a time of mourning whether due to the virus or other life events…
Maybe your business is suffering or you’ve lost your job. Perhaps someone has passed away or this quarantine schedule is wearing you thin. Maybe you continue to wait for breakthrough in your health or other circumstances and it is a struggle to see right now.
All of you. Everyone! I will shout this, whisper it to your heart and speak it for the rest of my life: God is faithful! He is faithful! His steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 136)
You may not be able to see it right now but blessings are coming your way (double blessings!). His strength is for you today! His joy is yours today. His peace is for right now. He is for you!
Do not blame him for the tyranny of this virus. Do not blame him for the loss. Blame the devil and then tell him where to go because he is losing and has lost… Celebrate the victory. Because no matter what evil may come to try to tear us apart it will not prevail.
God is faithful! He always has been faithful and always will be.
What is your focus on today? During these days of slowing down and coming close in your homes we have time, finally, to get “unbusy”… We have been forced to halt and stop what has become our normal.
I love the unbusy… I love the slow. For me it means we get to focus on relationship better. I see so much hope for families and spouses reconnecting during this time.
At the same time I know that a lot is up in the air, and many are scared about many things. When the unknown hits, when tragedy hits the world or your own small world it can be so easy to focus on what we’ve lost versus what we’ve gained. It can be easy to focus on the chaos of fear.
But today I say, focus on hope. Focus on every hour kissing the faces of your kids, hug your spouse extra long… Go out of your way today to love those around you bigger and better than the day before. If you know cleaning the toilet would make someone happy and feel loved then clean that toilet. If it means making coffee and sitting down just to be close and that is what fills someone’s love cup, then get to it!
In the time where things keep getting banned, sickness takes over and grief of your normal sets in– turn to hope. Hope helps you see the many opportunities before you now.
I keep hearing phrases like, “In these uncertain times” or ” These are uncertain times”… And I don’t like it. I get it but I don’t like it. I like knowing what is going on. I like having a sense of certainty.
Even though we don’t know what is going on… How severe things really are or aren’t… Even though life has changed drastically so suddenly, I do know one thing for certain: God is good and He can be your certainty. He can be your source of peace. He can be trusted!
We see in the gospels where Jesus commanded storms to be still… He healed the sick. He delivered people from oppressive demons. He never faltered, never stammered and certainly he never doubted. He was available even on the Sabbath to help someone.
If fear is making your heart race, your thoughts go round and round and stealing sleep, and moments of joy… Let God come. Peace. Be still. Fear go back to hell. Peace. Be still.
He is not scared. Let Him take care of you and your family. To any storm you face, He can and will speak,
Many of us have this thinking process that is not true. We think that if we don’t have every detail figured out then we shouldn’t try something because we will not succeed. Failure. It actually is okay to fail as long as we get back up. It is okay to not have everything figured out. Sometimes our lives take twists and turns we were not expecting.
I heard the phrase, “If you aren’t failing then you aren’t living”… I don’t remember who said it but it stuck to me like glue. Essentially, by living life fearlessly despite possible failure, despite knowing every step to take, you are succeeding.
My entire life I was afraid to fail. If I wasn’t good at something or did not know the next step I was hesitant or gave up too soon. Ever since that day many years ago, I have made it a mission to fail (to live life fiercely, passionately and fearlessly) and as I have I have seen God do so many things I never dreamed would be possible!!
It is a freeing thing to realize that you don’t have to have it figured out. God already knows the steps down to the tiniest details. It is prideful of us to think we must and should know every detail and do things perfectly. We aren’t God.
If you are afraid of failure, afraid that you won’t please everyone, and often beat yourself up because things were not perfect, step out of that path! You are given permission to fail today, to not do things perfectly. You may need to ask for forgiveness, repent or wipe the dust off of your knees but learning the Jesus life is the best life. Trust and obey the one who lived a perfect life knowing you wouldn’t. His grace never runs out as you trust, obey and do better each time. He doesn’t expect perfection. He expects obedience.
That phrase stood out to me during my daily Bible reading. It penetrated my soul. None of us are immune to pain and suffering. Most of us would have a story to tell. Many of us hide the pain and suffering we are currently enduring. We have become good at cramming it deep inside while we force a smile and tell people we are doing “fine”.
I have become fed up with suffering! I am tired of it. I am tired of seeing it in those I love. I want to confront it. I want to destroy it.
My heart cries for justice!
How would your life change if you believed God could and would end your suffering and the suffering of those you love?
If your answer is still, “He wouldn’t do that for me” then I want to challenge you. What is it that is making you believe he won’t do it? The God I know loves you so much that it is not in his nature to not love. God sent Jesus to end your suffering. He took your suffering. He defeated your suffering.
Yes, there are a lot of things that occur that are unjust and cause our hearts to be ripped in two… but God! But God is for you. He is willing to stop everything like he did in that crowd and recognize your hand reaching out to touch the hem of his garment. He is willing to heal everything that has caused your suffering. He is willing to confront injustice. He slows down, even stops and joins you today when you welcome him.
But you may ask, “why have I had to suffer” or “why have I not seen justice yet”? The answer to these questions are complex and often include an interweaving of many things. Unfortunately our world is full of corruption, and sin causes a rippling affect on everyone whether it was because of your own doing or from others. Man’s ways are unwise. Man’s ways are prideful and arrogant. Laws without God do little to help end justice. Healing is also a process, sometimes taking us on a journey of complete wholeness and holiness rather than an instant quick fix that could leave our soul suffering.
This is not to say healing cannot be instant because Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over” (Mark 5:34 NLT) That was an instant healing! From that day forward her entire life was radically transformed! That is my good God revealing a love unfathomable and never-ending. That is my God bringing justice!
“You’re suffering is over”.
What would your life look like with that one simple yet profound change?
I sure do love coffee. It is something that brings the most unlikeliest of people together. That is a powerful thing.
Words are like that too. Words are powerful. How one speaks or writes can hold the power to unite the most unlikeliest of people or it can cause major separation and harm.
I combine my words with coffee. Any way that I can bridge great divides and help solve problems during the day brings me great joy. This is why I partner with others…. To help unify others and bridge great divides.
So if you like coffee and have some time and a divide to conquer, maybe together with words and coffee we can bring the most unlikeliest of people together and encourage a great multitude.
One of the things that has come around full circle for me has been the beautiful truth of God as a caring shepherd. The past couple of years has been excruciating for me personally. I have known the valley. I have dreaded the valley. Amidst the valley my soul felt surrounded by darkness (shadows). But God in his goodness has taken care of my soul.
A couple months ago I realized the gift of the valley. Much like many others, my view of it was skewed. I saw it and thought I shouldn’t be there. Some days I questioned it’s fairness. But there are treasures to be gained in the valleys. There are treasures stored in secret places, in those dark places. If you are willing to press into the shepherds cloak and stay near him the valley will become a gift to you.
While there it can become your invitation to a deeper intimacy with the Lord. Still waters, and lush green grass await you (v. 1,2) . Even amidst enemies as stated in verse 5, it says that he prepares a table for you and anoints your head with oil. This is all in the valley!
Did you know you can find rest amidst it all? Yes, you can. “He makes me lie down” (v. 2) can be a command and an invitation to rest. I didn’t know it was possible to enjoy rest with horrific and exhausting circumstances still occuring. But in my valley the Lord has taught me how. It is one treasure I found in the darkness.
He is a good Shepherd. He takes good care of his sheep. The valley is often the place we dread but He has prepared it to be a place where you find strength again and increased hope. It is the place of intimacy. Great treasures are stored in this place. It is the place that even your enemies will look and wonder why you are protected and receive the victory.
Come close to your Shepherd. He loves and cares for you. Let his healing oil drench you. Drink from the waters and rest.
Do you need rest? What circumstances make you feel like you are unable to rest near your Shepherd? Please share with me and I will pray specifically for you and your situation.