I was awakened in the middle of the night by a thunderous storm blowing through and was momentarily unsettled by the flash of lightening. But I soon fell back into a peaceful and restful sleep because I knew it would pass. The storm wouldn’t last forever.
I awoke to a quiet sunny morning, and my patio beckoned me as I brewed my coffee. After my hectic week, I felt anxious to enter my sanctuary. After the tumultuous weather, I was thankful for the clear day awaiting me.
The impact of the storm was evident in the glorious green of foliage, the brightness of blooms, and the cheerful sound of chirping birds. The air felt clean. The rain and lightening had done their work effectively.
I sat and watched the birds partake of my provisions and basked in the beauty surrounding me. It was the moment I needed for meditation on God’s goodness and mercy.
Life storms are unsettling — unexpected thunder and lightening crash into our world. Momentary panic can cause questions about what the storm will l...
According to Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded His disciples to go into the entire world and tell every person about His good news.
According to Peter in Acts 2:39, the promise of the good news of Jesus was for those in Peter’s day where Peter was preaching, it was for those who were not present while he was preaching, it was for those who lived afar off from where he was preaching, it was for those who were too young to read, it was for those who were not yet born, and it was for future generations.
Just think, after being raised in America, after so many generations have passed, and after being so far removed from the days Jesus walked the earth and the day of Pentecost, I am able to know the good news of Jesus.
How unfortunate for me if I had been required to understand the original languages in which the Bible was written. But it was translated so I could understand. Not just for me in my language, but it has been translated also to Mandarin, Spanish, French, German... The...
I told Him I’d rather die than live in fear for the rest of my life. So He led me to a dead place — an ugly, dark, barren, crushing, disappointing, lonely, dead place. But He led me there not to leave me but to plant me for my fruitful future.
I recently saw these words from Malachi 3:3: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...”
I’ve read how silversmiths will hold a piece of silver in the flame for as long as it takes to see their own image. When they can see themselves, they know it’s time to remove the silver from the fire.
To be held in the flame by God until His image is clear is a difficult place to be. He’s not in a hurry, but He is watchful. He won’t see Himself until the impurities are burned away, so He’s looking closely for Himself because, when He sees Himself, He will know its time to remove me from the fire.
Being brought face-to-face with how unlike Him I am is a painful journey. How can I ever look like Him in how I handle rejection, abuse, false accusation, slander, etc...? I’ll never reach His perfection.
That is, I won’t reach it on my own. James 1:5 instructs, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” (ESV). This verse follo...
“If you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on everyone who didn’t hurt you,” (author unknown). I’ve seen this quote a lot, lately, and I believe it’s a true statement. But consider the following perspective.
Physically injured people bleed on those who are helping them. They can’t help it. But those who mend wounds don’t blame bleeders. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, firemen—they all understand getting bled on is part of their job.
The same is true for emotionally injured people. Just like those who have been hurt physically, people who have been hurt emotionally can’t always heal themselves. They need help from others. And those willing to help will often feel the brunt of what hurt the one they’re helping. Though we should work hard, when we’ve been hurt, to not turn and hurt others, we tend to be weak when we are weak. So, when reaching out to help, we should be prepared to give grace. Mending wounds can get messy and being willing to help is risky. But the result of bearing hurt fr...
I’m thankful for endurance — in my marriage, in my parenting, in my physical struggles, in my emotional struggles, in my spiritual struggles.
Without endurance, I wouldn’t be in this moment enjoying the blessings and victories of my journey thus far.
In my weakness, God’s strength has been made perfect. I’ve had a lot of weakness along the way, but I’ve experienced a lot of God’s strength. So, even in the midst of current struggles, I celebrate God’s strength as it continues to be made perfect in my weakness. That is endurance.
Are you struggling? Stop focusing on others’ perspectives of your struggle and focus on God’s strength. It ain’t over ‘till it’s over, so stay committed to enduring to the end.
I’ve followed his lead as he has followed His lead.
I trusted in his ability to hear His voice even before he had the chance to prove himself to be a listener and a hearer.
I’ve followed because I believe God gives good gifts, thus, I believe the gift I’ve been given is a good one. As I trust the gift, I trust the Giver of the gift.
I’ve not always been an eager follower. I haven’t always understood the big picture. I don’t like what I can’t see. Nevertheless, I have followed, in spite of my lack of understanding.
My following has brought me to scary and painful sections of the journey — parts I didn’t expect nor seek. But I turned to the gift for guidance on how to work my way through and have kept trusting and following. And the good gift from God has kept listening, hearing, following, and leading — and holding my hand while showing me the way.
I have my own desires from God — a calling — a purpose. But I’ve chosen to put the gift first — to follow his calling and purpose — to follow hi...
Yes, there is a healing balm in Gilead (referenced in Genesis 37:25, Jeremiah 8:22, Jeremiah 46:11).
There is a healing balm if you won’t reject Him. Jesus wants to heal the broken hearted. (See Psalm 34:18, Luke 4:18; NKJV.)
But the healing balm is applied when you open up and let Jesus in to see and touch your wounds. It’s not a “shout it out” kind of healing, but, rather, healing that comes from daily, relational, conversational meetings with the healer. It’s messy and takes a lot of courage to experience.
So, yes, there is a healing balm in Gilead. You just have to be willing to let Him do His work.
I can’t claim to have already overcome, but I am growing fruit through the overcoming process.
Through this process I have discovered that it is easier to forgive hurts from the past than it is to forgive hurts happening in the present. This is true for me because I’ve learned how to separate myself from the past. However, I have not mastered separating myself from my present. And to forgive in the present requires me to make decisions today that demonstrate forgiveness. This means I have to live in ways that will make me vulnerable to continual hurt. I can’t build walls of protection when I know from experience that more wounds are most likely coming my way.
Maybe you’re arguing with me about my right for boundaries. If so, my response proposes a different definition for boundaries. Boundaries should not be put in place for the purpose of protecting myself from hurt. Those boundaries have never proven successful for me because I still feel hurt when people are hurtful. Rather, bound...