All my son said was, “my leg hurts.” To be honest, this about threw my insides into turmoil. Another extension of myself at the end of an exhausting day was enough to make my head spin. I did not want to help another person for the umpteenth time. My selfishness was very apparent to me in that moment.
This is not something I am proud of. These flaws in me, really show me my shortcomings and remind me again how much I need Jesus. I am far from perfect, but I am so thankful to have a relationship with the one who is perfect!
“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
The days that I am “rocking it” in different areas of my life, because of something I think I did well, I am completely missing where my salvation comes from. It is in the failures and recognition of my sin that I am reminded: Jesus alone is my salvation.
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
When the sin in us rears its ugly head, I hope we are quick to remember that Jesus is always the answer to our heart condition.
During the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in wishing for more things and let the distraction of “wants” rob us from precious presents that we already have right in front of us. This week, a simple visit reminded me how rich I already am.
Two teenage nephews came over to spend some time with us. When these two boys are around, I have no doubt my belly will ache from the laughter we share together. They make my heart burst with joy. I look at them and think, “they are awesome gifts.”
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3)
This verse surely rings true. After a crazy week, I needed their teenage spunk. It felt so much like a reward to have extra sets of hands with our own boys, laughter until we peed our pants and a genuine love for each other that binds us close together. God is so good to give me such awesome treasures.
The Bible says that those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. I pray we remember that truth this season. The best gifts come from God.
I stopped in my tracks to adore the sweet sound of his voice. As my little men were tucked into their beds with sleepy eyes, I could hear a melody of pure preciousness coming off of teeny tiny lips. Before I know it, their pudgy hands will be replaced with those the size of grown men.
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (Ephesians 5:16-17)
I wish I could say that I make the most of every opportunity, because I know it would be eternally beneficial if I did. I have tasted and seen that God is always good and that His ways are life giving.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8)
As we go about our days, we can rest assured that we can know how to make the most of every opportunity. Apply God’s Word to the very season we find ourselves in and embrace it, Jesus style.
Lord, please teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:20)
The stench filled his nostrils as he propped his trembling body up. Distressed, helpless and needy his heart cried out. “Rock bottom” crashed over him. His circumstances softened His heart.
This man, Jonah, was not obeying God. He ran in the opposite direction from the very thing he knew he should do, to follow the command of God. Calamity came against him, as he deliberately tried to escape from what God asked of him. After going through intense conflict, his heart was willing and humbled to be obedient to the Creator’s ways.
“While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, And my prayer came to your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:7)
This story of Jonah is also a picture of something that has happened to me. There was a time in my life when I rejected the very thing I knew I should do, that God wanted me to do. I suffered for it. In the turmoil I completely saw my need for the salvation, deliverance of my sin, from the only God who could save me from my very own brokenness. My heart surrendered its ways to God’s, just like Jonah’s did.
“But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9)
This thanksgiving, I hope that your heart can abound in praise that your salvation is completely from the Lord.
I love the word bravery. When I ponder it, I visualize an individual who is not going to shrink back when their knees are weak and trembling. I think of an active decision in one’s heart to press on, no matter what lies ahead.
We have many examples in the Bible of God’s people standing on the promises of God when they were under pressure and what a glorious outcome each one was, even when there appeared to be zero hope. God redeemed it all for His children, every time.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
I cherish this verse, because don’t we all have markings in our lives that appear so unredeemable from a human perspective? I know that I need this verse for myself and the hope that is wrapped in it.
That very mess that weighs us down, is a perfect opportunity for a supernatural God to mightily display His glory and power. This is the business that our God is in. Girlfriend, strengthen yourself with the promises. Be brave.
Our state just went through a massive power outage. A wind storm blew over trees of all sizes in very inconvenient places. Cold, dark and weary fit the vocabulary of many for multiple days. Though this was very tough on those of us without power, the care people had for others brought me great joy to witness. This is how life should be.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16)
I saw many offer up their electricity to family, friends and strangers in any way they could. Showers, a meal and warmth went a long way in many hearts, in my heart and in my family’s.
I was the recipient of such sweet sacrifices from others. It blessed me to my core. I walk away from this tough week with absolute thankfulness, blessings I took away with me from this experience and a renewed encouragement that “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
I am frequently amazed at the power of prayer. I find it so incredibly encouraging to know that the Creator of every living thing cares to answer the cries of my heart.
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)
I will never forget praying as a child and Jesus answering me then. As a little girl, I was in love with kittens and asked God if He would give me one. One day, I looked up and yelped with excitement as I saw one baby cat waiting on my doorstep peering inside our sliding glass door. We lived in a wooded area with houses far from one another. I never shared this prayer with others, until after it was answered. Then, I told everyone!
I remember another day.. “Lord, we are struggling with money. Please help my mama find one hundred dollars.” My mom found two fifty dollar bills!
As I have grown my problems have too, so my prayers have morphed into a much broader and deeper range of things. When I seek God in prayer and His glory is displayed before me, it reminds me that He cares. God is faithful.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!” (Psalm 105:1-3)
Question: How has God shown His love to you by answering your prayers?