I don’t know what you’re facing right now that you’ve given up on. I don’t know what you’ve been through that’s brought you so much heartbreaking disappointment that you can’t stand to face it for one more day, but I’m here to tell you that God says it’s about to turn around.
As I was listening to this song Rattle for probably the 1000 time today that phrase hit me so hard. “Friday’s disappointment is Sunday’s Empty Tomb.” That word disappointment was so heavy. It brought me back to the reality of my disappointments. I began to talk to the Lord about it. I told Him I was so tired of one specific disappointment I’ve been carrying that has now exceeded a decade of my life. I told Him I didn’t want to have to feel that for one more minute. I told Him I was so done with it. I reminded Him that It has gone on too long, and there’s no hope of it turning around. I’m sure He was amused at my insight on the situation, but He ever so gently spoke to me saying “My disciples were disappointed when they thought it was over for me too, they gave up, but I wasn’t finished.”
He’s not finished.
Your biggest disappointment is about to become your greatest testimony.
Hang in there child, your third day is coming. Mine is too. Next time we go look in the tomb of the thing we’ve pronounced dead and done, it’s gonna be empty. Jesus is alive and well, and He’s turning things around for His children.
“And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”
I don’t know about you but I’m so over all the “what if’s” this year has presented. I’m done wondering about them. I’m done even giving one once of my energy to fearing them. After all, why should I fear? I definitely don’t have to.
One of the things I have tried desperately to do this year is to guard my heart. So many crazy things have happened and are continuing to happen. So many opportunities to be influenced from outside voices, and be fearful have presented themselves every single day since all the panic started at the beginning of the year. But let me just tell you, God is good, and we don’t have to fear.
Why should I be afraid of man? He can’t take my soul.
Why should I be afraid of a virus? Or even the horrid and excruciatingly painful after effects it’s put on my body? To live is Christ, to die is gain. By his stripes I am healed.
Why should I be afraid of unrest in our nation? My rest is found in knowing Jesus.
Why should I be afraid if our economy crumbles? I live in the Economy of my Heavenly Father who owns it all.
Why should I be afraid of losing my freedom? Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. I have found true freedom in Christ.
Why should I be afraid of one man or another becoming president? Jesus is the King of Kings, and still sits on His throne.
Why should I fear?
Why should I?!
I shouldn’t fear anything if I serve the Lord.
Neither should you.
Am I saying I’m okay with everything that’s going on? Absolutely not. I hate it. Am I saying I will be okay with it if some of the “what if’s” become reality? No way. But what I am saying is, I won’t let Satan pounce on me with fear any more. He is ready and waiting any time a new article comes out, a new news report hits the screen, a new diagnosis is added to my list. But I’m ready too. I’m ready with the truth. The truth that Jesus is all that I need, and is fighting for me on every side. Why should I fear knowing that I’ll be taken care of no matter what, and the Lord of all is right there beside me? I shouldn’t. I’m not going there any more and I hope you’ll join me in doing the same. ❤️
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.””
Ever just feel like you never have enough of what’s needed to do what you need to do? That’s me pretty much every day. But what if today Gods telling you that not enough is the perfect amount? Would you trust Him in that?
The story of Gideon is one of my favorites in the Bible. I’m always excited to get to it in my reading. So as I was starting it this time, I only got a few verses in before the Lord began to speak. He was reminding me that I come to Him often saying that I feel like I don’t have enough to do all the things He’s called me to. He reminded me of how much I beat my self up about it. But then He asked me, “Have you ever thought that not enough is the perfect amount for Me to use?”.
Isn’t it crazy how quickly we forget that it has nothing to do with us and what we have? It’s all about Him and what He has. He is able to do all things. He owns all things. He created all things. So why would it matter if I had enough or not? My Heavenly Father has more than enough!
You see the story of Gideon is the perfect example of this. God was reminding Gideon and His people that it’s in our weakness that His glory shines brightest. God doesn’t need any of us. Let’s face it, He could have wiped us out a long time ago and had a lot less trouble. God could have defeated Gideons enemy without Gideon or his army. He didn’t though. He also could have let Gideon and his vast army defeat their enemy and leave room for pride and arrogance to creep into their hearts. He didn’t do either of those things! Why? Because He always wants what’s best for us.
It was best for Gideon if God showed His power and grew his faith. It was best for Gods people if He reminded them that He’s for them. It was best for their enemies to be reminded that God is the only God, an all mighty God, and a God that loves and fights for His children. Gideon learned one of the greatest lessons first hand when God stripped him down to a 300 man army that was “not enough” to defeat his enemy. He learned that not enough was the perfect amount for God to use to bring victory for His children.
Not enough is where I’m at most days. But God uses me anyway. How? Because when you add Jesus into any equation you have more than enough.
You need more grace? More patience? More money? More love? More peace? More healing? More time? More encouragement? More wisdom? More knowledge? More mercy? More forgiveness? More resources? More friends? More education? More strength? More boldness? More hope? More of anything???? Invite Jesus into the situation, and your not enough, whatever it is, becomes more than enough.
Your not enough is the perfect amount for God to use.
Trust in that truth.
Rest today child, Let Jesus step in where you don’t have enough. He’s ready. He’s willing. He’s able. Let Him have his perfect work in you.
“Then the LORD said to Gideon, “There are too many people with you for Me to hand over Midian to them, otherwise Israel will boast [about themselves] against Me, saying, ‘My own power has rescued me.’”
Today I want you to know that it’s okay if you’re struggling.
It’s one of those things we all know, but rarely believe. At least that’s true for me anyway. I look at others struggling, and see absolutely nothing wrong with it. I see opportunity for the Lord to work in them. I want to find a way to help or encourage them. I see my self struggling and think “I need to get it together!” Or “I can’t struggle, I have to be an example”. I am my own worst enemy most days.
Lately I’ve struggled a lot. It seems I just can’t get it together. I’ve had some things going on in my body that have brought on so much frustration for me. I fully recognize it as being a blatant attack from Satan. It’s got all the tell tale signs. The main giveaway is that it’s been a hindrance to me being able to do all that I need to. My mind and my body are struggling to keep up with even the most basic of things most days. I know God will ultimately use it for my good (because that’s what He does),but I hate it all the same.
It’s been miserable. I can NOT keep up. Most days at some point I begin to crumble. That’s when I cry out. Not my morning prayer, or evening prayer, or before a meal prayer. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely cry out to God then too, but this is a different kind of prayer. It’s a cry from the midst of my struggling. It’s an, in the moment, desperate plea for help right then.
As I read over this verse, I could feel the connection to the psalmist. The connection that is the human struggle. I mean even Jesus struggled in the Garden when he prayed for the cup to pass. But I could hear the Lord reminding me that He understands our struggle. He also reminded me that each time I do struggle, and cry out to Him in that, He’s right there. He does hear. He does see. He does offer me immediate help.
Whether its, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, just give it all to the Lord. Give him all the frustration, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, hurt, or pain. Whatever your struggle is, just cry out to him in the midst of it! He won’t his his face from you. He’s right there waiting with open arms. ❤️
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, And let my cry for help come to You! Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline Your ear to me; In the day when I call, answer me quickly.”
So many days I struggle hard to break my self from going full blast from one thing to the next just to get it off my todo list. I hate to admit how much I’ve missed by doing that. But I’m trying to change that.
The Lord has been working hard on me this year. I’ve felt it. I’m not quite as stubborn and slow to hear as I used to be, but man, bad habits are HARD to break. I definitely feel like it goes 100% against my nature to slow down in anything. But as I’ve well learned, my nature is sinful, and will lead me into some bad places. So if something the Lord asks me to do feels against my nature, I know it’s the right thing. I also know it going to cost me big, but be 100% worth it.
So what’s He been trying to get me on board with? Being deliberate about each day. Realizing that this isn’t a run through. This is the real thing, but I’ve been living most of it as a run through.
Some of you may have no idea what a run through is, but if you’ve done any kind of performing in your life you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the practice run before a performance. It’s where you go through the motions, get to your designated spots, and run through the routine, but only 1/2 way. You are mostly just making sure you’ve got everything covered, and know the motions, but saving your energy for the real show. But in life you don’t get a run through. Every day is the real show.
In my mind, the quicker the better. The faster I can get something off my todo list the better off I am. You know what that does? It makes EVERYTHING feel like a chore, even the things I love. You know what else it does? It limits the ways God can use me in any given task or interaction throughout my day. I can’t pray “Lord use me today” and then be moving so fast a furious that there isn’t even a second He could squeeze into.
Yes I may be doing good things, but if I am not doing good things well, then they aren’t quite as effective. I am raising my daughter, doing all the important things, but missing the most precious moments of just being there with her to engage, talk, listen and enjoy. I am giving food, visiting, helping, teaching, the right things, but all in the wrong way. I’m so rushed I can’t really pour into others properly. I’m missing opportunities to minister in ways I didn’t put on my agenda. I plan to meet one need, but the Lord may want me to fill another while I’m there. See what I’m saying?
Being deliberate means having a plan or a to do list, but leaving plenty of room for the Lord to work in me and through me in any given moment. It means that sometimes hitting all the motions isn’t always best. It means that some times the performance may change. You may miss a motion here or there, but add another somewhere else. But most of all it means doing nothing 1/2 way. It means saving nothing for tomorrow. It means leaving 100% of what you’ve got that day out there on the stage of life because we are not promised tomorrow.
We have to make the choice today. We have to decide today if we are going to live life as unto the Lord or as unto our todo list. You don’t get another life. You don’t get another chance to do this. You don’t get another today. This isn’t a run through. This is YOUR LIFE. This is the ONLY one you’ve been given. You don’t know how long it will last. So why not choose to serve the Lord today. Not just to hit all our “Christian checkmarks”, but to REALLY serve Him today. Let’s be deliberate in all that we do today, slow down a bit, and give it our all. Let’s see what all the Lord has in store for us if we do. I guarantee it’s better than what we had planned.❤️
“If it is unacceptable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.””
I’ll admit that I don’t always please the Lord in everything. I’m guilty of going through portions of my day without asking for His guidance. I make quick decisions sometimes without ever stopping to consult with the Lord. I’m stubborn, and act just plain ridiculous sometimes. I get angry and let my mouth run away. I act spoiled and pitiful and entitled sometimes. I let my thoughts get carried away sometimes. I get myself in some big messes and then come running to the Lord to get me out of them. Man it looks bad when you write it all down like that. But let’s be real, even some of the most known believers were hot messes. Look at Abraham David or Peter. Being human never gives us the excuse to sin, but it does explain why we do. Since the fall of man in the garden, It’s our nature. God knows that. But he also knows our hearts.
Does He want us to sin and be disobedient? Absolutely not. Is it okay to sin against Him? Most definitely not. Does He expect more of us than He gets most days? Absolutely. He knows all the things about us. How we act, why we act, when we’re going to act. Our thoughts, our feelings, our motives, our weaknesses, our strengths, our desires. He knows it all.
Can you imagine knowing EVERYTHING about someone and still loving them and showing up for them every day? It’s easy to answer that question by saying yes. But living that out is so incredibly hard. It requires grace, mercy, forgiveness and patience. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a hard combination to live out when you know the bad about someone. Especially when that bad has hurt you deeply.
Did you know it hurts God when we act out in disobedience and sin, yet He still shows up for us every single day? He knows all the bad, but pursues us fervently without ceasing. He sees our weaknesses, yet loves us with an everlasting love.
There isn’t a moment He isn’t there for you. You may forget Him, but He’s never forgotten one detail about you or your life. You may not want to live for Him, but He lived and died and rose again for you. You may not want to admit you need it, but He is ready and willing to pour out his mercy grace and forgiveness to you.
You may go astray, but He’s not going anywhere.
His faithful love endures forever.
He is good, and ready to show you just how good your life was meant to be with Him.
He’s here today. He’s here for me. He’s here for you. He’s not going anywhere. So why not let Him be all that He desires to be in your life and lighten your load today? ❤️
So many days I’m running 100 miles an hour from the time my feet hit the floor until I lay down at night. My to do list is longer than the hours I’ll be awake, and the demands made are more than I could ever live up to. It’s so hard to really get focused when life is moving so quickly.
I took a trip to Rome (a neighboring town) this week with Lydia (she’s 4). On the drive there she was playing a game, we chatted and I was listening to some worship songs. We got to where we were going, hit the shoe store and Sams, and quickly did our business at each before they closed. On the way back I heard a song. It caused me to immediately begin to look back on just the last few hours. Had I included Jesus? Did I shine his light in my interactions with others? Was I being an example to Lydia? Was I letting the Lord guide me as I moved from one thing to the next?
As I began to beat my self up, and criticize all the things, I heard the voice of the Lord. He said “I am always with you”.
He reminded me that when I sing along in worship to a song in the car, He’s there. He’s there ministering to me, and Lydia. When she sees my heart for the Lord in that moment, she sees Jesus at work in me. He reminded me that when I took extra time while shopping to engage in conversation with someone, to care about them, He was there loving on us both. He reminded me that being kind and patient with others in a time when it’s harder than ever to connect, and easier than ever to hide behind our masks, He’s in that.
It was a beautiful reminder to me that even though I know Jesus is always with me as part of the big picture, He is also in the smallest of the details. When I feel like I’ve failed Him miserably by not doing anything grand or obvious in his kingdom throughout my day, He reminds me that loving others into His kingdom is indeed the grandest of all.
Ministering Jesus to others doesn’t always look like lights a mic and a stage. It doesn’t always look like a bible study or writing devotionals. Some days it looks like taking a minute to engage with someone. Reading a bible story to your kids. Loving on your family. Looking someone in the eyes and letting them know that if even for a second another person cares about their existence. Providing food to someone who’s hungry. Paying a bill for someone who can’t seem to get ahead. Causing someone to smile or laugh. Bringing joy to someone’s day with a card, letter, phone call, text. Praying for someone. Forgiving someone. Listening to someone. When we pour into others out of the overflow of His spirit that dwells in us, we are doing exactly what we were called to do.
It may look different for you than for me. You may have different opportunities to minister to others in different ways than I can. Living out your purpose isn’t as hard as we make it. Jesus is always with us, and if we’ll let Him, He will use every single detail of our lives to glorify Him, and perfect us.
Jesus is with you. How will you let Him shine through you today? ❤️
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20 KJV
Lately I’ve faced challenges I definitely didn’t see coming. Each new day has brought on something new and different. I’ve quickly gotten frustrated by trying to navigate it all. As I was mentally preparing for a new week, I was quietly reminded of what I need to keep my focus on.
It may be a new week. Each day may bring on new challenges. But I serve the same God that created all, and has power over all.
He’s the same God that created me in my mother’s womb.
He’s the same God that parted the Red Sea.
He’s the same God that came to earth as a man only to die for our sins.
He is the same God who gives beauty for ashes.
He’s the same God that opens blinded eyes.
He’s the same God that heals the sick, and raises the dead.
He’s the same God that gave me a miracle baby.
He’s the same God that healed my mom from a rare form of Leukemia that was in 99% of her bone marrow.
He’s the same God that has seen me through sorrows, heartbreaks, and failures.
He’s the same God that has been there every high and every low.
He’s the same God that has been faithful to ALL who have called on Him.
New week. New challenges. Same God.
Don’t sweat whatever you’re facing this week. It may be horrible and exhausting, but Gods right there being God. He’ll never change. He’s always able. He always loves you. He’s always fighting, and moving on behalf of His children. Don’t worry child, He’s got this. ❤️
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”