Wednesday, June 29, 2022

It's Always HIm and Not Me!

 


The only thing clever I’ve ever done in my life is to cry out to Jesus. It is always His power and not my own that bails me out; time after time I recognize that my only claim to wisdom comes through appropriating His.    

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Monday, June 27, 2022

Feet Fitted With Readiness


 I once read a devotion by a woman who had recognized the need of liberation from her commitment to completing the items on her daily list when she turned down an invitation to spend time with a friend because her list stated she must vacuum under her beds that afternoon.  

I have never been near that level of devotion to keeping a spotless house, but I am just now, at age 68, in the process of liberation from my devotion to my right to spend my days as I deem best. Sometimes, a fear that other people will take over our time is actually a reluctance to abandon all for Christ. What if He plans to use me up and wear me out for His purposes?  What if I can't rest when I'm tired and what if my body and mind, not to speak of my nerves, give way under the strain?  What if what if what if???

Then there is the secret whisper that I deserve some leisure at this point in my life after being my mother's primary caregiver for 16 years, 12 of those in my own home.  

That sounds somewhat logical until we look at things from the Lord's point of view. During those years of caregiving I was blessed abundantly by the Lord's provision. As the Israelites were blessed in the desert, I was blessed in ways I could never have provided myself: "The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything" (Deuteronomy 2:7 NIV).  

Our challenge is not to push forward in our own strength, but rather to fall back into the Lord's arms.  

Lord let us be ready to do Your will, flexible in Your hands, more committed to loving and being loved by You than to our own goals, let us delight to do Your will, in Jesus' Name we pray.  

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Forgiving


 Releasing our perspectives of the past is difficult. It is possible to rehearse wrongs done to us so often that we lose accurate perception of the changes that have taken place in the wrongdoers. Thus someone who was once a victim of a great wrong becomes, through an inflexible opinion of the one who hurt her, perceived by others to be the one in the wrong!  

Well, that paragraph above is a bit cryptic, and I can't think how to be more specific other than to say we must give the Lord our frame of reference of the past. His power is such that He is able to work in past, present, and future to bring about His perfect will. When it is His will to forgive those who have done us harm, He removes their sins as far as the east is from the west. At that point we need to be able to let go the harm done us, as the "letting go" frees space for us to receive healing for the injuries we sustained.  

There is a difference between accepting the unacceptable and bearing with one another in love. But when our loved ones have repented of the wrongs they've committed against us, it is important to love as we've been loved and forgive as we've been forgiven. And even when no apology or repentance has occurred, may the Lord enable us to trust Him for our injuries and walk in wisdom according to His guidance. Otherwise we risk hardness of heart that precludes healing. 

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Dear Lord, when we have been wronged, grant us wisdom to either speak or remain silent just as You will. Please be in the ways others perceive us and be our shelter from judgment or blame. We place our trust in You for past, present, and future. We ask to be healers and to be healed,  in Jesus' Name we pray, Amen.  

 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Take Hold of Him Who Holds You

 


"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (Philippians 3:12).  


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Consider the Needs of Others...

 


As a "sandwich generation" fifty-something woman,  I often felt claustrophobic near-panic when my grandchildren's or my aging mom's needs trumped my own. This sensation that my own needs might go unmet often expressed itself as paralyzing fear. Over the years I've found that if I will push through this kind of fear in prayer, I am often provided strength to serve the needs of others even when I feel weak. It usually takes the loving intercession of a praying friend  to get me over the fear barrier.  

It is instinctive, but not Scriptural, to take our own oxygen first, as the world's wisdom advises, but grabbing what we need to make space for ourselves robs the Lord of the opportunity to show us His miraculous generosity.  This is not to say that God won't sometimes instruct us to say "No," and He often gives the command to come apart and rest awhile. But we need not to make decisions out of our own sense of weakness before we inquire of the Lord.  Oftentimes strength for the journey is given along the way.  

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Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:37-39 NIV

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3-4 NIV