This morning as I busied myself around my house I prayed. I prayed that God would speak to my heart and give me the words that I was supposed to put down. I have several testimonies waiting in the cue, but something is tugging at me. My fingers feel on the verge, like a race horse pressing against a gate; hoofing the ground and snorting air with its nose. That is how I would describe my fingers in this moment.
|Joplin Tornado Debris|
Two “F” Words buzz in my brain:
Pause for a moment with me. Big inhale, Big exhale.
God, you are real, and you really love us. You transcend time and space and have orchestrated the most amazing symphony of life that is playing out throughout all eternity for us, so that we can be near you. You have an amazing plan and there are so many details that it boggles the mind. Thank you for the simplicity of your message that you are solid place to stand; sure and steady. Thank you for the clarity of mind and wisdom that you provide as we seek you and desire to know you more. Prepare my heart God, give me the words that you would have me write. Forgive me for my sins…I am so sorry that I keep messing up. Thank you for your everlasting grace. Thank you for the beautiful blue sky; what a brilliant color you created. Thank you for the green grass, and quiet trees that seem to be singing a song to you this morning as they gently sway in the breeze that you created. A song runs through my head and heart, I will praise you and lift this up to you. Thank you for this quiet moment…let little boys who are supposed to be napping surrender to sleep and wake refreshed, ready to have a fun day.
*Pause* Big inhale, Big exhale.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 23: 1-6.
My heart is so tender right now. The Lord is my shepherd…What a beautiful picture in my mind as I see God, glowing bright, clothed in light, holding a baby lamb in his arms. Such a simple picture and I praise God for this image in this moment. God has got you. In this Psalm we are shown through a touching illustration that God is tending to us. He is taking care of us, and that because he is taking care of us we have no need to fear. His rod and his staff comfort us…I stopped when I read this. These words intrigued me.
Think about a rod; a club, a stick to fend off predators. He guards us, his flock, with a great big Billy Stick, so we don’t have to be afraid. And the staff, I picture Little Bo Peep and her staff with its hook at the end. When a sheep strays the shepherd can pull them back in. I am so glad that God has a hook at the end of his staff. I know this first hand as he drew me back in when I strayed. He is protection, and he provides direction.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is in the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 7-8
This is where I constantly fall short. The verse directly above and the verse directly below…Moolah. I don’t love money…but my mind tricks me into thinking the more of it I have stashed away the more secure I will feel. This is a deception straight from the pit of hell. Money will not give you security, and the more you think that you are secure because of the amount of money that you have the further away it takes you from God. You make decisions based on your future retirement, financial security, you are anxious over bills, anxious living month to month…Anxiety is not of God.
Trust God that he will provide your needs. Change your focus. Even if you have all the financial security, A) It will probably never be enough, and B) It can disappear in an instant. Trust God. Seek God. Ask for wisdom. Live for God.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13: 5-6
He is not going to tell you to go live in the middle of the desert without providing you food and water…Follow God and he will bless your way.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forever more, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18
I put this last scripture there to show you that there is a BIG picture. We get so caught in our day to day and society induced panic that we become distracted and complacent…I say we, but I mean me, but I don’t think I am THAT special or unique in this regard. We place so much importance on our place in society, our rank, or social class, our clothes, our savings accounts, the cars we drive…but we miss the mark. This is about Him, and if we are in him, we don’t have to worry about the rest. He has got us.
I glance up and look out the window, exhale, and then dive back in to these words. In my life, if I forget in whom my faith rests, fear sneaks in. When fear sneaks in, my life starts to unravel and the weight of this world settles on my shoulders. This is something that if you are nodding your head right now thinking, ‘That is me!’ then we need to acknowledge this and give it to God.
God, I want to be a Spirit Builder, like a Body Builder for you. I pray that you increase my faith through your word and the training of the Holy Spirit in my life so that I can be strong in you so that I won’t be weak and prone to fear and made vulnerable. Thank you for putting this in front of me today. Thank you for examining my heart and revealing things to me through your word. Like a protein shake, I want to drink your word in, I want to be full of truth, so that there will be no room for the lie. I want to know the truth, so that when I see the lie (fear) I will call it out and laugh in its silly little face. You are an amazing Father and I thank you for your open hand and provision in my life.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his life span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Matthew 6:24-34
Jesus, sweet Jesus, lover of my soul! He longs for me to be anxiety free, trusting in him. I think that is the best way to be.
Many of you know I injured my shoulder last Sunday in a ‘clumsy sleeper incident’ (as Sam so lovingly calls it). I was making the bed and felt a pop and a great deal of pain. I want to update you that it is feeling 100% better. I am taking it easy, and being gentle with it. I was blessed to have a customer who is a Physicians Assistant in Orthopedics and he took a look at it for Sam and me. Today I got a text to see how it was feeling; I thanked him for being such a blessing and this was his response:
No good blessings come from me, God is the Great Healer. J I’m so glad you are doing better. Let me know if anything changes.
Praising God in this moment for people like this who demonstrate the love of Christ and then give God all the glory! So AWESOME!
Tomorrow starts Man Week…dun dun…dun dun…dun dun…du da du da du da….(supposed to be like jaws). Testimonies by real men who love Jesus. I am very excited, but a little nervous (giving my nervousness over to God about this right now), because I only have 3 out of 7 of the testimonies so far. Guys are not as prompt as the ladies. No problem, we will roll with it.
Found the "F" while running...thought about the "H" I found in our yard. Thank you Lord for these letters that have stirred my heart.