When my spirit sends alarming signals before my brain fully awakes, panic usually follows. Worry sketched out memories of past hurts, disappoints or troubled times. Like a bulging suitcase, those experiences erupted screams in my head, causing a migraine. Before I knew it, they run rampant like rudely, undisciplined children. Past disasters resurrected, wracking my morning with darkness. I didn’t want to face the day.
In a prayer, I sent and SOS to the Lord before worry dresses my heart with apprehension. But panic opened the gate and I began to wonder, what have I forgotten to take care, which child is facing hardships, or will an old issue poke its head to destroy the peace and joy I have?
I wondered, why was my spirit troubled?
Then I asked the Lord, “What should I have done to prevent this unsettling feeling within me? Would being more watchful over my self instead of others, praying instead of playing, listening instead of photographing nature, time meditating instead of social media?
Something within me said, you should have been more astute. Astute, is not a word I use. I knew it was the Holy Spirit talking. I looked up the word, for I really didn’t know what it ment.
Then I heard, “Prepare yourself for the turbulence that’s coming.”
I asked, ” Lord, is this message from you?”
A confirming feeling came over me. Then, I knew why my soul was troubled.
The unpacked past issues came to mind again. I couldn’t stop them from painting their sketched images and adding a new possible scenario. Once, I sat down to journal the annoying voices were hushed away.
I was thankful, my Lord warned me or else apprehension would have come along and chained me with the heaviness of fear and the cloud of confusion.
A question entered my mind, is this really from God?
I stopped writing, I prayed, if this message is from you Lord, keep me astute, Then I will be watchful and ask you to help me when worry, apprehension, anxiety, confusion and fear crowd to enter my mind and fall into my heart. Please don’t allow me to become crippled by these hindrances and enslave me again.
After my prayer, my room became brighter as if the sky became bluer and the morning sun shined bright into the space I sat. Yet, the light gray blanket of clouds covered the sky and blocked the sun. Then I felt a warmth, much like the sun in summer landing on my back.
I told myself, if God permitted this disturbance to come my way today for my growth. Then I reminded myself of who held me, Jesus, He will protect and guide me as I lived on. Then the Holy Spirit led me to the verse in Philippians 2:13“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Today, May 6, I remind myself, trust God’s process, remain faithful and give no room for doubt or fear to reign. As soon as they show their presence, run to Jesus for help.
Fear was a god in my life, who I would obey without me realizing it. I listened and reacted to its triggers. But now those triggers send me to Jesus.
“Put up with one another. Forgive. Pardon any offenses against one another, as the Lord has pardoned you, because you should act in kind.” Colossians 3:13 (The Voice)
To put up with one another, one has to have a triple tune-up; in the heart, of the mind and from the attitude. In order to get the tune up, one must go to the best adjuster. I only know of one, Jesus.
Many times we need more than a tune-up to put up with those we love.The following also may need to be looked at:
1) A total overhaul. There could be major repairs to be considered which have been overlooked for years. Like years, 10, 20, 30 maybe even since childhood.
2) A quick refurbish. They may only be the need of an adjustment. The stress from a new job, newborn baby, low bank account, high credit card bill. Or just plainly the stress of marriage, parenting, or any other relationship along with the stresses mention above.
3) A costly remodel. This means a major fix up. What once worked is no longer working. People grow, mature, change revealing the need of new ways to deal with the present circumstances while others are stagnant, stuck, stubborn. It’s costly because most of us like the way we deal with others and feel the other person should change and not us. Well, think again! This is where it will cost, when we are the ones who must be remodel and we aren’t willing. God help us!
4) A humble Patch up. Restoring is when something worked well, but now it has a tare, a crack, or a hole which been over looked. Time and wearing down caused some wear and tear. Now they’re noticeable with the need to be covered with the same agreements. Together the loop holes must be recognized allowing proper time for healing and restoration.
5) A true revise. Reworking is going back and starting all over again. But, the start begins with a changed plan. Starting again with the same agreements, which didn’t work to begin with, will only produce more frustrations. A revision will have to be made or the error will occur again and again. Honesty is best, even if it’s fearful. It’s pricey to be frank.
Relationships are hard work. Maintaince is a must. Tune ups of ourselves have to be made.
Sometimes, we just have to put ourselves in the shop with God and tell Him do the works on me.
We may need to take a sabbatical.
All this to say, forgive, forgive again, forgive seventy times seven.
Actually forgive as often as the person who turned the heat up in the realtionship to 80 while you were already sweating anger and frustration.
By the way, forgive yourself for storming to the person holding your dial.
Cause and effect goes both ways. They hurt you. You hurt them. Come together to God, if possible. Be pardon, then pardon. Remember we’re sinner just as much as the person who raise the heat on our thermostat.
Forgive. Forgive. Forgive.
Pardon. Pardon. Pardon.
Release. Release. Release.
So, put up with one another, as you are kind with your words, your actions and in your secret thoughts.
If you ever find my phone, you will see all the pictures I’ve taken in the past few months.
They will show the beauty, the detail, the moment, the color, the morning, the evening, the sky, the sea, the tree, the leaf, the moose, the bear, the rabbit, the flower, the people with me, all the life around me.
But, it will never show my storms, my waves, my turmoil, my pain, my tears, my sadness, my sleepless nights, those are not the things I chose to focus on.
Yet, those experiences are what move me to take the picture of what is right before me as I hold on for dear life to the purpose of living with hope, by faith and in love.
My life is a well of emotions which helps me to pull from to write, to share, to connect with others and those whom I may not physically touch, yet understand by our similar thoughts, emotions and unspoken circumstances.
We all have wild waves to survive. Maybe even ride out in this very moment. If we do ride our waves out, survive their overwhelming power, they will push us to solid ground.
Then, we can give an encouraging word to the ones still out at sea. Give a hand to the ones that got washed from the sea. Help others walk on the solid ground we are now walking on.
Let’s be compassionate to those around us who are drowning, tumbling, and sinking.
May they sense the hope we have in God; see our faith in our Savior and Lord, Jesus in us; and feel the love of God for humanity through us.
ON A WARM ROCK ~ Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited a long time for the Eternal; He finally knelt down to hear me. He listened to my weak and whispered cry.He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me outTo set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again.As if that were not enough, because of Him my mind is clearing up.Now I have a new song to sing— a song of praise to the One who saved me.Because of what He’s done, many people will see and come to trust in the Eternal.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There has been times my waiting for my Lord felt like a dark tunnel without a way out. Yet I kept going searching for his hand and hoping to hear his foot steps. Maybe even the wings of his eagle as it comes to my rescue.
Many times, in my low hours, I cried for him as I felt alone. He comes. Always comes.
I’ve felt his touch, his warmth, his whisper. The picture this psalm describes of the Lord finally kneeling down to hear, it is what I’ve experienced and still experience.
His hand is gentle, his pull is kind and places me oh so tenderly on his warm rock. That warm rock, I usually describes it as his embrace, his lap, his heart. I know without a doubt and with every fiber of what makes me, that my Lord has come to my rescue over and over again.
When he holds me, its just not for me to regain my step, no, it’s to hold my lifeless soul, my weak spirit and my dwindled heart. Once I’ve regain my spiritual balance, my heart strengthens as it holds to God’s promises and my soul is filled with the hope that carries one to tomorrow.
It is then when I walk with my Lord as we lock arms that my mind becomes clear. For I know he is with we as I continue in the darkness of today’s unknown. For it isn’t what I can see or understand, but the hope of what God is doing that gives me a positive outlook at a distrustful time.
Then a song comes, it always has and it sings my heart and feels my mood, but someone else wrote the word and played out the rhythm. Time after time, I’m still amazed how God works it out for the song comes on the radio, pandora, or someone sends it at that hour.
I worship a living God and serve a risen Lord and listen to a flowing Holy Sprit. No one can ever take my faith, my belief nor my hope from me. Because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me every season of my life, even today, I can say he rescues, teaches and guides. Everything the Scriptures say about my Lord, is who my Savior is and what he does for those who follow him and worship God.
I pray that if you do not know God, his Son and the Holy Spirit, that you come to trust in the Eternal and experience his majestic love, his forever forgiveness and his everlasting assurance.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
As I read these words this thought came to mind, “Where will you land when the wind of calamity blows? Nobody knows.”
Actually, the Holy Spirit knows. You will too when the Holy Wind sets the course to the place God has opened for you.
Before you move forward, wait for the wind of the Holy Spirit to reveal the way, then go even though it’s not a place you want to be. Good things wait for your arrival.
Keep in mind, God’s goodness may not manifest right away, but if you remain faithful and look towards the sunrise of hope you will find the blessings God has selected just for you. The process requires you to not only remain faithful but to ask God to help you believe in his promises to come while the mist of your unbelief fogs your sight.
Then one day, in what seems far tomorrow, at sunset you will be in awe of what God has gifted you with besides his blessings. Each blessing bloomed a precious gift which came at the right time keeping you a float, surviving the spiritual and physical trials of the storm.
Where loneliness robed the feeling of “I’m forgotten?” When love is coldly foreign? When yesterday’s troubles play its death song and your feet march to its tempo as you go from the bed, to the bathroom, to the sofa?
Do you understand what I mean?
Well, let me give you one more description.
At the start of the day, yesterday’s burdens surface, chest concave, shoulders fall forward and chin lands on your chest. Before you know, your shoulders are greeting your knees. You lift your head slightly and the gym is nowhere in sight. It is then when you know, you are not stretching your limbs for your benefit. Unable to take a deep breath you sink lower dreading the day.
Yet, somehow, we must carry on with duties, responsibilities and live with a grateful heart. Really? Honestly? Let’s be real here. How?
I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s when light, movement or color captures my attention. It normally comes from low on the horizon or off the ground. Maybe because that’s where I’ve aimed my view.
Well, because of my state of mind, hurting heart or heavy soul, I don’t straighten up. I actually lower myself even more, to the point where I could hug my legs. It is then when I take a picture or two and something begins to shift inside of me.
The first change I notice happens in my thoughts, my focus is not on yesterday at all, it’s on the now, on what I’m seeing. Slowly my chin lifts off my chest.
Second thing which changes me, is an unexplainable joy. It begins to drip inside my heart. Each drop heals hurts, calms pains, clears my sight from worries and concerns. It is then when my posture begins to straighten and I look beyond myself.
Last, my surroundings remind me of truths; of priceless fortune, sparkling value and important significance. These truths mend my torn soul. Soon my shoulders are back and I smile because, I know, I matter.
But, I couldn’t have the changes happening in me if I couldn’t see the light, the movement and the color. But even if I didn’t notice these things, I wouldn’t know that I matter, if I didn’t believe on the truths of my own worth.
As long as I am alive, I have something to give to someone. I can hug, kiss, smile or speak a kind word. And if the day comes when I can’t do any of these, I pray that my face will remind anyone of what I use to be, do and give.
When, I’m at my lowest, I will continue to look for the light, movement and color. For they reveal a unique design outside and inside of me. Both perspectives point to riches for us to always seek.
May you find light, movement or color to remind you of your worth and significance. For you matter to me. Hugs and kisses. 😊
Remember, as children when we got in trouble, we were sent to timeout?
As a parent, I would tell my kids to think about what they did wrong. While the child sat, they would have to stay there until they, themselves, identified their error and understood the correct manner of behavior. Which I had already explain to them, but they had to own their choice and decide to make better choices in the future.
Without knowing why, today, my soul was troubled, I had the urge to go for a drive and have a timeout. Expecting to learn the error of my ways I desired to find a place out in nature to listen to what God had taught me and seem to be trying to remind me. Eagle River, Alaska came to mind. Being a place where bears are cited, I invited a friend and off we went. (We didn’t see any bears, which we were thankful after learning that this was the time for brown bears and grizzlies to be passing through to feed from the salmon runs.)
Before leaving my place, I took time to read my devotional. As soon as I read the verses, I had the urge to leave, now. Without reading any further, I left with three questions packed in my heart. What should I be asking? What should I be seeking? And where should I be knocking? Eagerly I drove, expecting to hear definite answers from God at some point on the hike but, none came.
For those of you who know the passage, the verses were from Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” They’re familiar verses in the Christian community, but for me this time they had something new to teach me. I just didn’t know exactly what that lesson was, because I hadn’t identify where I stood with God.
Seating and pondering on my day in Eagle River, which I didn’t receive answers or clarity of these verses or my errored ways, I read the rest of the devotional. It reminded me to be persistent in asking and that Jesus doesn’t recommend for us to ask, He commands for us to ask. Now that’s something to think about for my future timeout from my day.
The devotional also said, that asking isn’t quite sufficient from Jesus’ point of view. He wants us to take it up a notch. We should seek out what we need from God and we will find it. Well asking is much less work than seeking, because one doesn’t have to do anything. While seeking takes our effort not just God’s. There are times, I just want the answer without much work on my part.
Do you remember asking your mom for something you know she could easily give you, but she sent you out to find it yourself and then get it on your own? Well I’m wondering if that’s what God was trying to tell me, when I rather for Him to just hand it to me. I still wonder, what is it that I truly want? I sense I must go on to the third question maybe I will receive clarity.
Knocking on the door is the final step. Well the devotional reference that the door is heaven’s door. It also mention that our asking and seeking takes us to the very doorsteps of heaven. Once there, we shouldn’t just stand there and wait, we should knock on the door. Well to tell you the truth, I’ve been afraid to knock on the door. Why? Because of what God has to offer.
What if God gives me my heart desire only to be taken away. Maybe, I don’t want to feel that pain again, so I will not knock, then I keep what I long for in the longing place of my heart. No wonder I felt like a timeout. I needed to see the error of my thinking and correct it with truth. It is better to have had it for a short while than not to have it at all. Besides, who told me that it will be taken again and why bother having it in the first place? Who have I been listening to? Whom have I followed? I’ve listen to the voices of Doubt, Disappointment and Fear.
They misguided me because of the troubles that have come and taken the good things my husband and I have been blessed with in Vancouver. We placed our house on the market and sold within twelve hours. We had to leave quickly that we didn’t have time to say good-bye to our friends. The move-out happened in less than two weeks from our return of our working travels. Our belongings were stuffed in storage and off we flew to Alaska to work again.
Now, we are homeless and have no idea where to plant our life and allow roots to grow. You see, I have lived in almost twenty places in thirty-five years of marriage which includes less than ten city moves and seven states covering from Texas to Maryland to Montana to Washington and now Alaska.
Do you see why I’m shy to knock and ask where should I be seeking residency? At the moment, we’re staying in an Airbnb in Alaska provided by my husband’s work. When he’s not working we’ll be staying with my daughter in Seattle, Washington.
I know once I knock on the door of heaven, it will be open. God will meet me and He will provide the answer. But, will it be the answer I seek? Or will He offer me the answer which is best to produce the fruits that are needed? I also know, that God will hand my husband and I not only what we need but gift us with more, with the purpose of sharing. All things do come from his storehouse and he will place the gifts into our hands for us and for us to share.
I understand. It’s not about finding residency, a house to call home or having a dwelling place. It’s about asking and seeking where does God want us, my husband and I to bear fruit. Like the devotional said, all of our persistent asking, seeking and knocking shows God that we are serious and sincere about our desire to bear fruits like John teaches.
John 15:16 “You have not chosen Me, I have chosen you. I have set you apart for the work of bringing in fruit. Your fruit should last. And whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.”
Am I ready to ask, seek and knock? I am. I’ve recognize the error of my ways, listening and believing the voices of Doubt, Disappointment and Fear instead of the voice of my Shepard, Jesus himself. I should trust Him with our future, my husbands and mine as a couple and mine as an individual.
Father, In Jesus name I come and ask to show me the way my husband and I should go and where to plant our lives to bear fruit, so that you can feed those who hunger after your precepts and desire to draw closer to you plus, to learn about your Son, the one who saves, died and rose again, Jesus, who conquered our sins, who forgives without our cost. for He paid it all. Thank you for choosing me. In Jesus name I ask, seek and knock. And in His name I wait to find a home to share of what God has in store for my husband and me.
“Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition.
Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting.” Philippians 1:27-29 MSG
The way is not easy, but it is possible, even when it’s lonesome.
What way are you seeking?
Which way are you headed?
Where are you leading others?
Keep in mind the road you are on, someone else has gone before you, otherwise how else was the path created. Find how they survived and arrived to their destination.
Be aware, if no one is beside you, it doesn’t mean no one is following.
Know, someone is watching and observing you.
Therefor, walk in a way that you give Christ the glory and praise in spite of the present troubles and uncertain future.
Do not allow the troubles of this world to deplete your belief in the One, who carried your many crosses, all in one. For He has made a way for you and for me. I know, I’ve been on this path and it’s lonesome cold. But, without the many prayers of those who know my woes, my spirit wouldn’t have survived the freezing nights of my soul.
Confide in those who believe in God, His Son, the Holy Spirit and in you.
May you reach out to the Lord Jesus Christ and take his hand through those He sends your way. He eagerly waits to give what he has for you, and assist you to arrive at your next destination.
Keep persistent in faith. When you faith dwindles, and it may, call on those whose faith is burning bright. When no one is available, don’t forget, Jesus, himself, prays for us.