Friday, June 24, 2016

Hope...Inspiration In Desperate Situations

As I sat down and began reading my email-devotionals this morning, it seemed there was a reoccurring theme: feeling weak and tired! I read intensely because it matched my hearts cry this morning. (I've been there a lot lately it seems. I suppose it's this phase of life which I'm going through.) Feeling weak and tired! Are you there today? Or have you found yourself there before? Gloriously enough, each devotion pointed me straight to the Answer - of which I already knew. God is always there! 

As I continued my daily Bible reading, I opened up Isaiah 46. I was feeling a bit giddy about what God had already spoken into my heart. I was just minding my own business as I began with the first verse. Side note: I'm attempting to read the Bible through this year and Isaiah is a LONG book and quite honestly I found myself just skimming along, God forgive me, until I reached verse four...and He got my attention again:

"And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs 
will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; 
even I will carry, and will deliver you."

My heart skipped a beat and warm tears welled up in my eyes...there is was again. HOPE! Personalized scripture just for me. I closed my eyes and just basked in God's Word for a few moments...all the way back there in Isaiah, God knew how I'd feel today. He knew I'd need this verse on this very day of my life. He put it there just for me. I know, that's a bit selfish sounding, but I CLAIMED IT as mine. After all, that's what we're supposed to do with God's Word. 

He made me (and you), and He will suffer with me (and you), He'll even carry me (and you) through, and ultimately He will deliver me (and you). HOPE! See? Maybe He even planned for me to share this verse and post with you today to encourage your spirit. Claim it as your own too. There's enough hope to go around; God is a constant supplier of it. I like to think He gave this verse especially for us ladies who are trying to find ourselves and make heads or tails of the phase of life we're in. Growing older has been quite a scary experience for me thus far, yet I'm finding that God is constantly sending me little reminders that He is there and that I'll come through because He is. Praise the Lord!

So, that's my situation and my moment of inspiration. What about yours? Can you find God and the hope He offers in your situation? Can you share it? I'm sure He'll be there for you too and bring His Word to light in your dilemma, to give you hope, to strengthen and encourage you. And, yes, I might need another confirmation tomorrow...or ten minutes from now, for that matter...but He knows that too. Remember, He made us and knows us from the inside out. Be blessed. 

*Please feel free to leave a comment and share your moment of inspiration~

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Greener Grass on the Other Side

"The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied."  
Psalms 37:18-19
 "Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons." I couldn't read one verse further without stopping to think about my own life...and yours.

You see, it seems we're often faced with days of famine in our lives. Famine...famished hunger. Obviously, no matter where we look, or into whose life we might decide to take a quick peek, there's famine everywhere. We sometimes find ourselves wondering about and longing for the greener pasture on the other side of the fence. We're all aware of the phrase, "The grass always looks greener on the other side."

Even today, I think about things that aren't quite "right" in my own life, things I wish I could wave a magic wand over and change for the better, pieces of the puzzle I long to move around into a different shape, to escape the drought, to satisfy the gnawing hunger inside. Life happens to us all, my friend, no one is exempt, it touches every life around us. Famine can come in all shapes and sizes, some deep wounds, some surface scratches or bruising. Some wretched eternal scars remain from gaping wounds. The pain is real!  And, it's all part of our journey. 

And that's the good news, I remind myself, as I think about the rest of the story of Ruth. We're just passing through, this world is not our home. We might rename ourselves, and look at ourselves and life differently than we used to - much like Naomi did. But one day, when Christ returns for His bride, we'll be carried away to our heavenly home forever; in a perfect place where we can no longer be touched by the ugliness and hurt of famine. A place where we shall long for nothing, we will be made complete, we will be perfected and He will make everything right. 

What a blessed assurance to get me (and you if you find yourself hungering) from point A to point B today. Knowing that, while we're here in this life, dealing with the effects of sin, experiencing famine in our lives...that He cares for us deeply, He knows exactly where we're at, the pain we may be in, and He longs to hold us close and satisfy us until the end of our famine. He is the fountain we must rely on to make it through. Let's be encouraged, the grass is definitely greener on the other side...we're just passing through.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Quick Notice to Life

Dear Life,

It's me...I'm writing to let you know that I'm in this for the long haul. Every dip and curve just makes me more determined to finish the course. And, although I may not come in first place and I may be oddly decorated with scars and bruises...I'll definitely be at the finish line. For I have learned that no matter what today might bring, no matter how many tears might be shed, if I will just hold on and endure, today will pass. I will overcome and be stronger in the end because I know where my help comes from. Today's meltdown doesn't mean that I'm out; I'm simply pausing. I'll be back up in a moment, just you wait and see. My new focus on life is backed by I Peter 5:10, " But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." That's my verse...and I'm sticking to it. I shall overcome!

Sincerely determined,

G-O-O-G-L-E isn't...

For those of you who aren't familiar with it...Google isn't the name of one of God's girls. Truth told!

Sometimes we use Google to answer any variety of questions to issues which may pop up in our lives. From certain physical symptoms we may be having, or suggestions on how to fix a broken blender, to obtaining a recipe for a certain type of pickle or dessert we tasted at the restaurant yesterday, we can simply plug the query into the search engine and are on our way to finding out the answers. Pronto! Question resolved! I wonder how often God longs for us to experience "more", not because we've typed something inappropriate into that empty search box, but simply because He's intended for it to work so much differently.

You see, God intended from the very beginning of time for people's lives to be abundantly rich with relationships. While everyone might not have this issue, I've found I (being an introvert) can fall into this trap occasionally. We must be careful not to allow Google to become our "go-to" and zap us of the healthy relationships God intended for us to have. We need each other! Pick up the phone. Write the note. Text if you must! The bond that is forged and strengthened by opening up and asking for someone's help, opinion or insight, instead of relying on Google, is an a blessing and gift from our Father above. We shouldn't be quick to allow an imposter to fill this gap. We all experience and come through situations in our lives which, in turn, allow us to be a help to someone else somewhere down the road of life. (See II Corinthians 1:4)

Google may be able to give you certain answers, but it can never provide the necessary components we are made to crave through a godly friendship. A true friend can love, care, support, pray and provide answers on a level that a search engine never can. All the knowledge in the world can't begin to hold a candle to the firm, faithful grasp of a friend's hand during our times of weakness. Even if we're embarrassed or find it difficult to talk about some things, when we think we might sound "childish" if we don't know the answer to that certain issue in our lives...opening up to a friend will be far more beneficial than relying on Google. I know, it sounds silly, but I believe it might happen more often than we think. I'm just encouraging us to beware!

God's girls are those ladies in our lives who help us to break out of the safety of the search box. Those with whom we are safe to open our hearts to. Those precious ones who can offer a shoulder or tissue, remind us of the truth, and point us back to Christ along the way. Although they might not have all the right answers, they're more than willing to offer us grace and share their stories and experiences. And those are the important substances real relationships are made of...and something Google can never replace. 

G-O-O-G-L-E isn't...

Just a side note -  
I've focused on Google to make it a bit comical.
There is a time and a place for it though...use wisdom.