Tag Archives: hope

Why Me? Will It Ever Stop?!

Father, today has been a good day. I am so grateful for everything You do for me.  Helping me to focus…especially to focus on You…helps me to keep myself on the straight and narrow, which is the only place to be. All praise to You!

Philippians 4:7 (<<click here)

To worry less – pray more! Lord, doing this will bring about a peace found only in You and as the old translation reads, it will be a “peace that passes all understanding”– from the world’s perspective, it makes no sense!

Something has been rattling around in my head for some time – as Your children, how do we respond to the absolutely horrific thing’s this life thrust upon us? Death, disease, heartache, financial woes, loss, and rejection – the list goes on and on. We cry out, “Why me!?” “Will it ever stop?!”

Now Your Word tells us in Romans 8:28 that “… in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  So the question we deal with then is, how does all of this gel? If You love us why do we experience so much pain in life? And how does pain which is included in the “all things” of Romans 8:28 work for our good? Again going to Your Word tells us in order to stress less we must pray more and that will bring about a peace that is beyond comprehension.

First of all, You do not bring about the pain. We, the whole of humanity, have brought that upon ourselves. Eve’s yielding to sin started it and every one of us since has perpetuated that sin – our depravity knows no end. Our great propensity for wondrous creativity from being created in Your likeness has been pushed to all limits by our perversion and wickedness. We have so polluted the world with our rebellion that inevitably we encounter pain.

Secondly, because You love us so much – which is proven by the fact of how far You went to bring us back into right relationship with You – the giving of yourself to the point of a horrific death at our hands – because You love us so much You can take all that is ugly and revolting about ourselves and our lives and make it good! The impossible becomes possible!

Lord, most of us would have no problem acknowledging these two points through most of the ebb and flow of life. But when those times of pain and suffering are so intense that we feel like we are going down for the count, is the answer to worry (which seems like an awfully small word in this context) less and pray more? ‘That’s it?’ we yell? ‘With all Your power and might and “love”, that’s all You have to offer?’ And Your answer is…a resounding ‘YES!!’

We absolutely cannot wrap our minds around it, but giving ourselves over to You and praying in place of worrying brings us peace – not peace of the world which is shallow and, oh so temporary, but Your peace. Your peace is deep, and rich and most importantly – never ending!!

Miraculously, You take the absolute worst of our lives and bring the absolute best out of it! From a worldly perspective – it makes no sense at all, but Your peace is not of this world. Being Your children, whom You love, You give it to us freely and in abundance!! Lord, all the praise goes to You for this awesomely overwhelming gift!! In the midst of the hurricanes of life – You are there – solid and strong- FOR US!!

Help us, Lord, to trust in You – to throw ourselves into Your mighty arms. Give us Your peace we plea! When we do so the glory will be given to You! Others will ask how we do it and we can proclaim that it’s only because of You!! You are our only answer to everything this old world has to throw at us!  Even if death is what is thrown our way, yes, even death, You are the answer – being escorted into Your presence, what could be better?

Praise You, Lord!! Strengthen us!  Enable us!  Empower us!! Use us through all of life to hold our lights high, showing the world that there is HOPE and LIFE found only in You! AMEN!

June 2nd, Tues, 8:07 am

At the Door

Father, You have brought me so far! I could not have done it without You. You deserve all the praise! You are surely a great and awesome God worthy of all of our praise! May this day and the life I live be a blessing to You! Amen!

Revelation 3:20 (<<click the green)

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”

This verse reminds me of an artist’s rendering. The artist is Warner Sallman and the picture is fairly well known, at least in Christian circles.

In doing a little researching I found some interesting details about the painting and its allegory. The barely concealed heart produced by the luminance of Christ and the frame of the doorway convey Christ’s call to the soul ensnared in thistles of sin and the darkness of ignorance and willfulness. Yet… “all is not hopeless, for there is an opening of grillwork in the door ‘revealing the darkness within,’ so that the individual may see who is at the door, and see that He is good and kind.” It is also noteworthy “because the absence of any outside knob or latch on the door indicates that one must open one’s heart to Christ from within — He will not force His way inside.” (from the Warner Sallman Collection)

So much imagery conveyed by Sallman and it is all inspired by truth – the truth from God’s word.

Lord, you wait patiently for our response –not one person is excluded. I am grateful that I answered that persistent knocking on my heart’s door. I am grateful that You have come into my life. I am grateful for Your companionship and direction. Lord, You have brought me so far! I could not have done it without You!

Aug 4th, Thurs, 6:08 am

To the Work

Oh my, I am struggling this morning, Father. An early and full day at work followed by the special service at Beulah last night sure made getting up a challenge. And even being up, keeping my eyes open has not been entirely successful. But, I know spending time with You is vital to my spirits well-being. Starting off my mornings with You sets the pace and mentality for the day. May I hear you loud and clear.

James 1:27 (<<click here)

Reading this passage brings to mind the old Fanny Crosby hymn, “To the Work”.

To the work! To the work! We are servants of God.
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod.
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.
Toiling on… Let us hope (and trust) let us watch (and pray)
And labor till the Mater comes.

Lord, I cannot be idle. There are too many hurting and needy people in the world. There are material needs, which is an area we are most apt to respond to – we have resources and share. But there are also social needs – there are over 7 billion people on this planet but many are alone. And most importantly, the spiritual needs of humanity impact us all. We must be “to the work!”

Jesus, help me to “follow the path” that You have trod. May I daily, routinely, be about investing myself in the lives of other – at home, at church, at work, with loved ones, with acquaintances, with adversaries – with any and every one! Fill me with Your wisdom and strength so I may not grow weary of giving myself away.

Aug 21st, Sun, 5:55 am

Vacation!

 

2016-06-30 15.49.01

Father, it has been ten days since we have sat down like this together. Taking some time to be with Massey, as well as, the Texas Youghs was wonderful! We had the opportunity to see and experience lots of things together. I truly cherish the time I get to spend with family.

Father, I cherish my time with You as well. And even though sitting down with You each morning wasn’t a part of the last few days routine, we have been together. I didn’t take a vacation from You. What a precious opportunity to have Your presence with me throughout each day, Holy Spirit! You guided my steps, You directed my thoughts. You enabled me to stand true to You. I may have left my home and routine for a few days but I didn’t leave You and I had the blessed assurance You’re not leaving me , as well. Thank You, Lord, for Your great love and for watching over me and my family…

I’ve enjoyed my time away, Lord, but it’s now time to step back into the routine. Help me in this day to be who You need me to be – to stand as a lighthouse in a dark and stormy world. May all lovers of You do so today. There seems to be more evil each day and we are desperately needed. May we humbly walk with You. I acknowledge that You are our only hope. Without You in our lives everything we touch is doomed to failure. Fulfillment is found only in You. Amen – so be it!

July 8th, Fri, 6:33 am

White as Snow

Good morning, Father! The fire is warm by my side though I can hear the cold wind blowing outside. And it is dark but I know the beautiful snow continues to fall.

Prior to the last couple of days, Ohio has experienced a “brown” winter season -lots of rain, which equals lots of mud. Most trees are bare, so much of the scenery is a brownish grey. But today… when the sun comes up today our eyes will behold a new and fresh landscape! Ohioans will wake to a carpet of shimmering white – snow has come! And it is beautiful!

Many live in a perpetual “brown” winter – not so much in the world around them but from a spiritual perspective. Life has rained upon our parade. Life is dreary. There is nothing vibrant, just a world of browns and greys. And that’s the way it is day after day after day. Life is a muddy mess and many are drowning in hopelessness.

Sin and all its repercussions overwhelm us. It is all that can be seen – seemingly a never ending panorama of gloom… and doom. And that doom is all too real. Without someone intervening it will lead to not just a temporary separation from God but an eternal one. In and of ourselves there is no light at the end of the tunnel – this is no hope.

But praise be to God, we have Christ! When Christ comes into the picture change and with it – hope – arrives . He covers over the browns and greys – the sin in our lives – with the pure snow of His love and forgiveness. And as long as we remain in relationship with Him the beauty of His presence remains in our lives.

Isaiah 1:18 reads,

“Come now let’s settle this, says the Lord,” Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow…”

The beauty and purity of newly fallen snow becomes a reality in our “brown” world – Thank You, Lord!

Jan 12th, Tues, 5:52 am