Tag Archives: struggle

Down the Bunny Trail

I didn’t get right at it this morning, Father, and just remembered that I had yet to get with You today. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to do so. May I hear clearly what You have for me today. Amen.

A few weeks back at our Bible study, we talked a little about getting off on bunny trails. Bunny trails are when we are walking along the paths that God desires for us and something distracts us and off we go down a bunny trail. Now sometimes our tangents are unintentional and other times we do so out of disobedience.

I’ve never had a trained dog. The dogs I have had in the past were all ones that for the most part would have darted down any bunny trail after the smallest of distractions. For the most part, I could have called them and yelled until I was blue in the face and they would only return when they were good and ready to do so or when they were hungry enough to do so.

I have read stories and seen videos of dogs who are trained to be obedient. Though they may be tempted to the extreme, they do not yield. They do not want to go against their master’s wishes. Some dogs have even died rather than disobey, much to their master’s dismay.

Lord, why, even with all the training that many of us have had, do we allow ourselves to be distracted? Why do we so readily run down the bunny trails? I realize that You are patient…and loving…and forgiving…but why do I disobey? I know what You want of me but often I ignore it or drown out Your voice with busyness. Sometimes I may not hear You but other times I hear and trot on down the bunny trail.

The Apostle Paul wrote of this struggle – and it was his struggle, too.

15I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20 (<<click the green)

Lord, forgive me for my wanderings. May I learn to obey my Master. May I not be so easily distracted. May I avoid the bunny trails – no matter how enticing they may be. Amen.

Aug 24th, Thurs, 8:07 pm

RAGE!

Father, I cherish Your presence in worship. I love how all the components of our services have Your touch upon them. I remember times when I have searched for a certain song or whatnot and have finally decided on one, thinking that it doesn’t really fit and, low and behold, in the middle of the service, it does! You truly do make all things work together for [our] good! Romans 8:28

One thing that I struggle with in life is trying to decide whether I should run away or whether I should stand and fight. This can apply to many areas of our lives but for me, one particularly difficult area is driving. Routine driving isn’t usually the problem. It’s when traffic gets snarly and the roads get full. For that matter, I guess it gets to me when someone pulls out in front of me then drives 10 miles below the speed limit.

Running away, for the most part, keeps me from encountering it. But I have to get to work, so it’s difficult to avoid. I could benefit with personal and spiritual growth if I could stand and fight but way too often my fight results in, not a win, but in a sound defeat! I’m not one for cursing but “idiot” and “fool” rise to the surface way too frequently.

Lord, what is the best way to combat this problem? You would handle it much better than I but in the heat of the moment I am all up in arms and – I’m sorry to say – You are the last one on my mind.

How can I say I love others and act like I do while driving? In Matthew 5:21-22, You make it very clear that I will but subject to judgment if I would murder someone, and rightly so. But You go on to say that even if I call someone an idiot or a fool that I am subject to judgment as well.

What needs to happen is that You need to be the first thing on my mind and not the last. The first thing that pops into my head to help me with that is to put a sticky note on the dash of my truck that will remind me of You. Maybe a WWJD? Or just Your name? I need to start somewhere and I best start with You. Help me, Lord! Amen!

Apr 2nd, Sun, 12:08 pm

Dead to Sin

Father, I need more of Your help this morning. I praise You for Your touch earlier but I am dependent upon You to get me through the rest of this day. You are the solid rock upon which I build my life. I know I will not fail if my eyes are kept on You. Thank You, Father.

1 Peter 2:21-25 (<<click here)

Lord, we don’t like anything that makes us uncomfortable but this life is full of struggle and pain. Many things come our way that we have no control over. There are times, too, when we bring suffering upon ourselves – we sin and often it is just because we do things that are not too bright. But as my study Bible* points out we often suffer but that’s not what Peter is speaking of here.

Using Christ as the ultimate example, he is speaking of suffering for doing good. Christ did not sin. He led a life of service and love. Even when he was confrontational with the religious leaders of his day, it was not done out of hate but out of love. He was trying to wake them up – trying to bring them from the darkness into light.

So, You Lord, were sinless but just because You did everything right that didn’t mean You could avoid suffering for the good You did. And no one could have blamed You if You had struck out in retaliation or revenge. You surely had the power to do so…but You didn’t. You left the judging to Your Father – who always does so fairly. Regardless of the pain, You did what needed to be done – You carried our sins to the cross – every single one of them. So that, as Peter says “we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.”

Lord, help me to die to sin and to “live for what is right.” It will not always be sunshine and roses but You will be with me all along the way, for You have already traveled the path and You will not forsake me. Amen.

Dec 13th, Tues, 5:25 am

*New Living Translation Life Application Bible

Reality Check

Thank You, Father, for a very productive day yesterday. My body is protesting some but it was well worth the effort. Please place Your hand upon my shoulder today, I welcome Your guidance and direction. Amen.

Lord, You pulled me to a Puritan prayer today…and it spoke to me. What it had to say wasn’t pretty but it is true too frequently in my life. Thankfully it isn’t as applicable today but it has been very much so…and not that long ago. It is comforting to know that I am not alone, others struggle, too. It is encouraging to know, too, that we can be “more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:31-39

I read through the prayer twice and then prayed through it myself. It is well worth sharing…

YET I SIN

Eternal Father,
Thou art good beyond all thought,
But I am vile, wretched, miserable, blind;
My lips are ready to confess,
     but my heart is slow to feel,
     and my ways reluctant to amend.
I bring my soul to thee;
     break it, wound it, bend it, mould it.
Unmask to me sin’s deformity,
     that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
My faculties have been a weapon of revolt against thee;
     as a rebel I have misused my strength,
     and served the foul adversary of thy kingdom.
Give me grace to bewail my insensate* folly,
Grant me to know that the way of transgressors is hard,
                                      that evil paths are wretched paths,
                                      that to depart from thee is to lose all good.
I have seen the purity and beauty of thy perfect law,
                        the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns,
                        the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls,
                             yet I daily violate and contemn** its precepts.
Thy loving Spirit strives within me,
                                   brings me Scripture warnings,
                                   speaks in startling providences,
                                   allures by secret whispers,
                                        yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt,
                                             impiously resent, grieve,
                                                  and provoke him to abandon me.

All these sins I mourn,lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief that trembles and fears,
     yet ever trusts and loves,
     which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly
     the brightness and glories of the saving cross.

Amen…so be it.

Nov 18th, Fri, 6:33 am

A couple of words I had to look up
*insensatewithout sense, understanding, or judgment; foolish.
**contemnto treat or regard with disdain, scorn, or contempt.

DEATH…It’s Not the End

Father, yesterday I came and sat with You but didn’t write.  I have done that many times before to pray or go over a sermon. But yesterday that wasn’t totally my mindset. I prayed some, but probably more before I got out of bed. I just couldn’t get motivated. Some days are tougher than others to get going. May I take advantage of the time we have – it is precious and well worth my investment.

Death…Lord, though followers of You realize it has no power over us – even though we celebrate the fact that it is but a threshold we must cross to eternal life with You – it is still something that brings us heartache and pain this side of eternity.

For those crossing over that threshold, the heartache and pain end with that final breath for those who love You. Instantaneously they are cut off from the frailties of these earthen vessels in which we spend our allotted time on this world of Your creation and they find themselves joyfully in Your presence.

Yes, their struggle is done…but ours continues. We cling to the indisputable truth of the circumstances in which we find ourselves…but we are left to pick up the pieces of our lives that are now not as whole as they once were.

Yes, Lord, we are left with a void. We must carry on, we must continue to move forward. And we will fill that void. Nothing can replace our loved one’s presence in our lives but we will fill the void. May we not fill it with bitterness and anger. May it not be full of depression and grief. It will be a gradual process but, Lord, I would pray that we would fill it with You. May Your living water flush out the bad and fill it with the holy. May the precious memories of our loved ones be enhanced by the hope we have in You. Help us to fully grasp the fact that this is not the end, but that it is just one more step to that great and glorious day when all those who have put their faith in You will be together for all eternity – no more pain, no more tears, no more separation. And most importantly together with You! Amen.

Oct 13th, Thurs, 6:25 am