Tag Archives: stumble

Hate: Stumbling in the Dark

Father, what a day of emotions yesterday was – up and down and all around! I’m so glad You were along for the ride and continue to help me keep things in perspective. You are bigger than them all and all I have to do is to look up into Your face and know that we’ll get through it together.

1 John 2:9-11 (<<click here)

Lord, “hate” is a very potent word and in the next chapter, John even equates “[hating] another brother or sister”, i.e. a fellow believer, with murder. (1 John 3:15) From a very early age, it was drilled into me to not hate others. We might strongly dislike the actions of someone but we were never to hate them. It may seem like I am splitting hairs but even at my age I still feel that there is a big difference between the two. In Romans 12:9 Paul tells us,

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”

When we “hate a fellow believer” we are “still living and walking in darkness” and hate coupled with darkness is always misleading. If we were to have to navigate someone else’s home in the dark there would be many stubbed toes, banged shins and probably some broken things as well as we stumbled about trying to find our way through the maze of the unknown.

Hate is just as blinding. The emotion skews our view of the circumstances. When we see the person we hate our perception is distorted. But again, as I referred to last week, You stated from the cross in regards to those who had nailed You there, in regards to those who were hurling insults upon You, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Hate is debilitating. When it factors in we hurt ourselves and we hurt others. We are not the only ones stumbling about but we can “cause others to stumble”, too.

Lord, the culture in which we live is a breeding ground for hate. Hate speech is everywhere! Help me to avoid feeling that way when I think of fellow believers who don’t agree with me, especially when we disagree strongly or when they lash out and hurt me. May I be like You. May my love be unconditional. Amen.

Apr 11h, Tues, 5:23 am

Mistakes

Good morning, Father! Thank You for our time together. May I make the most of it. Continue to mold me into Your image. Amen

James 3:2 (<<click here)

Lord, before stepping into this section on controlling the tongue the first sentence in verse 2 catches my eye…”Indeed, we all make many mistakes.” Other versions use the word “stumble”.

I suppose its part of the human equation. Mistakes and stumbling make up a significant portion of our lives. Sometimes we are merely embarrassed. Sometimes we hurt ourselves or others. The thing about mistakes and stumbles is that they are not premeditated – it is not something we have planned to do. But the next step is crucial. As the old adage goes, we must “learn from our mistakes.”

Mistakes and stumblings are not sin. But we have to be careful that they don’t lead us to sin. They begin innocently enough but where we get into trouble is when we begin doing them deliberately or when we don’t get ourselves out of the circumstances in which we find ourselves as quickly as possible.

A good example for me is videos posted by friends on Facebook. Quite often I tap one on my phone – they can be funny, or informative or entertaining or inspirational. A majority of the time it’s all well and good – but a problem can arise if I scroll down to the next “related” video. Often they are equally wholesome but sometimes they are not – I stumble onto an off-color or perverse clip. I can’t linger. I must back out as quickly as possible. A mistake or a stumble is one thing – taking it in is another thing, all together.

Lord, help me to be careful. May I keep a watchful eye on where I’m going. Enable me to respond in a way that would be pleasing to You. Amen

Sept 7th, Wed, 5:59 am

There To Lift Me Up

Father, I am grateful that my life is in Your hands. Some days go smoothly, some can be a real challenge but it is a great comfort having you by my side all along the way. Help me to use this day in ways that will bring glory to Your name – may my time be used wisely, may my interactions be full of Your love, may my preparations for Sunday be focused and productive. May my eyes be continually on You.

2 Timothy 3:4  (<<click here)

“…pride… pleasure rather than God.”

Lord, the thing that pulls me most away from You is me. In Romans 8:38-39 states “that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” And the list he provides is surely true. Absolutely nothing… outside of me… can separate me from God’s love. (Though in all truth even if I pull away, God will not stop loving me.) But, Lord, even though I knew better – even though it makes absolutely zero sense – insignificant things of this world lure me from Your side.

The “pleasures” of this world are short-lived, they are in no way sustaining…and many times they are detrimental to me. But when they call to me, I am still drawn to them.

Lord, I am grateful that I am still very much drawn to Your voice. I may stumble. I may even fall but You are there to lift me up. I am grateful, too, that Your presence in my life is so much more prominent that though I may stumble that my falls are much more infrequent and I don’t fall as far or hard. Thank You, for Your patience. Thank You for Your never-ending love. Enable me to persevere. May I remain strong in You – for there is no other way.

Dec 1st, Tues, 6:53 am

Ripples

It is difficult to focus this morning, Father. Learning of the death of a close friend is shocking to say the least. I pray that Your children will reach out to his family and friends during this difficult time. Continue to use his life to touch many other lives even in his death He was truly a faithful servant of Yours and will be missed.

2 Timothy 2:22b (<<click here)

“Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

Lord, I really need to share a little more in regards to Scott’s passing. This passage of scripture says a lot about our relationship. I have never claimed to be perfect – I stumble and fall and struggle. I am a real person. I feel Scott was the same way. He loved You with all of who he was. He was no more perfect than I but he called on You with a pure heart. In his service as an Army chaplain he touched innumerable lives. I’m sure he impacted many who may have never heard of You but because of Your call on Scott’s life, blemishes and all, they were shown what a true man of God looked like.

I continue to be amazed, Lord, how You can take the little that we have to offer – imperfect though it may be – and can use it the way you do Though many still resist the truth of who You are, You still touch and move us. Your love will forever motivate us.

Lord, I pray that Scott’s impact will carry on like ripples in the water. That the lives he touched, mine included, will continue to be reminded of what You meant to him and that we in turn will pass Your love along. May the ripples continue.

Nov 16th, Mon, 5:13 am

Swept Under the Rug

Father, I am so sorry that I allow little things to build up to the point that I am spiritually off balance and fall. I know You are there for me. Early on I listen closely and swat down even the slightest thought that would lure me from You. Then over time my swat time lags, they I don’t swat at all – my indiscretions are small and seemingly insignificant…but over time they multiply and begin to pile up. Why I don’t just stop and call for Your help to sweep them all out, I don’t know. That would make sense. I continue to sweep my random thoughts under the rug. But over time there are more and more of them and some are bigger than others. I try to ignore them but that rug starts to get lumpy – so much so that I stumble on occasion – I don’t fall mind You, I just stumble. And I continue on in my self-imposed “ignorance.” Again, why don’t I just stop and ask for Your help? It’s not difficult. I know You want me to. But I convince myself that I can handle it. I’m good. I’ve got it under control…but I don’t. And You watch as more and more gets thrown under the rug, calling for me to allow You to help me but I’m distracted – focused on all kinds of things and not the matters that really matter. And then it happens, it’s just too much, I stumble…I try to keep my balance but I fall. Maybe I don’t fall as hard as I have in the past but I still fall – flat on my face. And why? It makes no sense! It is all my fault… I have no one else to blame…

But You are still there. You have not forsaken me. You have not given up on me. I yield once again (for the gazillionth time?) to Your loving hand. You reach down and help me up. I consent to pulling back the rug and am swept clear once more.

Thank You, Lord, for Your patience. Thank You for Your unfathomable love. Where would I be without Your mercy. I fall into Your mighty arms. I pray that You will help me. I am stronger than I once was but I willingly acknowledge that I am utterly incapable of anything close to success on my own. I am dependent upon You. Help me to respond to Your guidance. Help me to yield to You. Help me to sweep things out of my life and not under the rug.

It’s not easy writing these things down, knowing someone else is going to read them. But I know that we all have things that we sweep under our own rugs – things we battle against but sometimes they pile up. Maybe its gossip, or laziness, or food or sex or backbiting or selfishness or self-loathing… the list goes on but Christ is there – more than willing and more than able to help us. All we must do is to call out and He is there. He is for me… and he is for you, too.

Nov 12th, Fri, 5:00 am