Tag Archives: need

Equipped

I watched a squirrel in amazement this morning as he walked a limb with his hind paws holding a walnut with his front paws chewing away the covering as he went along.  Amazing to me God equipped even the critters around us to survive many of their circumstances.  We know they’ll eventually die (as will we) but in the right now they have all the instincts and abilities to survive…and thrive!

God gives humans amazing abilities to survive our circumstances as well, even more so than animals.  Humans were created by God to be houses for the Holy Spirit and afterward, being instilled with all the power He used to create this beautiful planet, hang the stars in the sky (and name them) and the power to raise the dead Jesus after He was crucified to eternal life.  Think about that.  If you’ve surrendered to the authority of personal relationship with Jesus you have all that power inside you. Right now!

Not only do you have physical attributes of survival and provision for the same, you have God’s spiritual dynamite inside of you right now.  You’re thoroughly equipped to live a life honoring Him thanks to Him.  You’re not a victim; you’re not a prisoner to your circumstances (or you don’t have to be).  You’re not a less than, overlooked or discounted IF you believe God’s word and take Him up on His promises.

The “seed” of the Holy Spirit was planted in you when you accepted the Savior-hood of the person of Christ.  However, it’s up to us to “grow” the seed.  “Work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12) means we grow through a relationship with Jesus – getting to know Him and what His death and resurrection means to us personally because that’s where the power is.  We grow up and into all the fullness of God and all the promises that relationship brings to us when we learn to trust Him and live like we do.

The closer we get to God and the more we come to believe Him, we see He has equipped us with amazing gifts for every area of our lives – for us and for others.  It’s easy to believe that when paths are smooth but when the way gets rocky do you still believe?

No matter what we face the key to surviving it, overcoming it and being victorious through it is found in God and accessed only through Jesus.  He is the only way.  Pray and ask God to show you WHO is inside of you and believe.  You – through Jesus – got this!

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Just Come

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I feel you.  I see you.  So weighted down by what you’re going through. So burdened and fearful.  My heart aches for you…but I can’t reach you.  I won’t run after you but I’ll wait for you. I’m right here.  Stop.  Breathe. Close your eyes.  See me?  I’m waiting.  Just think Me; speak to Me.  Tell Me about what’s on you.  I have what you need.  It’s all wrapped up in Me.  Everything….every thing you need can be found in Me.

I have all of it, right here.  I’ve prepared a Table for you.  Just you.  Won’t you come sit with me a while?

In Me.  Rest.  Comfort. Consolation.  Peace.  Understanding.  Love.  Acceptance. Strength.  You name it, I have it.

Come.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

A Table in the Wilderness: The Invitation

Have you felt it?  That emptiness or perhaps a great need that we can’t even speak. If we could articulate, it would be ill-defined.  It may be masked in a physical lack but it stems from a spiritual one.

Perhaps some of our greatest blessings have produced the biggest heartaches.  We sometimes trust God and know we’re living and moving to please Him, yet pain creeps in, in ways we never expected.  We’ve fooled ourselves; we’ve listened to the wrong message.  The world has lied to us; it has let us down.  God allowed it, yes; but He never fails. So what’s the deal? Why are we feeling so defeated and discouraged?

Maybe it’s because we haven’t been to the table in a while.  What table you ask?  That one.

Meticulously set in the middle of our messes and our huts, it beckons us the way the burning bush did Moses. How could all that beauty and the pull of a sacred invitation even be here in all this ugliness, fear, heartbreak…how could HE be in the midst of all this madness?  Really…is it Him?

Yes, beloved.  It’s Him.  He’s right there amongst the disorder to bring order.  In our hurts, He longs to bring healing.  Jesus awaits His most prized possession:  you – and time with you. He embodies everything we’re looking for and so much more. He’s sitting there, waiting for a one-on-one moment with you.  Yes, you.

Do you accept His invitation?  How? Only one thing is required…come.

BE The Church.

 

Dear Church,

WE are the church.  YOU and ME.  The building we congregate in is a provision to assemble together united with one goal in mind:  WORSHIP GOD.

Look around you while you’re there – really look at people.  They’re our brothers and sisters.  All of them have wounds and are fighting battles we couldn’t possibly know unless they’ve shared them.  We’re a part of each other and our common thread is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Nothing else matters.

Take care of each other.  We’re part of a body and we need each other.  Some in that congregation have no one but us – we are their family.  They simply have no one else.  There are orphans among us who, by God’s great design, have become one with the body because He knew He could trust us with them.  Some have lost not only those closest to them, but everything else as well.  Some are struggling to put food on their tables and keep roofs over their heads.  Some are broken and wounded and they’ve come to heal so they can help others who will face – or are facing – similar circumstances.  There are those among us who have no one else to love and support them.  They need us desperately and we need them.

There’s a grander plan going on here.  We’re not just there to get what we need, check the church box off and go on with our lives not thinking about those we encountered Sunday until next Sunday.  We’re to be a family.  We’re to love, support and take care of each other.  What if we all believed we were strategically planted in the churches where we are and acted upon it? If we can’t show our love in a single building then how in the world can we impact the outside world for God?!

Church, be the church.  In other words, love.  Pray.  Bless if you have the means to.  Be the church God intended you to be.  Someone needs your touch in their life.  Search for who that is and act accordingly.

“So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10.

What Do You Want?

Why do you pray?  For something from My hand…for My provision.  Or do you seek Me?  What if I had no hands; what if I can’t, seemingly won’t do anything for you…would you even utter My Name?  Do you give me a thought when you’re not needy?  Do you love Me anyway? Would you love Me anyway?

What if the answer is no? What if I don’t give you what you ask? Does that make me a bad Father?  What if I allow you to suffer, would you still trust Me?  What if you lack, does that make Me less?

What if the one you’ve prayed so hard for isn’t healed? Would you still love Me?  Would you turn away from Me?  When your belly rumbles and your heart breaks, does that mean that I’ve failed you?  Am I still good?  Do you…can you still love me?  When I come back, will I find any faith…any hanging in, seeking Me (when your hands are empty and you feel failed) faith in Me alone? Can you trust me enough to believe all this is for your good?

Will you?

Sacred Socks

While walking Sampson one morning, I was walking and praying, head down, looking at my shoes and socks.  My shoes were worn, I brought them from Alabama and since being here, my job changed and the bottom fell out and couldn’t afford to buy any more so they were looking pretty bad.  They still had good soles and no holes but they were sure ugly.  I had a pair of my son’s socks on because I didn’t have any of my own…couldn’t afford them either.  You know things are pretty dire when you can’t afford socks.  I looked like an orphan and worse, I felt like one too.

Somehow looking at my shoes and socks the desperation of our situation became very real to me. Fear and sadness rushed me and with it God recalled to my mind His words: “Pray without ceasing…” (1st Thessalonians 5:17) and “but my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) so in tears I prayed for socks.  “I’m thankful for my son’s socks Lord, thankful my feet aren’t cold but honestly, I would like to have my own socks.  Maybe someday soon, when things are better, You will see fit to let me have my own socks so I won’t have to wear his anymore…I believe it won’t always be this way but if it is thank You that we have what we need…” and kept walking.

Anyone else would think me silly; I kind of thought how petty I was being even thinking about socks when faced with so many challenges…so many mountains that I just couldn’t see my way over.  At that moment, it seemed like I was doomed.  I could barely buy groceries and faced with the threat of eviction on top of losing 75% of my income, I was feeling pretty hopeless and I was full of self-pity.

A couple of days later my next door neighbor stopped me and told me they had been given some clothes and after she went through them if I wanted them I could go through them to see if there was anything we needed. I walked over and got the bags and began going through them.  In one of the big bags at the bottom was a white, smaller bag.  When I opened the bag I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Socks, pairs and pairs of brand new women’s socks.  While going through them crying so hard I couldn’t see I remembered just two days before my heartfelt prayer and I was reminded, yet again, my Father knows every need, He hears every prayer and He provides.

A couple of things came to me while I rejoiced over my provision:  1) answered prayers may not look like we think they ought to.  See, I thought when I had the money I would buy my own socks.  I never considered hand-me-down clothes would contain my answer and 2) God answers prayer in many ways but one thing is for sure…He can’t answer if we don’t ask.  I wonder had I not prayed if my neighbor would have been prompted to even give me what she didn’t want!

I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Pray about EVERYTHING.  At a time when I felt absolutely worthless and that life as I knew it was over I still believed in God, His ability to provide our needs and He hadn’t abandoned me – He was there.  When I didn’t see how things were ever going to get better, He showed me with socks that He is intricately involved in EVERY detail of our lives.

The answers to our prayers may not come like we think they should which I have come to believe is exciting!  Sacred socks infused a new faith in me because now when there’s a need I have a renewed expectation of Him knowing He will provide…I just don’t know how which makes like more of an excellent adventure.  The important thing is, I truly believe He will answer.  Do you?

Those socks at that time in my life were like manna from heaven.  From then on, I gave Him permission to provide any way He wants to and I have a new gratefulness in my heart.  Every time I get dressed and put them on I remember He hears, He provides and I know if He will give me socks, everything else we need is covered.

Affliction’s Remedy

Funny how when life is good and you don’t need anything from anyone, all kinds of people are in your life. They love you and want to be with you. Then trouble comes. You’re suffering and needy…”afflicted” and all of a sudden you find yourself alone.

People offer advice, perhaps they truly want to help. Then when you figure out a way to help yourself, do all that you can do to make your situation better, if they don’t agree the judgment starts. Perhaps they want to be your “fixer”; perhaps they truly mean well but if you don’t do it their way they become distant.

Psalm 22:24-25: “For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Neither has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.”

Afflicted means “poor, needy, wretched, weak, lowly, humble”. The very ones we are supposed to be drawn to as Christians are the very ones we avoid! We offer prayers and encouragement, even write a check and that’s wonderful. But when a physical need and your time, talents and presence is needed are we as quick to respond? When someone around you has a need YOU can meet, are you willing to help? When things get messy and uncomfortable is your witness stable? Or do you pass judgment and distance yourself?

Do you get your feelings hurt because you weren’t the first they ran to? Are you disappointed in them because they wouldn’t allow you to be their “savior”?

I’ve said many times, people are just people. Human. If we rely on those around us for a fix we’ll surely be disappointed. However, all of us at one point or another need help – a hand to lift us up; a hug, a human touch of reassurance to let us know it’s going to be okay. At some point, friend, you’ll need me and I’ll need you. What will you do?

If you find yourself in a predicament, test or trial, know first and foremost, God loves you. He isn’t mad at you. He hasn’t left you. God gets the blame for all the bad stuff that happens…does He get the glory for all the good things in our lives? Life is hard and things happen we have no control over. The verses above are precious to me. They state He, like so many others, doesn’t judge us. He loves us THROUGH what we’re going through. He is right there, waiting for you to call on Him. The world we live in is a distorted, messed up place and living is hard at times.

Do you see the hopelessness in people? Are you looking to see it? Do you care?  They need love…and love is Jesus. We may be going through what we are so that others can see His love, protection and provision in our lives. They may not have Him – we need to unashamedly show (and tell) what He is doing in our lives, how He is seeing us through and providing for us. It’s okay to ask them to come to church with you – but why not invite them into your life? Why not share Jesus? Why not give them the gift of Him? Why is it so easy to invite them to church and not tell them about the REASON we go to church? You may think you’ve got this – that you’re the one who has kept your life on track and give yourself all the credit. News flash: you’re not!

I dare you today to put your feelings and judgments aside and go up to someone and display godly grace to them. I dare you to make a difference in their lives. Someone around you is needy…afflicted…and hurting. Tomorrow it could be you. What will you do with that?

Matthew 25:31-46  James 4:17