Tag Archives: strength

There’s A Reason

Suffering seems to never stop; as a matter of fact, it seems to be amping up.  Remember 9/11?  We watched horrible things happen right before our eyes, things we never thought we would see outside of a movie theater.  Remember Katrina?  Many of us had never seen such a catastrophic event…and here we are at this moment crying over the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the thousands of lives disrupted.  We comment on things on the horrible things we’ve never seen before and think we never will again, then comes something else…then something else.

What about things in your life?  How many times have you thought you’ve lived the worst day or the worst time in your life then something else happens.  Life seems to keep throwing us blindsided punches doesn’t it?

With “Harvey” on my heart this morning, I listened to my tunes this morning while walking Sampson and heard this one and felt I needed to share some of the words with you.  I first heard this song by Echoing Angels “Give You Peace” several years ago (during one of those times in my life).  It hit the nail on the head for me then and it still rings true today.  I hope you find the song on YouTube and listen.  Here are some of the words that jumped out at me this morning:

“For such a time as this I have you here…”

“HERE”.  Right where YOU are.  After all you’ve been through, HERE you are.  Right where God needs you to be.  Be a blessing in that very spot.  Be a person committed to love, to pray and look for God’s presence and what He wants you to see.  Chances are you’re right “here” for someone other than yourself.  Look for that person who needs to be encouraged and lifted up.

“Chosen for the lost to show I’m near…”

“CHOSEN”.  You’re hand-picked and strategically placed where God wants you to be, to show others how to live this life for Him.  The hardships you face could be the same ones those around you face.  Maybe someone right next to you is going through what you’ve just come out of.  Look for who needs to know what God’s brought you through.

“Through your brokenness My glory Shines…”

THROUGH what you’re going through He can shine through if You let Him.  Broken, hurting, hopeless eyes are watching you weather your storm.  Don’t be ashamed to let them know the battle you’re in so when it’s over and they find your kindness and smile are intact and your faith stronger when they ask you how you do it, you can tell them about your “secret weapon”.

“Through your frailty My strength will rise…”

I’m praying for you.  I’m praying through your weakened and broken state, those around you see where your strength really comes from.  I pray they’ll know without a doubt how it’s possible to smile through the tears and not be insensitive and cold.  I’m praying for you that you’ll see through every single pain and heartache there’s a God-purpose and on that alone, you’ll walk through all of it with your chin up and your head held high.  I’m praying His peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and your mind and when through it – no matter what it is – you’ll be closer to God and more willing with the next trial to come on out with it to help someone else.

There is a reason for it all and although often unclear to us, it’s crystal clear to Him. Let’s believe that. Otherwise it just wouldn’t be worth it.

He’ll give you peace through it all.  Every time.

Advertisements

The Giant in the Mirror

There she is again.  Every time something goes wrong, even with something goes right, this wicked monster is the first to cast stones.  She’s quick to remind me of everything I’ve ever done wrong.  Every day, I must contend with her.

Every day, she reminds me of how weak and beaten up I am and all I’ve been through.  Minute by minute if I listen to her, I’m reminded of why I shouldn’t try, why I shouldn’t believe for better and should quit while I’m ahead.  With every new day, the old stares me in the face – if I focus on her long enough, her voice overpowers the God in me.

Perhaps the most important choice is at the beginning of the day, deciding who you’re going to listen to.  The giant doesn’t lie, she tells the truth…her version of it, anyway.

She wants to keep my focus on the past and all the pain affiliated with it.  She needs an excuse to make no effort.  Not because she doesn’t believe (she does – she knows God) but because she does and she knows if I choose not to listen to her (myself) and heed His word and His truth instead, efforts must be made, exercises in faith and trust must ensue.  She’s tired.  She’s weary and she’s discouraged.  She finds very little reason to believe a single word she says or trust even a fleeting thought of hope.  It’s all justified.  Just like a victim seeking revenge on her assailant, her actions would be righteously justified.

Here’s the thing, though.  She’s submitted to God so her right to herself has been relinquished to His right to her.  Her own actions to justify herself are null and void…She’s put her trust and heart into the hands of a Mighty Savior who has already won the battle with the giant of herself.  All she has to do is believe it.  She knows she’s no match for fighting the giant but she’s sure her Jesus is more than capable for the battle of the day.  It’s not her strength against who she sees (and remembers) in that mirror that will have victory this day; it’s His.

Every single day, the choice is ours.  Who will lead you?  Who will you listen to?  Who will you believe?  Yourself or Your King?  The battle is won or lost with that one decision.  The truth is, we may have to make that decision on a minute by minute basis. It won’t be easy (the past will attempt to discourage); it won’t be fun (fighting ourselves is ugly and messy) but we will be victorious  against our giants if we choose to fight with all of our armor on – trusting Him with everything they throw at us.  Are you in?

“…even if our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”  1st John 3:20 NLT

Keep Me In the Valley

I’ve often prayed for better times

And an ending to this pain.

I’ve begged the heavens to see the sun

In torrential rain.

I’ve walked through many a darkness

While crying out to see

Those were the times I can surely say

You were never closer to me.

Keep me in the valley, Lord

If that’s how I will know

More of Your personal love for me

And closer to You I grow.

You give me strength and courage

To do what I need to do;

You give me grace and a dose of faith

To put my trust in You.

When I think of stopping cold

You whisper in my ear,

Keep me in the valley, Lord

If that’s where You’re most near.

Keep me in the valley, Lord

If that’s how I will know

More of Your personal love for me

And closer to You I grow.

Access: DENIED

 

I’ve let you in before thinking I was strong enough and all would be fine and I’d live happily ever after. I’ve seen you through rose coloured glasses and convinced myself I was wrong; you couldn’t be “that bad”…to my regret.

I’ve been in the position where I had to consort with you to survive and to keep those I loved safe. I played along thinking I would get through it unscathed and no harm would be done. I thought I would be ultimately untouched because I was just…playing; playing the game I had to play to live through it. I thought I manipulated the great manipulator to my advantage. Perhaps I did, I don’t know.  But I do know I survived.

Turns out, I was wrong. The wounds oozed nasty things like bitterness, hate, resentment, depression, regret…for a long, long time. My success in surviving a lifetime of pain was almost my failure. The pain and memories, for a time, were relentless and haunting.

I thought I had to stay wounded; stay pitiful; stay a victim. I don’t think that any more.

We will dance no more.

Your access to my life…any part of me…(unless allowed by God Himself)…is denied.

I deny you access into my mind. I deny you access to touch my now-healing wounds. I deny your presence in any area of my life. I am no longer your victim; I am His victor.

He protects, strengthens and renews me and if He’s the door you must go through to have any access at all to any part of me, my life, my family you can’t get through. Many times a day I may have to seek His protection and when I do that door you walked through before is no longer opened. Access denied. Anger…access denied.  Depression…access denied…hopelessness…access denied…any way you think you can get in…any way you might have gotten in before, is denied.

I have to ask Him to be all those things in all possible ways of entry and I serve you warning:  I have.

He is.

So, access denied.

Thank You, Lynn

Thank you.

When pretty much the whole world looked at me with disdain you showed me love, kindness and respect.  You were more like a family to me than most of my family was and I was…and am, so grateful.  I hope I told you that in person; I can’t remember.  Forgive me if I didn’t.

You loved me like your own. You took me in and helped when you could.  You encouraged me very often with a simple smile.  You quietly supported me in the worst of times.  You showed me Jesus and the real love of Father God way before I met Them myself.

Oh that more men were like you – exhibiting strength, acceptance and genuine love.  Not many words were spoken, they weren’t needed.  Your presence and gentleness spoke louder than words ever could.

I pray for your family during this time of your changing addresses.  I know they know what a treasure they had in you.  Many of us never had what your children have in you. I know you will live on and love on through them.

I will always be grateful for the chance to have known you. Rest in peace precious one.

Supernatural Smile

There are many products out there these days that promise to make your smile a stellar one.  Whitening agents, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc. all promise to make your smile perfect.

When I first met a longtime friend, I noticed joy oozed from her.  She never complained and always spoke positively.  To talk to her one would think life always went her way and she knew nothing about sadness.  Nothing could be further from the truth. She weathered many things in her life most of us never will and yet, her eyes were bright and it was easy to tell her smile was straight from her heart.  I’m sure she had that effect on every person she met.

I’ve had a tumultuous year.  The loss of income, friends, and all the hurts that accompany those kinds of things took their toll.  There were times I didn’t want to get out of bed because I couldn’t see the point.  Each and every day, many times a day, I would tell God my living through the day was solely contingent upon Him. I’d ask Him for the strength, physically and emotionally, to do what needed to be done.  Fearful and discouraged, I didn’t even want to try because it seemed like no matter what I did nothing was getting any better.  I just wanted to sleep until I died.

Yet every day I would find myself where I needed to be doing what I needed to do and smiling like nothing was wrong.  I would hear myself speak positively to others encouraging them in their troubles telling them to just keep praying and believing God to get them through…even when I had doubts He would do the same for me.

Many times, even now, people tell me how I have encouraged them and made a difference in their day. They compliment my real smile and kindness, and they thank me.  When they do, I’m amazed and it brings tears to my eyes.  I think, “if they only knew…”

That, my friends, is Supernatural and all the credit goes to God.  The ability to smile…and certainly to trust Him and believe…ONLY is possible through Him.

You know what I’m talking about.  I know some of your struggles and things you have been through and I find it miraculous that you, too, smile a real and beautiful smile. I marvel at the fact you encourage others and believe what you’re saying to someone else. You are a miracle.

Think about it.  We should be bitter, angry and resentful.  We’ve been betrayed and abandoned.  Perhaps life has taken from you cherished people, things and possessions and yet, there you are, a beacon of light in other’s darkness.

Don’t believe God works miracles anymore?  Go look in the mirror.  Smile that smile you find so easy to flash to others. There it is.  There’s the miracle.  It’s supernatural that you smile a REAL smile and mean it. The fact you go through your day content and peaceful is a miracle.

If you suffering with bitterness and/or depression, tell God.  Talk to Him about you feel.  Ask Him not to let it happen. Believe He can and will heal you if you choose to be healed.  Just like Jesus asked the crippled man, “do you want to be well?” (John 5:6) He asks you the same question.

Life is hard and sometimes extremely unfair.  There’s a force IN you that longs to give you the abundant life.  Sometimes, more often than not, the “abundant life” has nothing to do with material things.  That force is the One who allows you to smile your Supernatural smile when the world crumbles around you.  It’s the One that allows you to sleep peacefully at night when you don’t know you can survive what’s coming in the morning.  He’s the One who makes it possible to believe when there’s no physical reason to.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to tell people what you’re suffering through, and don’t be afraid to believe God is still in the miracle business.  YOU, my friend, are the evidence that nothing is impossible.  Smile that Supernatural smile and tell them why your smile is so real.  That’s why you’ve been through what you have, to help others believe He makes it possible to be peaceful and real in a world that’s not.

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Present Tense Jesus

So many of us are going through things we thought we would never face. I have faced things this past year that I never even thought about. I desperately seek God every single day (with the same passion and desperation, I might add, that I do when I have lost my keys or phone!) and a Word from Him that will help me get through the day.

I continue to be amazed when I read the Bible and how relevant it is to right now. Only a God-inspired book written thousands of years ago by so many different people mesh so beautifully and bring itself forward into right now. I have to laugh at that analogy and think of course it does…it’s GOD!!! “In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). As the rest of the Bible, that’s a LITERAL Word.

The Lord is present tense – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). He is right here, right now. Who is He? He embodies everything we need, His character IS strength, comfort, love, power, faith, goodness, joy…the list goes on and on. The things that make Him who He is are inside of us by the presence (present tense) of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power source that makes it possible to live through ‘the valley of the shadow of death’.

When you suffer remember He is PRESENT – and He is as prevalent in your circumstance as you allow Him to be. I would encourage us to “pull Him in”; invite Him into the whole thing. When we do, we can become closer to Him and forge an even stronger relationship with Him. Romans 8:37, “But in all these things we OVERWHELMINGLY CONQUER through Him who loved us.”  IN it all, through it all, we overwhelmingly (more than enough, mostly more than enough) conquer! That’s a word to my soul today. See, the demonstrative love of God has already happened…and continues right now. He already gave Jesus to die for us so that we can live in His presence, with His strength, comfort, joy, longsuffering, through His provision today because His Holy Spirit resides in us. He is truly the Power Source!

Right now, no matter what, no matter how you feel, believe that. Keep your chin up, keep believing no matter what, that the Lord is with you and in Him, you have everything you need to get through this!