Relief

Everyone loves bubble wrap! Something about that popping sound that brings out the happy, joy filled, care free, expectant child in each one of us.

The anticipation of that sound keeps us at the edge of our seats just waiting to hear it. I wonder if I went and purchased a box of bubble wrap if it would carry away all the many fears, worries, struggles and painful things that I have had and still do in some way carry around within myself.

Some how I doubt it. That happy, joy filled, care free, expectant child inside, has be ripped away as I’ve aged and as I’ve lived this life. But wait, even though bubble wrap won’t do it, I know, I’ve experienced, I’ve held on to, the ONE thing, the ONE person that would.

Psalm 55:22 (NIV)“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Be sure to cast your fears or worries on God. If you feel stressed or worried, do not allow yourself to be shaken. God’s grace is enough.

I’ve heard and read this scripture so many times but somehow I really didn’t understand it. I was still searching for something external that would carry away all my pains. Although they may have carried them away, it was only temporary and sometimes I came out of it with even more pain.

I have had many pains and struggles through out my 58 years here on earth and I’m sure that there will be more. Some of those pains became real for me as a child and I was still carrying them around. The load got heavier and heavier with every day that I carried them. I have done well over the last several years to free myself of some of that load. Actually, it wasn’t “I” who freed me, it was God. But I had to allow HIM to do it. I had to understand that HIS Grace is Enough for me.

I had to understand and realize that there will be those pains and struggles that are solely mine and with my change and my repentance, God’s grace will allow me to let go of those things. But there will be pain and struggle in our lives that are caused by others and our change and our letting go will not affect that actions or feelings of the other. I had to understand that God’s grace will and does still cover me in those pains and struggles. Because He reminded me that I am not responsible for others or their actions and feelings. That is something that they will wrestle with God over.

So for me, I have casts my care to God. I fully understand that His Grace is enough and I can lean into Him to find that happy, joy filled, care free, expectant child. I do have much RELIEF in my soul.

Why?

#fmf

If you have never asked God, Why?. Then you are probably one of the very few people on this earth, who have at least a small belief in God, who hasn’t. I know I have many times but not lately.

How could there be a God and allow a child to die or suffer? Why?

That person was so good and did so much for others, why would God allow them to suffer in that way?

I’ve tried so hard to train my child up knowing you Lord, how could you have taken him away from me through drugs?

Why would you allow such a bad person to live Lord, yet take the life of one of your workers?

So many questions.

I too have had experience in my life that I wonder why God would have allowed that to happen. Childhood experiences, divorce, sick child just to name a few. Yes, I would ask, why?

Then I realized, those questions are only questions because the thing that God allowed to happen effected me or someone I loved. So then I had to ask myself, why not me? I’m no one special, so why should my pain be spared and someone else be riddled with it?

I may not understand everything that happens to me in my life. I may think it was unfair, painful and sometimes hard to forgive. But those things in my life, in your life, have a purpose. Can be used to bring glory to God and show others how His mercy and grace works. If we allow it!

John 9:3  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

And if I’m gonna ask Why on every painful and hard thing, then I need to ask Why on the joyous and blessed too.

Free will and choice are the true culprits in the tragedies of our lives but God can and will make good out of them if we ask Him to. And that good will bring multitudes of joy to us.

So don’t ask Why, ask Why not, and seek to find what you can learn from that experience, who you can bless through it and how you can bring glory to Him in it.

Thank you Lord for loving me enough to walk through it all with me! Amen

Got Questions

#fmf

So many questions! I don’t have 1, I have many!

To watch a child growing, their curiosity is explosive. They are questioning everything. What is this? What does this do? Who is that? Where did it go? Why? Why? Why? I may not have all the same questions but I still have them. Why is one of the greatest.

In my life many questions have arose. Some I get full answers to, some only partially and some I will have to wait till I face my Father in Heaven face to face. And I have to be okay with that, I don’t have much other choice.

There are easy questions! Where are we going on vacation?

There are hard questions! Why did you choose to do such a horrible thing?

But whether easy or hard, God gave us a tool to use to help us manage the answers. Bible! He gave us someone to direct us to peace in the questions. Jesus! He walks with us still as we live out those answers. Holy Spirit!

Jeremiah 33:3 

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

We may not always have easy questions and we may not always get the answers we want or we may just have to live out the questions to find the answers, all the while living with the understanding that God always will answer us.

Opportunity

Opportunities come in a variety of ways. Are we wise in our thinking? Do we seek advise carefully when we choose which direction we’ll turn? Do we grasp them when they arise?

Sometimes!

I’ve had opportunities that I’ve jumped at, simply later to realized that I shouldn’t have jumped so quickly. And found myself in a storm that was hard to weather. Acts 27:13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.

I’ve chosen opportunities that I knew from the start were not wise. That if I’d sought out advise from friends or leading from the Holy Spirit, it would have led me in the opposite direction than my sinful desires led me.Romans 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

I’ve been placed in opportunities to include, love and show compassion to those on the outside and have not seized the opportunity to give it. Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

I haven’t always taken full advantage of each opportunity that has been placed in front of me. But when I did, sometimes it was regretted, painful, sinful and unloving. That is because not every opportunity is good. But I have found that I can, with the Holy Spirit’s leading, make good in every opportunity.

A couple months ago I found myself in a position that I hadn’t ever been in. I found myself having the opportunity of free time but I was using it to waller in self pity and frustration until a wise man, my hubby, said “take this opportunity and go spend some time with your dad”. And I’m glad I took my hubby’s advise and spent almost a week with him.

I didn’t realize that this would be the last opportunity that I would have. He past away just 1.5 months later. Unexpected! He was sick but I thought I had more time.

So I say this to encourage you to be wise, seek advise and watch for opportunities that are Spirit lead and stop waller-ing.

Touch

There are many times in the bible that it speaks of the power of touch. Here are a few.

Genesis 32:25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.

In Genesis, God had told Jacob to go back to the land where his relatives lived. Jacob was fear full about going back and facing his brother Esau. So as we all do, he decided to do things to manipulate the situation and smooth things over with his brother. During his wrestle with God over this issue, he physically had a wrestle with man and overpowered him so the man touched (hit) his hip. And it was shown to Jacob that night that he could stand strong with God as it says in verse 28 “It isn’t anymore!” the Man told him. “It is Israel—one who has power with God. Because you have been strong with God, you shall prevail with men.” So Jacobs name now is Israel.

Mark 8:25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

During a time when Jesus and his disciples were traveling they came to the town of Bethsaida and saw a man who was blind. Jesus took him by his hands and led him out of town. Jesus spat on his eyes and put his hands over the man’s eyes. The man’s sight was partially renewed and then Jesus touched the man’s eyes again and his sight was restored completely. And it says in verse 25, and he saw everything clearly, drinking in the sights around him. In this story Jesus physically touched this man and restored him but in our lives he will touch our souls through the Holy Spirit and will restore us.

Luke 8:46-48 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 7 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

In another story where a women who had a bleeding disorder for 12 years come to Jesus quietly and seeing that there were so many people surrounding Jesus but knew that if she could just touch him that she would be healed. Even in the crowds Jesus knew that someone had touched him, as it says in verse 46 But Jesus told him, “No, it was someone who deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” So because of her faith and a simple touch of Jesus’s garment, she was healed.

How many times do we wrestle with God about what he is clearly wanting us to do? How many times have we seen his healing power in our lives, when it’s evident that it could only be in the power of Jesus? How many times do we resist but should simply reach out to touch the garment of Jesus for our healing, whether physically or emotional?

How many times do we need to trust in His touch?

Next

#fmf

With the season of change upon us, I think “Next” is appropriate for such a time. Literally the season is changing and we are anxiously awaiting the new and more beautiful growth of Spring. And it is also Easter, as we celebrate the Rising of our Lord Jesus from the tomb and what that selfless act of His brings next.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

They were discussing on the radio the other day about the in between time. The days between when Jesus was hung on that cross and the day He rose. And how those days were about mourning the loss and fear of not knowing what was coming next.

Even though I was not there on that fateful day of my Savior’s death or on the day He rose. I have been in those in between days. Days when I was wondering where He was and what was going to happen next. The days in between a loss or hurt so great that I mourned aloud to Him and asked Him to rise up and save me. I’ve been in many of those days. And what I found is I must be still and know that he is God. Know that He will rise again in my life and it will be made beautiful.

So I wait!

MEASURE

#fmf

We use a form or another of measure each day. We start it off by deciding what time to rise in the mornings so we get where we need to go that day. And we end it by deciding what time to go to bed so we get enough sleep to rise when that alarm goes off! Measure is part of our day whether we want it or not.

We frequently use measuring as a way to measure our worth. Here are a few.

The measurement of others approval

How I feel I look measures how I feel

How does what I’m good at measure up to what someone else is good at

Does my family love me to the full measurement of what I want

Am I at the same level as others around me – do I measure up

The impact that my post had is measured by how many likes and emojis it got

The problem with these forms of measuring ourselves is that it can be deeply skewed. It can be skewed by our past experiences whether good or bad. Over many years of how others talked to us and how they treated us. Our measurement of ourselves is determined ultimately due to how others measured us.

I am not to measure myself by my measurement of others or by their measurement of me. God is the only ONE that has the only true measurement.

“I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love — not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Romans 8:38-39

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

It would not matter who approved, how we looked, others love, whether I can keep up or who likes me, God’s love for me will never go away. We can not be separated from him. We can leave him but he will not leave us. We will never be perfect but Christ died for us anyway. So stop looking to your outward appearance and search your heart because that is God’s measure of us.