Loved Through the Loss

 

Loss is difficult. It hits us right at the center of who we are. It consumes our thoughts and governs the status of our hearts. Grief leaves us isolated, caught up in our sorrow and unable to break free. That is exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us to be caught in the grip of our pain, hopeless to see the light at the end of the tunnel, desperate for escape.

Do we give the enemy what he wants? Do we wallow in our misery and dig our pit deeper and deeper? Or do we look up to our mighty God, who has the ability to pull us from the miry clay and bring light back into our lives? It is our choice….to let the enemy have the victory or to allow our Father in heaven to work in us triumphantly.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

God is a God of comfort. He will take our grieving hearts and breathe hope and comfort into them. His wraps his arms of love around us and holds us up until we are able to hold ourselves up. When we seek him, his words offer promise.

He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Only God can take the shattered pieces of our broken hearts and, piece by piece, restore them to a heart of hope. It is his love that binds us back together, sealing up the holes caused by our pain and loss.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)

Isn’t is wonderful that we have such a loving Father in heaven, who knows our hearts and our pains so intimately? The condition of our hearts is so very important to him. He allows us to feel the pain, because through the pain, our character is grown. But then he swoops in like a loving father would, and restores our strength. He gently reminds us of the promise of eternity with those we have lost. He softly whispers into our hearts that he loves us, that he is here with us, that those we have lost will always be in our hearts.

We must be like Mary…treasuring up all the things, all those sweet memories, and pondering them… Click To Tweet

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love a tender heart, and a humble mind. (1Peter 3:8)

Another way God helps us through our grief is by putting others into our lives who love us. Through their hearts of compassion, their sincere words of comfort, and their gentle touch, our hearts become restored. God uses his children to bring comfort to one another, to love one another through the loss. And while the pain of loss never goes completely away, we walk through our days knowing we are not alone. We live out our lives enveloped in the love of God and others, strengthened by his promise, led by his spirit, and assured that joy comes in the morning.

Grace Over Burden

Let’s face it…we ALL sin. We’ll fall short each and every day. The difference in our lives, our hearts, and our outcomes is based upon our salvation. If we have experienced salvation through Christ, we know that our prayers of repentance are heard. We are assured that our sins are washed away, and each day is new. In other words, God forgives our sins and gives us a clean record. We go through life with forgiveness on our side, and we are able to live life fully and experience his grace abundantly.

For those who have not experienced salvation, the record just keeps growing. The list of wrongdoings piles up until the weight of the sin is too much to bear. There is no relief, no retrieval, no washing clean of the slate. Life is lived under the weight of sin, and that weight is crushing to the heart and the spirit.

The choice is ours to make. God won’t force himself upon you. What do you choose today? A life ridden with sin, guilt, and shame? Or a life free in the goodness and grace of Jesus?

Lord, help us to choose wisely. Help us to choose grace over burden. Help us to choose YOU. Show us how to lean not on our own understanding, but to seek you in all things and to cry out to you in the midst of our sins, for only you can pull us out of the pits we fall into. Thank you Lord for loving us to the point of death. Thank you that your mercies are eternal. Thank you that you, and only you, wash us white as snow.

In Jesus name, Amen💜

Step Up

Are you caught in a struggle? Is life making you weary? Are you frustrated, tired, or confused? Satan wants nothing more than to use these situations and emotions to cause you to give up…to give up on your hopes, your dreams, and God’s promises. When you feel like you want to give up…STEP UP! Grab hold of that ladder of life and pull yourself up one more rung. God has something wonderful waiting for you at the top.

You can do it! You have what it takes! You are an overcomer! Don’t believe Satan’s lies that pull you into despair. Believe God’s promise that fill your heart with hope and promise. Persevere through the tough times, and you will enjoy the beauty of victory in Christ.

Don't believe Satan's lies that pull you into despair. Believe God's promise that fill your heart… Click To Tweet

What is keeping you from stepping up today? What lies has Satan told you? What fears are gripping you? There is NO FEAR in Christ Jesus. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Have faith in the promises of God. Believe in His love and mercy. Hold tight to His compassion and grace. Keep your eyes focused on His goodness. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

Remember….mountain climbers don’t look down. They keep their eyes focused on what is ahead and above. What is ahead and above for you? The blessings and goodness of God are waiting….you just have to take that step.

Choose Wisely

We have a choice…we can act in such a way that causes those who see us to stumble, or we can choose to act in a way that leads others towards the gospel.

If you say you are a Christian, you can be guaranteed that people are watching you.  Watching and waiting…and thinking,  “Is she really who she says she is?  What will she do in THIS situation?”

According to God’s word, we are to follow in the steps of the one who paid the ultimate price for our sins.  For you have been called, because Christ also suffers for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Christ died for us so that we might live a life forgiven from sin.  He gave his life so that we could live ours in a way that pleases and honors the Father. Are your actions pleasing and honoring to your Father?  Are you setting an example for others to follow...in your home, in your workplace, in your… Click To Tweet

Where you go, what you do, how you speak, how you react…it is all so evident of where your heart is.  And while this is a tremendous responsibility, and may seem overwhelming at times, it is also a huge honor to point others towards the cross.

So as you start your day today, remember that little eyes are watching, as are the eyes of the aged and mature.  Ears are listening and thoughts are being formed.  You WILL set an example today.  What example will that be?  Who will it represent?

Your actions and your choices make a difference in the lives of others…so CHOOSE WISELY!

Keeper of the Stars

 

He is ever so familiar with each and every star. He is even more familiar with each of His children. When you are feeling as if no one cares about you, or no one understands your pain or confusion, rest in the simple knowledge that He knows and He cares. He knows you far better than you could ever imagine.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is in my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it all together. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. (Psalm 139:1-24)

Don’t be afraid to share your heart with Jesus. Have no fear of allowing Him in to work in your darkest places, where doubt and fear can clutch you in their mighty grip. Be bold to invite Him into your joys, triumphs, and celebrations. He wants to be a part of ALL of it. He knows you, your heart, and everything about you so well.

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30)

You are never ALONE, you are never UNKNOWN. He knows you. He loves you. He rejoices in your celebrations and weeps with you in your sorrows. He is the greatest, most dedicated, most sincere, most trustworthy friend you will ever have.

Grab His hand and hold on. He will guide you over the mountaintops and through the valleys. He will walk you through the fire and into the glorious sunlight. He will stand beside you in the storm and point you towards the rainbow of promise. Oh what a friend we have in the Keeper of the stars.

Half Way Through

It is Wednesday. We are half way through the week. Take a minute to reflect on your week so far. Have you reflected Christ in your words, in your actions? Have you done something to make an impact for His kingdom this week? Have you made a difference in someone’s life? What kind of wife, mother, friend, or co-worker have you been this week…have you brought joy into the places you inhabit?
If your answer is YES, then keep on doing the Lord’s work. Keep on spreading His light wherever you go. Keep on making a difference! You are a mighty vessel for Jesus!

Keep on making a difference! You are a mighty vessel for Jesus! Click To Tweet
If your answer is NO, it is not too late. Seize the day. Make today the day you put others before yourself. Let today be the day you share a smile, a hug, an encouraging word. Let this be the day your home is filled with joy. You can do this! You can be a difference maker! God is right there, ready to walk out the rest of this week with you.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

My People, Your People

My family is gathered around me….cousins, aunts, uncles… I call them “my people.” I have driven almost 2000 miles to spend this holiday with them, to share in a tradition of spending this day as a family. This tradition goes back many years, and I am so happy that my own little family was able to make the trip. There is much laughter and reminiscing, as we all share stories from the “old days.” I look at my uncles and I see that time has aged them. In my mind, they are still the boisterous, loving uncles of my youth. I look at my cousins. They are all grown, with families and lives outside our little hometown. I am the oldest living cousin, a title I carry proudly. I look at their children, and I see us when we were kids, caught up in the fun of the moment, yet not appreciating that it would pass so soon. I am so grateful that my children get to experience this. I am so glad that God has blessed us with the opportunity to travel across the country and share in these memory-making moments.

In my mind, I am still that young kid. Where did the time go? How did I get here? So many years and so many memories, passed down through the generations. Isn’t that just how life is? One moment you are a young child savoring in the love of your family, the next, you are staring at the generations that have come after you, wondering where the time went. God’s word tells us just how fleeting this life is. “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14).

The passing of time, the aging and maturing, lead us to awesome opportunities. What have we learned through the process of life? What values have we taken ownership of that we can pass down to those who come after us? What lessons has God taught us that we can share? What trials have taken us through a valley, what mountain tops have we reached?

The passing of time, the aging and maturing, lead us to awesome opportunities. Click To Tweet

God uses our lives for his purpose, if we let Him. He takes our vapor and makes it meaningful, to us and to others. By following Him, by living lives that please and glorify Him, we get this marvelous opportunity to impact our people, long after we have left this earth for our heavenly home. What will you leave behind for your people? What does your life speak to them? Does the love of Jesus shine through you? “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). Does compassion, patience, and forgiveness resonate when your name is spoken? “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 6:34). Have you instilled the importance of the Savior into those you love? “And there is salvation in no one else, for there us no name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

If you wake up and find yourself suddenly cast into your “”golden years” do not waste your days wondering where the time went. Embrace this season of your life, anticipate what the Lord has for you, and take every opportunity to leave a legacy of love and light for your people. Jesus is calling. He is calling us, through every age and stage, to share his love, spread his word, and cast his light onto those around us. Are you up for the challenge? Your people are waiting.