Grace · Healing · Hope · life happens... · The Journey

Abide With Me…

Some days I’m footloose and fancy free!  I glide through the days without a worry or a care.  Everything seems right with the world.

Some days I wake with a heavy heart.  Full of worry.  Full of fear.  Wondering what is next.  Anxious.

I’ve learned that no matter the state of my heart, I need to begin my day in the presence of my Father… first with a heart of thanksgiving, then giving Him all that worries me.

This morning I awoke with a heavy heart… and my cat vomiting outside my bedroom door!  I’ve learned not to jump up and rush to her for that only propels her to other parts of the house as she continues up be sick.  I stood in the doorway and prayed. I prayed for her and for me.  I could feel the heaviness on my heart.

After cleaning up the mess, I felt the need to go for a walk.  The sun was shining and the birds were singing.  I gathered my needed items – walking shoes, hoodie, phone, ear buds.  I programmed both of my fitness apps and away I went.

Each step was giving one more worry up to God.  Each step was asking him to reveal His presence to me.  Each step.

Matt Maher was my music of choice this morning.

Abide with me.  Abide with me.  Don’t let me fall and don’t let go.  
Walk with me and never leave. Ever close, God abide with me.  

He went on to sing about Gesthemane before the cross and the nails.  Feeling overwhelmed and alone to pray, God met Him in his suffering and bore his shame.

So by this point I’m walking and weeping.   The song continues. God’s love is a love that will never let us go.  A love that will never let me go.  A love that will never let you go.  Then the final line of the song plays…

… eternity.  Weep no more.  Sing for joy.  Abide with me.

Okay God.  I’m listening.

My morning walk was at the high school track.  I have a little routine I follow and I am not distracted by houses, yards, dogs, cars, etc.  The track is in full sun and it is warm!

Each time I rounded the north corner there in front of me was my long slender shadow (if only it was that long and slender in real life!!!). I was never able to see my shadow behind me.  The second time I rounded the corner the message was pretty clear for me.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.                          – Philipians 3:13-14  (NIV)

I MUST keep my eyes forward and NOT dwell on what has already happened or not happened. My time here has a purpose.  Some days that is very clear to me.  Other days it is clouded and unclear… and hard.

This spring I’m learning that I’m not alone.  We all have a cross to carry and things that weigh heavy on us.  We also work hard to put our best foot forward and appear to have it all together.  Then I’m reminded that Jesus took people alongside him into the Garden of Gesthemane.  Yes, he spent time with his Father alone but he also had trusted friends along to share his pain.  This morning I went into the garden alone and God met me.  I asked Him to reveal Himself to me and He did.  For that I am grateful and thankful.

How vulnerable are we to let that trusted few into our lives to share in our journey?  How willing are we to keep our eyes forward and on the prize… eternity?  Are thanksgiving and praise the first thing out of our mouth in the morning… even when we awake heavy-hearted?  I’m asking myself this (as Anne Voskamp says… #preachingthegospeltomyself)…but also challenging you.

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Grace · Healing · Hope · life happens... · Prayers

Believe… Even When It’s Difficult

What do you do when life does not go the way you expect it to?  When it throws you a curve ball so curvy that you can’t even begin to catch it?  When it was thrown so hard it knocks you off balance?

You spin, you whirl, you wobble, you fall.  You fall down hard.  So hard that for a time you can’t even think straight.  Blindsided?  Or were you?  Did you see it coming and just put your head in the sand day after day?

Now what?  Where do you go from here?

Jesus… sweet Jesus.  Hang on tight.  Hold his hand.  Press in and be thankful even when you don’t think you can.

“He does not give you more than you can handle.”  Really?  That overused line does not bring comfort.  Oh, how it’s spoken recklessly to people in crisis.

Stop!  Breathe.  Draw close to him and settle in.  Pray… hope… trust… pray… believe.

Believe that broken things can be restored.
Believe that disappointment is not forever.
Believe that after every storm dissipates
there is clarity and light.
Believe that even if love and kindness
doesn’t change them,
it will change you.

                                                                                                                           (The Backroads Girl)


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