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Let. It. Go.


As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across a scripture I have read many times.  In fact, I went back through four different Bibles and I had highlighted this scripture in each one.  Although I have obviously read the scripture and it apparently stood out to me, this morning….on this day, it was as if I read it for the first time.

 

You see, I’ve had a rough year.  So much has happened this year.  Heartbreaking, life-changing things have happened.  It would be easy for me to look back on all I’ve been through and allow myself to get stuck in the trials.  To throw a big ole pity party.  Nurse those wounds just enough to function, yet keeping them open to the pain, hurt, and anger.

The problem with nursing those wounds, hanging on to hurtful words, clinging for dear life to each and every instance you feel you have been mistreated……….is that it takes over your life.  Your problems and trials aren’t something you are dealing with for a moment.  They become who you are.  They claim your joy and can rob you of peace.  When your spirit is filled with bitterness, anger, and malice, there is no room for love.

And it’s not just the actions and hurts of others that can gain this victory over us.  Often, we inflict these feelings on ourselves.  Maybe we have made poor choices.  In recognizing them, we inflict a punishment of self-loathing and self-condemnation.  We can with-hold forgiveness from ourselves for our poor choices and sin in our life.

No matter the source of your struggle, it’s important to recognize this is not all there is.  Life is about so much more than holding on to hurt.  This verse I stumbled across by chance (I was reading in Psalm and came across it in Isaiah as I was flipping through pages.) tells us not to dwell on the past.  To forget the former things.  I see this as explicit permission, even a command to let it go.  Why?  Because freedom is found in forgiveness.  Freedom for your soul.  It frees you up to move on with your life.  To look forward to a positive, hopeful future.

The scripture then goes on to say that God is doing a NEW thing.  He has something NEW for us waiting.  And I assure you, when God has something for you, it’s something good.  No, something AMAZING.    The key is looking forward, taking a step away from the hurts of the past, and finding hope.  God has something better for you.  Are you ready to receive it?

I urge you to search your heart for those old hurts that hold you back.  Pray for freedom and forgiveness so that you will be ready for the new things God has waiting for you.  Pray for me as I set out on the same endeavor.  Victory is found in following Him.  And I’m ready for it!

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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It’s not Burger King….. Have it ‘His Way’, not ‘Your Way’!


Even when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was.   —John 11:6, AMP

So many things about God are a complete mystery.  The choices He makes…. in His time, not ours.  His will and plan oft times confuse us to our very core because it simply makes little sense to us.  After all, if He would just listen to us, let us tell Him what we need, when we need it, everything would be a bed of roses, right?!

God is like a breeze that blows in.  You may not see where He comes from, but there is no mistaking He is there.  His timing IS always perfect.  So why, is this perfect timing often so frustrating?

When times are hard and you feel like you cannot endure, the knowledge that just one word from Him could completely turn your circumstances around and solve all your troubles……..yet He doesn’t move??  Frustrating!  God is completely unpredictable.  He is not a fast food restaurant where you can order what you want and have it ‘your way’.  You can’t just say a prayer, ordering your needs or desires, and He delivers in less than thirty minutes.

This is so hard for us to accept and embrace when we are in the midst of trying times, heartache, and sorrow.  We cry out to Him for help, to fix our problems.  To rush in and rescue us.  When He is silent, our hearts wonder, “Why?”.  When we want so desperately to trust Him, but He seems to be quiet in the midst of our problems, it’s easy for feelings of betrayal to creep in.

During these times, it’s important for us to remember the greatness and majesty of our God.  As challenging as it is to wait on Him and His timetable for our life, do we have the right to expect Him to be at our beck and call? Who are we to question His ways and His timing?  The trials and problems we are faced with just might be part of His plan to teach us a lesson along the way.  Maybe it’s patience.  Faith.  Trusting in Him completely.  If He jumped in and fixed every situation for us immediately, we might miss out on the big plan He has for us.  As much as it hurts in the moment, hardships and trials are opportunities for exponential growth in our relationship with Him.  But it begins with trust.

We cannot anticipate what God will do next in our lives.  We cannot see all He sees.  But we know we can rely on His heart.  Even in those times we aren’t getting our prayer ‘orders’ filled as quickly as we would like, He is there to comfort us and calm our anxious thoughts.

His character is unchanging.

His love is un-moving.

His goodness is ever-present.

His mercies are new each day.

Even when you can’t see His hand at work, keep trusting His heart.  Have faith in His timing.  Because it will never fall short of what is best for your life.  It’s not over yet!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Just Keep Swimming!


When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.  When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.  When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end.     –Isaiah 43:2, MSG

In over your head.

An analogy of an inexpert swimmer who has encountered water that is too deep.

Oh, how often I have found myself ‘in over my head’!!  It’s a common problem for all of us.  Even the Bible had some troubled swimmers.  Eve never expected talking to the serpent would lead to the fall of man.  Joseph never imagined he would be thrown into a pit when he shared his dream with his brothers.

Sometimes we get ourselves into these situations.  You volunteer to help the coaches with the team, but you end up being THE coach.  You make a bad financial decision and now financially, you’re sinking.

Often times, we can look back on the situation and see a decision we could have made differently.  We see how we should have known better.  Others, we are completely blind-sided.

Even with the best of intentions, we can find ourselves drowning in the burdens, cares, and disasters of life. Circumstances can quickly spiral out of control and although we feel our self quickly sinking, we can’t muster the energy, even the breath to call out for help.   It’s easy to feel alone.  Frozen in fear.  Hopeless.  Abandoned.

During these times, these trials, it’s so important for us to remember the word of God.  His promises to His children.  

When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there.  You are not alone.  No matter how far you fall.

When you are in rough waters, you will not go down.  You will not be given more than you can bear.

When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, be it ever so faint!  He will always give you a way out!

During the past week.  I HAVE felt like I was drowning.  The waters of my life have been so rough, that each time I managed a small breath, I was once again overcome by rough waters…. too deep for me to find a foothold.  My rock and a hard place was more like a huge boulder and a brick wall…. so large I could not see a hint of daylight.  My circumstances and situation have not changed.  In fact, as each day passes, I can feel the situation becoming more hopeless.

But then, I randomly opened my Bible, and this scripture is what I found.  God speaking to me.

I am not alone. I will not drown.  He is my foothold. He will be my light to find my way out.  No dead ends!  Satan can take his hopelessness and flee because God is at my side.  And He never fails!!

Today, I urge you to memorize this scripture.  I surely am.  What a wonderful promise of God to claim in times of despair!   And in the famous words of my friend, Nemo…………..

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Hiding Places


So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?”    And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”     1 Samuel 10:22 NLT

In our scripture verse today, Saul was doing his best to hide from being chosen as king.  The lots were cast, he was chosen, yet he was hiding among the baggage.  When the people could not find him, they asked God.  Of course, He knew Saul was hiding and He knew right where he was at.  What Saul didn’t know, didn’t realize, is that you can’t hide from God.

Have you ever been guilty of doing something, saying something, or even thinking something you were so ashamed of, that you hoped no one would ever find out?  We would rather forget these things ever happened.  We wish we could take back those words, or erase the thoughts from our mind.  Many have had things happen to them that they don’t want to remember.  Sometimes we can be so hurt, so mistreated, it would be easier to forget it than to deal with the guilt, shame, and even the scars left behind.

Often times, when faced with these circumstances, we hide.  We allow the shame, the guilt, and the fear of exposure to drive our actions, so we hide.  From each other.  From ourselves.  And from God.  After all, if we can keep it hidden, we can pretend it’s not there, right?  We do everything we can to bury the feelings, bury the guilt, bury the pain.

But God knows all our hiding places.  God knows all our faults.  Every thought, word, and deed.  He knows.  No matter how hard we struggle to keep them hidden.  He knows about the most embarrassing thing we have ever done.  He knows our shame.  He also knows our pain.

The good news is that even after we have come to Him.  Given our life to Him.  Put our faith in Him.  He is still knocking on the door of our soul.  He longs for us to come out of our hiding places and bear our deepest, darkest, and most painful secrets.  He already knows them anyway.  He longs for us to share with Him, not to humiliate us, but to offer healing and comfort.

When we share our hearts with Him, our WHOLE heart, we open ourselves up to the fullness of His power in our lives.  The power of His presence.  The power of love, mercy, and forgiveness.  The power of grace. It’s a mighty, healing power found only in Him.

We can choose to live our life hiding.  Trying desperately to hide the pain, the shame, and the guilt.  But we will be so busy keeping hidden, that we are exhausted.  And ultimately miss out on God’s best for our life.  Invite Him in. Even into your hiding places in your soul.  He is waiting.

 

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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