I had a realization this week that surprised me, so I’m sure it will surprise you. I don’t mind when times are tough. Note that I didn’t say I like … Continue reading Why I Don’t Mind Tough Times
Today was one of those days where everything made sense, once again. It was a day filled with non-coincidences (meaning that God was clearly at work because there’s just no … Continue reading It All Works Together for Good
The hill from the employee parking lot to the building where I work is gigantic. It is long, steep, and, especially when it’s cold outside, the prospect of walking up to work is daunting. Most days I am spoiled because Brennan drops me off at the entrance and then goes to park the van; but, on days when our schedules do not match, I am left to climb the mountain. And I don’t want to do it most days.
The challenge is half psychological and half physical. I’m not in great shape – yet – so that’s part of it. But, when I look at the hill I also have to convince my brain that I can do it because it feels like I will never make it, like I will fail.
What I have found is this: if I focus on my feet and on taking one step at a time instead of looking up to the top of the hill, it is far less challenging. If I take it one step at a time, it’s not that bad! I make it to the top of the hill, a little out of breath, but I can do it. I succeed.
This analogy is a perfect one for our lives right now: we’re nearing the one year anniversary of Tori’s heaven-going; some days it seems like our hearts will never fully heal, that it will be forever before we are reunited with her again. We long to hold our baby girl and gaze into her beautiful eyes once more, and that time (and heaven) seems so far away.
But, when we take the journey one step at a time, focusing on the Lord and on one task at a time, it’s so much easier and we feel refreshed. We don’t feel overwhelmed or tired. We feel at peace and we know that we can take the next step. Why is it so hard to remember to do this?
Whatever your mountain might be today, focus on the next step, not on the entire climb. Allow the Lord to guide you and sustain you; He is faithful and will lead you well.
Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. – Psalm 55:22 (NLT)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. – 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
I love when God speaks to you so clearly through circumstances. If you come across a passage of Scripture once in a day you might read it and then move … Continue reading Even Though…
Disclaimer: As with anything I write, I write with the understanding that we all process death and grieving differently – even as believers – and this is not a judgment … Continue reading Removing the Sting of Death, Part Three
I have found that God will often use a lesson or a specific scripture passage that you read long ago but had forgotten; at just the right moment He will … Continue reading Security in the Mystery
Leo Tolstoy once said:
“Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”
My relationship with God is the most important aspect of my life. This relationship has led me to spend two summers in full-time ministry in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (where I will most likely be moving next year)…it has led to countless hours in youth work, worship ministry, etc. But most importantly, this relationship has shaped who I am and all that I strive to be.
Lately, due to many extenuating circumstances, my time with God has taken a backseat to everything else going on in my life. Last night, as I sat alone in my apartment, I decided to spend time with my Maker…and I did. I spent 2 hours praying, singing, reading, etc., which made me realize how much I have missed this time with Him. This post is a reflection of what I learned last night, because this is going to change many aspects of my life over the next few months.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” –Nehemiah 8:10
My strength, my joy, my serenity comes from the Lord. I have never been content with the ways of this world. Yet, lately, I haven’t been seeking my refuge in the arms of the Lord as I used to…and this needs to change. For, as MercyMe so eloquently put it,
“I have not been called to the wisdom of this world but to a God who’s calling out to me. And even though the world may think I’m losing touch with reality, it would be crazy to choose this world over eternity.”
What really matters in life? What is worth living for?
“Healer heal me
Savior save me
Maker change me
Lover love me
‘Cause I’m so tired of living for
The kind of love
That only lasts for a while
The pain, the shame
Tear me up inside
So I fall on my knees
To get back on my feet again
And I cry out for You
Would You please speak to me…”–Ten Shekel Shirt
Love is the most important thing. Not the kind of love that is fleeting, but the love that is eternal. Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all we are and have, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Is there anything more important in life?
1 John tells us that because God first loved us, we can more fully love. If I am relying on the love of my Lord for my strength and for my fulfillment, then I am able to love freely, without worrying about what I will get in return. I will be able to care for my neighbors, for those in need. And, when I love this way, God gives us life abundantly.
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshall and direct our energies wisely.”
–Galatians 5:22-23 (The Message)
Love is life…love is everything. And I want to love more…more freely…more abundantly…I want to fully embrace the “greatest commandment”, for that is all that really matters in life. I want to live unapologetically, and how better to do that than to serve God with all that I am?
I don’t know how this is going to play out in my life practically, but I know that I have decided to once more live as my Lord has called me to live, which is to love.
“He’s everything to me, more than a story…”