I see so much pain. The hurt that is spreading across the world today just breaks my heart. I have an overwhelming ache as I think about the needs in the hearts of mankind, and I feel weakness as I wonder "What can I do for so great a need?"
I can honestly admit that I have lost sleep over this - I lay in bed praying and seeking guidance as to how I can help. What can I do? Something needs to be done.
Why am I so obsessed with this?
The pain and hurt I see in the actions of others are an outward expression of the pain they are feeling on the inside. People are carrying around so much pain, they dislike themselves so much that they share it with those around them. This just breaks my heart.
Think for a moment about the positive people in your life.
Can you imagine something hurtful coming from their mouth? People who have peace with who they are - are happy and have no desire or need to hurt others. They are a light in the dark world around them.
Scripture tells us that what is in your heart shines out (Luke 6:45) As I think about my calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus - what kind of light am I? What is my wattage? Am I adding to the pain that I see in the world around me? Are people drawn to my light?
Everyday we have the opportunity to be a light of positivity and love to our families, friends and wherever our path may lead that day. I know that I have wasted too many days and nights worrying about how I can make a difference - how silly. I can make a difference by being the hands and feet of Jesus each day with a servants heart.
I want to leave you this promise found in Romans:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
I love my Bible. I love to just sit and hug it sometimes. Does that sound a little strange to you? Try it. Go and grab your Bible, dust it off if you have to and give it a tight squeeze.
I love to sit in a quiet place, close my eyes, hug my Bible, take a few deep breaths inhale…..….exhale……… and just be still. Can you feel it? That overwhelming sense that you are not alone. That the One who created you, the One who loves you and needs you is eagerly waiting to spend time with you.
I have to be honest with you, I stopped reading my Bible years ago. Reading it was doing nothing for me. One day while I was visiting with a friend I told her my problem with my Bible. She told me what I was doing wrong, the problem was not my Bible, it was me. You’re not supposed to read your Bible you are supposed to study your Bible. Oh, I get it. If I am serious about my faith and understanding what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ I need to study God’s word.
As I began to study amazing things began to happen. I saw passages in the Bible in ways that I never understood before. Things I had learned over and over again in Sunday school and youth now took on new meaning and I began to understand how these things that happened so long ago are applicable to my life right now.
Are you up for a little Bible trivia?
Wow, did that verse ever speak to me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord—it is better to escape, find cover, shelter or sanctuary in the Lord. Then to put your trust, confidence, hope or faith in people.
How often I found myself dealing with something and the first thing I would do, is to run to one of my friends. But what does that verse tell us? The best place to go would be where we can find shelter, at the feet of our Lord. It’s a hard thing to do. People are tangible, they are right there in front of you, you can ask them questions and you can clearly hear their response. You know what? That can happen in your relationship with Christ as well!
As you begin to study His word - Joshua 1:8 and hide it in your heart- Psalm 119:11, you are developing your relationship with Him- 2 John 1:9. As that relationship blossoms you will be able to understand scripture more clearly- Matthew 13:12 and be able to hear His “still small voice”- 1 Kings 19:12.
How does that sound? Does it sound a little overwhelming? I know sometimes when I look at my Bible it just seems so big. I am not sure what I want to read or what God wants me to read. I get so overwhelmed that I just put it down and do something else. If you look at the last paragraph I listed five scriptures. That is a great place to start!
Take time to apply it to your life: Here is your challenge. Begin to study those five verses. How do you study? Let’s use Joshua 1:8 as our example. I begin by learning about the book. In my Bible and the beginning of each book it gives you a synopsis of that book. I start by learning who wrote it, when it was written and what the main theme of the book is. So now I know all about the book of Joshua. With that information in my head I would then read the whole chapter. So in this example I would read Joshua chapter one. I want to find out what is happening, why was this verse written and who is the author writing it to.
Why is this important or necessary? Let’s take for example that you found a note on the floor at school. You glace at the letter and half way through you see your name and it says, “Cj just makes me sick I am going to have to tell her I what I think.” Your first reaction? “Oh ya, I will tell you what I think!” You feel your body getting hot and you need somewhere to sit down. Your head is spinning with all kinds of thoughts, “Who would say that about me?” You look to see who wrote it- “What! I thought she was my friend!” Who did she write it to? Your friend in drama class? What is going on here? You begin to read the whole letter from the beginning; soon the understanding begins to unfold. Your friend began the letter by writing about this and that; then she began talking about your performance in the recent school play. The two girls were complimenting you on the great job that you did and that they should encourage you in your acting and singing abilities. Once you took the time to read the full letter, you understood that you made your friend sick with envy.
Do you see how your understanding can get confused if you don’t take the time to get the full story. The same goes with scripture. In order to understand what you believe in you have look at the big picture. Reading a verse here and there gives you very limited knowledge of scripture and who God is.
I want to leave you one more verse to study and meditate on:
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (NLT)
Life is full of chaos and noise. It has gotten to the point where we are afraid of quiet. The art of 'Being Still'. Whenever there is quiet our thoughts take over and those thoughts can scare us sometimes. So we keep adding to our lives.
Tonight my girls were outside playing so I finished up the dishes and thought I would go and sit down and rest for a few minutes. While I was sitting down to relax I turned on the TV to watch the news, then I remembered that I hadn't read the paper today. When I finished the paper I picked up my cell phone and checked Instagram and then started to play a game on it. Then all of a sudden I realized what I was doing. I had planned to sit down and relax for a few minutes and now I was bombarding my brain into overload. Why do we willingly do this to ourselves?
It is time my friends, to embrace quietness and stillness and learn to just 'Be'. It takes time and practice - it will not be easy for me - I can tell you that! But it is something that I know I need to do.
The first step is to find a place where you can find quiet. Also, if you have children that would include a time as well. I have friends who get up at obscene hours in the morning just to guarantee their quiet time. I am not a morning person. I get up because of necessity to take care of my family. I like dusk, the girls have quieted down for the night and I have time to think about my activities of the day - the conversations that took place - and ponder "What did I learn today?"
Use those precious moments during your day to pause and "Be Still". I am told that your quality of life will increase dramatically. Life throws so much at us each day, I want to be able to treasure those moments of silence and solitude, and use them to become a better wife, mother and friend.
I am thankful for friends who are willing to give you a wake-up call when you need one.
About a month ago during the middle of the night thieves came and broke into my husbands truck and stole most of his tools. My husband is a contractor and this is our livelihood. I did not take this situation well. Not only was this an invasion on our home and family but also a great loss to our company at one of the worst times of the year for contractors. After dealing with the police and insurance companies we learned that we didn’t have enough insurance on “tools” to replace all that was lost. Which was in the thousands.
My stress level was pretty high; during the day I would stress about money and at night I would lay awake listening to see if the thieves came back to rob us again. After a couple of weeks of no sleep I was a walking zombie. Not a good place to be - I was of little use to anyone.
I would pray to find peace in this situation, and all I would hear is “give thanks in all circumstances.” So then I would list all the things I was thankful for but still no sleep.
One morning in Sunday School a friend asked how I was, and my only reply could be, “Tired”. She then shared a verse with me that was given to her when she was going through a challenging time.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
That night I thought of that verse as I was going to bed and I had the first real sleep in weeks. I am so thankful that my friends look out for me and they are obedient to give me what I need when I need it. It seems to be a theme these days and I am thankful.
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