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Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Allow love to drive you to your knees and cling to your cross.

Emotions ebb and flow like a mountain river rushing past my feet.

It’s that time I’ve set aside to lay my soul bare before the One who knows me best. One moment, I’m bent over in adoration, kneeling in a position of gratitude as my heart pours out thanks for sheltering the two young ones who travel in and out of my days almost as quickly as dew drying in the high desert sun.  The next, my heart fills with dark, unremitting sorrow.

Muttering, I ask “When, God? How long before you answer?” Frustration pours out hot and damp and I brush it impatiently aside.

I mourn the loss of what might have been and 
cry out to Him-longing for assurance.#faith Click To Tweet

These are the dog-eared prayers of more than a decade. Words written, wept over, and whispered. There are fresher requests uttered over soul-deep scars another loved one carries. I mourn the loss of what might have been and cry out to Him-wanting justice but longing more for assurance. Assurance of something better. Assurance of hope.

Have you ever grieved and wished you had the power to travel through time? To alter circumstances? Perhaps, even, to take matters into your own hands if it meant you could rescue the one you love?

While I can’t explain the path of suffering my dear ones are walking or rescue them from it, I know the Christ who stepped outside of time onto the cross to provide the way. The Rescuer has already come that life may be made new.

...bear the burdens of those who are wandering or wounded.
#loveothers #poweroflove Click To Tweet

This is the strange in-between of already but not yet when the Enemy takes advantage of the weak and vulnerable. He circles around the frail and unprotected, seeking to devour easy prey. But they are not defenseless. Instead, Christ calls us to be the modern-day equivalent of Simon of Cyrene as we bear the burdens of those who are wandering or wounded.

If your heart is broken and bleeding over someone you love, praise God.

Have I mistyped those words? No. Only deep, selfless love results in such sorrow. Allow that love to drive you to your knees and cling to your cross as you thank God for His continual presence.

I don’t know what your loved one is facing. It could be addiction or disease. Maybe he is walking the prodigal path or is trapped in the cage of mental illness.

The God who caused dead bones 
to rise triumphant will have the victory.#doyourpart#pray Click To Tweet

Whatever the cross you bear on the behalf of love, “Have faith in the Lord” and “give thanks…for his love endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20). The God who caused dead bones to rise triumphant will have the victory and you, Warrior, play a part.

James 5:16 (AMP) exhorts, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].”

Why? Because God has provided us with heaven’s homework. If your spirit is burdened for a friend, family member, or someone you met in passing then pick up your cross. There is work to be done (Ephesians 2:10) and you were called “for such a time as this”. (Esther 4:14)

He hasn’t left you unequipped, Friend. You wield the sword of the Spirit, God’s powerful two-edged m’achaira-a deadly weapon worn by the common soldier and always at the ready for hand-to-hand combat. This God-breathed blade is razor-sharp, designed to protect you and those for whom you battle from the Enemy. In moments of weariness, you’ll discover strength between the pages of His word. Strength to praise. Strength to pray. Strength to stand.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

Mondays   Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragements

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday WelcomWednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,

 

 

 

 

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I cry to you, O Lord- I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.

We’d attended the quaint, family-oriented church for years. I’d joined Bible study groups, attended morning meetings for young mamas, and participated in Sunday school. Still, loneliness gnawed at my insides. Somehow, I just didn’t fit. One day after the traditional morning greeting, I once again watched as the women flitted from one pew to the other laughing and hugging each other while I stood awkwardly waving and smiling. I felt like the gangly little girl I’d once been-the last one to be chosen to play on the kickball or softball teams.


That afternoon, I spoke with my husband about looking for a different church. It’s terrible to feel invisible when you’re surrounded by people.


King David also experienced isolation. Having been handpicked by God, he’d slain a giant, married royalty, and had a meteoric rise to fame. Unfortunately, Saul was bent on murder. In an effort to escape, David found refuge in the cave of Abdullum along with 400 desperate men who followed him there. (1 Samuel 22)

Still, David felt alone. Unseen. Unnoticed. Was he? Was I? Are you?

The Secrets of the Cave

I’d been living in a cave. Unlike David, my cave was imperceptible. Its walls weren’t made of limestone or located in a barren desert, but they were real. My cave was called Anxiety and Depression.

My cave was called Anxiety and Depression. Click To Tweet


Some of you may have a cave, as well. Perhaps yours is named Trial, Difficulty, Sorrow, or Illness. It could be Divorce, Trauma, or Loss. We all find ourselves stumbling into desert caves at some point. While residing in the cave often feels uncomfortable, there are some secrets we can learn from David and his time in the cave of Adullam.

While residing in the cave often feels uncomfortable, there are some secrets we can learn from David.. Click To Tweet


• Caves Make Us Better Prayer Warriors
A musician and poet, David penned Psalm 142 as well as other poems and prayers during his time in the cave. He learned to “pour out”, or spill, his heart before God and set an example for future believers. While God already knows our needs, anxieties, and troubles, he longs to communicate intimately with us.


• Caves Help Us Realize Our Condition
David was surrounded by the enemy with Saul on one side and the Philistines on the other. He saw no way of escape. But God provided a route of victory. Even when we’re confused or uncertain of our future, God clearly sees the way. He is never unsure of His plans for us.

Caves remind us that God is constant. Click To Tweet

• Caves Remind Us That God is Constant
While David felt as though nobody cared for Him, the maker of heaven and earth heard his prayers. Isn’t that incredible? God hears every cry that spills from our hearts. Oh, what blessing to be known and loved that intimately.

Caves aren't our home. Click To Tweet


• Caves Aren’t Our Home
Something comes after the cave. When God brought David out of the cave, he’d prepared him for battles, victory, and then kingship. Perhaps you, too, are being prepared for a battle. Or, perhaps your cave is the battle and afterward, you’ll experience victory. Whatever the case, the Lord will bring you out the cave with purpose, fully prepared that “[you] might give thanks to [His] name”.


Peace and grace,
Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

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Is not this laid up in store with me, sealed up in my treasuries?

Deuteronomy 32:34

 

The context of Deuteronomy 32 lets us know the “this” of verse 34 is God’s justice and judgement. Verse 35 says, “Vengeance is mine, …and their doom comes swiftly.” Although commentators have differing opinions of who God is saying he’ll judge, it will be upon Israelites’ enemies or the Israelites themselves. In effect, he is saying, “Don’t you understand judgment is stored up and will be released at the right time?” It may seem God is delaying or refusing to bring justice, yet here he declares he has not forgotten the actions of sinners because he is a just God.

Most of Deuteronomy 32 gives the reasons for judgment. Verse 32 gives us an interesting visual of one of those reasons.

For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom

and from the fields of Gomorrah;

their grapes are grapes of poison;

their clusters are bitter.

Some commentators have varying ideas about the “vine of Sodom” which the Bible refers to only this once. Over the years, many have tried to identify the exact plant God refers to. The most obvious are the grapes. Yet researchers have wondered if there is any other kind of what some call “apples of Sodom.”

The other fruit might be a candidate, appearing like a delicious, smooth, soft, yellow apple or orange. But when grabbed or bitten, the fruit disintegrates into a puff of air, a thin rind, and a few fibers. What seemed so fulfilling offers nothing of value.

That’s the point. God’s people are depending upon empty, ineffective, worthless things that become idols. Idol worship deserves judgment because the Israelites are putting their hope into a “puff of air.” The hollow “vine cluster” seems to give a tiny spiritual taste of satisfaction but doesn’t last.

Think of some of the ways we experience a spiritual “puff of air.”

A woman marries her Prince Charming, expecting he will always make her happy. But he expects her to always give him respect. When she expresses an opinion other than what he thinks, he gets angry, feeling weak.

Someone is finally promoted to their dream position, but the friend who is passed over now brings all sorts of troubles.

An infertile wife finally becomes pregnant expecting a delightful experience until her child seems to cry twenty-four hours a day.

Only God can offer long-lasting fulfillment, both here and for eternity. Click To Tweet

Every single person and experience on this imperfect earth will disappoint us at some point. Only God can offer long-lasting fulfillment, both here and for eternity. Of course, we still won’t receive everything we want, but God knows what is best and promises to meet our true needs (Philippians 4:19).

For any who seek fulfillment in earthly sources, God knows such vain worship turns them away from dependence upon him, the perfect source. No wonder our just God judges in order to motivate people to turn from unfulfilling sin.

  • What is your opinion about God being just and therefore responding in judgement?
  • When has it seemed God has delayed judging those who have harmed you? How have you dealt with that?

 

God of the Universe, I praise you for you are always motivated by being just.

Thank you for always judging rightly and thoroughly.

 

The Millers have been in ministry since 1978 as speakers, authors, and lay counselors. They married in 1970 and God empowered them to overcome the dysfunctional marriage and family they had developed early in their marriage. Larry is a retired police lieutenant from Huntington Beach Police Department. Both individually and as a couple, they have authored over 55 books and spoken in nine foreign countries. They live in Southern California and are parents and grandparents. Visit them at www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Kathy is making a copy of God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature available to the winner of a book drawing. Enter to win by Thursday, March 26th by leaving a comment below. The winner will be drawn on March 27th (US addresses only, please. Thank you for understanding.)

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This guest blog is adapted from God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature

Order God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature at:

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Intriguing-Questions-Testament-Devotions/dp/195197008X/

Connect with them at:

www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor and https://www.facebook.com/larry.miller.3532?

Twitter: @KathyCMiller and @LarryMiller

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Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

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I like my life drama-free. My first marriage had enough turmoil to last me a lifetime. I’m very comfortable with our quiet, boring routine.

Our home and schedule change drastically when my daughter and granddaughters visit. Those are the changes we love. The rooms seem to get smaller as we bring out the toys and baby furniture. The walls get dirty, stickers appear in random places, dust bunnies collect, and the dog gets bigger from snacks sneaked and food dropped.

Yes, our seemingly mundane life turns chaotic when the family comes to visit, but we really don’t mind at all.

Seven years ago our daughter and granddaughters spent five weeks with us while they got their paperwork in order to live in my son-in-law’s home town in England. At that time Fiona was four years old and Eleanor was eight months old. They had previously lived in Hungary and their annual visits were precious. Those weeks were sublime!

As usual, I hated the quiet after they left and immediately started the post-visit routine. I put away the toys and furniture so I wouldn’t get depressed. I washed walls, scrubbed floors, and regained control of my environment. I cried around the house on and off for days, longing for them to video chat with me. However, I knew they were busy settling into their new home in the UK.

Again, my heart was broken. “This doesn’t get easier,” I told a friend. Then something happened that helped put it in perspective.

A friend from church lost a baby grandson. We know he is in the arms of Jesus, but that doesn’t take the pain away.

My heart may be broken when my family goes back home, but I know I’ll see them again on our next visit. We’ll video chat with them regularly. I’ll hold them again here on earth. My friend cannot.

How do others see God working in your everyday life and mine? Click To Tweet

It put my woes in proper perspective as I watched my friend’s family exude God’s peace while He heals their hearts. God used the faith shown by the grieving family to minister to those around them. We see God working in their everyday lives.

Philippians 4:4-9 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Now, several years later, I learn that my family can’t visit this spring. I’ve come to expect them in April and, once again, my heart is broken. Once again, I have to concentrate on “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” – those things that are praiseworthy and excellent. Sadly, as always, it’s easier said than done. I feel it’s time to get busy helping others and put my woes in the proper perspective.

Pour out onto those around us like water through a broken vase.#loveothers #pourout Click To Tweet

When we remain teachable and keep our eyes on Christ, He will help us see those hurting around us. If we reach out to others in their need, we won’t be caught up in our own hurts, concerns, and problems. It helps. It really does. Keeping our minds on what is pure and lovely will help us realize that God’s peace is with us. I pray we keep our hearts open to learn from God and to put what we’ve learned into practice, allowing His love to pour out onto those around us like water through a broken vase.

To those who have lost a child, I pray God's love overwhelms you...He is near. Click To Tweet

To those who have lost a child, I pray God’s love overwhelms you and fills you with His perfect peace each day as you learn to carry on. He will show you. He will guide you. He is near.

 

Kelly J. Stigliano enjoys life in Orange Park, FL with her husband, Jerry. A blended family, they have five grown children, a son-in-law, and two granddaughters – spread across the globe! She has contributed to thirteen anthologies, written hundreds of articles, and recently released her memoir, Praying for Murder, Receiving Mercy. Documenting eight years of her life, it is written in two parts with photographs in the middle. Kelly travels as a speaker, making people laugh and cry as she shares her heart. To learn more about Kelly’s ministry, her speaking topics, and books, please visit http://www.kellystigliano.com.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I sometimes link-up with these wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network

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Pleading for Us

The hard edges of time haven’t yet lined his face, but the young man knows suffering. He’s grown accustomed to fear biting at his heels; chasing him from one day to the next. Calling on God, he prays and fasts-beseeching the Lord for breakthrough. Relief from the brokenness. Healing for a hurting heart that refuses to release the tears bottled there for too long.

And his mother approaches the throne of grace; a modern-day Hannah with earnest words whispered and desperate on behalf of the man who is her son. Capturing a glimpse of the child behind his sad smile, she lifts her face to heaven.

Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you’ll take a good, hard look at (his) pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting (him) and go into action for (him)…
I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline. (1 Samuel 1:11 MSG)

Like the grieving woman whose arms longed to feel the weight of a newborn, I make a holy vow of my own.  No holding back. No standing in the way. No talking him out of what the mighty God has planned. But, Lord, free him up to live and live abundantly-not this numb-to-the-pain and numb-to-the-joy existence. Allow beauty to move him to such depths that joy erupts from his spirit and spills wet as liquid down dampened cheeks. Let sadness wring his soul with enough strength that the melancholy pours from within; unleashing the ache and inviting the flow of God’s healing touch. Move into the empty spaces and clear out those the imposter has planted a “no vacancy” sign.

You, too, may be a modern-day Hannah with a loved one whose heart needs healing. Some days, it feels as though the prayers will never be answered and I grow impatient. I want Him to answer now. Doesn’t He see the need? The pain? The ache?

I would be the rescuer. The savior. But, my titles are all lowercase.#perseverance#faith Click To Tweet

Honestly, if I could exchange the burden with my precious one I would. I would be the rescuer. The savior. But, my titles are all lowercase and I’m ill-equipped to do anything but persevere in my faith. If I give up, the enemy will celebrate a victory. I refuse to yield my child’s life so easily.

What about you? Are you battling right now? Are you, too, pounding on heaven’s gates on behalf of a loved one? Maybe your on bended knee as a result of a dear one’s anxiety, depression, or addiction. It could be your precious one is consumed by self-contempt, brokenness, or fear.

Perhaps, you are the one in need of prayer.

Dear modern-day Hannah, remain steadfast. Jesus intercedes on your behalf.#holyprayers#remembered Click To Tweet

Dear modern-day Hannah, remain steadfast. Raise your eyes heavenward. Your heavenly priest, Jesus, intercedes on your behalf. Persevere as this woman of scripture once did and there will be a day of rejoicing. Just as the Lord remembered Hannah, He will remember you.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I sometimes link-up with these wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Networ

 

 

 

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2-corinthians-3-18

Moonbeams give way to the bolder light of morning; shades of fuschia, mauve, and coral brightening the shadowy landscape with the promise of a new day. Change is inevitable.

Sometimes, we can see it peeking over the horizon and remain unsurprised. At other times, there is an unexpected unraveling of the known and in its stead, the doctor shares an unfavorable test result.

Last week, my family physician confirmed that I have an autoimmune disease. A chronic illness. In typical fashion, I dove into research papers, studies, and statistics. My nuclei are spattered like a modern work of art when they shouldn’t be.Some of you face similar challenges.

Perhaps your marriage relationship is teetering on the brink of divorce. A prodigal seems beyond your reach. A family member or friend has betrayed your trust…again. Maybe you’ve received a diagnosis of your own. Cancer. Multiple sclerosis. Lupus.

Growth leads to a final, determined struggle...a new creation.#hope#beauty#newness Click To Tweet

While a caterpillar is encased within its chrysalis, its growth leads to an incredible transformation until one glorious day it emerges with a final, determined struggle…a new creation.

Our bodies may malfunction, our relationships struggle, our hearts ache. But in the midst of the worst, we can choose to look to the One whose own suffering led to ultimate healing. The Redeemer of all shattered dreams, dashed hopes, and lost years is not unaware of the struggle nor is he immune to your pain. Press into Him, dear one. Allow Him to wrap you in arms of comfort and grace as His word does an eternal work in heart and mind. Pray. Trust. Believe.

One day, you and I will be gloriously and completely transformed–shaped by our response to both the good and bad circumstances in our lives.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Today’s Verse for Reflection-And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth LinkupFresh Market Fridays

 

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You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,

 

Grandpa smelled of comfort; the rich, warm scents of coffee and Aqua Velva. Quiet and witty, his brown eyes glinted when I’d beg him to play. Just one more time, pleeease. We’d construct palaces of red, yellow, and blue rectangles or clutch our stomachs as my words garbled together in earnest attempts to recite old-fashioned tongue twisters.

But, my favorite pastime with Grandpa was dancing.

Sliding my feet atop my grandfather’s, I’d gaze upward with confidence.  Whether my world was gliding by slowly or I was dizzied by the tilting and twirling of sudden dips and turns, I knew there was safety in Grandpa’s arms.

This sweet memory caused me to wonder…What if Jesus wants me to dance with him with the same sort of childlike faith?

There are human-rooted reasons for my not having been as trusting with Him as I once was with my earthly grandfather. But, Abba Father is patient and those tender, hurting places somehow grow light as I lean into Jesus. His all-encompassing strength calms my anxious heart and I gaze toward heaven.

This is what it means to be treasured and loved.

I can almost imagine a smile of pleasure splitting His face because I'm learning to follow His lead more and more.#dancingwithjesus#restoringhope#nomoreanxiety Click To Tweet

When laughter abounds and praise flows with ease, I slip into the presence of Christ. We dip and turn; I can almost imagine a smile of pleasure splitting His face because I’m learning to follow His lead more and more.

I Am the one who will guide you. 

During the dark times when I'm sure dancing is done? He wraps me in His arms and enfolds me in mercy.#theloveofjesus#mercylikethis#nomorefear. Click To Tweet

During the dark times when I’m sure dancing is done? I don’t slide my feet atop His. Instead, He wraps me in His arms and enfolds me in mercy. The frenetic whirling stills. The blur of decisions, fear, and circumstances grows small when my God–the King of the dance–is greater than any of it. 

He turns mourning into joy (Jeremiah. 31:13) and the dirge into dancing. 

Dancing with Jesus…it’s become a favorite new activity.

He’s there for you, too, friend. Slide your feet on top of His and let him lead you step by step through this life. The Father’s heart is to love and protect His beloved daughter and in the circle of His arms, you’ll discover a place of safety and security. Won’t you join the dance?

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Grace and Truth LinkupFresh Market Fridays

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Copy of courgeJust a few years ago, fear and depression nearly took him from me. Threatened to steal the world of his mischievous smile, the one that tilts the right corner of his mouth like the crescent moon on its axis. But, as I rejoice over his presence and delight in the strides he’s made toward healing, I’m reminded of the loss and tragedy dear childhood friends have had to brave.

Instead of delighting in healing? They have lived with the aftermath of a momentary decision too permanent to undo the pain of a mother’s heart. They have felt the emptiness of a home once filled with the laughter of a young one on the edge of adulthood.

People toss out platitudes and church-appropriate responses. This is all part of God’s plan. God never gives us more than we can handle. But, the words are misleading. Perhaps untruthful.

God is never the author of evil and while His will ultimately triumphs, man’s enemy is at work. Wreaking havoc. Whispering lies. Sowing destruction.

And boys on the cusp of manhood lose hope.

Brokenness is not God's plan. Depression. Chronic illness. Abuse. Suicide. We weren't meant to know of or experience any of these.#courage#hope#more of Jesus. Click To Tweet

Brokenness is not God’s plan. Depression. Chronic illness. Abuse. Suicide. Cancer. Stillborn death. We weren’t meant to know of or experience any of these. The Father who ushered breath into lungs of clay and called his creation good designed us for more.

He knows our condition, dear friend. Scripture refers to courage over one hundred times because in this world we will bear more than we can handle.

We need fortitude. Courage. Above all, we need to rely on Christ.

Why does God stay his hand in some situations and intervene in others? When two mothers kneels with all humility and beg the Father to spare their children the pain of abuse, why does he answer yes to one and no the other?

When cancer is the diagnosis and prayer warriors converge on a friend’s behalf they cannot know whether the Father will heal on this side of heaven or the next. But, the Healer is at work regardless and we are called to love and pray faithfully.

Life can feel unfair. As though we’ve been treated less than someone else. That because God won’t bend to our will He isn’t good. But, our relationship with God isn’t about what we squeeze out of him. We cannot manipulate Him through pray, or fasting, or looking good as we show up faithfully at church.

One glorious, beautiful day all things will be restored and set right. Instead of death? Delight. In place of mourning? Celebration. Rather than injustice? More of Jesus.#praise#thankful#hope. Click To Tweet

We trust Him knowing that one glorious, beautiful day all things will be restored and set right. Instead of death? Delight. In place of mourning? Celebration. Rather than injustice? More of Jesus.

Hang on, friend. The waiting won’t be long.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragments

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Grace and Truth Linkup, Fresh Market Fridays

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I don't know, but He does. I can't fix it, but He can. I can't rescue anyone, but He already has.

I can’t sleep. Anxiety wakes me before dawn and I feel it’s vice-like grip wrapping around my stomach, pressing hard on my chest.  Thoughts roil and spin as my pulse quickens. Bile rises in the back of my throat as one silent message after another ticks across the screen of my mind like the captions of a silent movie.

Help me, Lord!I don't utter the words aloud, but they pour from my soul thick with worry and fear.#overcomingfear#anxiety#worry Click To Tweet

Help me, Lord! I don’t utter the words aloud, but they pour from my soul thick with worry and fear.

I know I’m meant to pray and I resort to intercession for the dear ones on my heart. I can’t imagine a good outcome. How could anything worthy or beautiful come from an ugly, sin-ridden situation like this one? How can God possibly bring something beautiful from the rubble?

So I continue whispering my prayers and sending them to the heart of the Father. I’m still restless throughout the day, even preoccupied at times. But the sensation of a weight sitting on my chest is gone. In it’s place? I’m reminded again and again of His faithfulness to His children.

When Naomi lost hope, God gave her Ruth.

When Mary heard of Christ’s impending birth, God sent her to Elizabeth.

When David faced the sword of the king, He offered protection through Jonathan.

When Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendego walked through the fire, the Lord stood with them.

When the waves washed over Peter, Jesus pulled him from the depths.

When the enemy laughed because He’d thought he’d overcome, Christ rose from the grave.

I am not the only one to experience both joy and sorrow, celebration and grief, or delight and despair. Because we live in a world designed by God but polluted by the enemy, time will oscillate between glimpses of heaven and encounters with hell.

For. A. Time.

Then Christ will scoop each of His children up in the arms of eternity. The sorrow? Destroyed. The grief? Overcome. The despair? Decimated. Instead, we will only know and remember the love, mercy, and grace of the God who brought us through it all.

I long for the timelessness of all that is good and beautiful, don’t you? In the meantime, our wrestling with worry, anxiety and fear can take a back seat to the faithfulness of God.

If He extended grace before the cross, what will He do for you now? You are safe beneath His wings.#loved#treasured#saved. Click To Tweet

If He extended grace before the cross, what will He do for you now? Oh, Friend, you are safe beneath His wings.

Perhaps you’re struggling this week in the same way I have. Why not recite these words of hope as a proclamation of God’s love for you. Complete the __________ with your name as a reminder that you are beloved by Him.

When _______________ lost hope, God gave her Jesus.

When ________________ knew of impending trials or accusations, God sent her Jesus.

When ________________ faced the sword of the king, He offered protection through Jesus.

When ________________ walked through the fire, the Lord stood with her.

When the waves washed over _________________, Jesus pulled her from the depths.

When the enemy laughed because He’d thought he’d overcome __________________ , Christ rose from the grave.

Then, print off this list of verses to pray over and recite when the enemy comes at you with fear and anxiety. You can print them here.

10 Bible Verses to Help You When You Fear the Future (1)

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragements/ Anita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, Dance with Jesus

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/ Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light / Five Minute Friday

Fridays Dance With Jesus / Faith N Friends / Fresh Market Friday / Grace and Truth / Faith on Fire / Blogger Voices Network/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BeautyStrangely warped containers and melted relics of what had been lay bent and twisted among cinder blocks stained by purple tongues of angry fire. Only the brick fireplace stood tall and unchanged, a lonely reminder of what had transpired there.

Like the remains of the house, my grief lay in an ashen heap and I wondered how people survive circumstances that devour every hope. Just fifteen, I’d experienced the loss of a home that represented comfort and stability. A home that my grandparents had built on the eastern Montana plains. A symbol of two people forging a good life in a land of harsh winters and summers with days as deep and wide as the blue sky.

Over time, the prairie took back what had once belonged to it and nature unfurled life from the midst of what seemed dead. Stalks of tall grass and wildflowers dotted the landscape; the gnarled willow tree that stood at the corner of the driveway loosed its branches and grew ever larger.

Beauty from ashes.

I understand the suffering of letting go of a dream when you'd believed God had more for you than this.#hoperestored#dreamnewdreams Click To Tweet

While few of us have experienced the loss of a home to fire, all of us live with loss. I don’t know what loss you may be facing, but I know you hurt. I know the doubt you feel. I understand the suffering of letting go of a dream when you’d believed God had more for you than this.

Perhaps your a mama who’d dreamed big things for your child, but now the one  you’d crooned to and prayed over has cut all ties or lives a prodigal life. Maybe the man you’d vowed to love for life has forgotten his promise to love only you. It could be your hopes for restored relationships with your mother or father have only fostered the false truths that your aren’t worth loving.

There are no easy answers to pain and suffering.But,there is a God who refashions broken lives.#hoperestored#beautyforashes Click To Tweet

There are no easy answers to pain and suffering. No get-fixed-quick self-help plans that erase the ache of a broken heart. But, there is a God who refashions broken lives. There is a God who renews our hope because He is also the one who revives what was dead. There is a God who accepted a life of loss and suffering in order for us to experience resurrected living now and into eternity.

Wherever these words find you today and whatever situation, take heart. Be encouraged. Your Father will grow beauty from the ashes.

 

Father,

Would you whisper tender words of renewed hope to your Daughter today? You know her pain. You know her loss. None of her tears have escaped your notice and you long to wrap her in holy arms of strength and peace. Be her rock when faith is shaken, her fortress when she needs shelter, and her hiding place when she is overwhelmed. We trust you to restore the years that have been stolen; to guide her on straight paths and along quiet waters until, one day, she’ll look back and see the way you worked faithfully to give her beauty for ashes. 

In Jesus’ powerful name,

Amen

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/ https://www.instaencouragements.com

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