Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rest in the Lord for He is good...

Good morning my sisters-

I woke up early here in the US with nothing in particular on my mind.  I have been fighting one infection or the other for the last couple of weeks so once I'm up, I'm up.  However, I have found it quite refreshing because I begin with thanking Jesus for all He's done and will do.  It's a great way to start your day along with that first sip of coffee, which for me is essential even at 4:45 am CST.

You probably are wondering where I'm going with all my babble. Lately, I have come through a great battle and through that battle I realized I needed to wake up and go to sleep every night thanking God for His goodness, seeking Him and asking Him to guide my every step and every word.  I have carried that on in the last three weeks and believe I will carry it for the rest of my  life.  I want to anyway.  I want to always remember mornings when I didn't think I could go through one more battle, one more harsh word or one more bad attitude.  And yet, I got through them all with more love in my heart, prayer for my enemies and a realization that we all fall short so forgiveness for others was as important as our need to be forgiven.  The world is not easy but God is looking for a few good men and women to believe He's enough, He's bigger than our circumstances and that He deserves our focus.  So here I am praising Him, worshipping Him, meditating on His word and being called, what a great morning!

Through my faith journey I have learned to be quiet, stay in His presence, ask for His precious peace and draw closer to my Savior.  What I realized last night at Bible study is I don't know how to rest in Him.  I know how to sleep so don't get me wrong there. The minute my head hits the pillow, I fall asleep, even during my trial I could fall asleep easily.  I'm talking about rest.  This is the kind of rest that means relax, unwind, clear your mind, let peace envelope every fiber of your body and let go!  Okay, now that's the hard one.  How do you let go?  How do you let go to a career, success, money, insurance and well everything?  I haven't mastered it yet or I wouldn't be writing about it, obviously.  However, I am learning that for me, it's a day to day journey, a moment by moment capturing my thoughts, feelings and stories.  You know what I'm talking about.  It's the reel that you play that says, "You've got this, your in control, drive that bus."  Girls at this point you have to be resonating with me.  It's really an epidemic problem today.  People, in particular women, are hanging on their accomplishments and like Wonder Woman fighting all the bad guys and winning.  Well I wish life were like that but eventually you will wear out, grow weary and lose.

We grow weary because "We've got this!"  I can't remember reading in Scripture where anyone "got this" on their own.  As a matter of fact, no one, not even Jesus.  For Jesus went to the mountain to be alone, He sought comfort and direction from His father in His darkest hour and His father sent an angel to take care of Him.  He was the Son of God and even He couldn't do it alone. Even though I've read those passages hundreds of times along with Isaiah 40, I still struggle with growing weary because I don't rest.  I am always trying to find the angle and often, there is no angle, there's only me praying for God to direct my path and me moving.  That's where I'm at this morning.  I'm at the juncture of either resting or growing weary.  I'm either going to enjoy the time He has given me to be creative, write, help at church, minister to others and be here for my husband and boys or I'm not.  It's that simple.  Many of us waste precious  moments because we want to get it.  What are we exactly getting anyway?  If God doesn't want it in our life, He will move it.  If we seek Him and find Him and then say, "God I have this!"  What do you think He's going to do?  I know what I would do, I would say go ahead and try it and when you hit the wall your about to crash into, come see me.  And for the most part, that's what He does, He lets us squiggle, wallow and crash and then, He picks us up, dusts us off and says, "Peace be with You, My peace I give to you."  And if that's not enough, He says, "Rest in me all those that are weary and heavy laden." 

Are you weary, overly tired, wondering how you can make it another hour, get up and call on Jesus.  I know it's not easy to ask for help.  I know that you feel down and out and that a lighter load is what you want.  I get it and I understand but at the same time what if He's just asking you to turn from the old into the new and with that 30 degree turn, you could see the promise of your future, the purpose you were put here for and the love of your Savior.  What if all of your weariness was for you to say, "Jesus I know you have this, take me out of the equation and insert You."  Take a moment to meditate on that.  I know I am and that's why I'm praying that I will rest in my Savior.  He has gone before me and He is behind me.  He has fought armies bigger than any trial we will have gone through, faced death to give eternal life and watched His people deny Him, walk away from Him and persecute Him.  He still is and He loves us anyway. God is faithful, He is good and He wants us to rest in Him, not for Him but for us. 

Needless to say, it's not easy.  I get it believe me!  The call isn't to be perfect the first time we rest, it's to continue to pursue God so that someday we will rest in Him in all things.  No one knows the future and no one can predict when and how they will be stretched but if I know one thing, I know our God loves us and is waiting for us to give Him the wheel.  Just think, if we let Him have the wheel there might not be a reason to hit the wall after all.

Today I leave you with some Scriptures that God has given me in the last year.  They have helped minister to me and I was reminded of them again in my devotional this morning.  O, how he has to mold me daily.  So if you have a minute reflect on why you're not resting and what you need to pray to be in His presence, perfect peace and rest.  I know I will be all day.  Be well my sisters and thanks for reading.  I have found my way again and it feels amazing!

John 20:19-23 NIV

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

28Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Psalm 116:7 (NIV) Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

O, dear Jesus, Your peace we pray for, your heart we seek, your mighty rest we rely on.  Your servants are like ants, scurrying from one thing to another and we need to stop, pray and receive.  You are the maker of heavens and earth and you rested, so help us find our rest in you.  Give us a heart to surrender the things that matter to us most and replace it with a spirit filled journey where what matters to us most is You.  We ask that we surrender to the desires of your heart and not our own.  You are an amazing God, full of heart, graceful in Your forgiveness and giving in Your mighty strength.  We lean on You today as we praise You for Your everlasting goodness.  I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen! PS.  Please protect those in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and all of the Middle East who worship You and call You Lord.

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