Yes, [God] wants you to sense His Presence, but He’s more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him. Faith, not feelings, please God -Rick Warren
Do you ever feel like God is hiding from you? Have you ever felt like you were going through the toughest time in your life, and He was no where to be found, or like your heartfelt prayers were unheard? If you’ve felt these or similar feelings, what were your responses?
I certainly have had times in my life where it seemed like God was silent. I have cried myself to sleep many nights, wondering if God was even listening to my intense pleas for comfort, clarity, and/or direction. These seasons in my life where God has seemed silent were some of the most challenging times in my faith journey. My responses have varied during these times. There have been times when God’s seeming distance made me shut down, and there have been times when His seeming distance made me pray more and continue to intentionally draw closer to Him. There have been times in these seasons when I have felt alone, depressed, lost, and even forgotten….
If you haven’t experienced these times of seeming distance, it is inevitable that you eventually will, You may even be enduring one of these seasons as you read this, and I want you to know that God has not forgotten you. In fact, it is impossible for Him to forget you. Your ability to inhale and exhale in this moment testifies that He hasn’t. Most importantly, your breath is evidence that you have not reached the end of your life’s story, so that means,
IT AIN’T OVER, and God’s goodness for your life is still ahead of you!
Victory comes through surrender. Surrender doesn’t weaken you; it strengthens you. Surrendered to God, you don’t have to fear or surrender to anything else
~Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life
As much as I’ve understood that “Surrender” is necessary in my personal relationship with God , I had never thought of surrender as being a position of continual VICTORY. Yet, when I read those words, they immediately resonated with me, and awakened me to a greater desire to be fully surrendered to God. Read more
Growing up it bothered me when I’d hear people say, “I stay there,” in reference to their home, opposed to saying, “I LIVE there.” I would often correct my friends, “Don’t you mean live there?” Most people use those two, live and stay, synonymously in this context. Yet, to me there is a significant difference between the two. Read more
I can’t say that I was waiting for you, but I am thankful that you found me. I can’t say that I “always knew” because when I met you, I was fully content with being with me.
I can’t say it was “love at first sight” because though you were immediately handsome to my eyes, I was not looking for love. Read more
Had you caught me several years ago, I would have had no problem writing about some experience that I thought was “Over too Soon.” I likely would have written about the unexpected death of my mother, how the loss of her tangible presence had devastated me, and how I was certain that at just 49 years old, and fairly healthy, she was gone “Too Soon.” Or maybe I would have kept it light and discussed some pleasant vacation, event, or moment that I desperately did not want to come to an end. Those options would have worked perfectly then, but certainly not now.
The idea of you precedes your conception. You were known before you were knit together. The Master Creator envisioned all that you would be, and He spared nothing, from the inside out, designing you perfectly.
When the Master Creator completed You, His Exquiste Masterpiece, He marveled at His own expertise, and with a loud voice He declared, “It is Good”. And just like that, You were complete. Whole. Lacking nothing. You were, as Perfect and Beautifully you, as you would ever be!
There was only one thing The Master Creator would leave up to you and me, and that is the faith to believe that this could even be. He designed you with the ability to choose what to believe and what to reject, and He determined that your belief would be the fuel to guide your steps. Read more
Have you watched the movie The Passion of Christ? I have only seen it once at the movie theater when it was first released. I found myself crying and burying my face in my hands so many times during the graphic depiction of the Crucifixion. I can remember thinking to myself, “You need to face this,” but no amount of “self-coaching” would allow me to keep from turning away periodically. It was so difficult to watch , and I can only imagine that it was much worse than what was depicted on the screen. Tonight’s passage is from Luke 23:26-30. I read it several times focusing on each verse. I kept coming back to verse 26,
As they led Jesus away a man named Simon who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus.