One genuinely loving relationship at a time... that's how we run the good race and show God's amazing grace. If we want to see real change in our world, it has to start with us. We have to love even when it's inconvenient or not self-serving, because that what love is. We have to love those who are not like us at all, because that's what love is. We have to learn how to love the unlovable, because "unlovable" isn't a word God approves of. He loves us all and died for each and every one of us, even the ones we disagree with. In those loving relationships, we have to take the opportunities to talk about how God has saved and changed us. The result of doing this unleashes a force greater than we will ever understand... God's Grace.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
Even in the midst of anguish and heartache, we can be grateful. Even when dreams are at stake and we're in the midst of pain and fear, we can trust in Him. Our Heavenly Father will help us, will give us strength and protection and for that we can thank Him. We can thank Him that He knows our future and will lead us to walk in His will for our lives. We can thank Him for His plans ultimately being for our good and for His glory, even if they don't make sense to us in the present. We can thank Him for the hope that lies in Him holding our future and for the comfort He brings when holds us in the present. We can always thank Him, simply for being our good, good Father.
Few of us are able to learn surrender the easy way. Our lives are too comfortable. The stakes aren't high enough for us to really feel like we truly have to trust God with the core of everything we have. Surrender is really just a concept you learn about, a nice "churchy" idea to talk about... until the time you are truly tested. I certainly didn't learn the art of surrendering until I was trying to hold together a completely shattered heart and picking up the pieces of a dream that was slipping away from me. When the comforts of life fade into the background and our carefully engineered plans crumble, we find ourselves standing face to face with the reality of the only question that really matters. Do I trust God enough to hand Him everything? Do I trust Him with my biggest dream, greatest fear, most cherished possession? Do I trust God? It's one of the hardest lessons I've ever learned, but oh, what a gift to have tasted the sweet taste of true surrender. The freedom and peace that is unleashed when we un-clench our teeth and uncurl our fingers and give Him everything is like a flood of epic proportion.
His plans are so much greater than our dreams could ever be. Everything He choreographs is for His glory and to spread His gospel further into the world in hopes that all might come to know and love Him and to be known and loved by Him. All of our hopes and dreams should rest solely with the one who knows the number of hairs on our heads and the number of days in our lifetime. He alone knows what is good for us, what will bring Him glory and what will benefit the world around us. Surrender is the gateway that ushers in His everything into our present.
Trust in Him, then hang on and enjoy the ride. To God be the Glory!
"Even to our old age and gray hair..."
Isaiah 46:4 begins a beautiful verse full of promise and hope with this phrase. Even until we're old and gray, God's promises to sustain us, carry us, and rescue us will be true. We are never forgotten by God. We are never too old or too far gone to find purpose in Him and be loved by Him. Until the day He calls us home to be with Him in Heaven, He is watching over us. He is giving us life. He will carry us through whatever troubles come our way. He will rescue us from temptation and hopelessness. In Him, we find hope, faith and love... we find life... always.
Trials and disappointment can take a lot out of us. Our souls can become weary. But when we're walking in step with God, He will restore us. He knows when we've handled all we can handle and will guide us to rest. It's not up to us to heal ourselves or others, but to allow God the opportunity to bring us healing.
So often all we can see is the broken parts of our lives... the broken dreams, the diagnoses, the accomplishments we didn't quite reach. But when we step back and look through a bigger perspective, we may just realize our broken parts actually have the potential to be beautiful bridges for others to experience God in their lives. Our shortfalls may just be platforms for us to one day reach over and pull someone else across.
We are all His children in need of the same cross. Period. I don't see it as a burden but as another way to reach the lost. I don't deserve his grace anymore than they do. that's the beauty of grace and god's plan of salvation for all of his creation.
When we were deep in the throes of the struggle through infertility, our faith in God's goodness was tested like never before. But even in the middle of the heartbreak and deep pain that followed our miscarriage, He was good. He led us through each step towards finding hope again. He truly renewed me every single day and gave me enough strength to keep walking with Him. He'll do the same for you.