Where Is He?

Did you see that baby cowering in the corner, trying to hide from the screams and profanity swirling around her head?

Did you notice the young boy who got into a fight at school, making his friends a substitute for his anger, because he can’t hit his abuser?

Did you recognize the young teen shielding her face from the crowd, looking for the one who will make her feel loved and secure?

Where is God in all of this? Where is His mercy? Where is His grace?

Do you see that man marching off to war, preparing to slay a few demons of his own in the battle?

Do you notice the woman working three jobs, living a frazzled, exhausted life, simply trying to give her child something a little better? 

Do you realize the old man wandering the halls, the same who doesn’t even know his children’s names who desperately long to love him and reach through his darkness? 

Where is God in all of this? Where is His mercy? Where is His grace?

Some ask and plead. Some scream in demand. Some just sit and stare. Others simply walk away, veering this way and that, never making much sense of the journey. 

“He’s always there and always faithful,” says the church walls. “Just look up and you will find all you need,” states the sign as the tender ones lie dying on the front steps. My mind wonders if we really make a difference. Do we really share and care?

Some lash out in anger. Some wallow and cry. Others become cold and stone-like, never realizing hope knocking at the door.

His love never wavers. His mercy never fails. Just because you cannot see the sun through the tornadic clouds doesn’t void its reality. Hurricanes never validate the lack of peaceful showers on the ‘morrow. 

Some answers I will never find until the other side. Some questions will still remain after the crisis of one life has vanished. Yet, I have found this truth to remain:  He is faithful. He is love. He is true. 

He will be there when you need Him even in the quietness of your soul. He will never leave you in your deepest sorrow or shame. He will remain when all else fails, when everyone else has disappeared into the dark of night. He will remain. He will be a shield. He will be a refuge. 

Just call on His name and find He is the Hope which remains. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

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Listen Up and Receive

Proverbs 15:31-33
“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”

Have you ever met anyone who just wouldn’t listen to wisdom? You know, that one to whom you could talk till you’re “blue in the face;” yet, he or she just simply refuses to open his or her ears to hear. To be honest, when this happens, I have to fight genuine anger within my heart and then I have to fight pure pity.

To watch someone who is so stubborn in their own will to refuse God time and time again infuriates me on the onset, because it is as if I am standing at the top of a waterfall screaming out to her of the coming danger. I am jumping up and down, waving my arms, yelling at the top of my lungs, desperately trying to make her see that if she continues to travel in her canoe, ignoring the rushing rapids, she will find herself busted and destroyed in just a short time, maybe even beyond repair. It is as if I am furiously throwing all lifelines out to help him get to safety, and yet, despite all my efforts, he shoves the ropes off the boat and scoffs at my concern.

Then, the undesirable but inevitable happens. She finally realizes the error of her ways, but it is now too late. She violently attempts to turn around, only to find the craft is teetering over the edge and racing toward the rocks below. There is nothing more you can do, except wait until he steps out of the destruction and finds himself again. You can pray, and you can cry, and rightly you should; yet, until he decides to remove himself from the debris, you will be struggling in vain.

That is when the pity and the sorrow settles into my view. To see her fighting against the hope which remains breaks my heart. To see her waring against her Maker draws tears to my eyes. To see him clawing and assaulting his Savior, refusing the grace and mercy right within his grasp, shatters my serenity and peace.

There is hope for all who are lost. There is redemption for all those broken and shattered by their own muck and mire. He loves you. He will redeem you. He is waiting there for you to see. Just call on His name. You will never be the same.

Friday’s New Friends #6

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Today is Friday, and that means it’s time for Friday’s New Friends! I have so enjoyed doing these Friday blogs when I am able to share with you a new blogging “friend” I have found!

Today, I’d like to share with you a rather new blogger who has really inspired me. Her blog A Necessary Pain released a new post the other day, and I happened to come across it, because she found me and liked one of my posts. This post encouraged me so and reminded me, once again, that we are all on a journey in this life, and regardless of the pain we may have endured, when we share our story, others can find healing. I hope you will go by and visit, and I do hope you will be encouraged by the stories she shares. ūüôā

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Breathe Again

Life can feel like a heavy blanket resting on your chest, soaking up the rain, getting heavier and heavier. You can choose to get lost under the weight, dwindling down to nothing, expelling all the air from your lungs. You can close your eyes and simply allow the pain to wash you away in the storm. 

Heartache and grief is bound to come to each one. If it hasn’t visited you, just hold on, your hour will come when reality slams through the door like a hurricane, and you wonder if the sun will ever shine again. Those days, the air can become so suffocating, as if your house is on fire, and you’re caught within the fumes and the smoke, grasping for one more chance to breathe again. 

In that moment, in that lapse of time, you have to choose to breathe again, even when it is a struggle. Those are the minutes you will have to fight to survive. If it takes clawing your way out of that pit, then claw you must, but never give up. 

Never lie down and give up the fight so easily. Never roll out the red carpet for death to seize your mind and your soul. Never let the reaper consume you with hopelessness and despair. He will try, and he will scream horrors upon horrors to make you see him. Don’t let him win. 

There is Hope. There is a better way. Hope will bring light into the darkest night. Hope will return the song to the wind. Hope will chase away the clouds in due time, and Hope will help you to breathe again. 

Just take one tiny breath. Take one tiny step forward, and whisper His name, “Jesus.” He will answer. He will give you breath to breathe…


Valley Praise

psalms-42-11What happens to your countenance when you are in the valley? What is the appearance of your face when everything seems to be going wrong, and you don’t know what to do? How do you react when trials, sickness or persecutions come? Are you sad? Do you get mad? Is confusion and chaos the ruler of the day?

Are you down in the dumps, or are you rejoicing through¬†the valley? ¬†My pastor always says, “What you can PRAISE through, you can MAKE IT through!” Find something in that valley to take joy in. Count your blessings. Even the smallest things can bring the greatest joys.

Honestly, there are some valleys where it seems there is NOTHING about which to celebrate. Some desert places are NOTHING but hot, dry sand and a burning sun that makes you feel you will DIE of thirst and loneliness. Some low places in life simply feel like the abyss with no light, no sound and no direction or hope. Yet, those are the times when we must stand with Job and say, “Naked I came from my mother‚Äôs womb, and naked shall I return there.¬†The¬†Lord¬†gave, and the¬†Lord¬†has taken away;¬†Blessed be the name of the¬†Lord.‚ÄĚ Job 1:21, and¬†“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” Job 13:15.

We must praise Him regardless of what we feel or what we see. Praising is a submission of our flesh. It is not something that comes when we “feel it.” It is something that comes as we force our stubborn will into submission. Praise helps us see hope again, because it opens our eyes to His truth beyond our current circumstance.

God is holy. God is righteous. God is gracious, merciful, loving and majestic. He is worthy of all our praise. He is honorable of all our affection, adoration and appreciation. Let us praise Him through the valley. For, it is in our loneliest hours, and through our darkest nights when His glory and grace is revealed in our lives. ‚̧

Just Beneath The Surface

I see your eyes that twinkle when I arrive, but your soul looks weary of the pain.

I hear your talk of life and new beginnings, yet beneath the surface bubbles the regret and tears you trade for shame.

I listen to your words on the air sounding light and cheerful, but your voice sounds so tired.

His love is so much bigger than those accusations of the liar.

 

I watch as you move along the road, changing your hair, your tone and your style.

I pick up on the nuances in the atmosphere, you are attempting to stay a longer while.

I refuse to demand you live in that past love of muck and mire.

His love is so much bigger than those accusations to the liar.

 

Can I ever convince you of His faithfulness and healing?

Can I ever persuade you to believe it was my heart He was sealing?

I pray one day you will find the truth that lies within me.

Regardless of all the broken hearts, I will love you for all eternity.

 

Penned – MG – 1/30/17

Thorn In My Flesh

Have you ever gotten a splinter in your foot? I’m not talking about the calloused part, where it doesn’t hurt too much to remove. I’m referring to that tender place on the bottom of your foot, just below the ball of the foot. I had to remove a deep splinter the other day from just that spot, and let me tell you, it did not¬†feel good, and my foot was sore for the rest of the day! ūüėĖ

However, by the next morning, it felt great, and I had all but forgotten the pain of the day before.¬†Can I tell you, life can be that way, too. You’re walking along, minding your own business, and “Bam!,” something sticks you hard. It may not seem that big of a deal to those around you, most won’t even notice, but you do. You feel it deep within your soul.

What you do next will determine your healing and recovery time. If you allow that “thorn” to settle deep within your soul, it will fester and go deeper. Over time, it will become infected and eventually turn into a disease called bitterness.

You must remove it. You must get the offense out before it brings you more pain. You must allow that wound to be cleansed and bandaged to bring complete healing. The pain of removal may feel worse, sometimes, than the temptation to leave it alone; however, I can assure you, the removal and recovery is worth the temporary pain endured.

Let go of hurts today. Let go of offenses. Allow the Holy Spirit to pull those things out of our hearts and minds that don’t belong. Allow Him to apply His healing balm to bind up the would and let the healing begins.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

First Responder

 

First Responders are incredible at what they do. They are the first on the scene of medical emergencies. They assess a given situation to ensure it is safe. They evaluate the victims involved and determine what is needed. They even administer medical aid, CPR and  AEDs in cases of cardiac arrest. Now, I’m not sharing this to give you an education on First Responders, but as we remember the importance of this week, being the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, I just want to say I am so thankful for all that they do.

They always seem to be willing to lend a helping hand. They rush to scenes of crisis when so many others would run away. They stay with the wounded until they are headed to recovery. They even attempt to rescue, mend wounds and remove from harm’s way those who may not necessarily want their help. I don’t think that I could express enough my gratefulness for who they are and for what they choose to do.

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Yet, there is One who is the best First Responder of them all. He is stronger than anyone else in the force. He responds quicker than any human could imagine, and He never ever fails to show up. He can bind up wounds, heal hearts, release those bound and even bring back to life those thought to be dead.

His name is Jesus Christ. He is who I call Friend, Savior and Lord.

He is the Greatest of all First Responders for He knows you. He created you, and He is always right there by your side. All you have to do is call His name, and He will rescue you from danger. He will free you from what holds you captive, and He will bind up what causes your heart to bleed. He will bring you life and life more abundantly.

Will you call to Him today? Just say His Name, and He will answer.

 

Paving Their Path

 

Once a child reaches the age of accountability, every child must make his or her own choices, and every child is responsible for what¬†he or she¬†does. However, I have found that we, as parents, do have a part to play in helping to pave the path they choose in¬†life. We can’t make their choices, and we can’t be accountable for their decisions. However, we do¬†have the ability to make those choices easy or hard to find.

You see, our children walk down their own paths into the destiny of their own choosing. They will be faced with the good and bad consequences of their actions and with the fruit from the seeds they choose to sow. However, we can pave that path with the “asphalt” of faith, the guard rails of love and the road signs toward joy and fulfillment, or we can lay down layer upon layer of rock, rubble, nails and thorns¬†from the bitterness, foolishness, enablement¬†and even pain of our own lives, layers¬†through which our children will have to fight and claw just¬†to find those good decisions they long to choose.

 

When we live as good examples for our little ones, make good decisions for our own lives as we try to raise them the best way we know how, and strive to correct in front of them the mistakes we are sure to make along the way, their paths will be lined with the good substance they need to not only survive this life, but it also will build the foundation upon which they can thrive through this life!

If you realize your children may have a rocky road ahead, I have good news for you! You can begin TODAY picking up the stones of hatred and anger that have been thrown along their path. The rocks and rubble of foolishness and enablement can be pushed aside. The nails of spite which have been dropped and the thorns of pain which have been sown can be picked up, cut back and removed as you reach out with repentance, forgiveness, truth and love.

This process can only begin with a right relationship with God, a daily seeking of His Word and a continual reaching out to your child with loving kindness. It may not be an instant reconciliation, but with Christ, it can be an instant healing within your own heart and mind. He can help you to clear the path and to make things right again. He can guide you and your child to a better way.

When The Pain Sets In

Sometimes, your heart is bound up with so much emotion, words are hard to find. Your mind is so consumed with an avalanche of thought that you can not grasp even one. It’s like water droplets over a waterfall. 

Sometimes, the pain is so baffling, it feels as if time is standing still. Your destiny is too far to imagine, and your past comes in like a flood. It can be overwhelming… Suffocating… Constricting and condemning.

Sometimes, in that very moment, is when you need the reminder of His love and His grace. It is comforting… It is reassuring… It is strengthening and redeeming… 

He will heal. 

Only believe.