Hardships and Trials, security

Steady Souls in the Face of Uncertainty

 

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Mark Twain penned, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” 

I hope that’s true for me. 

I’ve always smiled with my eyes. Or that’s what others tell me and probably why I have so many wrinkles showing around them. With all that is happening in the world I find myself struggling to not take it all on myself. I attempt to solve one issue, or mourn another, and cannot stand under the pressure. It’s impossible to live this way and my face speaks what’s happening inside. My brows furrow while my mind travels to tasks or worries. In place of smiles are scowls while impatience pushes aside joy.

If you’re finding yourself riding waves of concern and anxiety, you’re not alone.

The other day, months into the Coronavirus stay-at-home orders, my son started laughing in deep joy while crying tears of grief.  He swallowed hard, stopped, and said with shock, “Woah, that’s never happened before.” It hit me hard. Many of us are experiencing deep emotions washing over us.

We feel hope, grief, joy, frustration, and fear.  But we can stand firm knowing these emotions remind us of our need for Jesus. He is our anchor in the waves. We cannot anchor ourselves.We find our security in God and know He will fulfill His promises. Click To Tweet God is our certainty, our faithful anchor amidst the confusion and unknowns that flood our feeds and minds daily.

Hebrews 6:19a says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure.”

Anchor image with quote from post

When we place our hope in Jesus, we sit with confident expectation in God’s faithfulness, love, forgiveness, and the promise of eternity with Him. These truths steady our souls in the waves of uncertainty. 

When multiple emotions leave us feeling out of control, we must stand firm and anchor in God. As identifiers, our emotions can bring us closer to Him, letting us know when things need to be tended to, or surrendered. 

When multiple emotions leave us feeling out of control, we must stand firm and anchor in God. Click To Tweet

As my eye wrinkles leave coordinates of past heart conditions, I’m reminded that I can choose to praise God in hope and faith as He holds me firmly. I pray that my wrinkles of grief and anxiety are shallow, while my deeper wrinkles are of joy and peace, evidence of God’s love and faithfulness.

Allow God’s  Word to wash over you today as you cling to Him during uncertain times. 

“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’

Your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.

When the cares of my heart are many,

Your consolations cheer my soul” (Psalm 94:18-19, ESV).

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20 Days of Relational Health Bible reading plan.

Our hearts crave deep, lasting connections–to know we are loved and belong. This Bible reading plan will help you grow in your relationships as you learn to love others well, speak and live in truth, and set the healthy boundaries that will allow your relationships to thrive.

Find it HERE.

 

intentional living, Video Devotion

Taming Our Thoughts

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Misaligned Priorities

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Sometimes what I think is of the highest priority, isn’t, and what I put aside is really what I should focus on.

I walked downstairs and saw my mom talking on the phone. She was empathetically offering words of comfort to a friend in need.

I noticed the dinner dishes still on the table and immediately judged her for misaligning priorities. How could she just leave the dishes? How can she drop everything to answer a phone call?

God immediately spoke to my heart. She was doing His will. She was behaving like Mary.

Luke 10:39-4(WEB) reads “She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to Him, and said, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.’

Jesus answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.'”

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Though Jesus was specifically speaking about spending time with Him, Scripture teaches us to prioritize people above things. In the fast-paced world that we live in, this message is even more pertinent because society teaches us to be like Martha. It teaches us to focus our energies on the wrong things – worldly things.

While my mother tends to put others first, I tend to prioritize my “to do” list. Had I been in her shoes when her friend called, I’m afraid I would not have answered. Even if I had a friend in need, I would most likely clear the table and finish the dishes before returning his or her phone call.

Why do we think our agendas are more important? How can we shift our priorities?

Growing closer in Christ through reading Scripture is a good first step. We can also ask God to reveal situations in which we can grow in this area. Times that we may choose Mary’s path and can witness true servanthood through others like my mom did. Opportunities to allow others to embrace and model Mary-like hearts. How can we prioritize seeking Christ’s guidance in what is truly most important?

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Heart Issues, Video Devotion

Pride Lurking Undetected–Video Devotion


“Move it people! What’s wrong with you?!” my daughter’s voice shrieked from the back of our mini-van as we sat in the school drop off line. Though I instantly corrected her impatience, I cringed knowing she’d heard those same words from me.

Troubled, I replayed the scene until I finally realized what lay at the root of my words—the attitude that I knew the “right” way, and others didn’t, and that my time was more precious than everyone else’s.

Have you experienced a humbling realization like mine—where seemingly harmless words actually pointed to a much greater heart issue?

My impatience stemmed from pride—my inflated sense of importance or superiority, that is usually first harbored in my mind and ultimately displayed in my conduct.

The deeper I examined, the more I saw how much pride infected my life.

I struggled to admit when I was wrong and tried to hide my shortcomings. While I outwardly hid the sinful chaos in my heart, the truth was, I continually compared myself—my appearance, possessions, kids, talents, and intelligence—to others, indulging my selfish desire to pass judgment and assign worth to myself and everyone else. In essence, I was playing God.

In Galatians five, Paul says those who belong to Christ have nailed their sinful desires to the cross and should follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

My daughter’s statement helped me see where I wasn’t allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me; where I wasn’t fully embracing my worth in Christ. I was still grappling to find it in earthly things.

As a result, I had a tendency to become idolatrous, jealous, selfish and divisive.

Wanting joy and patience to replace all the ugliness I’d allowed to grow within, I repented of my sin and surrendered to the Holy Spirit, and as I did, He filled me with His peace and love.

What fruit is being produced in your life? Ask God to make you aware of pride within your heart, and for strength to abandon your sin at His feet.