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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
In John 6:12, Jesus tells His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." If you remember, he'd just multiplied five barely loaves to feed the five thousand.
Nothing is wasted in God's economy. Nothing; not broken relationships, broken finances, or broken hearts. Christ gathers the fragments, makes us whole, and multiplies our stories to feed those who hunger for hope. Even in times of physical isolation, we are not alone.
Wherever you stand on the path to healing, chances are you have something to give to someone who's not as far along as you. It's also likely that if you're open to receiving help, God has placed someone in your life willing to come along side you as you continue to grow.
Who can you encourage today? Who will you allow to encourage you?
A word about seasons of isolation:
There've been times in my life when I reached out for help, but it didn't come from the human hands I'd hoped for. Times when I was all but sure I'd go insane from loneliness AND being alone. I've learned that during those times God beckoned for my full attention. If you better relate to this scenario, I encourage you to take the time to talk to God each day. Talk or journal.
Read Bible stories that tell of God's servants during seasons of isolation. Notice how they responded to God. Note the raw emotion they shared, the insight they gained, and the grace at work in their circumstances. Ask God for the wisdom to apply this same insight to your circumstances. And rest assured--isolation is only for a season.
Prayer: God, I entrust You with the fragments of my heart. Each day I move toward wholeness. Guide me today. Help me to recognize there is purpose in my life. Provide opportunities for me to be a source of encouragement to others, and grant me the courage to be obedient to what You ask of me. If You want my full attention, let Your very presence be my comfort. I am not alone. I do not suffer in vain. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Peace and good to all,
Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 @ 3:34 PM CDT
April is National Child Abuse Prevention & Sexual Assault Awareness Month
If you're anything like me you have keepsakes stored in a box. You know the whereabouts of the box. You know its contents are valuable. But true sentiment lies dormant until once again you hold near what is dear. The same is true for familiar Bible verses. We know where they are. We know they are meaningful. But until we "take them out of the box" we forget their sovereignty.
Today lets hold a keepsake up to the light and appreciate anew the brilliance of its promise and power.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison doors to those who are bound (Isaiah 61: 1).
I see four facets of a priceless jewel:
- Salvation- God sent His only Son to give us something we do not have to strive for--eternal life through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. (Good news!)
- Healing- In addition to eternal life, Christ desires to heal our broken hearts. (Hope and healing.)
- Confession- Under no condemnation we are free to confess our sins (and our sinful reactions to betrayal and abuse.) Here, survivors willingly embrace a journey where liberty is received over the emotions and destructive patterns that hold them captive. (Liberty.)
- Reconciliation: We are pardoned for sins committed against God, neighbor, and self. Christ opens the prison doors of "those who are bound." In time, we are empowered to forgive as Jesus commands--from the heart. (Forgiveness.)
As surely as Jesus insists that forgiveness come from the heart, He is intent on healing that same heart when it's too broken to forgive. Do you know what this means? It means that what happened to you matters a great deal to Him. But if you refuse to acknowledge the pain--and how you cope with it, you'll miss the beauty of this priceless truth. And the truth is, if Jesus appeared today He wouldn't be standing in a corner, tapping his foot, waiting for you to hurry up and forgive. Can't forgive TODAY? Relax.
Just two days ago, I found myself weary and a little angry with God. When I mentioned this to two sister-friends a look of concern came over their faces as if to say, "You shouldn't be mad at God. It's irreverent." Without hesitation, I replied, "It's okay to be mad at God. He's big, and He can take it." My comment gave way to gentle smiles.
The light from each of the four facets of this priceless jewel pierces my weariness and exposes the source of my anger: lack of control. Always, always, a lack of control.
What do YOU see?
Published on Friday, April 24, 2020 @ 8:13 AM CDT