Facing All Conditions {VOTD}

Today’s Scripture is the YouVersion‘s Verse of the Day –

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me (Phil. 4:13, GNT).

This Scripture declares that – my circumstances aren’t too much for God to handle. If we were sitting face-to-face in a “bare your true heart” setting, I would have to ‘fess up that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances.

Weight of Circumstances

. . . And, I am absolutely tired of feeling this way. I am weary in my mountain of circumstances, and ready for “almost any” vacation to spend a few days away. The only problem with the “need-a-vacation” way of thinking is – the eventual return to life as it is now. It doesn’t solve my problems.

As I write and think of my own circumstances weighing me down, I read a message from a former professor regarding a dear friend’s life-giving praise report of being cancer free. Like in hers, God is working mightily in many people’s lives – including mine. 

Focus

Though this life may seem long, I know it isn’t as long as we’d like to believe. Our lives are described as “no longer than the width of my hand. . . just a moment to [God]; at best, each of us is but a breath (Ps. 39:5, NLT).”

My focus needs to be on eternity. If my focus is found glancing around at my temporary life, then, obviously discouragement will surely find me.

As human beings, we need to focus on our Eternal God who is our Creator and the One in whom we find our purpose in life. God is the One who will supply us with life, guidance, and strength.

The “break” we need when life gets difficult isn’t found in a few days “away from it all,” but found in Jesus Christ. Our needed supernatural strength comes only from our Lord God.

Where Do We Turn?

I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the Lord, who created heaven and earth (Ps. 121:1-2, CEV).

We can seek answers in things, other than the Lord. Just because we have that freedom, it doesn’t mean they will meet our desperate needs. The psalmist is in active pursuit of real help. The pursuit is a deliberate one, and so should ours.

“How are we choosing to make Jesus Christ our Helpmate?” He is the One who will give us the answers we need, as we draw near and ask. He will either give us the answers or give us His peace along with contentment in the waiting.

Application

To whomever is reading this: Let’s draw near to the Lord our God and depend upon His strength.

This Scripture (Phil. 3:13) doesn’t guarantee that the conditions will subside. It says, we will have the strength to face all conditions. Choose today to –

  1. Focus on our great God and the power He holds in His hand.
  2. Realize He is the One Thing we need more than anything else. This relationship of trust through Jesus Christ is based on what God has done for us.
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The Jesus-Girl Who Reads Her Bible

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

Some of us are quite familiar with Psalm 1. Contrary to what one might think, it isn’t because of the actual Psalm itself. There is a different reason for it.

For myself I am familiar with many first chapters of the Bible, because I have “attempted” to read through a particular book of the Bible. Even though I am aware of the first chapter’s existence, this doesn’t mean I am without a lesson to learn. Neither are you, my friend, because God stands ready to meet us here.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night (Psalm 1:2, AMPC).

Instead you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night (MSG).

How much do you want to be an influential woman whose life is stamped by God’s transformative power?

We become God’s daughters, from the first moment of our responding to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. As God’s daughters, we are invited into a whole new world, that we would not be able to experience – outside of our spiritual adoption.

As God’s daughters, He wants to joyously overwhelm us with His presence and power. This happens, as we dive into His Word.

We are invited to sing – dance – jumping up and down – and thrill after God’s very word – the Bible! This is a desire God wants to give us, as His daughters. It is something we can only do, as God gives us that craving for the spiritual things.

While this world may leave us feeling empty, God wants to fill us up. He wants to make sure that our spiritual cup (lives) never run low on His living water (Jesus). God wants to make sure we stay satisfied, and it is in Him that we find such satisfaction.

In Jesus, we are made whole. Our faces don’t need a make-over, but our hearts do. God wants to give us a spiritual make-over and He does this, as we willfully seek Him through the Bible and prayer. God wants to give us the eternal make-over.

Reading the Bible needs to be something we habitually do. In our daily lives, let us run and grab our Bible at the chance of eating spiritually and becoming fully nourished.

Everything in our lives has a tendency of revealing how well (or unwell) we are being spiritually nourished. As we sit with Jesus, reading our Bibles, soaking up the Holy Spirit’s influence in our lives, we are being transformed. Our attitude changes from distasteful and anger-filled to that of a patient Jesus girl who loves and explodes with kindness on those around her.

When the Bible becomes our daily companion, God shows up in our lives – in growing amounts. As we go through our day today, may we become Jesus girls who run to Him and soak up His Bible-based truths – seeking to apply them!

A Day at the Hospital {The Prayer Offering}

Last night, I wrote about the goal in trials. My goal, during hard times, is to remember I am a daughter of the Most High God and allow this crucial identity to shape my thoughts, words, and actions.

Today, I was given the opportunity to put this into practice. I had an appointment at the county hospital. Things went right. Things went wrong. But, the biggest achievement? It was simply remaining as quiet as possible, as Trigeminal Neuralgia talked to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

As long as I stay quieter on the rough days, I can avoid saying things that might hurt, rather than help, someone. My ability to control the kind of words – becomes harder, as the symptoms become more intense. The temptation to use hurtful words is definitely there.

The Heart-Felt Prayer

Today was a day of praying for God’s peace and presence. In my life, I have little control over how I feel on a given day (with the exception of my attitude).

What I can do is control how I respond to trials. So I responded, by “trying” to stay quiet. This was both easy and difficult. It was easy, until the moment of leaving the hospital to go home. Then, the overwhelming symptoms and impatience kicked into gear.

The good news is – I survived my long hospital day. I am preparing to have surgery in about 1.5 weeks. We had appointments scheduled for today and Friday, but by God’s grace and faithful prayers of others – I was able to get it all done today.

What We Need

The truth is. . . We need to pray over our souls for His peace and presence. This is what we need more than anything.

We can survive many things, but only with Jesus Christ leading the way. I don’t know about you, but nothing soothes my anxiety quite like the peace and presence of our great Savior, King Jesus, can.

If you are finding yourself in a rough spot tonight, begin praying over your souls for His peace and presence to overwhelm you. When we are overwhelmed by God, His presence, and unimaginable peace, we are in the best place possible to overcome our trials. They will not overcome us, but we will be able to overwhelm them with our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, overwhelm our souls with Your peace and presence. We live in a difficult world. You remind us in John 16:33 that we will face troubles in this life, but You offer to us a peace that is nothing like this world’s. Overwhelm us with Your peace and presence. Thank You, Lord! Amen.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7, TLB).

I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Until next time,

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The Man I Met {You Can Meet Him Too}

Today, I am met with a man. A man who probably isn’t that much different from me. In Luke 5, we meet a man who is covered with leprosy. The disease has ran its course, and reached its capacity.

. . . And, he is sicker than he has ever been.

The Emotions

 It so happened that, as Jesus was in one particular town, there was a man whose body was riddled with a virulent skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face. ‘Lord,’ he begged, ‘if you want, you can make me clean.’ – Luke 5:12

Illness brings heavy emotions, difficulty thinking, and crazy sleeping patterns, which admittedly is on top of the “typical” symptoms of our health issue.

While emotions can be beautiful and exhilarating, it can be a heavy burden to carry as well.

The emotions might be worse than the actual medical condition. It sticks to our side like glue, and reminds us of what we do not have. It reminds us of the past we cannot go back to, where we once had our family/friends and a place to call home.

. . . This is what this leper faced, and the reality for many of us on a daily basis. 

The life we once knew is – dissolved. Our new life is confusing. And, rarely understood by those nearest to us. They know not the debilitating emotions we struggle with. Even if it is suffocating, others often do not see the enormous burden we carry.

. . . But there is One who knows exactly what we face, as He is the only One who can carry us through this mess!

The Jesus I Know

I appreciate this man who is known only by his debilitating condition, because he knew the struggle, experienced the heavy emotions, and went running to King Jesus! He ran until he reached Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the answer.

. . . Jesus loved him {and us} and delights in taking care of us {just as He delighted in caring for this broken man}.

This Jesus is the same one who holds my heart. Jesus came, went to the cross, died and rose again to be with me. So, I may have peace with my Father.

My heart is safely held by Jesus, even on my worst day.

. . . He is my Protector, Comforter, and Friend.


This man encountered Jesus, and was changed.

Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ And the skin disease disappeared immediately. – Luke 5:13

Honestly, this is enough to bring me to my knees. The man ran to Jesus, and was wholly welcomed as he was. We are, too.


Our Invitation

Just as Jesus welcomed this man, we are welcomed and invited to come running to Him right now. We don’t have to wait until x, y, and z resolves itself. We can come to Jesus right now.

. . . Jesus invites us to come to Him. Weariness, heavy circumstances, and all, we are invited to simply come to Him.

New Year’s “Hang Over”

Tonight is New Year’s Eve. I made a plan last week to go out to a little party thing. Today, I tossed and turned about going. The habit of living fearlessly is something we can all pursue. I do, for the most part, try and keep on the fearless mask. However this whole “fearless” act I have going on, well I was not that for a good part of today.

I am one of those people whose personality traits include: introversion and being highly sensitive (otherwise known as HSP).

Obviously, it sounds easier to stay home at this point. Right? I mean, I could have used pouring rain as an excuse. I have loads of excuses, besides the valid one of “people freak me out” (a whole new level of honesty, I know). I really do love people, friends, family, random strangers I connect with, as long as I have room in my human interaction cup.

I literally have nothing to offer anyone if my human interaction cup is full

Excuses Versus . . .

I had a moment of realization tonight. I do things like attend social gatherings, when part of me struggles with it, because I want to honor God with my entire life. If it wasn’t for God, I would not push past the fears or moments of struggling to face the world when my spirit is hung over (detailed explanation below). It’s pretty simple for me. They say you need a “why,” for goals and such.

Here is my why: I don’t want to miss out on opportunities to bless God, because I was too afraid. So, I wrestle between being fearful versus fearless. On one side, I have introversion where human interaction can literally suffocate my spirit. And on another, I have the hindrance of being a highly sensitive person where too much stimulation causes me to run away and never return if given the option.

I want Jesus, my King, to be lifted high in my life. And I know, God can do miraculous things – even when I am scared out of my mind.

… Jesus is why I can step out of my comfort zone and face peopling, even when my spirit screams “I am done for the week. I need silence!”

The Hang Over

With peopling and being overstimulated (noise, lighting, people, reacting more deeply, etc), I face something I call a “hang over”. It is simply from overwhelming my spirit. My spirit becomes intensely weighed down, that it is hard to interact with anyone in a meaningful conversation or watch a favorite show without adding to it. My spirit is just scattered, beyond overwhelmed, and struggling to just get through it. My spirit, in some ways, becomes paralyzed. Everything becomes difficult. That is the best way to describe it to a non-introvert.

… And, the answer is “recharging”. I have to take a “time out,” and allow myself to recover. I have to allow myself the time and space to process and recover from the past few days or weeks of human interaction and a heavy load of stimuli.

Jesus Christ, my Beloved Savior, is the One who walks me through this process of welcoming the new year and process through the past few days or weeks.