Five Minute Friday: Walking Steady

As a woman with knees badly damaged from an auto accident and feet crippled from peripheral neuropathy and degenerative arthritic conditions, walking is a challenge. I use a walker daily to keep me steady on my feet, and when I’m going somewhere that will require extended walking my wheechair is needed.

This week, God has been speaking to me about a different kind of walking steady, about spiritually walking steady. Difficult circumstances such as the ones we are currently facing add great stress to our lives, and as Christians this puts us in a battle. Will we give into our emotions, or will be continue to stand strong and walk steadily in the Lord? God’s Word makes the correct choice clear.

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For many years, I’ve had the habit of spending the first part of my day as a type of spiritual prep time for the day ahead. So this week, doing this came naturally. But on the other hand, this wasn’t a typical week in this area. My sense of need to spend time in God’s presence and hear from Him was so intense that it got me out of bed earlier than usual. And each day, God graciously met me in the place I have set aside for this.

On Monday, before I even got out of bed, God spoke to my heart that I was to study the first thirteen verses of Hebrews 12, which was not on my scheduled reading plan for the day. As I obeyed, God opened my eyes to some encouraging truths in this passage that I had never noticed before.

Verses 12-13 especially stood out to me: “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Sensing God wanted me to take the time to really understand what He was saying here, I did some word studies in the original Greek. Where the English translation says “weak knees,” the Greek says “palsied knees.” As the mother of an adult son with extremely severe cerebral palsy, this had special and clear meaning to me. And for the rest of this week, during my quiet times God has continued to bring new insights to my heart all coming out of these first thirteen verses of Hebrews 12.

I don’t know what circumstances you are currently facing, but perhaps God is also speaking to your heart of a need to walk steady spiritually. If so, I pray you will set aside an unhurried time each morning of this coming week to hear from God. Whatever the need, God is waiting to open your eyes to exactly the truth you need to continue a steady walk with Him in your current situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Healing Doesn’t Happen

An honest article about healing by a friend.

CJGodHasAPlanToday is a pain day. Every once in awhile, they creep up. The pain is severe and uncontrollable and obviously, unwelcome. I have had people ask me why God doesn’t heal me. I’ve had people ask me if I have even asked for healing. I have had people ask me if I believe He can do it.

Yes, I do believe He can. But right now, I do believe He won’t.

I don’t believe He doesn’t heal people – I know He does. I have seen it happen before with my own eyes. I just believe it is not the time for me to be healed. Sometimes healing doesn’t happen. But I believe healing doesn’t happen because God has a different plan for you.

When it is just you and pain, you join with Christ for relief. Even if there is no healing. Sometimes He allows the pain to…

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Five Minute Friday: Worth

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In forty-five years of walking with Jesus, I’ve suffered grief in all kinds of trials. Losing our firstborn daughter in an automobile accident. A miscarriage. A severely handicapped son who is totally dependent upon others to meet all his needs. Alzheimer’s touching our lives twice. My own long list of chronic illnesses. None of these circumstances have been easy to walk through.

Yet God’s purposes are being accomplished in and through my life. As I look back over my life, even I can see how much my faith has grown. According to human logic, faith grows as we experience miracles and are blessed. But according to God’s reasoning, faith grows as it is refined by fire. It may not make sense to me, but I know it is true.

And as I reflect back on my life, I can only reach one conclusion. The more I’ve gone through, the more my faith and love for my Lord has grown. Lord, You are worth it all!

 

Winning Over Worry: Betrayal

The following is a short devotional I wrote on Psalm 55, to share with a group I work with. I decided to also share it on my blog today, since it is a subject many ladies with chronic illness struggle with.

 

Few things are more painful than the betrayal of a close friend. The pain of unfaithfulness by someone we trust is difficult to deal with, and though Psalm 55 does not give us any details on what had happened we can feel David’s hurt.

In this situation, David knew what to do. In his distress, he cried out to the Lord for help. Three things stood out to me in these verses.
1. David honestly expressed the pain he was feeling, pouring out the anguish of his heart to God.
2. David also prayed in faith, expecting the Lord to hear and respond.
3. This was not a one time prayer: evening, morning and noon David cried out the his God for help. Apparently, peace did not come the first time David prayed, so he continued praying until he was confident that God was in control and would help him.

Victory over worry isn’t always a quick and easy process. But honestly telling the Lord (and sometimes others whom we trust) what we are facing is a key to winning over worry. Pray in both honesty and trust, and keep praying until you sense breakthrough. No matter what you are facing today, apply these three steps of prayer to have victory over worry.

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Getting through the wilderness

An encoraging article by a friend.

Shepherdess for the King

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you: my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. -Psalm 63:1 NLT

Dry. Hot. Weary. Thirsty. Oh, so thirsty.

I have never been or had the desire to go to a desert. However, I know what it’s like to be really dry and thirsty on a hot summer’s day. All I want at this point is a very large glass of water. Until I get one, I complain about the heat and the thirst and fuss about things until I get that glass of water.

When I finally get a glass of water. I guzzle it down instead of sipping. I don’t enjoy it. I am just desperate to be hydrated. I’m so thirsty, I don’t’ savour the water. I just get it down my throat…

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Five Minute Friday: Expect

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to expect is:

  • to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of
  • to consider probable or certain

That sounds just like the biblical definition of hope, which is my Word of the Year for 2017. And hope is exactly what I’m needing to hold onto today.

This has been a difficult week for our family, a week of problems that in ourselves we have no solution for. But it has also been a week of choosing to hold onto hope. Hope that our problems, while they seem huge to us, are not too big for God.

This has been a week of expectancy, of believing that God is able to meet the needs we have no way to handle on our own. Of expecting His help. It has been a time of wondering how God is going to come through for us this time, but still trusting that He will.

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When we fail to stand in hope in the midst of difficult circumstances, fear and anxiety invade our hearts. My decision this week has been to win over worry and fear by holding onto God’s Word.

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭23:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God’s Roadmap for the Future

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As I was seeking God’s direction concerning what to write for this week’s Five Minute Friday post, the above words of the apostle Paul came to mind. And along with them, the realization that this is God’s direction for our future.

  • Leave Behind.  The first thing God calls us to do as we look toward the future is to let go of the past. We usually think of this in terms of leaving behind our failures and regrets, and that’s a part of it. But in context of Philippians 3, Paul was referring to leaving behind the good things too – the things he had done that made him appear righteous according to the law.
  • Press On.  We are to press on with understanding of God’s purpose for our lives. As Paul said in Ephesians 2:10, we were “… created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are to press on with the goal of fulfilling those good works.
  • Keep Our Eyes on the Final Destination. Know we are on our way to heaven, and turn our eyes and heart in that direction. Keeping an eternal perspective is an important part of moving forward through the difficulties of our current lives. It helps us to keep our eyes on living to please God on every step for the journey.

So today, let go of what lies behind, whether good or bad, and press forward into the future God has for you. And all the while, keep your eyes on our end destination, our ultimate future when Christ returns for His Bride.