What are you carrying around today? What burden is weighing you down? This morning as I was praying, God reminded me of this familiar verse:
1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
You can trust Him with your stuff. So comforting, isn’t it? God’s not up in heaven with His arms crossed thinking, “Hmph…I guess I’ll take that load off of your shoulders…if I REALLY have to.”
No! His arms are wide open and He is saying, “Give that worry to me. I want to help you. Won’t you let me? ”
I love how the Message Translation words 1 Peter 5:7-
“Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”
This is not an “if you do this first, then God will do this next” kinda situation. It’s exactly the opposite. We GET to live carefree because God LOVES taking care of us.
Webster’s dictionary defines “carefree” as having no worries or problems : free from care. We literally have the opportunity to turn our problems into prayers and our worries into worship. We are free from stress. We are free from anxiety. We are free from pressure.
God’s hands are big enough to hold the whole wide world as well as your small little piece of it. So go ahead. He’s on the edge of His seat just waiting for you to ask for His help.
Let Him show you just how much He cares for you. You see, it’s not just that He can handle it for you, it’s that He wants to!
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.”
1 Chronicles 16:8-11
Today I want to highlight Every Child Ministries through an article about a girl named Georgina. Mark Ellis tells us about Georgina’s life on the streets of Ghana before ECM took her to their Haven of Hope. She is now receiving an education as well as food and shelter. Her God-given dreams are being fostered in a loving, Christ-like environment. Take a minute and read her story. Be blessed as God invites you into the life of a beautiful girl from a different country and consider helping out this organization! Thanks!
The mighty Oak reaches out her limbs as if to say:
Gather ’round everyone! I have a story to tell. Come sit on my branches or climb to the top. Your choice! I can show you the forest and all that it offers. I can keep you safe in my entangled green brush.
She speaks in deep tones as she delivers her truth:
I have lived here for 200 years and have watched the seasons come and go. The birds build their nests in my magnificent shade and learn how to fly under my canopy. The squirrels collect my acorns as they prepare for the limitations of winter. Children run around my trunk playing hide and seek and jump in my rusty orange leaves of fall.
Her mysterious countenance reveals a secret:
When I was planted long ago, I had no idea how large I would become. I’ve grown and grown past my own sight yet I don’t feel overstretched or pulled beyond my ability. My deep roots keep me secure and confident as I expand up and out. The deeper my roots go down into the moist earth, the more leaves I sprout for the critters to eat, the more shade I provide to cover the birds from the rain, the more secure I am in my majesty and strength.
The mighty Oak laughs as she gives herself away:
NO matter the small beginnings, the changing seasons, or the quaking storms,
the Sun never forgot to shine on me.
photo credit: Thomasville Georgia ~ The Big Oak Tree ~ Historic Site via photopin (license)
photo credit: Arrival of Autumn via photopin (license)
photo credit: Angel Leads Me On via photopin (license)
photo credit: Paisaje de septiembre via photopin (license)
This past Saturday I ran the Go Girl Half Marathon.
It was the second race that I finished all by myself. And it felt good.
I signed up for it before my life took a tailspin out of control .
And then I didn’t want to do it because I was having a hard time getting up.
My training was hit or miss because of emotional stress.
My consistency was lacking because of my heartache.
But I showed up. (At 5:30am nonetheless.)
In the cold and windy darkness of the early morning.
I pushed past the pain of sore knees and tired soles.
Because I decided that I couldn’t do it for myself.
Not anymore. At first it was a personal achievement. A goal of pride.
But when my life got hard, it became a lesson in grace.
I was doing it for HIM. Because my focus was on what He did for me.
The very next day was EASTER Sunday.
The day we focus on the fact that Jesus showed up when He could’ve stayed away.
What if He had not run His race? What if He had left us hopeless and void of light?
What if Jesus never got up out of the ground?
Thank God that I don’t have to imagine such a thought.
Thank God I have His overcoming example to follow.
Thank God He enabled me to get up. To finish my race.
How do you speak to those in your world when an issue arises? What do you call out of them?
One of the things I’m the most passionate about is speaking with intention to everyone around me. Especially my family. Because if I can honor them with my speech first, then honoring those in this world will come naturally.
It’s hard to speak to my son’s potential when I notice him repeating the same frustrating patterns over and over again. But that’s when I rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to season my words with salt so I can respond to him in a gracious manner. (Colossians 4:6)
It’s crazy difficult to address my husband from the viewpoint that he has inherent worth when I only focus on the areas that he lets me down in our marriage. But that’s when I ask God to show me my hubby’s strengths so I can then speak to his amazing purpose.
I think I have the hardest time recognizing when I do this to myself. It’s so natural to resort to self-defeatism when messing up, isn’t it? But if I am really aiming to speak to other’s potential instead of their problems, then I have to include myself. Having eyes to see my flaws isn’t bad, but looking at the flaws more than I look at my flawless God can result in dishonor to not only myself, but to everyone around me.
If I can’t see my own worth through the lens of Christ’s love for me, then I’ll never be able to see it anyone else. And we are ALL made in the image of God. So we are ALL marked for greatness.
Today, this Good Friday, I challenge you (and myself) to consider the words you speak over yourself and others. Are they a good reflection of what God says about His chosen people? Are you misrepresenting the gospel by focusing more on mistakes then on the One who died for every single one of your sins?
Matthew 3:17 says, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” God not only said that about Jesus, but He says it about you and me. We are His adopted children. When we walk in this truth, then we can’t help but speak to the potential of those around us.
Let’s speak the Father’s heart today.
(For more of my thoughts on the importance of words, click on my past post here.)
photo credit: Chamber of Commerce via photopin (license)
What are you looking at? Are your eyes focused on the ground beneath your feet? Is your view darkened by your own grey shadow? Have you closed your eyes to preserve them only to lose sight of where you’re going?
Friend, look up. The sky above beckons you to feel the warmth of the sun. The crystal blue is brighter when you’re seeing it for the first time after experiencing the pain of it’s absence. The birds of the air flitter by in hopes that you will notice their morning song.
Don’t let the comfort of your limited view keep you from the spacious life waiting for you.
“We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
Romans 5:2 (MSG)
photo credit: Ruta 40 Rio Quimivil via photopin (license)
I’m entangled in your sweet refrains
Timeless rhythms keep me entertained
Moments of whimsy catch me by surprise
As sonnets sing softly over my dark nights
I’m consumed by your harmonic tunes
Wrapped up in your enchanting moods
Brilliant compositions soothe my weary soul
Classic notes play my senses like a lovesick fool
I’ve loved you madly since I was a child
Yet I’ve hated your guts all the while
The times I’ve melted in your melodic embrace
Equal the dissonance I’ve felt in light of memory’s face
For your friendship is a hauntingly beautiful song
With lyrics ever-changing as the days roll on
And while I long to forget yesterday’s resonating chant