Driving in Texas, I saw a tow truck with tow lift in the back that looked much like a cross.
It reminded me: With Jesus, we’re never stalled. Jesus who was high and lifted also lifts us and carries us to safety.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Ps. 91:11-12
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock… Ps. 27:5
Jesus is our ever-present tow truck…He carries us, in his power to where we were meant to go. He delivers us to safety when we let Him bring us.
Just think, when life stalls, Jesus is our hope.
When we feel we might break down, he waits for us.
When we are quite certain we just got our self into a car crash –
he lifts us above the shattered glass and broken metal – to safety.
When we feel down and out, he lifts our spirits up as we seek an eternal view of our problems.
Where does your life feel stalled? Broken? Injured? Unrecoverable.
You know, when I was about 17, I totaled my parent’s van. It wasn’t my fault – a Mac truck hit me. My gas chamber exploded on impact and, when the police arrived, the said they were surprised I was alive. They said that the car should have exploded – with me in it. Things reeked of gas.
My van got towed away. I stood there.
We never know the small ways God is saving us, the ways he is towing us to something greater.
But, every day, we can choose faith. Faith that says: Father, daddy, I believe that you have a plan in my heartache and a plan through my pain.
For the fact of the matter is – if you’re still breathing, God is still purposing to use you. If you are still waking in the morning, he is still working. And, if you are still moving, he is guarding you.
Do not lose hope. Don’t lose faith. And, certainly, don’t give up.
God is towing you to straight into deliverance – whether on earth or in heaven. Hope in him and his great power to lift us, really, can never be lost.
My husband and I decided, after I returned to the car from grabbing coffee inside a busy supermarket, the answer to this question is the difference between peace and panic.
We pondered this thought because he’d literally just placed himself in a position of worry. You see, while I was inside procuring two grande Americano’s, he could have chosen to wait in a peaceful low-stress parking spot, however he didn’t. Instead, he drove his car right up to the front lane and waited right where all the traffic was. Sure, he pulled to the side and put on his hazard lights, but, by doing this, he put centered himself in a lane of stress, worry and anxiety.
The whole time he fretted: I don’t want to be in anyone’s way. I don’t want to cause any issues. I don’t want to annoy people.
In his haste to be efficient, he had wasted precious moments of peace. How often do we do the same thing? How often do we place ourself – front and center – right into a position of worry?
Recently, I’ve been waking up, putting the final touches on my blog post and sending it out. Usually, no more than 1 minute after I press send on the blog post – a kid wakes up. Then, I stress.
Because of my distraction, I missed connection with God. I was rushed. I’m angry at myself.
Day-in and day-out, though, I do the same thing.
Why am I putting myself in a position of worry?
Why am I repeatedly subjecting myself to the same outcome?
I can make a change. I can decide to take 10 extra minutes at night to do what the morning is stealing away from God. I can choose to place myself, not in the center of worry, but in a place of peace. You can too.
Creating a place of peace is:
Considering what to reschedule to make more time for your kids.
Relaxing your mind in prayer instead of regurgitating your ongoing mistakes.
Choosing to speak less rather than speaking in a way that hurts a loved one.
Deciding to stop ruminating on the past, so you can remain present in the moment.
Eating breakfast in the morning, so you don’t turn into a ball of anxiety by 11:30.
Letting people handle own their problems, rather than feeling you have to fix them all.
Asking God to handle what you can’t.
Halting your place of worry, by taking pro-active steps to figure out a new path to peace.
What might need changing so you can park your mind in a place of peace?
Today, I welcome Christy Underwood! She is not only my dear friend, but she is also a woman who fights to stand strong in Christ. I admire her perseverance and endurance. I think you will too. May her story below be an inspiration to you.
The ultrasound tech asked, “How many pregnancies have you had?”
What’s even tougher is learning at your first ultrasound that there’s nothing in the sac. Nothing. That was a first – and I was devastated.
On my way home from the doctor’s office, I heard the song “Come Alive (Dry Bones),” by Lauren Daigle:
“Breathe, oh breath of God Now breathe, oh breath of God Breathe, oh breath of God, now breathe
As we call out to dry bones Come alive, come alive We call out to dead hearts Come alive, come alive.”
Ezekiel once saw dry bones in a vision. God told Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones. When he did, God put breath in them and they came to life. I knew the story behind the song before I was pregnant. Hearing it this time, I cried. I badly wanted God to breathe life into me, into my baby.
In the days ahead, I had bloodwork done, and my hormone levels were consistent with a normal pregnancy but not rising as much as expected. I still was hopeful, but, at our next ultrasound the result was the same: No life. No baby.
There are no words to explain the sinking feeling.
Yet through this heartache, amazingly, I’ve experienced more of God’s love. It’s unlike anything the world can offer. Sure, I’ve wept – and wept, but God extended strength, peace, and joy during the difficult times. I’m not depressed. I’m not anxious. Only God, the Creator of all good things, could have carried me through this.
Do you ever stop to consider God’s point of view when you’re going through a hard time?
He’s a good, loving Father. When I see my daughter hurting, my heart breaks. I desire to give her good things. Yet, because I love her, at times, I must withhold things for her benefit.
God could have given us this child, but maybe He didn’t because He wants me to share my story with others who have experienced loss. Maybe He saw how this would strengthen my faith and the faith of others. Maybe He saw how He would be glorified.
And, maybe, God intervenes more than I realize, maybe, more than – we – realize…
I started reading Safe in the Arms of God by John MacArthur. Here, it occurred to me, God might have prohibited a situation from happening that would have been even more difficult.
Maybe I don’t need to know it all…maybe I just need to trust a good, loving Father.
Yes, I continue to pray for a child, but I want God’s plan for my life more than a child. I choose to trust Him for myself, my husband, and my daughter. Trusting for my daughter is the most difficult. Sometimes I want another child more for her than for me. God reminds me that I need to trust Him. Isn’t it hard though when we think we know what’s best?
These words encourage me. I hope they encourage you too:
When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move When you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through When you don’t give the answers As I cry out to you I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you.
– Song, Trust in You by Lauren Daigle
Whether it seems big or small, God cares and desires to reveal His love for you. He wants to breathe new hope, joy and peace into what we look at as dead, dry and done with. Even with Jesus, what looked dead, at the right time, came alive. Day by day, let’s trust God, even when our plans don’t seem to align with His.
Prayer: God, thank you for who You are. You are a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Help us to trust in You when we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Help us to keep our minds and thoughts on You instead of the worries of this world. Help us to expect You to show up, that we would feel Your love and know the peace that only You can bring. Amen.
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Christy is a wife, a mother to one sweet girl, and a speech therapist. She’s lived in Southern California her whole life. Kelly and Christy met in their early 20s at a church retreat and have supported each other through all of the crazy transitions life keeps bringing.
Kelly’s must-add words about Christy: Christy is faithful. She pursues God in a way where she doesn’t let her heart quit. I admire her, I love her and I thank her for using her extreme difficulty as a God-exalting opportunity. Daddy is well pleased.
I stood in line at the drug store, arms loaded with candy and party supplies. My son had done some good listening and as I promised, we were going to do a “movie party.” He paced, streamers and balloons in hand, excited to get home. But, with the line 7 people deep, and a woman tapping her foot behind me, I started to get irritated.
That woman behind me is too close. She’s breathing down my neck. Great, now she’s panting. Look at her now – she’s showing off her exasperated stance. There are better ways, lady, to show you’re impatient. Jeesh! Look around! We’re all waiting and wanting to get out of here.
I wanted to turn around and inform her to take a chill pill and to come back a different day – one when I wasn’t in front of her. But, of course, God had other plans; He tugged. Listening, I reluctantly shushed my inner voice of selfishness to hear God’s inner voice of selflessness.
She’s sick, Kelly. She’s real sick. There is often more than meets the eye, darling.
Rather than looking at her as enemy #1, I can choose to be the compassionate one.
Rather than seeing things from my limited view, I can see from God’s caring view.
Rather than keeping space, I can offer her, through Christ, access to a better place.
I breathed deep. I was about to do something, I really, really, didn’t want to do.
But, with Christ, you suddenly do what you thought you couldn’t. It’s a typical thing in a Christian’s life. I asked her if she wanted to swap places with me in line.
“No, thank you. I am in a lot of back pain. I am getting surgery next week.”
God never leads wrong.
“Good lesson God.”
I bought the stuff and left. But, no sooner had I got to the car, than I realized I left a bag inside. Walking and debating internally about why these little blunders happen – why we have to be pressed for time and then do something to throw everything off, I grabbed the lost bag and the wandering kid. I ran back to the car. That’s when I saw her. There she was (she still hadn’t left?). She was in the handicap space, hunched, shoulders slumped. She stared off.
“Now God? Bad timing, God.”
I approached her window…
“What’s your name,” I asked her, “I want to pray for you, later.”
So, I prayed for her right then and there, in the parking lot. Over her procedure. Over the surgeon. Over her peace.
She said thanks. We left.
“Get off me God, haven’t I done enough?!”
Yet, I’ve learned, to turn away from God is to turn away from all things good. So, I listened to Him: Kelly what you prayed for was good, but it wasn’t great. Believing is great, especially when you believe in more than meets the eye.
He yanked. What God prompted in my heart was:
Kelly, your unbelief often holds me back. Who are you to limit me?
What is man that you are mindful of him… Ps. 8:4
Okay, God, I guess I could have prayed with greater faith. I guess I could have believed that if you heal my little girl’s boo-boo’s you could heal that big girl’s boo-boo too.
Who am I to limit God? Why not ask for the biggest, the best and the bold things?
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Mt. 21:22
With this, I admit to you today, friends: I’m done holding back God’s unlimited power because of my limited mind. Today, I am pulling the leash off my prayer life. I’m going to rush to God, full-throttle, with the biggest, the best and the boldest prayers there are. Care to join me?
Where have you boxed in God?
Where have you determined grounds too off limits for his miraculous hands?
Where are you panting, exasperated and needing healing?
What we don’t believe by faith, we won’t see by faith.
What we cannot imagine and cannot fathom, won’t really happen.
What we don’t give a chance, remains unchanged.
Yet, what we believe in, God works in.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Mt. 21:22
Decisively, join me today, and choose to believe bigger.
Then, believe it, but be prepared, also, to receive it.
Be warned, though, this is not a prosperity gospel, name-it-and-claim-it type deal. What I am talking about here – it rings differently. It sounds like: God, you can do what you want to do, and in what you want to do, don’t let me be the one to limit you.
It is done by a person who understands: the launching pad for God’s astounding plan is at the point of belief.
What’s the worst case scenario? You are let down? Embarrassed? Made to feel awkward?
What’s the best case scenario? Someone’s life is changed forever. They see the actual power of Jesus. They are left never the same for it.
Let the power of Christ out. Unleash it.
Why not believe his greatness is bigger than your mind’s capacity to understand him?
Today, I am welcoming Michele Cushatt. Michele is she knows what it’s like to lose her footing, and to wonder if she’d ever again be able to stand. But she also knows what it’s like to cry out to God for grace and discover the miracle of His Presence and His Purpose right here, right now. You will love her words….
Comment for the chance to win Michelle’s book and her I AM scripture cards:
The storm hit hard and fast and without warning.
Several hours before, we’d loaded kids and adults into our family boat for a day of skiing and tubing on Las Vegas’ Lake Mead. The day started in perfection. Blue sky dotted with cotton clouds. Bright sun reflecting on glasslike waters.
It was the first time we’d taken my niece out on the boat. Only three years old, she took it all in with giggles and wide-eyed wonder.
But the laughter died the moment the storm struck. Cotton clouds turned ominous. Glasslike waters turned foamy and whitecapped. With a glance at the shore, I knew it would take more than a few minutes to get to safety. But with each second, the swells grew, threatening to overcome our tiny boat.
I reached for my niece, pulled her onto my lap, and held her close while my husband kept his hands white-knuckled on the wheel. To drive directly to shore, we had to steer straight into the gale-force wind. But to drive into the wind meant a risk of capsizing. We needed to get off the water. But how?
I closed my eyes and prayed. As my three-year-old niece gripped my arms, my heart reached for the God I knew could deliver us.
Save us, God!
I hoped for a Jesus-sized miracle, like the day He spoke to a Sea of Galilee storm, and wind and waves came to a dead stop (Mark 4:39).
But our storm continued. In spite of my faith-filled prayers, Jesus didn’t deliver. If anything, the wind grew in intensity. I tried to stay calm for the kids, but my heart pounded with fear. I grew up on boats, knew a storm or two. But nothing like this one. Not even close.
While my brother navigated from the bow in an effort to keep the boat balanced, my husband started cutting z formations in the water. Turning left, then right kept him from driving straight into the wind. As a result, we inched closer to the shore.
Our nightmare lasted about an hour, a lifetime to a family who thought they might drown. Soaked and cold, weak from fear, we pulled ourselves and our boat out of the water and made for the safety of home. There I could finally contemplate my nagging questions:
Why didn’t God deliver us?
Why didn’t He calm the storm? I knew He was more than able; I believed it to my core. Thus the reason I prayed, because I knew my God could deliver.
And still the storm raged, oblivious to my request. Even so. We made it home. It took years for the lesson to have its full impact on my heart. For a long time I wondered why some storm-prayers are answered with calm and others are not. But now I see that day on Lake Mead a bit differently: Sometimes God delivers us from a storm. But other times He delivers us in it.
That day on the lake, God gave my husband the wisdom to z his way back to shore. God kept the boat balanced in waves far bigger than it could handle. And He kept all our children and family members wrapped up in life vests and out of the water. He didn’t still the storm. But He calmed my kids and gave us a great story to tell our friends.
To those praying for a Deliverer, John 10:10 records Jesus making a powerful proclamation: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
I always loved that verse, probably because it sounded like the promise of a happy life. Naively, I believed Jesus’ words included protection from all harm. Like a divine umbrella, God would spread the expanse of His arms over me and my loved ones and keep us from all rain.
It didn’t take long to end up soaking wet.
But that’s when I remembered more of Jesus’ words, only six chapters later in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble.”
Not “might have trouble.” Not “could have trouble.” “In this world you will have trouble.” It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. The same Jesus who promised deliverance also promised trouble. At first glance, Jesus’ words sound contradictory. And yet His life proves otherwise. It was His death that made possible our lives. Hardship to realize hope. Trouble today for the promise of a party tomorrow.
Can I trust Jesus to deliver me through one to arrive at the other?
The unexpected is unavoidable. My dream of a trouble-free life was more than a little far-fetched. It doesn’t matter whether you live in an affluent suburb of upper-class America or in an overcrowded slum of poverty-stricken India. The rain falls on each of us in good measure.
The question, then, is this: do you trust the Deliverer?
He’s the hiding place, the shelter in the rain. Yes, there are moments when God delivers you and me from our troubles. Children overcome obstacles, illnesses are healed, marriages are revived.
But more often than not, He doesn’t deliver us from harm; He delivers us in it.
The first is merely protection. The second is presence. The first causes us to cringe, as we wait for the next calamity to fall. The second provides a harbor of rest, regardless of the weather.
Life is more than calm and predictable circumstances. Life—full life—is weathering the unexpected storms and the impossible waves knowing the Deliverer is present with you in them.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. —John 16:33
These words pulled from the pages of Michele’s most recent book—I Am: A 60-day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is—were penned during her long and grueling recovery from a third diagnosis of tongue cancer, during which she was permanently altered physically, emotionally and spiritually. In it, she speaks with raw honesty and hard-earned insight about our current identity epidemic and the reason why our best self-help and self-esteem tools aren’t enough to heal our deepest wounds.
Michele and her husband, Troy, live in the mountains of Colorado with their six children, ages 9 to 24. She enjoys a good novel, a long walk, and a kitchen table filled with people. Learn more about Michele @ michelecushatt.com.
From the moment a woman wakes until she falls, exhausted, on her pillow, one question plagues her at every turn:
Am I enough?
The pressure to do more, be more has never been more intense. Online marketing. Self-help books. Movies, magazines and gym memberships. Even church attendance and social media streams have become a means of comparing ourselves to impossible standards. Am I pretty enough? Hip enough? Spiritual enough?
We fear the answer is “No.”
When a brutal bout with cancer changed how she looked, talked, and lived, Michele Cushatt embarked on a soul-deep journey to rediscover herself. The typical self-esteem strategies and positivity plans weren’t enough. Instead, she needed a new foundation, one that wouldn’t prove flimsy when faced with the onslaught of day-to-day life.
I Am reminds us that our value isn’t found in our talents, achievements, relationships, or appearance. It is instead found in a God who chose us, sent us, and promised to be with us—forever.
The lady was confident. That was my first issue with her.
If she was just beautiful and – not confident, she might not have bothered me. But, she was SO sure of herself. She knew she was made of. No one in the world could tell her otherwise! No one could stop her! She brought her brilliance with her wherever she went!
She sat like the statue of liberty. I was a small seagull whose job was to soak in her glory.
It didn’t help she had a great job and wouldn’t shut up about it. That really irked me, because at this time, I had a horrible job and I loved to whine about it. I have too much work! I can’t do it! I need a new job!
This lady spoke to my husband differently: My job is a dream! My boss is inspirational. My life is fantastic!
Puh-lease….someone pass me the salt shaker – so I can pour it on her head.
I could almost see it, me – the small one, salt-shaker in hand – wrecking her moment. Her, the large-and-in-charge one melting like the Wicked Witch of the West.
But, she is not wicked. I am. Ever asked yourself…Why am I thinking this way?
I sat back in my chair, tuned out her conversation and considered – why am I thinking so – meanly?
Her strength is depleting mine.
Her success is ruining my moment.
Her great attitude defines me as less than.
Her belief in herself is stealing my joy.
Why does one woman have such a great impact – on me? Can 1 lady take away all of God’s promises with 1 sparkly super-white smile?
Is this what God intended? For me to hate girls who are happy, successful and beautiful?
Somehow, in this moment, I know my heart has followed a rabbit trail – straight away from God’s glory. I’ve gone got myself stuck in a pit now.
Have you found yourself in a pit lately? Perhaps someone shines better than you? Always has a perfect answer? Has the job of all jobs? Is PTA mom extraordinaire? Is driving your dream car? Has perfect kids? Constantly shows off Facebook vacations?
God says, our pits are escapable, with his help. “He lifted me out of the slimy pit…he set my feet on a rock & gave me a firm place to stand.”
God has the strength to lift me up from the yuck I put myself in.
When I set my eyes on God, not her, he, like a medivac, pulls me to safety. Choose to stand upon the solid rock – the ground that is not sinking. , that is not wavering and that will not quake under the pressure of earthly measures.
Here, I see: I am not less than, I am just right in God’s eyes.
I am not struggling, but victorious, because I am chosen as daughter.
I am not without a plan, because God has created good works for me in advance. I am not alone, for God sees the desires of my heart.
I am not dependent on others, but fully dependent on God – and who he says I am.
I pull out of my thoughts and find myself at that restaurant table. Her voice emerges, except it no longer sounds like nails on a chalkboard, but another girl, who’s excited to be who she is created to be. I mention how blessed she is to have a good job. She smiles. We talk – and have fun.
I approached him, “Get your backpack. We need to get in that car.”
He marched right past me holding the shovel like a sword, swinging it as if he just won a war. He wasn’t going anywhere, this I knew. My words floated over him like the wind. His eyes were dead set on the game he was playing.
I was annoyed, for what stood between me and peace – was a 5-year old, a pretend game and a wrestling match of words that was about to explode.
What is standing in between you and peace? Between you and God?
For me it is distractions. Consider this: Just 5 minutes before my son’s victory march I was praying to God, asking him to be with me and wanting to walk forward in his love. So, what happened?
(Deep breath.) 3 distractions bubbled up – ones that so often pull me off track:
I let the demands of this world, steal my delight in the Creator.
I allow urgency to replace intimacy – between me and God.
I let destination take precedence over God’s invitation to let loose.
(Another deep breath.) When I am worried about time, (I don’t have enough of it, I am stressed out by it, I am going to be late, I am missing out, I am too old, I am too young, I should be somewhere already, I don’t want to wait, I must think about my future, rather than be present) I work myself into a tizzy. And, here, in all my trembling – I can’t see God.
…But all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life…so no fruit is produced. (Mark 4:19)
I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord the best, with as few distractions as possible. (1 Cor. 7:35)
If I am distracted I can’t as easily be engaged with God. If I am worried about many things, I can’t be enthralled by the One thing. If I am trying to press through a tight knit schedule, I can’t as easily press peace into this world.
I want more. Do you? I want to take God through my day with me. Not just in the morning time, but all the time. Not just when I think of him, but as I do everything. I want to invite in his love so I can spread his love.
No longer do I want to fear the rush, the clock and the game – that calls me to sprint ahead, but I want to stop and sit and savor and sip up God’s goodness. Maybe you do too…
For we serve a God who is limitless and unbound by time. The truth is, he can work within any barrier that lays before us. He just outstretches his hand and it expands in a way where we can do what we once thought we couldn’t.
Just yesterday, I met up with a friend. She’s stuck in a foreign prison. She can’t find her way out. Jesus saved her for heaven, but on earth, she nearly lives daily in hell. Depression, despair and dejection have claimed her.
When I got home, she was all I could think about. The way her tears broke down her face, the way her heart was spread out on the table and the way it seemed there was no way out.
I wish I had been there for her more.
We live is in a world of hurt; there is no denying that. And, where I sit is in a chair, angry, I can’t fix things. I can’t rework their lives. I can’t restructure the story or rewind the tape. Oh, how badly I want to get up like a super-genie with blonde hair, an explosive attitude, with a good sprinkle of Jesus, and just swipe away the pain, as if I’m sending them back to those smiling pictures of old. I want them to go – back there.
But, I can’t swipe it all away. I can’t swear it away. I can’t superwoman it away either.
Here pain stands.
And so do I.
What will I do this time?
What will you?
Because the pain of the world isn’t going anywhere. And neither are needy people. Here we all are. Look left, you’ll see her – in the wheelchair. Look right, you’ll remember, yes, that person, who lost their spunky 30-year old spouse. Look across the street, you’ll see him, the dad with tired eyes and a drug addict child.
See what you try not to see, today.
They walk everywhere. I guess the real question is, what will we do? Will we continue on with our day or will we step in to a new way?
10 Ways to Be There For Someone Going through a Hard Time
Realize you are just as needy. Think you don’t have problems? Think again. Meet your neediness first.
Soften your heart. Let your covering of to-do’s fall to the ground. Let judgements go. See afresh.
Smile. Smile at yourself because today, you are choosing to go a new way. Who you abandoned in the past, is forgiven by Christ Jesus.
Ask God for His eyes to see.
Recognize. What you think needs fixing, God may think is down-right astonishing when seen from the angle of his great plan.
Don’t be a Mrs. or Mr. Fix it or Madam Know-it-all. Refuse to allow pride to break the stride of God’s perfect love and timing.
Be. Be in the moment with your own feelings and emotions. Listen from this place and love in that space.
Pray with all your heart, then act as the Holy Spirit leads.
Expect the Lord to be faithful through your prayers. Even more, expect him to grow you along the way.
Enjoy. Enjoy what the Lord is doing, even if it looks nothing like you thought.
A weird thing happens as you love, you find out God is loving you. He gives back what you are giving and he gives out what the other person’s soul most quenches. All of a sudden, what happens is you – and them – are unified. It is not about pity, judgement or charity, it is about two souls in need, hungering and seeking for more. Drawing strength, building hope and seeking rescue. It is a beautiful thing. It is God in action. It is – lives – coming alive. And – it is never too late to find.
My son lives like a son. Meaning, he takes all momma wants to give him. If I walk in with a plate of cookies, he dives into them. If I offer him a hug, he runs up to get it in full. If I sit down with him, he delights in showing me things. If he gets injured, he runs to me and asks how I might help. He takes what I give, eagerly and willingly.
Somehow he knows where he is –is safe. And, what I am giving – is good.
Christians aren’t always good children. It’s not because we aren’t loved, adored and chosen, we completely are, but it’s mostly because we grew up.
I’ve been meeting a lot of children of God in need lately, but when he tries to use me to love them, they shut it down.
Here’s how it tends to go:
I say, “Need prayer?” They say, “Nope. But, I know someone who does.”
I say, “Are you struggling with anything?” They say, “Nope. Not at all.”
I say, “I’d like offer you a gift – God has put you on my heart.” They say, “Nope. I never take gifts from others.”
I say, “You are courageous.” They say, “I don’t want to talk about me. Let’s talk about you.”
Rather than living as a needy children, we living as arrogant adults. To turn away the love of Christ is to turn down the greatest gift moving on earth. We do it often.
Maybe, because we don’t want to owe people things. Maybe, because we feel guilty or embarrassed. Maybe because we feel undeserving.
The maybe’s don’t matter.
What matters is, like children, we open our arms up to hold the gifts God is outpouring through others. What’s important is that we see all the ways he is trying to love us. What is important is that we let this love in, so we can let this very love out.
God wants us to sit at his feet and feel his love. He wants us to grow in community. He wants us to receive the glorious inheritance of his riches, which often walks into our life through the other body parts of Christ. He wants us to stand in need, so we see that he can stop what is making us bleed.
10 Questions to ask yourself: Are you not receiving God’s love?
Do you let his love in?
Do you embrace what God is offering you?
Do you make time to sit next to God?
Do you listen?
Do you remember God’s goodness?
Do you notice God through your day?
Do you seek spiritual eyes to see?
Do you trust by faith?
Do you push off distraction?
Do you renew your mind when it gets off track?
WelcomeSharon Jaynes! Sharon is authentic, real and brings practical and applicable tips to win in your marriage. Plus today, she’s giving away a free book if you comment.
What do you do when you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ in your marriage?
Maybe you truly adored your husband in the beginning, but now you can’t remember why.
Maybe you honestly admired his finer qualities, but now you can’t remember what they were.
Maybe you appreciated his wonderful attributes, but now you take them for granted.
Between taking out the garbage, paying the bills, running the car pool, mowing the lawn, disciplining the kids, and folding the laundry, sometimes the passion of marriage gets lost. It happens to all of us at one time or another.
We can get so busy taking care of life that we forget to take care of love.
None of us got married so we could have a long list of chores. If you’re like me, most likely you got married because you were madly in-love and couldn’t imagine life without your man! You got married because your heart skipped a beat every time you laid eyes on him.
You couldn’t wait to tie the knot and build a life with this incredible person God had miraculously brought into your life. Maybe you still feel that way. But maybe you could use a little reminder—a re-stoking of the romance.
In the book of Revelation in the Bible, God had this to say to the church at Ephesus: “I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4).
Ephesus was one of the most loving churches in the New Testament, and yet somewhere along the way they lost that initial thrill of knowing Christ. Their love for each other and for God had grown cold.
So how do you get that lovin’ feelin’ back?
God gave the church two simple steps, and I believe we can apply them to our marriages as well. “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:5, emphasis added).
Remember how it was in the beginning.
Return and do the things you did at first.
One day I took John’s words in Revelation to heart, and decided to remember and return by romancing my husband for fourteen days straight.
Can I tell you, I was a little bit nervous about it?
What if he thought I was silly?
What if he didn’t respond?
But I took a deep breath, push the fear aside, and began to romance my man like I did in the early days.
Everyday wasn’t earth-shaking romance, even though there was some of that.
One day I simply put a sticky note on his bathroom mirror that said, “I love you.”
Another day I placed a box of Red Hot candy on his car seat with a note that said, “You’re a hottie.”
One morning I warmed up his towel in the dryer and had it ready when he got out of the shower.
And you know what happened? At the end of the fourteen days, Steve had a skip in his step and smile on his face like a Cheshire cat.
And what happened in me? I can hardly describe the love that welled up in me, as I loved my man well. Hear this…I changed.
I don’t have a big, bad personal story of how God took a terrible, tumultuous marriage and miraculously transformed it into a storybook romance filled with white-knight rescues, relentless romance, and rides into the sunset leaving all danger and darkness behind. Although our marriage has been all that at one time or another, it’s no fairy tale.
Our marriage is a daily journal, one page after another, one day after another. I’m guessing just like yours.
Some entries are smudged with tears; others are dog-eared as favorites.
Some days are marred by unsuccessful erasures that couldn’t quite rub away hurtful the words said; others are finger-worn by the reading of precious events time and time again.
But on those days when I see my marriage slipping back into the mundane cadence of passionless routine, I pull out my list of ideas, and put a smile on Steve’s face.
And that’s my challenge to you and to me today. When we see the fire needs stoking, remember and return. It may be a little scary at first, but be brave and begin!
What is one thing that you can do for your husband today to remind him of how much you love him?
Sharon Jaynes is a conference speaker, devotion writer for Girlfriends in God and Proverbs 31 Ministries, and author of 21 books. Her latest book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage will help you step out of the mundane routine of life and captivate your husband all over again. With encouraging stories, Biblical principles, and over 250 simple ideas on how to romance your husband, Sharon will show you how to put a smile on your husband’s face. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!