Tag Archives: peace

hold my hand

child-holding-fathers-hand

 He knows what is in the darkness,
    and the light dwells with him.
Daniel 2:22


Fear according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary

fear

noun

: an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger : a feeling of being afraid

: a feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful


Some fears can be healthy, protecting me from something that could be potentially dangerous.  But other fears cause me to think and react irrationally, becoming imprisoned by whatever it is that is causing me such an adversion.  This kind of fear can even keep me from obeying God, from hearing the Spirit speak to me, from feeling His pricking at my heart.

Instead of running or hiding from this emotion called fear, I need to go to the words spoken in Daniel 2:22.  There is no mystery with God and he’s never surprised or caught off guard.  He never wonders how in the world is He going to deal with this thing.   I need to remember, I am not alone here.

God is with me here in this moment of darkness, this hour of adversity, this season of not knowing why.  It is not darkness to Him because He is Light.  He is in complete charge of the mysteries of my life, those things that cause me to feel fear.  He holds me, my fears, my mysteries in His hand.  And because He does, I do not need to run, or hide.  I rest in Him, my Abba Father.


in her Momma’s arms

sleeping AB

I sit quietly in awe. Quietly watching this precious little one nestled snugly in her momma’s arms.  Their breathing is in harmonic motion, in and out . . . in and out . . .a quiet, a peaceful rhythm.

Her momma gently whispers words of love over her as she has her tucked safely close. In her mother’s arms she is safe, protected, nurtured.  Momma’s arms hold her close to her beating heart, that heart that was the familiar sound this little one heard day in and day out while her mother carried her for nine months.   And now out in this world, this world that is so filled with chaos, her momma continues to hold her close, to cover her with mother wings.  A stronghold of love.

I sit watching, pondering in awe. Pondering meditatively.

As I see my very own little girl embrace her own little girl, my heart is full.  My heart is full of love for this new little one who has been  remarkably and wonderfully made.  My heart is full of love for the one who was remarkably and wonderfully knitted together inside my own body.

But most of all, my heart is full of reminders of the One who covers me in His arms, who holds me close in the midst of the chaos.

I am reminded of the times my life has been crumbling to pieces around me, troubles were crashing into me right and left, life seem to be imploding.  I was alone, or at least that is what the enemy wanted me to believe.

Clinging to Psalm 46, He pulls me in to cover me with His Love, to be my stronghold against all that is clamoring to tear me apart.  He is always there to whisper His words of Love into my heart.  Pulling me close, the chaos turns into peace.

I can hear His heartbeat because He created me to be His.

God is my refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore I will not fear,
Though the earth should give way,
And though the mountains fall into the heart
of the sea.
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Psalm 46:1-3

So as things of this world are vying to pull me away, to create disharmony, when I have to hold it together, even when I don’t feel like it . . . it is here, here with my God, my Creator, that I find solace, my stronghold.  It is here, I can let it go.  I cling to His arms and hear His tender heart calling me close.  It’s here in the magnificent, or the insignificant, in the joyous moments, or the disappointing times, the uplifting, or the casting down, the contentment, or the perplexities and uncertainties that I rest secure. Resting secure in the harmonic motion of His peace and His grace.

Rest in His arms, just like that precious little one in her Momma’s arms.  Rest no matter what the world throws your way. Find His peace in the chaos.


peace {advent ~ week 2}

peace - advent week 2

 

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

As the second week of Advent begins today, the race to get to this place, to get this and that taken care of, the pace of life is looking for every way it can to rob me of peace – His Absolute Peace.

Peace does not mean I sit in absolute silence.

Peace is not a place where my life is trouble-free.

Peace is not a place where I have no sorrows or hurts.

Peace is not a place where I find complete certainty.

Peace is not in the darkness; it is in His Light. 

Peace means in the middle of all the noise, the difficult circumstances, the sorrow, the hurt that overshadows the day, and in all the uncertainties I am overwhelmed by a calm.  The calm that can only come from the Lord of Peace, His Absolute Peace.  

If I find myself in the dark, searching for peace, I will not find peace in a place.  Nor will I find peace by my own doing.  I will only find peace in a person, the person of Jesus Christ.  When I find myself caught up in the whirlwind of the pace of life, no matter the season of life, I need to go back to the place where I picked up the distractions and relied on my own insights and instead embrace and depend on His light to lead me.  He will give me peace in every way. 

Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace. (C. H. Spurgeon)


from groans to glory

image_1

“The only love that won’t disappoint you is one that can’t change, that can’t be lost, that is not based on the ups and downs of life or of how well you live. It is something that not even death can take away from you. God’s love is the only thing like that.”

 ~ from Walking with God through Pain and Suffering  Tim Keller


my lighthouse

My Lighthouse

 

Lighthouses for anyone living, working, or traveling along a coast are a symbol of constancy.  

A lighthouse provides the light that points out dangers and hazards in darkness and times of storms.

A place of safe entry.

A marker of navigation along the journey.

In my life, the lighthouse is an image of God.  A symbol of His faithfulness and His constancy in the inconsistencies of my own life.

In the hazards and dangers, the trials and the temptations that are part of my life – He is my Lighthouse.

Everyday, He is my haven of safety.  When I am abiding in Him, I am safe.

As I walk on this journey, my Lighthouse marks my way, as a source of constancy that never hides from me.  He is the Light in the darkness of the world.

I am trusting in the promise that Jesus is the Light of the World  and the darkness will not overcome it.  No one, nothing can extinguish it.

So for the last month or so, the song “Lighthouse” by Rend Collective has been bombarding my mind and my heart – kind of like it’s been on repeat on my playlist!  The more I listen to the words, I have my Abba Father speaking to me with HIs loving arms wrapped around me.

He is reminding me that He will not walk out on me when I mess up, when I fail or when I doubt or question.

He is there in the silence – when it seems that there are no answers.

When the way seems clouded or a full-ranging storm, He is my Peace.

He is the fire that goes before me.  He leads me through, no matter if the skies are sunny or stormy.

  

“My Lighthouse” ~ by Rend Collective

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are my peace in the troubled sea
You are my peace in the troubled sea

In the silence, You won’t let go
In my questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are my peace in the troubled sea
You are my peace in the troubled sea

My Lighthouse, My lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, My Lighthouse
I will trust the promise, You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to Shore
Safe to Shore
Safe to Shore

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I’ll rise and sing
My God’s love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Fire before us, You’re the brightest
You will lead us safe to shore


in The Cross

tim keller - the cross.001

In the beauty of the world . . .

. . . we see God’s existence

In the brokenness of the world . . .

. . . we see God’s justice

We see God’s mercy . . .

. . . in The Cross.


stillness of soul

 

being still (CHR - spring break '14)

I meet you in the stillness of your soul.

It is there that I seek to commune with you. A person who is open to My Presence is exceedingly precious to Me. My eyes search to and fro throughout the earth, looking for one whose heart is seeking Me. I see you trying to find Me; our mutual search results in joyful fulfillment.

Stillness of soul is increasingly rare in this world addicted to speed and noise.

I am pleased with your desire to create a quiet space where you and I can meet. Don’t be discouraged by the difficulty of achieving this goal. I monitor all your efforts and am blessed by each of your attempts to seek My Face.                                                                                                     

from Jesus Calling


 Stillness of soul . . . increasingly rare . . . world addicted to speed and noise.

It’s all around us.  Surrounding us from our waking moments to the ending moments of each day.  Speed and noise.

I crave moments of silence.  Especially those moments of silence with the One who is seeking me.

Seeking to be intentional in my stillness of soul.  Each and every day.  No matter where life finds me.

 


every time I remember you

Scanned Image-59

I thank my God every time I remember you. ~ Philippians 1:3

Memories. As I looked at the date on the calendar today, a smile burned deep in my heart. Today would have been my grandmother’s 98th birthday.  To all of her kids she was known as Memi and she was adored by all.  And so today as I look all around me and our home, there are all kinds of physical reminders – from pieces of furniture to collections of antique glassware to handwritten recipes – of this precious lady who loved Jesus with all her heart and made sure her four girls, and their children, and their children knew it.  Life was not always an easy road for her, but she was confident that no matter what her circumstances it was not a road she walked alone. I can still hear her say, “Oh honey, God’s got this one!

So today I whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for my grandmother who helped shape my life . . .  through her encouragement, her advice, her sense of humor, her genuine love were such blessings in my life, and her memory continues to bring gratefulness. Gratefulness for the threads her life wove into the tapestry of my life, each one helping to make me who I am today.

Gratefulness for the peace from these sweet memories.

 


peace

Tangle_of_Christmas_lights_wallpaper_1920x1080

Peace in the midst.  In the midst of all the planning, the shopping, the decorating, the buying, the wrapping, the waiting in the sea of traffic, the waiting to be waited on, the meal planning, the coming and going from one event to another . . .

Struggling in the midst.  So many times I have found myself feeling more like that tangled mess of Christmas lights.  No peace in the midst. Letting myself get lost in the mess.  Lost in the mess, when I lose my focus of the Messiah.

And then I hear the familiar Christmas carols whispering to me, reminding me it’s through filling my heart with joyful praise and adoration of Him that I am in the midst of Peace.

When Jesus is the focus of our holiday, we’re centered on His love, peace, and joy.

Ephesians 2:14 confirms, “For He is our peace…”.

HE is our Peace.

And when our hearts are at peace, our Christmas season can be too.


flowers of Peace

photo from AnnVoskamp

photo from AnnVoskamp

Let Me infuse My Peace into your innermost being. As you sit quietly in the Light of My Presence, you can sense Peace growing within you. This is not something that you accomplish through self-discipline and willpower; it is opening yourself to receive My blessing.

In this age of independence, people find it hard to acknowledge their neediness. However, I have taken you along a path that has highlighted your need for Me: placing you in situations where your strengths were irrelevant and your weaknesses were glaringly evident. Through the aridity of those desert marches, I have drawn you closer and closer to Myself. You have discovered flowers of Peace blossoming in the most desolate places.You have learned to thank Me for hard times and difficult journeys, trusting that through them I accomplish My best work. You have realized that needing Me is the key to knowing Me intimately, which is the gift above all gifts.

~Jesus Calling

Even as a little girl, I’ve had a penchant for flowers, all kinds of flowers.  From little flowers growing wild, clusters of Ligustrum flowers attracting the honey bees, roses growing in my mother’s garden, verbenas used for Barbie doll bouquets, I loved the beauty of flowers.  From the flowering weeds collected by the hand of my young baseball player given to Mom in the stands,  to the broken off magnolia bloom brought in by the toothless grin of the little blonde-headed daughter, and the Mason jar full of Texas bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush gathered by the oldest on a walk with Granddaddy, to the store-bought bouquets and gifted flowers randomly given by teenagers – all are precious memories, gifts given from the hearts.  In looking back, I now see these as little joys divinely given to me in a desert season of life.

So when reading today’s devotion from Jesus Calling, I am deeply reminded of how His Peace has infused my life.  I’m reminded of how when I am weak, He is strong.  When life seemed bleak and lonely, I have never been alone. Even in times of financial despair, on the brink of losing everything, He never let me fall.  The enemy continually whispered the lies of there is no hope, there is no way out. Even though the thread was mighty thin, He always provided just enough in the hard times.

 I am so very thankful for these times of difficulty, as I learn to lean in and trust.  I’ve learned to not run away and hide in the desert, but to look for Him in the most desolate places.

In times of desolation, He has given me flowers of Peace.

And today, flowers – whether randomly given by my sweet man or simply seen along my way – are my way of counting gifts of Joy and Peace and Thanksgiving!

Reminders that He is the gift of all gifts.

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters will never fail.  
Isaiah 58:11


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