What is Weighing on You

Tuesday

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”   ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When you are focused on what you can’t control and what you are not strong enough to carry, you are captured by the weight of anxiety.

When you are focused on the presence of God and His incomparable love for you, you are captured by the weight of His glory.

He cares for you more than you can comprehend. 

When you are in the middle of a fierce storm feeling out of control and tossed around, you may be asking Jesus, like His disciples did in Mark 4:38, “Do you even care that we are in this storm?” 

The answer is yesHe cares. 

Yes, He knows.

Yes, He can handle it.

The word “cast” in 1 Peter 5:7 is a word picture of holding something very heavy, then throwing it to get it out of your hands.

Jesus can handle whatever you are carrying.

He who has carried the weight of your sin can absolutely carry the weight of your anxiety.

Abundant Rest

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Wholeness takes time.

Abundant life in Christ includes abundant rest in Him.

Resting from trying to figure it all out.

Resting from worrying yourself sick.

Resting from trying to control everything and have the answers for everything.

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.

The One who called you is completely dependable.

If he said it, he’ll do it!”

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:23-24‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Take a deep breath, slow down.

The very best thing you can do is rest in Him.

The Lord isn’t slow in keeping His promises,  He is faithful to complete what He has started and is completely dependable.

I know it isn’t easy and life may not make sense right now.

Hold on, my friend.

Let Jesus work.

Trust in Him.

Put yourself and what is weighing heavy on your heart into His Hands.

He is patient with you (and with others) because He sees more than you do, His reach extends yours and His knowledge is not hindered by time or eternity.

God knows real change takes time and He is willing to wait.

Rest in Him today and give yourself permission to stop worrying about things you can’t control.

Gentle Evidence

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“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why do I need the reminder to “let my gentleness be evident”? I don’t know about you but when I stress, I try to control things. I work to make things to the way I think it should be. When I feel that I am in a battle, I push everyone out, put up my walls and am prepared to fight.

When I am stressed, gentle is the last thing that I am to those around me.

The original Greek word used for gentleness in the verse above describes the heart of someone who will let God fight his battles for Him. It describes a person who has let go of trying to control the situation and allowed God to do what He needs to.

This is where having a relationship with Jesus changes things. It’s where trusting Him impacts how you live because He will never ask you to be something that He isn’t already.

Jesus IS near. 

Jesus says that He is so close that it’s like you’re yoked up with Him. Shoulder to shoulder, walking the same way, with Him bearing the load and directing the path.

He IS gentle. 

Jesus showed us what this kind of gentleness looks like. He focused on His relationship with His Father and only did what God directed Him to. He did not bend to peer pressure, comparison or even try to fit in with anyone other than His Father. He didn’t try to control the situations or people. He focused on being faithful to the part He was given to do and allowed God to work out the rest. 

Jesus lived yoked and yielded long before He offered it to His disciples.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He leads gently so that you can live gently.

Gentle is not weak it is focused trust as well as a deep knowing of who you are and whose you are.

What does being led gently feel like to you?

What does not bending to peer pressure, not comparing yourself to others and not even trying to fit in look like to you?

My friend, may you begin to learn to live in the power of leading a gentle life by being yoked and yielded to the gentle Savior today.

 

The Imperfect Now

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“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
I was talking to a friend of mine and asking her how she was doing.  She said, “Better, because I’ve stopped asking God to change others or to change the circumstances and have started to ask God to change me. And it’s the first time I’ve had peace this year. He is changing me and I am so thankful.”
If you wait until your life is perfect to be thankful, you’ll be waiting until you get to heaven.

When is it the right time to be thankful?

Right now.
When is it the right time to shift your focus from what God should be doing “out there” to what God wants to do “in here” (points to self)?
This minute.
Don’t wait one more second.
Be thankful in the imperfect now.
Be thankful for the imperfect you.
Jesus is.
He loves you as you are today and He will work with you to grow you into who He created you to be.
Jesus is using your imperfect life and imperfect self to do a beautiful perfect redeeming work in you.
Let Him.
May you let go of all you can’t control today and give yourself permission to enjoy the imperfect now, embrace your imperfect story and lift your soul up to your perfect, loving, amazing, forgiving, life-giving God.

Words

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“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”

James 3:5 NIV

Words are powerful.

The words you say to yourself.

The words you say to others.

You control your words, not the other way around.

You can be honest without being mean.

You can be mean without being honest.

God has given you the great privilege of being the spark that lights the fire.

Whether it is a fire to warm and nourish others or one that burns and destroys them is up to you.

Choose wisely.

Cast It

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In order to cast ALL your anxiety on Him, you have to move your focus from your anxiety to your Savior.

You focus on what you’re worried about, what you can’t control, what you are not strong enough to carry. You focus on the problem and how heavy it weighs upon your shoulders. You focus on your own hands when God is asking you to focus on His heart. 

He cares for you.

He cares for more than you even realize. 

When you are in the middle of a fierce storm feeling out of control and tossed around, you ask Jesus, like the disciples did in Mark 4:38, “Do you even care that I’m in this storm? I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t cause it to happen and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it through.” 

The answer is yesHe cares.

When you are burnt out and overwhelmed with life, you go to Jesus like Martha did in Luke 10:40, and ask,  “Don’t you care that I’m doing all the work and no one is helping me?”

The answer is yesHe cares.

In fact, the Hebrew word used for “care” in both the above passages is the SAME word used in 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) –

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Does God care? 

Yes, He absolutely does.

Small Words

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Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (James 3:5 NIV)

Words are powerful.

The words you say to yourself.

The words you say to others.

You control your words, not the other way around.

You can be honest without being mean.

You can be mean without being honest.

God has given you the great privilege of being the spark that lights the fire.

Whether it is a fire to warm and nourish others or one that burns and destroys them is up to you.

Choose wisely.

Friday’s Peace

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Peace always comes with a price.
There is no peace without sacrifice.

A sacrifice was made and the debt
has been paid.

For you.

Peace with God and peace from God.

The way has been cleared for you to partake of God’s divine peace and a heavy price paid. Don’t let things you can’t control of rob you of it.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5 NIV)

On Time

I know, I know… I said I would write every day but a funny thing happened on the way to Philadelphia. Once I arrived I silenced out. Everything became quiet inside and I just soaked it all in.

Now, I am on the last leg of my journey home from Pennsylvania and the time on my iPad says it is 9:10pm. The sun is just now setting or maybe it isn’t because I feel like it has been setting for the last hour without releasing into the night. We are flying west and it seems like we are racing the moon, flying into the sun. As I look out the window of the airplane at the bright sky which I am flying through, I think how relative time is. Time is numbers to count moments, seconds to measure them, a record of the past, a way to plan the future. We fly through time zones and skip hours, set our watches forward and backward once each year. The illusion of time can be a prison or playground, a way to mourn the passing of, a way to grasp the possibility of.

Do I need the clock to tell me time has past?
Can I not look into the mirror or gaze at my child’s face?

Do I need a watch to plan my future?
Can I create a dream not dictated by it’s hands, but solely the hands of my Creator?

Do I need more time or do I need to let go of it all together and launch into the purposes of life without the expectations of how much time it might take?

Do I use the measure of time as a tool to transform reality into destiny or does it use me to mark milestones that are not the true measures of success nor a basis to build the future on?

As I fly into time tonight, I want to unshackle it’s hold upon my ankles. To run forward free from the fear of it, to shake off the shame of it’s trembling finger, to break it’s binding hold on my heart and mind, to see the insincerity of semblance of order and control when truly it is a man made measure and can not contain within it’s measure God’s true purpose.

Will I let that which man created to measure the passing of time sabotage that which God has created me to do? Does God plan with a watch on His wrist? With a ticking clock echoing in halls of heaven? Does He limit His hand to only work within the confines of mankind’s creations of a machine to order the day and the masses?

I think not. His purposes span the width of this palm not the width of the face of a clock. It is not too early nor too late. Let us not limit His desire to time span, let us not fall into a trap of futility by declaring that too much time has past to transform the horizon of our destiny or the course or our journey. Let us neither say that not enough time has past for His purpose to be accomplished. It could be a second or a century. I have no power to make it go slower or rush faster just by measuring it’s moments in words that make me feel in control.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8 NIV)

Do not forget this one thing…..

Time is but an illusion we have created to judge our age and expectations when God uses neither to establish usefulness or presence of purpose. Place yourself fully within the sovereign hands of God. See the ticking clock on your wall for what it is: a machine.

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