When You Are Tired

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Life often demands that you keep going even when you are tired.

When you are burdened with grief, you still have to go to work.

When you are battling anxiety,  someone still has to do the dishes.

When you are restless to go but must stay right where you are.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Jesus invites us to walk with Him, work with Him, and watch how He lives in the fullness of God’s love every day while bearing a great burden.

Your world may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation-shaking experiences, and unbearable obligations.

Or it may be boring and frustrating with endless monotony.

Whatever is happening around you, Jesus wants to do a work in you.

Jesus is saying, “I will take your burden and you can have my strength. I lived loved, am dripping with grace, burdened with divinely appointed purpose, and wrapped in a deep peace that is not moved by the tumultuous circumstances happening around me.” You can live this way too – that is why I came, died, and rose again. Bring me all of you and all that you carry. I will carry it for you.”

My friend, I know you are tired today.

Don’t give up.

Don’t do this alone.

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
1 Peter 5:7 AMPC

Give Jesus your burden today and let Him watch over you.

He was made for it.

 

 

It’s the Holidays

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As we head into Thanksgiving Week and then Christmas right after, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time.
As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.
Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. He mourned. He loved. He was thankful. He knew that there was time for all of them and that they often overlap.
Jesus knew that there is:
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings. Walk with Jesus through them, acknowledge them, embrace them. Grieve if you need to.
When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.  Ungrieved losses of the past must be processed so that you can fully experience the moments of joy in the present.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are always happy or only feel “good” emotions. It means that you choose to walk with Jesus through all the emotions that this time in your life brings.
Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.
May you fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus as you experience this holiday season with Him by your side.

This Time of Year

As we head into Thanksgiving Week and then Christmas right after, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time.
 
As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.
 
Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. To mourn. To love. To be thankful. He knew that there was a time for all of them and that they often overlap.
Jesus knew that there is:
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings. Walk with Jesus through them, acknowledge them, embrace them. Grieve if you need to.  When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.  Ungrieved losses of the past must be processed so that you can fully experience the moments of joy in the present.  
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are always happy or only feel “good” emotions, it means that you walk with Jesus through all the emotions this time in your life brings.
Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.
May you fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus as you experience this holiday season with Him by your side.
 
Happy Monday!

Sustained 

  

‬‬I remember a time a few years ago when I was discouraged and heartbroken. My hopes had been swept away by a flood of circumstances I could not have forseen. I could not go back to where I was before and I could not stay where I was at. I could only walk forward into a future that I had not anticipated or imagined. 

I clung to Jesus. I grabbed hold of the promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. I tried to trust that He could redeem the circumstances as I watched everything crumble around me. I tried and failed- I couldn’t find trust or hope within my soul. Only heartbreak and fear.

The following verse became the words I held onto: 

“Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.” Psalms 119:116 NIV

One morning I got early and took a walk. We were living in Las Vegas and our neighborhood edged the desert. With worship music loaded on my iPod, I set out to breathe deep and breathe in the presence of God. As I turned the corner out of my neighborhood and onto the desert road behind it, the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began. The sun was just rising over Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful that I almost dropped to my knees. 

I heard God’s whisper, “Hold on, your hopes are not lost. I am faithful to complete what I have started in you. I will sustain you through this and strengthen you in it. My faithfulness knows no end.” 

It was a turning point for me. I carried that promise through a time that got harder long before it got better. 

That moment came back to me yesterday when I listened to Jordan Smith’s rendition of “Great is Thy Faithfullness” on The Voice. It was a beautiful and powerful performance.

God IS faithful. 

It is in the midst of the hardest of times that you discover God’s faithfulness. It is through the darkest of times that God sustains you when you can’t sustain yourself. It is when you don’t feel like you have any faith left that His faithfulness carries you. 

Hold on, your hopes are not lost. Jesus is faithful to complete what He has started in you. He will sustain you through this time and strengthen you in it. God’s faithfulness knows no end. 

Stay Tender

  

You were created to be tenderhearted.

To feel life.

To feel the good, the bad, the joy, the sorrow and all the moments in between.

Yet it seems so much easier to let your heart go hard when the hurt gets overwhelming and when the betrayal stings.

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to the temptation to become brittle and bitter. Don’t stay stuck there, dwelling on what happened, or what should have happened and letting that shape your future.

Fight for your tender heart.

That means you have to feel the pain and process it. That means you walk through the valley of the shadow of death with God, not without Him.

That means you grieve what you have lost all the way through to acceptance, so you can live beyond it.

Stay tender hearted.

Don’t let life (and other people’s
choices) rob you from living in full color.

Your future you will thank you for it.

“A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.” (Proverbs 28:14 MSG)

Walking and Resting

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Life demands that you keeps on walking even when you are tired. When you are burdened with grief. When you are battle weary.

Jesus gives you a way to walk and rest at the same time:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ MSG)

He says, come with me and I will show you how to walk and rest.

Your own yoke may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation shaking experiences or heavy with too many obligations.

Jesus’s yoke is dripping with His unmerited grace.

When you take His yoke and follow His lead, you are learning how to work, walk and rest His grace at the same time.

May you walk far and rest well in His yoke today.