Overwhelmed with Sorrow

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane…” 

Matthew 26:36

Jesus went to a garden on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, the place olives were crushed.

With the scent of olive oil heavy in the air, Jesus prayed.

Not with pretty words but with a soul overwhelmed with sorrow.

He cried out to His Father until blood drops appeared on His forehead.

On the way to Easter, we must stop at Gethsemane.

This is the place of honesty and truth.

Jesus held back nothing, He never did.

Jesus went there and so can you.

At some point, we all need Gethsemane. A place to plead with God for help and courage. A place to hold back nothing.

My friend, you don’t have to “hold back” your sorrow or worry from God. In fact, He is the only One who is able to fully receive it.

Sorrow is a part of life and Gethsemane is a safe place to pour out our grief, our anger, our hurt, our fear. It is also there we find the unlimited depths of God’s love for us.

Today, your Father in heaven opens His arms to you. He is able to handle it all.  

Jesus asked God if salvation for mankind could be purchased any other way than through the cross – there wasn’t.

So He went there – for you and for me.

Nothing, not even overwhelming sorrow, can separate you from God’s love.

When to Pray

“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”    Jonah 2:1 NIV

When is the best time to pray?

– when you have run from God.

– when you have been disobedient and rebellious.

– when you have done your own thing, your way and find yourself in the center of a devastating storm.

– when you realize that God is BIGGER than your fear and STRONGER than the storm.

– when you are in the very center of something that is far bigger than you and you have no power to get out of it.

– when you are ready to let go of your preconceived ideas of what God is calling you to and willing to serve wherever you are, with whatever God has given you, right now. 

When is the best time to pray?

NOW… whatever your “now” looks like.

What’s keeping you from prayer? 

What have you been running from? 

What is Jesus asking you to do right now? 

Ask God This Question

“Father, Reveal who you are today.”
Matthew 11:2 MSG

The most life-transforming moments happen when God reveals who He is to you.

The moments that you realize that He is proud of you, loves you with an unwavering constancy and is yearning to spend time with you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg – a lifetime of loving Him will barely scratch the surface of His love.

Jesus said to ask God to reveal Himself to you today.

You don’t need a lot of words.

You don’t need a lot of time.

You only need to ask and be open to receive it.

Then, be ready to be amazed.

That is it.

That is everything.

Before you get face to face with all that is happening in the world today, get face to face with your Father and let Him love you.

Living Forgiven

and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in His name to all nations”

Luke 24:47 MSG

There is no greater sense of purpose than accepting God’s power to make a 180-degree turn and change.

This doesn’t just happen once.

It isn’t reserved only for “the first time” you recognize you are in need of salvation but is a privileged right of every child of God, no matter how long (or how little) you have let Jesus love you.

It is the ONE thing that keeps your relationship with God thriving and alive – asking for forgiveness.

Get before God today and lay down all that is holding you back.

Every day.
Once a week.
Once a month.
Once a year.
Whatever it takes.

The more the better.

I have learned that I need the time and space to search my heart, to be real before God, to mourn my own weaknesses, to own my mistakes and get the neglected areas of my heart right with God.

How is your heart?

When was the last time you made time to spend time with God and ask Him to cleanse your soul?

Make time for it – right now.

What gets scheduled gets done.

Be brave.

You are worth it.

I am Praying for You

“You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin.”

Colossians 2:9-15 MSG

My prayer for you today is that you will lay down the lies that haunt you at the foot of that Cross and allow yourself to be wrapped in the embrace of God’s grace.

I am praying that the brand of “broken and worthless” will be destroyed by the enormity of His love for you.

I am praying that today you would know you are valued not because you are good but because you are chosen by Jesus for a life of love.

I am praying that this minute you will know that you are forgiven not because you deserve it but because you ask for it.

I am praying that you will live cherished not because you love Him well, but because He loves you eternally.

Prayer Is

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper.”

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” here in the original Hebrew is “shalom” and often translated as peace.  Shalom is the peace that comes after the conflict and the quietness that comes after the chaos.

At its core, “Shalom” means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

Prayer is a retreat from the world and the battles you fight in it.

The word “retreat” is a military term. It means to get off the battlefield, to quit fighting, back out and regroup.

Prayer is creating time with God to regroup, reassess, restrategize and recover.

Fighting a battle when you’re exhausted, wounded and discouraged never works.

Are you exhausted, wounded, or discouraged? 

Then it is time to pray.

A time to rest in God’s love for you.

A time to take a step back, find a quiet place with God so He can repair what is broken, remind you of His purpose and arm you with His vision.

Jesus has given you full access to God’s presence.

Enter in and rest.

He is waiting for you.

My prayer is that you would get off the battlefield for a while and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Stay there as long as you need to.

Refuge and Fortress

“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge

and my fortress, my God,

in whom I trust.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus came so that you could live so close to the Father that the shadow of His love would cover you.

He went to the cross so that the presence of Almighty could be a refuge from the storm raging around you and a fortress of peace to run to when you are weary of fighting.

Jesus defeated death and cleared the way so you could be free to live fully in the power of God. He is the door into the refuge of God’s presence and the key to open it is trust.

Are you trusting Jesus today or are you trying to do it all yourself?

A Careless Life

There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”

Matthew 6:25, 26 MSG

Life with God is about being filled with His love and then pouring it out on all those around you.

It is worshipping Him when we wake, when we walk, when we clean, when we work, when we eat, when we get dressed.

It is knowing you are saved by grace and reconciled to Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

It is knowing He loves you because you are His kid and He enjoys spending time with you.

My friend, you are a child of God who is cherished, chosen and provided for.

Live in the freedom of His love.

Live care-less in the care of God.

Live more in this truth and less in the lie that you are valued because of what you look like, eat, wear or do.

This life, this love, this security comes from Jesus and is unshakable.

The rest is frosting.

Quiet Strength

A great life requires quiet strength.

A strength that gets up when it is tired.

Does the right thing when it doesn’t feel like it.

Holds on when it wants to let go.

Pushes through when it would be easier to quit.

It isn’t pretty.

It is strong.

It has scars.

Quiet strength doesn’t stop.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.”

Colossians 3:12- MSG

It is the kind of strength that Jesus demonstrated every day as He walked with mankind and made His way to the cross.

The life that God has called you to live requires a quiet strength and a steely determination.

You can’t do it without Jesus and He doesn’t ask you to.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”  Ephesians 3:16 NIV

The quiet strength of God defies logic and grows in what seems to be an impossible place.

Don’t give up.

Stay faithful.

Right Now

God’s love for you is for right now. Not later. Now.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God’s love cuts right through the business of life and breathes into you the very heart of it- His heart, His LIFE.

“For right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:

Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly,
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 MSG

Don’t wait for tomorrow to trust.
Trust today. 

Don’t wait until tomorrow to hope.
Hope today.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to love.
Love today. 

Steadily.

Unswervingly.

Extravagantly.

Right now.