Tag Archives: grace

Pondering Strength.

Strength isn’t built overnight. It comes through weathering stormy seasons and emerging after you didn’t think it was possible. It is like building muscle. You can’t build muscle unless you are consistently working out and even gradually moving up to more difficult workouts or higher weights. You build strength by weathering small and large storms. I think a person can be born with a tendency for strength, but they must undergo some difficulty for that strength to be tested and built up.

There are not-so-distant seasons of my life where I look back and wonder “how did I do that?” Was that really me who lived through those things and made those hard decisions that didn’t make sense to others? Where I am now, I wonder, too. How am I living through this crazy season where nothing has stayed the same?  The answer: grace. The grace of God was sufficient for that time. Grace is sufficient for today, too.

In whatever you are facing, His grace will be sufficient for you. I can’t promise you that it will be easy. But I can promise God is faithful. He tests us for our good. He loves us way too much for us to stay the same. Where we encounter difficulty, we can also cling to His grace and supernatural strength. 

There will be a day when you look back and wonder how you made it. And you will make it. Take your Heavenly Father’s hand and discover the depths of His love as you go through the depths of difficulty. Discover who you really are. Let the storm transform you into a pillar of strength.  

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”~1 Peter 1:6-7

tommy-lisbin-284351.jpg
Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash

 

Advertisements

Wisdom from St. Edith Stein.

Today we celebrate St. Edith Stein. She was a brilliant woman who died this day in 1942 at Auschwitz. Born Jewish, she became a great philosopher and author. Her journey led her to the Catholic Church, and her great hunger for Christ led her to become a Carmelite nun. Below is one of her quotes that I believe we can all take comfort in on our journey.

“God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him — really rest — and start the next day as a new life.”~St. Edith Stein

anton-darius-sollers-132408.jpg
Photo by Anton Darius | Sollers on Unsplash

Staying in Step with Jesus

Someone once wisely told me not to run ahead of Jesus. To walk in step with Him as He leads me. They must have picked up on my tendency to always want to know the future. Or, as another friend of mine put it, I take life “fast.”

footprint
courtesy of unsplash.com

After making decisions, I automatically jump to what is next. My mind goes to how this decision could potentially affect my life one year, two years, and even more down the road. I already want to know what the next decision will be. Of course, decisions do affect our futures and we must take that into account. Yet, we can only make decisions with the information we have. We don’t know exactly how this decision will build upon the next. We don’t even know the next minute of our lives! Only our Father knows. And if a decision doesn’t go exactly as planned? He knows that, too. After all, He is GOD. He has the ability to steer us back on track when we deviate.

So I stick to one step, one day at a time. I’m trying my best to keep in step with Jesus and see what He has to show me. Day by day, choice by choice, I rely on His grace. He will take care of the rest. 

What is The Lord Doing In Your Life?

Everywhere in the world, the Spirit is moving. The world is being changed and transformed. Embedded below is one of my current favorite songs about this very topic.

The Lord is working in each of our lives, too, in very specific ways. Truly, He is on the move! What do you feel the Holy Spirit doing in your life? If it’s not something you’ve thought about recently, ask what He is doing and wants to do!

In my life, I feel Him freeing me. I am being freed from old habits and ways of thinking. CAM03966 (2) - CopyIn many ways, too, it is apparent that He is preparing me and opening my heart up to new adventures. It’s been a process of letting go in order to say “yes” to what He is asking. Though the “yeses” may be painful, I know that I will not be led where the grace of God will not be with me. Pain must come, sacrifices must be made on this journey. These will only lead me closer to my Father and His plan for my life. I can’t wait to see what else is ahead and where the preparation leads! Thank You, Lord, for all that You’ve done, all You are doing and all that You are about to do!

 

What is the Spirit doing in your life? I would love to hear about it!

God Can Use You.

A few weeks ago, I was about to throw some brown bananas into the trash. (What a cliff-hanger, right?) Then I thought twice and put those bananas back onto the counter. I don’t like to throw food away, both for monetary reasons and because so many don’t have enough to eat.

bananas

I had remembered that even bananas that seem too far gone can make banana bread. 

So I set out to find a gluten-free banana bread recipe that wouldn’t require me to buy any more ingredients. (If you’re wondering, I used this recipe. I didn’t even put in the dates, but still thought it turned out really good!) I got to baking, and within an hour and a half, had pulled out a steaming, delicious-smelling loaf of banana bread from the oven.

The banana bread was delicious, a treat I had not tasted in some time. I marveled at those bananas that had seemed disgusting. They had almost gotten thrown in the trash. But instead, I gave them a second chance. Despite their disgusting appearance and probably tasting disgusting raw, they made a delicious banana bread.

Many of us have felt like a rotten banana at some point in our lives. Maybe you even feel like one now. Most of us have felt, at one time or another, that God can’t use us, that we are not good enough. Your past may have been far from godly and you think that means God won’t use you now. That is far from the truth, my friend. 

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”~2 Corinthians 12:9

So let God use you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how you have failed now.  You are not ready to be tossed aside; you are ready to be made into something great. Even in your weaknesses and failings, the Lord can shine through and show His power! Give Him permission!

 

 

Take Courage.

“Ask Jesus what He wants from you and be brave!”~ Pope Francis

It’s easy to say that we desire God’s will. But it isn’t always easy to accept, in reality. Sometimes we have big dreams, and then God quite clearly places us somewhere we did not desire. Sometimes the will of God takes us places that scare us and we think we can’t manage. You will not be led where the grace of God will not sustain you!

waves
courtesy of unsplash.com

God will call you out of your comfort zone. But that is when He will hold you up and sustain you. When you are called into the highest waves, that is when you will learn to rely even more upon your Heavenly Father and see His glory. When you are called out into the deep, know that God is about to do something amazing. Don’t be afraid. Take courage!  

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”~Joshua 1:9

God’s Healing Grace

“We are all sinners. But God heals us with an abundance of grace, mercy and tenderness.”~Pope Francis

courtesy of unsplash.com
                     courtesy of unsplash.com

Don’t ever think that you’re too far gone. It’s never too late for grace. If you open your heart, Jesus will heal you every day.

The worst sinners can become the greatest saints. The most broken people can become whole. It is not on their own account, but on the grace of God working within them. Don’t doubt grace. Believe in God’s abundance of grace, mercy, and tenderness.

Sit still, get quiet, and let yourself feel aware of your littleness, your brokenness. But don’t stay there. Ask your Father to reveal how He sees you. Listen. Let His grace flow through you and bring you closer to Him and to your healing.

It will come in time, my friend, the healing work of God. Believe it.