Spring, a Blogging Break, and Easter Blessings

Spring is finally here! The robins are back! The temperatures are warming up, though there is still snow left to melt.

It’s awesome to see the birds check out nesting spots and to hear their joyous songs again. But joy often coexists with sadness, doesn’t it? Spring is so welcome after a long, dreary winter, but now we’re getting flooding in our midwestern city like we’ve never experienced before. Huge ice chunks had to be taken off of roads after the flooding receded. There are still many in the parks and areas around the river. Some roads and bridges are washed out or crumbled. Homes are damaged. It’s going to take a lot of time, work, and money to recover.

Now with the snow melting quickly north and west of here, people are preparing for even worst flooding this week. Oodles of sandbags have been set up to protect homes and businesses. The Falls and the bike trails have been closed off, and anyone who goes past the barricades will be fined. It’s for our safety, but you wouldn’t believe how many people ignore the warnings.

The Falls are really roaring lately. It has receded some, and we hope it doesn’t get higher than this.

On another note, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging. An overwhelming feeling has been creeping up on me. Last week I needed to just back up and allow myself grace. I felt God whispering to me to rest and not be so hard on myself that each Tuesday I MUST have a blog post ready.

After some prayerful consideration, I feel I need some time to refresh and renew my body, mind, and spirit. I also need to recalibrate where I’m going with this blog. I may only do two Tuesdays a month and I may alter my end-of-the month posts. I’m uncertain yet, but I’m asking God to guide me.

I hope to return on May 7. Meanwhile, I pray you all have a Spirit-filled, Glorious Easter!

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)
by Casting Crowns

“Now may God,
the inspiration and fountain of hope,
fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy
and perfect peace as you trust in Him.
And may the power of the Holy Spirit
continually surround your life with His
super-abundance until you radiate with hope!”
Romans 15:13 TPT

Jesus’ Suffering Became Our Healing

“But He was hurt because of us; He suffered so.
Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed Him.
He endured the breaking that made us whole.
The injuries He suffered became our healing.”
Isaiah 53:5 Voice

Have you been hurt in your life? Is your pain so deep it takes your breath away? Do you feel like you’ll never climb out of the dungeon of darkness? Hopeless. Helpless. Alone.

Abuse of any kind can cause deep pain and devastation in our hearts and lives. We can even wonder where God was or is. It can take a lifetime of healing.

I was confused and distrustful of God for many years. But now I know and believe He would never, ever hurt us like that. He would never, ever abuse us in the name of love. He would never, ever steal our voices and grind the very essence of who we are into the dirt as if we are a good-for-nothing.

The older I get and the deeper He heals me, I see how He held me through it even when I didn’t see it at the time. The more He fills me with His love and grace, the more I see He values me. My identity is not in past abuse but in Jesus. And He alone practices the true meaning of love, because He is love Himself.

When people don’t believe us and slander us, God knows the truth and He will never, ever turn away from us. When people reject us and ostracize us, God will never, ever abandon us. When people judge and condemn us, God will never, ever condemn us.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:28

Who has hurt you in your life? Who has treated you with disrespect and disdain? Who has ground your voice and the essence of who you are into the dirt?

God knows. God cares. God understands.

There is no one who has been wronged more than Jesus. There is not one thing we have suffered in life that He hasn’t experienced Himself. Can you see Jesus suffering under the load of our sin and the sin of those who have hurt us? The staff hammering down and piercing the crown of thorns into His head, the whip slashing open his skin, the slander, the mocking, the desertion of those He loves, the stripping and nakedness for all to see, the stretching of His body against the nails pounded into His hands and feet, forsaken by His Father, descended into hell. And oh, so much more than we can ever put in words. We can’t begin to describe the pain He endured. If we put the suffering of all mankind together, it would not even be a drop in the bottomless ocean of suffering He endured. And He did it for us!

He was broken so we could be healed. Isn’t that amazing?! If He didn’t count us as valuable treasures, He wouldn’t have done this for us. If He hadn’t done this, there would be no love. No grace. No hope. Ever.

It takes a fathomless love to suffer unspeakable agony like He endured. Not for Himself, but for us. Because of Him and what He suffered, there will always be hope for the hopeless. Healing for the broken. Strength for the helpless.

The Lord
who made you
knows just what you need.
The Lord
who heals you
knows just where you hurt.
The Lord
who loves you
knows just what to do.

(From the front of a greeting card)

“When Life Gets Broken”
by Sandi Patty

Soul Longings to Know Jesus More

“My goal is to know Him
and the power of His resurrection
and the fellowship of His sufferings,
being conformed to His death.”
Philippians 3:10 HCSB

Lord Jesus Christ,
I Want to Know You

I want to really, truly know You. Deeply, personally, intimately. In the depths of my soul. To believe in You, not just about You. I want Your desires and Your passions to become mine. I want to “know” You so well that I will live and breathe You with every step I take in this life.

I Want to Know the Power of Your Resurrection

I want to not only believe You rose from the dead, but that it was personally for me. That You left my sins buried there in the grave, and now I am truly free. I don’t want to live weighed down with a heavy burden of my own sins and the sins against me. I want to be freed from the chains of shame. I want to inwardly experience that same power that rose You from the dead, to be saturated in and fired up with Your resurrection power in me that I will live for You with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. That I will live in and through You and Your power with every fiber of my being. That I will fly freely for You.

I Want to Know the Fellowship of Your Sufferings

I want to grasp more deeply how much You suffered for me. How You suffered such excruciating pain out of Your deep love for me. But Lord, sometimes it’s so hard to ask to know more of the fellowship of Your sufferings, because I know that means I, too, must learn what it is to suffer. But You have said that if I want to share in Your glory, I must also share in Your suffering. And Lord, I know You have taught me more about You and the bottomless depths of Your love through sufferings. It is through sufferings that I learn to be more like You. It is through sufferings that I experience more of the power of Your resurrection. But oh, Lord, no matter what kind of sufferings I go through in this life, it will never, ever be even a speck of what You have suffered for me. What body, mind, and soul anguish You endured! Thank You, Jesus, for Your unconditional, fathomless, faithful love!

I Want to Become More Like You in Your Death

I want to continually be conformed to Your likeness. In the inward depths of my soul. I want to die to myself and live for You. I want my selfish desires to fall away. I want You to increase and me to decrease. I want to be so planted into the likeness of Your death that I will willingly take up my cross and follow You, no matter what the cost. I want to be ready to suffer for Your sake. Please, Lord, make me strong in You and for You.

“Jesus Is Alive”
by Fellowship Creative

“Captured By Your Love
That You Would Give Your Life
Oh I Stand Amazed that
Jesus Is Alive”