❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NASB ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32 NASB
What Is Empathy?
🦋 “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee
🦋 “An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like.” – Tarana Burke
🦋 “Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’” – Brene Brown
Truly, no one can show perfect empathy like Jesus, but through Him we can empathize more with others. “The Gift of Presence” by Linda Stoll is a great example of empathy! “No judgement. No opinions. No pontificating. I felt validated. Heard. Safe to be myself, all kinds of messy, imperfect, and flawed.”
“All my life through, the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child.“ ~ Marie Curie ~
Thank you to my brother John for views of unique species and to our son Glen for the beautiful sky views. 🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂
“Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.” Psalm 91:4 VOICE
God often uses birds as an analogy of His loving care and protection over us. When an April snowstorm hit us, I watched a visible sign of this truth. A house finch pair already had a nest outside my office window. It was amazing to see how they kept the eggs warm and did not leave them to find shelter for themselves. The eggs did hatch and the parents faithfully fed, cared for, and protected them. If the little ones needed more warmth or were afraid, they snuggled more deeply under the wings of their mother.
Birds will sacrifice their own lives to keep their young ones safe. I once heard a story of a mother bird whose blackened and dead body was found by rangers after a forest fire. One of them bumped her body with a stick and out popped three little chicks alive and well. She could have flown to safety, but she remained to protect her beloved young and give her life for theirs.
Though a bird will give its life for its young, there are times when it has no power against much stronger enemies. That will never happen with God. He is invincible. There is no enemy too strong for Him. We can always find refuge under His Almighty wings of safety in the storms of life.
And there will be storms, because we are part of this sinful, fallen world. As long as we are on this earth, physical, mental, and emotional losses in various forms will continue to cause heart-rending grief, anxiety, and fear.
We all need a Shelter, a Refuge, a Safe Savior in these storms.
Jesus mourns when we don’t choose to find refuge underneath His loving, shielding wings. When Jerusalem rejected Jesus and His love, He wept (Luke 19:41). He voiced His sorrow in Luke 13:34b:
“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
Jesus longs for us to find refuge under His wings of love and safety. He longs for us to believe He willingly gave His life for us to rescue us from sin, eternal death, and Satan. He longs for us to take it to heart that He loves us so much that He suffered an excruciating death for us to keep us safe.
Yes, it’s hard to trust there is safety under His wings if our trust has been horribly betrayed or if we are so confused about what love really is. It took me many years to believe I can trust Him. To believe His intentions toward us are always honorable and life-giving, not hurtful and life-taking.
Even if we hesitate to take shelter beneath His loving wings, He never stops loving us or caring about us. His wings are always open, entreating us to find refuge in Him. His patience knows no end!
Lord, thank You for loving us so much and longing for us to take shelter in You. Please help us to trust You with all our hearts. Take away all the roadblocks that keep us from fleeing to find refuge in You. Take away all the trust issues we may have in our hearts. Take away all our self-sufficiency. Please help us to snuggle underneath Your wings of loving care with all our restlessness, anxiety, and fear. Help us to picture Your protective wings around us whenever we step forward into places or situations that make us feel so afraid and untrusting but yet will help us on the road to healing the brokenness within us. Help us to be dependent on You and Your all-sufficient grace in whatever struggles we go through in this life. Thank You that Your wings of love and safety are invincible.
It’s scary to step out and take a risk into the unknown, isn’t it?
When God made a way through the Red Sea for the Israelites, they saw the waters part before they took one step. But crossing the Jordan River was different. The priests carrying the Ark were told to step into the swollen waters. When they took that step of faith, God opened the way to the promised land.
God has been whispering to me to “jump into the Jordan” ever since I read this guest post at Ann Voskamp’s blog.
I identify with the need for being absolutely certain. I recognize that paralyzing fear when it comes to decisions in my life. When I read eloquent posts, I feel insecure and indecisive, and that negative voice whispers, “You’re not good enough.” I question whether or not I should keep writing. Whether or not I should continue this blog. As I wrestled with this again during my summer break, I wanted a clear answer from God. He didn’t give me that. Instead, He gave me a nudge to trust Him, to stop standing on the shore, terrified that I can’t step forward without knowing for sure it’s His way for me. Without knowing what the outcome will be. Even without “feeling” Him beside me. He nudged me to take a step of faith and jump into the Jordan’s unknowns, trusting He’s got me and will never abandon me.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Maybe you, too, feel you don’t have a way with words like some writers. Maybe you, too, don’t feel “good enough.” The truth is we don’t need to become more fluent writers to blog. All God asks is that we “jump into the Jordan” with all our inadequacies, trusting His power to part the rivers of our impossibilities with His Almighty strength. Trusting His grace is greater than our fears of not being enough. Trusting His faithful love will guide us and give us the words, whether few or many. Believing He can bless even the sharing of a Bible verse, a song, a nature photo, or an inspirational quote.
Whatever insecurities and impossibilities are overwhelming us right now and paralyzing us from moving forward, God is bigger. In His power, we can step forward into the unknown. The same God who can make a way through the rivers and seas He has created also has the power and the desire to help us jump into the Jordans of our lives and to trust Him to lead us and take care of all our needs.
“And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26
by Jordan Feliz
“There is no ocean that can’t be parted There is no mountain that can’t be moved I know there’s help for the heavy hearted The weak will find their strength renewed
You just gotta have faith Mmm, you just gotta have faith
It’s light for the shadows, for all your tomorrows It’s knowing He’s there through the sun and the rain It’s when you believe it, before you can see it And you can walk on ’cause he’s making the way…”