Okay, my intention was to start blogging again today, but my mind and heart were so overwhelmed with anxiety and uncertainty lately. But after spending some time with God soaking in the peaceful sights and sounds of His creation this morning, I feel more grounded in Him who controls everything. So now my heart feels nudged to send you encouragement yet today.
Isn’t it amazing that God’s thoughts towards us outnumber the grains of sand? He promises His presence and He will provide for us even when we can’t see our way forward. We may feel uncertain about the way forward. Our steps may falter. We may stumble and fall. But He reaches out His hand and urges us to grasp His hand in ours and trust Him to lead us step by step. To trust that His thoughts towards us are precious and He is with us each and every moment, even in the times when we can’t “feel” His Presence.
Imagine Me Without You
by Jaci Velasquez
“Imagine me without You I’d be lost and so confused I wouldn’t last a day, I’d be afraid Without You there to see me through…”
Do you feel alone, rejected, and misunderstood? With nowhere to turn? Like even God has left you?
When Abraham sent away Hagar and Ishmael, they wandered in the desert. Aimlessly. With a canteen of water and some food that soon ran out. Now what?
As their bodies dehydrated, they became weak and lethargic. Hagar couldn’t bear seeing her son die, so she hid him under one of the bushes and distanced herself. She sat down and sobbed. Doesn’t anyone care?
Then an angel called to Hagar, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.”
Hagar was physically weak from lack of water and spiritually devastated of hope. But God graciously reminded her that He hears. And He lifted her head and opened her eyes to see a well, and hope surged through her soul. She got up, filled her water skin, and gave her son a drink.
While man-made wells can and do run dry, the well of Jesus’ love is bottomless and will never, ever run dry. It’s available to each of us, waiting for us to drink freely from it. It’s full to overflowing of:
Sometimes our grief-blinded eyes and our pain-crushed hearts can focus only on the pit of our misery rather than the hope God places right in front of us. The hope that He sees and hears us always. The hope that His love is faithful and will never reject us.
If you are having a difficult time, may Jesus hold you up and strengthen you. May He lift you and carry you when you can’t go any further. May He each morning not only open our eyes to His never-emptying well of love, but also empower us to drink from it.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14
God Loves You
by Jaci Velasquez
“In the quiet, love is reaching. It`s yours to hold, Be still and know that Even when you`re lost and lonely, And hope is gone, you`re not alone.
Far beyond the understanding, There`s a hand that leads, If you believe.
Through the darkness, see the light. Remember God loves you.”
“Lord, if it is really You, then tell me to meet You on the water,” Peter called to Jesus who walked on the water to be with His disciples.
Peter boldly stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But then he took his eyes off of Jesus. He focused on the boisterous waves swirling around him.
“Lord, save me!” he cried out as fear and desperation choked him and the sea threatened to swallow him.
Did Jesus let him drown? No, He Immediately reached down His hand and caught him.
I can almost imagine the sorrow in Jesus’ eyes as He said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
I don’t believe Jesus said it to condemn Peter but to plead with him to keep his eyes focused on Him, not on the storm. And He questioned him, so Peter would question and examine himself.
This story (Matthew 14:22-34) has often been used by God to strengthen me. I identify with Peter and his dancing back and forth between faith and fear. And yet, even though Jesus knew Peter would grievously deny Him in the future and even though Peter doubted His power to keep him on top of the water when he saw and felt the power of the storm, Jesus didn’t give up on him. Jesus will never, ever abandon us and let us drown, no matter how much we doubt Him. His faithfulness, love, and compassion are limitless.
It’s so easy to be swallowed up in the storms of life, isn’t it? As I look back on my life, there were many times when wave after wave crashed over me and the undercurrent of doubt and despair sucked me under.
But God! I know now that He was keeping me from drowning even when I felt like not even He cared or understood me.
Relief from my troubles and despair didn’t always come immediately. Often it was just a quiet strength to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. In hindsight I see more of the depth of His amazing love and faithfulness that upheld me. How He reached out and pulled me up, how He brought my limp body and spirit to the shore of His grace and breathed life into me, how He carried me when I had no strength to keep going. Again and again… And He still does…
May God strengthen and calm you with His love
and grace in the midst of life’s storms!
Are you in one of life’s storms right now?
What has been the greatest storm in your life?
What verses calm you in the midst of the storm?
Sometimes He Calms the Storm
by Scott Krippayne
“…Sometimes He calms the storm With a whispered peace be still He can settle any sea But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close And lets the wind and waves go wild Sometimes He calms the storm And other times He calms His child…”