Is Life’s Journey Too Great For You?

Have you ever felt so tired of life’s journey that you wish God would just take you to Himself? So battle-worn from fighting against Satan’s persistent lies crushing you down to despair? So heart heavy with the mess this world is in and how God and love and compassion are often shoved aside?

Elijah was tired of living. He was advocating for the One True God, and he had just confronted the false prophets of Baal. Queen Jezebel was furious and out to kill him. Filled with fear, Elijah fled and ran a day’s journey to the wilderness. He was weary – mind, body, and soul. Exhausted, he collapsed under a broom tree, a large desert bush.

“I have had enough, Lord. Take my life…” he cried. As he sank into the mire of despondency, he lay down and fell asleep.

A touch woke him up. “Arise and eat,” an angel said. Bread baking on some hot coals and a jar of water were waiting for him. He ate and drank, but he lay down again.

But the God of endless patience and compassion didn’t let him remain there. Elijah’s journey on this earth was far from over. His work for God was not finished. Again an angel touched him. “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

“The angel of the Lord
came again a second time
and touched him and said,
‘Arise, eat, because the journey
is too great for you.’”
1 Kings 19:7

This time Elijah surrendered his weary soul to God. He got up. He ate and drank. He opened his heart to God’s faithful provision and moved forward in the strength of God. Jezebel was still looking for him. He didn’t know what danger, loneliness, or disappointment lay ahead. But he remembered God is bigger than anyone or anything he would face, God was with him no matter what, and God would strengthen him in His journey on this earth.

In this journey of life,
We will have
Times of deep anguish,
Times of sinking in the mire of despair,
Times of feeling forsaken by God.

But Jesus Whispers

My precious child,

I’m still the same God today.

I was there for Elijah

And I am here for you.

Arise and eat, My child.

The journey is too great for you.

Eat the manna of My love

Drink My life-giving water

Relax in the arms of My grace,

My power and My will.

And you will find rest

For mind, body, and soul.

I hold you, My child,

In the arms of My everlasting love,

No lies can snatch you away from Me.

You are safe with Me.

Marvelously made and enough.

Ssshhh…

Be still, My child, be still.

Be encouraged

You don’t have to journey alone.

Rest in My Truth,

And I will refresh your weary soul.

“No, in all these things
we are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

Heal Our Land
by Kari Jobe

“You take our lives
Flawed yet beautiful
Restore, refine
Lord You’re merciful
Redeem, revive
Spirit of God
Breathe on Your church
Pour out Your presence
Speak through Your word
We pray in every nation, Christ be known
Our hope and salvation, Christ alone
New power, new wine
As divisions fall
One church, one bride
Jesus, Lord of all
With one voice, we cry…”

Memory Triggers Battle With Truth, But Truth Will Win

unfailing-love

I wrote a blog post for this week, but I deleted it all.

The second time I wrote, I still deleted most of it to start once again.

ccseedsofloveGod wants me to write authentically, but He also wants me to filter what I publish through His sieve of love. Love towards Him and love toward others. That’s why I like to write days ahead of time and keep praying for direction. When writing vulnerably, I have to be careful. Sometimes it turns out that my writing is more meant to help me process raw emotions, not something He wants me to publish for all to see.

“But speaking the truth in love
[in all things—both our speech
and our lives expressing His truth],
let us grow up in all things into Him
[following His example]
who is the Head—Christ.”

Ephesians 4:15

Too many times in my life I speak or write words that should have remained between myself and God. And sometimes a trusted counselor or friend. So as I write here, I am learning to ask myself – Does this glorify God? Does it radiate with His love or with my bitterness? Does it point to hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus?

Having asked myself these questions, my post is considerably shorter…

I read a blog post that triggered a time when my heart, too, was being judged. When it felt like a giant foot stomped on the deepest feelings of my heart and ground them into oblivion.

In times like this, I teeter on the edge of the Rock that is Christ Jesus, ready to slip and tumble back into a trap of the past where my voice was silenced. Insecurity, fear, and shame battle with Truth. I desperately stretch my hand back to Jesus, begging Him – “Help, Lord! Please take my hand and hang on to me! Keep me on Your sure Foundation of Truth!”

“I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’
but Your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
Psalm 94:18-19 NLT

Memory triggers of past pain can suck us down like quicksand, but Jesus’ love can plant us back on solid ground. He can give us the strength to believe that in Him we are strong and He can keep us from being swayed into a pool of uncertainty again where our voices don’t count. When we remember again that our identity is in Him, not in the painful past, our hearts calm and rest in His love and assurance.

If memory triggers drop the bottom out from beneath us, Jesus’ hand is stretched toward us, waiting for us to grab hold. He longs to help us. He is available 24/7 to hear the pains of our hearts. May we ask Him to ground us again in His Word and our identity in Him. He loves us deeply, and no one can ever take that away.

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.
No one can snatch them away from Me,
for My Father has given them to Me,
and He is more powerful than anyone else.
No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
John 10:28-30

A Child's Trust

“Love Take Me Over”
by Steven Curtis Chapman

“Love, take these words that I’m speaking
Love, take these thoughts that I’m thinking
Love, take me over
Love, fill up all of my space and
Love, stand right here in my place
Love, hear this prayer that I’m praying
Love, take everything that I’m doing
Love, like a river, flow through me
Love, take me over”


ccjesusloves

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Rejection Hurts and Living Loved in Jesus

uninvited-quote

Have you ever been rejected? It hurts, doesn’t it? It uproots our identity of who we really are and replaces it with who others think we are.

When I started out in Junior High, I had many friends, but one spiteful remark stole them away. I will never forget the girl’s name. I still visualize her freckled hand cupping her mouth, her reddish-blond head and lanky frame leaning towards my friends. The widened eyes as they stole glances my way. The laughing. I still don’t know what she said, but I do know my life drastically changed. My friends disappeared, my confidence plummeted, and I often traveled solo through the rest of Junior High and High School.

I think it may have been around this time that my dad said to me, “You never were much of a daughter to me.” Years later, he said he didn’t mean it that way. I realized he lashed out in anger and he had difficulty showing love, and I learned to forgive him. Still the damage was done the instant he said it. The blow to my heart strangled the life and worth out of me. I ran out of the house sobbing. I headed down the road, my heart plunking into a dark pit where I wasn’t noticed and didn’t matter to anyone. My dad came after me in the car, stopped beside me, and said, “Get in.” That was all I remember he said. 

A label fastened to my heart like gorilla glue. “I’m not good enough.” Later, other abuse, not being believed, and more betrayals magnified these thoughts that subconsciously ruled how I felt about myself. I figured since I wasn’t much of a daughter, I wasn’t much of anything. Wife, mom, grandma, sister, friend, Christian, writer, etc.

 Rejection is “a message that’s sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others, and God.” (Lysa TerKeurst)

I still struggle with allowing those lies to dictate how I view myself. Through the eyes of what people said or did. Sometimes I think I’m on top of it as I replace the lies with God’s Truth. But they still lurk in my heart, ready to pounce on me in my most vulnerable moments.

Rejection also influenced my relationships with others. Fearing to say or do anything that might cause them to reject me. Taking words, actions, or silences personally through my skewed perception and my I’m-worthless lens. Thinking people can’t possibly love me, because I was unlovable.

Above all, I allowed rejection to cover the truth about God’s acceptance. I didn’t trust that He could love me like He does. I didn’t take it to heart that Jesus stood alone, utterly rejected, far worse than any of us will ever be. Why? To invite us into His loving arms. To welcome us into a safe place where we will always be loved just as we are.

But how do we get there? Deeply rooted rejection is a hurt we can’t avoid. We need to acknowledge how much it affects us, grieve over it, and process it. To step by step throw out who we thought we were and replace it with who God says we are. If we don’t deal with it, there will remain a void in our hearts. A void that we will keep trying to fill with things or people who will never satisfy.

Jesus wants us to offer up all our these hurts to Him. To allow Him to enter into them with us. To grasp the truth of His tender, never-rejecting love for us.

“At the core of who we are, we crave the acceptance that comes from being loved. To satisfy this longing we will either be ‘graspers’ of God’s love or ‘grabbers’ for people’s love.” (Lysa TerKeurst)

I want to be a grasper of God’s love, not a grabber of people’s love, don’t you? I want to in every situation bring the fullness of God’s love, not my emptiness. I want to live loved. To truly grasp onto and never let go of God’s love, so rich, so full, so free.

People will sometimes reject us when we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, please or don’t please them. But Jesus? Never! His love is like no other. So unconditional. We don’t have to do or not do things to make Him accept us or love us more. In Him, we are always enough.

We are not just enough, but we are loved and delighted in.

“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in His love He will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

His love is unlimited. Deeper than the deepest ocean. Wider than the expanse of the sky. Warmer than the warmest sunshine. Nothing we do or don’t do will ever change His faithful love for us. People may and will reject us, but He will never, ever reject us. Do you feel His arms reaching out to you? Inviting you in?

“All that My Father gives Me will come to Me;
and the one who comes to Me
I will most certainly not cast out
[I will never, never reject anyone who follows Me].”
John 6:37 AMP

“With You, Jesus, I’m forever safe.
I’m forever accepted. I’m forever held.
Completely loved and always invited in.”
(Lysa TerKeurst)

uninvitedUninvited: Living Loved  When You Feel
Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

by Lysa TerKeurst

Are the rejections in your past
affecting you yet today?
Then I believe this book will help you.
I know it has blessed me.

“The more we fully invite God in,
the less we will feel uninvited by others.”

liveloved

“Above All”
Michael W. Smith

“Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all”

You are always welcome here!

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