Back on Track

Running with a heavy overcoat isn’t the best way to travel; but I have a hard time laying aside encumbrances and staying untangled. Holy Week is always difficult, but the pain has been overwhelming this week. Christ’s passion is more than I can comprehend, and it breaks my heart to think of His suffering. Hebrews 12:1-3 helped me change my focus and get my heart back on track.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (NASB)

I was lost in the weariness of the world this week, but God put these scriptures in the path to remind me to lighten my load and run the race He has set before me. Christ saw the joy set before Him, and knowing that joy allowed Him to endure the cross, despise the shame, endure the hostility, and end up at the right hand of His Father. He did it all so I could share that joy with Him.

I cannot run the race Christ ran, and thinking I have to is what makes Holy Week weigh me down each year. I can, however, run the race specifically designed for my heart by One who knows me better than I know myself. No one is able to run my race for me, but sharing the joy and pain found on my journey humbles and fills my heart with wonder. That was a powerful part of the learning this week. If I try to run Christ’s race, carry His load, or carry my burdens alone, I will quickly become entangled and encumbered. I came to a place of quitting this week, but God bid me to get up, keep going, and trust Him.

Good Friday is the perfect day to fix my eyes on Jesus. He is, and always will be the author and perfecter of faith. If I keep my focus upon Him, I will find the love, joy, and peace I was missing this week. Encumbrances will continue to entangle as long as I am in this world, but I can keep my balance and run the race with endurance if I remember I am never alone.

Walking Together

A Future and A Hope

God brought me back to Jeremiah 29:11 tonight as Iwatched the sun setting for over half an hour. There is something soothing in sitting quietly and watching the subtle changes that take place as the sky goes from day to night. Tonight, I found sweet peace in God’s promise in Jeremiah.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” NASB

Sunset Promise

A future and a hope:) God has both for me if I will trust Him with my welfare. He is Yahweh, so how can I ignore His promise. He keeps His promises, and He also promises not to leave me in Matthew 28:20. I need to promise Him the same. I have been thinking about thinking about Him today as I’ve been reading Philippians 2:5-11. The beautiful description of Christ is the perfect companion to His promise in Jeremiah.

Christ is the future and the hope God has in mind for me if I will just keep Christ in mind and think upon Him above all else. As the sun gave up the its last beautiful rays this evening, I knew I had to do the same and empty myself so He can give me the new beginning He has in mind. The promise of a sunset is that sunrise is just around the corner:)

Learning to Obey in a Different Way

To obey, according to the dictionary, is to “do as told” or “be controlled.” I’ve been thinking a lot about obedience lately as God has asked me to give up what I love dearly. I’ve struggled, cried, begged, fussed, and even asked Him quietly if He still loves me. All were futile as He waited patiently for me to obey as He desires. I decided to give up space to God for Lent, and that has challenged me to my very core. God wants me to surrender all, and I came to a place of willingness to do just that last week as I learned to obey in a very different way.

As I prepared myself for the worst, God gave me the best. He always does that, so I have to wonder why I continue to question or doubt Him. I should know by know that He is who He says He is and knows what He’s doing. The scriptures in the path this week reminded me that my questioning amounts to disbelief. That sobering thought helped me get rid of my acquiescence and do as told with a different heart.

God’s ways are higher than mine, and I found myself shaking my head and smiling as His plans unfolded. They make absolutely no sense, but they are perfect. I love that about Him. As I questioned Him about crossing lines, He was clear that there are no lines or divisions in His body except for the ones made by others. He wanted me to cross those lines and go where He was bidding. I’ve never considered being part of more than one church, but God made it crystal clear that is what He wants. I pray I will let Him control and listen only to Him so I can make the connections He has in mind.

If I do something because I want to, that isn’t obedience. If I do something because I believe I have to, that isn’t obedience. If I have to be bribed to do something, that isn’t obedience. When it comes to obeying as God desires, I have to listen carefully and trust completely that He knows what He’s doing even if it makes no sense to me. The result is something I never could have come up with on my own, and it blesses beautifully when I finally obey with complete surrender. True obedience means not having to understand. If I do something because I understand or came up with the idea in the first place, that is worse than not obeying at all. That’s taking His place, and I’m afraid I’ve done far too much of that in the course of this journey. You know what they say about that road to hell, it is surely paved with my good intentions. I think I’ll steer clear of that path and take His:)

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