Treading Water…

tread

Do you ever feel like you’re treading water spiritually?

Our Rescuer picks us up out of the depths, we gasp, take a big deep breath of fresh air, and start to breathe. It’s a beautiful and life changing thing…

We PRAISE Him for the rescue. We devote ourselves all over again. We pray more consistently than before. We cherish His presence in our lives. Now, we can actually feel ourselves start to sink if our prayer time fades. Prayer has become our lifeline.

So we are praying consistently, going to church, seeking Him and His will for our lives, loving others, learning to love ourselves as He does, and summoning His strength to share. Treading. Our arms and legs start to tire. We start looking around for somewhere to rest. Our ship to come in. And, we may start to wonder…..what next? What now? I have. I think it’s part of our journey.

When a week goes by and I feel like I’m treading water, I make a conscious effort to remind myself that at least I’m not drowning anymore! I can breathe and my eyes have been opened, Praise God! My weaknesses have been revealed and my mind renewed. I know where to go for true strength. I know where to turn for truth. I don’t fear truth, I cherish it. I’d so much rather receive truth than be deceived one more day.

Then, out of the blue, a raft appears. Jesus says, “not only did I rescue you, I gave you a raft. You don’t have to tread. Rest.” Oh, thank goodness, I need it! And I lie on my raft and I rest. He doesn’t just rescue us from the depths of despair, pain, and deception. He offers a true rest in Him.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Sometimes the routine of our lives and the constant waiting for the next big thing feels like treading water. Still, I’d rather tread than drown. I’d rather rest than tread. I’d rather breathe easily than gasp.

It’s a life long journey and each one of us are on our own. Not alone, but on our own personal journeys between our personal rescuer and ourselves.

Today, enjoy your raft and take a rest with Jesus. 

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When the Clouds Part

clouds

The last couple of days have felt extremely refreshing. I can’t think of any particular reason why….Have you ever had a few good hours, days, or weeks, and wondered when the clouds will return? There is a discipline to enjoying the good days rather than waiting and anticipating the next storm to roll in. Joy is a gift from God. It’s a fruit that He wants us to enjoy and partake of as much as possible on this earth. Give thanks for relief, peace, and laughter when they show their lovely faces. Enjoy and rest in what God has already done in your life. He’s still on the job and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

He carries us when we need to be carried. He fights for us when we turn it over. He weeps with us in our grief. AND, he smiles with us when we are happy. What a beautiful thought. When we have joy and peace, it’s from Him. When we need help, He’s there. Just like the parent we wish we could be for our kids, He is omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-loving. He rejoices over us.

The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with His love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy. Zepheniah 3:17 (GW)

He celebrates us! Not just WITH us, but He celebrates US. In the NIV version, the same verse says He will “rejoice over you in singing.” Can you even imagine that God sings over each of us? Our very own personal love song from the One who died for us. Now, that’s a beautiful love story.

When your life is good, let it be good! Soak in the sunshine and take in a big, deep, beautiful breath. Exhale, smile, and repeat. When the next trial arrives, He’ll be there. He always is. Relish in the good days and remember that when we are smiling, our Father is too…

Nobody’s Perfect!

just breathe

My last entry ended with the much needed relief that God knows our hearts, even when they might be misunderstood by others. What a breath of fresh air! Now, take another big, deep breath and stop pursuing and expecting perfection. Nobody’s perfect. That means……no relationship is perfect, no marriage is perfect, no school is perfect, no job is perfect, no church is perfect, no pastor is perfect, no parent is perfect, no child is perfect, and no blog is perfect. We are all swimming in an ocean of grace and we should be loving and encouraging each other every single day. Compassion trumps criticism any day of the week. The one who leans down to help you up is the one who knows what it feels like to be knocked down. We all have strengths, weaknesses, gifts, regrets, successes, and failures. We all want to be loved and we all have a lot to learn. Life is a journey and we will never be perfect this side of heaven no matter how hard we try. We need to stop pursuing perfection and start pursuing the only One who is. INHALE, EXHALE….