A settled heart

Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Worry is never helpful. In fact, if I read these verses carefully, it is prohibited. Don’t is the first word of the first sentence. Instead is the first word of the second. Let is the first word of the third. Don’t – instead – let. When I accept this instruction, and I relinquish my worries to the Lord, he settles me down. A sense of his wholeness (worry always fractures) and a reminder of his promise to bring everything together for good (worry always challenges this) settles everything. If that is not enough, I am reminded of what is in the center of my life. If my Lord is, no controlling worry.

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Lord, you are the only One who can settle my heart, putting it in order again. Please do that. And, when things come to me that could cause me to worry, help me take them to you. You are the only One who can properly handle them.

A quiet place

As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. Matthew 14:22-23

As was with Jesus, there must be times that I draw away from everything and everyone to connect with my Father. Intimacy demands this. It is in the quiet place that I hear his heart and understand his plans for me. There, the uncertainties fade into trust and faith.

Something I have come to experience is that he is always there before me. He arrives and waits. I never do. So, I wonder what he is wanting to share with me today?

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Lord, help me find a quiet place to meet with you. And, help me be disciplined to show up. I don’t want you to wait a long time for me.

Role-play

Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. Matthew 6:6

Jesus is inviting me to come to him, in a quiet, secluded place. It is there that honest relationship is formed. My hurried pace fights this intimacy. In the quiet place with my Lord, I can simply be. No show. No pretense. No role-play.

That is what I want so, I must discipline myself toward it. Turn off. Disconnect. Stop. Only then will my Lord reveal himself. He will not do that if I don’t care enough to slow the pace. He will never speed up his pace to walk with me; I must get in step with his.

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Lord, you know my hurried heart. Demands, distractions, involvements all fight for my attention. And, I let them do so, even encourage them at times. Help me be still through silence and cultivate serenity through times of solitude.

Waiting in the shadows

Who out there fears GOD, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, Here’s what: Trust in GOD. Lean on your God! Isaiah 50:10-11

God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand”. The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision Never try to help God fulfill His word. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. – Oswald Chambers

IMG_4199Two voices – one truth. God has often revealed his will to me in stages. Little glimpses. Most of his will-revealing for me requires waiting in the shadows. And, though never easy, it is easiest when I remember I am waiting for him not for a certain thing to happen. My Lord’s timing is perfect – remember! Therefore, there is no fear of losing out as I wait in the shadows. His delay is his process of preserving me for his best and protecting me from that which is less than his best.

Lord, help me wait patiently and remember that you are perfect in all you do. What you do is rightly done.

The Unchanging Constant

I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Philippians 4:10-14

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Courtesy: Rosa Say

Contentment ebbs and flows if there is no unchanging constant. It’s a lesson which has to be learned and, it can only be learned by the experiences of loss and gain. Though loss and disappointment take their toll, when our lives are focused on our Lord who is the Unchanging Constant, their impact is controlled. Contented people grieve. Contented people relive mistakes. Contented people struggle. The difference is how loss, regrets and difficulties impact the heart.

Happy with little, happy with much. Happy when full, happy when hungry. Happy with full hands and happy with empty hands. The Unchanging Constant is the key to this ebb and flow life.

I love the last phrase, the One who makes me who I am. I am not defined by gain or loss, success or failure, good times or bad times. I am who I am through the faithful work of the Unchanging Constant.

Lord, I am a fickle person, you know. My emotions, thoughts and plans ebb and flow as the ocean. All around me are shifting tides. But you alone remain my constant one. Thank you for being so faithfully rock-steady.