You try to find happiness, be optimistic about the future and search for people who make you feel good. And while this is the most natural thing in the world, it is important to understand that there is far more than these three things. There is joy that is far more than happiness, hope that is far more than optimism and love that is far more than what makes you feel good. So how do you get some of this ‘far more than’? Go to God – because joy is rooted in God’s reality, which is far more than what going on in the moment; hope is built on God’s plans for the future, which are far more than your best dreams; and love grows from God’s heart, which is far more than your best feelings. The bottom line is really pretty simple. God has created you for far more than what you can do on your own, which is exactly why it’s time to get ready to receive all that God wants to give you.
You’ve awakened to tragic news this morning: the attack on Ohio State University students, the crash of a chartered plane carrying members of a Brazilian soccer team and the raging fires literally engulfing Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Sadly, these events are but the tip of the iceberg of what happens to people around the world every single hour of every day. It’s heartbreaking. And it’s also so overwhelming you probably feel virtually powerless to do anything. But you can. You can pray that God’s grace will come in exactly the way it is needed at exactly the time it is needed. You can pray that God will show you what you can do to respond in the way you can at the time you can. And you can seek to grow in your love of God and neighbor every single day. You’ll never be able to magically fix anything. But you can be a channel of God’s love that makes more difference than you’ll ever dream possible.
The long holiday weekend is over and you’re probably dreading having to go back to everyday life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s because every day – starting today – can be an incredible, amazing and wondrous day for one simple reason: God’s grace. God’s grace is not limited to holidays, holy days or high days. It’s a reality every single moment of every single day. In fact, God has a way of showing up on those days you need it most and transforms everyday life into sacred life; ordinary moments into holy moments; and the toughest life throws at you into moments when you experience the power of God’s presence more clearly than any other time. So how do you experience this kind of everyday life? It really is simple. Trust God who has already reached out to you.
I don’t like the truth – especially when it involves me. But it is what it is and that means I’ve got to deal with it. And I will.
I’ve made it all about me. Again. But, then, you already know that.
So, Lord, I’m ready to learn again what I already know. That You are love. The heart and soul of life. And true joy and hope.
Yes, Lord, I’m ready. To experience the fullness of Your love. How it loves me just the way I am. Shapes and molds me. And invites me to live it in every single thing I do.
Yes, Lord, I’m ready. To journey to the manger. Where I can ponder the mystery of You becoming human. Be enveloped by Your miraculous love. And join the heavenly chorus in praising You.
Yes, Lord, I’m ready.
Sometimes life is so amazing that it just seems to carry you along on a magical journey. Sometimes, however, life is also so painful and overwhelming that you’re not sure you’re going to be able to take the next step, let alone walk your journey. That’s why you need God. God is always embracing you with a love that will never let go; working in you bringing transformation to form you into the kind of person God has created you to be; and guiding you with prods, connecting you with the right people at the right time and helping you experience abundant life in the midst of all life – good, bad and ugly. You cannot entice, control or direct God in what God is doing. It’s grace and grace is always a gift. But you can believe in it, seek it and hold onto it for dear life. Because, in point of fact, dear life is exactly what it is.