My soul is heavy today.
Images of yesterday’s commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 still linger in my soul. The death and destruction of COVID19, especially its divisive impact in our nation, will not leave me any peace. And the fact that children near and far will suffer hunger, abuse and hopelessness is almost unbearable.
It’s a beautiful cool September morning where I live. The many blessings I experience overwhelm me with gratitude. And this day is Your gift to me.
In the midst of all of this, I long to live a holy life. Not to earn Your love or prove how religious I am. But simply because I cannot not do anything else once I have experienced Your love that changes everything about everything.
And so, Lord, my prayer is simple. May I root my life in Your love that showers me daily. May I experience as my own the saving love that Jesus shared through his death on the cross. And may I linger in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit that enables me to live the life to which you call me.
I pray this in the life-giving name of Jesus.
Here’s what I’ve learned and I give thanks to God that I have. The world is filled with so many wonderful surprises, different kinds of people and amazing experiences. Life works far better when you lead with love and let that set the tone of everything else that happens. And you find far more satisfaction when you focus on others than on yourself. Yet my spirit is unsettled. And the reason is that for some reason we seem to keep spending our time and energy on almost everything but the most important thing: Jesus. So let’s make a shift today, and put Jesus – who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, Hope unending and Joy inexplicable – at the heart of the heart of everything. No telling what will happen. Literally!
In the same way seasons change with the calendar, life changes as you journey through the years. In the same way you have no control over the weather on any particular day, you often have no control over what happens in your life. And in the same way you have to adapt to the weather the way it is and not the way you would like it to be, you have to adapt to what is happening in your life. This can be daunting, even overwhelming. But it is a powerful reminder of something you need to remember, embrace and celebrate. You do not do life alone. Jesus is in front of you, behind you, above you, below you, beside you and in you every moment of every day. So much so, you literally walk through life in a bubble of grace.
Knowing who you are – really knowing – and owning it – really owning it – is essential. In fact, it’s a divine imperative because God already knows who you are and fully accepts you just the way you are. However, knowing and owning who you are is not the end of the story, it’s just the beginning. Because once you know who you are and why you are the way you are, God longs for the Holy Spirit to go to work in your life to make you the best unique you that you can be. It’s the transformation that is at the heart of living as Jesus’ disciple. So take the first step today. Accept that God accepts you just the way you are. And then – and only then – figure out what God wants to do next in your life.
God is the source of the love that is the greatest power in the universe. The fullness of God’s love is revealed in the life, death and resurrection of God’s only Son, Jesus. God loves you exactly the way you are, but also loves so much God won’t leave you the way you are. God freely showers you with just the love you need at just the time you need it in just the way you need it. God’s love transforms you from the inside-out, affecting every single aspect of your life. You experience the most meaningful, joyful and hopeful life possible when you accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord, and live as his disciple. This is what I know. This is what I believe. Lord, help me believe more.
You wake up some days feeling empty inside. Sometimes you know exactly why, while others you have no clue at all. Sure, there are some things you can do to fill that emptiness. And, of course, you may need help if the emptiness persists to the point that it interferes with your life. But what if the point is not merely to fill the emptiness, but rather to learn from the emptiness by delving deeply into your soul and seeing what’s there, understanding how your actions are impacting your feelings, figuring out what your relationship with Jesus has to do with what’s going on, and experiencing how God’s grace is active even when you’re not sure you’re feeling it? Sometimes it’s exploring what you least want to address that enables you to grow in exactly the ways the Holy Spirit knows you need.