Trust and Come

heb 4-16

Children embrace each new day with hope and joy because they expect to be loved and welcomed by their parents and/or caregivers.

Our verse in The Mended Heart study for this week is Heb 4:16. ” Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Considering and pondering that, I wanted my very own mini-poster and saw this picture of a grandchild when he was small.

I recalled what Jesus said, in Matthew 18:3, “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

We COME to Him (Jesus) expecting to find that mercy and grace to help us in our times of need, just like a little child comes running to those he loves. The child KNOWS they will love him and take care of him.

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Run to Jesus

psalm 31-1

An Invitation and Direction From the Heart of Abba

Run to Me.
Do not run FROM Me.
RUN TO ME.

As you run,
Some things will simply bounce off.
You will not even notice they are gone.
But they will be gone forever.

After you have run to Me,
You may be very tired,
Because it is likely,
That until you were ALREADY,
Exhausted and drained,
You did not remember,
Where to run…to Me.

So simply rest a bit.
Catch your breath.
When someone is out of breath,
All they CAN think about is,
Getting that next breath.

Once you have rested long enough,
And I will let you know when that is,
Begin to hand Me those heavy burdens,
Be they thoughts, deeds, or actions,
Over to Me.

Some of them,
I will simply take.
They will just disappear,
In the act of handing them over.
Later you may wonder where they went.

Others, I will set aside.
Then together we will examine them.
All the while you will be at rest.
Peace and HOPE will be being restored.
You may not have even realized that hope,
Had dissipated but I knew,
Hope always is restored,
When My children REST in/with/on Me.

Beloved, over time,
This will become an automatic
Default result of any trauma or stressful circumstances.
At first, it may take intentionality.
It is normal for you to desire to run.
It can become NORMAL to run to ME.

I am always waiting for you,
Always aware of you,
Always ready to provide,
Exactly what you need.
So RUN to ME.

Free To “Be”

free

Free to “Be”

Free to Love
Free to hate (what God hates)

Free to laugh
Free to cry

Free to dwell in JOY
Yet also free to admit pain and sorrow.

Free to fail
Free to succeed

Free to BE who GOD created us to BE
Free to DO what GOD created us to DO

FREE to “BE”
The very BEST we can.
On the journey to becoming
All that we “are”.

Remember the Caterpillar

caterpillar

Remember the Caterpillar

A caterpillar has NO choice.
It is going to become a chrysalis.
At the appointed time, it will form into the shape of a J and so it begins….or ends… or begins…

It is all in our perspective.

The chrysalis stage surely is an ending. It is the end of life as a caterpillar. If a caterpillar could talk or worry, no doubt it would be tempted to say, “Oh no, what is going on? I don’t like this. What is happening to me? This is killing me”, or something similar.

In reality it is a good thing. An ending, yes, but also a beginning. The beginning of a new stage of life as a butterfly.

We also have stages of life. First we are in the womb. What baby ever would say when labor commenced and they began the journey down the birth canal, “Oh this is nice, I like this! So GLAD this is happeneing!” More likely if they could they would choose to stay right where they are in that nice warm, but crowded, womb.
But birth must happen or the child would die, so would the mother.

Then there is childhood, youth, young adulthood and finally the “twilight” years. Sometimes we eagerly embrace the new stage, other times, we may struggle against it. But we will grow and age.

Right now you may be in the prime of life or you may be closer to the end of life. Hopefully at some point you entered the forever stage of “Child of God”.

When I first observed up close the life cycle of a butterfly, I thought it was totally fascinating but also totally gross. The little egg turned into a caterpillar, it ate and ate, shed its skin several times then all of a sudden totally without any choice on it’s part, it became a chrysalis. Inside the chrysalis things began to happen. Then one day something similar but totally different emerged. A butterfly.

Our walk is similar.
God is showing me that as my LOVING Abba-Father, and as Emmanuel (God With Me), He has carried me through my entire life. Sometimes kicking and screaming, sometimes dragging my feet for dear life (I thought) ..but in the end, looking back it all was part of who I am now and God really has become more and more real and present to me as a result.

There is a verse says… when you are old you will be taken where you do NOT want to go… God was speaking to John I think, but had the things which happened to John in his life not happened, we would be missing a huge part of the Bible.

Often we really really, really, really can’t deal with life…it can be too overwhelming. But we know Who can walk through “it” with us, or carry us, or sometimes mitigate the circumstances.

Since we can’t stop “it”, or fix “it”…we learn to REST “it” and ourselves into HIS CARE for us. We may not understand the plans and purposes of God in the seasons of life. We may even kick and scream a bit.

As you go from “chrysalis to butterfly” remember, the same God who created the butterfly, created you. He cares for you. He is WITH you and He will NEVER abandon you. Whatever season you are in right now, you/we are not alone. God may be stretching out our arms and leading us somewhere we NEVER wanted to go. But His plans are always to prosper us, to give us hope and a future.

Life may feel impossible right now or in the future. Let’s remember the caterpillar as well as the promises of God.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
John 21:18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
Philippians 1:6… being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ..
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
1 John 3:2 – Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

But God….

but God

BUT GOD…..

I think one of my new favorite phrases is… “BUT GOD….”

Some days are difficult… but God….

Some situations are beyond hard…but God….

Sometimes we may feel alone or abandoned or like we can’t carry on another second…but God….

Our feelings may get hurt…. but GOD…..
We may feel so trapped in our hurts habits or hang-ups…but GOD…

God is bigger.
Bigger than any and every circumstance of life.
God is love. His love is always there for us, with us and directed to us.
There is no circumstance of our lives, past-present-future which has been outside of His presence with us.

So when things are overwhelming,
When your kids are screaming,
Traffic is stalled and you are late,
Whatever the world is screaming in your face,

Remember…this little phrase and finish it with a Bible truth…

“But God….”.

Friday, as I was driving to the YMCA to meet with a physical therapist, my heart was drawn to the pretty flowers in this mini poster.
There was a butterfly, well really several fluttering around them.
Those flower colors are especially lovely and whoever designed that area has a nice eye for color and height.
I am always drawn to those particular places along that medium.

But this day my heart was heavy and I felt overburdened.

BUT GOD….sent a butterfly.

And there was no traffic at all so GOD also arranged that and let me have time to shoot this photo through my car window.

See? I was stressed… BUT GOD knew it and since He knows me and my heart, He also knew JUST what little gift to send my way in that very moment.

The Truth About The Path

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Truth of the Path

I love this path at Mandarin Park. The river is just to the left, you can see it when you are on the path. There is a lovely green grassy field just to the right. Sometimes you can see it while walking here, and even if you cannot see it, you know it is there.

This path is negotiable. It has a lot of dips, and curves and things that can easily trip you if you are not paying attention, but it is lovely. There are even resting places if you get weary. Natural resting places like that huge root and those stumps.

If you are older like I am, or younger like Kason is, you need to be very aware of the roots and stumps, even the smallest ones and watch where you step. If you are a teen, like Reece, it is much easier to navigate.

Life is like this path I think. There is beauty surrounding our hearts, even on a rough path. Often the path itself is pretty even thought it may be difficult to travel. While you are on it, you will see beauty to the left and to the right, you may or may not see the end of the path. You may not be able to see what is just around the next curve and you may have to be alert (especially during certain seasons) to the snares that could trip you up.

Life is more GOOD than BAD if we keep our eyes open. Even if life is difficult at times.

Remember Mary? She was scared when that angel came. She did not understand. Her entire world was shifting in a seemingly not-so-good way. Her response, “Be it unto me according to your will.”
Remember Jesus in the garden before the crucifixion? He asked three times for this “cup” to be taken from Him. Then added, “Not my will but yours be done.” And went willingly to a cruel death on the cross. For you and for me.

I wonder if we could see those difficult things in life, even those scary things differently if we could access the level of trust to say no matter what, “Be it unto me according to your will.”
Not just to say it, but to accept it?

What if, instead of struggling, we could simply “be” however we are, “feel” however we feel and TRUST GOD with ALL that we are. Choosing to entrust to Him all that concerns us. Truly choosing to REST in and on His LOVE for us, His PRESENCE WITH us, and His CARE for and of us? How different would we become? The circumstances might not change but we would be changed.

I wonder……

Consider the Truth of the Path.

If you live here, go take a walk along this path in Mandarin Park and invite the Love of God, our Emmanuel to enfold and guide you into whatever truth He may have for your heart.
(This is right along the river. Begin at that bench along the side of the river and head toward the dock.)