Burden bearing

Day 25 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorn

The call came in the middle of a beautiful October Saturday when the sunshine’s warmth is a surprise.

It’s been a busy and full day already.  There are tasks still ahead that don’t even show up on the list of things to do.  They simply must be done before night falls.

But the call interrupts and I hear her sadness and then the struggle to speak because of the tears she is trying to hold back.  And my heart breaks for her, for her family.  The loss is sudden and unexpected.  The grief is hard.  Isn’t it always?

Sometimes I can get caught up in my own stuff, my own struggles, my own thorns.  It is easy to forget the rest of the world while I’m muddling through my mess.

But there are hurting people all around me.  I must pay attention.  I must share their load.

Jesus came as the ultimate Burden Bearer.  He took the weightiest load in the world, my sins, to the cross and thus relieved me of having to bear the unbearable myself.  At the same time He asks me to help carry someone else’s burdens.  This is the law of Christ.

Love God.  Love others.  It really is that simple.  Do it with all your heart.  Do it with all your strength.  Do it in whatever way you can.

While I pray for strength to get through my day, I must not forget to pray for strength for someone else.  It is the Lord’s way of helping us all to keep going.

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On the phone, I listen to her talk.  I share her sorrow for I have dealt with my own loss.  I promise to pray.  And I will.  For this is my duty of love, for Christ and for my my friend.

I am extravagantly loved by God in order to be a conduit of His love to others.  No matter what, this is my highest calling.

  For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Respite

Day 24 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

Respite  – time with a sympathetic friend who listens with her heart.

Respite – when someone gives time and full attention.

Respite – shared laughter and tears.

Respite – not being judged when doubts are expressed.

Respite – giving joy to someone who needs it very much.

Today, I experienced respite.  And I am refreshed.

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For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Let’s take a trip

Day 23 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

One thing that helped me start blogging was reading other blogs.  So often, these writers spoke my own unspoken words, words still trying to grow in my heart.

There are so very many bloggers out there in cyperspace talking about such various subjects that I wondered why I needed to add my voice to the mix.  But then my circle of influence is different from them.  I decided to give it a whirl.

I’ve not always been consistent in my writing, and I fear sometimes my thoughts are on the shadowy side because of my life’s twisty, rocky road.  Hopefully, there is an encouraging few words at the end of the journey so we can see light.

So today I ask you to take a little trip with me to visit Holley Gerth, a blogger I admire.  Today she speaks to my woman’s heart.

 Holley Gerth with coffee for your heart.

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For a list of the days of October, go here please.

When faith struggles

Sometimes my faith waivers. You too, perhaps?

I guess we are in good company since John the Baptist even questioned Jesus’ Messiahship when he had been thrown into prison for preaching against sin.  In Matthew 11 I read John’s story which sometimes sounds a little like mine.

At Jesus’ baptism John was right there in the water as a dove settled upon Jesus, the indication that He was indeed sent from God.  But in a dark prison, alone and suffering, John began to question his own beliefs.  John sent his friends to ask Jesus if he really was the One they were looking for.

I’ve been there.

What is really beautiful about this story is that Jesus does not return a rebuke to John.  Instead, Jesus sends John reassurance.

I’ve needed that before.

A time many years ago I bowed before the Lord in deep agony of soul, tears streaming down my face, wondering what was happening and where this road would end.  God “spoke” words of Scripture to my heart:

“Believe and see the glory of God

It was not a rebuke but reassurance.  I clung to those words like a drowning man grasps for a life preserver.  And over the next year, I beheld the glory of God in a way I could not have imagined.

Maybe you need an encouraging word today.  Maybe you need assurance from Jesus that He really is the One and that He really does have a plan for your life and that He really does hear those prayers.

Here are some words from a sermon by David Platt that encouraged me today.  I hope it does the same for you.

“Even for those who seem to be the most faithful [speaking of John the Baptist], faith is sometimes hard, particularly when the burdens of life feel heavy.  But the good news is that even in our doubts, the very God whom we seek to be sure of is certain to meet us where we are in order to assure us of His faithfulness.”

Oh my, I can take hold of that and run with it!

God does not upbraid us when we doubt; rather He meets us where we are right in the middle of it, and He brings all of His faithfulness to lighten our load and lift us up so we once again can walk in faith.

Even when we are not faithful, He remains faithful,  Hallelujah!

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Blue sky

Day 21 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

No matter how the clouds gather,

No matter the shades of grey that roll and swirl and block the light,

No matter that darkness seems to last too long,

No matter the swirling and twisting that takes your breath,

There is still a blue sky behind it all,

And after the storm, it will break through.

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” . . . [Jesus] rebuked the wind and the rough waves, and the storm ceased. And all became calm.”  Luke 8:24

For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Gentle serving

Day 20 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

I worked in customer service for about seven years at the YMCA.  Training and supervising staff to give our members excellent service was a major part of my responsibilities.  I enjoyed serving with the rest of the staff.

It was often a fun job but it was not always easy.  Some members were great and came with smiles and positive attitudes.  Some complimented our facility and our work.  A few complained.  Either way we tried to serve to the best of our ability.

I read that Jesus came as a servant.  He didn’t ask others to serve Him though He had every right to do so.

One of the prophesies confirming Jesus as Messiah was the way He would serve.  Gently.  With humility.

Jesus was a leader among leaders.  His courage was never in question.  He faced his critics with straight answers, never backing down, never pulling punches as He spoke the truth.

Yet He said of Himself, that He was gentle and lowly.  Humility was never a disguise for any weakness in Him.   It was His way of showing us how to live.

I am again in a position of serving.  My Sweet William is in a difficult season, not able to be active the way he used to be, not able to do some things for himself.  So I must help him.  My days are often long and tiring.  I wish I could say I consistently serve like Jesus did.  Sadly, I don’t always.  Sometimes I get frustrated, irritated, and impatient.

Then I read Scripture and am reminded again that this is what I am called to do if I am to become more like Jesus.  He elevated the role of servanthood to the ultimate level.  And He asks me to follow in His steps.

I’ve had plenty of time to practice my serve.  Sometimes it was in the basement of the church with little people, sometimes it was on the platform playing for the choir.

Whatever position it is, I am called to the highest of missions.  Serving the one God has placed in front of me.

If I want to do it well, I need to keep practicing.

For a list of the days of October, go here please.Bill and Peg, dad's 90th

This day

Day 19 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

Today,

May you join with fellow believers and worship with all your heart.

May you sing your song out loud.

May you taste and see that the Lord is good.

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Enjoy the sound of the crackling leaves and the laughter of your family.

Enjoy the taste of good food and pumpkin lattes.

Enjoy the brilliant colors on the trees.

Enjoy the smell of autumn in the air.

Enjoy the feel of God’s presence all around you.

This is the day He has made.  Rejoice and be glad!

Today may you be refreshed in body and soul.

Sunday blessings, friends.

For a list of the days of October, go here please.