Sunday Blessing

I had planned to take Sunday breaks during the write 31-day challenge.  But today at church one of my favorite scripture passages from Isaiah was read and I found it comforting.  I thought maybe you would too.

In our deepest grief or trouble, we can go to God’s word to find strength and peace. My prayer is that whatever you are passing through today you will find comfort in the words of our Holy God.

But now, this is what the Lord says — he who created you, Jacob, He who formed you Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your savior.       Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)

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Grace for the journey,

Teresa

Click here for the complete series, A 31 Day Journey through grief.

 

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Joy?

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Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.   –Romans 12:12

This was one of the verses included in my devotions this morning.  I had to chuckle a little as I read that verse, in light of what I’ll be going through this afternoon.

In a little while I’ll be sipping a lovely “cocktail” in preparation for a routine procedure in the morning.  I have not looked forward to this at all.  I remember well the nastiness of the drink and how I couldn’t finish it the last time.  I also don’t like it when I’m not in control of a situation, so these things usually make me more nervous and fearful than your average person.

So, I’ve done a lot of praying for peace and protection and for good results.  The normal types of prayers.  I also have prayed in hopes that somehow the taste could be blocked.  Seriously.  Not to gross you out, but I almost gag at the memory of five years ago when I last drank from this gutter drink.

I sat with my mother for a while last evening and while we sat quietly in her living-room I spent some time in prayer and was reminded of God’s faithfulness to bring us peace and I knew he’d be with me through this ordeal. And he will.

You can imagine my chuckle this morning when I read that verse in light of my prayers and upcoming procedure.  So, I am doing my best to be joyful in the hope that I won’t taste or even have to drink all of it.  I am trying really hard to be patient with my current ‘affliction” (I think that word is very appropriate for the insult of having to drink the dreaded concoction) and I think faithful in prayer applies here as I’ve done my share of asking for strength to get through this.

I know this verse is to remind us of our hope of heaven and that our suffering or afflictions are nothing in light of that hope.  I also realize that what I will be experiencing this afternoon and tomorrow morning is nothing in light of Christ’s suffering, or even the suffering of one who is facing life threatening illness. I don’t take these things lightly.  But reading this verse this morning, reminded me that Jesus loves us and he cares about us.  He understands our fears and he will be with us in all things, even the minor things that can make us apprehensive.  He also sends us the right scripture at the right time to drive home the point.

Whatever you are facing today I hope that you take hope, practice patience and pray faithfully.

Hoping in Grace,

Teresa

Prompted By A Psalm And Hills

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.  Psalm 121

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I pray that you are looking to Him for your help today. May you find rest in your weary, peace in your worry and strength in your weak. He will preserve you for evermore.

Resting in grace,

Teresa

For the complete 31 Day series, Prompted to Write click here

Prompted By Bloggers III (Weekend Toss)

Prompted button.1Today’s post is Part of a 31 Day writing series where I will choose moments from my life and let them be my writing prompt for the day. On Weekends, I do a Weekend Toss, which is a combination of links to blogs I have enjoyed, or random updates and sometimes a scripture for Sunday. Today I am sharing the links to other bloggers from the #Write31days group. You will find a variety of topics from various categories. I hope you click on the buttons below from their series and check them out.    Please leave them a comment to let them know  you stopped by. Feel free to tell them I sent you. For all the post in my Prompted to Write series, click the prompted button.  To visit the blogs below, click on the image.

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And for tomorrow, Day 19 of this journey, I will leave you a scripture to ponder:

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Happy Weekending in Grace,

Teresa

Prompted By Suffering

…the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21b

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Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

Whatever you’re suffering, God has a hand in it.  He knows the outcome and he gives grace for the journey no matter how hard or long.  Please, if you are suffering, or weary of the battle, give it to God and let his grace sustain you. He knew you before you were born and he will be with you in life and hold you even in death.  He gives life everlasting for all who will believe and call upon the name of the Lord.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27

Sustained by grace,

Teresa

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<— Click for more posts in this series.

The Day In Between

Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. Luke 23:56

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In the gospels what we refer to as Good Friday, or crucifixion day, was referred to as the day of preparation. It was a day to prepare for the Sabbath. Likewise, the day we know as Easter Sunday, or resurrection Day, was the first day of the week. The day in between was the Sabbath.   In Luke 23:56 we read, “They returned and prepared spices and perfumes [the women at the cross]. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.”

I find it interesting that in the journey to resurrection the day after the crucifixion and the day prior to resurrection was a day of rest. Usually when we talk about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ we skim over “the day in between”. It is rarely mentioned.

I think “the day in between” has great significance and can teach us a valuable lesson about rest and waiting. Rest is mentioned throughout scripture. In fact our first encounter with the word of God tells us that on the seventh day he rested. A cycle of work and rest marks our own journey towards resurrection. After a day of resting, we are able to grasp the beauty of a new beginning.

God in his wisdom knows we need to rest and he commands us in scripture to do just that. He knows that if we stop on the day between crucifixion and resurrection to soak up treasures at his feet we will find refreshment and we will find joy. We will be better ministers for him.

Richard Foster has said, “that in contemporary society our adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds…the seeking out of solitary places was a regular practice of Jesus. So it should be for us.”

Jesus’ ministry had been profound. He often found himself exhausted and at times would steal away to rest. In the fulfillment of the death on the cross his final words “it is finished” were an acknowledgement that he had done all that he could and now it was up to God to take over and fulfill the promise of resurrection.

Did God purposefully plan the crucifixion so that there was a day of rest following? If so, what were his reasons? I don’t presume to know why God does things the way he does, but I do know that he always has a plan and his plan is done on purpose. Maybe he allowed that day of rest so that those close to Jesus would be able to get away from the brutality of the cross; maybe he wanted them to exercise their faith while they waited; maybe he wanted them to have time to process all that had happened before they welcomed the joy of resurrection.

Sometimes we are called to do a particular work and even though we know it is our purpose, it can at times become wearisome. That is why we have to take those interludes of rest. Sometimes the day of preparation is tiring at best, and horrible at worst and we need to rest on the day in between so we can be refreshed on the first day.

In Isaiah 40: 31 we read, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”   The song based on that verse ends with “teach me Lord, to wait.” That is what “the day in between” is for – to wait and rest.

PRAYER

Dear Father, Teach us to take time to rest. Teach us to wait on you. After Friday we need you more than ever. Let the breeze of your refreshment be a soothing balm to our souls on the day in between so that we may meet the first day with joy and anticipation. Amen

Resting in grace,

Teresa