From Monday, I will be taking a 10-day break from the blogging world and Facebook. In meditating on this verse this morning, I suddenly saw it in a new light: Luke 5 : 16 But Jesus often withdrew into lonely places and prayed. I suddenly saw “lonely places” as more than just “quiet”. In other … More Retreating into the Desert
This post is a guest post for incourage.me and is also linked up to the #FiveMinuteFriday prompt: Quiet Luke 10:38-42 (The Message) As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before … More The Gift of Presence
This post is the 15th and final post for the series A January of Unwrapping Hope. I will be taking a 10-day break from all social media, including my blog, from Monday to spend more time alone with God. Today, I was reminded by a fellow #OneWordCoffee blogger, of a sermon I heard a year … More Hope: Our Gift, Our Calling, Our Life Itself
This post has been written for the #OneWordCoffee prompt: This past week, I’ve felt God impressing upon my heart that if I want to follow His gentle whispers, calling me into Love, then I must leave my natural inclinations behind to receive His. So, when I read and reflected on this Scripture, rather than a … More They Left Their Nets
Like Ruth and David, Abraham was a man whose heart was embraced by Hope. And yet, like David, he struggled to always allow himself to be embraced. Like us, there were days he took matters into his own hands because His unseen Hope was too difficult for his human mind and emotions to grasp. Through his life, God shows us that the existence of Our Hope is not dependent on our deeds, but upon an everlasting covenant of Love. … More Abraham: Embraced into Hope
David’s Hope was deposited in His heart by the Spirit of God as a child. Then, it was grown in and through the breaking of his heart.
David’s suffering ranges from mental to emotional to physical brokenness. From the moment he is anointed as King, he faces human ridicule. Then, when he reaches adulthood he is forced to live on the run and even when he comes out of hiding, he continually faces either mental torment or physical oppression, even from his own son, who tries to kill him, and his trusted men, who embittered by their grief and loss, threaten to stone him. His heart is continually broken, as he is relentlessly forced to his knees.
And yet, the Psalms of David, as soaked as they are in brokenness and despair, are also bursting to the seams with Hope. Every single time, David, though his heart is being torn to shreds and his human spirit sapped to the last drop, gathers all his remaining strength to incline his heart away from his circumstances to the Hope that tethers him. This unseen Rock acts as a Strength that sustains and leads him forward, despite, or perhaps precisely because of the inward groaning of his soul.
Some of us may look at David, however, and see a man who “needs breaking”. For David was a man corrupted by evil. His life is riddled with horrendous acts: adultery and murder being among the sins he committed. We can be quick to look at him and place ourselves on a pedestal, patting ourselves on the back or feeling that we must either protect our families from the faithless world around us or make the faithless see the error of their ways. We, of course, have after all not committed such awful acts and are of course incapable of them. Or are we? … More David: a Broken Heart Tethered to Hope
What he shared about Ruth and what came to me, as I reflected more deeply on the Word, fits perfectly with what I’ve been sharing about hope. Ruth gives us a Biblical example of what it looks like to seek after, accept, actively and responsively pursue and receive Hope.
Through the story of Ruth we are shown both that deep grief opens her up to seek after Hope and that a suffering, living vessel of Hope encourages her to accept Hope for herself. The story opens in a cloud of mourning: Naomi has lost both her husband and her two sons. Ruth has lost her husband. And yet, despite Naomi speaking of this as a “bitter pill for me to swallow” and that her “God has dealt [her] a hard blow”, in the midst of her own grief, Ruth chooses to forsake her kinsmen and women and her home to follow Naomi to a strange place, far away from everything she knows. What is it that causes Ruth to take this unbelievable step in her life? The Living Hope Naomi moves forward in:
Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me GOD – not even death itself is going to come between us.
Even though Naomi is struggling tremendously with her new circumstances, Ruth must have seen something shining brilliantly within Naomi that she decides she so desperately wants for herself… … More Ruth’s Journey into Hope
This is the 11th post for the series A January of Unwrapping Hope and summarizes what has been unwrapped thus far. As we near the end of January, I’d like to take a moment to reflect in thankfulness upon what God has graciously gifted, as I’ve begun unwrapping His Hope in the series A January … More Ten Gifts of Hope Unwrapped
This post has been written for the Five Minute Friday prompt “Present”: I’ve been reading through Isaiah lately and it is in God’s incredible timing, as the lessons I’m being taught have co-incided with both what I and dear friends have been living through. God has been opening my heart to receive His Presence as … More Present
It is He who gifted me faith as a child, it is He who gifted me hope after my mother passed away, and it is He who has slowly been gifting me the “greatest” part of Himself: Love. And as He’s been encouraging me to embrace this Love, both my faith and my hope are being transformed.
I always saw faith as “being strong in the Lord” shown by good deeds and “hope” as the assurance of seeing our loved ones again. But, as He’s been holding out His Love to me and drawing me into it, faith is becoming a belief in the absolute goodness of our God, no matter the circumstance and both resting and moving forward in that assurance, while hope is becoming a growing excitement at meeting Jesus and beholding His Love face-to-face.
It is Love that is gifting me true enduring, abiding Hope and a freeing, strengthening, securing and emboldening faith. … More Hope Awakened and Tranformed in Love