Be near me, oh Lord;
Hold me close to Your heart.
Only in You do I find rest;
At the sound of Your voice I find relief.
When my body becomes shaken,
It is by You that I am restored.
It is by Your Spirit that I am lifted up.
I’ve been using iPhones for years now, and for the first several years I had several game apps and would spend anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours on them. If I had off work or just somehow had a lot of time on my hands it was sometimes longer.
One particular day, I’d had enough of it. I deleted all of the game apps in about 1 minute, dropped my phone on my bed, and looked out the window in deep thought. I was frustrated—perhaps even angry with myself. I knew God had something much better to offer. I knew He had greater plans, greater thoughts, goals…I didn’t want to be content with what the world had to offer me. Instead, I wanted to seek after God and make His thoughts my thoughts, and His ways my ways. I knew that wasn’t something I was going to find while getting points.
After not playing any for over a year, I went back to playing for a while as I underwent surgery and recovery. I had a TON of time on my hands, and with the bad headache (brain surgery) and meds I just couldn’t concentrate enough to read, so it was good while it lasted. It’s only been in the last couple weeks that I’ve quit them again and it’s literally been refreshing!
A lifelong lesson to be continuously learning is how to spend our time wisely…it’s a gift we are given by God, and as His children we are to give it back to Him in a way that glorifies Him.
Last night, in my time of prayer as I was thinking of all the things I’ve been wanting to do one day and believe God is leading me to do, I was feeling rather discouraged. It was as though the Devil himself was there trying to discourage me—reminding me of things like how exhausted I get doing things as simple as coming up the stairs. But God had a really good comeback. He reminded me of how He uses the weak, the broken, and the hurting. I literally laughed out loud and prayed, “Well, I qualify for all three, don’t I?”
I think many—if not all—humans have experienced these hardships at least once in their life. Some simply don’t acknowledge the fact because of pride or cold hearts.
Here are some verses I wanted to share…you can always find more on google. 😉
1 Corinthians 1:27b “…God has chosen the weak things of this world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”
Psalms 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart.
These, O God, You will not despise.”
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”
Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged when you are weak, hurting, or broken…this only allows more room for God to be glorified through us!
Though I desire to do great things,
You have made me to do even greater things.
Though storms come and winds blow,
Your foundation holds me upright.
Though my heart and flesh fail me,
You will bring me to the gates of victory.
Tonight, while spending some time listening to some of my praise and worship favs, I was imagining Jesus in the driver’s seat of a car and myself in the seat behind Him. Before driving, He made sure I had my seatbelt on and frequently looked at me through the rear view mirror to check on me. When our eyes met it was like every fear, worry, and sadness melted away. Part of me wanted to lean over and look over His shoulder to try and see what was ahead, but somehow I knew I shouldn’t. Instead, I found peace in trusting that He knew where we were going and with the windows down I enjoyed the breeze and beautiful views that I may have otherwise missed.
While trying to see far into the future and what is ahead of us it is easy to miss what is already here. People, events, opportunities…if we’re not careful it is easy for time and things that we could have taken part in slip by completely unnoticed.
We need to allow God to be our driver, let Him do the focusing on the road ahead, and see where He takes us.
Oh Lord, You know the number of my days.
You not only prepare where I shall go but to where I shall return.
Who can bring good things with worry?
Who stands strong in the winds of doubt?
In You, my God, I put my trust.
Where I come and where I go is in Your hands.
Before I had my first brain surgery, a lady who was explaining the surgery asked a few questions. One of the main questions she asked was something along the lines of how less valuable I considered my life because of my epilepsy. (This was 11 months ago, so I don’t remember exactly how she asked) I was rather confused by her question and I think she was somewhat confused by my answer. I quickly and quite determinedly replied that I didn’t consider my life any less valuable than if I was in perfect health.
Still, to this day, I can’t see how anyone could ask such a question. I still got the surgery and am working my way towards improving my health, but I don’t believe it has any impact on my quality of life.
I believe when a person is in a relationship with Christ and truly seeking to be who He has created them to be, their quality of life is immeasurable. It is beautiful, and it is perfect. This is true quality of life.
Beauty is not in the appearance of an individual, but the church as a whole—a lot of which cannot be seen by the outside world. It starts at the core. The world sees the skin of the fruit, the bark, and the leaves, but they cannot see the rings that show its age and the growth process. Until they bite into the fruit they will not know it’s flavor or sweetness. There are also many seeds within a fruit that can be planted in the human heart and then grow over time as God dwells inside.
Sitting down in the kitchen, waiting for the granola I was fixing for breakfast, I pictured Jesus sitting next to me—only dressed as a normal guy. He began talking about what we put into our time spent in private with Him, reading His Word, praying, etc., is like the time we put into preparing food. Food that is a box dinner, frozen, etc., and requires little time and effort is going to be a less healthy, inviting, pleasant meal.
….just something I found in a prayer journal I wrote back in 2011.
You, oh Lord, do to me what is good;
Forever You are faithful.
What brings pain to my earthly body brings wisdom to my spirit;
What breaks down my pride uplifts my soul.
Where trials persist,
You are the patience that is in me;
When storms come,
You are the foundation that holds me steady.
Day and night my faith is tested,
But I hold close to You.
My body may grow weary,
But You give strength to run the race to which You have called me.
You, oh Lord, shall direct my ways;
You guide me on the straight path.
Out of love You give correction;
With endless mercy You forgive my wrongdoings.
How great is Your love, oh Lord!
You bring hope to the hopeless and joy to the broken-hearted.
There’s a peace that is only found in You,
A satisfaction that only You can give.
You are the life that is in me;
Through You I have been restored.
In times of gladness, You are there.
In times of great sorrow, You are there.
In times we are satisfied, You are there.
In times of disappointment, You are there.
In times of great joy, You are there.
In times of heartache, You are there.
In times of relief, You are there.
In times of heavy burden, You are there.
Never do You leave us;
Forever You are faithful.
In You, Oh Lord, my hope is grounded.
All that I am, You have made me;
All nature around me, You have created.
All that has happened, You have allowed it—not a bird falls without Your knowledge.
All our sin You have taken upon Your own shoulders—You have been bruised and beaten for our iniquities.
All our punishment You take on Yourself if we allow it;
All fear of death is taken away if we walk the Way of Life.