faithfulness of God

The Long Dark Night of My Soul

It is the breaking of dawn in a personal long dark night of my soul, its twilight beginning sometime at the start of the year. This night has had many ups and downs, and I have waged war within myself. Even now I cannot say I feel victorious, but I know One who has given me the victory and at this moment, in this breath, that is enough for me.

My night began when I realized I needed to step back from service and begin an inward and deeply spiritual look into the mirror of my soul. I have been struggling with tendonitis in both ankles, and arthritis in my knees which has led to back issues because of the way I end up walking. It is difficult to stay off my feet and rest. Life does tick on and carries us along with it, requiring movement and responsibility. Hope deferred truly does make the heart sick, and unanswered prayer to relieve chronic pain takes its toll. Some days are better than others, some days it’s a struggle to put on shoes. I found myself on the verge of a spiritual crisis. I’m not throwing a pity party, nor do I want your pity either. Had it still been midnight during this long dark night, I may have disagreed, but since we are nearing dawn, I’m over it.

I didn’t only step away from a ministry I loved serving in, but I also withheld parts of myself that I used to freely give others. I found that I didn’t always pray as intensely as I had, I didn’t open my bible, or just randomly sing, and my writing suffered. I questioned my existence, purpose, and where I was in my life. I felt forgotten by my Papa, passed over, unwanted and a misfit. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is nice to be someone’s and I didn’t think anyone wanted what I had to offer. I bound myself up in the comparison trap,  holding up a ruler to myself to see if I measured up and good enough. Yes, you guessed it, I felt like an epic fail.

I was not only in the dark, but under spiritual attack. At one point, I was smelling something nasty that was, quite literally, following me around. It was probably in the third watch of this long dark night that I finally realized what was actually going on, breaking down and asking a couple key people in my life to pray for me. I had connected dots and with their prayers in agreement with mine, we evicted that mess. Smell gone, along with its mind-numbing companions and the grip it had on my soul and I began to usher in the dawn.

I remembered. I remembered where Papa found me, what He led me out of, all that He has done since He plucked me from the world and saved me. Where I used to be is not a place I ever want to go back to. My focus moved from what I saw with my natural eyes to what He revealed to my spiritual eyes. He was always there, always with me, always loving me, always faithful. There is no truer truth than what He tells us “I will never leave, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b NKJV).  He is for me, not against me and because of Him, I AM more than a conqueror.

Oh, the places we will go now that morning has broken and the long dark night is behind me. A new and momentous day is ahead and I shall go and enjoy it, fulfilling my destiny!

Be blessed!

Rejoice Always: Morning Minute Message 5/31/19

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV).

Rejoice always? Pray without ceasing? In everything give thanks? What about when…? We can often miss the richness in verses such as this when we are in the midst of a trial and blinded by the circumstance. Sometimes we get upset and mad at God because we are dealing with a situation we never expected. How can we rejoice, or pray effectively, or even give thanks when we don’t want to deal with what we’ve got?

We aren’t told to rejoice because of what we are going through, this is more of a rejoice in spite of; same with giving thanks. Prayer should come naturally, however, I know that sometimes we don’t know what to pray while in the midst, and sometimes we don’t pray because we feel like there’s no reason to; we give up.

First off, joy and rejoicing are internal, they aren’t based on circumstance, but who Papa is to each of us, and who we are in Him. In His presence is fullness of joy, and His joy is our strength. It’s intertwined. Rejoicing always is saying “Hey, this situation thinks it is going to crush me or discourage me, but Papa has my back and I’m just going to lean on Him and before I know it, I’ll be through it.”

Praying without ceasing is simply just talking to Him during the trial, sharing every emotion, every concern, every small victory and knowing that He’s listening and working. It’s thinking about what He is doing on our behalf and within us.

Giving thanks in everything is being grateful for His hand at work. It is thanking Him for working everything out for our good, and for orchestrating our lives to fulfill His purpose and plan. It is thanking Him for the small victories, for the daily blessings and benefits, for the things we so often take for granted.

These three simple, yet profound, steps push us into growth, and growth is what we want. It is often the difficult and trying times that Papa uses to get us to let go of something in order to take us, or give us, something new. Always for our good.

I love ya, have a great day!

Children of God: Morning Minute Message 5/29/19

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26 NLT).

Wow! Contained in this Scripture is all I need to know about who I am. Papa is my Father and I am His child. His tender mercy and gentle care are all I need to keep going when the going gets tough.

He’s my Father and therefore, I know that all my needs are met, all my problems are in His hands, all that I am is because of His hand working in my life and my heart. He cares and He cares deeply about what I care about, from the major decisions to the daily, seemingly insignificant ones.

All it took to get into Papa’s family is faith in Jesus. We, who have faith in Christ, have a worldwide family. We are brothers and sisters, children of God! Because we are Papa’s children,  we have all the benefits – protection, provision, blessing, favor, grace, advancement, opportunities, etc. When we live knowing whose child we are, the devil can’t stop us.

This world may try to tell you otherwise, but know in your heart that you are a child of God and He will take care of you!

I love ya, have a great day!

Think About Heaven: Morning Minute Message 5/24/19

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth (Colossians 3:1-2 NLT).

Often it is much easier to stay focused on what is going on in front of our eyes, the situation that threatens to conquer us, or our lack of whatever it is we need at that moment. However, we are told to set our eyes on the realities of heaven, to think about the things of heaven and not earth. We’re human, it’s hard sometimes to refocus because life has a way of kicking us where it hurts.

However, let’s think about the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor. I’ve been going through these epistles while putting together a small group bible study, and there is a common theme I have found – united with Christ. We have been united with Christ and we are seated with Him in heavenly places. So, what are the realities of heaven? There is no lack, no sickness, no death, no conflict, no disunity, and so many others.

As we focus on the things of heaven and think about them, we will be more focused on what Papa is doing in our lives than what our lives are smacking us with. We can unequivocally trust Him to meet our every need, to carry us when we cannot go on, to provide what we lack, and to perform miracles that bring Him great glory. We only need to keep our focus on Him and His kingdom.

I love ya, have a great day!

Scriptural Prayers: Morning Minute Message 5/20/19

Since the day we got this good news about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We ask: Father, may they clearly know Your will and achieve the height and depth of spiritual wisdom and understanding. May their lives be a credit to You, Lord; and what’s more, may they continue to delight You by doing every good work and growing in the true knowledge that comes from being close to You. Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully. Thank You, Father, as You have made us eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the light. You have rescued us from dark powers and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, whom You love and in whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood] (Colossians 1:9-14 VOICE).

Scripture is filled with prayers that we can personalize and pray over ourselves and others. These are powerful because, as God’s word, they will set out to do what He has sent them to do and they will not return void. We can be sure that whenever we pray a Scriptural based prayer, or prophesy it over ourselves or someone else, it will come to pass.

How do we do this? We simply pray it and either insert our prayer subject’s name, or we make it for ourself. It isn’t difficult, and because we can trust Papa’s word, we can trust that it will be answered. Nothing is impossible for Papa, and nothing is too hard for Him.

I prayed today’s Scripture for you, who are you going to pray it for?

I love ya, have a great day!

All Your Needs Will Be Met: Morning Minute Message 5/17/19

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 19 NLT).

If Papa doesn’t let a sparrow escape His notice, if He makes sure every bird has something to eat, if He covers the earth with beautiful and colorful flowers, if He knows how many hairs are upon our heads, then He knows every need we have and He will make sure they are met. He has unlimited resources to assist us with, and He loves us so much that providing for us brings Him great joy.

He is not into holding back and only teasing us with a glimpse of what we need. No! He is The God Who Provides, Yahweh Jireh! He knows what we need, even before we need it, and He has already begun the process of making sure it gets to us. It is our responsibility to receive, acknowledge Him, and because He usually provides in excess, to pass His blessing on.

Papa takes care of His children.

I love ya, have a great day!

 

No Anxiety: Morning Minute Message 5/15/19

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV).

Most are familiar with these Scriptures, and we tend to quote them to others especially when they are going through adversity. But, how much do we, ourselves, practice this?

Let us dig into this for a moment. Be anxious for nothing – no residing in the land of worry and “what if”, no camping in the desert of “would of, could of, should of”, instead, tell Papa of every single one of the things that we deal with, every difficult decision we need to make, every disagreeable moment, every sorrow, every joy. There is no formula for this kind of prayer, there’s no correct posture, there is no special place. This is conversation from the heart, and conversation that contains gratefulness for the blessings we have, for what Papa has done, is doing and has planned to do.

When we get into this kind of conversation, there is a peace that comes. It is the deepest kind of peace, a knowing in our knower that Papa listened and knows what we need as an answer and that He will answer.

Oh, I know that sometimes having conversation with Papa outside of the expected confines of what we may have been taught prayer should be can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. The power of imagination is a wonderful thing. Use an empty chair, the passenger seat of your car, the other half of your couch, whatever, and picture Jesus sitting in that space. Then talk away. This kind of deep conversation with our Friend of all Friends is liberating and refreshing.

I love ya, have a great day!

Rich In Mercy: Morning Minute Message 5/1/19

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved.) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6 NLT).

If we ever need an example of great mercy, we need only look to Scripture. How vast Papa’s mercy, how faithful He is to save. His abundant love for us is, without a doubt, is so deep and wide that we cannot fathom it completely. It is this mercy and this love that made sure we had a way to be reconciled to Him so we could be with Him for eternity.

Not only has His grace, mercy and love made a way for us to snub death and live with Him for eternity, but His mercy is new every morning. No matter what we do, He shows us mercy daily. Papa has no limit to His mercy. He doesn’t look down His nose upon us and decide we were so bad that He’s just going to give us our due. No, He is rich in mercy, abundant in mercy, unfailingly gracious with His mercy.

If He shows mercy like that, we surely can show mercy to others.

I love ya, have a great day!

The Same Power: Morning Minute Message 4/30/19

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same  mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT). 

I want to talk about the incredible greatness of God’s power. This is the same unfailing and amazing power that raised Christ from the dead, it lives in us because we are in Christ and He’s in us. So, why, in our most difficult and trying situations, is it so hard for us to fathom this might power? We are finite human beings, our eyes too often mostly focus on circumstances or problems, with only a passing thought that maybe God will help us.

Papa knew we would need reminders and so throughout Scripture, He gave them to us. There is no instance in the Bible where He did not show up and show off, where He did not demonstrate His power or faithfulness, especially towards His children. The most wonderful part is that no matter how large or devastating things get for us, Papa is greater, and He makes everything work out according to His plan (Ephesians 1:11).

It does not matter what today brings or what happens, Papa holds today in His hand. He’s got you, He’s got your problem, circumstance or situation already figured out and taken care of. Rest in the assurance that His mighty power is at work.

I love ya, have a great day! 🥰

 

Blessed: Morning Minute Message 4/19/19

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