Showing posts with label His presence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label His presence. Show all posts

Who Really Knows?

 


I was a bit chilly a while ago, so I went to my closet to grab a hoodie. I chose one to put on and glanced at the totes that contain my writing. Honestly, my first thought was what would happen once I die. I'm not being morbid, but I am getting older, so lighten up. lol. Then I wondered if people would read my writings and if they would know me a little better. Will people be able to understand my heart and see past my caregiving status? 

Some of my writings rolled around in my head and I wondered what people who think they know me might think after reading them. When I write, my tendency is to put my whole heart into it. Especially in my journal - I don't hold anything back. Then I had this wonderful thought. My writings reveal who I am, what I think, how I feel. And the Word does the same thing. It reveals Who God is, what He thinks, how He feels. All I have to do is read it.

This makes me think of Psalm 103. It says He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. His acts are of course, what He does. But His ways are who He is. A lot of people know what we do. Most people tend to look at us only as caregivers - they forget that we are real people with real dreams, desires, and needs. Do we sometimes look at God and consider only what He does - and not who He is? 

The children of Israel only knew what God could do. He parted the Red Sea, made the bitter water sweet, and kept them alive in the desert all those years. And you know what? He does that for us too! He makes the bitter water of caregiving sweet with His presence and care. He parts Red Seas for us every day. He keeps us alive both naturally and spiritually as we walk through our day-to-day. It's wonderful to know Him as the One who acts on our behalf, strengthens us, and often carries us through our journies.

While Moses was very aware of all the things God did (His acts) - he also knew Who He was. Moses knew the character of God, His likes and dislikes, His mercies, and the why behind His actions. Moses knew that God was passionate about a relationship with His people. (Exodus 34:14 NLT) He knew more than just what He could do - even though His works were (and are) mighty! 

When we read the word, we learn so much more about God and His ways - we'll see His deeds too, of course. But just like you would learn more about me and what makes me tick by reading my writings, we learn more about God and what makes Him tick by reading the word.

Today, I will take a  few extra minutes to get lost in the Word. I'll think about what it means to know God's ways and not just His deeds. I'll be thankful for His kindness, patience, grace, and mercy. I'll thank Him that even when I don't see what He's doing - I know He's still present in my day. And I'll trust Him with my today - will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore! 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 



Does "Everything" Mean Everything?

Sometimes as a caregiver it can feel like we are "missing out" on life. There are many times we just can't do what we used to do because of our responsibilities of taking care of another. It may mean that we cut some of our favorite activities to try and lighten our load, or it might even mean we lack any sort of social life at all.

For a long time I felt like I lived in a caregiver's cave. There was almost no social interactions and even now that we can get out and about even on a limited basis I am leery of scheduling outings. We just never know what a day is going to look like. It can be difficult to plan since we don't know what kind of day our loved one is going to have; and this can keep us from many activities.

Even now that my son and I can get out more, I'm very limited on how long I can spend out. I have to get back home to change him or to feed him. And honestly, sometimes the fear of what might happen while we are out keeps us home. There are tons of what ifs.

These can make us feel like we don't have "a life" like others. We can feel like life has shorted us somewhat. But I have found that God didn't short us a bit.

2 Peter 1:3 reminds us that He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Everything - means everything. He didn't say that because we are a caregiver and have what appears to others as "less" of a life - we don't get all of His Holy Spirit. He does not exclude us from His spirit living in us. We have no less of Him than any other believer. The big-name TV preachers don't have more of Him than we do. Pastors don't have more of God or more access to Him than we do; and neither does any other leader in or out of the church.

Ephesians 3:16 says that we have the power of His spirit in our inner man It's a package deal. No one has a partial Christ. Even when a child comes to know Him - there is no junior Holy Spirit. As believers the Holy Spirit of God lives in us. We get no less of Him as a caregiver than anyone else. We all have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us working to transform us into His image.

We are partakers of his divine nature according to 2 Peter. And we demonstrate His love by taking care of our loved ones. We can offer the world a picture of His grace that they cannot see anywhere else. His spirit fully equips us for that.

Today I will meditate on the truth that I have full access to God and that I am not limited by being a caregiver. I will turn my thoughts to the fact that He did not withhold anything from me but my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I did not get short-changed when it comes to having the fullness of God. That makes me smile....Today I will rejoice in this - that the fullness of God lives in me! Will you join me?

Never Disqualified

I've run a few races where certain actions can disqualify you. For instance, if you are not lined up at the start line when the gun goes off - you are disqualified. One race course in OKC goes through an affluent neighborhood and if you step on the grass you get disqualified. Sometimes it can feel like we got disqualified from living our lives when we became a caregiver. For me and many others lives not only changed drastically - they changed completely. It can take years to feel like you are "living" again.

Thankfully when it comes to God and His presence caregivers are not counted out!

This morning I was reading in Psalm 24 and verse three is taken right out of Psalm 15. It says:

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His Holy Place?

The psalmist answers his own question in verse 4:He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol.

We do not get cast away because we are caregivers even if our life doesn't quite look like others.We have the same criteria as everyone else who is living and breathing on this earth: clean hands, pure heart and no idols. Even though we live on uneven ground it seems we are all the same before God. He doesn't give us a break because we are caregivers, nor does He remove His requirements for caregivers. We still have to keep our hearts pure and our hands clean. We cannot have any idols in our lives but must live lives dedicated solely to Him.

It can feel like the church DQs us - because we don't fit in their box. It can seem like life DQs us since we live much differently than most. But God does not DQ us - we have the same access to His presence as everyone else. He welcomes us to come to Him, and to rest in Him.

Today I will meditate on the truth that I am welcome in His presence - even with all my "baggage"! I'll yield my thoughts to His acceptance of me and the fact that He chooses to be with me right here in this mess!

The Judge is Our Stronghold

These handful of scriptures in Psalm 9 really say a lot. Verses7-8 describe the Lord, our God as a judge. He sits on His throne which He established for judgment. Our concept of judgment is a harsh, cruel rule. But it is simply making decisions regarding matters. Which of course, God always does in righteousness. Think about the decisions that you have to make each and every day. This can be a huge responsibility. Yet God makes decisions about all humanity - and all who have been and will be throughout time- all the time. What a huge responsibility! He has the weight of the world on His broad shoulders! Yet this judge - this righteous decision maker - is our stronghold. He will not forsake those who trust in Him.

It is easy to feel forsaken. And it's not one of those real to me kinds of things. Many times we have truly been forsaken. Friends, church and even family do not always know what to do with us as our lives are lived so differently. In many ways, our home imprisons us. We cannot just go for a jog, or run to the store for something we're missing. We cannot just decide to go to a movie. And many times it is not feasible or practical to try to go to the modern church. But let's refuse to look at it as a prison today. How about if we consider we are being hidden in His stronghold?

We must trust that He has not forsaken us. He will never forsake us.The One Who is issuing righteous judgments for whole world has hidden us away in Himself. He is our stronghold. We can hide in Him and be safe and secure no matter what type of situation we find ourselves handling in our day-to-day lives. Today I choose to rest in Him, to be content being tucked away in His strength. Will you join me?

In the Seeking...

Caregiving is an endless job and it does not take long to feel safely isolated away from the rest of the world. There seems to be times that I want to withdraw on purpose and live safely in my cave. Some of those times can be a good thing, allowing me to gather my thoughts and emotions so that I do not explode on anyone negatively should I have contact with the "outside world."

 But there always comes the times to emerge...it's almost like a fresh new start on a very strange level. There are times the isolation of caregivers is good and there are times that the world is a real place for us once again. Either place can be the right place for the moment, neither to be totally embraced, or ignored. No matter which extreme we seem to be living in - or anywhere in between - there's a continual longing, or seeking for Him....waiting for Him to show up one more time...

 David said in Psalm 63:1   
O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek you; 
my soul thirsts for You; 
my flesh faints for You,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 
So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary
beholding Your power and glory.
Because Your steadfast love is better than life
my lips will praise You.
As caregivers, most of the time we do not get to go to what most consider the "sanctuary." This is when we must remember that we are His sanctuary. We do not have to go anywhere to meet with Him or see His glory displayed. He is alive in us and we take him wherever we go...He's in the cave with us in isolation; and He is also with us when we emerge for a time.

 This brings a comfort to me this morning...to know that even when I feel recluse - He is still here. So if you are thirsty for Him today - simply look to Him and be thankful that we do not have to "go" anywhere to experience the touch of His presence. He cannot leave us....Where would He go?...He's everywhere!

Stuck

 Do you ever just feel stuck? It's difficult to see the future and being able to plan or even dream has passed a long time ago. It's...