“In the shelter of your presence you hide them … in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.” Psalm 31:20
Where is the arrow
shot from enemy’s bow?
Where are the accusations
that have been thrown?
They’ve been thwarted,
diverted from my path.
and of strength — sapped.
Keep me in your presence,
hidden in perfect love.
Safe from accusing tongues,
restored and ready to serve.
He shuts out accusing voices. He stills the echo of negative words and constant criticism. He quiets the soul. In His presence I am hidden, tucked under his sheltering wings — out of sight and out of mind from those who would bring down.
“Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Last week someone asked if I was ready for Christmas. I said yes. This week…not so much. The last minute baking, food prep, packing for travel and that one-more-box of cards to buy leave me feeling unprepared.
With every task I check off, the to-do list only seems to grow. What happened to being ready?
Mary got it right. She focused on what mattered. She spent time with the Lord rather than bustling around with preparations. Yes, chores have to be done. But approaching the list with a fresh attitude is key.
This Christmas, I’m trying to remember to take a breather. To sit at the fit of Jesus before the preparations of the day. To listen. To pray. I want to focus on what can’t be taken away.
Lord, grant your presence. Be my calm before the day begins, remain during the hustle and bustle, and linger long after the last plate is washed and crumbs are swept.
“Again the One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength…” Daniel 11:18
How can I be strong,
except you strengthen me.
How can I know your will,
except you speak to me.
How can I have you near,
except you dwell in me.
How can I be worthy,
except you cover me.
How can I call you Father,
except you loved me.
How can I live forever,
except you died for me.
“…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Timidity has been my lifelong, unwanted companion. Fear has been the third wheel. Together we’re content to be pasted on the wall. The back wall.
My natural weaknesses force me to depend on God. I have to allow him to be strong where I am weak. And he has been. He continues to deliver me from over-sensitive, self-conscious tendencies.
I can tell when the timidity returns—expressing thoughts becomes like driving on a gravel road full of pot holes and I simply go quiet. I’d rather write it than say it.
But where I am weak, he is strong. He helps me face the timidity and drive past the pot holes. Weak areas become places of the Lord’s strength.
Is there an area in which you feel insufficient? Is this weakness an ongoing challenge? Let the insufficiencies be a reminder to turn to the Lord for his strength. He longs to be strong where you are weak!
“Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” Isaiah 8:10
Long, long ago and in a land far away…my high school wasn’t characterized as winning. Our sports’ teams weren’t bad, it’s just that other schools dominated and claimed the titles. They always seemed to have the edge. In the kingdom of sports, we were the lesser kingdom.
Flash ahead to my son’s high school and it was a different story. A winning culture prevaled throughout the entire school. Students carried a positive attitude into every event; they expected to win and much of the time, they did. They were knights in shining armor.
As believer’s in Christ we have God on our side. We wear his armor into daily battles and fight with his weapons. Though life is full of ups and downs, in the end, God wins.
More often than I’d like to admit, I forget whose team I’m on and a defeated attitude enshrouds the day. This is not from God; it’s from the enemy. The defeated one would like me to live as if he still has a chance to win the game.
Life may be a day-to-day battle, but there is hope knowing that at the end of the story…God wins.
We’re on the winning side of the field. The battle is already won—the reel is just playing out until the end of the game!
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
I grew up on a Kentucky farm with six brothers and sisters. Our favorite pastime was swimming in the creek. Many Sunday afternoons were spent in those cool rippling waters.
Our attention could not have been more fully in the moment as we waded, floated and swam between those tree-lined banks. We delighted in that creek.
To delight in the Lord is to be fully engaged in him. If I delight in him, my desires will be for the blessings of God and those desires will be met. I won’t have to overthink my life satisfaction rating.
If I’m immersed in him my desires will be intune with his wishes and satisfied.
Lord, give me a desire to fully delight in you—to know you more and follow you closer. I’d like to be as delighted in you as a bunch of country kids in the creek on Sunday afternoon.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18
I become irritable if I have to wait for anything too long. I want to take matters into my own hands. But often in scripture we’re told to “wait” for the Lord—to give him time to do his work.
There is a reason to be patient: He longs to be gracious and he rises to show compassion. I’d like to be the recipient of that! Those who wait for him are going to be blessed. It’s going to be worth the wait.
May the reality of my life match the longing of his heart to pour out love and grace. Let me not live in a way that prevents it!
You are worth waiting for.
Your blessing is precious and sweet—
Sweeter than anything else out there.
Find me ready.
Find me receptive.
Find me waiting.