“O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139
Of course, I don’t think this means we won’t have conflict. The Bible says we’ll be persecuted by man. Not to mention, we are at odds with the devil when we serve Jesus. But, I do think when we are seeking to please the Lord, we are probably more likeable. More genuine. More meek and loving. More kind and forgiving. More in need of harmony in our relationships. Because we know God isn’t pleased with drama, gossip, conflict and division.
There is so much truth to the old adage that when our vertical relationship with God is strong, our horizontal relationships with everyone else are likely strong as well.
Today, on your afternoon commute to pick up kids, run errands, or head home to start dinner, turn on a Christian radio station and ask God to reveal something new and exciting to you today. Something that will encourage your tired soul, your broken heart, your anxious mind.
Here’s what God reveal to me:
“Now there’s a joy inside I can’t contain
But even perfect days can end in rain
And though it’s pouring down
I see You through the clouds
Shining on my face.” – Francesca Battistelli
I love the reciprocity of our relationship with Jesus. We seek Him, and He makes Himself known. We speak and He responds. I love that we aren’t left to ourselves. Evidenced by the verse below, we cling to Jesus, and He lifts us up. How great is our God!
“My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” – Psalm 63:8
I like Romans 8:26. I know I’ve used this verse before, but it’s the one on my heart today.
I’ve always found this verse to be of great comfort when I feel so spiritually exhausted that I don’t have words or thoughts or even feelings. I simply cry out “Lord”, and I know He knows my prayer. But today, as I read this verse again, I find a new meaning.
The Spirit does intercede for us, as the verse says. And thank God for that! But, today, I ponder over the part of the verse that says we know not what we ought to pray. This is true. The only way I can form my prayers is selfishly, with my ideal scenario in mind. But that’s clearly not the best, because as you know, God’s best may look totally different than what we envision.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even when we pray selfishly for particular outcomes, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf to pray as we should. His will, not ours. But wow, this is difficult to actually live out.
I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful to have someOne coming behind me to pick up my slack. I’m thankful someOne knows what’s right for me. Because, if left up to me, I’ll fail every single time.
Let the Spirit intercede for you in whatever you are facing today. God can’t get it wrong!
I feel like most of us probably receive an accolade or two every now and again. And maybe that praise directly correlates to something we did for someone else. Maybe we brought someone a meal, loaned them an item, served at the local soup kitchen. And maybe this action or service resulted in man’s praise of our behavior. And instead of placing the credit where it belongs, we accepted the compliment, maybe even feeling puffed up for a little while afterwards. Maybe for a split second we actually believed that we deserved such words of kindness. What a reminder that the only thing good and sufficient in each of us is Christ Jesus:
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” – 2 Cor. 3:5
(disclaimer: if you “follow me” for the daily devotionals, as most of you do, please let me apologize. My son turned one this weekend, and I have not had (nor have I taken) a moment to spare. I will be back in action tomorrow. and for now, here is my son’s one-year milestone blog entry! we made it! and I am so proud! of all of us! 2 Corinthians 9:15)
I could tell you what our sweet baby is up to. I could tell you how he talks non-stop, how he waves to strangers, how easily he picks up on things, how smart he is, how cuddly he is now. I could tell you that he loves books. And animals. And balloons. I could even tell you how many words he says, how many signs he uses, how he communicates so well. I could go on to say that his favorite food is blueberries. And that he’d eat them (and only them) for dinner. I could tell you how he loves to walk holding Mama’s hands. How he loves to climb. How he mastered stairs over the weekend. I could tell you all about his birthday weekend, how he sucked his cupcake instead of taking bites. I could tell you that he didn’t want Mama to leave his side for a single second because it was overwhelming. I could tell you how much fun he is. And how he makes my heart overjoyed and proud. I could tell you everything you want to know. And most of which you couldn’t care any less about. Like, how his hair curls in the back when it’s humid. Or how he points with his index finger clinging to his thumb. I could say anything and everything about this perfect gift from God. But the only thing I really want to say tonight is this:
“Lincoln, my life began when I had you. One year ago, at this time, I was probably rocking you. Holding you. Kissing you. In exhausted awe. And there would be more tired awesomeness. More sleep-deprived sweetness. More nights of loving and cuddling. There would be endless diaper changes, tons of spit-up, never-ending laundry. There would be insecurities and vulnerabilities. And every step of the way, I’d wonder if I was doing “it” right. There would be more wrongs than right. There would be tears and frustrations. There would be overflowing love and unimaginable protectiveness. From this world. From harsh realities. From me and my shortcomings. There would be fear and anxiety. There would be mistakes. So many of those. There would be things I’d never do again. Things I’d do over and over again. Things I wish I could forget. Most importantly, things I wish I could remember. Because of you and all of this, my love, I am a mother. The proudest, happiest, in-love mother. The sold-out, over-the-top, enmeshed, nothing-compares-to-this kinda mother. I am so lucky to spend my lifetime loving you. I love you! Your Mommy”