Susan's Thursday morning note March 11, 2010
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Good morning! I can finally see the ground this morning! The first Thursday to state there is dirt…not only snow that I believed the crust of this planet had turned into. One of the best memories I’ll have of my life right now is a daily call from a dear man in his late 70’s…calling to tell me about his day, his cats, the weather forecast…checking on me. Yesterday he announced, “I saw my first robin!” Hope for spring! Proof that we are only a blink away! We can make this transition without buckling…well, I can if you can. We’ve made it this far, we can make it a few more weeks. (I know there are “self-talk” books that say if we believe something it happens – ha!) But, until the tulips…we can burrow a few more weeks with perfect coffee, perfect filler combination, and go to bed earlier with our books!
I received this note from a dear friend of my mom’s yesterday. I would like to share this with all of you. Keeping our minds focused on who God is and how he cares for us. I hope you are encouraged by her thoughts of “looking heavenward” – finding the peace that only can come when we look to the hills.
Susan…I have spent so much energy trying not to be “under the circumstances”, and found one great way to retrain my mind. Because it is so easy to look at people and become discouraged, I decided to instead look at the attributes of the Lord. I made a list from memory of all of things that I could remember of what the Bible said about Jesus. Since all of the attributes of God are found in Him, it was a wonderfully encouragement to refocus my heart and mind on the One Who makes going through this “sometimes more than ugly” world, worth the effort.
I’m not too good at the “self-help” stuff. I tend to become overwhelmed by my own less than effective efforts at doing things better, thinking things through better, or putting aside my self-pity. So when I retrain my thoughts to the One Who knows me and the path that I will take when I follow Him, it takes my self-effort and puts it “on the shelf”, while I concentrate on Belonging to the One Who knows me best and loves me most. Helping others becomes less stressful, because I am the one being helped in the process, as well.
This went along with what I read this week from a new devotional ordered this week by one of you, that I “borrowed, then devoured, and then kept” after opening the first pages…Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. This devotional has short entries for each day that are written with God speaking to us through the verses that she then gives at the end of each day’s reading. Instead of going to March, I began with January 1st and made it through January. The half hour given to this quiet gave me more nourishment than I’ve received in a long time from verses. Here is just a taste of this treasure. I hope you find the comfort and peace that I received…remembering that our Creator desires our prayers, our relationship, our tears, our joy, our speaking with him all day long in our minds. Changing the focus of our day out of what we plan or try to deal with to, “God, you are my creator, my helper, my guide. May I rest under your wing today, knowing you are taking care of every situation, in your all-knowing, comforting, gentle care.”
January 8 entry:
Softly I announce My presence. Shimmering hues of radiance tap gently at your consciousness, seeking entrance. Though I have all Power in heaven and on earth, I am infinitely tender with you. The weaker you are, the more gently I approach you. Let your weakness be a door to My Presence. Whenever you feel inadequate, remember that I am your ever-present Help.
Hope in Me, and you will be protected from depression and self-pity. Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven. The more you cling to this cord, the more I bear the weight of your burdens; thus, you are lightened. Heaviness is not of My kingdom. Cling to hope, and My rays of Light will reach you through the darkness.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
January 16 entry:
Come to Me, and rest in My loving Presence. You know that this day will bring difficulties, and you are trying to think your way through those trials. As you anticipate what is ahead of you, you forget that I am with you – now and always. Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur. Do not multiply your suffering in this way! Instead, come to Me, and relax in My Peace. I will strengthen you and prepare you for this day, transforming your fear into confident trust.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
January 22 entry:
Strive to trust Me in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties. If you believe that I am sovereign over every aspect of your life, it is possible to trust Me in all situations. Don't waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment - accepting things exactly as they are - and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.
Trust is like a staff you can lean on, as you journey uphill with Me. If you;re trusting in Me consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed. Lean on, trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind.
Psalm 52:8 I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Let us remember that if we only drop to our knees or look to the hills in our prayers, God is already there, waiting to take our cares completely on his shoulders. As a loving father or mother would desire to do for us…the moment we would make the call. The desire we have for our little child to tell us every detail of his/her schooldays. This is the same desire (accentuated) that God desires for us to share with him…continually. And, just as we desire our little ones to tell us what is on their minds, in their hearts, their desires, their hurts…we have our Father who loves us even more deeply, wanting to hear our specific needs, so that he can then take them and help us through them. We must share them with him, and then not continually mull on them, for in sharing in prayer – we are released from the responsibility of our cares. Thank you for letting me share what helped me. I hope you find the same peace and comfort that I did. As the letter above says,
“So when I retrain my thoughts to the One Who knows me and the path that I will take when I follow Him, it takes my self-effort and puts it “on the shelf”, while I concentrate on Belonging to the One Who knows me best and loves me most. Helping others becomes less stressful, because I am the one being helped in the process, as well.”
Let’s go, take on this day given to us. We may not have more than today. Will we make the hours count for what matters in our eternal perspective? Go – look others in the eye and give a genuine smile. You may be who God is using to give them the next step they need to get through their day. You’ll never know. But you gave. Your day matters. Thank you for everything you do for us and the store. Thank you for letting me again come into your Thursday. Susan
Latin for this week:
Deo adjuvante non timendum - God helping, nothing should be feared.
Deo juvante - With God's help (motto of Monaco)
De Profundis - From the depths; out of despair (Psalm 130)
Young, Sarah. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. Devotions for Every Day of the Year. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2004.