Tag Archives: hope

Go….Look…Enter

  • Numbers 16:41-18:32
  • Mark 16:1-20
  • Psalm 55:1-23
  • Proverbs 11:7

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you’ “

Mark 16:6-7

The ladies that had been following and taking care of Jesus throughout his ministry (Mark 15:41) got up early to continue taking care of his needs, only this time for his burial. When they got to the empty dark grief ridden place of the tomb, they looked up, and saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. (vs 4) Then as they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. (vs 5)

They went….

They looked up….

They entered….

All action verbs. The best part is, that they took action to seek out their friend Jesus. They had the faith in His word to continue to care for him.

Where were the men, his named disciples? In other gospels we learn that they were together in the “upper room” where they had last gathered as a community for the Last Supper. The day that the women went to the tomb was the “Third Day” and Jesus had promised that he would rise again on the Third Day….why didn’t the guys go out there with the ladies?

Did they not believe that Jesus would do what he said he was going to do? I looked up on my Holy Bible app and there are at least 10 instances throughout the Bible where God says “I am God and I will do it.” But many of us, have been let down by humans so many times, and Jesus after all, had been there in human form. Have you ever put your hope in another human expecting to be loved and protected, only to have them abandon you? I know I have, and its hard to trust again. Who wants to set them self up for what feels like betrayal again?

Did they even really understand what it meant when Jesus said that he would rise again? It’s easy for us to sit here 2000 years later and understand that Jesus rose again. But the resurrection hadn’t happened yet so these poor guys didn’t know what to expect. And apparently the ladies didn’t either because verse 8 says “trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” Perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on the men, because really no one knew what it meant that Jesus would rise again.

Peter had disowned Jesus (Mark 14:66-72) The others had deserted him and fled (Mark 14:50-52) Did they feel ashamed, guilty and afraid of going, looking and entering into the grief. Perhaps they were afraid of putting hope in to something that didn’t seem available anymore. They had all abandoned Jesus in his final hour of death, perhaps they were afraid that they let him down and were wallowing in their self loathing? Could they ever face their friend with all that they had done to him? Could they ever be forgiven? Could they ever be accepted again? They had all believed that they were following the Messiah. They had all sworn their allegiance to Him….and then when it mattered most, they failed. They did exactly what he predicted. We, in our human weakness, many times cave to the pressure of sin and weakness. They failed and we fail too. Could we ever be forgiven? If he did rise, would he want me?

But the women were faithful they put their HOPE in Jesus doing what he said he was going to do, so they WENT and they LOOKED UP and they ENTERED IN TO? What a risk! It was risky to go out there! “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb? (vs 3)

“I don’t know, we’ll figure it out when we get there,” they say in my mind. That’s the way hope is right?

We go, we look up, and we enter in to….

That’s the way these writings are. That’s the way our move to Kansas was. That’s the way my real estate career was. That’s the way motherhood was. That’s the way new jobs go. That’s what we do when there’s not enough money to meet all the bills at the end of the month. That’s the way it goes when our kids make bad decisions, and there’s nothing we can do about it. That’s the way new relationships go. That’s the way it goes when we seek forgiveness for what seems like an unforgivable sin. That’s the way it goes when we feel abandoned. That’s the way it goes when we don’t understand how its going to turn out.

We go

We look up

We enter in to

Father God, I thank you that you meet me right where you tell me to go, and are there when I look up, and hold my hand as I enter in to. Help me to always have the courage to take the step I see you guiding me towards. I pray for little flutters that I am on the right path toward your will for my life. I pray for the person reading this right now that you would be with them as they make choices for their life, if there is any doubt, any fear, and sin, and abandonment, issues within them, I ask that you speak clearly to their heart and send them some kind of message of your will for their life too. Use my writings to draw the person reading this closer to you.

Can I be praying for you today?

What are you seeking and looking for and entering in to that seems a bit scary today?

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I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!

  • Leviticus 20:22-22:16
  • Mark 9:1-29
  • Psalm 43:1-5
  • Proverbs 10:18

“If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for the one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 9:23-22

Y’all, I must admit I don’t even know how to approach any of today’s readings. In Leviticus, we read the rules and regulations regarding priests cleanliness. I can’t even begin to relate to these laws, they make no sense to me. I’ve studied them and I know them. Mostly, I know that Jesus came to be the final sacrifice so we no longer have to bring lambs and birds and oxen over and over again. He paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you Lord!

In Mark, we learn about miracles of healing. The closest I can come is my experience with pregnancies.

Jeff and I have 2 daughters, as you may know or have read in my bio. But what I haven’t shared is that I have 4 babies in heaven. These babies were miscarried or died in utero at about 10 weeks. My body didn’t do pregnancy well. Two of the babies that died in utero, had to be surgically cleaned out. Someday I’ll write about the heart wrenching pain of miscarriage, but not today. Today, is the miracle of the two that God leant me to raise up.

I had already had 1 miscarriage when I got pregnant with Ashley, and my body just didn’t know what to do. Ashley is a miracle baby because my body threatened miscarriage with her SIX DIFFERENT TIMES. The doctor just kept putting me to bed for a week at a time, which my body and baby seemed to like because she hung out with me. By the time she got here, I was so grateful to hold her….WE MADE IT, baby! WE MADE IT! I held her skin to skin in that hospital bed and cried. We made it baby girl! If we can survive that, we can do anything! She’s my miracle baby.

By the time I got pregnant with Dakota I had three miscarriages. I was a emotional basket case!! *sigh, my poor husband, sigh* I had a diagnosed hormone imbalance and was in the high risk category under a doctors care. The doctors put me on hormones to try and balance my body out, and our circle group fervently prayed over us before & during pregnancy. When she was finally conceived, Jeff and I were elated! The first time I got morning sickness, I celebrated, because that meant my body was doing what it was supposed to be doing, keeping baby safe n’ sound! THENNNN the tests showed that she could possibly be down’s syndrome and all kinds of flags and warnings went up. I didn’t care, she would be a miracle either way. And she is.

These are proof enough that Jesus does really heal in the way that I want Him to sometimes, and my babies in heaven….well, I know that I’ll get to meet them someday. My heavenly babies, all have names. I named them as a way of releasing grief. That’s another story I’ll write some day….not today.

“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

Mark 9:19

When I first read this verse, this morning, it felt like a scolding. But after journaling, I don’t think it is. In my prayerful imagination, Jesus and I are sitting on a rock by the water, criss-cross applesauce, like in preschool, and he’s looking at me in the eye, as I cry asking in a loving way as I lay my head on his shoulder. How long shall I stay with you, Theresa? Those words “put up with” can be translated “hold up” or “suffer”. So Jesus, for today, is asking me how long do you need held up? How long will you suffer with this unbelief? Remember THESE miracles!!

Many times my faith wanes, and I can sense that Jesus gets impatient with me. But not today, or at least not at this moment. Today I sit with the memories of the miracles in my life, still feeling the moment that I heard the heartbeat of my little girls and believe.

He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Mark 9:29

Lord, thank you for the miracle of my family. You took two broken people and brought forth miracles of life through them. You Lord have held together this family, and for that I am forever grateful. Lord, I believe that you still perform miracles. And Lord, help me when I don’t believe, ok? Be patient with me, again. I pray for miracles in the life of the person reading this. I pray that you are patient with them and help them to see the only NECESSARY miracle and that is that you came and died for us, were raised again and seated at the right hand of the Father. Secure our hope in that.

Amen.

Are you needing prayer today?

What miracles have you seen?

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Psalm 41

  • Leviticus 16:29-18:30
  • Mark 7:24-8:10
  • Psalm 41:1-13
  • Proverbs 10:15-16

Psalm 41 is David’s lament when he was seriously ill. He acknowledges that his illness is related to his sin. Today I am praying Psalm 41 as a lament.

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them – they are counted among the best in the land – he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness

Psalm 41:1-3

To me this feels like David is just stating facts. He is laying his trust down on the Lord, saying this is what I KNOW to be TRUE. David knows that God delivers those who have taken care of others in need. He trusts that God protects and preserves them. David believes that those who care for others when they are weak are counted as blessed in the land, and that God will NOT give them over to the enemy. He has experienced, trust, believe and grasp on to the very last string of hope of the TRUTH in that God sustains them.

I stand with David, and say I know this to be true, no matter what the doubts in my head say. No matter the voice of the enemy that is trying to convince me that it’s not true, I believe THIS to be true. I know that I’m feeling off kilter and stuck today and it doesn’t FEEL like God is sustaining me….but I am gripping with all my might on to the last thread of trust that God is keeping his promise to hold me fast. I’m going to write this on paper and out loud for the world to hear, so that hopefully when I finally get out of this mess, eyes will be opened and ears will hear.

I may FEEL hopeless, but I’m not, because I KNOW this to be true. You healed me before God and You’ll do it again! You fixed my situation before God, and I know you’ll do it again!

THIS, I BELIEVE to be TRUE.

I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?”

When one of them comes to see me he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then goes out and spreads it around.

Psalm 41:4-6

David my friend, you know what I like about you? You speak YOUR OWN TRUTH as well as the truth of God’s word. Dude, you own your stuff!! You know when a man can be trusted? Its when you witness that he can bear his own soul, confess his sin out loud, and be ok in it. Not only that, but invite others in with him and share it. He takes responsibility for his own shortcomings so much that he just confesses it outloud, KNOWING dang good and well, that the person he shares with, is going to spread that gossip for real! #courage

I stand with David and ask for mercy, healing and forgiveness for my own sinfulness. I have tried to do the best I could and at times, just banged my knee on it, and other times fallen flat on my face. I’m sorry for the times I yelled at my kids. I’m sorry for the poor choices I made. I’m sorry for being needy. I’m sorry. I hear my enemies slandering me. I hear them saying she’s so weird. I hear them having parties and not inviting me.

Or at least I think I do. Aren’t they? Or are they? What if they’re not?

I’m sorry for being so self centered that I THINK they’re gossiping about me….maybe they’re really not. Maybe they’re just busy. Maybe they just have their own families to think about. I’m sorry for being so self absorbed that I think this distance is about me….maybe, just maybe, they’re lonely too, and think no one cares. Maybe that feeling is too scary to admit to so they just keep filling empty minutes with stuff to do.

Maybe my sin is actually just thinking about myself first, and not them. Maybe my sin is actually trying to manipulate relationships to fit my needs, when YOU Lord, are doing some work behind the scenes that I don’t need to worry about right now. What if this distance is really just You protecting me? Or….what if it’s just You protecting THEM?

All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me saying, a vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies. Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread has turned against me.

Psalm 41:7-10

David did have enemies trying to take his throne. David did commit the sin of adultery. David did repent and at least try to make amends. I thank God that David wrote this Psalm so that I can learn that there are this world consequences for sin, but that you love me, and hear me, even when I sin.

I stand in this empty-nest-ness and have time for my imagination to afflict me. I remember all the times I was a less than stellar mom and wish I would have done such and such differently. I pray for my daughters to grow closer to God, and I try to talk to them….and it only causes them to push me away. I shared my bread with them their whole lives, and feel them turn against me.

But is it me they are turning against?

What exactly are they turning against?

Or are they turning TO?

What exactly are they turning TOWARDS while they are turning AWAY?

I’ll never know, will I?

What if I just have to TRUST that not only does God deliver me, but He will deliver them….in His time. Not mine. Ugh.

But may you have mercy on me Lord; raise me up, that I may repay them. I KNOW that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.

Amen and Amen.

Psalm 10-13

Who is the real enemy here? Have mercy on me Lord, and rescue me from this enemy that is attacking me…I must be doing something right to be under such attack. I know Lord that you are pleased with me. You created me to be a woman of integrity and you will uphold me in that. I know that when I do what I say I’m going to do, be who you created me to be, you will set me in your presence forever.

Life may not look like I want it to right now, but I am RESTING in the KNOWLEDGE that You have placed on my heart that you will use these writings and my prayer and these situations all of us, especially the person reading this, closer to you.

What sins do you need to own up to today?

Do you TRUST that the Lord preserves and delivers? What would that mean to you?

Praise be to the Lord, the God of YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, from everlasting to everlasting. Can you praise God today? Why or why not?

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