Let it Go …All of it.

When I’m tempted to wallow in the “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” soundtrack of a suffered season …Psalms. Because the first thing I don’t feel like doing when I’m sad, angry or anxious isn’t what these profound words of wisdom instruct me to do. “It is good to give thanks to the LORD,” Psalm 92:1 says, “to sing praises to the Most High.” (NLT)

Flipping through a rolodex of the last month’s gut punches, I don’t want to sing. I’m thankful for the obligatory things …my home, health, family, talents, children, friends and God’s provision. There’s nothing earth shattering falling out of the bottom of my life. But occasionally a million little aggravations collide into a big burst of soul-stripping tears. Still, Psalm 7:17 instructs: “I will thank the LORD because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” (NLT)

“After Jesus was baptized by John,” a pastor at our church faithfully reminded me the day I was baptized, “Jesus was tempted in the desert for forty days.” 

Crap,” was my first thought. CRAP. Over the next few weeks I started to feel like Psalm 3:7“Arise, O LORD! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!” (NLT)

And then God asked me if I was willing to put reconciliation in His hands. Not just any reconciliation. One that had already rocked me, and my entire family, to the core. My answer was a resounding, “NO.” I didn’t want to. I’m down with heartfelt apologies. Reach as far back as you want to, God. And forgiveness? Forgiveness is a given. No apology needed. I got that memo. It’s an automatic process every Christian is wise to begin immediately after any hurt or heartbreak to prevent the root of bitterness from having babies all over our souls. 

But reconciliation? Nope. No. There are some people we can love from a far and leave behind the lines of our boundaries …right? RIGHT?  No. Psalm 5:11 says, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” NLT

God is the one protecting and providing refuge. So, if He says we are free to come out of hiding, we should. If He prompts us to reach out one more time in an effort to build a bridge, we should obediently take the chance. What’s the worst thing that could happen when the best thing that could happen is peace?  

Let’s just say …the worst thing happened. I opened up a wound that hurt worse than before. It leveled me. It surely made me ask “why …” a lot. But I kept reading through the Psalms …because coincidentally the devotional app I faithfully open every day has been in that book. (not a coincidence.) I kept praising God, through thick and heavy tears. He’s right, of course, but let’s face it …some moments make us doubt ourselves, everyone around us, all the decisions we’ve made, and the faith we stand on. Cry it all out. He can handle it.

As we continue to breathe air He will pull things out of the thin of it for us to give to Him. Not everything we go through in life is all about us. We’re called to leave the door wide open for reconciliation while God works on all of the hearts. If it’s possible …we want it. It’s OK to leave our boundaries in the protective hands of our Defender. God doesn’t owe us an explanation for our obedience. He just says, “obey.” Trust and obey.

We have to let go, so we can receive all He has for us. All we can’t see, doesn’t make sense, and makes it hard to leap in faith when He asks us to stretch past our flexibility. He knows what we need in breaking moments. Life is hard, and God knows it. He is our good Father, and so waits for us to open His book and fall into His capable arms. Every time, He will pick us up, stretch us out, and set us back on the path He’s prepared for us. He promises. And He’s good for it. Don’t let fear rob freedom. 

Let go.

Megs


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The Water’s Purpose (#jammed daily devo, day 93.)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 93: Water and grace.

 At first the earth lacked shape and was totally empty, and a dark fog draped over the deep while God’s spirit-wind hovered over the surface of the empty waters. Then there was the voice of God.” Genesis 1:2

“What’s the water for?” my youngest asked, as we watched our Pastor dunk someone under.image-93

Brilliant question.

In today’s verse we witness the “empty waters” on earth before God’s voice spoke creation into existence. Water must be pretty significant to have a place before all other creation, and it seems fitting to me that even today we are submerged in it to symbolize new life.

Egyptian texts speak of places without function as “nonexistent…” in general it designates a situation in which positive values such as purpose and worth are lacking. “Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary of the Old Testament

The earth is God’s beautiful creation, yet many days we blur by the beauty that He’s placed around us. Thus is a life without Christ. Still beautiful, but blurring by the beauty that He specifically purposed. Each human life was put on earth just as intentionally as each note of nature.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

When we are dunked under the water, the old is gone, the new has come. We begin to
pursue His purpose over our own, and therefore begin to feel life as it was intended to be.

Each day, we look to water to cleanse us, hydrate us, and sustain us. We wash our clothes, our cars, our kids, our hands … It makes us clean. It fills us up. It keeps us moving. It’s a basic human need for survival. It’s been here all along. Before the first tree, first cloud, first sound of God’s voice …”empty waters.”

Are we just jumping in to be refreshed, or have we been emerged in Living water to drown death?

Merriam-Webster’s definition of water begins  with, “the liquid that descends from the clouds…”

Indeed, He did. To dunk us all. #revival

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for water. The most basic human need and yet the first element existent upon earth. You place everything with significance, and we thank You for placing  such importance on water. Forgive us for not depending on the Water of life like we do the water we drink. Bless our souls to be refreshed with Your living Word, the water of life, Your Son, Jesus. In His Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Dunking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

The Daddy Dolphin (#jammed daily devo, day 36)

February #jammed: Dunked in Grace 

Day 36: Grace will carry us when we can’t carry on.

“And a Voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:17post-image36

The hours my husband works are long, and his days off are few. It’s a joy to watch him make up for every lost minute with our two daughters on family vacations. Something wired within their hearts already understands that time with him is fleeting and precious.

“Mommy, watch!” my daughter yelled from the water. “It’s Daddy Dolphin!”

I watched as she climbed onto her daddy’s back, and held on tight as they both dove under the water and swam to the other side. Both surfaces with big smiles. A father’s protective guard over his daughter is precious to behold.

Matthew tells the story of God’s reaction to His Son’s baptism in today’s verse. A proud Father, fiercely protective, Creator of all, “well-pleased.” I picture the reaction of the crowd …of John the Baptist …as the sky opened up and God spoke! It might have been too much for some to process!

He would forsake His Son …on the cross …for us. His Son, “whom I love.” God is love. That’s a powerful statement, and magnificent moment stitched in time.

To breath underwater we need Jesus to flow in our hearts. Only then are we washed in forgiveness and bathed in the presence of God.  Christ died so we can hold onto Him, knowing our Father can carry us to the other side.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, You are so faithful to show us Your love through Your Son’s baptism. Thank you for  sacrificing Him for our sake, so that we may hold onto You all the way to heaven. We confess that the immediacy of this world sometimes trumps our souls’ final destination. Forgive us, and bless us with Christ seeking hearts all the day of our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your favorite memory with your dad? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Swimming,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Unchanging Change (#jammed daily devo, day 35)

February #jammed: Dunked in Grace 

Day 35:  Grace is Constant and Consistent.

 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.” Matthew 13:13postimage35

“Ah….it’s warmer in here…” they sighed as they ducked under to stay out of the cooler
air.

Swimming in a Southern pool on a winter day is a treat, whether it’s sunny and 80 or sunny and 56. My daughters didn’t care. Their bathing suits were on and they were in that water as fast as they could be.

After a while, my six-year old’s lips turned purple. The water that seemed so warm at first now felt chilly. Bundled in towels to dry off, I could tell she was a little bewildered by the sudden change in how she felt…though the water remained the same.

Faith can feel warm one day, and challengingly chilly the next. Our hearts have trouble adjusting to the constancy of God’s provisionary love. In a perfection-driven world, we have trouble accepting what “perfect” looks like as it pertains to God’s plan for our individual lives.

Today’s verse reminds of Jesus’ baptism. The Son of Man was baptized. I often think I’m unique in that I’m drawn to the water’s edge. Maybe we’re all wired with the urge to run and jump in …the innate sense that the water will refresh our souls.

Jesus came to earth to show us the way. God Himself said, ‘this is how you do it,’ and was dunked under the water.

The temperature of life can be controlled by none other than the the One who created the universe. Diving in is surrendering control …to Him.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, Praise You for John the Baptist. How humbled he must have been that day to baptize Your Son Jesus. Thank You for the example that Jesus walked out for us. He showed humility and courage, kindness and fortitude …all at the same time. We confess that we do not always look for Him when we feel a temperature change. Forgive us, and re-route us. Dunk us under the water and bless us with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

When were you baptized? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Dunking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

 

 

The Water’s Purpose (#jammed daily devo, day 93.)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 93: Water and grace.

 At first the earth lacked shape and was totally empty, and a dark fog draped over the deep while God’s spirit-wind hovered over the surface of the empty waters. Then there was the voice of God.” Genesis 1:2

“What’s the water for?” my youngest asked, as we watched our Pastor dunk someone under.image-93

Brilliant question.

In today’s verse we witness the “empty waters” on earth before God’s voice spoke creation into existence. Water must be pretty significant to have a place before all other creation, and it seems fitting to me that even today we are submerged in it to symbolize new life.

Egyptian texts speak of places without function as “nonexistent…” in general it designates a situation in which positive values such as purpose and worth are lacking. “Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary of the Old Testament

The earth is God’s beautiful creation, yet many days we blur by the beauty that He’s placed around us. Thus is a life without Christ. Still beautiful, but blurring by the beauty that He specifically purposed. Each human life was put on earth just as intentionally as each note of nature.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

When we are dunked under the water, the old is gone, the new has come. We begin to
pursue His purpose over our own, and therefore begin to feel life as it was intended to be.

Each day, we look to water to cleanse us, hydrate us, and sustain us. We wash our clothes, our cars, our kids, our hands … It makes us clean. It fills us up. It keeps us moving. It’s a basic human need for survival. It’s been here all along. Before the first tree, first cloud, first sound of God’s voice …”empty waters.”

Are we just jumping in to be refreshed, or have we been emerged in Living water to drown death?

Merriam-Webster’s definition of water begins  with, “the liquid that descends from the clouds…”

Indeed, He did. To dunk us all. #revival

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for water. The most basic human need and yet the first element existent upon earth. You place everything with significance, and we thank You for placing  such importance on water. Forgive us for not depending on the Water of life like we do the water we drink. Bless our souls to be refreshed with Your living Word, the water of life, Your Son, Jesus. In His Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Dunking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.