The Unavoidable Toil. (#jammed daily devo day 4)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 4: Work Hard Without Working so Hard.

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, singing,

 I didn’t realize was how much of a responsibility I would feel to the dreams thrown into my daughter’s hearts. Overkill is an understatement of the freight train that escapes my mouth before I can silence a ‘deserved’ lecture. The disciplinary balance between anointing them with lifetime laziness for leaving their laundry behind the bathroom door to picking up work to pay for their passions is often a space of five minutes.

“…how He overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you…
 Deuteronomy 11:4 (NIV)

Time constraints can strangle dreams unless we recognize our Author’s ability to stretch our minutes. The Israelites made everything harder than it had to be, even though God literally led them as a pillar of cloud each day and fire by night. He provided food for them, and respite from the Egyptian army as the sea swallowed them up. Hard work doesn’t have to be so hard.

But reason cannot grasp all that took place that day. When God’s covenant people were on the verge of extinction, God stepped in to fight for them. No one survived that day except by the miraculous grace of God. (Exodus 15:1 commentary, VOICE)

Jesus died for our freedom to walk in God’s grace through the effort to achieve the dream He planted there. We’re not promised a painless life, but joy and hope to endure reach onward past our goals and eventually home to His arms in heaven.

“God can see needs and hazards we can’t. He works to met our needs and protect us. We must trust that His way is best.” Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible.

Dreams require work. There’s no way around it. Lucky breaks happen in life, but when they hit unprepared hearts they fizzle out like fireworks. Just as An empathetic ear and the opportunity to fail often foster the most successful ownership of our children’s dreams, God is dabbing grace in the wings of the work we put forth to achieve ours.

Father, You are powerful to plant dreams in our hearts. Praise You for each light of hope we’re drawn to achieve in this life. Forgive us for overworking our abilities without tapping into Your strength. Forgive us for taking credit for talents You crafted, and bless our hearts to obediently follow Your will for our lives. For we know that is joyful work. In Jesus Name, Amen.

jammed-tweet-blueIs there something you are striving to achieve that exhausts all of your efforts …something that you should prayerfully ask for God’s gracious guidance to ease the load? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy

Megs

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The Boo-Boos

The screech was ear piercing, and my limbs were too slow to react to what I saw. Little limbs flew over handlebars, and skidded to a stop on the concrete. Tears streamed and knees bled. I scooped my baby up to the tune of my quickly abandoned bike crashing to the ground.  My breath paused waiting for her to catch hers.The Boo Boo 1

Against my incessant warnings and her better judgement, little Lo continued to ride her purple banana-seat bike with her feet up in the air. Though she faithfully wears a helmet, it couldn’t protect her from the overflow of boo-boo’s she survived this summer from peddling standing-up to keep up with the big kids.

“It’s OK, “ I reassure her, “You’re Ok… I love you …Mommy’s got you.”

It’s infuriating to watch preventable accidents reoccur, yet we rush to the rescue every time.

When we’re little, a Mommy hug and a bandaid …or a hot pink cast signed my all of our The Boo Boo 2friends, encourages the hope of healing and the chance to ride again.  In the grown up world, scars scale beyond bloody knees and broken bones. The adult audience does not wait in angst to sign our hurts with a Sharpie. Only God’s truth is powerful enough to bind wounds completely and foster new growth from our scars.

Redemption– the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. 

Synonyms: retrieval, recovery, return. –google.com

When falling, focus on the redemptive factor of faith in Christ. The above synonyms are great stones to skip…

Boo Boo 3 Good

1. Retrieval

Retrieval-the process of getting something back from somewhere. -google.com

“For the eyes of the Lord range though the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 

The Creator of time can stretch minutes. In John 19:38, He provided the perfect timing and placement of people to retrieve His Son’s body. Do we know He takes the same care in crafting our purpose?

God pursues us.

Paul encourages, “Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen? Especially since God’s “not guilty” verdict is already declared.”- Romans 8:33

 His gift of grace through Christ’s death on the cross gives us permission to peel past standardized shortcomings and embrace the promise of hope laced in every scar.

Boo Boo 4

2. Recovery

Recovery- a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. The action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost. -google.com

“Before he reached his village, his servants met him on the road celebrating his son’s miraculous recovery.” John 4:51

We often associate recovery with miraculous healing, but we see is a fraction of God’s Boo Boo 6omnipotence. Everyday battles are won on our account by our good Father.

Children, regardless of age, innately want to please their parents. Simon, in Luke 5:8-10, says,

“I can’t take this, Lord. I’m a sinful man. You shouldn’t be around the likes of me.”

It’s hard to look at fresh bruises without feeling a little ashamed.

Do we realize that’s normal?

Ephesians 2:3 reminds us that we are all guilty. Yet, in such a cycle of imperfect and repetitious behavior…through Christ …we are still redeemed.

Boo Boo 5

3. Return

Return-come or go back to a place or person. Give, put, or send something back to a place or person. -google.com

Genesis 3:19 reminds us to keep our perspective in check: “To dust we shall return.” James 5:7 urges us to be patient and wait. The word “return” in regards to Jesus’ whereabouts is mentioned 19 times in the book of Matthew …12 in Mark, 28 in Luke, and 29 in John. Jesus does a lot of returning in the gospels. Despite our cyclical sin, God hasn’t throw the towel in.

“You were bought at a price…” (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23 NIV)

It cost a life for us to live. An innocent life… without sin …sacrificed in the most brutal way … to save us.

 A high price has been paid for your freedom, so don’t devalue God’s investment by becoming a slave to people.” 1 Cor. 7:23

Boo Boo 7

High price, indeed.

“In His image,”(Genesis 1:27) is so evident when we teach our kids to get back up when they fall. We tell them it’s OK. We assure them that we love them.

Throughout the vast disappointments of my life, Christ has carried me, put bandaids on my bloody knees, healed hurts too secret to share, and surrounded me in His love. Until He returns …until I am returned to Him, I will passionately pursue my redeemed place in His plan …strengthened by knowing He never gives up on me.

Happy Redeeming,

Megs