Friday, August 23, 2013

Grace For The Weary


    "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word."
       Psalm 119:28 (NIV)

The psalmist sounds as if he experienced great woe. He states his condition so well. He says he is worn out to the center of his being—his inner soul. This writer begs God to make him strong, to fortify him, according to His plan.

Earlier this month, I joined several of the people at church and volunteered for a Kindergarten Brigade at a reopened school, a Kindergarten Center, in our town’s school system. I woke around 4:30 that morning. Did my devotional reading and prayed. My alarm sounded at 6:45. I left home a bit earlier than I planned to get some gasoline. I picked up a close friend who lives in my area and headed out to the  school. It was a humid day. The school’s staff had to change their plans from what we had been told. This one shift necessitated the volunteers to walk children to their classrooms. I had to walk this one little boy all over half this building twice in order to find where he belonged. I couldn’t remember the teacher’s name. Another child I took into the building hadn’t had breakfast. The school prepared for that. The cafeteria served breakfast to those who  needed to eat. We were only there for about two hours. The buses came, as they could and the majority of us waited outside. We all pitched in and helped each other with their assigned bus when it came.

 The weather conditions and being on my feet and walking for all that time triggered my fibromyalgia. The rest of the day, I was very tired and in pain.

I had a commitment to fulfill that evening. I had told our pastoral assistant I would bring two seedless watermelons to our midweek meal we have before our Bible Study at church. I knew I couldn’t carry them nor could I cut them, especially as I felt so bad.

I have learned to not react to circumstances that surround me when I have that much pain. One of my friends came in and had to stop an altercation between two of her grandsons.

Similar to the psalmist, I was very tired and ached like a toothache but not from sorrow. I was thankful that I was able to give my time and effort for the benefit of those who faced a new experience in their lives. God did give me the grace to volunteer at the school. He also gave me the grace not to react to the young boys as they created more stress.

That night, along with my other meds, I took two Ibuprofen tablets and slept very well.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Lord Blesses

“The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
 Ps. 29:11 (NIV)

“The Lord. . .” We call Him Father, King, and Savior. He protects us from ourselves, from our sin. We,his children, are thankful for all He does for us.

“. . . gives . . .” God gave us His Son. That Son gave his life in order to save us from our sins. We return thanks and worship Him for all He gives us.

“. . . strength . . .” The Father gives us power to go forward in our spiritual lives. He grants us the ability to stand for Him.

“. . . his people . . .” We are His children. God gave us this privilege of His own Will. He gave us His Son so that we might know about Him and His ways.
“. . . blesses . . .” bestows gifts, grants goodness, and lavishes love onto all those who follow Him.

“. . . peace . . .” the absence of strife, His presence when all around us is chaos.
The Lord blesses us each day. He gives us strength for each day.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Our Refuge, Our Strength

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though
the  earth give way and the mountains fall
into the sea.

Psalm. 46:1-2 (NIV)

”God is our refuge and strength . . .” Our heavenly Father protects us as we travel through each day. I find this concept very comforting as time goes by and circumstances become tougher. He is there for us as we go to the store, the cleaners, our jobs, and our medical appointments. God goes with us as we travel to another part of our home states or if we travel great distances.

“ . . . an ever-present help in trouble.” God always stands by our side when we have crises—of faith, of health, of employment, of family circumstances—when we make a mess out of a relationship. When we have times of doubt, God is there to remind us of what He has done for us in the past. Some theologians call the special memories, bench marks. He reminds us of the event and of the special way He took care of the issue as a form of his love for us.

“Therefore we will not fear. . . “ Because we know God is with us, we have no reason for anxiety to set into our set into our lives for very long. We are taught that fear is the opposite of faith. Sometimes, we have events that jolt us and we display fearfulness for a little while. All we have to do is seek God and ask His forgiveness.

“. . .though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea.” Even though what seems like the worst of disasters happen in our lives, we have God to guide us. Friends of mine had a son and a daughter who were in Saudi Arabia during the first Desert Storm. Those months were hard on the parents and the daughter .But God worked through all the fear, anxiety, and depression of the parents to bring that daughter back to Him.

A special hymn for my readers:

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...