Category Archives: Encouragement

Are You Living a Blessed Life?

A blessed life is not a life without heartache, a blessed life is what you allow yourself to learn through the hard times. How you let those heart aches mold and shape you.

“As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” The Valley of Baka, translated as the Valley of Tears, was an actual place near the city of Jericho. It was the only passageway into Israel’s Cities of Refuge and some scholars speculate it was also the only way that led up to the city of Jerusalem where the temple of God was found. It was desert country, filled with thorns, wild animals, pitfalls, and obstacles of all kinds. To tread this treacherous valley reduced weary travelers to tears, thus the name it was given. The only hope of getting through the valley were the pools that held the rains and even those were often few and far between.

The beauty of this seemingly abstract scripture is that we all pass through the Valley of Tears in our own lives. For some of us, our whole lives feel like one big journey through the dessert wastelands and we wonder if we’ll ever make it through to the other side. We may feel tempted to give up or give in to the tempting thoughts that tell us what God has promised will never happen, or that because of our choices we’ve damaged our lives beyond repair. The good news for us who place our trust in Christ is that times of refreshing will come as we pass through this Valley. (Acts 3:19) But we cannot wait for breakthrough. We do not just sit idle and hope this time of suffering passes us by. No, we keep walking forward and do our part to turn our times of sorrow and pain into wells from which we can draw on the waters of spiritual maturity and growth. We don’t do this by giving up when those times of heart ache come, we do this by digging our own wells. Wells that catch the rain of refreshing, but also deeper wells, that tap into the water that is already inside us lying concealed beneath the surface of our sometimes wayward and distrusting hearts.

If we are in Christ, He is in us a spring of living water (Jer. 2:13) To sustain ourselves as we walk through the Valley of Tears, we must dig. And it is in the digging, the searching, the pressing in where we grow. The blessing is not necessarily in the release of heartache or a life without it. The blessing is in how we’re strengthened through the process. The blessing is His presence. The blessing is Him. “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.” Achor means trouble. What we consider trouble, chaos and calamity, God calls a door of Hope. A gateway into His presence. Our troubles and hardships give us a reason to dig down deep into Him. He wastes nothing and uses it all for our good, and more importantly, for His glory.

Did you like this? Share it:

Compulsion

Why would anyone care to read something I wrote? When there are so many other great—read that “better than me”—writers out there? Who have said it all… better than I can? What makes me special that people would want to hear what I have to say?

Those are the thoughts I battle constantly. I feel called to write, but I also fear writing for reasons I don’t understand. Why was I given this curse? This invisible pressure riding on my shoulders to put words to thoughts, and thoughts to paper? It’s horribly compulsory. I love that word, compulsory. Root word: compulsion or compel: to force or drive especially to a course of action. It’s the reason I get a lot done, this inner compulsion that drives me toward my goals. I was raised to be this way. My mother was and is a very driven woman, who taught me the importance of personal responsibility and despised laziness. I can even remember the definition she taught us, and how as little kids we could never quite pronounce the word properly. It didn’t keep us from memorizing what it meant. “Ponsability: doing a job in the way that you should, in the time that you should.” Looking back now, how she raised seven children without going crazy I’ll never know. Clearly God uniquely prepared her for the task and I’m thankful she rose to the challenge. Back to compulsion.

I’ve been learning a lot about myself over the past several months. Turning thirty will do that to a person. I’ve been turning inward for a bit to discover what I know, what I don’t, and what else I need to learn. Turns out it’s a lot.

I’ve been reading through a book by John Eldridge called Walking with God and he asks the question, “what is your basic approach to life?” He writes that many of us have an approach to life that is not in line with the way God designed. This is more than just how you spend your day, it is a deep seeded, inner motivation that has shaped your personality and the core of you as an individual.

I immediately knew my answer. I approach life with an “All or Nothing” mindset. Life in the extremes. The idea of “fight hard, attack life, attack the day, eat strict to lose weight, work out hard, write as much as possible, fill every free minute, invest in the children, keep the house clean, be a good wife, produce, produce, produce, push, push, push…. until I’m so exhausted, overworked, underfed, sore, used up, short, irritable, drained that I can barely function. All or Nothing. I used to say “this is just how I am.” But after walking more closely with God through the past year, I’m learning I don’t have to be that way. I can change, or at least invite Jesus in to “reshape my personality around His love,” as Eldridge suggests.

So I invited Him in. Through the process Jesus revealed to me that I really have a wrong idea about love. “What agreements have you made about love?” Eldridge asks and I came to the conclusion that I’ve believed love is conditional. I know where this idea stems from. As a teen, I grew up overweight—obese is more accurate. I never felt I fit in, never felt accepted. Little did I know then it was an inability to love and accept myself. I grew up believing the lie “If I was just skinnier I could… If I just lost weight than I could… If I wasn’t so sensitive then… If I was just more like this person, or that person, then I might be accepted, liked, loved.” Conditional. Now, I know God’s love is not conditional. I know God loves me, for no other reason except that I belong to Him, but he unearthed a deceptive root in my heart that essentially said, I’m not worth loving unless I look a certain way, or do certain things. If I do all these things right, than I’m worth loving, if I don’t, than I’m not.

He showed me the fruit of my belief. I don’t truly believe in His unconditional love. I want to. But it feels so wrong. So undeserved. I listen and believe the lies of the enemy all too often that tell me I don’t matter, I’m insignificant, He only loves me when I do XYZ, I don’t do enough, and never will. I found myself living for His approval instead of from it.

What is unconditional love? Perfect love. The Bible says perfect love drives out fear and that’s when it hit me. So much of what I do is motivated by fear. Fear of gaining weight. Fear of disapproval. Fear of failure. Fear of letting people down. Fear of what other people think. Fear of how I’m perceived. Fear of rejection. So I push, and produce and run myself into the ground with fearful compulsion. “All.” And then when I can’t go any further, when I can’t give anymore, when I’ve spent my last ounce of energy, self-control, will-power, I give in. Retreat. Fly the white flag. Give me that cookie, actually give me three. I’m done with the kids. I can’t handle this anymore. I’m so exhausted. I need carbs! Crawl into bed to escape. “Nothing.” All or Nothing. And when the fear of compulsion runs dry, guilt is right there waiting to take it’s place. Fear and guilt. This is no way to live. This is ping pong. Complete and utter inconsistency and I hate it.

Inconsistency. The other puppet string. I used to say I’m consistently inconsistent. I blamed it on my personality. I’m a free spirit. A rebel. I can’t be tied down by routine, schedules and regimens. But as the years catch up to me, and the longer I walk with the Holy Spirit, I’m seeing this is also an area I must allow Him to reshape.

Ok, I invite you into this Lord. What do you want to say to me in this?
His answer came quickly and clearly, in a phrase I felt rise from my heart: My grace is enough. Huh? Oh great! A nice little Sunday school answer. What does that even mean, My grace is enough?

Ironically enough, my name Anna, means “grace, or gracious one.” Maybe it’s not so ironic after all. Through this deeper search in my heart, The Lord began to unravel me.

I operate so much of my life under fearful compulsion, what I “ought” to do because I’m searching for acceptance, but compulsion breeds rebellion and rebellion breeds inconsistency.

Fear–>Compulsion–>Rebellion–>Inconsistency

He says, I want you to learn how to operate under grace because grace breeds gratitude and gratitude breeds love and you guessed it, perfect love casts out fear.

Grace–>Gratitude–>Love–>FEAR

I don’t know what it means yet, to be perfected in love. Perhaps it’s not possible on this side of heaven. However, I do know where to go to learn perfect love.

Love Himself.

Likewise, grace is a hard concept to grasp. It doesn’t make sense to our finite minds and I’ve never, truly understood it as fully as I would like. It’s hard to define, hard to articulate and even harder to accept. I was wrestling with this when again the Lord brought another thought to mind. It’s defined through your relationship with Me. Of course. Here I am trying to figure it all out, on my own, in my own strength, looking for an answer when the answer is simply: Him. I don’t have to figure it out, that’s what makes Him God. The miraculous mystery of His grace and love, undeserved, but lavishly given. To be enjoyed not questioned, worn, not wary, and accepted no matter the circumstances.

I pray you also find that grace and perhaps skip the part where you think you have to earn it. Let my experience free you from the burden of learning the hard way and perhaps compel you to join me in the pursuit of perfect love.

Did you like this? Share it:

“Why Do I Struggle with This?”

Over the past few years as I’ve become open about my struggle with food addiction, overcoming insecurity, and finding freedom a kind of personal ministry has evolved. I’ve had the privilege of speaking into other’s lives, mostly because I’m a little farther down the path–that is all. I do not pretend to have the answers. All I have is my own experience and what I have learned on this journey, and my prayer is that God can use my story, insight, and experience to help others find freedom. That is all I ever want.

Why?
I learned early on that I am a stubborn kind of girl. I have a thread of rebellion running through my personality like a snagged string that threatens to unravel the entire sweater. (I don’t even like sweaters.) But that’s exactly what this streak of defiance does to me. Unravels. Sabotages. Destroys. God also knows this about me, and he wants me to grow out of the prideful stubborn heart that tends to hold me back. Maybe you can relate. If you call yourself a Christian, Christ-follower, Jesus-lover or any other name to describe a person who follows the teachings of Jesus, than you can relate. He talks about this in His Book. He calls it the sin nature.

You see, God is most concerned that we become HOLY. Like Him. It is His chief concern. When we are not, he uses things in our lives to sharpen, strengthen, prune, and reveal the things keeping us from that holiness.  (This is called Sanctification. The process of becoming holy. After we have received Jesus as savior (that’s called justification) our journey of sanctification can begin. Justification is already done for us, but sanctification, takes our participation to make happen.

So you might wonder, “Why do I struggle with this?” and “this” could be anything from obesity and food addiction, to marital problems, joblessness, illness, grief over a death, parenting, self-doubt, insecurity, insignificance, or any of the other woes we find ourselves walking through in this fallen, broken world. Does God cause these things? No. But He uses them.

For me, he knows food, exercise and weight are the best tools to train me in righteousness. He knows my lack of consistency, procrastination and general laziness are places I need to grow out of in my process of sanctification. Other people who do not struggle with weight or food addiction will have their own struggles as mentioned above, and each struggle will be in line with their areas of weakness. God also allows this so that we will not be able to do what He knows we will want to do and that is try and figure it out on our own, without Him.

God won’t give us the easy way out. He loves us too much. He is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. He would rather our character be strengthened than just give us what we want. He’s a good father. He wants to teach us, change us, transform us… And he knows this can happen through our frustrations. He knows this is most often when we turn to him for help. When nothing else seems to be working.
When we decide not to participate in our journey of sanctification, and ignore the issues in our lives, we stay stagnant. When we do this it is a deliberate choice not to mature in Christ. It is a deliberate choice not to step toward God and where he is leading us. The enemy loves this, by the way, because there is nothing less threatening to Satan than a stagnant Christian, stuck in their own stubborn pride. They have no power there, no influence, no real life.
But Jesus has come that we may have life and have it to the full. To get that life we have to be willing participants in our own transformation. He won’t just take all our struggles away and give us what we want, but He does give us opportunities to learn and grow through those struggles. He wants us to work with Him toward real heart change. It is in the work of inward change, that outward change will not only happen, but will last.

Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. Are we alone? No! The good news is to get to this place of sanctification we’ll need Jesus and lot of Him and you know what? It turns out, He’s actually the greatest gift of all. He’s the one our hearts really longed for all along. We thought it was an easy life, a struggle-free existence, money in the bank, flat stomaches, a great marriage, no problems, but those are just reflections of a much deeper longing we have within: Being known for who we really are. Knowing and loving ourselves for who He says we are. Being loved by Him, and loving Him in return.
My heart LONGS for each person reading this to find that level of surrender to Him. When you do, you’ll know true freedom and the effort of this life will come from an indescribable power rising from within your soul. The very Holy Spirit–who communes with Jesus all the time–giving us the power, patience, and fortitude to continue our transformation one day at a time.

Did you like this? Share it:

Gratitude Activates Peace

My family and I just returned from a get-a-way to Colorado. We love to visit a small mountain town called Creede. Home of the Rio Grande National Forest, it’s known for it’s fishing, hiking, camping and all around mountainous beauty.

We stayed in a small cabin in town, and while visiting a local restaurant employed by foreign exchange students, we met a young man from Ukraine. I’ve always been fascinated to discover the stories of people from other places. What I soon discovered from his story gave me a whole new perspective on the blessing I have as an American citizen.stock-photo-45137828-drinking-water

As he looked at our young children he told us how blessed they were to get to travel away from home. He said growing up they were never allowed to go anywhere except school. The government of Ukraine made it nearly impossible to travel outside your town with fees and expenses too outrageous to make it worth it. He said he always overhears the older couples who come to the restaurant, talk about where to go next… thinking to himself “You have no idea what a blessing it is to have options…”

He was in the states for the summer on a temporary work visa. He wasn’t complaining but told us he works 6-7 days a week with little time off, serving American’s who have no idea the blessings right in front of them. But he was so grateful to get the chance to be in America, even if it was for only three months at a time and only if he was working.

He told us about meeting a group of a young American’s at one of the restaurants he was working. “They were complaining about how awful America is…” he said with a thick Ukrainian accent. “About the politics and the violence… I had to tell them they do not know what they are taking for granted. At least America has politics, and gives it’s citizens a choice… in Ukraine, we do not have choice. In Ukraine we are taxed for everything… even the water and the ice in the restaurants is something you pay for…”

He was gracious and kind, like he just wanted us to know how blessed we were to be American’s.

He left to go check on our food, and as I popped the top off my kid’s 7-UP, with free ice, and sipped on my free water, I reveled in how much I actually do complain.

When we don’t have a great perspective on how blessed we really are, it can be easy to fall into the trap of ungratefulness, complaining, and focusing on what we do not have.

One thing I always do at the start of each day, or anytime I’m starting to feel unhappy or lose my peace is list the things I’m thankful for… the things many of us take for granted everyday:

Food to eat, a car to drive, money in the bank, a healthy family, a house with air conditioning and heating, great friends, a wonderful church… I think I’ll be adding freedom, and free ice water to the list too.

Gratitude activates peace.

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.”

Did you like this? Share it:

The Size of Your Impact Should Not Determine the Use of Your Gift

I was having coffee with a friend the other day and she was telling me how under-utilized she feels.

“I want to be used by God, but I just don’t feel like I have a great impact, so I find myself not using my gifts.”

I was instantly struck with this thought.

LLL1 LLL1

I think most of us want to make a great impact. We want to use our gifts and talents to make a difference in the world. We want to matter, feel significant, and play a vital role. But sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can be deceived into burying our gifts, believing the lie that a small impact isn’t worth the trouble.

But that’s not what Jesus teaches.

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.” Matt. 25:14,15

If you know the story you’ll remember that the first two put their talents to work immediately, but the servant who received only one talent, buried it under the ground.

Sometimes I wonder if he did that because he saw how much the other servants had. More than him. Did comparison steal his chance to use the talent he had been given?

What about us? Does comparing our talents and success with that of others actually undermine our ability to use the gifts we have been given?

The size of our impact should not determine the use of our gift. 

We are continually encouraged: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Ro. 12:6-8

It doesn’t say, if your gift is prophesying, then prophesy if you have an audience. If it is to lead, then lead diligently if you have followers, if it is to encourage, then give encouragement to gain popularity.

It simply says to do what you’ve been gifted to do. Despite nothing.

To be completely honest, the friend who was telling me this over coffee was actually me. For too long the enemy has been on my back and in my ear whispering lies that I shouldn’t use my gift because I’m not making that big of an impact. He had me tied up in knots, comparing myself to others that I perceived were having more success in reaching their dreams and God-given callings. In my eyes, I didn’t have the same success as these others, so why even bother? My enemy convinced me to bury what I did have out of fear, pride and insecurity.

But God, in His loving grace reminded me once again that the size of my impact should not determine the use of my gift. That if He’s gifted and called me to write for, encourage and build up the body of Christ I am to obey that calling no matter if I see the fruit of my labor.

And so it is for all of us, because each of us is gifted in one way or another and each of us is called to use that gift for His glory.

Are you using yours?

Did you like this? Share it:

Give Yourself Away…You’ll Be Happier

A couple weeks ago I was really struggling with having joy as a mom. I was irritable, snappy, short. I wasn’t spending quality time with my kids because I was spending quantity time. In the same house, in the same room, in the same seat! I pushed away their requests for attention, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted (more on exhaustion later.) I wanted to do my thing, and wanted them to leave me alone. There were days when I laid down at night and asked myself “Did I even LOOK at my kids today?” Sure, I was with them. Sure, I took care of them. Fed them. Bathed them. Disciplined them. But did I LOOK at them? Did I take in his long eye-lashes, notice the hair in her face, the new scab on his knee, the fact she changed clothes eight times? I was actually entertaining thoughts like “Things would be so much easier without kids.” “This would be more enjoyable without kids.” “I wish I had never had kids.” It was a dark place. I know, you might be thinking, “She only has two kids…how hard can it be?” But everyone has their limits.

Is that ok to share? Oh well. If you’re a mom and you haven’t had those thoughts, you’re either lying, or you haven’t been a mom for very long. Just wait. You’ll think them too, eventually.

I am convinced being a parent is quite possibly the hardest form of sanctification there is. (Sanctification: the process of being made holy) If you let it, it can be the most effective way to break us of our stubborn, prideful and selfish heart. It can be the best teacher of service, selflessness and the true value of solitude. It’s as if God, in His infinite wisdom asked Himself, “How can we train these heathens called humans? I know! Let’s give them children.”

Children are a sort of ticket for the journey to holiness, if you but allow them to reshape your heart. Can other things take you on the journey to holiness? Of course, but parenting uncovers things inside us that other things just don’t.

I didn’t want to feel this way anymore, so I spent some time with Jesus, talked to my husband, and got a few things sorted out. I’ll admit, when it comes to parenting, my experience only reaches as far as my oldest son (who is almost five) So I know next to nothing, but this I do know:

As moms, we are leached of life. You can’t get around it. There are demands on you that are constant, urgent, and important. We can either be sucked dry and have a bad attitude about it, or choose to give ourselves away. The latter brings much more peace.

So I did a little experiment. Instead of allowing myself to be irritated at the rate of life and energy being sucked from me daily, I told myself “Give yourself away.” It became my mantra. “Give yourself away.” When he wants to play Uno for the sixth time, “Give yourself away.” When she wants you to accompany her to the bathroom Every. Single. Time. even though you know she can do it on her own, “Give yourself away.” I made a point to look, actually look at them, in the eyes, in the details, and I realized, once again, just how much I loved them.

Nothing changed, really… except me. Except my attitude. They still needed me at the same rate, and I was giving out the same energy, but it was different somehow. I did it with a happy heart. I chose to do it. The days passed more quickly, I enjoyed myself a lot more, and I’m sure my children enjoyed me more too.

Was I still exhausted at the end of the day? Yes, even more so. But I was also more fulfilled.

I like how Anne Lamott put it somewhat close to this: “Willing to be of service is where the joy resides.”

I write this to inspire, and encourage, but also to remind myself I always have a choice. A choice to be willing instead of reluctant, not just in motherhood, but also in life.

Did you like this? Share it:

Fight for Joy

It’s Memorial Day today and I was talking to a woman at church yesterday and asked her if she had any plans, a cookout with friends, swimming and lounging, or visiting grave sights, anything to commemorate the day. She looked a little sad and said “it’s just another day. But when I was a kid we would celebrate everything. Every holiday, big or small. Decorations, food, family. Thinking about it brings out the kid in me. If I had a place of my own, I would celebrate every holiday.”

I love that. Celebrate. There are so many opportunities to celebrate. So many chances to fight for joy in our lives. But I fear, too many of us miss the chance for joy in celebrating. We rationalize with “it’s not practical” “it takes time” “it costs money” “It doesn’t really matter” But it does matter because we need joy in our lives and celebrating things can bring us joy. It doesn’t have to cost money, unless you want it to. It might take an extra ounce of time and energy, but I’m convinced the joy it brings will repay you twice fold, if not more.

My mother-in-law celebrates everything. My kids get cards in the mail for Valentines, St. Patricks Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and the first day of summer and winter. She decorates little areas of her house and writes on little chalk board signs for each obscure holiday. I love this about her. She takes celebrating seriously and she is full of joy.

A friend of mine is going through menopause. She took the news really hard and just couldn’t see the beauty in this next season of life. I immediately felt compelled to encourage celebration! (Now, I understand I’ve never been through menopause so I don’t know what it’s like, but I do believe certain things in life need to be celebrated among close friends—especially milestones, and the beginning and passing of certain seasons.) I started thinking of party names for this particular celebration. “The Hell Yes Party,” “Hot Hallelujah Party,” “Freed from the Bleed” “The Red is Dead” and my personal favorite “Flo No Mo.” We’d all wear red, but she would wear black. We’d drink Bloody Mary’s and invite Flo from the Progressive commercials to give this certain season the right send off. I’m already excited for my Menopause Party.

Fight for joy. Life gives us enough reasons not to celebrate, why not take every opportunity we can to throw a little party?

Many people might think negatively about celebrating and making a big deal out of things. I’ve certainly heard people talk negatively about the stores coming out with Christmas decorations in July, and Valentines decorations in December, always reaching for that next party, always planning for that next celebration. I’ve read writers who condemn this kind of behavior saying “we’re grasping for joy” instead of living in and enjoying the moment, but I believe there is a balance of both. Grasping for joy is not a bad thing. Fighting for joy is a necessary part to living this life. Without joy, what do we have? Yes, live in the moment, but live with joy. Truly live, don’t just get by, don’t just make-it-through, LIVE.

Happy Memorial Day. Hope you’ll celebrate in some way, even if it’s just wearing a star crown on your head!

IMG_0576

 

Did you like this? Share it:

Today

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Psalm 95:8

I always read this verse thinking it was talking about the lost… but lately Jesus brought it to my attention as it relates to His believers.
Sometimes we have hardened hearts toward Him.

It could be when we hear His voice to spend time with Him, but choose to do other things instead… It could be when we read a scripture that tells us who we are, but we don’t believe it… It could be when he asks us to do something, but we choose disobedience….

Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your heart.
He is calling to you.

Did you like this? Share it:

Press In

I’ve felt the Lord speaking to me about these two words lately. Press In. Oftentimes, when I get a word from the Lord He also prompts me to share it with others through my blog. But lately, I’ve wrestled with feelings of insignificance and inadequacy which has kept me from obeying. “Why would anyone care what I have to say?” I ask myself. “I’m just another voice in the vacuum of space, saturated with opinions and advice, information and inspiration. What does it matter?” But this morning, during my time with the Lord He gently spoke to my heart and said,

“It’s not what you have to say… it’s what I have to say through you.”

Feeling convicted that I’ve sat on this word for half a week, I knew someone out there in that vacuum of space might be waiting on my obedience to share this word, and not even realize it. Therefore, I invite you to Press In.

My four-year-old son doesn’t know the meaning of personal space. He likes to be right up in my business. If I’m sitting in a one-person chair, he wants to sit with me. If I’m on the couch, he wants to be right next to me, pressed up against me, skin to skin. While it’s sweet that my nearness brings him comfort, it’s also annoying and distracting. It didn’t take me long to realize where he got the desire to feel close. One evening I found myself on the other side of the equation when sitting in bed as close to my husband as possible. Pressing in, getting comfort from his warmth and nearness. I apparently don’t know the meaning of personal space either.

That picture of nearness is exactly what I feel the Lord prompting me to share. Press In. Scoot closer. Get right up next to, skin to skin… God doesn’t need personal space, He’s longing for you to press in next to Him no matter where you are, or how you feel. Here’s what He says will happen:

James 4:8
“Come near to Me and I will come near to you.”

2 Chronicles 15:2
“The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you.”

Jeremiah 29:13
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

Deuteronomy 4:29
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Isaiah 55:6
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.”

There are countless reasons why we don’t press in:

  • It takes effort and energy and oftentimes we are just too busy or don’t want to put forth what it takes to connect.
  • We are wounded or angry and don’t feel like being close—“what will it help anyway?”
  • Sometimes things are going well, so “what need do I have to press in right now?”
  • Perhaps one of the biggest reasons is we’re afraid of what we’ll find. After all, He’s promised that if we seek Him, we will find Him and that can be a scary thought. I mean, “what do I do when I’ve found Him?”

Among the clatter of all the excuses I just keep hearing “Press in anyway.”

When your circumstances leave you dePressed—Press in
When doubts and fears make you feel opPressed—Press in
When your failures and shortcomings leave you feeling unimPressed— Press in
When lack of motivation leaves you supPressed— Press in
When the stress of life leaves you feeling Pressured— Press in
When financial hardship leaves you comPressed— Press in
And when you can’t exPress how you feel inside—Press in

Press In. Because: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” —Isaiah 55:6.

I’m just here to tell you, He’s waiting. Press In.

Did you like this? Share it: