Saturday, November 26, 2022




There is great "joy" in that word, isn't there?  It's a day of hope to many of us.  

A day that we "hope" to knock chores off the list.  Does the grass need to be cut?  Do the leaves need to be blown or raked?  Do we need to dust or vacuum?  Do we need to run errands?  Do we need to rest from a busy and hectic work week?

Hope is a great thing, and while we live here in "the middle," (like I journaled yesterday) we wrestle in between sin and hope.  

Sometimes, as we tread this line - we struggle with anxiety and hope all at the same time.  And we know that joy is waiting for us on the other side.

But while we are in between our Gardens, we struggle with what this world offers us - heartbreak, fear, the unknown.

I don't know how God plans my life to perfectly coincide with my devotionals, but He did it again this morning.  I could not have picked better words from Lysa TerKeurst this morning, but they are so applicable to my life at the moment.  Take a second to sip your coffee and let these words sink in:

"The crucial detail for us to have peace in the middle of everything we face is to stay close to the Lord.

We think we want comfort in the I-don’t-know times of life. But comfort isn’t a solution to seek; rather, it’s a by-product we’ll reap when we stay close to the Lord."

I had a little bit of a heart-to-heart with family last night.  I may have even uttered words similar to these.

When I am personally faced with an unknown or my life has suddenly been ripped out from underneath me, I run to the Cross.  I find that when I seek God, His Word, and even journal my way through my disappointments in life, I heal faster, gain knowledge faster, and find small doses of comfort coming through more frequently.

We all want a quick Band-Aid to fix the wounds inflicted on us by disease, life, and even loved ones - the ones closest to us - but that doesn't solve the underlying issues.  When we stay close to the Cross, comfort comes as a by-product of that closeness.

A few of my devotionals this morning had beautiful prayers of hope tucked away inside them.  I love written out prayers; they help me verbalize words that I sometimes can't string together just right.  Sharing in my journal today to help me remember them and in case anyone reading this post will be able to apply them to their lives as well.

"Father in the name of Jesus, I pray the prayer of faith concerning [my person’s past trauma].  What he experienced in his childhood/adulthood was unfortunate and unfair. However, I know that all things work together for our good because we love you and are called according to your purpose.

Lord, I know that [my person] wants to love me as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her, but he is fighting against a force bigger than himself.  I pray that you heal every hurt and tend to every wound that he has been carrying around all his life.  Lord, show him that you are Jehovah Tsidkenu, his righteousness.  You promised to never leave or forsake him.  Even if those that were supposed to love and care for him left him alone feeling rejected, unloved, and unwanted, you never left his side.

God, I pray that he can experience your bountiful love, be healed from his past, and be elevated into the man you have chosen him to be since the beginning.  Before you formed him in the womb of his mother, you knew him; before he was born, you set him apart; you appointed him as a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5). In Jesus' name, Amen."

"Heavenly Father, Your Word tells us in Proverbs 9:9, “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” When we have a teachable spirit, we will be positioned to grow even more with each experience in life. A foundation of humility leads to a teachable spirit, Lord. Undergird our minds and emotions with courage — courage not only in You but in who You have made him to be. That courage will give both humility and a teachable spirit the opportunity to flourish. Thank You for the confidence and courage You provide to all who look to You and trust You completely.

Gracious Lord, fear, insecurity, and a need to feel in control can sometimes get in the way of the ability to learn from others and from You. I pray You will give us a healthy amount of courage so these things don’t stand between us and our high calling of living with humility and a teachable heart.

Let us understand that being teachable is an honorable way to live and reflects tremendous personal significance. Help others to see our respect for them when they demonstrate humility and a teachable spirit. Help me never to withdraw my respect for people when they demonstrate a lack of humility and courage, as we are all in process. Let my respect encourage others so that they long to maintain a humble mind-set in all they do. 

In Christ’s name, amen."

While I live in between Gardens, may I always cling to the cross in times of heartbreak and recovery.  May I always heed God's Word and learn from it, gaining comfort as a by-product.  May I be an example to my loved ones, even the ones that inflicted hurt and unknowns.  May I grow every day in wisdom and a healthy fear of God.  May my life reflect my growth so that others may also lay down their life in front of the Cross when they face trouble, anxiety, hurt, death, and even the unknowns of this life - the Middle.  There is HOPE.  Always sweet hope for us as well as those around us struggling.  May it always be apparent and available to everyone in our path and to us as well.

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