Live Loved Devotion by Max Lucado:
Loved by a God You Can Trust:
The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. Even Christ was afraid (Mark 14:33). But make your fear a visitor, not a resident. Hasn’t fear taken enough? Enough smiles? Chuckles? Restful nights? Exuberant days? Meet your fear with faith.
Do what my father urged my brother and I to do. Summertime for the Lucado family always involved a trip from West Texas to the Rocky Mountains (think Purgatory to Paradise.) My dad loved to fish for trout on the edge of the white-water rivers. Yet, he knew that the currents were dangerous and his sons could be careless. Upon arrival we’d scout out the safe places to cross the river. He’d walk us down the bank until we found a line of stable rocks. He was even known to add one or two to compensate for our short strides.
As we watched, he’d test the stones, knowing if they held him, they’d hold us. Once on the other side, he’d signal for us to follow.
“Don’t be afraid” he could have said “Trust me.” We children never need coaxing. But we adults often do. Does a river of rear run between you and Jesus? Cross over to Him.
Believe He can. Believe He cares.
Dear God, You have promised to walk life’s path before us and show us the way. You don’t leave us to find our way alone. Even when the path looks uncertain and frightening, help us focus on You and Your promises. Your Presence strengthens us. You are a God we can depend on. You are our Strong Defender. ~Amen.
This was a very powerful devotion for me. Although I am making much progress in my healing and giving up control to Jesus, I still have many areas I need to work on – living afraid, living with coping skills learned when innocence is taking at such a young age – doesn’t change overnight completely. As I was driving my daughter to college yesterday, listening to my Christian music a song really grabbed me and I realized in a lot of ways I am still living in fear. Not so much the same fears I had before the Hidden Joy Bible Study and not so strong of fear, not a controlling fear. The song I was listening to is one of my favorites and I listen to it a lot but yesterday as I was singing it at the top of my lungs I heard Jesus ask me “What are you afraid of?” The song was “Walk on Water” by Nicole Britt.
So as I was singing this song I heard that whisper and I thought “I am not afraid” but then the whisper asked “so what are you waiting for?” AND that got my attention, why I am not sure but I instinctively thought “I am not sure” He said to me “then move, in the areas you aren’t moving – just move” and areas opened up to me where I am still afraid to move.
As I was talking with Jesus on this (in the span of 4 minutes tops and probably only 20 words – He really does know our heart, and our heart responds when He talks and we are open to Him, it was very awe-inspiring) I realized I am still afraid, so in those areas He opened up to me I have remained where I was before and then focused ont he areas I was making progress on and where I was comfortable at – but Jesus doesn’t leave us in our comfortable spots. He also whispered to me “why would those areas be any different – haven’t you seen My work in your life, give them to Me?” Yes I have seen HIs mighty work in my life and the lives of others. I realized I don’t ever want to miss out on everything I was made for. I don’t want to miss out on anything Jesus has planned for my life. So I will move and when I get uncomfortable or even afraid I will still move. With my eyes on Him, my hand in His and whatever comes of it I will know that Jesus is with me not matter the outcome. I loved how this song fit perfectly into the Hidden Joy study with just one word: MOVE. Each time I heard that word everything I learned in the study came rushing back to me and I realized we always need to move – otherwise we grow stagnant.
This morning after journaling yesterday’s experience, I sat quietly listening once more for Jesus to speak to me. I wasn’t disappointed. Oh how marvelous our LORD is. I started my “Quiet Time” asking the LORD to open my eyes, my ears, my heart to the message He wanted to be known to me. And did He ever! What He placed on my heart:
I want your life to bring Me glory. It blesses Me and makes me glad when you give yourself to your husband, whom I handpicked for you.
I need you to look past imperfections. You have been so focused on your own imperfections for so long that now that’s all you can see first and foremost in any situation, family member, idea, etc. Look past those imperfections – see Me instead. Respond to Me and those imperfections will not necessarily go away but you won’t focus on them and they won’t matter so much to you, they don’t matter so much to Me ~ that’s where I do My best work!
Embrace Me and what I created, look for ME – give of yourself, because when you do you are giving yourself to ME!
All I can say is WOW! He truly does know my heart! I do that constantly and then I can not enjoy anything ~ which leaves me stressed out and afraid to move. Afraid of failure although the only failure I should be concerned about is not following Jesus. I have been so focused on my imperfections – physical, mental, emotional, etc. I distance myself from my loved ones because I am afraid if they truly knew me, I wouldn’t be loved. The ironic thing is this causes them to see me at my absolute worst!
Thank You LORD for the ways You come to me and speak to me. The ways You open me up to Your truths and messages. I want to glorify You in all I do, say, think and love. Continue placing Your truths on my heart. Continue Your growth in me. Open me up in ways I never imagined and bless my family in all areas LORD. In Jesus’ name I pray ~ Amen!