Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Lord Jesus,
Help me remember today when I meet
the stranger,
the family member,
the rich one,
the poor one,
the joyful,
the bitter,
the young,
the old,
the insecure,
the proud,
the Christian,
the non-Christian,
and particularly the one that you know I struggle with,
that I have one very significant thing in common with each and every one.
We are all broken and in need of a Savior. Every day.
Please Jesus, take away my
naive expectations,
negative stereotypes,
false assumptions,
disbelief in real change,
strong, strong desire to retreat,
inability to extend compassion yet again,
pain, shame, and weaknesses,
and pour your Holy Spirit- Peace- in its place.
I have no capability,
or currently even quiet moments
to love others, especially those with whom you know I am struggling painfully right now, on my own. I'm fresh out of grace. And my plate feels full with just my husband and children! I would really, really love to ignore this situation and just enjoy them and others who reciprocate and fill my love tank. But don't let me, Lord!

Please continue to revive my heart and draw me in to your presence through your Word and prayer. "You are the vine..." I am convinced that the answer to my questions lately of how to look at the face of pain (especially when it is literally a human face), and continue to march towards it when you ask me to, is to know You more and more. After all the analyzing, I believe this simple truth is the simple Truth. Forgive me, as I have put up a cold wall instead of trusting you.

Knowing you makes me able to look at I Corinthians 13 and not begin to sweat with anxiety and defeatedness. Knowing you gives me hope and strength to boldly love the angry one who continues to hurt others. Knowing you makes me free to love even when others might not be making the effort I would like. Knowing you makes me refuse to feel like a victim, but instead to become a servant without expectation. Knowing you makes me love irrationally! Knowing you makes me able to give tough love too, if that is what is best. Lately I have not loved as someone who knows you. I have fallen silent and defeated. When I fail to love, redirect me and help me to do it again and again.

Lord, you know what the future holds. Help me to trust you with what is yours and not try to steal it. "The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it..." Yours are the answers, outcomes, power, future, hearts, and all the other things I find myself wishing I could control or manipulate for a time. But these things do not belong to me and nothing I can say or do will change these things. And that is a good thing. But you can use me as an instrument of your grace, and I pray you will.

Unconditional love is so very hard to give. Help me to remember the cross and how unimaginable your grace is for me. Help me not to listen to the evil one when He tempts me to pridefully think "I would never", as if I should judge. Go before, beside, and behind me Lord, and hem me in with your love so that it overflows. Be glorified. And if you choose, in your wisdom, to keep things the same, show me how to be fully alive here, while longing and treasuring heaven more and more. Help me remember that there will be a day when everything will be all good. Thank you that I can taste and see how good you are now, too. Amen

I Corinthians 13:1-4

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing,

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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