Discouragement

Stranded at an Open Door

Blog_DoorOur apartment was unusually quiet for a miraculous thirty seconds. I was in the living room, basking in the glorious silence when my puppy started scratching against the bedroom door, whimpering. When I’m home, she doesn’t like to be apart from me, even for one minute. Didn’t she know I’d left the door open for her?

Forcing myself to my feet, I trudged down the hallway to see what the problem was. Somehow, the once wide-open door had closed to a crack. If my puppy had been resourceful enough, she could have used her nose or paw to nudge her way through. Instead, she sat there, helpless—staring me down with those puppy-dog eyes as though I’d abandoned her.

Sometimes, we live under the notion that we’re stranded—stuck behind a door that’s slammed in our face, when all along that door would open with the slightest nudge. In fact, it’s already open—we just don’t see it. We may feel abandoned by God, but truly he’s made a way for us to be close to him. It says so in his word: “he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him” (2 Samuel 14:14).

When God sent his son Jesus to die for us, he made a way for us to be reconciled to him. If we feel far from him, it’s not because he hasn’t made a way for us—it’s because we haven’t walked through the door he opened for us. Ravi Zacharias put it most eloquently, “I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put him.” God is only as far as we’ve run from him.

If you feel far from God, ask him to open your eyes to see the open door he has set before you. Pray for strength to stop running far in the wrong direction—to turn from where you are and to return to the God who knows you, loves you, and has the power to set you free.

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With Me

Blog_Journeyi don’t need to know
where You plan for me to go
i don’t need to see
where this path is taking me

i don’t need to understand
every detail of Your plan
all i need is to believe You are with me

You don’t need to tell me when
this trial’s gonna end
You don’t need to show me why
i’ve been going through the fire

You don’t need to answer me
when i cry out on my knees
all i need is to believe You are with me

though the answers to my questions
seem they’ll never come
though the furnace blazes hot, though my heart desires to run

still with passion, i will claim that you are my only One
and i will not bow to any other God

for i know that You are able,
and i know that You will
but even if You don’t my heart will love You still

because i do believe
You are here with me
yes, i believe You are with me

with me
You are here with me

oh, my heart is strong,
because You’re here with me

with me
You are here with me

i can go on,
for You’re here with me

 

Photo Credit: Free stock photo of landscape, countryside, path www.pexels.com

There Will Come A Time

Design_Rainbowthere will come a time
when the storm will pass
the clouds will break
and the sun will shine

but for a moment
sorrows last
soon you’ll embrace
the joy you find

there will come a time
when the fire dies
the smoke will clear
you’ll breathe once more

and from the ashes
you will rise
each loss to forge
an open door

there will come a time
when the mountain’s scaled
the conquered valley
now in view

and though you’ve stumbled
fallen, failed
your strength
will finally be renewed

there will come a time
when wars will cease
the endless, raging battle
won

a healing song
will be released
and through it
you’ll have overcome

there will come a time
when fear is gone
tears, sorrow, pain
will be no more

from burdened lives
we will move on
through heaven’s waiting
open door

 

Photo Credit: Full double rainbow.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Door to Freedom

Open Door from Google ImagesWhat is this load that you carry?
I see you are weary –
Life weighs you down

What is this burden you bear?
You’ve no one to share
Your unspoken prayers, your secret fears
Your hidden tears

What is this sorrow that lies
Behind downcast eyes
Would you be surprised to realize
That someone has seen
And heard
And known
Your heart?

Before God your heart is laid bare
And this I declare
That before the foundations of the world
He knew –
Proclaimed that you would need a Savior

And He alone could provide
He alone would decide
To suffer, to die – and yet to rise
Because you were His pearl of great price

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

It is finished
Your debt paid in full

It is finished
Your sins are no more

It is finished
Lay that burden down
Wear His joy for your crown

It is finished
Your Savior has come
The only One
Who owns the key
Who is the Door
To freedom

(Originally posted by Jen on FaithWriters, Helium Network, & the Nightlight Blog)

The Flowers Still Bloom

Design_FlowerBreakingThroughSpring came as a welcome gift this year. Though it’s always been a miraculous season, something was different when it finally broke through this time around. Maybe the harsh winter had stamped out any assurance that warmth would prevail and new life spring forth as promised—the relentless snow and lingering cold freezing out all hope. Or maybe it was something more.

While it’s unreasonable to question if spring will come, there is always the matter of when…and how long we’ll have to endure before it does come. When the cultural climate is stuck on winter, it seems all the more miraculous that spring manages to show up in the midst. How—in the soil of persistent war, conflict, violence, and suffering, do the trees still grow and the flowers still bloom?

The season of life may be overshadowed by the death that is winter, but it is never overcome. In fact, death is what prepares the soil for life. If there were no winter, spring would never come in its fullness of glory. And God has given a promise that if we press on to know him in the midst of our suffering, he will come to us like the spring rains that water the earth.

All that surrounds may steal our hope and drain our life. The constant bad news breeds depression, doubt, and sheer exhaustion. But the good news is…the flowers still bloom. Spring still comes. It can’t be hindered. New life will always prevail over death. It’s the law of spring.

“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and he will come to us like the rain—the spring rain that waters the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)

How Close You Are

If you feel like quitting, don’t. You don’t know how close you are to your breakthrough.

 

Photo Credit: Zion Canyon Late Afternoon by Vanessa Kay – Photo 54421654 / 500px

If We Could Just See

 

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There are times in life when circumstances descend like a cloud, obscuring our vision. We’re exhausted from striving, surrounded by sharks seeking to pull us down. The cold penetrates our hearts, paralyzes our hope. If we could just see how close we are to reaching our goal, we wouldn’t be so tempted to give up.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Arashinami, Get Rough, Lighthouse – Free Image on …