Inspiration

Deeper Still

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Escape from Death

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. 
Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.”

Don’t Give Up

My friend, don’t give up on life, thinking you’re alone and forgotten. There is a God—the Creator of heavens and earth, who knit you together for a purpose. And he will walk with you, carrying all that weighs you, holding you if that’s what it takes.

 

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Our Burden Bearer

Our Savior is so willing to take our burdens from us, he identifies himself as a burden bearer. Everything that hinders, everything that holds us back from life that is truly life…he’ll take it all. His load is easy and his burden is light, freeing us for the path marked out for us.

 

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13 Reasons to Live: Not Alone

I bring my bookbag with me wherever I go under the faulty notion I might have time to read while the kids are at the park, or at their appointment, or wherever else we may be. Last week we were at the playground when we discovered a nearby pathway, which I presumed would be a short distance and not worth running my bag to the car first. A half mile into our journey, we realized the path looped the entire lake. Achiness nagged my back from the now unnecessary load of unread treasures. My husband and kids were well ahead of me when I considered turning back, only to realize it would be the same distance returning to the car as it would to complete the loop.

After about a mile, I finally asked my husband if he could carry my bag for me. Relief flooded over me when the weight of my baggage finally released. Something about walking free from the heaviness of my belongings allowed me the liberty to enjoy my surroundings. A few miles into our trek, my daughter and I were well ahead of my husband. By now, he was not only carrying my bookbag, but my son as well. And my daughter was asking if he could carry them both.

What a picture of what God does for us! He invites us on a journey, our path encircled by beauty and undiscovered wonders. We launch a few cautious steps into the adventure only to realize we’re burdened by all we carry with us—whether it be our past, our habits, our bad decisions, our broken relationships, or anything that weighs heavy upon us. Thinking we’re alone midway through, we consider turning back.

But when we finally humble ourselves and ask for the help we’ve needed all along, things start to change.

Our Savior is so willing to take our burdens from us, he identifies himself as a burden bearer. Everything that hinders, everything that holds us back from life that is truly life…he’ll take it all. His load is easy and his burden is light, freeing us for the path marked out for us.

Unfortunately, there is no promise that life will be pain and problem-free. If anything, we’re told, “in this world, you will have trials.” Yet we can’t neglect the words that follow: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Freedom comes in knowing we’re not alone in the midst, and there is one who is stronger, and able to carry our every burden.

My friend, do not give up on life, thinking you’re alone and forgotten. There is a God—the Creator of heavens and earth, who knit you together for a purpose. And he will walk with you, carrying all that weighs you, holding you if that’s what it takes. All you need to do is cry out for help from the one who is able, willing, and ready to intervene. Release your burdens to him.

 

Photo Credit: Path – Free images on Pixabay

13 Reasons to Live: Longing for More

It was sunny, a pleasant day for a picnic. We were surrounded by people and laughter and food. The kids were enjoying themselves on the playground. And I wanted to cry.

Our friends had invited us to this African community get-together, where ethnic music soared joyfully from the loudspeaker, competing only with the friendly conversations at the surrounding tables. The warmth of the weather was matched only by the warmth of the relationships. There were still crowds gathered beneath the pavilion when we finally left, after the sun had disappeared behind the trees.

It’s been a few weeks since that day, and I still haven’t quite pinpointed what it was that triggered me to near tears in the midst of it all. In some ways, it was the beauty of the day stirring up a longing in me. You know, that empty ache in the soul that can’t quite be explained.

What struck me most, beyond the abundant variety of delicious entrees, the relentlessly happy music and the overwhelming number of people in attendance, was the strong sense of community, and the joy in the midst. The people were open, welcoming, loving, embracing. Everyone seemed to enjoy one another’s company.

In the midst of the busyness of modern culture, we’ve lost this appreciation of community.

I think much of the depression we face today is due to this lack. We bury ourselves in work and technology and things, all in unconscious effort to avoid what we most desperately need. In our pursuit of the world’s definition of success, we fail in what’s more important: relationships. If you find yourself longing for more, maybe part of what you’re longing for is meaningful connection with others.

We were created for community. And we’ll be lost until we find it.

Community is not just being under one roof at the same time. It’s sharing in one another’s joys and sufferings. It’s bearing one another’s burdens. From what I know of those who gathered at the picnic that day, they’ve celebrated together, but they’ve also suffered together. And that suffering builds strength in relationships. And overcoming together breeds genuine joy.

God has placed you here on this earth for a purpose, and part of that purpose is to contribute your gifts, your personality, your talents, and your life to community. You are needed and you are necessary. You’re here in this generation for a reason. Ask God to show you that reason, and to fill your life with his purposes. Ask him to lead you to strong, healthy, life-transforming community.

And when you find it, you’ll find you have reason to live.

Every Small Blessing

Receive every small blessing as a taste of the promise of our final home. Let every investment we make be for those things that truly last. And may the hope of heaven penetrate our hearts with purpose, the constant cognizance that if we have breath, there is reason to live.

 

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