When You Need to Be Held by Love

chickadee in windIt’s been quite a week, a week we all need to be certain of love.  That it holds us and holds us up when the winter winds blow hard.  February blew in on our family and friends with lots of change and challenge, and if we aren’t certain of that One whose name is Love, we will find ourselves sitting despondent, wondering what happened or where to go next.

Fear is a tag-a-long to Change, and simply kicking it repeatedly won’t work.  Fear is the opposite of Love and must be dealt with by removal.  Focusing on God’s Love makes Fear lose power and shrink away.  Oh it will try to return, but don’t give a pest any attention.

And Life is full of Change.  Some I’ve seen recently:

  • lives parting ways for something possible,
  • one who jubilantly sings a goodbye to a Heaven-bound husband,
  • a new life in a womb becoming full round,
  • one learns that cancer is back,
  • one who says no and bravely marches away from wrong control,
  • one fired from a job for challenging leadership to lead with value,
  • older ones who struggle against an ice storm power outages,
  • another with physical symptoms demanding prayer,
  • a friend who calls because someone died helping the crash-wounded

fear notAnd it’s still early in the month.  They say there are 365 verses about Fear in the Bible, one for every day, and isn’t it every day that we must choose again where our eyes focus?  My favorite is what God said to Joshua in chapter 1:

Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  (Joshua 1:9)

We face our journey, our ever-changing days, with determination remembering 3 things:

{That the Lord is with you wherever you go, whatever you face.}

{That we have a choice and we can choose not to fear.  We can choose to look at and lean on Love.}

{That circumstances or people only have power over us if we give it to them.}

We are so held by Love.  We may feel like an empty cup, but Jesus promised to fill it up with Spirit if we will but ask.  We may feel overwhelmed, but Jesus promised to bear our burdens if we will but bring them to Him in prayer.  We are held so tightly by God’s Love that even if He were to let go, we would be able to read our names on the palm of His hand.  He. is. with. us.  And always will be.  We can’t escape the presence of God.  Nothing can make Him move.

Was it David the psalmist who said, “Where can I go from your Spirit?”  To the heavens, the depths, the wings of the dawn, the far side of the sea, even the darkness…

Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me secure!  (Psalm 139:7-12)

So how does this change you?  For we are changed in those Love-hands, in His presence.

We must be the ones who lead on from here…from the funeral home, the crash site, the doctor’s office, the unemployment line.  We start where – we – are.  We lead with hope in our hearts because we – are – held.  And we lavish with love all those around us because we remembered to choose Love over Fear!  For we know that we know He is not only for cliff edgeus, but working all things together for good, advancement, and a fuller life!

So be the one who demands more from life, who pioneers through desert places, who dares to walk the edge, for that is where the miracles are.  Be the one who tells the world around them that God holds us and that we can be certain of His Love – especially when we cannot see it.

We are held by Love.  Proclaim it!  Shout it with your life!  It is true.  Let your tired soul rest in that and say with us together…

We will move forward from here!  We are held by His Love!

(c) Robin Lawrimore Lewis, February 11, 2014

From the desk by the window on an icy, cold day.

X Marks the Spot

Suddenly, they were there.  Five large white-tailed deer.  I had the camera.  But something was in the way.  I learned something valuable on that dirt road.

treasure mapGod is actively moving His children forward.  You may be one of those who are eager, have a dream or longing in your heart, but not be sure what to do next.  Fear and uncertainty may be holding you back.  {How do we know the next step?  How do we get our feet out of cement to take it?}

We first need to know where we are now.  If life is a treasure map and “X marks the spot” where treasure is buried, then we have to know where we are to follow the map.  So taking an honest assessment of our current position and condition is needed.

Our past negative life events can become a filter for our decisions and an excuse for things like self-protection, fear, procrastination, or doubt.  As this type of filter is mentally reinforced, it becomes like a screened porch.  You can’t see outside without first seeing the screen.

January 2013 033I recently tried to photograph five white-tailed deer who were on the other side of a chain-linked fence.  I couldn’t get my camera to focus on anything beyond the fence and missed a beautiful photo of the deer on a country afternoon before they scampered off.  (Click on image to see them running away!)  We do this – focusing on the fence in our lives and unable to focus on the beauty and possibility that lies beyond it.  Sometimes because we are unable to see, we miss what was waiting for us.  To see further requires new vision which springs from a willingness to change, which then leads to growth.  {So what is your fence?}

Without change we do not grow and without growth we cannot mature. Look around you. If there are points of weakness, lack, or negative influence, then an element of truth is missing.  ~Shirley Weaver

Take an honest look and discover where you are – current attitude, recurring problems, disappointments, etc.  Ask God to show to you the missing truth that can lead to an honest assessment of where you are.  Then…look for the next step towards your goal.  If you don’t know what it is, pray, seek wise counsel and get valuable advice from those who are ahead of you.

next step 2Taking one step at a time is progress.  You don’t have to take 10 giant steps.  Just the next step, even if it’s small.  Taking action gives the motivation and confirms direction.

When God told the Children of Israel to cross the Jordan River, which was at flood stage, He promised to stop the waters and make a way through, but only after the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant had stepped into the water.  We take the steps and He teaches as we go.  He will be faithful to get us to our destination.  {What’s your next step?  It might be speaking honestly about concerns.}

Easy?  Nope.  But do we really want easy, safe, and boring?  If you do, you’ll stay where you are and always wonder what is under the X on the map.  But if you’re willing, if you have a dream and desire in your heart to move forward, then pray and step.  And yes, you will feel a degree of fear, but like someone once said to me, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”  With every choice we make, we learn and find the better way.

Next step quoteBooks are written line by line.  Lives are lived out step by step.

 To follow or subscribe via email, please click on A Sojourner’s Voice above and sign up!  I’d be honored to have you along for the journey of a lifetime.

(c) Robin Lawrimore, February 2013