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BEAM ME UP


These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).

I am living a dream. Decades ago, while in seminary, I received an opportunity to possibly be chosen for a scholarship to go to Oxford for a six-week summer term to study C.S. Lewis. As an Anglophile extraordinaire, it was beyond my wildest dreams. But, during the qualification stage, I fell in love, married, and within a few months became pregnant, spending a good portion of those nine months in bed. No Oxford in my future. So long C.S. Lewis.

Fast forward to now…

Just when my housebound confinement due to medical issues had finally begun to wear on me, I saw a small ad for a free online course offered by Hillsdale College on C.S. Lewis and Christianity taught by the renowned C.S. Lewis scholar, yes from Oxford, Dr. Michael Ward. The optional eight books by Lewis to be read in conjunction with the course cost only $120 with S&H. And I had just received my quarterly book royalty check. Hurrah! I could do this. I had the time. I had the funds. I was in between deadlines with my publisher. Isn’t our Lord’s timing perfect!

So for the past month, I have been emersed in the nonfictional writings of C.S. Lewis. And I want to share with you what I have learned.

JOY IS NOT AN EMOTION! It is not fleeting like happiness.

Lewis tells of a time when, as he stood in a woodshed, he noticed a beam of light coming through a crack. Contemplation told him it was a beam from the sun. He saw the illumination, the angle, the dust mites dancing in it. Intellectually, analytically, in his mind, he knew it to be a true sunbeam, not a figment of his imagination.

Beautiful. It caught his attention. But then he dared to step into the sunbeam. Lewis chose to immerse himself in it, and upon doing so, he experienced the joy of the sunbeam. Lewis no longer saw the beam but looked along it to where it led. He saw the sunlight dancing on the new spring leaves and reaching back to the sun. The beauty captured his breath. It quickened his heart as the warmth penetrated his soul. His whole being focused on the beam’s projected path.

That is the joy of faith. That is the true experience of religion. When one immerses his or herself in the will of God and joins into what is good, right, and designed to be, then and only then does the person begin to fulfill the first and great commandment … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37) It is no longer a head trip, but a full-body, mind, and soul experience. A move from contemplation into joy.

Stepping into the beam and following where it leads engages the whole human being. It enlists trust, hope, and worth. It aligns us with the cycle of the universe, the created order of our God that extends beyond what our personal agendas and desires dictate. It opens our hearts to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and lets our souls embrace our Savior’s immeasurable, unconditional love. We leave the subjectivity of “what I want” and enter into the objectivity of God’s will for us in the dance of creation.

Faith is no longer a set of rules, traditions, and boundaries. It is no longer colored by our limited knowledge or experience. It is being of one accord with the Holy, and in that Eden-like moment when we walk in the garden with our God, it unites us with humanity as it should be. All the things that divide us–all the prejudices, hate, anger, and hurt–disperse.

This joy goes beyond contemplation or earthly rationalization. War, death, illness, and sorrow cannot break the beam. Hardship and despair cannot dim it, neither can envy nor pride bend it. Because we experience the totality of God’s love through joy, we can openly share that love with others and urge them to step into the beam as well. “I can’t explain it. It’s beyond cool. You gotta come do this for yourself.”

If you have ever witnessed a new birth, be it a butterfly breaking its chrysalis, a kitten, a puppy, or a person emerging from the womb, or participated in someone being baptized and becoming a new creation in Christ before your eyes, you can probably recall the joy of that moment. Forget the science. Set aside the tradition. Something else more marvelous is occurring–the fulfillment of creation. The soul and heart are engaged as well as the mind. Your whole being, as it was created to be, is experiencing the moment. You have stepped into the beam.

And that is what prayer should be … being emersed in the beam. Beyond feeling, beyond visual perception, beyond intellectualization or emotion, and a fulfillment of all of the above. It is immersing yourself in the eternal while still standing in the temporal.

Lewis’ reconversion into a faithful believer in Christ occurred when he took Tolkien’s advice and let the joy happen. When he dropped to the wayside the misconceptions, the hurtful remembrances of stifling rules and traditions, and his prejudices, and then stepped beyond the limits of his intellectual mind (which was vast) into experiencing the Bible itself. He immersed himself in the story of God’s love for His creation, His attempts to woo humanity back into the order of relationship, His coming to earth, then dying for our sins and triumphing over death so our hearts could soften to receive the Holy Spirit. Then, and only then, in the light of that Love did all the traditions and commandments make sense.

I am beginning to once again tap into that joy that had dimmed so recently. To take my mind off myself and re-focus on my First Love. I am starting to feel the warmth again–the peace that passes all understanding — and I pray you will step into it as well so it may guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Dare to step with me into the beam. And bask in where it leads.

Just Adjust

When my mother first became widowed, this was a card she received. She tore off this message on the front and framed it. When she passed on, I took it home. Even now, widowed for twelve years, I still keep it on my desk. My daily reminder.

It is a message for all of us humans who have a tendency to want to be in control.

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails.

I have never sailed in my life, so my knowledge is poor at best, but I have read books and watched movies about sailors and the seas. About steering into the wind so it billows the sails or away from it to change direction. Sailors are at the mercy of nature and the Creator of the winds. They know it is better to adjust than to try to fight against it. Which is futile and a waste of energy.

There is another saying, which I see daily. I have taped it to my computer monitor. It is from Psalm 25:5. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and in my hope is in you all day long.

Often times hope is depicted as an anchor, a stronghold. For me, it is also a sail. It helps me stay on course and not veer off. It helps me seek the direction the Creator wants me to head. The Holy Spirit can be described as the wind, or so scholars say, because both the Greek and Hebrew word for “spirit” can also be wind or breath. If so, then I should not fight the direction God’s Spirit wants me to go. I need to adjust my sails.

Ad-just. Ad is the preposition that means to go toward something. Just, as an adverb, means exactly, recently, simply. As an adjective, it means appropriate, well-founded, and morally right. Adjust – to go toward what is simply and exactly right and appropriate.

God is just. His ways are true. His motive is love. To ad-just is to move in the way of His character. It is to be exactly and no less, simply, now, appropriate and good.

Why would we not set our sails to that? Why would we choose not to adjust our emotions, thoughts, and actions to match? Why would we try to control something that is not in our power to control? Can anyone truly harness, tame, and manipulate the wind? Only God can.

Wind may come swiftly, causing us to act with all our strength and wits. It may be so still we barely feel it nearby. It can be pleasant and soft, even refreshing. It can be cold and cause us to shiver. But I believe if it is from God through His Spirit, it is always just what we need at the time. The wise will learn to adjust and “go with the flow”.

Lord guide me in the way you wish me to go, and teach me to trust in the direction you lead. Amen.

Bask in It

When my son toddled around the house, he’d bring me an A-B-C- book of animals to read to him. It had phrases such as “Birds tweet. Tweet, Bird, tweet. Cows moo, Moo, Cow, moo.” You get the idea. But when it got to the letter “L” the author didn’t choose a lion to roar or a lamb to bleat. The author chose a lizard.

Now, lizards are not known for their sound, right? They are fairly quiet, timid, and skitter away when approached. But they also need to rest. This book said, “Bask, Lizard, bask.” Maybe because the word is not usually found in a pre-k book, or maybe because of the picture of the lizard sprawled on a branch … but we laughed each time. Lizards bask in the sun to get warm, then in the shade to cool off because their bodies cannot internally adjust to temperatures. Trouble is, the shade is illusive. It moves as the sun does. So their rest is interrupted. Over and over again. Constantly on the move seeking comfort, they really never truly bask.

The memory popped up in my grey cells when a friend of mine posted this photo of her dog on Facebook. Dogs love to bask in sunbeams. Let the warmth and the light penetrate their fur, skin, and bones. So peaceful… Now, agreed. the sunbeam will move. My guess is so will the dog, because he wants to continue to rest in the warmth. But unlike the lizard, the dog is secure in its surroundings and won’t likely skitter away. He will seek to stay in the light long as he needs it and his body will retain the warmth.

But notice the statue of the kitten crouching in the dark corner. Which are you? the dog or the cat? Do you bask in the Light of the Son in peace and absorb His Spirit in your life? As the rays of His love move, do you follow, seeking His peace? Or do you cower in the darkness of your situation like a cold, stone statue, afraid to move? Perhaps, like the lizard, you keep moving to find a place to bask on your own. Try new herbs, breathing exercises, and meditations to find a bit of peace.

Lately, I have done all three when a setback and not-so-good news from a doctor gut-punched me. My immediate reaction was “Why, God?” I became depressed, couldn’t sleep (mostly due to the debilitating pain that would not ease up after the last “diagnostic procedure”), and pondered…no wallowed…in my worry. Froze in my fate. Cowered in my circumstance as my mind swirled of ways to cope with my possible new lifestyle. I mimicked Jesus in the garden…alone, weeping – take this cup. Well, I didn’t sweat blood and tears, but almost.

Then the “I can adjust” mode kicked in. Make do with what I have. This is my lot in life. So be it. Make whatever effort I can to adjust. But I still felt restless and didn’t find true peace.

Little by little, possibly because Easter loomed – Hallelujah – I edged into His light and let it soothe me. Let His peace penetrate me and soak into my soul.


But he said to me,My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

What a difference.

I don’t have to fix things or solve things on my own. I can’t physically pull myself up by my bootstraps anyway. Right now, I can bask, Julie. Bask. Relax, pray, and wait for His guidance to unfold. Feel the warmth of His hands cradling me, knowing He is there and He cares. Let His light guide me and keep choosing to rest in it.

We all have a choice. Be the cat, the lizard, or the dog. Cower in a frozen position, continually try to make things better on our own, or learn to bask in His warmth.

Cancel or Leave

I have been watching The Chosen … again. Love these episodes, and right now, leading up to Easter, they are being broadcasted live every night at 7:30pm CDT.

If you haven’t seen these episodes that portray the lives of the disciples before Jesus chose them to follow Him as well as their spiritual development as they follow Jesus around Galilee and Samaria, I highly recommend them. They are free on YouTube, or on their downloadable free app. So far there are two seasons (16 episodes.) Five more seasons are planned.

Anyway… I decided I wanted a “Bing Jesus” bumper sticker from the gift store, also on the app. All proceeds go to help fund the actors’ salaries. The show itself is totally crowd-funded. Well, I got my sticker and went to pay. A message popped up – Leave or Cancel.

What? I don’t want to leave. I want to buy my item. And I don’t want to cancel my purchase. Not wanting to choose either, I was stuck. Which do I choose? Is there a third option?

I finally chose to leave, and it took me to my secure check out with my Google pay. Oh, okay. Got it.

Did you get it? When Jesus asked his disciples to follow Him, they had a choice. Leave or cancel. Because in order to follow, one has to leave, right? Leave what is normal. Leave what is comfortably status quo in your zone. Maybe leave preconceived ideas.

Or cancel out on the opportunity and return to what was. Don’t step out.

I had really never thought of how choosing to follow meant having to leave. But it does.

Thank goodness twelve brave men and several women in the first century Judea chose to leave. They walked into the unknown. Not perfectly. Not without hang-ups or preconceived notions. Even so, they took the first steps just as they were because Jesus saw their potential. True, one ended up canceling out and betraying Jesus later. Ten others ran into the night when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus.

But those ten didn’t click cancel. They had followed too long and learned too much to do that. They’d left the old behind.

Soon, after huddling in terror for three days waiting for themselves to be arrested as well and possibly suffer the same fate as their Master, the resurrected Jesus entered their midst again with the same message – leave. Get up and go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:20).

And they did. They left that upper room. They went into all nations.

Billions, perhaps trillions over the past two centuries have been affected by their choice to leave that day. As a result, the accounts of their lives are still read in a multitude of languages. And portrayed in films and streaming videos like The Chosen is doing now. Their choice is shared around dining room tables, on playgrounds, or by campfires. The impact of their choice to leave is still impacting us.

Each of us now has the same choice. Follow or stay put. Leave, or cancel.

Which will you choose? I leave it to you to decide.

The N Matters

Most of you who have been reading my blogs know I love words. They fascinate me–their origins, the ways the letters in words can be switched around to a new meaning. In fact, my latest fictional series, The Wordplay Mysteries, is about words leading to clues in crimes. So, while playing a game of Words with Friends, I noticed the letters in my hand- p-o-e-n.

My brain kicked into gear and God started me thinking…

If you spell OPEN it emits a certain positivity. In fact, the letter “O” is a circle and evokes a sense of unity, inclusiveness, and wholeness. Positive people are open to new ideas. We are glad when we see a store is open. When our eyes are wide open we see things clearer.

Photo by Tim Douglas on Pexels.com

God’s hands are always open to hold us and His ears open to hear our prayers.

Start the word with N and you suddenly have a totally different attitude. Nope.

Door closed. Ideas shut away. God has turned His back. Or we’ve turned our back on Him, and others.

So what is “N” and why is it so important where we place it?

Maybe it stands for needs. When we put our needs first, we limit the possibilities to being “all about us.” But when we put our needs last, we open ourselves (notice how I did that) to a servitude attitude. God and others become more important.

Now, don’t think I am advocating that you neglect yourself. Even flight attendants tell parents to put on their oxygen masks first then their childrens’. But Christ said the first commandment was to Love God, then love your neighbor as yourself, not love yourself then your neighbor and God.

When you love God first, then you see yourself as His beloved and that alters your attitude. You not only count your blessings instead of your wants but also begin to see others as His creation whom He loves as well.

In our society, we tend to be over self-centered. It’s all about “me”. That can lead to either narcissistic behavior that wants to control everything and everyone to benefit themselves or poor self-worth that believes they have nothing to offer. Such an attitude focuses on either our abilities or inabilities, not God’s. It limits our understanding because it makes us the center of our universe.

Many therapists will tell you the best way to get out of your funk is to go do something for someone else. God created us to be in community, to assist each other. To open our hearts and minds to include others. To be His light shining openly into a dark world of nopes.

Photo by Jou00ebl Super on Pexels.com

True, there may be times God wants us to switch the “n” from open to nope if we are tempted to stray down a path that is unhealthy or unholy. If that happens, it would behoove us to obey. But from my experience, it is usually when we are being a bit too self-orientated the moment we glance toward those paths. That’s when the evil one twists words and limits our vision. It is what he tried to do to Christ in the wilderness. His modus operandi has not changed.

The next time “nope” enters your brain–unless it is a warning from the Holy Spirit to halt before you have dipped into temptation–pray for God to switch the “n” and open your heart and mind to something new, to see God and your world in a new light. It may just make your day better, and someone else’s. too.

Are you open to doing that?

Aromas

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

2 Corinthians 2:14

Manufacturers spend millions on finding just the right scent for their lotions, soaps, and perfumes. One laundry detergent company’s fragrance is so recognizable other products claim to have that aroma in them as well.

The scent of soap or shampoo not only fills our noses with a pleasant smell but lets others know we have just been cleaned as well. That fresh-out-of-the-shower is attractive. Ask any romance writer…

Flowering bushes let off pleasant smells in the breeze drawing people to stop and take a whiff. Air fresheners make our houses smell inviting and clean. They welcome people in. A pleasing aroma can turn a frown upside down.

When we have been cleansed of our sins, we emit a spiritual aroma that is attractive to others as well. People take notice that we are different. There is a glow about our faces. A peacefulness emits from our soul. Love and forgiveness shine in our eyes because we have just received them from our Lord.

Just like the fabric spray or a scented candle, the scent lingers. But on this side of eternity it never lasts, does it? Just as we need to shower often, we need to be cleansed of our sins often. Otherwise, the stench of the world will cling to us. Others won’t be as drawn to us. Our witness becomes stale.

We all need a good scrubbing now and then. Ask any mom of a teenage boy…

Take time daily to let the Lord wash away your sins from your soul, just as you take time to remove the grime and sweat from your body. That way, when you head out into the world, others will notice–IN A GOOD WAY.


Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Psalm 51:2

Palindromes

Palindromes are words or phrases that read the same way forward or backward. Examples are pop, mom, radar, and murdrum ( which is a devious, secretive murder).

Speaking of devious, secretive murders…in my newest mystery, which releases this Friday, palindromes are clues to a new crime wave in my fictitious small town of Scrub Oak, Tx. Here is a snippet…

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Do you know what’s the world’s longest palindrome?” Her friend’s eyes twinkled with mischief.

“No. Tell me.” Wanda’s interest perked. She loved words and word puzzles. Perhaps she should have been a teacher as well. Or a detective. After all, in the past year, she had helped solve several murders and burglaries in Scrub Oak, Texas, their small town forty-five minutes south of Fort Worth. 

“It’s saippuakivikauppias.” Betty Sue peered over her reading glasses with a smug professor expression.

“What?” Wanda scrunched her nose. “Spell it.”

Betty Sue took her pen and wrote the word out on her score pad. It was so long she had to wrap it around the corner and down the side.

“Is that real word?” Wanda tried to mouth it out.

“Yes. It is for a person who deals in lye.”

“As in falsehoods?”

“No, Wanda. L-y-e. Like tanning hides. It is Finnish, as in from Finland, not as in completing something.”

Wanda swatted at her hand. “Betty Sue Simpson, I’ll tan your hide. It’s not even English.”

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

Enough of the blatant commercial… but having lived with palindromes over the past year while writing and reviewing my publisher’s edits on this book, I have realized how many times I can misread things. Or see things backward.

When I see my predicament from my perspective, limited by the “now”, I can become introspective and depressed. But viewing it from God’s perspective, which encompasses both the now and tomorrow, would be totally different. Romans 8:28 tells us And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (ESV).

Hindsight views of my life prove this out. Hindsight doesn’t require faith, though. Foresight does. So I have a choice in how I view whatever is happening. I can choose to see it for what I think it is, colored by my emotions, or I can draw on my faith and envision it according to God’s promise in His Word as proven out through past actions. Jesus gave us two choices in Matthew 6:25-33 – be anxious or seek Him. Worry due to our limited understanding or trust based on the evidence of God’s caring love for His own.

My main character in the Wordplay Mysteries, Wanda, relies on retrospective clues to solve crimes. I rely on retrospective proof that God is there and He cares to live my life. He has acted in the past and will act again. Even if I cannot see it spelled out right now, I can trust it to be so. Such is the mystery of His Word.

Contemporary Christian artists CAIN agree with me as stated in their song, “YES HE CAN.” The fact that my local station began playing this a lot while I’ve been going through a rough patch has not escaped my attention. Another small way God gives me a hug of encouragement.

Hearing it brings me boosts my faith. I pray it does for you as well.

Caged

I feed him twice a day and make sure he has water. I give him fresh bedding and keep his environment between 65F-75F so he stays healthy. I talk with him and hold him. Slowly, this little furry friend has grown to trust and rely on me, a big giant human that towers over him like a mountain and could squish him with my stomp. I don’t speak guinea pig, yet he understands my tone and my gentle, caring touch. He responds to the sound of my voice and perks up when he realizes I am in his presence. And when he becomes startled by a loud noise, I pick him up and cuddle him until his heartbeat settles again.

While I am home, I raise the door on his cage and he never tries to escape. Though I do sense he enjoys me being nearby as I work at my computer because he makes chortles and wheeks to get my attention.

Cavies, as guinea pigs are often called, are timid creatures. Their tendency is to hide from predators, especially ones that swoop down from above. They prefer strong boundaries, such as caves or tunnels. So it amazes me that one of them would actually bond to this big ol’ human on two feet that soars above him and can pick him up in one hand. But, it happened fairly quickly.

Still, I wonder what goes on in his tiny, fur-covered brain. Would I be satisfied if our roles were reversed? Could I live in a cage, totally dependent on someone to take care of me and see that I received what I need each day to survive? Would I be content or crave freedom? Would I be compliant or rebel?

Then I sucked in a breath as I realized I am like my guinea pig. My cage is the boundaries set by the Word of God. As long as I stay within them, I am secure and safe. God provides my every need (Matthew 6:25-33) if I seek Him as my Savior. He holds me and carries me, protects me, and comforts me as my great Shepherd. And do I dare say He smiles when I realize He is present in my life? Scripture tells me He does.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Our human brains fool us into believing we can survive on our own, be independent, and not need anyone else for our survival. Our hearts and souls tell us differently. Freedom is not doing what we what when we want. It is the ability to roam safely and securely within our given, natural limits. Contentment comes once we realize it.

Lord, help me be more like a guinea pig, trusting in your protective, caring love and staying within the safe boundaries of your Word and the guidance of your Holy Spirit. Let me crave the sound of your voice in my soul, and respond to you in prayer and supplication, praise, and thanksgiving. May I always feel your presence in my life, more caring than any human touch. Instill in me total trust that you will provide for me and never leave me. Thank you for all you have and will provide. Amen.

courtesy Liane Metzler unspash.com

CAUTION

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

At one o’clock in the afternoon on the first Tuesday of the month, the tornado sirens go off…this is a test.

I listen to the radio and a song is interrupted by a whaaa, whaaa, whaaa. “This is a test of the emergency broadcast company…”

A digital sign on the highway tells me if there is a wreck up ahead. My GPS asks if I want an alternate route.

A sign in a commercial building tells me the floor is slippery when wet. My apartment complex puts out a sign saying we are going to have freezing temperatures and to drip our faucets. The weatherman interrupts a television program to tell us bad weather is barrelling down.

Everywhere we look, there are warning signs. Watch out, something unexpected, probably bad, is coming.

And we pay heed, if we are smart.

Except, sometimes in life the unpredictable happens. Without warning. The phone call we never wanted to get. The report from the doctor. The lay off from our boss.

For me, it has been the news that I need two surgeries, which will lay me up for another two, perhaps three months. I’ve had to quit my job, I don’t qualify for unemployment, and I have no short-term disability. I have a meager savings stored up, thank the Lord, that I have been relying upon to make ends meet for two months now. And will for three or so more months. I pray not longer than that.

I read in the Bible to trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5), that His ways or not ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), that He won’t forsake me (Psalm 9:10), and He will provide so not to be anxious (Mathew 6:25-33). He is my help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1), and not to be shaken because He is at my right hand (Psalm 16:8).

My brain goes there, and my tongue expresses those verses in reassurance. But my heart hasn’t quite absorbed it yet. So, I keep speaking into it.

Yes, this is a test…

There is a newer song by CAIN that pierces my soul. “Yes, He did so Yes, He can.” My local radio station, KJRN 88.3FM plays it often at the moment (thank you, The Journey!) so when it comes on I ask my smart speaker to crank up the volume. It lifts me back into the attitude my faith calls me to embrace.

God has always been faithful in the past. He will be now, such is His gracious nature. He knows all, and He’s got this. My part in all this?

T-R-U-S-TTotal Reliance Under Stressful Times.

No matter what is tumbling down the road toward you, trust. Despite the odds, trust. When you can’t see the road for the fog, trust.

Someone’s eyes are better than yours. He sees the future. He looks into your heart. The Lord knows how and when to show you through tiny serendipities that HE IS THERE AND HE CARES.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:10).

Get A Handle

I have often heard, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” But, once I learned I’ve got to battle some pretty tough times ahead, I grabbed onto my social media friend, Jo Ann Ruth Prevatt’s idea:

She wrote that God’s grace keeps pace with what we face. I like that. God gives us what we need to handle life. In other words, He provides just what we need when we need it.

I recall the monkey bars on my elementary school playground. I had to dangle several feet off the ground and grab the handle in front of me. Once I became sure I had a good grasp, I’d let go of the one behind and swing to grasp the next one. The goal was to make it all the way across to the ladder on the other side.

co wayfair

In life, I don’t always see the ladder at the other end, but I can see the next handle. God doesn’t ask me to “let go” before I grasp the next one. There is security each step of the way, and my faith tells me there will be an end to whatever I am to handle. And if I slip, my LORD is there to grab me, then hoist me up to the next handle. And can almost hear his encouraging whisper, “It’s okay. You’re doing great. Keep going.”

His grace keeps pace…

What do you need to grasp onto today to keep from giving up and falling hard? Whatever you need to handle, know that there is Someone who doesn’t want to leave you dangling in midair. He will give you the strength you need to move forward, and handle one “handle” at a time. Keep going. There is an end. You will be victorious.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory (Psalm 73:24).

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