Sometimes We Need to be Carried

Sometimes we need to be carried. Just ask the little bird who’s hitchin’ a ride on the back of the pronghorn above—a sight we witnessed over ten years ago on our trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Maybe the little guy was tired from a long flight through the mountains or possibly he wasn’t feeling well. Maybe that was the best spot in the meadow to catch a refreshing breeze. Whatever the reason, he decided to use someone else’s strength for a bit.

I wonder if any of us need to be carried today, need to use someone else’s strength for a little while. Maybe we need friends praying for us. Maybe we are overwhelmed with life right now and could use some help with certain tasks or responsibilities. Or perhaps we simply need a listening ear. I find all of this to be true from time to time in my role as caregiver right now.

Let’s not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for and accept help. Sometimes we need a little encouragement.  Sometimes we need some extra strength. And yes, sometimes we need to be carried.

“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.” Luke 5:18 NIV

*Do you have a burden I can help carry through prayer?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Find Rest in God’s Promise of a Haven

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30 NIV

Storms are inevitable part of our lives. Why? Simple—we’re not in heaven yet.

Jesus, in fact, warned us of storms. He told his disciples, “‘In this world you will have trouble.’”(John 16:33 NIV) But in that same verse he also told them that in him we may have peace and that he has already overcome the world. In other words, he promised that he is bigger than the storms that come barreling into our lives.

The words of Jesus have certainly proved true in my life. Time and again, God has stilled the storms that have assaulted me. He hushed the waves that threatened me.

Even when I felt as if I might drown not long ago while in the midst of a very private and nearly unbearable season of life, God strengthened me until the storm’s fury subsided. He held me up until he calmed the angry sea of waves around me.

And just as the Psalmist stated, after the winds and waves lost their steam, God led me to the haven I needed, a haven of peace and relief. And he has continued to surround me with peace. He’s wrapped me in comfort and led me along a path of forgiveness. He’s graciously given what I’ve needed.

But even though God has faithfully carried me through all the storms of my life and ministered to me in their aftermath, I still haven’t reached the point where I welcome them. I’m not sure any of us do.

We can reach the point, though, where we don’t fear storms so much, where we know our God is bigger. We can reach a point where we trust him in the midst of a storm. A point where we’re at rest—at rest in his promise of a haven.

“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 NIV

*When did the Lord last lead you to a haven?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out tomorrow. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo (Coulter Bay area of Grand Teton National Park)

Let Your Life Provide a Well-Paved Path for Others

Pain. Grief. Weakness. Limitations. None of us welcome these unwanted visitors—especially when they take up long-term residence in our lives. Each one causes distress in its own way. And let’s be honest. We all do our best to avoid distress whenever possible.

We don’t like to hurt. We don’t like to fail or find ourselves unable to do certain things. But as we live in these places of pain, we grow and learn lessons. We develop a deep empathy for others experiencing similar sorrows. Each of our painful places has the potential to become a well-paved path to another hurting soul.

In the New Testament, we see that the apostle Paul experienced pain, hardship, and limitations time and again. And while we may feel the chains of weakness and limitations in our lives, Paul dealt with literal chains during the times he was imprisoned for the sake of the gospel.

He didn’t give in to discouragement during those imprisonments though. While shackled and suffering, Paul saw the good that came from his chains. In his letter to the Philippians (1:14 NIV), he said, “And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”

Surely our chains of pain, grief, weakness, or limitations serve to encourage others as well. Other struggling folks might very well be inspired to persevere through their own trials as they see how God strengthens us in ours.

Whether reaching out to hurting souls going through similar situations as our own or being a beacon of hope and encouragement through the witness of our lives, let’s allow our painful places to result in good. Let’s let our lives be well-paved paths.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

*When did someone provide a well-paved path for you? Our family is currently undergoing a trial that will certainly allow us to encourage and comfort others in the future. Our daughter Kelli is having surgery for breast cancer today. We’d be so grateful for your prayers. 

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out Feb. 2nd. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

God Gets in the Boat With Us

“Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.” Mark 6:51 NIV

Are you familiar with the boat story that took place after Jesus fed the crowd of five thousand?

When everyone had had their fill, Jesus told his disciples to get into a boat and go on ahead of him so he could have a private time of prayer. Later on that evening when the boat was in the middle of the lake, Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars because it was so windy. He decided to walk out on the water to them. When they saw him, they were terrified. They thought he was a ghost. So he identified himself at once, told them not to be afraid, and then climbed into the boat with them. The wind died down—and I imagine the disciples’ fears did too.

Just as the disciples had a Savior who came to them and climbed into their boatload of fear and struggle, we too have a God who gets in the boat with us. He comes to our aid when the winds of life are beating us down. He enters our lives and our pain. He gets right in the middle of our trials and struggles and brings peace. So let’s not be afraid. We have a God who gets in the boat.

“. . . do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV

*Our daughter Kelli was diagnosed with breast cancer recently and God has definitely gotten in the boat with all of us. When has God gotten in the boat with you?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out today. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Richard Clark (Digimist)Creative Commons License