The Blessing of Being Still

God cares for the pelicans

This morning my mind is beset by the turmoil of this world. At every level anger, greed, lying, and pride inflict our country. National trust is eroded by the leaders who should preserve and cherish it, and even religious leaders trade truth and justice for political gain. On top of this no one knows how much we have been manipulated by our enemies using social media to push lies and distrust. Our anxiety surges with each news flash. Into this cacophony we are given words to meditate upon:

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:10-11

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The stillness and peace we long for doesn’t come with one reading of these verses. It takes time before God with thanksgiving, until finally you can say:

I have stilled and quieted my soul; Psalm 131:2

A Lot of Work

Hale bales_Panorama1

Hard work, but easy to photograph. Gallatin Valley, Montana

The hard work of grace.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

Grace is easy because all I need do is trust God.
It is hard because in all my ways I have to trust Him.

Grace is easy because none of it depends on my effort.
It is hard because I can’t do anything to earn it.

Grace is easy because it’s given even though I don’t deserve it.
It is hard because it is humbling––I don’t deserve it.

Grace is easy because I know God is in control.
It is hard because I am not in control.

Grace is easy because Jesus takes all the punishment for my sins.
It is hard because I am forgiven not excused.

Grace is easy because His mercy is new every morning.
It is hard because His mercy leads to change.

Grace is easy because it is sufficient for all my sins.
It is hard because some of them I want to keep.

Anger In the Night

SH_170921-0226In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

Anger robs me of enjoying the day.
It prevents me from loving those around me.
It leads to bitterness of spirit.
It keeps me in turmoil.
It puts me on edge ready to lash out.
It makes me ugly.
It shortens my life.
The bondage of anger is to strong I cannot walk away.

Forgiveness breaks the chains
Forgiveness leads to restoration
Forgiveness leads to peace.
Forgiveness allows me to love instead of hate
Forgiveness is what I need
Forgiveness makes me someone who can be loved
I need God’s forgiveness, so that I might forgive,
And live.

That Lonely Feeling

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When I feel alone, I just need to look up.

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.
…You stoop down to make me great. Psalm 18:32-33, 35

Today I trust God to give me the strength I need to follow Him in all I do.

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! Psalm 18:46