Strength in the Waiting

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – (Psalm 27:14, NIV)

Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help. – (Psalm 27:14, ERV)

Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God. – (Psalm 27:14, MSG)

God is so faithful. To be strong and take heart is to trust in God to be our strength as we wait. Right now, I am waiting to find out what next year might look like. Our current school will be torn down and rebuilt and our temporary location for the next year and a half is far different from what has always been. Additionally, I do not yet know what my teaching assignment will be. Due to the flexible nature of my teaching certificate and endorsements, I end up being a utility teacher that fills in the holes where I am needed. This ever-shifting role never gets boring, yet I never truly feel like I have mastered my craft. One of the things that I know to be true is that we must be lifelong learners. To do so requires strength, courage, and trust. There are days that I have wanted to quit, but God has continually strengthened me and carried me. This weekend, we typically have plans to go and do, but this year, we will be at home with no agenda. I imagine that this planless weekend is meant to be an opportunity for God to strengthen and refresh us in the sweet stillness of simply being home. Whatever this weekend holds for you, I pray that it will be a time of refreshment and strengthening as we give thanks for the ones who laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we know and enjoy.

Choose wait on the Lord,

Photo by Nikolay Draganov on Pexels.com

be strong and take heart;

He’s faithful to help,

finish what we start.

He leads and guides us,

with His faithful love;

strengthens with courage,

to rise up above.

Lean into the Lord,

for in Him we see;

all goodness and grace,

answers to each plea.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You strengthen us and supply what we need to keep moving forward as we wait on You. Thank You that You are faithful forever. Thank You for those who laid down their lives for us all. Forgive us for our lack of trust in the waiting. Teach us to trust You more and to love those around us as You call us to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we wait on You and praise You for the strength and courage You supply as we navigate our days. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” – Psalm 31:14

Good Beyond

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. – (Romans 8:28, NIV)

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him. These are the people God chose, because that was His plan. – (Romans 8:28, ERV)

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. – (Romans 8:28, VOICE)

It is easy to see how God will use blessings for our good, yet it often takes a significant amount of time to discover how the Lord will work out our trials and heartaches for ultimate good. There are times when the good is the experience of knowing God’s faithfulness through all things, yet other times, He brings us to a place that is far better than where we were before. Always, He makes His love known and supplies what we need to navigate each next step. Incredibly, God always will bring us to a different vantage point so that we can look back with new perspective and appreciate how far He has brought us. In all things, God is good and He can work all things out for our ultimate good. Right now, I have a few dear friends that are enduring the sort of challenges that can blind a person to how God could possibly bring good from what is going on. Though I know not what the outcome will be, I do know that God is faithful and will stay beside them each step of their way. His love will continue to be outpoured, and His strength faithfully supplied, as each of them seek Him to be their Source. May we ever seek the Lord in all things, trusting that He will work everything out for our good because we love Him and it is His perfect plan.

In everything,

.

The Lord God is good;

Trials and triumphs,

His love’s understood.

He grants us His strength,

To keep pressing on;

Supplies what we need,

To in Him, be strong.

Often He leads us,

To something much more;

Than we might have hoped,

Beyond that before.

His plans are perfect,

His grace is enough;

Our Hope and Healer,

Who knows what shall come.

Beauty from ashes,

Hope from the despair;

His good, unending,

Eternal, His care.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You work all things together for good for those who love You. Thank You that this includes both trials and triumphs. Thank You that You are still working, even when we cannot see how. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when the trials blind us to Your goodness. Teach us to have Your eyes to see, so that we might recognize the help and hope that You supply, and trust You to carry out Your plan to bring good, even from spaces and situations that are not. Show us how to love those around us through all things in tangible ways that make Your heart evident and Your provision clear. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as they experience Your faithfulness in all things. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us through every situation and circumstance that comes our way, and trust You to bring Your good far beyond what we can see or imagine. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. – Psalm 31:24

Good Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

“I’ll say this because I know the plans that I have for you.” This message is from the Lord. “I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, ERV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope – never forget that.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, VOICE)

The same God who spoke this promise through Jeremiah, still has the same promise for us today. Though the world around us might lead us to believe differently, who God is and how He loves us does not change. God’s plans for us are good, not to harm us. His plans provide a hope and a future. We are currently in the seemingly longest season as we navigate the stretch between winter break and spring break. It is easy to lose sight of a hope-filled future, amid the cold, gray days that are a battle to keep kids engaged in their learning and invested in another round of testing. Yesterday, we were sent a survey for staffing for next year. The survey asked what we would most like to teach, what we are okay with teaching, and what we absolutely do not want to teach. Being asked does promote hope, as I am weary of constantly having to learn new curriculum in new subjects. That being said, I have to trust that God’s plans are far better than my own, and He know what is best, far beyond what I can hope or dream. May we ever seek the Lord, who is always good, to lead and guide us into each new season, and trust Him to bring forth good in all that lies ahead.

In God, there is hope,

For all that’s ahead;

Always His plan’s good,

He does what He says.

A future with Him,

Our promise secure;

Grace in the waiting,

As His path’s made clear.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

To walk in Your ways;

With confident hope,

That You’re good always.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your plans for us are good. Thank You that in You, we have a hope and a future that is so much more than we can imagine. Forgive us for the times that we lose sight of Your goodness and grace or forget the hope we have as we walk in Your ways. Teach us to maintain our trust in You in and through all things. Show us how to love those around us well, so that all may come to know the hope and future You have for us all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the promised hope that is forever found in You and trust in the future that You have lovingly planned for us. Amen.   

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. – Psalm 31:24

Strength for the Weary

He gives strength to the weary ad increases the power of the weak. – (Isaiah 40:29, NIV)

He helps tired people be strong. He gives power to those without it. – (Isaiah 40:29, ERV)

God strengthens the weary and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care. – (Isaiah 40:29, VOICE)

This weekend, my sister, our lifelong friend, who is essentially like another sister, and I will be getting together for sister time for the first time in our adult lives. We have seen each other and spent time, but either with our spouses and or families, or for only a meal or an afternoon. Each one of us has been navigating unanticipated challenges in life and need a weekend of retreat and rest. God is gracious and kind, and I know that it is His goodness that is providing us time together, for there is such a blessing in being with those who have known and loved us for a lifetime. Already, I anticipate the goodness of gathering to strengthen our resolve, as His care is made evident through one another. There is power in knowing you are known and loved wherever you are and through whatever circumstances life brings. May we ever seek the Lord to provide us with strength and rest, and praise Him for the opportunities that He provides to fill us up.

The goodness of God,

Is made evident;

His peace provided,

Love that’s heaven sent.

He grants us His strength,

As we are shown love;

Encouragement found,

In gifts from above.

There’s nothing so sweet,

As the gift of time;

Sisters together,

God’s loving design.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You strengthen us when we are weary, and provide us peace and rest when it is needed most. Thank You for the gift of sisters. Thank You that You have designed us for community and family. Forgive us for not seizing every opportunity You provide to be present with loved ones to encourage, support and bless. Teach us how to best be present in the times that we are given to gather. Show us how to love and support one another, as You grant us rest and renewed strength. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for being our Source of strength, and for the blessing of rest and community. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

Overflowing Gratitude

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:6-7, NIV)

You accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, so continue to live in Him. You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from Him. Just as you were taught the truth, continue to grow stronger in your understanding of it. And never stop giving thanks to God. – (Colossians 2:6-7, ERV)

Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:6-7, VOICE)

This is an ongoing, lifelong process that makes all of the difference in how our lives are lived. When we remain rooted in Christ, He strengthens our faith and reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for. Yesterday, as I was pulling into the parking lot where I coach high school gymnastics, I received a call from the specialist who had performed the biopsy on my lip. From the start, I could tell her tone was somber, so I took a deep breath and listened to the news she was sharing with me. The results were worse than she had anticipated, as aggressive carcinoma cells were found in the muscle, nerves and tissue from the punch sample. She said that normally the surgical process she had previously anticipated for me would be scheduled out in January, but due to the nature of the findings, it will be made a high priority and the schedulers will orchestrate a time as soon as possible. This is not exactly the news I had hoped or prayed for, but I needed to get into the gym and coach my girls. It was only after practice, when I called my husband, walked the dogs (prayerfully), and then spoke with my sisters and best friend, that I was able to breathe more easily and feel the familiar foundation of faith rise up. Being reminded of the beautiful community I am in floods my heart with gratitude. I am thankful that the spot was discovered before it spread further, that I have family and friends that support and encourage me, and that the success rate of treating this sort of cancer at this stage is outstanding. Additionally, I am grateful for sweet, smart dogs that seem to sense the need for snuggles. Currently, I have a gentle giant curled up and snoring softly on my lap. May we ever journey with Jesus through every twist and turn that life brings, for He is faithful to strengthen us and supply all that we need.

Give thanks to the Lord,

For He is the good;

That strengthens, supports,

Makes love understood.

He pours out His grace,

Holds us up gently;

Embraces our heart,

And makes our fears flee.

He brings alongside,

Kind community;

Equips, empowers,

Grants His eyes to see.

Things aren’t forever,

Pain’s temporary;

But our hope in Him,

Lasts eternally.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength, our hope and our help. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks. Forgive us for the times that we allow our circumstances to temporarily blind us to the truth of Your love and grace that gets us through all things. Teach us to trust You more each day, and flood us to overflowing with Your goodness and love. Show us how to love those around us in ways that strengthen and encourage, making Your heart abundantly clear to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks for who You are and how You love us so well. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

Seasons of Waiting

Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord. – (Psalm 27:14, HCSB)

Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help. – (Psalm 27:14, ERV)

Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. Stay with God. – (Psalm 27:14, MSG)

Waiting for the Lord takes strength and courage. It is, at times, far easier to just move, rather than wait. The problem with that is if we move forward when we are meant to wait, we miss out on God’s very best for us. Listening to His leading is what takes us to spaces that are far beyond what we could hope or imagine, and His strength and courage supply all that we need in the waiting. May we ever wait for the Lord to lead us in the ways in which we are meant to go, and take courage as He supplies the strength to stay in a season of waiting.

Choose wait on the Lord,

Be strong and be brave;

Don’t quit in the wait,

For waiting can save.

Save us from heartache,

Where we need not go;

The strength in the wait,

Helps our hearts to grow.

So, trust in the Lord,

He’s always on time;

He knows what we need,

And His heart is kind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You remind us that we are meant to wait and listen for Your leading. Thank You that You supply courage and strength to do so. Forgive us for the times that we have been impatient and moved impulsively rather than waited to hear what You are leading us to do. Teach us to trust You in the seasons of waiting. Show us how the “not yet” is worthwhile, even when we cannot see the value in the intentional pause. Direct us to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on You to supply strength and courage as we wait on You for answers and direction. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly. – Psalm 5:3

You Steady Me

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong and do not fear; Your God will come…” – (Isaiah 35:3-4a, NIV)

Make the weak arms strong again. Strengthen the weak knees. People are afraid and confused. Say to them, “Be strong! Don’t be afraid!” Look, your God will come…” – (Isaiah 35:3-4a, ERV)

Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on His way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on His way! He’ll save you!” – (Isaiah 35:3-4, MSG)

Yesterday, in the practice of simply being still to listen, the words, “I will steady you,” kept echoing in my heart. When the winds blow and the waves rock the boat in treacherous seas, He who can simply speak the words, “Be still,” will steady what’s rocking in me. God is the anchor that holds us secure, and the One who will steady us when our world feels shaken. He is faithful to strengthen us in spaces where strength is gone, and His presence chases away fear. The Lord is the one who comes and makes things right, even when it feels that there is no way. May we ever seek the Lord to steady us and supply the strength that we need, for He is faithful to meet us anew each day.

The Lord is faithful,

The anchor within;

He’s steady and strong,

And He brings calm in.

When storms surround us,

We can rest assured;

He is our anchor,

That keeps us secure.

Secure in His love,

Covered by His grace;

Built up in His strength,

As we seek His face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You steady us when storms surround us, and You are the anchor that keeps us secure. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations when the storms of life seem to surround us. Teach us to trust in You to be our help and our hope, for You are our Rock in whom we can find shelter and peace, even in the midst of great storms. Show us how to love those around us in ways that share Your steadiness and security, so that peace permeates every place it is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to steady us through every storm, and to be our strength throughout each new day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure… – Hebrews 6:19a

At Peace With Each Other

Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus. – (Romans 15:5, HCSB)

All patience and encouragement come from God. And I pray that God will help you all agree with each other, as Christ Jesus wants. – (Romans 15:5, ERV)

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. – (Romans 15:5, NIV)

God provides the endurance and encouragement that we need to live in harmony with each other. He does not tell us to suck it up or figure it out, but rather He modeled for us what it is to live in harmony with one another through His Son, and then God supplies what we need to do the same. It is not easy, nor does it always come naturally, but continually seeking God to show us how to live in harmony with each other is worthwhile. Peace, patience, goodness and kindness find their way in when we earnestly seek the Lord. May we ever go to God to provide what we need so that we may live in harmony with those around us.

O Lord, please lead us,

In Your love and grace;

Provide what we need,

Throughout ev’ry day.

Grant us endurance,

When the days seem long;

Your encouragement,

So we can be strong.

Strong in Your mercy,

Full of love and grace;

At peace with others,

Your love leads the way.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us patience, encouragement and endurance to live out our days in harmony with one another. Thank You that each day is new, and yesterday’s shortcomings do not determine today’s peace. Forgive us for our lack of seeking, or for holding onto things that divide rather than unite us. Teach us to follow Your example and to rely on You to provide what we need to be at peace with one another. Show us how to love and encourage one another in such a way that we find common ground and mutual respect for each other. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to supply all that we need to live in harmony with one another. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – Psalm 29:11

Stand Firm

So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. – (1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT)

So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Don’t let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted. – (1 Corinthians 15:58, ERV)

My dear brothers and sisters, stand firmly planted – be unshakable – do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God. – (1 Corinthians 15:58, VOICE)

We are called to stand firm and be strong in who God has called us to be, and in what He calls us to do. No matter how seen or behind the scenes it is, God will use what we offer in love. Everything matters, from the smallest act of kindness to the greatest sacrifice, all is used for good when the heart behind it is for God. May we ever stay firmly planted in the good that God calls us to do, and trust that He is working, even when we cannot see the evidence of an impact. 

Stand firm in the Lord,

And how He’s made you;

Each heart has purpose,

To show His love’s true.

From the small gestures,

That are done in love;

To great sacrifice,

All show God above.

So, keep reaching out,

Allow love to lead;

Kindness speaks volumes,

As does meeting needs.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have called and created us to love. Thank You that we are all uniquely designed with different talents and gifts to share. Thank You that every act of kindness matters. Forgive us for thinking that our choice to love does not matter and for the times that we have neglected to act in love. Teach us to stand firm in You at all times and in every circumstance. Lead us to love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand firm in Your love and Your purposes for us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Be careful. Hold firmly to your faith. Have courage and be strong. Do everything in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Where Strength Comes From

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. – (Ephesians 6:10, HCSB)

To end my letter I tell you, be strong in the Lord and His great power. – (Ephesians 6:10, ERV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, draw your strength and might from God. – (Ephesians 6:10, VOICE)

Toward the end of Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus, he reminded them where their strength comes from. The same God that strengthened His people back then, is willing and able to do the same for us today. All that stands before us is nothing compared to He who is in us. This is not to discount the struggles and obstacles we face, but rather to remind us that nothing is too big for God. I don’t know about you, but this whole Covid season has felt like a series of mountains to climb and barriers to navigate. That being said, we are a week and a half away from April! Masks are optional, travel is open, and the whispers that life would not be in Covid mode forever are turning into conversations at a normal voice level. Though I am sure that few of us would ever want to navigate such a season again, each of us has stories to tell of how God provided His strength when we needed it most. He is faithful, and we can trust in Him. May we ever rely on the Lord to be our strength, for He is stronger than anything that we have ever and will ever face.

The Lord is our strength,

We need not let fear;

Take hold of our hearts,

For He’s ever near.

The mountains we face,

Are never too large;

Our God is greater,

If we give Him charge.

Invite Him to take,

His place on the throne;

As Lord of our lives,

In Him, strength is known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your strength is far greater than any struggle or obstacle that we face. Thank You that You are faithful to meet us where we are, and lead us to where we need to go. Thank You that all things are possible with You. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when what lies before us seems too much. Teach us to trust in You, for You are greater than anything and everything that lies ahead. Lead us in Your love so that we might love those around us in ways that strengthen and encourage people in places where there is fear and feelings of defeat. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength, and trust You even when things seem impossible. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – Psalm 29:11