Love is a Safe Shelter

(Love) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – (1 Corinthians 13:7, NIV)

Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. – (1 Corinthians 13:7, ERV)

Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. – (1 Corinthians 13:7, TPT)

 

God always knows what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. Part of the His design when He made me, includes a strong “mama bear” protective nature, a heart that clings closely to the hope I have in Him, and a spirit that does not understand the concept of quitting. That being said, the last eight hours seem to have stolen my ability to always protect. Though I know that ultimately, protection is in His hands, I want to do everything that I can to keep my loved ones safe at all times – physically, spiritually and emotionally. At 1:45 am, I heard a sound in the monitor that was frighteningly unfamiliar. Mom was making a sort of moaning sound that did not sound like she was sleeping. I bolted upright in bed and dashed across the hall into her room. My fear was realized as I saw her sitting on the floor, beside her bed, looking frightened and a bit dazed. Sitting beside her, I began checking for injury and looking for signs of need for emergency care. Thankfully, it appeared that she had, out of a lifelong habit of rising to use the restroom as needed, simply gone to stand up out of bed, and her legs did not support her standing for long. Before leaving acute care, we had practiced how to get up from the floor, if ever we were in such a position. Though it did not go quite as smoothly as one might hope, we managed, and all is well. Once mom was securely back in bed, with the exit side of her bed blocked better, I returned to my room and checked my phone to be sure my sister had made it home safely. In addition to her text, there was one from my boys’ dad, letting me know that they had not been treated kindly by some of their music people after their spring concert, when everyone gathered at Red Robin. I know that there is nothing that I could have possibly done to protect or prevent these things, however, the protector in me, dies a little when such things transpire. My heart hurts for my mom, as she struggles to regain movement and independence, and for my boys, who are wonderful, loving and sensitive young men, who deserve only kindness, yet are subject to the cruelty of this world. I have to remember that the love that always protects, is His, not mine. God is a far better protector that me. Though only a fool would mess with my people in front of me, I have to trust, hope and persevere, as God is greater and He always protects.

 

Love is the always,08021808042583917494678544150.jpg

That keeps things aligned;

Trust, hope, protection,

All in God’s design.

Life is a faith walk,

Where we have to choose;

To trust in the Lord,

No matter our view.

Sometimes what we see,

Seems dismal at best;

Trials and valleys,

Life’s endurance tests.

No matter what comes,

Keep trusting the One;

Who grants all we need,

‘til each day is done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You always protect; You are always trustworthy, You are and will always be our hope; and in You, we will always have all that we need to persevere. Forgive us for our frustration when we cannot protect our loved ones from all the ills of this world; for it is broken and fallen and fallible. Thank You that You are not. Teach us to trust You more so that we would cling to You and depend on You in all things and at all times, not just for ourselves but for those we love as well. Show us how to love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You, hope in You, persevere in Your strength, and protect in love, allowing Your love to lead our every step. Amen.

 

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

 

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:2

 

 

Good That Overcomes

Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. – (Romans 12:21, MSG)

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. – (Romans 12:21, NLT)

Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good. – (Romans 12:21, ERV)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – (Romans 12:21, NIV)

 

Though a seemingly simple concept, it is often difficult to carry out. Humans have a natural inclination to seek justice when we have been “wronged“. When someone intends us harm, the last thing we want to do, is extend kindness or grace. Jesus was the ultimate example of not allowing evil to overcome Him; for even as He hung on the cross He cried out for the forgiveness of those who placed Him there, rather than for their destruction. Most of us struggle to not use ugly words when we are cut off in traffic. I had a friend growing up that used to yell, “Bless you, in Jesus Name!“, each time someone cut him off or did something stupid on the highway that could have potentially caused harm while driving. When I asked him about it, he replied that it was a way to begin to train his heart to do good, even when he wanted otherwise. He intentionally chose words that were for good, rather than for harm, even if the tone did not yet match. Granted, I know that traffic violations are hardly comparable to gross acts of evil, but if we are able to do good with the small things, perhaps our hearts will be tender and receptive as God asks us to choose to overcome evil with good in the larger things later on. May we ever seek the Lord and His wisdom and strength, so that evil may not get the best of us and we can rise up and do the good He asks of us.

 

Flying Butterfly

Do not let evil,

Get the best of you;

For it’s overcome,

By good that we choose.

God provides the strength,

To rise and do well;

As we move in grace,

We overcome hell.

Evil cannot stand,

Where grace and love flow;

Let’s keep doing good,

So all may come know.

 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that evil can be defeated when we choose to do good in Your Name. Thank You that this is not something that we have to attempt to do in our own strength, but rather You equip and empower us to do that which You call us to do, so that we may overcome the darkness that would attempt to destroy us. Forgive us for thinking that we have to fight alone, or for allowing the darkness around us to overwhelm us, rather than looking to the light within. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You in all things and at all times, as You alone can overcome anything that would try to get the best of us. Show us how to love those around us, so that we would be light in dark places and do the good that overcomes that which attempts to destroy. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we conquer evil by doing the good that You call us to do. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

An Excellent Exchange

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. – (Psalm 55:22)

 

When we give our cares and concerns to Christ, He upholds us and supplies what we need as we need it. As we choose to give our heart to Him, we are considered right before Him, righteous in His eyes; and He will not let us fall. The Lord’s ability to sustain us, is not dependent on our concept of what Christ can or cannot do. We need only to run to Him, relying on who He is; our job is to trust that He is God and we are not. This space of trust, where we have exchanged our cares for His sustenance, is where we see the mighty movement of our Maker on our behalf. May we cast our every care upon the Lord, trusting that He will sustain us and keep us from falling, as He considers us righteous because we rely on Him.

 

Let us cast our cares,An Excellent Exchange

upon Christ the Lord;

for He shall sustain,

all strength He affords.

He’ll not let us fall,

for all who have come;

are seen as righteous,

made right by the Son.

No matter what comes,

give it all to God;

His love is greater,

than paths we must trod.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can cast our cares on You, and You sustain us. Thank You that You consider us righteous, and that You will not let us fall. Thank You that no matter what comes against us, You are for us, and You are far greater. Forgive us for not relying on You in all things, and teach us to trust You in such a way, that we would run to You regardless of what lies before us. Help us to hear Your still small voice that calls us to cast our cares upon You. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, will come to know just how faithful You are. May many enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we cast our cares upon You and trust You to sustain us and keep us from falling. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

To See God

The very concept of God and who He is can be a bit overwhelming. Believing in the unseen, yet knowing that He is who He says He is, can become a bit muddied if we are not firmly grounded in His word. Jesus speaks clearly in John as to how we are to know what God is like. Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in Me, he does not believe in Me only, but in the One who sent Me. When he looks at Me, he sees the One who sent Me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.” – (John 12:44-46)

 

God’s word is full of light and life that illuminate exactly who God is, and who we are unto Him. When we believe in Him and invest our lives in following Christ, His light dwells in us, and He entrusts us with His truth. The more we invest in our relationship with Him, the more He reveals Himself to us. May we go forth this day, fully invested in Him, and shine brightly before all men.

 

As we believe,Approaching the Throne of Grace

the Holy Word;

He shows to us,

what our hearts have heard.

Though He’s unseen,

Lord God is known;

for by His Son,

His light has been shown.

Look to Jesus,

to understand;

for He and God,

are One unto man.

All that is dark,

shall fade away;

seek Jesus’ face,

for He’ll light our way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that we may see and know You. Thank You Jesus, for living and loving in such a way, that You are the light unto the world. Thank You for giving Your life so that we may have life forever in You. Forgive us for our confusion and doubts, and help us to see clearly who You are as we invest in seeking You with our whole hearts. Let Your light shine through us as we love with the love You have given us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be glorified, O God, as we grow in our understanding of You and give You all of the glory. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.

– Acts 2:28