Presence, Help and Rest

The Lord replied, ”My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” – (Exodus 33:14, NIV)

The Lord replied, “I’ll go Myself, and I’ll help you.” – (Exodus 33:14, CEB)

Eternal One: My presence will travel with you, and I will give you rest.” – (Exodus 33:14, VOICE)

 

These words were spoken to Moses by the Lord, when he was called to lead the Israelites. Moses was concerned about all of the particulars about what God was asking him to do, and told God that he needed to truly know Him and find His favor to follow through. God responded with a promise of His presence, His help, and His rest. The promises of God to Moses are still true assurance for us today. As we seek the Lord, He will be with us, will help us, and will grant us rest. This past week has been a perfect example of such. It has been the final week of the semester, the week prior to my coaching season, and I have been fighting some sort of virus. This has not been a week that I could have afforded to miss work, and the amount of work that I needed to accomplish was overwhelming. Despite having had a fever Wednesday night, and likely off and on yesterday, I was able to finish all that needed to be completed so that today, our semester break, I could rest. God knows what we need and is ready to provide. Though I had my doubts about how I was going to get through yesterday, I prayed and trusted Him to go before me, be with me, and lead me through. The Lord is faithful and His word is true. May we ever seek the Lord and invite His presence into every area of our lives. He is faithful to go with us, help us, and bring us into a space of rest.

 

Our God is faithful, Searched and Known

To that which we ask;

His presence, promised,

His help for each task.

He knows what we need,

And by His great grace;

Provides strength and help,

His rest through our days.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

Where we’re meant to go;

Ever be with us,

For our needs, You know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your presence, help and rest is available to us today, just as it was back in the time of Moses. Thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we are called to do that which seems beyond our capacity. Teach us to trust You more, taking comfort in Your promises to be present to help, and ultimately grant us the rest we need. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers presence, help and rest. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and trust You to be true to Your word, as You bring us through all things and lead us to rest. Amen.

 

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

 

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

 

 

The Love that Knows No End

But You, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. – (Psalm 86:15, NLT) 

My Lord, You are a kind and merciful God. You are patient, loyal, and full of love. – (Psalm 86:15, ERV) 

But You, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and You never, never quit. – (Psalm 86:15, MSG) 

 

Some mornings it is far more challenging to get up and get moving than others. Because I rise quite early, there are morning that I think my body is confused, and I wake up several times prior to my alarm alerting me with an Irish jig. Today was that sort of morning. The actual getting out of bed is not so much the struggle, but rather the seeming ability to function well, prior to my coffee kicking in, is where I find myself right now. As I sit and read the various translations/interpretations of this verse, I am blessed and encouraged, for God is for me and is faithful to meet me, even in my exhausted state. He is not angered that I feel weary, but rather His grace washes over me, and I am equipped with all that I need to continue each step of what He calls me to do. God cares about the minute details just as much as He is concerned with the big stuff. I know this to be true, as His love washes over me while I sit and focus on His word. May we ever seek the Lord and His unfailing love, for His kindness knows no end and His patience does not pass away.  

 

On difficult days, Wisdom from Heaven

You still are with us; 

Ever granting strength, 

The love of Jesus. 

You never give up, 

Your love never fails; 

When we’re feeling stuck, 

You’re wind in our sails. 

We thank You, O Lord, 

For all of our days; 

For all that You are, 

And Your faithful ways. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and meet us, no matter how we come before You. Your love lifts us up and carries us through each day. Forgive us for our moments of doubt or dismay, when all around us seems too much. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace Your grace as we rise each new day. Show us how to love those around us in a way that conveys Your faithfulness and willingness to love without limits. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You each new morning, and praise You for Your faithful and unending love. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. – Psalm 103:8

Born to Bloom

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, NLT)

As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and unsaved all around us. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, TLB)

We have become the unmistakable aroma of the victory of the Anointed One to God – a perfume of life to those being saved and the odor of death to those who are perishing. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, TPT)

 

As I sat here pondering this verse, the image that came to mind for me is that of beautiful, fragrant flowers. The gardener who tends to the plants to trim, water, fertilize and assure proper light, yields healthy plants that produce sweet scents. Contrarily, those who do not provide that which plants need, discover the scent of death and decay soon emit from the perishing perennials. People are comparable when it comes to our faith. If we invest time in our relationship with our Redeemer, we learn and grow and become more like Him. As we do, the love, grace and kindness we extend, become a sweet scent to our Savior, as well as to those who are seeking something more. However, when we neglect the need for investing time with the very One who created us, we begin to wither and rot, stuck with a stench of angst and impatience, anger and a serious lack of love. May we ever seek the nourishment of our Maker, as He provides the soil, water and light that we need to bloom and become the sweet scent of life to all those around us.

 

The sweet scent of life, born-to-bloom.jpg

Through hope and His grace;

Are what we offer,

As we seek God’s face.

A life invested,

In loving the Lord;

Is grown to produce,

Sweet scent that’s adored.

For loving kindness,

Goodness and His light;

Are grown within us,

As we choose delight.

With all that we are,

May we seek His face;

So, our lives smell sweet,

And extend His grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that a life invested in knowing and following You grows and develops us to give off the sweet scent of hope in You. Thank You that You cultivate this within us as we choose to seek You. Forgive us for neglecting time with You, as You are the One who removes the weeds and provides the water and sunlight. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would allow You room to come in and cultivate our lives into the fragrant offering You intended. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them breathe deeply from Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we delight in You, and allow You room to grow us so that we can bloom. Amen.

 

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

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

Focus on the Good of Others

Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. – (1 Corinthians 10:24, NLT)

Try to do what is good for others, not just what is good for yourselves. – (1 Corinthians 10:24, ERV)

We should stop looking out for our own interests and instead focus on the people living and breathing around us. – (1 Corinthians 10:24, VOICE)

 

I never cease to be amazed at how quickly things change when my focus shifts from self to others. Even if my situation does not change, my perspective inevitably does. If someone around me needs encouragement and I find ways and words with which to offer encouragement, I discover that I too, am encouraged in the process. Joy and hope accompany each act of extending ourselves to others. May we fix our gaze outward rather than in, so that we may seek to do good for others, just as the Lord has done for us.

 

Do not be concerned,The Power of the Tongue

For your sense of good;

But do for others,

That which Jesus would.

For we’re being called,

To look out, not in;

Encourage, build up,

Love others like kin.

God in His goodness,

Meets us as we give;

Strengthens and equips,

New life as we live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to look outside of ourselves to seek to do good for others. Thank You that we need not worry about ourselves, as You are far more capable than we are, so it is best for us to focus our attention on loving You and loving people, allowing You to be who You say You are. Forgive us for not trusting You to be big enough to carry our concerns. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would place the weight of our worries in Your hands, and look to You to show us how to do what is good for those around us. Help us to have open eyes and willing hearts, so that we may see opportunities to love well and act on them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we focus on loving You and the people that You place all around us. Amen.

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

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

Joyful in Hope

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. – (Psalm 146:5-6, NLT)

 

When we know God and place our hope in He who is faithful forever, there is an undeniable joy that wells up within us; not because everything around us is always amazing, but He who is in us, is trustworthy and proves faithful. In Christ, we have hope and help, regardless of what surrounds us. He who made the heavens and the earth, knows our needs and is willing and able to meet us in our lack and provide the help and the strength that is required to continue moving forward. All that the Lord has promised, He is faithful to fulfill. May we trust in the Lord who keeps His promises forever, and gives us hope to navigate each new day.

 

The Lord, our great God,Aquiring Armor

Maker of all things;

Is our hope and help,

And why our hearts sing.

He keeps each promise,

Today and always;

He’s why joy shall rise,

Even on bad days.

Because He is good,

Forever faithful;

We’re able to trust,

From hearts made joyful.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and our hope. Thank You that You who created the earth, the sea, and everything in them, are concerned about us, individually. Thank You that You keep Your every promise forever. Thank You for the joy that is found in knowing that You are for us. Forgive us for allowing the weight of that which comes against us or surrounds us to determine our outlook, rather than trust You with all of our days. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, so that we would be aware of the hope and joy that we have in You, regardless of what comes against us. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that they might see Your joy and faithfulness through our words and actions. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hope in You; for You are faithful forever. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Come Boldly

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find the grace to help us when we need it most. – (Hebrews 4:16, NLT)

With Jesus as our high priest, we can feel free to come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it. – (Hebrews 4:16, ERV)

 

Today is certainly a day to come boldly before His throne. This is the last school day before we begin spring break, and the weather is again, expected to exceed seventy degrees. The level of crazy among middle schoolers is at an all-time high, and the amount of mercy and grace needed by this weary teacher, is tangible. It has been the longest week that I have had in a very long time, as our gymnastics season just came to an end, and there has been something every evening this week. All of the busy has been good, just a bit exhausting. His grace has covered me in extraordinary ways already, as I have been migraine-free this week, despite a serious lack of sleep. This, in and of itself, is a remarkable gift of grace. Kids are weary as well. Some are eager for the plans that their families have made in the coming week, yet others, are anxious at the uncertainty of where they will be obtaining meals, concerned about how they will be treated, or overwhelmed by the weight of responsibilities that they will be expected to bear. The kindness, mercy and grace that He gives, is the very same gift that needs to be passed on to these kids in their spaces of uncertainty. May we each seek the Lord and His mercy and grace, and then go forth and extend the same to all others who share our space.

 

Let us boldly come,Come Boldly

to His throne of grace;

where mercy’s received,

as we seek His face.

The grace that He gives,

is more than enough;

our help in our need,

strength when times are tough.

And as we depend,

on our great High Priest;

we too offer grace,

as agents of peace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because of Your Son, we can boldly approach Your throne and receive mercy and grace when we need it most. Thank You that You give us what we need, and are our help and our strength. Forgive us for attempting to power through things on our own, or for not trusting You to be enough to see us through our space of need. Teach us to trust You more. Show us how to rely on You to be our strength and supply, so that we too, may go forth and extend Your grace and mercy to those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love and honor You in our seeking and extending of the truth. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Anxious for Answers

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – (Philippians 4:6)

 

God hears our prayers. He knows our heart and is concerned about our every need. The Lord is our provider, yet much of the time, we must move forward toward God in an act of faith, presenting our needs before Him, before we see the blessings of God released. In the book of Matthew, a leper had heard about Jesus and His ability to heal. His desire to be whole was great enough that he was willing to walk forward in faith, risking rejection, because the reward was well worth the potential risk.

 

A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. – (Matthew 8:2-3)

 

What known need should we present before Christ? He is willing, we simply must come. Jesus goes beyond the hearing and healing, He comes close and touches those who are deemed untouchable, and calls us clean. May we release anxiousness and fear unto Him, and with prayer, petition and thanksgiving, present our every request unto the Lord.

 

Do not be anxious,Anxious for Answers

in spaces of lack;

but call on the Lord,

who will have our back.

He hears each request,

presented in prayer;

He sees and He knows,

our God always cares.

He knows what is best,

and willingly moves;

to help and to heal,

His faithfulness proves.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite how things appear, we need never be anxious nor fearful in You. Thank You that we need only come before You and present our requests unto You. Thank You that You hear our every prayer, and You move on our behalf in the way that You see best. Forgive us for our fearfulness when things don’t go the way we think they ought to, despite Your promised presence. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will believe You are working things out for the best, even when the evidence we see, seems to speak otherwise. Lead us to love others as You so completely love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we release our anxieties to You, and present our requests by prayer and petition with thanksgiving before You, trusting that You will move on our behalf in the way that You deem best. Amen.

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

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

Create in Me a Clean Heart

Clean before Christ is a condition of the heart and mind, not an appearance of our physical form. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were more concerned with their traditions and rituals that cleansed the outside and limited what and how they could consume nourishment, that they ended up completely neglecting their true need for spiritual cleansing. Jesus himself said the following: “Are you so dull?” he asked, “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” – (Mark 7:18-19)

 

We too, ought to be aware as well. What we consume with our heart and mind, determine our cleanliness before Christ. Do we honor Him with the choices we are making? If we falter, do we stop and ask for forgiveness and help so that we can avoid similar temptation in the future? The Lord looks at our hearts. He sees and knows where our priorities lie. May we seek Him first in all things, so that we may keep clean hearts and clear minds before Him.

 

Create in me, Lord,Intentional Retreat

a heart that is clean;

one that always seeks,

truth in the unseen.

For out of the heart,

is where life may flow;

to You we belong,

let Your love light show.

May our hearts and minds,

stay right before You;

so we act in love,

to Thee ever true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that external things and the foods that we consume cannot make us unclean before You. Thank You that our cleansing happens from the inside out. Thank You that You cleanse our hearts and minds if we are only willing to allow You access to all. Forgive us for focusing on external things, rather than on keeping our hearts and minds pure before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will place our hearts and minds in Your care, allowing You to cleanse and restore the places that are infected with things that should have never been allowed a voice. Help us to go forth and love well, all whom we encounter, just as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a cleansing relationship with You, Lord God. Be glorified as we are obedient to all that You are asking. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

The Perils and Pitfalls of Pride

This morning, as I read Ezekiel 16, I found myself astounded at the discovery of truth that I had somehow not noticed before. In regard to Sodom, I had always thought that they had been destroyed due to their violence and flagrant sexual sin as a nation. Yet in Ezekiel 16, I found that God destroyed Sodom because the people were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned about the needy people within their own reach. “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before Me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” – (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

 

It is easy to look back at Sodom and compare our sin to theirs. Most of us, on the surface, feel as if we are doing fairly well, as most are not murderers nor adulterers. However, in light of this verse that had previously escaped me, how do we measure up now? Are we proud? Do we have too much? Do we overindulge? Do we care for those in need, as we ought to? Granted, we are not meant to compare our sin to anyone else, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts to correct and direct us in the ways in which we are to go; yet in light of this passage, there is much to ask as we earnestly seek Him. May we place our lives in His hands, and allow His Spirit command, so that we are not proud, nor gluttonous, and that we are concerned about the needs of those within our reach.

 

Oh Lord guard our hearts,Cling to Hope

keep pride far away;

and gluttony too,

in You, may we stay.

Help us see the need,

around us today;

may we be Your hands,

give ourselves away.

Lead us and guide us,

in all of Your ways;

may we remain near,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see all sin the same, and that there is not one of us that is without it. Thank You Jesus, for coming and taking our sin away, as You suffered and died on our behalf. Thank You that death could not defeat You, and that in power, You rose again, so that You could send Your Spirit to dwell in us and remain with us forever. Thank You that You lead us and guide us in Your ways, if we seek You. Forgive us for our pride, our overindulgence, and our neglect of those in need. Give us Your eyes to see the needs of others and the lens by which to view ourselves. Thank You that Your love compels us to make changes. Help us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King, as a result. Be glorified O God, as we seek to be Your hands and heart to the needs of those around us. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

He Looks to Heal Hearts

“Some men brought Him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” – (Matthew 9:2)

 

Perhaps the paralytic had a hurting heart that went far beyond what was seen. Jesus was exceedingly more concerned with heart healing than with physical healing. Though He gladly healed the man’s physical infirmities, Jesus touched far more with His words. Jesus likely saw a spiritual need that no one else was even aware of, and set out to heal in that space first. Not only did the paralytic walk away, but he walked away changed. His formerly heavy heart now knew forgiveness, and he had new hope, not just for today, but for eternity.

 

Clearly Christ is far more concerned with what is eternal, than with the temporal. I have had the privilege of witnessing His healing hand both physically and spiritually in the lives of dear ones; and though physical healing is a miracle, healing of the heart seems to make a more impactful change. Dear friends and loved ones who have battled illness over the past several years may not have received physical healing, but each one of them came to understand the healing His hands provided to the hurts held in the heart. Hope became real, where it had not previously been. As a result of His touch, I have the assurance that they are happily in heaven with Him.

 

When hope calls His Name,He Looks to Heal Hearts

take heart as you come;

He is our Healer,

wholeness from the Son.

Ask all that you need,

and trust that He knows;

allow Him your heart,

where true healing grows.

Embrace Him as Lord,

and trust He is good;

receive all He gives,

our need’s understood.

His love is enough,

for each hurt, to heal;

allow Him to move,

Christ’s hope to reveal.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Healer. Thank You that though You heal physically, You are far more interested in healing hearts and minds. Thank You that You draw us unto Yourself, so that we may come to know You, personally. Forgive us for not recognizing all that You are doing, even when a physical healing has not come for one that we faithfully present before You. Thank You that Your ways are higher than our ways, and Your thoughts, higher than ours. Help us to hold onto our hope in You, and recognize that ultimate healing happens when we someday see You face-to-face. Lead us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know You as the Healer of their hearts, and the Lord of their lives. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8