Trust in His Present Help

So 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) 

Don’t worry – I am with you. Don’t be afraid – I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. I will support you with my right hand that brings victory. – (Isaiah 41:10, ERV) 

Do not yield to fear, for I am always near. Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with My strength and help you in every situation. I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand. – (Isaiah 41:10, TPT) 

God is faithful to His promise to be present to help, in both small and great things. Yesterday, we took our Lab puppy, Thor, on a couple of hikes. The first took us along Lake Easton, down to the state park campgrounds, and then on a bit further to the river below the dam. Thor loved the water, and happily waded and drank his fill of the fresh, cool water. Later in the afternoon, after witnessing his love and seeming fearlessness, we took him on a hike around the lake, and first found a small cove with a few feet of beach-like terrain. Each step he became a bit more daring about going further out. At last, we decided to see if he would swim. Though there was a bit of fear in each of us, for it was a first and required trust, Thor galloped out past where he could touch to retrieve a stick, and swam as he was born to do. Our hearts were strengthened as we watched the faithfulness of God in how He created our sweet pup, and we then took him further on the trail to the boat launch area. Once there, we began to throw the same stick out a bit further each time he retrieved it, our hearts growing in trust a bit more each time. When we determined Thor had done enough, we began our trek back to our campground. Thor was emboldened, and was actually protesting as we were leaving; jumping and attempting to nip at us to encourage us to turn back around. He settled back down when he was able to take part of the leash in his mouth, allowing him to think he was leading us back. Though I know this is a small thing, it is still an example of having to trust. The more we trust in the small things, the more we are prepared to trust when trials and difficulties come our way. May we ever look to the Lord and trust in Him, for He is faithful to strengthen us and hold us up with His mighty hands. 

Do not be afraid, 

For God’s always near; 

To comfort, strengthen, 

And wash away fear. 

The Lord’s mighty hands, 

In love, hold us up; 

Protect, empower, 

He fills empty cups. 

In spaces of fear, 

He often will show; 

Beautiful new things, 

To help our hearts grow. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to meet us wherever we are; be it in small things or tremendous trials. Thank You that You strengthen us and uphold us with Your mighty, loving hands. Forgive us for the spaces where fear overwhelms us. Teach us to trust You more, as You are ever present to help, and faithful to love us through all things. Show us how to love, encourage and strengthen those around us in the same way that You do as You lovingly walk alongside us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be present to help and strengthen us in all things as You uphold us with Your loving hands. Amen. 

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

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

Gaze at the Glory

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. – (Psalm 19:1, NIV) 

The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies announce what His hands have made. – (Psalm 19:1, ERV) 

God’s splendor is a tale that is told; His testament is written in the stars. Space itself speaks of His story every day through the marvels of the heavens. His truth is on tour in the starry vault of the sky, showing His skill in creation’s craftsmanship. – (Psalm 19:1, TPT) 

Even in the midst of all that is going on in the world, the evidence of God remains. All it takes is a glimpse of a sunrise or sunset, or to gaze at the moon and stars in all of their splendor, to be reminded of God’s glory. The same hands that paint the glorious array of colors and hung the stars in their place, holds each of us in the hollow of His hand. God, in His great love for us, created beauty for us to see. He knows us each by name, and designed each person with intention. There is a plan and a purpose for all of us; and as we seek Him, He is faithful to make His plans known.  

Today, as I prepare for my last day of work for the school year, and ready myself for my boys’ graduation, I am ever aware of God’s faithfulness to carry us through. His splendor is told through His presence that has carried us throughout the years, and brought us to this important milestone. Many times, over the last few years, I have watched the sunrise, and have been shown His goodness and faithfulness through the glorious array of colors awakening the sky. Tomorrow, following the broadcast version of the boys’ graduation, (recording of each student walking in cap and gown, as well as the recorded speakers), we will be driving to see my mom, for the first time since the shutdown began. Though we will not be able to embrace and interact as we normally would, we are grateful that we can go and lay eyes on her for ourselves, and visit, masked and physically distanced. One of the things that stood out to me, is one of my boys made a point to tell me that he wanted to wake up early enough to watch the sunrise while we are there, as he has fond memories of sitting together with mom in her living room, watching together in awe. He too, knows of the faithfulness of God, and His goodness that greets us anew every morning. It has not been an easy road, particularly during this pandemic with school closed, yet we have seen and known God’s goodness throughout. The work of God’s hands are tangible reminders that He is good and He is faithful. May we gaze at the glory of God’s creation, and know His faithfulness and love. 

We look to the sky, 

And God’s love is clear; 

Such beauty beheld, 

As we know He’s near. 

The very same hands, 

That painted the sky; 

Made us with purpose, 

Gave us wings to fly. 

Created, equipped, 

To go forth and rise; 

To love and be loved, 

It’s how we’re designed. 

Lay hold of the gifts, 

Birthed deep within you; 

Boldly walk forward, 

Embrace each step new. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need only look up to be reminded of who You are and how You love. Thank You for the tangible evidence of Your goodness and grace. Forgive us for the times that we have made You too small. Teach us to pause and look up, making us ever aware of Your goodness, faithfulness and love. Show us how to love one another in the way that You intended; valuing, celebrating, encouraging and lifting each other up, so that Your love would be evident to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the beauty that surrounds us and reminds us of Your unending love for all. Amen. 

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

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

Trust in Faithfulness

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. – (Psalm 33:4, NIV)

The Lord’s word is true, and He is faithful in everything He does. – (Psalm 33:4, ERV)

For God’s Word is something to sing about! He is true to His promises, His word can be trusted, and everything He does is reliable and right. – (Psalm 33:4, TPT)

 

Yesterday was a shining example of the faithfulness of God. As teachers across the state went live for day one, I imagine many shared the crazy roller coaster that carried us through ups and downs, highs and lows, and unexpected turns as we navigated the new. After several weeks of preparing, and the last-minute checking prior to activating everything to go live according to schedule, all seemed to be ready and running according to plan. Shortly after activating my webpages, I received a panicked email from one of my students who was unable to access her account. I followed protocol and forwarded her information to our tech guy who is wonderful about resetting passwords, and returned a message to her to let her know that she should be ready to access everything, shortly. There were more emails to answer and issues to trouble-shoot, yet all seemed to be going well. Then, I received a very kind email from the father of one of my fantastic students, letting me know that she was struggling to access the assignments on Canvas. I shifted gears and accessed the site, wracking my brain to discover why the assignment would not be visible to scholars. Not two minutes after I had sent a message to tech support, inquiring what minute detail I might be missing, did I discover the mystery click that had been missed. Though every page, assignment and task had been published, if the top “unit” bar did not have the circle clicked, assignments that appear below it are inaccessible. Who knew? Anyway, problem solved, Thank You Jesus, and I was able to email the father back and thank him for his help as I learn this new technology, and for his grace, as his kindness was appreciated more than words can express. Though my Zoom office hours were attended by only a few, it was so good to see and hear my kiddos, and I am encouraged that Thursday’s will go far better. The day flew by, far more quickly than days in the previous several weeks, especially now that there is ongoing interaction with students and families again. Though it is not the same as in the classroom, I am grateful for a way to make this work during this season of time away from one another. Human connection is essential in the classroom before learning can take place, and we now have tools to reconnect and engage, so that all of us can learn and grow together. Though things did not go as I anticipated, it was still a good day. God is faithful and we are moving forward in our present season, and I can already see the good that is coming.

 

The word of the Lord,wp-15874736571019022579100896925719.jpg

Is right and is true;

He’s faithful always,

His grace sees us through.

Through uncertain times,

Ever He is near;

To help and give hope,

And take away fear.

For God is faithful,

Through everything;

Our strength to press on,

And reason to sing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever. Thank You that You go before us, walk beside us, and remain with us; always. Thank You that You equip and strengthen us to do difficult things. Forgive us for our frustrations and doubts when we cannot see how things could possibly work out. Teach us to trust You more, for You are far greater than any situation or circumstance that could ever come our way. Show us how to persevere, even when things don’t make sense. Help us to love, encourage and support those around us, so that they may grow and thrive in every season. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in the truth of Your word, as You are faithful forever. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. – Psalm 28:7

Storms, Shipwrecks, Snakes and Strangers

“But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.” – Acts 28:5

photo by Desi Colours

The context of this verse is when Paul was on his way to appear before Caesar and the crew of the ship on which he was sailing insisted on continuing in dangerous seas, despite Paul’s warning.  All those aboard made it safely to shore when the ship was wrecked, and they were welcomed by the locals upon arrival.  After that ordeal, as Paul was gathering wood to place on the fire, a viper latched onto his hand.  Can you imagine the scene unfolding as the locals and the ship’s crew looked on in horror?  Paul, in full faith that his Heavenly Father was holding him, calmly shook the snake from his hand into the fire, and carried on as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.  The onlookers watched and waited for the toxic venom to take effect.  Expecting any moment for the man before them to drop dead, I can only imagine the awe and wonder that was developing, as no harm nor ill effect inflicted Paul.
                                                                                                                                                                                             What this particular account of Paul’s journey provides for me is the reminder that what God has promised, He will be faithful to fulfill.  Though storms and shipwrecks, snakes and strangers might happen between the promise and the fulfillment, God will always be true to His word.  He equips us with strength to survive the storms and the resilience to dance in the rain.  He reminds us of His redemption when our minds need renewing, and His grace grows our gumption to keep going.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are ALWAYS faithful to do as You say You will do.  Thank You that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from Your love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)  Forgive us for our faith that falters in the floods, and form in us a firm foundation of forever faith in You, that does not sway when the storms come.  Teach us to trust You to be our safe harbor, and our heavenly hope that holds fast in our hearts.  Heal the hurting and help our hope to be contagious.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present