Unfailing Love

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. – (Psalm 33:22, NIV)

Lord, we worship you, so show your great love for us. – (Psalm 33:22, ERV)

O Eternal, drench us with Your endless love, even now as we wait for You. – (Psalm 33:22, VOICE)

This weekend has been an opportunity to feel this well. My hope and my praise are in God, as He has blessed me with tangible evidence of His endless and unfailing love. Nearly fifty years of friendship and family, our sister retreat has been an incredible blessing of laughter and love. To know and be known is one of the ways that God gives us glimpses of Him through those around us. Connection in the comfort of a slowed pace with no agenda have provided a retreat and refreshment that each of us needed most. Sharing meals together with easy-flowing conversation, with comfort in silence and in chatter, my heart is full as we prepare to part ways a little later this morning. God’s goodness and love have been tangibly evident, from the sweet little space that we have stayed in, nestled neatly in the woods with the sounds of a creek flowing nearby, the rain rhythmically falling on the roof, and through the opportunity to gather and share life together with lifelong loved ones. May we ever worship the Lord, who is our hope, for all blessings flow from His heart of love.

O Lord, unto You,

May our praises flow;

As You are with us,

Wherever we go.

Your presence made known,

Through tangible love;

Each blessing poured out,

From You, up above.

Ever we thank You,

For love that You give;

Hope through each heartache,

Joy and strength we live.

For times to gather,

And truly feel known;

The blessings outpoured,

As Your love is shown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so good. Thank You that as we hope in You, You show us Your overwhelming and unending love. Thank You for the blessing of loved ones near and far, as You place people in our lives with purpose. Thank You for the gift of family and lifelong friendships, for each are evidence of Your goodness and love. Forgive us for neglecting the relationships that You have established. Help us to prioritize time with You and time together. Show us how to love one another well, in the same way that You love us all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as Your heart is made evident through goodness, hope and love. Amen.

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

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8

Jesus is Our Refuge in Suffering

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. – (Psalm 62:1-2, NIV)

I must calm down and turn to God; only He can rescue me. He is my Rock, the only one who can save me. He is my high place of safety, where no army can defeat me. – (Psalm 62:1-2, ERV)

God, the One and only – I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I need comes from Him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I’m set for life. – (Psalm 62:1-2, MSG)

Though I have not been suffering, I have been navigating uncharted territory through this whole skin cancer ordeal. From biopsy of the unknown to a bigger biopsy to determine nature of what had become known, to the confirmation that my new normal will include a medical team to watch diligently, to make certain that what was surgically removed, will not return. In the coming weeks, I have two appointments with two different oncologists, and an appointment with a dermatologist. Again, I am not in a space of suffering, but I am in a space of uncertainty of the unknown. God has been faithful to be ever near as I have walked through two biopsies and two surgeries that followed. I can trust Him to be faithful to remain near as we navigate all that lies ahead. Thankfully, His peace has been present and He is helping keep fear at bay. Yes, the not knowing makes me uneasy, but the certainty in knowing that He will be with me grants the courage to keep pressing forward without allowing the unknowns to monopolize my thoughts. Also, He has provided financially, as being double-covered with medical insurance has kept the bills that have come to a minimum. The Message says it well, as it states, “He’s the solid rock under my feet, and breathing room for my soul…” May we ever seek the Lord in our uncertainty, suffering or sorrows, for He is our refuge and the One on whom we can depend.

Present through trials,

God is ever near;

Foundation to stand,

As He calms each fear.

Forever our hope,

Our place of refuge;

Comfort Provider,

Love that each day’s new.

Help us rise up, Lord,

Our strength comes from You;

All thanks and our praise,

Are unto You, due.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and our hope, and that You are our refuge in suffering. Thank You that You promise to be present through every trial as we call on You to be near. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for in all things, the ultimate outcome is forever with You. Teach us to have an eternal perspective and to trust in You to be our strength and peace. Lead us to love those around us in ways that promote peace, pray for healing and wholeness, and bring hope to spaces that hope is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our comfort and praise You for Your unending faithfulness that we know is true. Amen.

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

But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. – Psalm 59:16

Made Alive in Jesus

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. – (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV)

But God is rich in mercy, and He loved us very much. We were spiritually dead because of all we had done against Him. But He gave us new life together with Christ. (You have been saved by God’s grace.) – (Ephesians 2:4-5, ERV)

But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life – even though we were buried under mountains of sin – and saved us by His grace. – (Ephesians 2:4-5, VOICE)

When we give our lives to God, He makes us alive in Him. It is only by His mercy and grace that we have been rescued from the ultimate sentence for our sins. Jesus made the way for us to have new life with Him, as He took our penalty upon Himself so that we might receive what He freely gives. As we do, we experience the amazing grace and goodness of God, and are provided opportunities to show the same to those around us. May we continually give thanks to Jesus, as He has made us alive in Him now, and provides the hope we hold for eternity.

Alive in Jesus,

Is what we receive;

Goodness and mercy,

For all who believe.

Our every sin,

In Him, washed away;

Hope for forever,

And each brand new day.

No more in darkness,

For He is the light;

That leads and guides us,

Through both day and night.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

For Your gracious love;

That cleanses our sin,

And calls us beloved.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son and made the way for us to be alive in Jesus. Thank You that it is only by Your grace that we have been saved. Thank You that You pour out Your mercy, grace, goodness, and love upon us so that we may do likewise for those around us. Forgive us for the times that we have not shared with others that which we have been given in excess. Teach us to embrace the mercy and grace that You have given abundantly, so that we might walk in the same with those around us. Show us how to love those around us as You do, so that they too would come to know Your mercy and love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise Your for being made alive in Jesus and look to You to lead us in Your mercy and grace with those around us. Amen.

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

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus Is The Creator

Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. – (Hebrews 1:1-2, HCSB)

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. – (Hebrews 1:1-2, NKJV)

In the past God spoke to our people through the prophets. He spoke to them many times and in many different ways. And now in these last days, God has spoken to us again through His Son. He made the whole world through His Son. And He has chosen His Son to have all things. – (Hebrews 1:1-2, ERV)

God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, communicates with His creation. Before Jesus, God spoke to His people through prophets, angels, and more. When Jesus came to us, He lived among us and taught the truth using His own voice. Incredibly, even after His death, resurrection, and ascension, He still communicates with us by His Spirit. Because He is heir of all things, Jesus cares for and covers all of creation. He was there in the beginning, walked among us, and is seated on His throne in heaven. Part of His care comes through the gift of community. We are His image bearers and were created to shine His light to all those around us. Our charge is to love one another as He loves us. If we view every person we meet as His created, we begin to see His image in those around us, which inspires us to love more deeply and completely. May we ever seek the Lord, Creator of all, to show us His fingerprints on those around us and to lead us to be bearers of His perfect love as we shine His light through how we live.

Jesus, Creator,

The great heir of all;

Lead us and guide us,

Our Maker of all.

Show us Your glory,

Through all You have made;

Lead us in Your love,

Throughout all our days.

Help us to see You,

In everyone;

Show us how to love,

Like You, Holy One.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You spoke to our ancestors long ago, You spoke to those before us through Jesus, and You still speak to us today, by Your Holy Spirit. Thank You Jesus, that You are both heir and Creator. Forgive us for the times that we have not sought to see You in others. Grant us Your eyes to see those around us, so that we too, might see the glory of Your goodness in all. Lead us to love and shine Your light before all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to live as Your image bearers, and look to You to show us the beauty in all whom You have made. Amen.

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

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

Courage Through Unknowns

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

“Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – (Joshua 1:9, ERV)

“Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” – (Joshua 1:9, MSG)

Today is the day that I need to keep this verse in the forefront of my mind, as I walk into the unknown. I know that there are many who have gone before me who have endured the same procedure that I will and have come through well with great success. I am still nervous, as having only local anesthesia for a many-hour procedure is not very comforting when I am one who is a struggle to keep numb. Additionally, not having any idea as to how extensive a procedure is going to be is a fear-producing space as well. This is where I must trust in the professionals to do their job well, and even more so, trust that God has gone before me, will be with me, and will carry me through the unknowns. Right now, I will choose to trust through the unknowns, and praise Him for His faithfulness to me thus far. I am so grateful that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same God who has been faithful to me throughout all my days so far, is the same One who will be with me as I go and will remain present through the stages of recovery and healing. He knows not only the number of hairs on my head, but He knows the exact location of the carcinoma cells on my face and is the One who will guide the surgeon’s hands.  Tomorrow morning will be part two, as a plastic surgeon will close the wound in a way to maintain function in my upper lip and to minimize the scarring from the procedure. Initially, I was stressed about having the two parts on different days, but ultimately, it might be better as there will be a pause to rest in between. God knew during the scheduling what would be best for me, and He holds me in the hollow of His hands. May we ever seek the Lord to be our strength and courage, for He is faithful to be present each time we ask.

O Lord, be my strength,

Today as I go;

In uncertainty,

You already know.

Provider of peace,

You have gone before;

Made way through unknowns,

Courage, You outpour.

Settle the spaces,

In me that still fear;

This space of unknown,

As You remain near.

Take my hand, Jesus,

Today as I go;

Grant courage and strength,

As Your love’s made known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our courage and strength and the One who tells us to not be afraid nor discouraged. Thank You that You tell us these things because You have gone before us and promise to remain with us. Forgive us for our fears in spaces of unknown. Teach us to trust You more and to place all of our worries in Your strong and capable hands. Show us how to shine Your light wherever we go and in all that we do. Lead us to love big, even when we are facing things that cause fear. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to strengthen us and supply us with courage that comes from knowing that You are in control. Amen.

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

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

The Throne of Grace

This is a post from a few years ago, yet is so timely right now…

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, NIV)

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)

So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most. – (Hebrews 4:16, VOICE)

 

This is a timely reminder this morning, as I find myself on the brink of burnout. It is easy to remember to approach God on His throne of grace to petition on behalf of those around me, but I don’t think that I go before God often enough for the mercy and grace that I truly need. Don’t get me wrong, I pray for strength to get through the day and patience to persevere; but really boldly stepping into His throne room to rest and refresh and meet my own deepest needs – seldom, to rarely, at best. Perhaps it is a matter of looking for ways to keep a Sabbath. Rest is not my forte, and to do so would require serious intentionality. To find grace and mercy and help when we need it most, looks different for each person. For me, I feel closest to our Creator when I am outside in the beauty that He has made. When my body is moving, my mind and heart are able to find rest. For others, rest is a matter of being still. What does appear to be clear is that I need to make time to be intentionally in a space where my heart and mind are fixed on God, just being present (without studying, writing, or any sort of specific doing), so that His mercy, grace and help may be made tangibly known. May we each be intentional to step boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may find mercy and grace and help when we need it most.

 

Go to the throne room, Made With Purpose

Seek God and His grace;

Rest in His presence,

Receive His embrace.

For as we choose rest,

Let our minds be still;

God’s goodness and help,

Floods as mercy fills.

Choose set aside time,

By grace, enter in;

Be refreshed in love,

It’s where peace begins.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us with an everlasting love. Thank You that You made the way through Your Son, so that we can come before Your throne and be in Your presence, and You grant us mercy and grace and the help we are needing. Thank You that You are greater than every challenge we face, and that You provide Your help and presence, with mercy and grace. Forgive us for not being intentional to seek time just being present with You. Teach us how to rest in You. Show us what it means to find rest and refreshment in Your throne room. Lead us to love those around us in a way that encourages, strengthens and refreshes where weariness is setting in. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You and are forever grateful that we can come into Your presence and receive mercy and grace and help. Amen.

 

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

 

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. – Psalm 62:5

Clean and New

God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – (Psalm 51:10, HCSB)

God, create a pure heart in me, and make my spirit strong again. – (Psalm 51:10, ERV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new. – (Psalm 51:10, VOICE)

As I gaze upon the freshly fallen snow, and the world looks clean and new, I am reminded that God does this for us each time we ask. He wipes away all of our guilt and shame, and provides a new start as we seek Him. Each time I fall short and am given a fresh start, I am compelled to do and be better. God is faithful to meet us each time we seek Him, and His heart is to ever give us a fresh start. May we ever seek the Lord to cleanse us and strengthen us so that we may clearly reflect His goodness and His love.

O God, cleanse my heart,

May it be made pure;

Strengthen my spirit,

As You remain near. 

Lead me in Your love,

May Your heart move mine;

To love others well,

And always be kind.

With each brand new day,

May I rest assured;

That You are with me,

In You I’m secure.

Ever Your faithful,

So we should be too;

Deepen my love, Lord,

So I love like You.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You cleanse us and make us new, and You strengthen us for all that we are called to do. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for You are faithful forever. Teach us how to trust You more, so that from the moment we rise to the close of our day, we operate in the lavish goodness of Your unending love. Show us how to love those around us well, and to forgive as we have been forgiven by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they come to know who You are and how You love. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to cleanse us and strengthen us by Your love so that we may love likewise. Amen.

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

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11

Let Thanks Be Present

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for all humanity. – (Psalm 107:8, HCSB)

Thank the Lord for His faithful love and for the amazing things He does for people. – (Psalm 107:8, ERV)

May they erupt with praise and give thanks to the Eternal in honor of His loyal love and all the wonders He has performed for humankind! – (Psalm 107:8, VOICE)

The Thanksgiving break was far different than what I am accustomed to, yet it was very good and had an excellent balance of rest and of time with loved ones nearby. God knows what we need and is faithful to provide as we seek Him. Because of my coaching responsibilities, I needed to stay home this past weekend. Though that meant that we did not get time together with my mom or my sister and family, we did have time with our four all in the house at once, and opportunity to spend time with our besties to celebrate a retirement, be present and involved at church, and there was time to get together with a lifelong friend who is really a sister to both my sister and me. There are some intimidating unknowns in the coming weeks, yet the same God who cared for me with such kindness over the weekend, will be faithful to continue through all that lies ahead. In fact, even as I go to get stitches out this morning, my best friend is coming along to help me ask all of the questions about the pending procedure that will be required. God grants us comfort and peace, hope and help, and He is worthy of all of our thanks and praise. May we ever praise Him and continue into the season with grateful hearts. Though we know not all that lies ahead, we know Who will remain beside us through all things, and the One who makes His love tangible.

Let thanks be present,

In all that we do;

For God is faithful,

He will see us through.

Our help and our hope,

His love knows no end;

All grace and mercy,

On Him we depend.

Our hope forever,

May our praises rise;

To God, our Father,

Where all goodness lies.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithful love and wonderful works, as Your love knows no end. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks and praise. Forgive us for the times that we are blind to Your blessings. Teach us to see things through Your eyes, for even in challenges, You provide blessings. Lead us to love those around us as You do, and help us to be Your love made tangible to all who need Your touch. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You our thanks and praise for Your unfailing love and the wonderful works that You do on our behalf. Amen.

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

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Light in the Dark

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. – (2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV)

God once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness!” And this is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts to let us know that His own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ. – (2 Corinthians 4:6, ERV)

The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “{Let light shine from the darkness,” is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Anointed One. – (2 Corinthians 4:6, VOICE)

The same God who brought light into being, illuminates the hearts of all who seek Him. As our hearts become flooded with His light, we can more clearly see who He is and how He loves. That same light that glows within, begins to shine outward to all those around us. May we ever seek the face of the Lord to lead us, so that His light shines wherever we go.

With only a word,

Light began to shine;

In darkness no more,

Through Him who’s divine.

God the Creator,

Sheds light on our souls;

Illuminates dark,

Restores to make whole.

As we let light in,

He frees us to shine;

Be beacons of love,

Reflecting Divine.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in the dark, You brought light into being. Thank You that as we seek You, You flood the dark corners of our hearts with Your loving light and transform us so that we too, can shine as reflections of Your goodness and love. Forgive us for the times that we have hidden in darkness or have withheld the light that was meant to shine. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might live in the light of Your love and shine brightly before all. Show us how to be beacons of Your light in the dark spaces around us. Lead us to love everyone as You first loved us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever seek to live in the light of Your love and extend the same to all those we encounter each new day. Amen.

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

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. – Genesis 1:3

Fill Us Again

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. – (Psalm 63:1, HCSB)

God, You are my God. I am searching so hard to find You. Body and soul, I thirst for You in this dry and weary land without water. – (Psalm 63:1, ERV)

O True God, You are my God, the One whom I trust. I seek You with every fiber of my being. In this dry and weary land with no water in sight, my soul is dry and longs for You. My body aches for You, for Your presence. – (Psalm 63:1, VOICE)

I so appreciate David’s heart throughout the Psalms. He was by no means a perfect person, but His heart after God was true. Though my daily devotions take me throughout the entire Bible, I cannot help but be drawn back in by the Psalms. What I have learned over the last many years of beginning each day with time with God and in His word, is that it is as necessary as the air I breathe. In the same way that I wake and am ready for coffee and food, so too, my soul is needing nourishment from God. Each time I seek the Lord, He is faithful to show me more of Himself. This verse is my heart, as I am tired and weary, and it at times, feels as if there is no relief in sight, yet He provides me with reminders of His presence, and brings the weekends as a time to rest and recharge. May we ever seek the Lord, in whom we can trust, for He is our nourishment and refreshment, even in the dry and weary places.

O God, I seek You,

My hope and all grace;

The One who strengthens,

Throughout all my days.

My heart ever seeks,

For in You I find;

Strength for my body,

And peace for my mind.

Faithful to meet me,

Each time that I seek;

You love me to life,

Give strength when I’m weak.

Ever I’ll praise You,

For in You alone;

I find all goodness,

As Your heart’s made known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our water in the desert and the presence our entire being longs for. Thank You that as we seek You, You meet us and fill us again. Forgive us for wandering in our weariness instead of seeking You. Teach us to trust You to be our strength and hope, even when it seems that there is no way to sustain in the environment we find ourselves in. Show us how to love those around us in ways that build up, encourage, and strengthen in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to meet us and fill us again, each time we come to You. Amen.

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

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. – Psalm 126:3