Jesus is a Miracle-Worker

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!” – (Matthew 8:26-27, NIV)

Jesus answered, “Why are you afraid? You don’t have enough faith.” Then He stood up and gave a command to the wind and the water. The wind stopped, and the lake became very calm. The men were amazed. They said, “What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey Him!” – (Matthew 8:26-27, ERV)

Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then He stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea stand up and take notice at His command!” – (Matthew 8:26-27, MSG)

The disciples had spent much time with Jesus already, and they knew that He had the power to heal and do many great and miraculous things. However, when they were in the middle of the lake and a giant squall came upon them, what they knew to be true was somehow lost in the sound of the wind and waves. What they did know was to wake Jesus and ask Him what to do. Jesus, who had been resting after many hours of teaching crowds, woke to their fright and showed them again that He was indeed a miracle-worker, as He told the wind and waves to be still. Though they had seen and experienced His power in action, they were awestruck that even the elements had to obey Him. God knows our needs and can work miracles in all things, great and small. The same God who made the heavens and the earth, knows our names, our needs, and the hopes we hold in our hearts. Each time we see or experience God at work, we are experiencing miracles. I have seen His power heal sickness and disease and provide in ways that cannot be explained. He is always moving on our behalf. When we slow down and truly look around us, we become more and more aware of the miracle-worker that Jesus is. Tomorrow, my twins turn twenty-one. Despite being tiny preemies that spent the first five weeks of their lives in the hospital, they are alive and thriving into adulthood. They are bright, kind, healthy and whole, and are my constant reminders of the goodness and the miracle-working power of the living God. May we ever pause and take notice of God moving among us throughout our days and praise Jesus for being the miracle-worker in our lives.

Everything good,

That happens in life;

Blessings from Jesus,

All by His design.

He helps and He heals,

In love, He provides;

He shows us the way,

As we choose abide.

We pray for wisdom,

Please open our eyes;

To see You moving,

In our hearts and lives.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to show us more of who You are and how You love and care for us all. Thank You Jesus, that You are still a miracle-worker. Thank You that we have the privilege of witnessing You moving among us in all things, great and small. Forgive us for our lack of awareness in the everyday miracles that transpire all around us. Teach us to have eyes to see and hearts to treasure all of the ways that You work in and through our lives. Show us how to have faith to prayerfully contend for those all around us. Lead us in Your loving kindness so that all whom we encounter would experience the miracle of Your goodness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we count the abundant blessings and miracles in our lives and all around us. Amen.

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

Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. – Jeremiah 32:17

To Love All

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. – (Matthew 5:44-45, NIV)

But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven. He lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. – (Matthew 5:44-45, ERV)

But I tell you this: love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you – in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven. He, after all, loves each of us – good and evil, kind and cruel. He causes the sun to rise and shine on evil and good alike. He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner. – (Matthew 5:44-45, VOICE)

Though few of us have experienced persecution like the early church, we all have experienced unkindness, irritation, and attitudes that we do not appreciate. As a middle school teacher, I am reminded daily of the need to pray for my students. The unkindness they display to others is usually a response to unkindness that they have received. At that age, one typically gives what they get. If I can show kindness, goodness and grace, perhaps a seed of the same will be planted in them. It requires God’s grace to extend the same to those who are all over the place when they are meant to be engaged. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in His love, and depend on Him to show us how to love all those whom we encounter in the same way that He loves us all.

Show us, Lord Jesus,

How to choose love all;

Extend Your goodness,

Let love be installed.

Grant us Your patience,

And Your kindness too;

Despite what we get,

Let us reflect You.

Please grant us the grace,

To love as You do;

Be gracious and kind,

So good is shown true.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love as You love. Thank You that there are no exceptions to whom we should give kindness and grace. Thank You that You love us all, no matter who we are, where we have been, or what we have done. Forgive us for our lack of patience and grace. Grant us wisdom as to how we are meant to love those around us. Lead us in Your love so that all feel valued and known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your goodness and grace for us all and seek You to love likewise. Amen.

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

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. – John 13:34

Love and Comfort

May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant. – (Psalm 119:76, NIV)

Now comfort me with Your faithful love, as You promised. – (Psalm 119:76, ERV)

Now let Your unfailing love be my comfort, in keeping with Your promise to Your servant. – (Psalm 119:76, VOICE)

Yesterday, God was so faithful to be near me as I had my first surgical procedure done. What could have been many steps, layers, and hours, was instead completed in one deep cut and an hour and a half. His peace was with me, even in discomfort, and last night, I slept well. As I am up this morning before surgery number two, I am amazed that I have no pain at all; granted, I am merely sitting and unable to have my usual coffee, but in the just sitting with Thor beside me, I am good. I am grateful that today’s process involves sedation, as I should not remember nor feel anything. My hope and prayers are that the healing process is quick and tolerable, as we will be traveling in a few days to spend a bit of time with my mom, sister, and family. I am holding to the promise that God will continue to be my comfort and grant me strength and peace to be able to enjoy the time together. His promises are true, and His faithfulness knows no end, so I am holding closely all that He says in my heart and mind. May we ever seek the Lord to be our comfort, for His unfailing love remains present with us.

O God, You are good,

No matter what comes;

Your promises true,

The Most Holy One.

You are our comfort,

Our true place of peace;

Most generously,

Your love is released.

You are the goodness,

Throughout all our days;

The hope we can hold,

Both now and always.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your unfailing love is our comfort and peace. Thank You that You are faithful to go before us, remain with us, and make Your nearness known. Forgive us for allowing our fears to find a foothold rather than trust You completely. Teach us to cling to You, our anchor, through all that comes our way. Show us how to love those around us like You do, so that we may share the same comfort and love that we are given. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to Your promises and receive Your overwhelming love. Amen.

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

I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. – Psalm 31:7

Where Peace Can Be Found

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. – (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

God, You give true peace to people who depend on You, to those who trust in You. – (Isaiah 26:3, ERV)

You will keep the peace, a perfect peace, for all who trust in You, for those who dedicate their hearts and minds to You. – (Isaiah 26:3, VOICE)

This morning, Thor, our Lab, woke me up at 2:00 am. I brought him upstairs to take him to go outside, but when I took him back downstairs, he would not stop whining until I gave up and brought him back upstairs at 3:00 am to be up. After he was fed, he climbed on my lap and has shown no sign of any desire to do anything else. Where am I going with this? For Thor, his place of peace was found on my lap with a full belly; for us, we can find the ultimate perfect peace when we trust in Jesus and depend on Him. God settles our hearts and minds in His presence, and provides the peace that comes from Him alone. Knowing He holds us in the hollow of His hands is much like the completely content countenance that Thor displays in that space of simply resting in the security of loving arms (or a blanket-covered lap). God has us, and He will provide the places of peace where we need it, and will show us again and again the goodness of His love and the peace that He supplies. He is not inconvenienced by our need, nor does He refuse us time in His presence. The more we seek Him, the more aware we become of His presence and the perfect peace that He alone provides. May we ever dedicate our hearts and minds to You, and recognize with thanksgiving, the goodness of Your presence, peace and love.

A warm and safe space,

To rest and sink in;

Where peace can be found,

No matter what’s been.

The hand that holds us,

When chaos ensues;

The calm that comes close,

No matter our view.

Each time we choose trust,

God makes His heart known;

Wraps us in His peace,

As goodness is shown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You provide Your perfect peace when we place our trust in You. Your peace is not dependent on our circumstances, but rather it is present despite what surrounds us as we trust You to be near. Forgive us for taking our eyes off of You when storms come our way. Teach us to seek You to be our anchor through each storm and our warm, peaceful space of safety no matter what comes. Show us how to trust You more. Lead us in Your love to present Your peace and goodness to those around us in all things and at all times. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we place our trust in You and rest in Your perfect peace. Amen.

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

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27

Perfect Peace

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. – (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

God, You give true peace to people who depend on You, to those who trust in You. – (Isaiah 26:3, ERV)

You will keep the peace, a perfect peace, for all who trust in You, for those who dedicate their hearts and minds to You. – (Isaiah 26:3, VOICE)

The more we trust God, the more we become aware of His perfect peace. God’s peace brings calm to our hearts, despite the chaos around us, and a steadiness in knowing that He is in control. No matter what we face, we can trust that God is with us, and His presence is what brings us a peace that goes beyond our understanding, and settles our hearts, despite what we see. May we ever seek the Lord and keep our minds steadfast on the truth of His word and who He is, so that we know God’s perfect peace in all things and at all times.

Peace comes in knowing,

Who is in control;

Our King and Savior,

The One we extol.

The Lord grants us strength,

When ours is but gone;

And floods us with peace,

To keep keeping on.

Even in the dark,

The Lord is our light;

Hope never ending,

Our peace through the night.

So, trust in the Lord,

Turn to Him for peace;

His love unending,

Goodness is complete.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we trust in You, You fill our hearts and minds with Your perfect peace. Thank You that You peace is not dependent on our circumstances, but it is provided in places and times that peace seems impossible. Forgive us for our lack of trust that seems to make peace elusive. Thank You that You patiently wait for us to turn to You, then You lovingly welcome us into Your protective embrace that provides peace that surpasses all understanding. Teach us to always turn to You, no matter what lies before us. Show us Your goodness and grace that overwhelms our hearts with Your perfect peace. Lead us to love those around us in ways that extend Your perfect peace to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we set our minds and hearts on You, and give You room to move as You flood us with Your perfect peace. Amen.

©

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

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

A Work In Progress

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. – (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV)

Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. – (2 Peter 1:5-7, ERV)

To achieve this, you will need to add virtue to your faith, and then knowledge to your virtue; to knowledge, add discipline; to discipline, add endurance; to endurance, add godliness; to godliness, add affection for others as sisters and brothers; and to affection, at last, add love. – (2 Peter 1:5-7, VOICE)

We are all a work in progress. Each of these strengths to which we are called to grow, are not things that we can just decide we want to possess, and then all of a sudden, they are present, but rather it is an ongoing pursuit to grow in each. It requires intentional seeking of the Lord, and navigating the path we are on in His way. Goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, devotion, kindness and love are all things that grow in us as we follow after God and choose to do His will. These things grow over time. Often, the most growth transpires in the most tumultuous or frustrating times. For example, patience tends to grow most when we find ourselves in a season of waiting. We have to practice patience to become patient. I don’t know about you, but I know that my patience is circumstantial in strength. Though I am quite patient with students in my classroom, I often discover my patience is lacking when I am stuck behind a slow driver or a slow shopper. I have to take deep breaths and remind myself that people go at the pace that they are comfortable and feel safe. It is, however, trying when it is well under the speed limit or it bottlenecks the isle. Thankfully, we have new opportunities to grow in each of these things every single day. It is up to us to lean on the Lord to lead us, or to simply react to life around us. May we ever seek the Lord to grow us to be more like Him, and may His goodness, kindness, knowledge, self-control, patience and devotion be made evident through our love.

Lord, in Your kindness,

Grow us in Your love;

May our lives reflect,

Your heart from above.

With wisdom and grace,

Teach us self-control;

Add to our knowledge,

As love is our goal.

Grace us with patience,

Throughout each new day;

So love is poured out,

As we walk Your way.

Grow our devotion,

To You and others;

So care is made clear,

To sisters, brothers.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to never stop growing and becoming the person who You have created us to be. Thank You that as we seek You and spend time with You, You transform us to more clearly reflect Your heart to the world. Forgive us for the times that we have been impatient, unkind, or lacked self-control. Teach us to do and be better each time that we fall short. Lead us in Your overwhelming love, so that each of these attributes become evident in us. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your heart known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to grow us more and more like You. Amen.

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

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

Bloom Under Pressure

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – (James 1:2-3, NIV)

My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you reason to be very happy. You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering. – (James 1:2-3, ERV)

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. – (James 1:2-3, VOICE)

I most appreciate the Voice translation of this particular passage, as it is far easier to relate to finding joy in the midst of our trials, rather than considering them joy. The older I get, the more I both witness and experience this truth. Between the progression of aging in both us and our parents, the frequency of trials and health challenges in our lives and those of dear family and friends around us seem to be on the rise. What I continue to witness is faith rising up, and joy found in the midst of unpleasant circumstances as patience and endurance are provided. God is faithful to meet us every step we take, be it through the deepest valleys or on the highest peaks. One of the greatest things that I am continuing to learn is that God provides people that lighten our loads – be it physically, emotionally, or financially in the center of our storms. Throughout the early days and weeks following my mom’s stroke, people sent notes, called, encouraged and lifted up, which strengthened us and brought joy in the midst of the fearful unknown. On Thursday, I was supposed to have a consultation with a surgeon about a procedure to remove cancerous cells from my upper lip. The appointment turned into a bigger biopsy than I had previously had, and resulted in a couple of stitches, with further surgery still looming ahead. Incredibly, I feel total peace about the ultimate outcome of all this. My trepidation lies in the process. Even with the unanticipated procedure, God provided a kind staff that blended humor and compassion perfectly for me. Despite the unpleasantness of the process, their demeanor set my heart at ease and I left the appointment with much gratitude for those charged with my care. Additionally, I had a conversation with a colleague and friend whose father had undergone something similar to what is in store for me, and she was able to share great encouragement as he had minimal scarring and complete success. God is good and He uses our circumstances to grow and encourage us as He strengthens us with His overwhelming love. May you be encouraged by His goodness and kindness, even in the midst of challenges, today and always.

In heartache and joy,

Challenges and peace;

The Lord is near us,

And strength He’ll increase.

Through each new trial,

Faith He will increase;

As we choose to trust,

His power’s released.

In the dark spaces,

Keep seeking His light;

Endurance will bloom,

To joy and delight.

Delight in moments,

Where His love is clear;

Trust in the process,

God is always near.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You use our trials and challenges to grow us in strength and endurance. Thank You that You provide joy, even in the most difficult circumstances. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations in the midst of the unexpected trials that we face. Teach us how to lean into You for strength and endurance as we navigate whatever comes our way. Show us how to encourage and support those around us well, so that they may see tangible evidence of Your goodness and love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on You to be our strength in the struggles, and praise You for Your provision of joy despite our circumstances. 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

Gratitude for His Good

For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. – (1 Timothy 4:4, HCSB)

Everything that God made is good. Nothing He made should be refused if it is accepted with thanks to Him. – (1 Timothy 4:4, ERV)

For everything God made is good. That means nothing should be rejected as long as it’s received with a grateful heart. – (1 Timothy 4:4, VOICE)

This passage is in the context of certain foods, but in reality, can be applied to many things. The bottom line is a heart issue. We ought to receive all things from God with gratitude. If we cannot, then we should steer clear of whatever it is. May we ever give God our thanks and praise for the good gifts He gives.

All that’s created,

By the Lord above;

Was made with purpose,

And given in love.

May our hearts be full,

Of all thanks and praise;

As we see God’s good,

Throughout all our days.

With sweet thanksgiving,

Let our hearts receive;

God’s loving kindness,

To all who believe.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that every good and perfect gift comes from You. Thank You that all things that You have made are good. Forgive us for the times that we have rejected the goodness of Your creation. Teach us to appreciate all that Your hands have made, and to receive Your goodness with gratitude and grace. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make the goodness of all You have made evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all thanks and praise for the goodness of all that You have created and given unto us. 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

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

Seek Now

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. – (Isaiah 55:6, HCSB)

So you should look for the Lord before it is too late. You should call to Him now, while He is near. – (Isaiah 55:6, ERV)

Seek God while He’s here to be found, pray to Him while He’s close at hand. – (Isaiah 55:6, MSG)

So turn your attention and seek the Eternal One while it is still possible; call on Him while He is nearby. – (Isaiah 55:6, VOICE)

The thing about this is that God is eternal and we are not. We all have an expiration date that we cannot predict. Our time to seek the Lord is now, and we can call on Him, for He is near. As we pray, we discover His nearness. This is not about being or doing enough, but rather taking the opportunity to get to know the Creator of all, personally. He knows us far better than we know ourselves and has a plan and a purpose for our lives. That being said, God is not pushy or demanding, and He did not create us to be robots. We were each individually designed with gifts and talents and a free will. It is up to us to seek Him to get to know Him. The more we know Him, the more we want to know Him. God’s grace, goodness, kindness and love go far beyond what we can comprehend. When our attention is directed to Him and our focus on being still before Him, we grow in our understanding and our heart grows in our own capacity to love as He loves us. May we ever turn our attention to God and seek Him, for He is faithful to meet us each time we do.

As we seek the Lord,

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He’s near to be found;

Our time has limits,

Hope in Him is sound.

God is eternal,

On earth, we are not;

Our hope forever,

Granted as He’s sought.

So, turn to Jesus,

Lord God on His throne;

He’s waiting for us,

To make His heart known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You meet us and reveal more and more of Yourself to us. Thank You that we have access to You at all times and in all places. Forgive us for taking Your nearness for granted, or for assuming we will always have more time later to do what ought to be done now. Teach us to seek You with intention; to purposefully sit in Your presence and listen to Your leading. Show us how to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and spend time in Your presence now, for we know not what tomorrow may hold. Amen.

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

Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4