Help and Hope Realized

I am praying to You because I know You will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. – (Psalm 17:6, NLT)

Every time I call to You, God, You answer me. So listen to me now, and hear what I say. – (Psalm 17:6, ERV)

I am crying aloud to You, O True God, for I long to know Your answer. Hear me, O God. Hear my plea. Hear my prayer for help. – (Psalm 17:6, VOICE)

 

David, in the midst of his struggles with Saul, cried out to God, asking to be heard as he remembered and trusted in His faithfulness. Though I am not in a season of struggle, and am standing in the dawn of a new day that marks the beginning of a brand-new school year, I cannot help but have a heavy heart for so many that surround us with fires blazing throughout my state and those that surround us, as well as the devastation that has befallen those in the path of Hurricane Harvey and those threatened by the impending landfall of Irma. May we pray as David did, and call on the Lord for help, trusting that He hears our cries and will show us what we are meant to do.

 

O Lord, we cry out, Fire Map

Trusting that You hear;

We know You’ll answer,

Your love for us, clear.

Bend down and listen,

O God, hear our cries;

So many in need,

Bring help to these lives.

Show us what to do,

To see through Your eyes;

So help and Your hope,

Are soon realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can pray to You and be heard. Thank You that You bend down from heaven to hear our prayer and listen to our cries. Thank You that You are our help and our hope in all things and at all times. Forgive us for doing nothing when we are overwhelmed with the weight of the need that surrounds us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would step up and do one small thing at a time, as even the small things matter to the one who receives. Show us how to love well, all those around us in practical ways, so that they might see Your heart through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pray to You, trusting You to hear and answer us. Amen.

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

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

Comfort in Times of Trouble

Last evening I was beyond blessed to have some dear friends drive into Denver as a family photo (8)to spend time with me. They picked me up at my hotel, and whisked me away to tour an area that they thought I might enjoy in the city. My heart was overflowing with joy and gratitude to spend time together, as we shared a meal, caught each other up on the happenings of our lives, and wandered until we landed in an incredible book store. All was going splendidly, as I had found a book, Melissa and the trio of youngers were sharing a silly story and Josh and his eldest meandered through a section of interest nearby, until the calm, sweet mood was suddenly disrupted with a feeling of foreboding unrest.

We could hear it before we could see what was stirring. Soon, a long stream of unhappy people were marching past the bookstore’s front window, waving signs – some in peaceful protest, and others in a bit more menacing fashion. Two of the kids had very different responses. One was calling it a parade, whereas the other responded with a bit of fear. In my own heart, I felt that we needed to stay put until the crowd had passed, as the potential for unrest seemed high.

I had not heard the news this week, as I have been at a conference for work, so I have been in a bit of an isolated bubble. As we ultimately attempted to make way back to my hotel so that I could be dropped off and my friends could get home to get their kiddos to bed, we discovered that the march was growing, as a five-minute drive back, took more than twenty minutes, due to rerouting around those protesting.

Once back in my hotel, I was able to have conversation with my friends from work with whom I am traveling, and discover what has gone on over the past several days. It is impossible to not have a heavy heart, knowing that lives have been lost and fingers are pointing at entire professions and populations, rather than those specific individuals who snapped.

 

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT)

 

In this sort of scenario, all that I know to do is to seek the Lord. There are no easy answers. God knows. He cares. The One who hand-crafted each of us, the perpetrators, the victims, and all those left to grieve – He loves each of us as His created. God will comfort us as we seek Him, and when we know His comfort, we are able to extend the same to others. May we choose to seek His comfort in this seeming chaos, and offer the very same comfort to those around us.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

When darkness floods in,The Lord Listens

And fear starts to rise;

Let us not forget,

The hope God supplies.

He is our comfort,

When chaos ensues;

The great Prince of Peace,

When we get bad news.

Far greater is He,

Our Strength and our Light;

Than troubles that come,

No matter our plight.

Seek the Lord above,

For comfort indeed;

Then we can share well,

With others in need.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our comfort in the midst of trouble. Thank You that as You comfort us, we can then go and comfort others in the same way. Forgive us for our fear, frustration and thoughts of blame of anything other than the sinful brokenness of humanity. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your help, strength and comfort, so that we too, could extend comfort to those around us. Help us to be Your hands, heart and voice to those in need of comfort. Show us how to love well. May many come to find peace and comfort in You, despite the world around us. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Wielding Words Wisely

image from Teen Challenge

image from Teen Challenge

When life becomes heavy,

and our hearts are weighed down,

we are left with a choice;

swim to Him, or just drown.

Anxiety laden,

burdens we try to bear;

we must cast them to God,

allow Him access there.

A word to encourage,

sound advice from the wise;

invaluable lifelines,

to prevent our demise.

God uses our voices,

to drown out ugly lies;

to build up the body,

and to answer our cries.

From the fruit of our lips,

can come a great return;

when kindness and wisdom,

are what we seek to learn.

He delights in the truth,

our speaking of wise words;

for here healing happens;

His delight shall be heard.

(Responding to Proverbs 12:14,15,18,22,25)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we were never meant to bear burdens on our own.  Thank You that You are always at the ready, waiting for us to ask for Your assistance.  Forgive us for trying to power through, and help us to be quick to turn to You, trusting that You are more than enough to bear the burdens that weigh us down.  Please grant us wisdom and Your words to encourage and build up the body.  May we soundly speak truth in spaces where it is lacking, and may Your light illuminate the darkness that deems such spaces so dismal.  Thank You that You are so much more than enough!  May many come to know You and trust You to carry the cares that have kept them from You.  Amen.

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

Agony in the Garden

Soul full of sorrow,

image by Adam Bram

image by Adam Bram

He went off to pray.

Gethsemane’s gate –

He asked them to stay.

One simple request,

keep watch and stay here.

Heart full of anguish,

He knew time was near.

Jesus went farther

and fell to the ground,

poured out His heart cry;

His answers were found.

Back to disciples,

in weariness creep,

in shock and horror,

He found them asleep.

Could they not keep watch

for one hour’s time?

Resist temptation.

Let’s try it again.

Again Jesus went,

off to pray alone.

Heart heavy laden,

coming burden was known.

On His third return,

to the sleeping guys,

He told them, “Rise up!”

Open weary eyes.

For His time had come.

Betrayal before;

signaled with a kiss,

the path to death’s door.

(Responding to Mark 14:32-42)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You does not even begin to suffice for the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, for our sake.  Thank You, Jesus, for enduring all that we deserve, and giving us Your grace in punishment’s place.  Forgive us for taking our salvation for granted, and help us to live each day full of gratitude for the incredible gift we have been given because of what You began in the garden in Gethsemane.  May our lives bear witness to Your blessings, so that many may come to know You as their Savior too.  Amen.

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