Ready for Rest

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – (Matthew 11:28, NIV)

Come to Me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. – (Matthew 11:28, ERV)

Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. – (Matthew 11:28, TPT)

 

Weariness is worn on the faces of myself and my colleagues, as we press in and power through this final week prior to spring break. Though there were a few snow days sprinkled in, the stretch between winter break and this well-timed rest in the spring, feels like a marathon. Between escalating behaviors, time commitments that extend the already busy hours of each day, and the plague of viruses that have made their way around, finally arriving at today, the last day prior to break, feels miraculous. God knows what we need. Next week is a provided opportunity to lay down burdens and be refreshed. I love The Passions Translation, as the imagery of God being our oasis is outstanding. An oasis in the desert of exhaustion is exactly where I am ready to go. May we all run to our Redeemer, who is ready to receive our burdens and exchange them for real rest and refreshment.

 

When heavy burdens, img_2019-03-03_09-00-141537211458818783495.jpg

Overwhelm our hearts;

We need seek the Lord,

In Whom rest shall start.

God is our sweet space,

Where true rest is found;

Strength when we’re weary,

And grace to slow down.

Slow in His presence,

Renewal shall come;

Our Great Provider,

Where true peace is from.

Rest for the body,

And peace for our minds;

The love of Jesus,

Is gracious and kind.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You invite us to bring You our heavy burdens. Thank You that as we give all to You, You grant us rest in Your love. Thank You that You are our oasis in the desert of weariness. Forgive us for allowing the weight of the world to remain on our shoulders when You did not design us to carry so much. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring our burdens before You, allowing You room to grant us reprieve and true rest. Show us how to lay all things down and find rest in You. Help us to love those around us in such a way, that they too, may know real rest in Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run to You for rest and lay our burdens before You. Amen.

 

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

 

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. – Deuteronomy 4:29

To Run Our Race Well

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)

We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race hat is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. – (Hebrews 12:1, ERV)

As for us, we have all these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. – (Hebrews 12:1, TPT)

 

Life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. In order to run well, a runner needs to be rid of all of the “extras” that would weigh them down. Just as a runner does not run a marathon with a backpack, nor with extra weight, we too need to rid ourselves of the burden of holding hurts and the sin that trips us up. The things that help most, both in running and in life, are those things we carry in our heart. Perseverance is possible when we know the end goal. In a marathon, though 26.2 miles may sound like forever, there is an end point. Likewise, in life, our time on this rock that spins around the sun, is not the end, but rather the time granted to learn and grow, share and know, the blessed hope that is held in our heavenly eternity. It is far easier to “run” with passion when one is well-trained. Ongoing training teaches our hearts to persevere. May we look to the examples of those who have gone before us and run life’s race well, so that we too, may be encouraged to rid ourselves of anything that hinders us from moving forward in Christ with passion and determination, so that we may run our own race well.

 

Release the burdens, img_2019-04-03_04-26-166398438284953483236.jpg

That weigh the heart down;

Past hurts, temptation,

The trip-ups we’ve found.

Look to examples,

Of those who’ve run well;

Trust the Lord’s leading,

In Him, we’ll excel.

Our race isn’t won,

At a turbo pace;

Instead, with purpose,

We run our own race.

For Christ shall strengthen,

All those who choose seek;

Grant perseverance,

When we’re feeling weak.

In hope, keep running,

Our God, He provides;

All that is needed,

To eternal prize.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that life is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. Thank You that You provide all that we need to run our own race well. Thank You that You provide our ultimate race plan, so that we may run well. Forgive us for holding that which weighs us down, or for allowing sin to entangle us. Teach us to walk away from that which trips us up, and to lay down the weight we are not meant to carry. Show us how to love and encourage those around us to run with perseverance, the race to which they have been called. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to show us what weight needs be let go, and how to avoid that which entangles so that we may run with perseverance all of our days. Amen.

 

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

 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint. – Isaiah 40:31

 

 

Infinite Faithfulness

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. – (Psalm 36:5, NIV)

God’s love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, His verdicts oceanic.  – (Psalm 36:5, MSG)

But You, O Lord, Your mercy-seat love is limitless, reaching higher than the highest heavens. Your great faithfulness is infinite, stretching over the whole earth. – (Psalm 36:5, TPT)

 

Yesterday was a remarkable reminder of the love and faithfulness of God. Though I truly enjoy student-led conferences, I went into yesterday’s marathon with a bit of uncertainty, as my schedule was from 6 am to 7 pm, and I had woken up feeling weary before I had even begun. As always, I prayed on my way into work. My first conference did not show up. I focused on catching up on some grading, and made the most of the time I had not anticipated. Throughout the day, I had wonderful check-ins with colleagues, students and their parents. By day’s end, all of the scheduled conferences had either been completed or rescheduled, and great conversations had transpired. The Lord was faithful to supply all that I needed and more to complete the day, not just getting through it, but actually enjoying my time, with strength, endurance and energy, as I was provided wonderful opportunities to speak not only with my students and their parents/guardians, but with my colleagues as well. Though I feel I bit weary again this morning, I am looking forward to the day with hopeful anticipation, as I know that He will be faithful to provide all that is needed to successfully navigate this day. May we ever turn in trust to the Lord, as He is forever faithful to be present and prepared to meet our needs as they arise.

 

The Lord is faithful, Healed Hands Reach Out

In all that we do;

His presence, promised,

And love proven true.

Though days may be long,

And energy short;

His grace is enough,

His strength shall support.

Support where we lack,

Filled with strength and grace;

Faithful forever,

As we seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever, and that You care about the little things in our lives. Thank You for Your blessings of peace, strength and endurance on our longest days. Forgive us for wanting to fold in our feelings of weariness. Teach us to continue to trust in Your unending faithfulness, as You are our Source and Supply that sustains. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers strength, hope and grace, to help each understand You are faithful always. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your faithfulness forever, and press on in Your strength. Amen.

 

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

 

But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  – Psalm 86:15

 

Look For in Faith

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

Depend on the Lord for strength. Always go to Him for help. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, ERV)

Search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek Him. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, NLT)

 

The stretch between Christmas break and Spring break always seem extraordinarily long. Despite the disruption to our schedule with a handful of snow days, this portion of the school year still feels like a marathon. Between the ridiculously full moon and the unseasonably warm weather, the energy and struggle to focus feel like an epidemic in the classroom. Student frustration is increasing, as the rigor and demand of the work is becoming more challenging than before. This is the space where I am ever aware of the limitations of my own strength, and recognize the need for the Lord’s. I appreciate the various translations of this verse, as they remind me that I need to look for and depend on the Lord for His strength, and ever seek His face. He provides what I am lacking, as I place my trust in Him. May we ever look to the Lord and depend on Him, as He is our source of strength as we seek Him.

 

Let’s look to the Lord, Bold Grace

And choose seek His face;

Depend on His strength,

Granted by His grace.

Ever keep searching,

In spaces of need;

Go to God for help,

Allow Him take lead.

God in His leading,

All strength He supplies;

To keep pressing on,

Our Source realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to meet us as we seek You. Thank You that You supply the strength we lack to press forward in all that we are called to do. Forgive us for not searching for You in the struggle. Teach us to turn to You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends Your help, compassion and strength where it is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and depend on You to be our strength; always. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. – Psalm 29:11

To Keep Moving On

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. – (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT)

 

If I am to move forward in that which God is calling and equipping me, I have to let go of the past and look ahead, otherwise I will be stuck in a space of limbo. When we are caught in the in-between of what has been and what is yet to be, there is this sense of stuck that we cannot escape. It is only when we make the choice to fix our eyes completely on Jesus, that we find we have the capacity to begin moving forward in the direction to which we are being called. Even if our movement is painfully slow, pressing in and remaining focused on Him who calls, results in bringing us closer towards where we are headed than where we were before. May we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and press on toward our heavenly prize to which we are being called. Let the Lord lead us in this race, and allow Him to map out the race plan.

 

All that once has been,Persevere to the Promise

is now done and gone;

we‘re called to step up,

and keep moving on.

With eyes fixed on Christ,

let us run this race;

not as a quick sprint,

but at His set pace.

Though there will be turns,

and trials each day;

may we keep running,

on His path, let’s stay.

For at the race end,

is the greatest prize;

eternal glory,

seen in Jesus’ eyes.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we can move beyond our past and look forward to what lies ahead. Thank You that You strengthen and equip us to press on to reach the end of our race and receive the heavenly prize for which You are calling us. Forgive us for forgetting that this life is not a sprint, but rather is a marathon. Help us to listen to Your race plan rather than our own. You know what is best, and You map out the very best route for us, individually. Help us to trust You more. Show us how to love others with the same relentless, limitless love that You give unto us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look forward to what lies ahead, and press on into all that You are calling us to do. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

The Race Marked Out for Us

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – (Hebrews 12:1)

 

Each and every one of us has our own race that we are called to run. Our race is not a sprint, but rather it is a lifelong marathon. We are called to run a race full of obstacles and challenges that we must take on with trust in Him, in order to keep moving according to the course He has set before us. The great cloud of witnesses that surround us, are those who have gone before us and successfully run their own race. They too had to keep running, regardless of weather, terrain, or how they felt. The things that hinder us, are those burdens that weigh us down and make moving unbearable. God wants us to travel light. His intent is not for us to run our race weighted with an extra-heavy load, but rather for one that is custom crafted and appropriate and proportionate for us. Additionally, as we run, there are many temptations that attempt to steer us off course. Our charge is to stay the course, and not allow such sin to entangle, as they easily trip us up and steal the security of our footing. May we rise up ready each day and keep running with perseverance, the race marked out before us, throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

 

This wearying road,Break Camp and Move Out

has been run before;

despite obstacles,

from mountain to shore.

The very same God,

from the days of old;

will walk alongside,

give strength to uphold.

Let not the burdens,

keep us from our race;

His hands are outstretched,

He died in our place.

Beware of the sin,

that attempts ensnare;

diverting our eyes,

from Him, over there.

Instead, let us keep,

our hearts ever near;

dependent on Christ,

let us persevere.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there are so many examples of those who have run their race with perseverance before us, and successfully finished fighting the good fight of faith. Thank You that You invite us to throw off everything that hinders us, warn us of those things that would attempt to entangle us, and strengthen us to persevere all the while. Forgive us for allowing our baggage to weigh us down, the things around us to divert our attention away from You, or our trust to simply sag, where it needs to rise up and run strong. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first in all things, and that we will be well-equipped to run our race with perseverance, daily. Lead us to love others consistently and generously, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run with perseverance the race marked out for 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

To Run With A Race Plan

For me, running has been a parallel to my Christian walk. Some runners jump out of the gate with enthusiasm and train hard for a short season. Some burn out before they even attain their goal of reaching race day, while others arrive on race day, run, then are over it. Then there are those of us who recognize the need for consistency over time. Accountability and a buddy help too. When discipline and decision enter in, and training is turned into a lifestyle, running becomes a part of who you are, rather than something you once did.

 

Our faith walk is the same way. Some eagerly join Bible studies or participate in activities, yet until there is a commitment to make Christ a priority, time with Him will go by the wayside. When a choice is made to create the intentional time to be with Him, to spend time in His word and in prayer, it becomes a part of who we are, and our day will no longer feel complete without it.

 

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – (1 Corinthians 9:25)

 

The race we are running is a marathon, not a quick sprint. This race requires purpose and discipline. If we are to gain the crown that lasts forever, we must seek and follow the Lord’s race plan, rather than our own. His plan requires hard work, self-discipline and stamina. However, each of these things He will provide as we are dependent on Him. May we seek the Lord daily and depend on Him as we each run the race He has called us to run.

 

Let’s not grow weary,To Run With A Race Plan

in this race we run;

it takes a lifetime,

before it is done.

Training is needed,

to finish our race;

time spent with the Lord,

as we seek His face.

We seek not the crown,

that soon fades away;

but rather the one,

for heaven’s display.

Don’t go it alone,

instead, invest well;

united bodies,

together impel.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us not to a sprint, but to a lifelong race. Thank You that You do not just say “GO” and expect us to figure it all out as we go, but rather You have given us all that we need to run well with endurance, the race You are calling us to run. Thank You for Your word, Your Spirit, and the body of believers that surround us. Forgive us for trying to run ahead of You, or for falling behind, for fear of what lies ahead. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will run our race – that which You have called us to – individually. Lead us to love others well, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as they recognize just how faithful You are in each of our lives. Be glorified O God, as we run our race with endurance, trusting You and Your race plan for our every step of the way. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28