Answer Gently

A gentle answer makes anger disappear, but a rough answer makes it grow. – (Proverbs 15:1, ERV)

A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. – (Proverbs 15:1, MSG)

A tender answer turns away rage, but a prickly reply spikes anger. – (Proverbs 15:1, VOICE)

This is a timely reminder as the end of the school year draws ever nearer, and exhaustion is at an all-time high. Patience wanes when weariness is prevalent, and it is important to remember what matters. I have both seen and experienced the truth of this proverb, as I have both calmed and been calmed when a gentle response has been given in a moment of anger. Similarly, I have been both the provider and the recipient of a rough answer, and such is never well-received. If we are truly choosing love, our response to people must align. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to respond gently in love, so that anger dissipates and kindness reigns.

Tender the answer,

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography

That turns away wrath;

Kindness defuses,

As good we enact.

Gentle responses,

Lead us to calm down;

Extending God’s love,

To those all around.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

To gently respond;

Take a breath, listen,

In love, correspond.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us Your faithfulness as we choose to respond gently to tempers inflamed. Thank You that the fruit of the Spirit are the things that keep relationships intact and communication open. Thank You that You call us to be gentle and kind, for each time we have received these things in a moment of anger or frustration, the fury melted away and calm came forth. Forgive us for the times that we return anger with anger. Teach us to slow down, take a deep breath, and listen to Your leading – for Your response in loving, patient and kind, and brings peace in the midst of frustration or fury. Show us how to love one another in all situations and circumstances so that we would answer each other gently and in love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to help us always answer gently and with love so that Your heart may be clearly seen. Amen.

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

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control… – Galatians 5:22-23a

Hope Provides Peace and Joy

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, HCSB)

I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in Him. Then you will have more and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, ERV)

I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, VOICE)

One of the best things about weddings and funerals is the opportunity to see and connect with those whom one has not seen in a long time. Yesterday, that held true for me as I attended a funeral. Though relatively brief interactions, I was blessed to see and greet a former teacher and colleague, a classmate and teammate, and a long-time friend with whom my path crosses regularly and randomly. There is something about being in the presence of those one has known that brings joy and peace. For those of us who hope in Christ, there is the comfort that we will see one another again; be it sooner, later, and ultimately into eternity. Goodbyes are merely “see you laters”. May God, the source of all hope, bless you with joy and peace as His love overflows in and through you.

The God of all hope,

Fills our hearts with peace;

For where there is hope,

Faith and love increase.

May we choose to trust,

And never let go;

God, our Provider,

From Whom all good flows.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

That You are our Source;

Peace, joy and comfort,

As we run our course.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Provider of every good and perfect gift. Thank You that You grant us hope, fill us with Your peace, and provide us with joy and goodness that overflows to those around us. Forgive us for the times that we attempt to navigate on our own. Teach us to trust in You in all things, for You are where hope and help come from. Show us how to love those around us in ways that pass on Your goodness and kindness and grow faith and hope in each heart. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to fill us with hope in You, and praise You for the peace and joy that follow. Amen.

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

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – Psalm 29:11

Needs to Navigate Each New Day

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, HCSB)

May the Lord make His people strong. May the Lord bless His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, ERV)

God makes His people strong. God gives His people peace. – (Psalm 29:11, MSG)

Strength and peace are exactly the things that are needed to navigate this day. It has been an incredibly long week, and what I thought were my weekend plans, may or may not be. Part of God’s strength comes through the wisdom He provides, and then the power to pursue the path that He presents. Our plans are not always His plans, but His purpose for us remains constant. When things are uncertain, I have to choose trust. As I do, He grants strength and provides peace to keep moving forward. Right now, I am so grateful for the strength that He supplied to sustain me throughout the week, and can trust that He will continue to be faithful today. May we ever seek the Lord and trust in Him, for He provides His strength and peace each new day.

God grants us the strength,

To keep pressing on;

His peace and presence,

Are what make us strong.

He strengthens our hearts,

And makes sound our minds;

As His perfect peace,

Comes and dwells inside.

So, choose seek the Lord,

And all of His grace;

He’s our Provider,

To stay in the race.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source of strength and peace. Thank You that Your goodness and grace are not dependent on our circumstances. You know and understand weariness and exhaustion, and You know best how to provide what we need. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations that come when we do not fully trust. Teach us to cling to You, for You supply all that we need to navigate each new day. Show us how to strengthen and encourage those around us, and make Your peace present through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength and peace, as You sustain and uplift us each new day. Amen.

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

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6

Seek First the Faithful One

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. – (Matthew 6:33, HCSB)

What you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what He wants you to do. Then He will give you all these other things you need. – (Matthew 6:33, ERV)

See first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too. – (Matthew 6:33, VOICE)

Despite how things appear, God is faithful to supply what we need to get through each new day as we seek Him. For months, it feels as if I have been going nonstop. There were small breaks on the weekends, but never a whole day to slow down and rest. Today, I will have an unexpected day off from work, as one of my kiddos needs me to drive him to an appointment out of town, and there is a terrific substitute available to cover. I anticipate the provision of a day today will be more than enough to carry me through tomorrow, as it will be the last day before spring break. Each morning I begin my day seeking God, and lifting up the cares and worries of the day ahead. His faithfulness never fails me and His mercies are new every morning. May we ever seek the Lord in His goodness and grace, for He is faithful to provide all that we need.

The Lord is so good,

Ever He is kind;

Faithful to provide,

He has us in mind.

God knows what we need,

And as we choose seek;

He hears and helps us,

Grants strength when we’re weak.

For in our pursuit,

Following the Lord;

He’s our provider,

All grace He affords.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful as we seek You. Thank You that You see and hear and know what we need, and in love, You supply all in just the right time. Forgive us for struggling to trust Your timing, for You always have a purpose and a plan, despite what we see. Teach us to trust Your goodness and faithfulness in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may tangible see Your provision and faithful love for them too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and trust in Your faithfulness forever. Amen.

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

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

Strong Roots Sustain

The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends roots out toward a stream, it does not fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit. – (Jeremiah 17:7-8, HCSB)

But those who trust in the Lord will be blessed. They will know that the Lord will do what He says. They will be strong like trees planted near a stream that send out roots to the water. They will have nothing to fear when the days get hot. Their leaves are always green. They never worry, even in a year that has no rain. They always produce fruit. – (Jeremiah 17:7-8, ERV)

But blessed is the man who trusts Me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers – never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season. – (Jeremiah 17:7-8, MSG)

When we trust in God, He meets us where we are, and provides what we need, even when our circumstances feel impossible. His presence is like a stream in the desert, for He supplies hope and help and removes the worries we hold when we cannot see a solution to what is before us. God is good, and the blessings found in Him remind us that He is our Provider and Sustainer throughout all our days. May we ever seek the Lord in trust, knowing that He will supply all that we need, as He grows deep roots within us that nourish and water our soul, even when we are in a space of seeming drought. 

When weary and worn,

The Lord is so good;

He meets all our needs,

True hope understood.

Like water in droughts,

His love does provide;

All we are needing,

By grace, He supplies.

So trust in the Lord,

No matter what comes;

He’ll walk beside us,

The true Faithful One.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so good. Thank You that Your faithfulness remains in every season and circumstance. Thank You that You nourish our roots and help hope to spring forth, for You are our Source and Supply in all things. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations when things seem hopeless or never ending. Thank You that You are greater than all that we face. Teach us to trust You more, for You are forever faithful. Show us how to love and encourage those around us in ways that remove fear and flood with hope. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things, and witness the beautiful blessings that You supply to sustain and grow us strong in You. Amen.

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

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

Strength and Peace to the Seekers

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, HCSB)

May the Lord make His people strong. May the Lord bless His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, ERV)

God makes His people strong. God gives His people peace. – (Psalm 29:11, MSG)

God is faithful to strengthen us and supply His perfect peace when we seek Him. It does not mean that peace will necessarily surround us, but we can experience peace within us, despite our circumstances. The Lord equips us with the strength we need to navigate each new day. There is much going on in the world that screams for our attention and can easily pillage our peace. However, when we seek His strength and peace, God settles our hearts and grants us words to pray. He strengthens us and places His peace within us, despite what is going on around us. May we ever seek the Lord to be our strength and peace, and pray for strength and peace for those around us, both near and far.

God grants us His strength,

As we choose to seek;

Floods us with His love,

When we’re feeling weak.

In space of unrest,

God’s peace can be found;

He’ll fill up our heart,

Bring calm that astounds.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

To ever seek You;

Strengthen us with Your peace,

Grant us hope anew.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to strengthen us and provide Your perfect peace when we seek You. Forgive us for allowing what is going on around us to steal the peace that You place within us. Teach us to turn to You in trust, for You are our strength and the Provider of perfect peace. Teach us to lean into You. Show us how to love those around us with kindness and grace that extends strength and peace to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever seek You to supply Your strength and to be our peace in the chaos that comes our way. Amen.

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

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. – Lamentations 3:25

How to Pray

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. – (Matthew 6:9-13, NKJV)

Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. – (Matthew 6:9-13, HCSB)

Today is the first day of twenty-one days of intentional prayer and fasting with my church. Each day there is a focused passage and it is only fitting that day one covers “The Lord’s Prayer”. This five-verse passage provides us with a framework of how we ought to pray. First, we ought to acknowledge who God is. Next, we are to seek His will, not our own. After that, we should ask Him for what we need. Next, we are to confess to Him and request forgiveness, as we also must forgive others in the same way. He is gracious to help as we ask. None of us are beyond the reach of temptation and ought to ask that God help us avoid or overcome all that tempts us away from His will for our lives. Being delivered from the evil one is an ongoing ask for protection – mind, body, and spirit. Lastly, we ought to again point back to who God is and remember all that He can do. May we each be intentional to begin the new year well, for our help and hope is in Christ.

O God in heaven,

Most holy are You;

Our Savior and King,

Who makes all things new.

May Your will be done,

In our hearts and lives;

Help us to honor,

Without compromise.

Be our Provider,

Throughout each new day;

For in You we find,

What’s needed each day.

For our wrongdoings,

Please love and forgive;

Help us do likewise,

Each day that we live.

Protect our choices,

From going astray;

Lead us and guide us,

To walk in Your way.

The kingdom is Yours,

Love, power and grace;

All praise forever,

For Your loving ways.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear our every prayer. Thank You that You have provided guidance for when we are uncertain as to how to pray. Forgive us for not being intentional to seek You in all things. Teach us to entrust all things into Your strong and capable hands. Show us how to love and forgive as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we follow Your leading as we pray and choose to trust You more each day. Amen.

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

The Lord has heard my plea for help; the Lord accepts my prayer. – Psalm 6:9

Sing Praise

Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the Rock of our salvation! Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout triumphantly to Him in song. – (Psalm 95:1-2, HCSB)

Come let us sing praise to the Lord! Let us shout praises to the Rock who saves us. Come and worship Him with songs of thanks. Let us sing happy songs of praise to Him. – (Psalm 95:1-2, ERV)

Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saves us! Let’s march into His presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns! – (Psalm 95:1-2, MSG)

No matter what is going on, God is always worthy of our praise. He holds us up through hard times and rejoices with us during seasons of blessing. The Lord is our Provider, Protector, and Prince of Peace. We are always welcomed into His presence. It is in His presence that one cannot help but give thanks, for it is in that space that we recognize the goodness of God. May we ever come before the Lord with thanks, for He is always good.

Sing praise to the Lord,

Our Rock and our King;

The Savior of all,

Our reason to sing.

For God alone saves,

Brings hope and new life;

Holds us through heartache,

The Ender of strife.

Always we’re welcome,

To seek, enter in;

 For His peace prevails,

And new life begins.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are welcomed to enter Your presence as we are. Thank You that as we do, You bless us with the perfect peace found in Your presence, and the grace and forgiveness our hearts need. In You, we have reason to praise and worship You with all that we are. Forgive us for our lack of seeking. Teach us to ever pursue time with You, for it is in that space that we become increasingly aware of Your goodness and how deeply You love. Show us how to love those around us in the same way, so that they too may understand the overwhelming kindness of Your grace and the abundant blessing of Your love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come before You with thanks and praise and sing of Your goodness for all of our days. Amen.

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

Sing to Him; sing praise to Him; tell about all His wonderful works! – 1 Chronicles 16:9

Power to Press On

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. – (2 Timothy 1:7, HCSB)

The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control. – (2 Timothy 1:7, ERV)

You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit. – (2 Timothy 1:7, VOICE)

God’s Spirit is the Provider of every good and perfect gift. The struggle, however, is when our circumstances make us question what we know is the truth. His power, love and sound judgment are greater than anything and everything that we face. He is good, even when our circumstances are not. Here, in the midst of struggle, we need His nearness and grace to remind us to rise up in all that He has placed within us so that we can be who He has created us to be. May we ever seek the Lord to remind us of all that He’s placed within us by His power and His grace so that we can navigate each new day in His power, love and self-discipline.

Fear is not from God,

For He is our strength;

Great Overcomer,

Who goes to great lengths.

No height is too high,

Nor depth that’s too low;

He comes as we call,

And makes His grace known.

Power to press on,

When we have no more;

Love and His wisdom,

The hope to endure.

Lord, please come closer,

Remind us again;

Of Your great goodness,

That ushers hope in.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have not given us a spirit of fear, but rather one of power, love and self-control. Thank You that You begin where our strength ends, and You are present to help and uphold us. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations in the midst of struggle. Teach us to turn in trust to You, for You supply all that we need to continue moving forward in all that we are called to do and become. Show us how to love those around us well, so they too may be strengthened and encouraged in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You in all things and trust You to supply all that we need to press on. Amen.

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

Yet He saved them because of His Name, to make His power known. – Psalm 106:8

Joy in the Wait

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. – (Psalm 37:4, HCSB)

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – (Psalm 37:4, NIV)

Take great joy in the Eternal! His gifts are coming, and they are all your heart desires! – (Psalm 37:4, VOICE)

As we delight in the Lord, we begin to recognize the blessings that He has poured out upon us. The desires that dwell deep in our heart are the dreams He planted within. In our ongoing pursuit of a life lived with Him, He makes our hopes and dreams a reality. Often, the wait feels long, yet even when we do not see it, He is moving on our behalf. When we are seeking after Him with all of our heart, our desires align with His. It is in that alignment that He brings change, resolve and new things. Currently, I am in a space of waiting. My charge in the wait is to take joy in Him. This is not an easy task when it feels as if the weight of the world is pressing down, yet the more I press into Him, the more I feel the weight lifting. Too often, we carry what is not ours to carry. One of the gifts that He gives is His strong hands that are willing and able to bear our burdens and hold the heaviness within us. Jesus is gentle and kind, and He never forces His way in nor takes what we do not freely give Him. May we ever take joy in the Lord, for His promises are good and He is the One who grants the desires of our heart.

Great joy in the Lord,

Is where hope is found;

For all that is good,

In Christ, does abound.

What our heart desires,

Manifests in Him;

He’s our Provider,

Who ushers good in.

Timing’s the challenge,

We all want it now;

Yet it’s in waiting,

That He works somehow.

He makes plain a path,

For us to choose take;

Each step requires faith,

Trust the way He makes.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can always find joy in You. Thank You that joy in You is not dependent on our circumstances, but rather is dependent on You. When we recognize Your goodness, kindness and grace, we cannot help but rejoice in who You are and how You love. Thank You that our dreams and desires that dwell deep within our hearts are gifts from You. Forgive us for losing sight of the joy we have in You, or for losing hope in the dreams not yet realized. Show us how to trust You in the waiting and to find joy in the hope we have in You. Lead us to love those around us in a way that offers joy, peace and hope. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we take joy in who You are and give thanks for the good things that You have planned for us all. Amen.

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

You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures. – Psalm 16:11