Refreshment in His Hands

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” – (Jeremiah 31:25, NIV)

“I will give rest and strength to those who are weak and tired.” – (Jeremiah 31:25, ERV)

“I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls.” – (Jeremiah 31:25, MSG)

 

This morning, 4:00am came far too early for my sweet husband. After running errands, cleaning, appointments and finally a fantastic evening with my bonus brother, his girlfriend, and dear friends, my Viking was completely exhausted by the time we went to bed. Thankfully, he only has three days of work this week until we at long last escape for an eight-day honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean. My prayer, even now, is that our time will be one of refreshment for his weariness and restoration for our souls as we work to build a new life together. I anticipate all of the good that will come from time away together, with the ability to do as much or as little as we feel like on any given day. We have been overwhelmingly blessed each step of our journey thus far, and I trust that we will find rest and strength in the spaces where both have been sparse. May we ever seek the Lord, who grants rest for the weary and strengthens the faint.

 

When we are weary,

img_20180724_051744_9218287520847950934122.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography. ❤

The Lord grants us rest;

Strength in our weakness,

Our God knows what’s best.

Time in His presence,

Brings strength to the soul;

Joy where there’s longing,

His love makes us whole.

Let’s lean into Him,

Our Grantor of peace;

For time in His hands,

Bring power’s release.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our place to find rest and refreshment as You are the Bestower of strength when we have none. Thank You that You are the one who sees and hears our needs, and refreshes and renews where we are depleted. Forgive us for not seeking You for strength and rest when it is needed. Teach us to trust You more, as You give good things to those who pursue Your presence. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends strength and rest to those who are weary and depleted. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, our Source of strength and rest. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth  (Moreno) Grabrick and Revelations in Writing,

May 2011 – present

 

He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His Name’s sake. – Psalm 23:3

A Loss Unless it Leads to Life

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. – (Philippians 3:7)

 

As Paul was speaking to the Philippians, he was pointing out that all of his accomplishments in life, when compared to knowing Christ, were “a loss“. Not one thing that we achieve will ever matter as much as our coming into a relationship with Christ. To know and love the Lord, leads to life everlasting; all else, fades away. Though doing well, and setting our hearts to do our best in every endeavor we take on can lead to good, our priority must first be invested in our walk with Christ. May we go forth this day with a proper perspective, as we determine where and how we invest our time, talents and energy.

 

What once was profit,Lose the Law Grab the Grace

is now but a loss;

because the Lord gave,

His life on the cross.

Our greatest riches,

the fortunes untold;

are held in our hope,

where heaven unfolds.

For nothing compares,

to the love of Christ;

there’s no greater love,

than His sacrifice.

He who was perfect,

took on all our sin;

so we’d be worthy,

He welcomes us in.

All we’ve accomplished,

is nothing compared;

to our Savior’s love,

the hope we now share.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter where we have been or what we have or have not accomplished, nothing compares to our walk with You. Thank You that You are our hope and our help; our place of comfort and care. Thank You that as we lean into You, our priorities align with Yours. Forgive us for setting our sights on accomplishing, rather than on You who strengthens and empowers us to do all things through You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will have our hearts and minds fixed on You first, so that we will better know and understand what You are calling us to do, and what You are not. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see the hope that is held forever in You. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we consider anything that is not of You a loss, and all that is of You and for You – a great gain. 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 Persist in Prayer

Sometimes, it feels as if we are crying out in vain. Our prayers may feel unheard, as they seemingly go unanswered. Like the Gentile woman who was seeking healing for her daughter before Jesus, we too must humble ourselves at His feet, and persistently pray, trusting that He is able to do abundantly more than we could hope or request.

 

As the woman responded to Jesus when He implied that He was not there fore the Gentiles, her answer in faith, moved Him to action. Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. – (Matthew 15:28)

 

May humility and perseverance fuel our faithful prayers, as Christ sees and hears all that we ask in His Name.

 

When prayers feel unheard,To Persist in Prayer

we’re called to press on;

trust He is faithful,

may our hope be strong.

For He hears our cries,

each request we make;

the Lord is for us,

He moves for our sake.

He sees and He knows,

the faith that we hold;

and heals where we hurt,

to help make us bold.

Let us each go forth,

and share what He’s done;

our faithful Father,

His Spirit and Son.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we do not always see You moving on our behalf, You hear our prayers and are doing far more than we could even begin to imagine. Thank You that You consider us faithful, when we are persistent in prayer. Forgive us for lacking the fortitude to stay in the fight when all around us seems to fail. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will persistently pray in faith, trusting that You hear and are doing abundantly more than we can see or understand. Lead us to love others with Your relentless love, and help many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we faithfully persist in prayer, even when we cannot see any answers on the horizon. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

Why Worry?

When unknowns stand before us, worry is a natural response for many of us. The “what ifs” find way to wander in, and fear finds its footing, granting a way in for worry. Sadly, worrying does us absolutely no good.

 

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life. – (Matthew 6:27)

 

Rather than worry, we are meant to confess our concerns before Christ. He is our answer, and supplies what we need, regardless of our situation. He knows what lies before us, and He already sees the outcome. We need not worry about the path we travel to get from here to there, so long as we walk beside Him and listen to His voice. The Lord will lead us and guide us in all of His ways, and will provide what is needed as it is needed along the way. May we rise up in faith and trust Him, leaving worry behind as we follow the Lord wherever He calls us to go.

 

Despite the unknowns,Delivering Dreams

leave worry behind;

for trust in the Lord,

is heart, soul and mind.

Let’s give Him our all,

no matter what comes;

for His ways are best,

the Most Holy One.

Allow not worry,

from any life take;

peace and His promise,

granted for our sake.

In faith, let’s rise up,

and trust in His Name;

leave worry behind,

and His truth proclaim.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we need not worry about anything. Thank You that You see and know our needs before we do, and that You will provide for us as we seek You. Thank You that You speak to us, lead us and guide us, if we are willing to listen for Your voice. Forgive us for allowing our fears to entertain worry, rather than choosing to run to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that our immediate response to our known needs, is to present our requests before You, trusting that You are good and loving, and that You will provide what we need as we need it. Lead us to love others well, so that we may be Your hands and heart to the hurting. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to give all of our worries to You. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Because He Loved

Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday, especially among middle schoolers the day prior. While some students were over-the-moon with excitement, others were nearly manic, as they mourned their mate-less state. Most, however, took it upon themselves as an opportunity to binge on copious quantities of confections, and were bouncing off the walls. The pivotal point that so many get hung up on, is what exactly is love, and how do we celebrate it?

 

If our priorities are kept in place, and we opt to spend the day focusing on loving God and loving people well, then it can be a day worth celebrating, rather than one to view with disdain. One of the most powerful examples of Jesus’ love for us is how He endured all things for our sake, so that we could come to know Him.

 

In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked Him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but He can’t save Himself!” – (Mark 15:31)

 

Though Jesus could have saved himself, He endured this suffering because of His love for us. He could have chosen not to take the pain and humiliation; He could have killed those who mocked Him – but He suffered through it all because He loved even His enemies… Jesus died on that cross for us, and the penalty for our sins was paid by His death. – (NIV footnotes for Mark 15:31)

 

Because He loved, we too may love.

 

What beautiful love,Good Gifts

would lay down His life;

choose to sacrifice,

despite all our strife?

He came not because,

we deserved His grace;

but because He loves,

the whole human race.

The sinners and saints,

man, woman and child;

He came for us all,

to be reconciled.

Let us each embrace,

this glorious gift;

go forth and love well,

encourage and lift.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of Your Son.  Jesus, thank You that You came to set us free from the chains of our sin, and made the way for us to be restored to a right relationship with You. Thank You that You endured endless suffering on our behalf, because You loved. Forgive us for not choosing to love You and others as we are called to love, or for focusing inward instead of out. Teach us to trust You more, so that as we reach out in faith, we will recognize the remarkable ways in which You provide return to refill our hearts again. Lead us to love well, so that many may come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we bring the blessings of Your love to a world in need. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

He is the King

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. – (John 18:37)

 

Though Pilate recognized the truth about Jesus, he chose to reject the truth that stood before him for the sake of pleasing the masses. Many find themselves at a similar crossroad at Christmas. They hear the truth of who Christ is, and must decide to either receive and embrace the truth, or to reject the Redeemer before them, for the sake of upholding sin and selfishness. As believers, we must model a life lived for Christ. If His love does not clearly flow through us, what possible appeal will the truth hold for those who know Him not? May we be vessels of His light and love unto the world, and may many come to embrace the truth of who Christ is this Christmas.

 

Though many have heard,Majesty Moved from the Cradle to the Cross

they have not embraced;

the mercy of Christ,

as sin He erased.

Jesus is much more,

than infant domain;

He’s the Mighty King,

from His throne, He reigns.

May each seeking heart,

hear the truth, made plain;

and receive the Lord,

to come rule and reign.

Let each heart who knows,

go forth and love well;

shining light and life,

may our lives truth tell.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that regardless of a person’s decision to accept or reject the truth, the truth remains. Thank You that You are the King. Thank You that You came into the world to testify the truth so that all might come to know You. Forgive us for not embracing the truth we know, or for neglecting to stand firm in all things and at all times. Teach us to trust You more, so that we completely rely on You. May we trust the truth, no matter what comes our way. Lead us to love others as You love us, so that many may be directed to embrace the truth that is found in You alone. Be exalted O God, as we live and love in such a way, that the truth we embrace is evident. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

When Weakness is Strength

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – (2 Corinthians 12:10)

 

Considering Paul’s experiences, he had plenty of practice in each of the above-mentioned trials. Paul had been ship-wrecked, stoned, beaten, slandered, suffered some sort of ongoing ailment, and had the constant concern of the development of the young church to contend with. Despite all of these things, Paul chose to delight in his struggles, for in them, he was drawn closer and more dependant on Christ. In fact, it was in the spaces that were likely perceived as weaknesses, that Christ spoke the most mightily through Paul.

 

Though I do not necessarily delight in my struggles, I am grateful that Christ is the One to whom I can cling. In the midst of suffering, He is my comfort. When I feel as though I do not have the strength to move forward, He provides the strength necessary to keep taking each next step. As I trust, I am constantly in awe at what He does through seemingly small steps of obedience. Christ takes our weakness, and shows His strength in ways that we never could. May our hearts hold fast to He who is our strength, and may we be thankful for new opportunities to depend on Him alone.

 

To delight in trials,Bless You

in hardships and such;

to embrace our weakness,

appears crazy stuff.

Yet when we are weakest,

Christ will be our strength;

we allow Him the space,

to go to great lengths.

So seek not our own strength,

but rather trust His;

all things are possible,

when Christ handles this.

Lord, teach us to delight,

in spaces we’re weak;

for those are the places,

You most clearly speak.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we are weak, You are strong. Thank You that we need not worry what comes against us, as You are for us and are our strength. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when trials come, and teach us to cling to You in faith. Teach us to trust You as Paul did, so that we may delight even in our struggles, as they are opportunities for Your strength to shine. Let Your faithfulness be evident as we love others through the strength that You provide. May many come to know the saving power that is present through knowing You as our Savior and King. Be glorified, Lord God, as we delight in the spaces where Your strength is made most evident. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6