Needed Strength

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)

Always follow the Eternal, His strength and His face. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, VOICE)

This is the time of year that I am reminded of my desperate need for God and His strength. From the start of school to Veteran’s Day, there are no days off nor long weekends. Additionally, it is when cold and flu season rears its ugly head and the shorter days are full of gray skies and cold rains. Kids and staff go through the cycle of sickness, and the germs are passed around. With a sub shortage, it means losing our planning period regularly as well. All of this becomes a bit exhausting, and we need strength beyond ourselves. Each morning, I look to the Lord to be my strength as I seek Him. Even on the toughest days, I know His nearness and He grants me what I need to get through each day. May we ever look to the Lord for strength and depend on Him, for He is faithful to meet us each time we seek Him.

Choose look to the Lord,

For all that you need;

He’s faithful, gracious,

And His strength exceeds.

God’s more than enough,

To show us the way;

Keep moving forward,

Throughout each new day.

No matter what comes,

He’ll always be near;

To strengthen, uplift,

Show us that He hears.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come before You and depend on You to provide the strength we need to navigate each new day. Thank You that You are faithful to meet us each time we seek You. Forgive us for trying to gut things out on our own, or for quitting before we begin. Teach us to trust in You and to rely on Your leading and strength each day that we draw breath. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may come to know the goodness and faithfulness of Your overwhelming love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we depend on You to lead and strengthen us for each new day. Amen.

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

But You, Lord, don’t be far away. My Strength, come quickly to help me. – Psalm 22:19

Show Us What is Right

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. – (Hebrews 4:15, HCSB)

Jesus, our high priest, is able to understand our weaknesses. When Jesus lived on the earth, He was tempted in every way. He was tempted in the same ways we are tempted, but He never sinned. – (Hebrews 4:15, ERV)

For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws. He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God. – (Hebrews 4:15, VOICE)

The encouragement in this is that Jesus, who was tested and challenged in every way, knows how to successfully navigate the trials and temptations that we face because He has faced them without sin. He calls us unto Himself, and He moves on our behalf. The Lord will strengthen us to withstand temptation and will make a way out when it is more than we can endure. Jesus knows our needs far better than we do, and when we seek Him, He shows us the way in which we are meant to go and the things that we must avoid. Though not one of us is without sin, we can go to the One who is. At the cross, Jesus already paid the price for our transgressions, and endured the weight upon Himself. In doing so, He set us free from the sins that so easily entangle us and made the way for us to be in right standing before the Father. Our seeking is needed daily, hourly, and at times, moment to moment so that we do what is right. May we ever seek the Lord, in every circumstance, and rely on Him to lead us out of the places and things that are not beneficial, and into the places and spaces that sharpen our focus on His goodness and love.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

To walk in Your way;

Keep us from falling,

Or going astray.

Show us what is right,

The things that are good;

Keep us far from sin,

Just as You withstood.

Grant us an option,

A way to get out;

So that our choices,

Will make Your heart proud.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, who lived without sin despite being tempted in every way. Thank You Jesus, that You who were tempted and without sin, took on the burden of all of our sin so that we might come to know You and be found right before the Father. Forgive us for every time that we walk out our own will instead of Yours. Teach us to seek You and trust You to lead us in the ways that are good and right and loving. Show us how to steer away from sin and to walk in Your love as we choose to love those around us as You created us to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your unfailing love and seek You to steer clear of the sin that so easily entangles us, so that we might walk in Your way and do Your will. Amen.

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

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

Light in the Dark

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. – (2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV)

God once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness!” And this is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts to let us know that His own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ. – (2 Corinthians 4:6, ERV)

The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “{Let light shine from the darkness,” is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Anointed One. – (2 Corinthians 4:6, VOICE)

The same God who brought light into being, illuminates the hearts of all who seek Him. As our hearts become flooded with His light, we can more clearly see who He is and how He loves. That same light that glows within, begins to shine outward to all those around us. May we ever seek the face of the Lord to lead us, so that His light shines wherever we go.

With only a word,

Light began to shine;

In darkness no more,

Through Him who’s divine.

God the Creator,

Sheds light on our souls;

Illuminates dark,

Restores to make whole.

As we let light in,

He frees us to shine;

Be beacons of love,

Reflecting Divine.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in the dark, You brought light into being. Thank You that as we seek You, You flood the dark corners of our hearts with Your loving light and transform us so that we too, can shine as reflections of Your goodness and love. Forgive us for the times that we have hidden in darkness or have withheld the light that was meant to shine. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might live in the light of Your love and shine brightly before all. Show us how to be beacons of Your light in the dark spaces around us. Lead us to love everyone as You first loved us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever seek to live in the light of Your love and extend the same to all those we encounter each new day. Amen.

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

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. – Genesis 1:3

Devoted

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – (Colossians 4:2, NIV)

Never stop praying. Be ready for anything by praying and being thankful. – (Colossians 4:2, ERV)

Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. – (Colossians 4:2, MSG)

To devote oneself to God is to be dedicated and committed to communicating with our Creator. It is an intentional act of speaking and listening, by which we give our gratitude and present our petitions to the Lord. We are charged to be watchful and aware, which sets our hearts at the ready as we communicate with and praise God. This purposeful devotion results in constant communion with Christ. He is faithful to meet us each time we draw near, as He hears our prayers and praise, and speaks to our hearts as we wait in silent stillness. May we choose to pray diligently, for as we do, we are aware and equipped, and overwhelmed with gratitude to God.

Because of Jesus,

We have access to;

The Holy Father,

Who blesses, renews.

In this sweet freedom,

We are called to pray;

Commune with the Lord,

Throughout ev’ry day.

Faithful to meet us,

The Lord’s ever near;

Each praise and request,

In love, the Lord hears.

With wonder, seek Him,

Ask and we’ll receive;

Direction and help,

And all that we need.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to come near and commune with You. Thank You that You are but a heartbeat away. Thank You that You hear our petitions and praise, and that You answer us as we call on You. Forgive us for merely presenting a laundry list of requests. Teach us to see all of the reasons we have to praise You as we go about our days. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness and love evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we continually pray, prepare and praise through our time intentionally spent with You. Amen.

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

I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 17:6

Who We Are Working For

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. – (Colossians 3:23, NIV)

In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly masters. – (Colossians 3:23, ERV)

So no matter what your task is, work hard. Always do your best as the Lord’s servant, not as man’s. – (Colossians 3:23, VOICE)

Right now, this is very well-timed, as I am reaching a point of exhaustion and wondering how I can possibly sustain the hours and work required to do my job. I know I am ultimately working for God, therefore I am arriving early and staying late to ensure that I am adequately prepared for a job that I have never done. Yesterday afternoon, as I was walking our dogs, I could not help but pray as I walked, and ask the Lord what I am supposed to do. All that kept resonating in my heart and mind was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9) God is good, and if my weakness is an opportunity to display His strength, so be it. He has been faithful each day to meet me and to provide what I need to get through each day. Sometimes, our seasons are hard. He is our help and our hope to carry us through. For now, I will continue to seek Him and trust that He has me in the position I am in on purpose and for a purpose. May we ever seek the Lord and trust in Him, doing all that we can with what is asked of us. Where our strength ends, His begins.

With grace after grace,

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We are called to rise;

To do all we can,

With strength God supplies.

All that is needed,

He faithfully gives;

God equips us well,

To thrive, not just live.

When we cannot see,

Still, we must press on;

As unto the Lord,

By faith, choose hold on.

He’s always enough,

To carry us through;

His love overcomes,

And grace makes us new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to do all things as unto You, not for the people in positions above us. Thank You that You are the One to whom we ultimately answer, and the One who provides all that we need to press on. Forgive us for our frustrations with our situations when we haven’t the strength or skill set to do all that we are asked to do. Thank You that You come and meet us, and You provide the help and strength we need to keep moving forward. Teach us to trust in You anew every morning, for You are faithful always. Show us how to love those around us in ways that provide help, support and encouragement. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength when we are weary, and to supply what we need to keep moving in the direction You have called us. Amen.

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

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Light Makes Things Clear

Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. – (Ephesians 5:13, HCSB)

But the light makes clear how wrong these things are. Yes, everything is made clear by the light. – (Ephesians 5:13, ERV)

When the light shines, it exposes even the dark and shadowy things and turns them into pure reflections of light. – (Ephesians 5:13, VOICE)

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. – (Ephesians 5:13, NIV)

The light that makes things clear to us is the light of Christ. In Him, there are no shadows. As we seek Him and invest time in His word, He illuminates what is good and right, and makes our path clear. As we walk in the light, we reflect His light and provide light to the places it is lacking. God is faithful to shine His light on the darkness within and lead us to change that allows His light enter in. May we ever seek the Lord, who is the light, for He will shine in dark spaces and show us which ways we are to go.

Welcome the Lord’s light,

My morning view in Fidalgo Bay.

At the dawn each day;

Faithful to meet us,

The Lord won’t delay.

His light ever shines,

And shows us the way;

That we’re meant to walk,

Each time that we pray.

Our prayers invite Him,

To shine bright His light;

That removes darkness,

And shows us what’s right.

May we ever seek,

The Lord God of light;

Follow His leading,

To do what is right.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are light and life and love. Thank You that there is no darkness in You, and as we seek You, Your light shines and removes the darkness within us. Forgive us for the times that we hide in the shadows. Teach us to trust You, for Your light is love and it leads us to all that is good and full of grace. Show us how to live in that place each day that we draw breath. Instruct us in Your love so that we might love those around us as You intended. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your goodness and love to shine Your light upon us and show us all that is good. Amen. 

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

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. – 2 Samuel 22:29

Supply to the Seeking

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)

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. – (Matthew 6:33, MSG)

When God is our priority each day, and we seek Him to lead us in what we say and do, He takes care of us. He provides as we abide. Yes, we have to do our part by taking action, but He supplies what we need in ways that go beyond human understanding. It is not something we earn, but rather as we seek Him, He shows us which way to go, and grants us what we need to get there. This holds true in every area of our lives if we allow Him room to be God of all. This is an ongoing process, as we are ever a work in progress and have limitless capacity to keep learning and growing. May we ever seek the Lord and steep our lives in His reality, His initiative and His provisions, for He is faithful to meet us with every step we take.

Choose seek first the Lord,

And all of His good;

He’s faithful always,

His love understood.

We need not worry,

Forever He’s near;

To lead and help us,

Each prayer He hears.

Keep moving forward,

In all that He asks;

He grants what’s needed,

For each step, each task.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and Your ways, You meet us, lead us, and provide all that we need. Thank You that You are faithful forever, even when we cannot see how You are moving on our behalf. Thank You that we can look back and see just how incredibly faithful You have always been. Forgive us for our fears and lack of faith when the road before us is rough. Teach us to trust in You and to look to You to lead us. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they too are able to see Your faithful love that meets us anew each day. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You first each day, and trust You to lead us well in the ways that You want us to go. Amen.

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

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Incredibly Known

He counts the number of stars; He gives names to all of them. – (Psalm 147:4, HCSB)

He counts the stars and knows them each by name. – (Psalm 147:4, ERV)

He counts all the stars within His hands, carefully fixing their number and giving them names. – (Psalm 147:4, VOICE)

In my own limited understanding, I know I am guilty of making God too small, or limiting what I think He can do. Verses like the one above are a reminder of just how big God really is. God, the Creator of all, created, placed, counted and named each of the stars in the sky. I don’t know about you, but any time that I get away from the city/suburb lights and look at the sky at night, I stand in awe, as the longer I look, the more stars I see; far too many to count. It is a reminder of how great God truly is. The same God that knows each star by name, knows my name and the number of hairs on my head. Intentionally, He formed each of us and knows us better than anyone. Designed with a plan and a purpose, I cannot help but stand in awe. The more I know Him, the more I want to know. One who knows and loves so deeply and personally is worth pursuing more. May we ever seek to know the Lord more and more, and may we discover how He sees us and calls us to be who He has created us to become.

Each star with a name,

Both numbered and known;

The Lord placed each one,

Love’s light being shown.

He who hung the stars,

Also made us all;

With plan and purpose,

Each one of us called.

May we choose seek Him,

With wonder and awe;

Praise Him for His love,

And grace for us all.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created, placed, named and know each star in the sky – both those we can see, and those we cannot. Thank You that You know each person on the planet in the same way. Forgive us for making You too small. Teach us to trust You in all things, for You are so much more than we can think or imagine. Lead us to love those around us with a love like Yours so that all might feel and know Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever pursue knowing You more, and trust You in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

But whoever loves God is known by God. – 1 Corinthians 8:3

The Best Teacher

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” – (Isaiah 48:17, NIV)

The Lord, the Savior, the Holy One of Israel, says, “I am the Lord your God. I teach you for your own good. I lead you in the way you should go.” – (Isaiah 48:17, ERV)

The Eternal One, who rescued you, the Holy One of Israel declares, “I am the Eternal One your God. I have given you My instruction for living well and right, leading you in how you should be and do.” – (Isaiah 48:17, VOICE)

I am so thankful that God is the same: yesterday, today and forever! The same God who loved and led the Israelites so long ago, has lovingly led us and will continue to do so until He returns. When we seek Him and truly listen, He shows us what is best and leads us in the ways that we are meant to go. Though the Israelites had God made tangible to them through a cloud and with fire, we have the tremendous blessing of knowing how Jesus lived and loved as God intended for all of us. He sent His Spirit after Jesus ascended, and we now have God made tangible, dwelling in the hearts of all who believe. Because of this, we see glimpses of God everywhere. His reassurance is real as we press into time with Him and come to understand that He will never leave us or forsake us. May we ever seek the living God who teaches us what is good and leads us in the ways that we are meant to go in all things.

The Lord is faithful,

To lovingly lead;

Throughout all our days,

As we trust, believe.

He shows us the ways,

That we’re meant to go;

When we’re to harvest,

And when we’re to sow.

His presence is clear,

As we look around;

His good abundant,

And hope in Him, sound.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You teach us what is best for us and where we are meant to go. Thank You that You lovingly lead and guide us throughout all our days. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to listen. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, for You know the outcome before we begin and there is purpose in the places You call us to. Show us how to love those around us like You, with purpose and goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to lead us in all things. Amen.

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

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

To Know is To Love

But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. – (1 Corinthians 8:3, HCSB)

But whoever loves God is known by God. – (1 Corinthians 8:3, ERV)

But if someone loves God, it is certain that God has already known that one. – (1 Corinthians 8:3, VOICE)

To know God is to love God, and to be known by God is to be loved by Him. The more we know God, the more we want to know. Love pursues knowing more. God, in His wisdom and grace, knows all who seek Him and loves all who choose to belong to Him. I love that God uses healthy earthly relationships to give us glimpses of the fullness of His love and kindness. For example, in a marriage, when we realize that we love our spouse, we are drawn to know them more. Likewise, when we love another, we are known by them. This is true with close friendships and family bonds as well. If we can be known by the people we love, how much more can we be known by the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb? He knows the number of hairs on our head, and everything about us. The good, the bad and everything in between, yet He loves us still. May we ever pursue the Lord, who is love, so that we learn even more to love as He loves us.

As we choose love God,

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography

We soon come to know;

How well we are known,

Through the grace He shows.

Ever He meets us,

With mercy and grace;

He shows us kindness,

As we seek His face.

To know and love God,

Is the greatest gift;

He shows us His heart,

And how He uplifts.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even before we knew You, we were loved and known by You. Thank You that as we seek You and come into a relationship with You, You show us that we are known and loved. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to love as You call us to love. Teach us to lean into Your love so that we may love likewise. Show us how to love those around us as You intended, so that many may come to know You personally. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You and ever seek to know You more. Amen.

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

You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. – Psalm 16:11