He Climbs in the Boat

Then He climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed. – (Mark 6:51)

When the disciples were rowing across the lake, having left a miraculous evening in which Jesus had fed a multitude with a mere five loaves and two fish, they somehow lost sight of their story when a storm set in. Waves were crashing around them, and then, as if an apparition, Jesus was walking beside these men on the water. To say they were frightened, would likely be an understatement. Jesus reassured them, and then, what really brought about comfort and peace to each stirred up soul, was when He climbed into the boat beside them. As He did, the wind and waves were calmed, and so too, were the hearts of those who He came near.

As storms rage around us, do we look up from our oars? If even for a moment, I imagine we’d find similar shock at just how near the Lord is to us, and how willing He is to climb in beside us and still the storm in our soul. Our charge is to look for Him in the midst of both the calm and the storm, as He stays beside us in each. His miracles are available and He moves on our behalf, more often than we realize. When we really look, we too, will be completely amazed at how the Lord is moving among us.

As storms are raging,

we strain at the oar;
crying to the Lord,
“Dear Jesus, no more.”
But do we look up,
and bother to see;
how near the Lord is,
on standby, waiting?
For He never leaves,
He’s promised to stay;
through calm and through storms,
both now and always.
He’s gentle and kind,
will come close beside;
if we only ask,
trust Him and abide.
There’s no storm too strong,
nor crisis too great;
He always shows up,
and is never late.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when storms rage around us, You don’t just look down on us from afar, but You come close and climb in the boat beside us, commanding the chaos within us to become calm. Even if the storm that surrounds us continues for a season, You bring stillness to our soul. Thank You that You are our comfort and our peace, and that You do amazing things when we look to You. Forgive us for focusing our attention on surviving the storm, rather than on You, the One who can still the storm with a word or Your presence. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will look for You, and discover just how often You are seated beside us in the boat. Lead us to love others well, so that they too may discover Your nearness for themselves. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look to You who draws near to us and calms the storms within us, and help us to stand amazed at the mighty ways in which You move. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Where Status is Certain

Facebook has taken a person’s “status” to a whole new level. For some, their status is changed daily, based on how they are feeling. For others, once a status is selected, they are bound and determined for it to remain the same forever. Sadly, life does not always allow us the choice to uphold nor freely change our “status“. Sometimes the storms set in, and though we survive, we emerge changed. Even if our “status” change is for our own good, there is often grief and sorrow that stay with us, as we adjust to our new label.

In Christ, we never have to worry about our status changing. If we choose Him and obey Him, we are His. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did. – (1 John 2:5-6) Christ does not expect us to do this on our own, but rather He indwells us upon our invitation. When we invite Him to reign in our lives, He empowers us to live as He lived, and to love as He loved. The only “status” that lasts forever is who we are in Him. May we choose to trust in Christ, and allow Him to transform our hearts and minds to reflect God with us.

Status

Facebook status options…

Our status may stand,

when found in the Lord;

for all others ways,

are tossed to and fro.

We cannot control,

the storms that do come;

but we can rely,

on God’s only Son.

For when we’re in Christ,

He too is in us;

granting us the strength,

to rise and to trust.

The only thing certain,

is our walk with Him;

for He never leaves,

once invited in.

May we be transformed,

in our heart and mind;

to reflect the Lord,

through loving mankind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our status with You is certain when we trust in You. Thank You that You alone are our hope and our strength in the storms, and that You will see us through every struggle we encounter. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, and that what You promise, You will do. Forgive us for our fearfulness and our disappointment in our own defeated expectations. Teach us to trust in You completely, so that what is hoped for, is that which You place in our hearts. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too would seek secure status in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we stand certain in our status as Your children, loved completely by You. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Loved Like Lazarus

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. – (John 11:33)

 

Jesus was not God out there, He was God came near, who felt what we feel, and loved people through their points of pain. This particular verse was Jesus’ response after He saw and spoke with both Martha and Mary after Lazarus had died. Little did the ladies know, that when Jesus was moved in spirit, it would bring back to life, the brother that they thought they had lost… The very same God who loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus in their spaces of sorrow, loves each of us and knows our needs. He is moved when we weep and hears every prayer. We never know how He intends to answer our requests, and we can always count on His coming close in our space of need. May we never forget that He is close to the brokenhearted, and He hears every cry of our hearts. He is faithful to meet us in our brokenness, and love us back to life.

 

There are times like Lazarus,Internal Investments Exceed External

when light gives way to pain;

all the heart knows is weeping,

we need new life again.

In those places of darkness,

if we call on the Lord;

He’s faithful to draw near us,

love and peace He’ll afford.

Healing this side of heaven,

is held in His great hands;

as we submit and trust Him,

His love reveals His plans.

He stays with brokenhearted,

and hears each cry we pray;

He’s near us every moment,

His light will point the way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us how You love. Thank You that Your love is not from afar, but it is love that comes close, that feels, and touches, and weeps when we weep and rejoices when we rejoice. Thank You that You are moved by what moves us. Forgive us for forgetting how very personal and near You are in the throes of our own pain, and help us to know Your nearness in tangible ways. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would call on You in our chaos and give You thanks for the gifts of grace. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come to know Your nearness personally, and choose to enter into a relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we come before You with both thanksgiving and petitions, grateful for Your nearness and understanding of each one of us as You provide new life for us in You. 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

God Within Her

I have been in a seemingly long and wearying season. This is my busiest time of year, and the constant chaos tends to take its toll. God is ALWAYS faithful to meet me each morning, and His strength and grace sustain me through my days. That being said, the very thought of this day, is a bit overwhelming. After such a long week, I am ready to fast forward to the weekend. As I read my scheduled reading plan, there was really nothing that was standing out. My typical default in such times, is to turn to the Psalms. No sooner had I turned back the pages, did the following verse stand out as if it were in bold type: God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day. – (Psalm 46:5)

 

Today, I will hold fast to this word, for He is within me and will not allow me to fall. He is with me as I rise, and remains present wherever I go. The Lord is my strength and my song, even in chaos and weariness. It never ceases to amaze me how He chooses to remind us just how much He loves us. Even as I look back over this past week, I am in awe at having received several texts from friends that were very encouraging; some of which were from friends who had no idea that the week had been such a crazy busy one. Just as He is with me, keeping me from falling, so too, is He with you. He is our help and our hope from the moment we rise to when we close our eyes, at our day’s end. May we each hold fast to the promise of His faithful presence, and trust in His unfailing love.

 

The Lord is present,God Within Her

He’ll not let us fall;

from when we first rise,

He stays through it all.

God is ever near,

no matter what comes;

from the break of day,

to the setting sun.

His strength is enough,

to trust for today;

embrace what is true,

let Christ lead the way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we place our trust in You, You are within us and will keep us from falling. Thank You that You are our ever present help, from the break of day to the setting sun. Thank You that there is no limit to Your goodness and faithfulness. Forgive us for forgetting that all of the strength that we need dwells within us, in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will rely on You and Your provision for all that we need each day. Help us to live and love in such a way, that others come to know Your love and faithfulness. Be glorified O God, as we go forth in Your strength, remembering that You are within us, providing what we need for this day. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

Be of Strength and Courage

Be strong and courageous. (Deuteronomy 31:6a) The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. – (Deuteronomy 31:8)

 

No matter what lies before us, God goes in front of us. He provides our front line of defense, our rear guard, and surrounds us on each side. The Lord assures us that He will remain present with us, regardless of the circumstances that we are being called to walk through. If God is for us, whom shall we fear? There is nothing that He calls us to that He won’t also willingly equip and see us through. May we rise up with strength and courage, trusting that the Lord has gone before us, and will never leave us nor forsake us.

 

For we are each called,Bold in Battle

to rise up, be strong;

take courage in Christ,

our strength and our song.

He goes before us,

to prepare the way;

and remains present,

in nearness, He stays.

Be not discouraged,

Take heart in His word;

He’ll not forsake us,

His promises heard.

So take the first step,

go where the Lord asks;

as we are willing,

we’re equipped to task.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and kind, and that You call us to be people of strength and courage. Thank You that You do not ask us to be strong and courageous in our own strength, but rather in Yours. Thank You that You go before us, behind us, and surround us, keeping us in the safety of Your care every step of the way. Forgive us for our fearfulness, and help us to trust You more. May we move forward in courage, as You call us to new steps of obedience. Lead us to love others well, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we take obedient steps forward in Your strength and courage, trusting You as we move forward in faith. Amen.

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

 

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8