Not Meant to Shoulder Alone

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. – (1 Peter 5:7, NLT)

Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. – (1 Peter 5:7, TLB)

Pour out all your worries and stress upon Him and leave them there, for He always tenderly cares for you. – (1 Peter 5:7, TPT)

 

This is a timely reminder, as school feels really heavy right now. The academic demands feel unapproachable to some, and the behaviors displayed in response, disrupt and distract, making the teaching process extremely challenging. Inadvertently, I begin to carry the weight of the worry as to how to help all kids learn and grow. Though it is critical that I care, it is not my burden to bear alone. First and foremost, I need to give the weight of the worry and stress to the Lord, and allow Him to hold the heaviness. Second, I must ask for what I need. If it is strength or clarity or perspective, God is faithful to meet us where we are. When it is a tangible need that can be met in the moment by a colleague or simply by creating a built-in break, then each avenue ought to be utilized. May we cast all our cares to the Lord, for He is able and willing to walk us through, bearing the weight we are not meant to shoulder alone.

 

When worry and stress,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Begin to weigh down;

Give all to the Lord,

In Him, help is found.

Help in our struggles,

Strength when we feel weak;

In love and in grace,

He answers who seek.

So, go to the Lord,

With stress and concern;

He’s ever for us,

Unto Him, let’s turn.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are not meant to bear the weight of the world on our shoulders. Thank You that we can come to You and give You our worries and cares, and You will shoulder the weight and grant us the help we need to navigate whatever we face. Forgive us for attempting to bear heavy burdens on our own, rather than running to You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our strength and peace, no matter what storm we face. Show us how to love those around us in a way that provides help, peace and hope in the places where stress or anxiousness were weighing heavily on their heart. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give all of our worry and stress to You, and trust You to be our strength. Amen.

 

 

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

 

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. – Psalm 68:19

Called to Live in Peace

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, NLT)

 

This is such a timely scripture, as hearts are often unsettled as we approach the holiday season. Sometimes the unrest is due to overscheduling, but others are dealing with grieving losses that are magnified during this festive time of year. Our peace can only come from Christ. When we seek Him first, and rely on Him to rule and reign in our hearts, His peace comes and helps us live accordingly. If we are at peace within ourselves, it is far easier to be at peace with those around us. We tend to be bothered less by the little things, and more apt to extend grace to those around us. It is in this space that we recognize the remarkable that our Redeemer has done in and around us, and thankfulness cannot help but bubble up within our hearts. May we seek the Lord and His peace, so that we may be at peace within ourselves and those around us. Let thankfulness rise up and flow freely from our lips for His great faithfulness and the hope that is held forever in Him.

 

In spaces of stress,Hope for Eternity

May we offer peace;

For Christ within us,

Brings hope that won’t cease.

We are one body,

Called to live as one;

Loving each other,

’til our days are done.

Let thanks fill our hearts,

For God and His love;

For His peace that reigns,

May hope rise above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the peace that passes all understanding is available in You. Thank You that You equip and empower us to live in peace with one another as Your body. Forgive us for not seeking Your strength to be at peace within ourselves or with those around us. Teach us to trust You more for what we need to operate as agents of peace, especially during this season of giving thanks. Show us how to love and bless others well, so that they may know Your peace as we extend Your goodness and grace to those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your peace to rule in our hearts and seek to live in peace with those around us. All thanks to You, Lord, now and forever. 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

Grace and Peace

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. – (1 Corinthians 1:3, NLT)

 

As many of you know, I am a very early riser. My typical wake-up time on work days is 3:30 am. Yesterday morning, I woke to the sound of a sweet text message on my phone, rather than the usual song that my alarm is set to play. When I looked at the time, I realized it was two hours and twenty minutes later than my typical waking time, and I was going to have to move quickly to get out the door on time. Normally, being thrown off that much would have sent me into a bit of a panic mode, yet yesterday, I felt grace and peace. Although I was sad to not spend the first portion of my day doing devotions and writing, I felt His grace and peace, reminding me that my body needed to be nourished too. Additionally, my boys got going the moment I woke them, and were able to get ready and out the door on time, despite the late start. His grace and peace were given to each of us, and all three of us ultimately had good days, despite what could have produced a panicked start. The Lord is faithful to give grace and peace when we look to Him. May His grace and peace be present today, no matter what comes your way.

 

The God of all grace,Aquiring Armor

Will always be near;

He grants us His peace,

And calms all our fears.

We need not panic,

Nor allow stress reign;

For God is our strength,

He makes our path plain.

Seek the Lord always,

Be filled with His grace;

Let His peace lead us,

To walk well each day.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts of Your grace and peace that You freely and lavishly give unto us. Thank You that You meet us in our moments of need, and bring calm to what could be chaotic. Forgive us for allowing panic to reign, rather than slowing down to seek You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would depend on You and Your strength for grace and peace when things are askew. Show us how to extend Your grace and peace to those around us, so that they come to know how deeply You love each of us, individually. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive the grace and peace that You give, and then go forth to share the same with all whom we meet. Amen.

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

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

The Presence of Peace

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – (John 14:27)

 

Jesus willingly went to the cross, rose from the grave and returned to the Father so that He could send us His Spirit to grant us His peace. His peace is not the sort of peace the world envisions, where there is merely an absence of conflict. The peace of Christ, our Comforter in chaos, grants us a supernatural settling in knowing He is God and we are not, even in the midst of chaos. His peace removes our need for fear of the future, and sends stress back where it belongs. The Lord does not long for our hearts to be troubled nor afraid, but He wants us to lean on Him and allow His strength, grace, goodness and love to move in the midst of whatever we face. He is far greater than anything that we are enduring, and His peace is available and present if we only slow down and seek Him. Let us look to the Lord who grants us true peace that will last forever, as He takes away the fear of whatever we are facing and supplies us the strength and endurance required to press on.

 

Peace is so much more,No Matter What Comes

than a state of calm;

it’s Christ in chaos,

our true healing balm.

When facing trouble,

His presence is near;

He answers our call,

each whisper He hears.

Hearts be not troubled,

and don’t be afraid;

for the peace of Christ,

is present each day.

It takes but a look,

to slow down and see;

how near that He is,

to you and to me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to come and carry our troubles and fears to the cross, and rise again to return to You, sending Your Holy Spirit to be our Help and our Comfort in all things and at all times. Forgive us for seeking peace as the world might search, and teach us to look to You in all things and at all times, even when peace seems beyond attainable in our storms. Lead us to lean into You, so that we would know Your peace no matter what is going on around us. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to know Your perfect peace, regardless of the storm they may be facing. Be glorified O God, as we receive the peace that You alone give, and allow not our hearts to be troubled nor fearful. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Seek and Surround

During times of great stress, temptation rears its ugly head. Our busyness beckons us to take shortcuts or to skip that which matters most, in order to get things done. Despite a willing spirit, we have weaknesses that require the strength of our Savior to successfully stand in the ways in which we are called. That may seem all well and good, but how are we to do this practically? Jesus gave specific directions to the disciples whom He had called to join Him in the garden at Gethsemane. Jesus said to them: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” – (Mark 14:38)

 

The example that Jesus gave to us in Gethsemane, is one that is still applicable today. For us to successfully resist temptation, we need to: (1) pray to God, (2) seek the support of friends and loved ones, and (3) focus on the purpose God has given us. – (paraphrased from NIV footnotes) Our go to first and foremost, must be to call on the Lord. He is our help and our hope in all things and at all times. Thankfully, God created us to be in community and does not expect us to tackle trials alone. Surrounding ourselves with those whom we can trust and rely on, is something that even Jesus did. Often we need the tangible and audible to be present in order to help us to clearly focus on the very purpose that God has placed before us. Both prayer and people He places in our lives, can point us back to our purpose and keep us on the path that He has planned for us. May we seek Him and surround ourselves with those who do likewise, so that when stress and struggles come, we may not be steered off course.

 

Temptations shall come,Seek and Surround

in times of great stress;

for we are weakest,

in the midst of mess.

We need our Savior,

our strength to stand strong;

to resist tempting,

in truth, carry on.

To stand strong in Christ,

first we’re meant to pray;

and seek the support,

of friends on the way.

Our focus must be,

on God and His plan;

so we aren’t deterred,

and by faith, we’ll stand.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we are vulnerable to temptation, especially in times of stress and busyness, we can overcome in You. Thank You that when we pray to You and seek the support that You provide, we are able to stand firm and focus on the purpose that You have planned for us. Forgive us for allowing the stresses of life to steer us off course or to turn our eyes away from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that our immediate response in times of turmoil will be to pray and seek support that will fix our eyes back on You and the purposes that You have placed before us. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we do as Jesus did to resist temptations and pursue the purposes that You have planned for each of us. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14