Surrounded

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” – (2 Chronicles 20:17, NIV)

“You will not have to fight this battle. Just stand there and watch the Lord save you. Judah and Jerusalem, don’t be afraid. Don’t worry, because the Lord is with you. So go out to stand against those people tomorrow.” – (2 Chronicles 20:17, ERV)

“Stand and watch, but do not fight the battle. There, you will watch the Eternal save you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or worry. Tomorrow, face the army and trust that the Eternal is with you.” – (2 Chronicles 20:17, VOICE)

 

After waking up and preparing my coffee, and settling to begin my devotions, I heard mom stirring in her room. Her movement is my cue to go check and see if she is ready to get up for a restroom run. Of course, she gladly took me up on the early morning offer, and after all was said and done, she determined that she would try to go back to bed and sleep a while longer. When I returned to my spot at the kitchen table with a view, the lyrics from a simple worship song kept playing on repeat in my head and heart:

This is how I fight my battles

This is how I fight my battles (repeats)

It may look like I’m surrounded 

But I’m surrounded by You (repeats)

(To listen, click here. )

As I looked in the word for similar, I found the story in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20. The gist is about God’s faithfulness in fighting on behalf of Judah and Jerusalem when they were surrounded on all sides. Reading verse seventeen, it was as if Jesus was saying to me: You will not have to fight this battle(alone). Just stand there and watch Me work. Shannon and Megan, don’t be afraid. Don’t worry, I am with You. Go out and take each tomorrow as it comes, for I will be with you. Now, I am not trying to twist scripture, nor change the meaning of a passage, but rather, I am attempting to share the encouragement gained from reading about God’s faithfulness to Judah and Jerusalem when they likely felt completely overwhelmed. For my sister and me, we too have had such “surrounded” moments as we navigate this road to recovery with mom. Just as the song came in like a flood and surrounded my heart and mind, so too has God’s faithful provision for mom, Megan and myself, when we needed it most. He knows our need and is full of goodness and grace, ready to move on our behalf. Personally, after my sister had to return home Thursday, I was a bit intimidated to take on the care giver role alone. I want to bless, protect, help and encourage mom every step of this journey as I love her well, and I feel completely inadequate and ill-equipped to do all that needs to be done. None of us are ever fully equipped nor prepared for the things to which we are called. I imagine that is part of God’s wise design. It keeps us dependent on Him to be our help, hope and strength, and helps us recognize His grace and provisions, both great and small.

Yesterday, mom and I were surrounded well by my husband and boys. It was so good to share meals together, visit together, and enjoy a family favorite game before bed. Watching the delight on mom’s face as she interacted with my guys, and the same look, mirrored on their faces, filled the places in my heart that were feeling a bit depleted. We have a bit more time altogether today before they head home, so I know that our cups will be fuller still, before the day’s end. May we ever seek the Lord to fight our battles, and know that we are surrounded by Him.

 

When life overwhelms,

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Surrounded by family. ❤ (Christmas 2018)

And battles rage on;

Turn in trust to God,

Whose help makes us strong.

Strong for the battles,

We’re chosen to fight;

Wisdom to listen,

Gain the Lord’s insight.

The courage to wait,

And trust in His plan;

Soak in surrender,

As for us, He’ll stand.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You fight on our behalf, even when we are unaware of how You are moving. Thank You that You are faithful to strengthen and equip us for each new day, and that You supply all that we need as the need arises. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we appear to be surrounded by more than we can bear. Teach us to recognize that we are actually surrounded by You. Show us how to walk by faith and not by sight, as You fight for us and through us. Lead us to love those around us well, so that they too may come to know and understand Your strength and grace and love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we fight our battles by surrendering to Your surrounding of us all. Amen.

 

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

 

For we live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7

Filled by Grace

From His abundance we have received one gracious blessing after another. – (John 1:16, NLT) 

Yes, the Word was full of grace and truth, and from Him we all received one blessing after another. – (John 1:16, ERV) 

And now out of His fullness we are fulfilled! And from Him we receive grace heaped upon more grace! – (John 1:16, TPT) 

 

Jesus came so that we could have life abundant in Him. Full of grace and truth, He grants us blessings upon blessings. That is not to say that He gives us a life free of suffering and pain, but rather He promises to be with us, as He pours out His love, grace and blessings in the midst of all. Christ is the light in our darkness and joy in the midst of difficulty. His loving kindness knows no end. May we seek the Lord and His gracious love, allowing His goodness to be made known, both in us and through us. 

 

In the beginning, 0802180628a2020644511162622208.jpg

The Word always was; 

Loving, creating, 

Heart ever for us. 

At the very time, 

The world so in need; 

Came God, the Most High, 

So all might be freed. 

Set free from our sin, 

Pain and all our shame; 

The hope of the world, 

Found in Jesus’ Name. 

His grace upon grace, 

To us He outpours; 

So we might know hope, 

And choose sin no more. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of Your Son. Thank You that through Him, grace, love and blessings are poured out abundantly. Forgive us for not looking to You to be our peace, comfort and hope in the midst of our storms. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the giver of all grace, and You pour out Your provision to all who seek You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that shares Your loving kindness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the blessings that You pour out on us and the grace You give so that we trust You in all.

 

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

 

And all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – Romans 3:24

 

 

Gentleness Makes Love Tangible

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. – (Philippians 4:5, NIV)

Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. – (Philippians 4:5, CEB)

Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us. – (Philippians 4:5, VOICE)

Let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near. – (Philippians 4:5, TPT)

 

Gentleness is a vehicle for kindness that makes love tangible. God loves us fiercely, but so often makes His love known through the gentleness of those whom He places in our lives. A kind word, a gentle gesture or a small, sweet sentiment extended toward us, make us feel seen and known and loved. We are called to allow gentleness to be seen in and through us in every relationship. God equips and empowers us to extend grace and kindness to all, even the seemingly undeserving. Just as we have received His gentleness when our thoughts, words or actions warranted quite the opposite, so too, are we to allow the very same gentleness to be evident through us. May we seek the Lord and His love for all to fill our hearts so that His gentleness may be seen in our every interaction with those around us.

 

Let sweet gentleness,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Be easy to see;

For kindness given,

Sets captive hearts free.

Because God is love,

We know tenderness;

A word, deed or touch,

In our brokenness.

So, let us choose too,

Be gentle and kind;

Such things soften hearts,

And soothe troubled minds.

The Lord’s ever near,

With kindness and grace;

Fill with gentleness,

So love is in place.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only call us to extend gentleness to others, but empower and equip us to love as You love each of us. Forgive us for the times that we have not been gentle with ourselves and with those around us, as each of us are loved and valued beyond measure by You. Give us Your eyes to see one another as You do, so that we are better able to allow gentleness to be our mode of operation as we interact. Show us how to love others with the same kindness and gentleness that You make so evident to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we extend gentleness in our words, thoughts and actions to all whom we meet. Amen.

 

 

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

 

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1

Thirst No More

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life. – (John 4:14, NLT)

But anyone who drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. The water I give people will be like a spring flowing inside them. It will bring them eternal life. – (John 4:14, ERV)

I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life through eternity. You will never be thirsty again. – (John 4:14, VOICE)

 

Just as we are wired to need water to survive, our spirit within us desperately desires something to quench our thirst. The only One who can truly satisfy what we crave is Jesus. His love and light and life bring fulfillment where we are lacking. In the spaces where we formerly lacked hope, we discover eternal life in Him. The truth of His word becomes a wellspring within us that bubbles up and flows in us and through us to those around us. May we ever seek the Lord and the hope that He holds, for in Him there is light and life and love forever.

 

We are created, No Matter What Comes

With inborn desire;

A thirst for the Lord,

It’s how we are wired.

We all have a need,

To be satisfied;

Natural pursuit,

Of God glorified.

For as we find God,

We shall thirst no more;

His heart within us,

Refreshes, restores.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that Your word is life that flows within us and through us, granting us secure hope in eternal life with You. Forgive us for seeking to satisfy our thirst anywhere other than in You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are light and life and hope, and our thirst is only truly satisfied in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that allows Your goodness to freely flow through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we drink from the water of Your word, and hold fast to the hope we know in You forever. Amen.

 

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

 

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Watchful, Prayerful, Thankful

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

 

To devote ourselves to prayer, is to set apart, dedicate and commit our hearts to press on in consistent conversations with our Creator. This requires an ongoing awareness of what He is doing in us, through us, and around us. Consequently, in our cognizance, we become increasingly thankful for all that God has done and continues to do in our lives each and every day. May we begin each day anew, devoted wholly to Him who is worthy, as we are diligent to be watchful, prompt to offer praise, and operate in ongoing conversations with Christ.

 

To be devoted,To Reflect His Radiance

to Jesus our Lord;

a choice to invest,

life lived in accord.

Be ever watchful,

to see what He’s done;

and quick to thank Him,

for the battles won.

In all things, prayerful,

give the Lord all trust;

for He’s the answer,

all His ways are just.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we devote ourselves to prayer, and are watchful and thankful, we become aware of the miraculous all around us. Thank You that You move on our behalf, even when we cannot see it. Forgive us for not being fully devoted to pray, even when You are clearly the answer that we need to seek. Teach us to trust You more, so that You are the first One we seek in both suffering and celebration. Help us to be ever watchful and thankful, so that we may share of all the wonders You have done both around us, in us and through us. Lead us to love others well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we devote ourselves to prayer, and are watchful and thankful in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Holding What is Heard

God is Lord of the miraculous – not because we do enough or somehow earn it, but rather He grants favor where faith is found. Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? – (Galatians 3:5) Our faith in Christ is what empowers us to live for God. As we allow Him reign in us, He works through us, to help us do that which need be done. It is not by works; it is through faith we are saved. May we lay hold of what we have heard by His Spirit, and believe by faith, so that He may accomplish through us, all that needs to be done.

 

Though the law is good,Holding What is Heard

to show us the ways;

where we’ve fallen short,

throughout all our days.

It is by our faith,

that God opts to move;

He works miracles,

among we who choose.

May we each lay hold,

of what we have heard;

and by faith, embrace,

the Lord’s Holy Word.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your Spirit in us is not dependant on our ability to do enough or be good enough, but rather it is a matter of whether or not we choose to believe and trust in You. Thank You Jesus, that You are worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that You empower us to live for You, no matter what is going on around us. Forgive us for thinking that we need to somehow follow a set of rules and regulations to be “good enough” in Your sight, and help us to hear clearly the truth of Your grace found in faith. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may operate in confidence, knowing that You are both with us and for us, always. Lead us to love others, just as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we faithfully follow You.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, Who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5