Jesus is Our Refuge in Suffering

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. – (Psalm 62:1-2, NIV)

I must calm down and turn to God; only He can rescue me. He is my Rock, the only one who can save me. He is my high place of safety, where no army can defeat me. – (Psalm 62:1-2, ERV)

God, the One and only – I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I need comes from Him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I’m set for life. – (Psalm 62:1-2, MSG)

Though I have not been suffering, I have been navigating uncharted territory through this whole skin cancer ordeal. From biopsy of the unknown to a bigger biopsy to determine nature of what had become known, to the confirmation that my new normal will include a medical team to watch diligently, to make certain that what was surgically removed, will not return. In the coming weeks, I have two appointments with two different oncologists, and an appointment with a dermatologist. Again, I am not in a space of suffering, but I am in a space of uncertainty of the unknown. God has been faithful to be ever near as I have walked through two biopsies and two surgeries that followed. I can trust Him to be faithful to remain near as we navigate all that lies ahead. Thankfully, His peace has been present and He is helping keep fear at bay. Yes, the not knowing makes me uneasy, but the certainty in knowing that He will be with me grants the courage to keep pressing forward without allowing the unknowns to monopolize my thoughts. Also, He has provided financially, as being double-covered with medical insurance has kept the bills that have come to a minimum. The Message says it well, as it states, “He’s the solid rock under my feet, and breathing room for my soul…” May we ever seek the Lord in our uncertainty, suffering or sorrows, for He is our refuge and the One on whom we can depend.

Present through trials,

God is ever near;

Foundation to stand,

As He calms each fear.

Forever our hope,

Our place of refuge;

Comfort Provider,

Love that each day’s new.

Help us rise up, Lord,

Our strength comes from You;

All thanks and our praise,

Are unto You, due.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and our hope, and that You are our refuge in suffering. Thank You that You promise to be present through every trial as we call on You to be near. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for in all things, the ultimate outcome is forever with You. Teach us to have an eternal perspective and to trust in You to be our strength and peace. Lead us to love those around us in ways that promote peace, pray for healing and wholeness, and bring hope to spaces that hope is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our comfort and praise You for Your unending faithfulness that we know is true. Amen.

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

But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. – Psalm 59:16

The Work of Wisdom

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

Teach us how short our lives are so that we can become wise. – (Psalm 90:12, ERV)

Teach us to number our days so that we may truly live and achieve wisdom. – (Psalm 90:12, VOICE)

The older I get, the more aware I become of just how short life truly is. Each day is a gift, and we either learn and grow as we go, or life passes us by. Wisdom is the work of God in us as we seek Him to teach us more of who He is and how He calls us to love. To gain a heart of wisdom, we must be intentional to seek the Lord in all things and to trust Him as He walks beside us and leads us in the directions we are meant to go. This does not transpire overnight, but rather is a lifelong process. God has gifted me with access to wise women who have a few years more life experience than me to bless, encourage, challenge and model what it is to ever grow in wisdom. Each are acutely aware that every single day is a gift to be treasured, and their faithfulness models what an ongoing pursuit of wisdom in Him looks like. My hope for the coming year is to ever seek the Lord to grow in His wisdom so that I may walk out my days according to His purpose.

Please teach me, O Lord,

To number my days;

To grow in wisdom,

And walk in Your ways.

I need Your guidance,

Each day that I wake;

To love as You love,

And learn from mistakes.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

That all that life brings;

Can be used for good,

Because You’re the King.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we grow and trust You more, we gain wisdom and insight in You. Thank You that You are faithful to show us how You can work all things together for our good, even when our circumstances are not. Forgive us for being flippant with our time and for the times that we have delayed in seeking You. Show us how to turn to You first in all things, and to listen to Your leading. Help us to love those around us as You do, so that all might gain glimpses of Your goodness and love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize the gift that each new day brings and choose to seek You with intention so that we may continue to grow in wisdom as we go. Amen.

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

Reverence for the Eternal is the first step toward wisdom. All those who worship Him have a good understanding. His praise will echo through eternity! – Psalm 111:10

Protective Plumage

He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield. – (Psalm 91:4, HCSB)

You can go to Him for protection. He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies. You can trust Him to surround and protect you like a shield. – (Psalm 91:4, ERV)

Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you. – (Psalm 91:4, VOICE)

Feathers provide protection, warmth, and the structure to support flight. The imagery of being covered with God’s feathers is one that feels gentle and strong, supportive and freeing, as protection and warmth are things that make us feel secure enough to spread our wings and take flight. Being surrounded by His wings provides a safe, warm space where we can rest and take refuge in Him. In this season, as the busy and unexpected challenges arise, it is so good to know that we have a safe space where we are covered, protected, and supported so that we can keep moving forward. May we ever seek the Lord to cover us with His wings, as He surrounds us like a shield and teaches us to take flight.

We are protected,

Surrounded, kept warm;

A shield about us,

Through all of life’s storms.

Covered by strong wings,

To rest and delight;

Renewed and strengthened,

So we may take flight.

To soar each season,

We find ourselves in;

And rise in His strength,

Despite where we’ve been.

Lean into His wings,

Both gentle and strong;

Secure and stable,

By grace we belong.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You cover us with Your strong and gentle wings, and You protect and encourage, through all that life brings. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we lose sight of Your nearness. Teach us to lean into You and to rest in the hollow of Your wings. Show us how to love those around us with similar gentleness, protection and strength. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to cover us with Your wings. Amen.

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

Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge. – Psalm 16:1

Good Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you” – this is the Lord’s declaration – “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, HCSB)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

“I say this because I know the plans that I have for you.” This message is from the Lord. “I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, ERV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope – never forget that.” – (Jeremiah 29:11, VOICE) 

God is good and is faithful to fulfill His promises. He has good plans for us that include a hope and a future. The Lord is our protector and our source, and we can trust in Him to be who He says He is. May we ever seek God and place our trust in Him, for He is our hope and our future is found in Him.

Our future’s secure,

When we trust in Him;

Our hope, Protector,

Our Father and friend.

His plans are for good,

Full of love and peace;

His presence, promised,

Where grace is released.

Choose turn to the Lord,

By faith, trust in Him;

His love is assured,

And hope enters in.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have plans for each of us. Plans that include a hope and a future. Thank You that this is not just for us as children or young adults, but rather is true throughout our lifetime. Thank You that Your capacity to bring change and make things new, knows no end. Forgive us for feeling as if this is all there is. Thank You that in You, there is always more – more to learn, more growth, more love, more hope. Teach us to trust in You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in ways that convey hope and peace and Your perfect love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust our future in Your hands, and are assured that Your plans for us are good. Amen.

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

Surely Your 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

Dependent for Peace

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. – (Isaiah 26:3, HCSB)

God, You give true peace to people who depend on You, to those who trust in You. – (Isaiah 26:3, ERV)

You will keep the peace, a perfect peace, for all who trust in You, for those who dedicate their hearts and minds to You. – (Isaiah 26:3, VOICE)

Early mornings are my favorite time of the day. The world is still sleeping and the house is silent. My mind and heart have intentional time to focus on He who is our peace, and I am typically flanked by two sweet sleeping puppies. In the same way that they trust me to provide for them and keep them safe, we too need to trust in God. It is in the space of trusting Him that we understand His peace, regardless of what goes on around us. By starting each day in the silent stillness with God, my heart is filled and equipped to navigate the day. May we ever keep our minds dependent on God, for it is in trusting and depending on Him that we know His perfect peace.

There is perfect peace,

That we all may know;

It’s found in Jesus,

Where His love is shown.

As we choose seek Him,

Surely we shall find;

His loving kindness,

That gives peace of mind.

So, choose to trust Him,

He’s faithful and true;

His grace abundant,

As He leads us through.

Throughout each new day,

He will remain near;

And give us His peace,

And make our paths clear.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are where we find peace as we trust and depend on You. Thank You for quiet spaces to seek You. Forgive us for taking our eyes off of You, as peace is disrupted when we depend on anything other than You. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us well, so that we can share Your goodness, grace and peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we depend on You to be our perfect peace. Amen.

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

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Our Strength and Place of Peace

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, NIV)

May the Lord make His people strong. May the Lord bless His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, ERV)

God makes His people strong. God gives His people peace. – (Psalm 29:11, MSG)

After a wonderful whirlwind of a week away, today we will embark on our journey home. Our travels will begin this afternoon, and we will arrive home in the early hours of the morning tomorrow. Strength and peace are both things that we will need as we make our way home. God is good, and He provides His goodness and grace as we seek Him. May we ever trust in the Lord to be our strength and peace, and extend the same to all those whom we encounter throughout our days.

The Lord is our strength,

And our place of peace;

Ever He’s with us,

As grace He’ll release.

He leads us each day,

When we choose to seek;

Grants all that we need,

His love is complete.

Show us Your goodness,

Lead us by Your grace;

Help us to love all,

And walk in Your ways.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and our peace. Thank You that in all things and at all times, You are present to help. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed our circumstances to steal our peace. Teach us to trust in You and rely on You to provide the strength we need and be our peace. Show us how to love those around us in ways that extend peace and strength. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to supply us with the strength we need and to be our peace at all times. Amen.

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

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. – Psalm 62:8

Hope is Certain

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23, NIV)

We must hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God to do what He promised. – (Hebrews 10:23, ERV)

Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23, VOICE)

Hope is certain when we understand the faithfulness of God. His faithfulness is not dependent on whether or not things go the way that we’d hoped, but rather that He remains with us, in and through all things. God’s promises are not for an easy life, but rather for one with Him present to help us live with purpose. Our purpose is not some big mysterious question mark, but is to love God and love people in all that we do. Some of the greatest examples of people who have held onto hope without wavering, were people who had to navigate the greatest obstacles, yet did so with a firm faith in He who is our hope. God has shown us again and again that we can trust Him to be present and to provide what we need to press on. May we ever hold fast to the hope we have in God, for He is trustworthy and is faithful to His promises forever.

Lord, help us hold fast,

To Your promises;

For You are faithful,

To all You have said.

Present in all things,

You supply our needs;

Flood our hearts with love,

For Your grace exceeds.

Love that’s unfailing,

Grace that knows no end;

Hope in forever,

And peace You extend.

All thanks be to God,

Our hope ever more;

Where goodness and love,

Are an open door.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever and the One in whom we can place our hope. Thank You that Your love sustains us and Your goodness strengthens us to hold fast to hope in all things. Forgive us for the times that we have lost sight of the hope that is only found in You. Teach us to trust in You and to remember You are faithful to fulfill Your promises. Show us how to love, encourage, and extend hope to all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to the hope we profess and trust in Your faithfulness always. Amen.

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

Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord. – Psalm 31:24

Present to Save

Yahweh your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy. – (Zephaniah 3:17, HCSB)

The Lord your God is with you. He is like a powerful soldier. He will save you. He will show how much He loves you and how happy He is with you. He will laugh and be happy about you. – (Zephaniah 3:17, ERV)

Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, He’ll calm you with His love and delight you with His songs. – (Zephaniah 3:17, MSG)

God is with us. He is ready to fight on our behalf and save us. As our Father, He delights in His children and brings comfort and peace. We can trust Him to be who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do. I find myself in an odd season of life. I know far too many friends who are fighting sickness and disease, yet incredibly, they are each holding on in faith and trusting God as they fight. It is because they know the goodness of God, that they are able to fight and trust and know peace. I’m not sure where I am going with this, other than when we don’t know what to do, God does. He sees, He knows and He cares, and He is with us through all things. May we ever seek the Lord who is present among us, and trust Him to fight, to bring us peace, and to be the hope that we hold in our hearts.

The Lord is present,

Photo by Lukas Rodriguez on Pexels.com

He’s mighty to save;

He’s willing to fight,

For us, each new day.

He takes joy in us,

Because we are His;

His love brings us peace,

He does what He says.

Faithful forever,

In Him we can trust;

Seek Him in all things,

He is good and just.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever, and that we can trust in You in all things and at all times. Thank You that no matter what comes our way, You remain present to help. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when things seem dismal. Lead us in Your love, for with You, there is always hope and help. Teach us to love those around us in ways that convey Your goodness and faithfulness forever. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to trust You to be who You say You are, and to do what You say You will do. Amen.

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

Turn, Lord! Rescue me; save me because of Your faithful love. – Psalm 6:4

Generously and Faithfully

“They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.” “But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to Him. “Bring them here to Me,” He said. – (Matthew 14:16-18, HCSB)

Jesus said, “The people don’t need to go away. You give them some food to eat.” The followers answered, “But we only have five loaves of bread and two fish.” Jesus said, “Bring the bread and fish to Me.” – (Matthew 14:16-18, ERV)

Jesus: They don’t need to go back to the villages in order to eat supper. Give them something to eat here.

Disciples: But we don’t have enough food. We only have five rounds of flatbread and two fish.

Jesus: Bring the bread and fish to Me. 

So the disciples brought Him the five rounds of flatbread and the two fish. – (Matthew 14:16-18, VOICE)

This passage is an excellent reminder of how God can supply all that we need and more when we trust Him with what we do have, especially when we seek to be generous. Though I have not personally witnessed five loaves and two fish feeding thousands, I have seen God do immeasurably more than I could have hoped or imagined when I placed what I had to offer in His hands. He takes what we have and makes it enough. This is true with our time, talent and resources. We are called to love and give, and as we do, God supplies for both the giver and the recipient. May we ever seek the Lord to be our supply, for He is generous and kind, and faithful to meet us as we stand in faith.

In Christ there’s enough,

Our Source and Supply;

He takes what we bring,

And then multiplies.

The Lord is the One,

Who sees ev’ry need;

Then takes what’s offered,

And makes it exceed.

Exceed what is seen,

Go beyond what’s known;

The Multiplier,

Of each seed that’s sown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have shown us how You can take the little that we have to offer and use it to bless many. Thank You that You see every offering and hear every prayer. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for You are always enough. Teach us to trust You with all so that we might give generously and live faithfully. Show us how to love in tangible ways so that those around us might come to know the goodness of Your love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we place all that we have and all that we are into Your hands, for in You, there is enough. Amen.

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

God gave us this command: If we love God, we must also love each other as brothers and sisters. – 1 John 4:21

Do Not Worry

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” – (Matthew 6:25-26, HCSB)

“So I tell you, don’t worry about the things you need to live – what you will eat, drink or war. Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what you put on it. Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Don’t you know you are worth much more than they are?” – (Matthew 6:25-26, ERV)

“This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing – everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing? Consider the birds – do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they?” – (Matthew 6:25-26, TPT)

When we worry, we are doing one of two things: we are either depending on our own self-sufficiency, or we are doubting the power and love of God to help us. In Christ, we have all that we need to navigate each new day. He is our Provider, and will meet us where we are with what we need. His love is greater than anything and everything that might come against us, and He is willing and ready to show us the way. Our part is to trust Him and do what He asks of us. Just as He guides the birds to fly south during the winter months so that they may have all that they need to survive, He too, will direct our steps to do our part to walk into His provision. May we ever seek the Lord in our spaces of need or worry, for He is faithful and loving and will lead us in goodness and grace to a place of plenty for each new day. 

We need not worry,

In God there’s enough;

To meet all our needs,

And smooth what is rough.

The God of heaven,

Is He who supplies;

All that is needed,

Where hope’s realized.

No matter the ask,

The Lord always hears;

He’s ready to help,

And calm ev’ry fear.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that just as the birds need not worry about what they will eat or wear, we too need not worry about anything, for You hear our every prayer. Forgive us for doubting Your provision or for trying to do everything in our own strength. Teach us to turn to You in trust and ask You to lead us with all that we need. Show us how to love those around us tangibly, so that Your heart will be made plain to all whom we meet. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we cast all our cares upon You and seek You to lead us and supply us with all that we need each day. Amen.

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

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. – Matthew 7:8