Welcome friends from Heather’s place!!!

If you are visiting from Heather Bleier’s place, welcome to my online home! And if you aren’t, I have a guest post today that I would love for you to stop by and read! You can find it here!

It is a post I wrote about 2 years ago, but felt led to repost today. There are many of us still hurting over past wounds. Wounds that happened years ago, but feel as if they happened yesterday. The pain is fresh and redemption seems delayed. If that is you – I have been there – but I want you to know there is another side.

It was not easy. It took 2 years of counseling, and continued struggles after that for me to finally say I feel healed. I still struggle, but I know that Christ has redeemed me from the broken places. I have come to a place where I no longer shame myself for things of the past, or even mistakes I make in the present. Isaiah 61 has become my theme song. Particulary Isaiah 61:3 which says,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

I love the phrase “oil of joy”. When I first read that phrase, I wanted to know where I could get such oil. It seems like something that would be nice to have around the house. What I found was that the oil of joy is actually the Holy Spirit. The Spirit which dwells in our hearts! The oil is already ours! We just have to learn how to apply it!

We apply the oil when we decide to stop condeming ourselves. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. The oil is poured down over our heads when we decide to rejoice in the Lord and all He has done for us in spite of our pain and circumstances. It doesn’t mean that we don’t deal with the pain of our past – we do what we must to deal with these things – but we don’t stay focused on the hurt. We choose to move forward in Christ Jesus by accepting the oil of joy that has been and continues to be poured out upon us.

If you feel stuck in the mourning phase today, I want to take this opportunity to pray with you…

Dear Lord, Please help us to embrace the oil of joy – the Spirit of gladness – that you have already given us. Lord you are our hope and joy, our gladness in despair. Help us to put on a garment of praise no matter what we are dealing with today. In Jesus Name We Pray, Amen.

The grace of a face plant in church…

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 NKJV

We went to church last night, and apparently God knew I needed some humbling. My shins have been so sore from a crazy idea that I too can be a runner. And even though my shins feel like miniature exploding firecrackers attached to my legs, I decided to wear heals to church. I was uncomfortable for sure, but I like heals. A girl has to have fashionable shoes.

I managed to make it to the building and drop off the kids without to much pain, although I was getting rather lazy in my walking and shuffling my feet.

With my husband behind me, we entered the sanctuary and found a row to sit on. I like the front and Kevin likes the back, so we go with the middle. As I started down the row, my foot caught on the lip of the carpet and, well, you can imagine the rest. I face-planted there in the middle of church with everyone watching. I got up and managed a giggle, laughing at my own clumsiness. My husband asked if I was okay and then teasingly reminded me that this has to be like the millionth time I’ve tripped and fallen at church. It always seems to happen at church!

Maybe God has a message for me. Perhaps it’s time for me to get on my knees before the Lord, and the only way for my stubborn heart to hear is to literally be brought to my knees in His house.

I know I need humility. In fact it’s a prayer I often refuse to pray. I feel like asking God to humble me is like looking for embarrassment. I don’t like to be embarrassed. But God doesn’t humble us so that we will be embarrassed. He humbles us so we will not trip over the mountain of our own pride.

Pride gets in the way of what God has for us. It leads us to believe we can rely upon ourselves rather than relying on Him. When I experience pride, when I live of my own accord, I most certainly fall. It’s like wearing heals when I know I should go with flats. If I’m arrogant and lifted up in myself, I’m hurting in my walk with Christ, and destined for a fall.

James 4:6 tells us that God gives grace to the humble. GRACE! Not embarrassment, but grace. And grace is most certainly something I need. To walk in the grace of God I must be willing to let myself go. Sinful pride will only leave me destined for a fall.

Today, I challenge us both to pray the prayer of humility. Let’s ask God to humble us, and keep us humble, so that we may walk in grace with Him.