God’s ways are not our ways; He chooses the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise. It would have been normal if it were Jesus’s disciples who first witnessed His empty tomb on that first Resurrection Sunday. But no! God does not do normal! It had to be Mary Magdalene, the woman who was once possessed and didn’t know hope until Jesus found her. She was the one to first see it with her own eyes, and not only did she see the empty tomb, she saw Jesus. Jesus came to her and spoke her name. He simply spoke her name and things changed for her. Hope was renewed. Could Jesus be speaking your name today? Would you turn around, pay attention and listen? The resurrection gives our lives meaning, direction, and the opportunity to start over no matter our circumstances. You might have been feeling hopeless, shameful, guilt, and all the negative emotions you can think of, but there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…. You can choose to leave all the negative behind you, and move on and live a life full of love, joy, and peace with Jesus.
Wonderful Women, you are fearfully, and wonderfully made! With nothing missing, and with nothing broken; in God’s image you were created. Your frame was not hidden from Him when you were being formed in secret; You were intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth. His eyes saw your unformed substance; And in His book were all written, The days fashioned for you, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are God’s thoughts towards you. How vast is the sum of them!
May strength and honor be your clothing And kindness be found on your tongue. May you open your mouth with wisdom And always rejoice in the time to come.
Sometimes life is a little less princess-like and a lot more hardships than we expected. Reality hits hard and our “for such a time as this” dreams begin to fade. We are tempted to question, Will my “for such a time as this” moment ever come? Does God have a special plan for me?
But what if our “for such a time as this” moment is right now—right here? Instead of doubting and wondering, why don’t we believe that this is part of God’s plan? Which will lead us to ask the right questions like, what do I need to do so that I do not waste this moment? What can I learn from Queen Esther?
Esther followed God’s direction. Patiently waiting for the right moment, God opened the King’s heart to her plight which resulted in his favor bestowed upon Esther, Mordecai, and the Jewish people. Whatever our circumstances, we can wake up each day knowing our “for such a time as this” is right now—right here. We can trust the King of kings to guide us as we say “yes” in obedience. When we do, we will discover that even in the midst of our humdrum, our hardships, and everything in between, God has a plan.
2020 has been “that” year. A year that will be imprinted in our minds forever. A year in which many have walked through blazing fires and sailed the roughest seas. Definitely, a year we will never forget.
Now that we have come to the very last month of 2020, Never forget how far you have come, and everything you have gotten through: All the times you have pushed on even when you felt like you couldn’t. All the mornings you got out of bed no matter how hard it was. All the times you wanted to give up but you got through another day. Never forget how much strength you developed along the way.
Don’t you just hate it when discouragement waltzes in your mind and heart uninvited? I mean you were doing fine; you were motivated, upbeat, positive, confident then boom! This unpleasant, icky feeling of discouragement comes in like a flood unexpectedly.
The enemy comes in our life through our minds when we least expect it, and he will try to bring us down in ways you didn’t think was possible. He will do everything he can to break you and leave you feeling discouraged, worthless and inadequate. However, this is not how God wants for us.
Which is why it is very important to think about what you are thinking about. You cannot leave yourself open to the enemy. The enemy puts these negative thoughts into your brain and wants you to drown in your self-pity. Thoughts have to be filtered out or else they leave you vulnerable to the enemy. You have to be willing to take each thought you have and reject the ones that do not fit into the Word of God. If God wouldn’t agree with it, then it’s to be gone!
There are times when we might feel like the lonely ship tossed about by the waves on the stormy sea. Back and forth we float without direction, wondering if anyone will ever take any notice. If we are not holding onto hope as our compass, making it to dry land can be impossible.
Which is why we need a true north—a constant focal point that never changes. Wandering through without a compass and hoping you fulfil your God-ordained purpose on this earth can be very challenging. But when you look to God, He will give you the strength and endurance you will ever need. Not only strength to hold on, but enough strength to see you come out of that storm victorious. When you’re tired, His firm arms will scoop you up and breathe fresh life into your dry and weary bones. When you’re too battered to take one more step forward, His wellspring of life rises up and fills you once again. When you’re lost and unsure, His wisdom and insight opens the weary eyes and illuminates the journey ahead.
Be assured: there is no other true north, no other source of strength that will sustain you, or light that will faithfully guide you. Leave behind the world’s answers to your weariness and embrace your true north. God is the only sustainable source and your anchor in all circumstances. May the Lord direct your heart and His strength carry you through your darkest valley when all you want to do is give up.
Sometimes God does not direct you straight into your promised land. Like the children of Israel, once in a while, you may find yourself camping at the base of a mountain waiting for further instructions. Coming out of Egypt is the easy part, but waiting to go into Canaan is entirely a different ball game.
Frustrations will come knocking at your door, and if you are not careful, delayed expectations will lead you to make poor decisions. If you are not strong enough you might even find yourself tempted to reject God and pursue whatever might give you temporary satisfaction.
If you’ve ever felt frustrated by an uncertain season that lasts longer than you anticipated, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that your waiting is not wasted. Look for evidence of God’s presence, and look back on what He’s already done. God’s timeline may be different than yours, but His faithfulness doesn’t waver.
For most of us there are times when life feels like a wilderness; wild, waste and inhospitable. You feel like you are going round and round in circles coming across the same familiar landmarks of painful issues, broken relationships, dysfunctional work situations, and you ask yourself; “haven’t I been here before?” And, as if that is not bad enough, 2020 had to waltz in our lives with its bag full of uncertainties—throwing at us all kinds of weather conditions to deal with. Truth be told at times it can feel just a bit overwhelming.
When life takes you in circles, permit yourself to slow down. Try along the journey to refine your compassion, gratitude and ability to hope. Notice the manna around you: the sustenance you find in your relationships, and being able to be around your family is a blessing. When life feels like a wilderness, remember that God can do a new thing at any time. He will make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19