Friday, April 30, 2010

Open Doors

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you
an open door that no one can shut.
I know that you have little strength,
yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Revelation 3:8 (NIV)

When I read the Bible I believe that God speaks to me, but at times I am still startled when it happens! This verse was one of those startling moments when in the midst of feeling absolutely exhausted and confused as to the future, God spoke. It was just what I needed, at just the right time. And while the intensity of my life didn’t change, my eye sight increased as I began, more intently, looking for the open doors and discovering that they weren’t always obvious, but they definitely existed!

With each morning sunrise a door is opened to us that no one can shut, except our own inability or refusal to walk through it. Whatever happened the day before is gone. Perhaps remnants of the previous day may carry into the next but what we hold in our hand, on this particular day, is the door knob to a fresh start, new opportunities, new beginnings.

What belongs in this newness is all that God has placed there and He is ever aware of what we are able to handle. And that is the surprising part! On any given day, week or month, we may feel completely depleted, unable to think much less do. But our weakness is taken into account, considered by God and determined.

And what about those doors that God places before us? Well, if they’re already “open” we don’t need strength to unlock, push, run or shove—just strength enough to walk through and live in the moment, the gift, that God has given.

Jesus, I believe you have doors open for me.
Help my eyes to see your newness every day.


Thursday, April 29, 2010


I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve.

Jeremiah 17:10

Recently the BYU women’s rugby team had to make a costly decision. After winning their division title they were set to play in the quarter finals of the national rugby tournament. Given their record it looked as though they could go to the finals. All that stood between them and a historic event for their team was a day—Sunday. As a team they decided to forfeit the game because playing on a Sunday, the Sabbath, would have been in direct conflict with their personal beliefs. By forfeiting, BYU lost, Penn State advanced, and the BYU team boarded a plane home to Utah.

By recounting this news story, please don’t think I am espousing Mormonism! There is, however, something to be said for the difficult decision that the team made for the sake of their “personal beliefs.” And, it got me thinking about the followers of Jesus Christ and how willing or unwilling we are to stand up for what we believe. In fact, what are the visible, tangible things that set us apart from the culture?

When I think about God searching my heart and examining my mind I squirm. That seems awfully invasive! And yet, that’s exactly what God wants to do—invade our lives so completely that everything about us—thoughts, emotions, actions, words—are a flag waving testimony for Him. How this all translates into our day to day lives depends on the individual. But the question remains, “how is my life visible, tangible proof for what I believe?”
Jesus, I pray that the way I live my life
through my actions, words and responses
will be visible, tangible proof that I believe in You.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trust Worthy

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.

Psalm 37:5

Trust is at the heart of so much of what we do. We respond to situations and individuals according to our level of trust. Trust is often easily given, but once broken we discover that trust is not easily restored.

This verse was part of a collection of verses I once put together for a women’s retreat. They were part of a plan to encourage Bible memorization and so there was one for each month. Of course, what began as a “to do” for others, quickly became a life lesson for me. While the whole of my life has been a continuous lesson on trust that particular period of my life had shoved me into “class” full time.

My “way” that particular year was moving for the fifth time in six years which resulted in my not being able to see our daughter be in a high school graduation ceremony. A family member died whose home needed to be sorted and cleaned. I packed and posted a “house for sale” sign in a down market. There was a new house, new friends, a new town, even an unexpected surgery, and five months later I sobbed good-bye to our only child as she left for college. Everything was new. Trust was an uncertain commodity in a new environment.

Every morning was and continues to be a repeated prayer, “I trust you, Lord.” And God has acted, intervened, provided all along the way. Today, my “way” remains rocky and uncertain but I can confidently say, God is worthy of trust.

Jesus, whatever today holds I commit to you;
trusting that you will act in a way that is best for me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Risking Worship

The moment they saw him they worshiped him.
Some, though, held back, not sure about “worship”,
about risking themselves totally.

Matthew 28:17 (The Message)

There have been worship leaders, who in their eagerness to get their congregation to “worship” have by their own admission been manipulative. “Do you love Jesus? Raise your right hand? Do you know that Jesus loves you? Raise your left hand! Ah, hah I’ve gotten you to raise your hands, now keep them up there and let’s worship.” Worship is a response of love and adoration to God, but it should be a voluntary action!

I feel for the disciples that held back when they saw Jesus, not wanting to risk themselves totally. Worship is a dangerous business—you may lose yourself, completely. A loss of control is at stake and the uncertainty of what might happen is just that, uncertain.

During our years of ministry, my husband and I have heard all sorts of reasons why people hold back when it comes to worship. But all of them are based in worry and a need for control—how they will look or what will people think—if they take a risk at worship.

Abandoning, “risking” ourselves to the act of worship means that sometimes we might “look” funny. But, there will also be laughter, joy, energy, new friends, even a new sense community.

Your risk will look different than mine. But the next time you’re worshiping ask yourself, are you holding back from totally showing your love and devotion to Jesus.
Jesus, I love you and want to worship you.
But, sometimes I get caught up,not in your Spirit,
but in who might be looking.
Help me to risk learning what it means to worship You with abandon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Spirit of Activity

The purpose of living is not to learn to make prayer; but to become prayer; to live in and for God according to the divine call, wholly surrended to the Spirit's activity in the soul for the glory of God.

Fr Gilbert Shaw

Every morning I thank God for the day, for my life and pray that he would use my life for this day according to his will. On the surface it seems like a very simple prayer, easily said. But at the deeper levels it is fraught with peril. One never knows exactly how God will demonstrate his will through the Spirit's activity.

Standing in the midst of a crowd of parents and their kids at a fundraiser for a local Christian school stood a lone, quiet man. It was obvious that no one was engaging him. I was watched as people gave him a wide berth. It was our turn to be seated and we were asked if we would be willing to sit with a "single." Coming forward as the "single", this lone man led the way to our table. Eddie would be our lunch companion for the next 45 minutes.

Introducing ourselves Eddie's smile revealed that he had lived a life quite different from our own. Crystal meth had destroyed his teeth distorting his countenance and speech--conversation was a challenge. But, one quality was evident--Eddie loved Jesus. In fact, with pride he told about his role as the "first thief" in the passion play at his church. Having gone to a country church as a little boy, recently he had again felt the touch of God's redemption.

Eating our “fundraiser” hamburgers I became keenly aware of my inadequacy to relate to Eddie. Our lives were a study in opposites with three exceptions, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In the embrace of the Trinity we were exactly the same--redeemed.

Finishing lunch and saying our good-byes I watched as Eddie once again stood alone surrounded by the crowd. We had prayed together at lunch, but, more significantly, I hoped that our lives had been a prayer for Eddie. We hadn't asked to be seated with him, but God had intervened and having surrendered to the Spirit's activity we were blessed to live in and for God according to the divine call.

On this day, we would definitely have been the "losers" if we hadn't eaten a burger with Eddie.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From my own daily readings comes this from Gene Edwards, The Inward Journey. . .

Readings: Psalm 1:2-3, Isaiah 32:20, Matthew 24:32

I have observed through the years that most Christians have little understanding of the word 'season'. Our Lord is a seasonal God; He comes, He departs. His faithfulness never changes, but His seasons do! There are seasons when the tree is green, there are seasons when it is dry, and seasons when, for the life of us, the thing looks dead. Now, does this mean you are serving some capricious God who comes and goes by whim? Or, could it be, that it is only through seasons that true growth may come?

Paul said, "Does not nature teach us?" Fruit from a tree comes to us as a result of three or four seasons.

The Christian and the Lord's body both need rain and sunshine, cold and hot, wind and doldrums.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Speak Plainly

Suggested Reading: Colossians 4:6

If I don’t address you plainly with some insight
or truth or proclamation or teaching, what help am I to you?

I Corinthians 14:6 (The Message)

At two and a half years old our daughter had a strong hold on language. As parents we had to be careful what we said around her. Speaking in our parent “code” one day, she confidently declared, “It makes me angry when you talk in a way I don’t understand.”

Speech is essential to understanding. Christians sometimes have a tough time talking to each other much less talking to individuals who don’t know Jesus. We find ourselves divided by denominations or “cultures” where we have developed a language that identifies our position. The challenge comes when our “cultures” collide and the language spoken isn’t understood even though the foundation of our faith is exactly the same.

When it comes to talking to individuals who know nothing about Christianity think how confusing our language must be? Speaking plainly is essential to understanding. If we want our friends to know the Jesus we love, we have to speak in a language that they can understand.

Dropping “Jesus” in one’s conversation doesn’t describe who he is. Telling people, who know nothing of God that “God told me…” doesn’t tell them how one got to the point of hearing God. Quoting Bible verses certainly reveals one’s ability to memorize but does it say anything about what we know about the truth of Scripture? Plain speech is essential to understanding. And it’s harder than it seems.

Thought for the day: How would I tell someone about why I follow Jesus?

Jesus, you spoke to each person in the language they understood.
Give me the gift of plain speech when I talk to others about You.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Touch Me

Suggested Reading: Luke 5:1-13

“Lord, if you will, You can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him,saying, “I will; be clean.”

Luke 5:12b-13

We got to the hospital before it opened. Having scheduled surgery a week earlier I was eager to get the procedure over. Because my response to anesthesia is negative my prayer had been, “Lord, if you will, please help me get out of the anesthetic fog without getting nauseous.”

Touches filled the morning. My husband, the intake nurse, the anesthesiologist, the gynecologist, the recovery room nurse, someone always had their hand on me. A touch ended my day as well when a friend, trained in healing therapy, came with dinner and left me drowsy on the floor; the result of a pressure point foot massage. From the beginning to the end my healing involved touching.

Touching was an integral part of Jesus’ ministry. Children, lepers, women, generally those who made up the crowds were all recipients of his touch. What is amazing about many of these touching accounts is the faith of the individuals. Like the hemorrhaging woman, the leper in Luke starts from a belief that with a touch healing would flow.

Jesus stretches out his hand and touches. His healing doesn’t depend on the leper meeting him half way with his own hand. He touches freely. What was required was a belief that a touch would do.

Walking into the hospital I knew that touching would be a part of the healing process. The truth is that Jesus was there too, touching me, bringing healing to my anxious spirit but also to my body because upon awakening there wasn’t even a twinge of nausea.

Thought for the Day: In what ways has Jesus touched you recently?

Jesus, thank you for your touch.
Stretching out your hand you touch life into me
and I know that I am nothing without that touch.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Living Testimony

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”

John 4:39

Jesus and his conversation with the Samaritan woman is one of my favorites. Here is an intelligent woman, with a fighter’s spirit, who had a tough life. But, she’s also a woman of faith. How else could she confidently debate with Jesus the finer points of his “water of life” message? Given the environment of the day, the conversation should never have happened and yet it is one of the lengthiest recorded in the gospels.

Frequently we’re quick to right her off as “loose” because of her number of marriages. The conversation becomes a testimony of Jesus knowing all and offering salvation. And yet, her multiple marriages account for only 1 ½ verses in 23. Surely, there is more to this woman than five husbands!

While the details of the Samaritan woman’s life aren’t recorded, evidence of her possible role in the community becomes apparent when she returns to town. On her testimony alone “many” Samaritans believed in Jesus.

It’s a humbling thought. When I consider my life a question pops up, “Would my testimony cause "many" to believe in Jesus?”

The woman of Samaria changed a community with eight words!

Jesus, you are eager to be in conversation with me.
Help me to be as eager to be in conversation with others about you.

Image--Christ and the Woman of Samaria, Michelangelo Buonarotti, 1475-1564, National Museums Liverpool

Friday, April 16, 2010

Praising During the Hard Times

Bizarre as it sounds, the ministry of praising God's goodness, wisdom, and love during times of pain and heartache is a beautiful expression of faith in action, a living expression of trust that "God makes all things work together for the good of those who have been called according to his decree."

In his moving little book, Our Heavenly Father, Dr. Robert Frost writes, "There is nothing more precious to God than our praise during affliction. Not praise for what the devil has done, but praise for the redeeming power of our loving heavenly Father. What he does not protect us from, He will perfect us through. There is indeed a special blessing for those who do not become offended at God during adversity Furthermore, we become a special blessing to Him!"

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Selection from Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The fundamental mission of the church is preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. But there has been a loss of faith in the power of the Word. We feel it won't be effective if we say it as it is. It will turn people off; let's rebuild the temporal order first.

But there is a startling discontinuity between human reasoning and what God's Word says the priority is. War, loneliness, world hunger, abortion--these are rooted in man's rebellion. Man must submit in faith to Jesus Christ and repent. Putting a Band-Aid here and there on this or that moral problem is not the answer. Evangelization hits the core: man must submit in faith to Jesus Christ and repent. He must renounce his autonomy and self-sufficiency. Personal appropriation of the death and resurrection of Christ is the one foundation for Christian community and world peace. Failure to act on the gospel imperative to evangelize has resulted in holding to the form of Christianity while denying its power. Beautiful liturgies; mass; regional, national, and international meetings; crusades against immorality are good and have their places, but none of them is an adequate substitute for dying to self.

But you, keep you head in all situations, endure hardship,do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of you ministry.
2 Timothy 4:5

Selection from Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Well Seasoned

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Colossians 4:6

I’m a foodie, so I appreciate the importance of salt in a recipe. This simple, plain ingredient is essential to enhancing the flavor of almost any food. Too much you have failure but just enough is pure success.

At one point in our lives we discovered that the “sticks and stones” adage was a lie--words do hurt. Unfortunately, emotions play a role in our ability to choose well seasoned words. Sharp words result in emptiness for both the speaker and the receiver.

Accusing, insulting, taunting words were hurled at Jesus, repeatedly and yet his responses were intelligent, clear and concise. His parables left his hearers puzzled, nevertheless, they knew they held truth. In season and out, Jesus spoke well seasoned words.

In this “immediate” age words are instantly transmitted and their affects are instantaneous. Christians are no less immune. As Jesus followers we need to consider very carefully our own saltiness. How we respond to each other, no matter our church, political or theological persuasion is in part what will make a difference in how the world views us.

Biblical interpretation may vary, but, we have a common Trinitarian truth--our Creator, his Son whom he sent, showing us how to live and forgive, and the Holy Spirit who continues to work in us today. Holding tight to this truth opens the way to gracious and seasoned speech. Making a difference in the world begins with how much salt we’re willing to scatter on each other.
Jesus, your words were always well seasoned. Help me to guard my tongue
speaking words that will bring life to the hearer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pure Refreshment

Be rainfall on cut grass, earth-refreshing rain showers.

Psalm 72:6

Shuffling outside with the dog I became aware of the most amazing fragrance. During the night it had rained and the smells emanating from the earth were invigorating. There was crispness in the air and the morning’s color was a rainbow hue. I was alive!

We are called, as Jesus followers, to be like this particular morning—a moment of refreshment. Jesus lived his life in such a manner. People were eager to be around him. And yes, while his healing powers drew people, more than anything the presence and character of Jesus is what drew the crowds. He was different than what they had seen.Growing up I was taught that my life should be lived in such a way that everyone would know I was a Christian. This was achieved by adopting certain “rules” by which to live such as no drinking, smoking or dancing. By not doing these things I would stand out and people would know something was “different.”

Jesus was certainly different but not by virtue of rules. His words, actions, responses were what made him different and attractive to people. Let your light shine…so that they may see… (Matthew 5:16).

To be like rainfall on cut grass, is to possess a fragrance in the core of your being which isn’t produced by rules. It is only achieved by allowing the Holy Spirit to breathe in you the life of Jesus; believing that everyone with whom you speak will be refreshed.

Jesus, may I be refreshing rain for someone today.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In Whose Image?

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.
Psalm 101:3

Reasons abound for not taking time to study the Bible. Perhaps the most common is time—“I don’t have enough time for study and prayer.” Schedules are indeed maxed and yet in conversation one hears about recent TV shows that are being followed or movies that have been watched, repeatedly. Indeed, the average American watches four hours of television a day. In a 65 year life span there is a possibility that this “average” American will have spent nine years watching television.

Daily we are confronted with a world that is fighting to make us into its own image. Advertisements show how we can look better, feel more alive and null our pain. A daily celebrity watch elevates being famous to an art form. Talking heads argue over what is right and what is wrong, believing that we’re hanging on every word.

In this environment how do we avoid setting before our eyes anything that is worthless? The psalmist was seeking to walk a life of integrity. Throughout this psalm he lists what he wants to set before his eyes. As a Jesus follower we should keep a list as well.

God wants to be my image maker. In order to stay focused on who He wants me to become I will need to keep in front of me those things that will lead me on the road of integrity.

There is a battle for my attention. Acknowledging this struggle is to begin making a conscious choice between the worthless and the worthy.

Jesus, thank you for having a vision for me.
Everyday I feel the pull and tug of the world
wanting to make me in its own image.
Help me to set my eyes only on You.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Thoughtful Quote

From Gene Edwards, The Inward Journey

What kind of Christian can best endure suffering? That Christian doesn't exist.

I could handle your problems easily. You could handle mine with a yawn. But it didn't happen that way. I got the ones I couldn't handle, so did you.

So, my own thoughts on this quote are wondering, is that how God really works. Does he allow problems to come, that we are unable to handle, in order for us to depend on his ability to handle them for us?

But then there also seems to be the component that in the process of "suffering" or "problems" we do have a choice to allow those experiences to change us for good or for ill. So, there is God in the picture again because he only produces good.

Over and over again it does seem to be a constant truth. If we are to grow in Christ it will come as a result of how we respond to "trouble." Oh, how I wish it could be easier!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A New Language

…leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

I Peter 2:21b

Whipping into my lane and cutting me off, I was faced with a red rear end slathered with bumper stickers. Irritated, I edged up closer at the next red light—God save me from your followers was adjacent to Celebrate Diversity! The odd pairing, the oxymoron nature got me thinking.

As my comfort zone shrinks in size and I become confronted, daily, with unfamiliar cultures and people the uncertainties of life become increasingly apparent. What once was cut and dry seems now to be a fuzzy line. Politicians refer to “moral” issues that were never considered as such. And what once was valued as “sacred” is tossed aside in pursuit of science.

Where does the Jesus follower stand in this confusion? As hard as it may be to accept, our American culture no longer nurtures any vestiges of Christianity. Somehow we’ve lost and now bumper stickers ask for God’s deliverance from his own followers!

In this environment arguments based on assumptions of what I think people know about the Who I follow, are no longer valid. Every day, no matter where I live should now be viewed as a blank screen upon which I can introduce to this new, constantly changing culture the life of Jesus Christ.

But do I know him well enough to speak to this culture in the language they will understand? Jesus encountered similar resistance to his message, but he knew how to connect what he was saying with the existing culture. Granted, his message ultimately nailed him to the cross, but the world did change as a result of him speaking in a language they could understand.

Jesus, help me to know You in such away that in introducing You
people will want to join the following.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Today I am traveling to a speaking engagement in North Carolina. Your prayers would be appreciated. But, I wanted to share with you a quote I have on my desk that reminds me of the Christian life. In fact one could replace "character" with the "life of the Jesus follower." It is a quote that makes one ponder on various levels, especially given the author!

"Character can not be developed in ease and quiet. Only through expereince of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tranquil Living

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but, envy makes the bones rot.

Proverbs 14:30

A hardened face, whose mouth lists a multitude of ailments sits across from me. On the outside this woman appears outrageously successful; nevertheless, it’s apparent that appearances don’t tell her whole story. She has proven that she can make money and no doubt there are numerous individuals who envy her financial success, but, it hasn’t prevented her from being envious of what she doesn’t have. It looks like envy is literally sucking her bones dry.

It’s tough these days to not look at what others have and not be a little envious. The gulf between the haves and the have not’s widens daily. The objects of envy vary—money, job success, high achieving children or grandchildren, perfect marriages—the list goes on. But, not a single one of these objects brings life.

Achieving a tranquil heart is an intentional act on the part of a Jesus follower. Bookstores are jammed with books and DVD's touting that their program will bring about a "peaceful" mind, or the "tranquil" life. Nevertheless they, too, recognize that tranquility doesn't come without a concentrated focus on the part of the individual.

The difference between the tranquility of a Jesus follower and worldly expertise is that Jesus gives us a picture of how true tranquility looks. When I know the life of Jesus, intimately, I am on my way to a life-giving tranquil heart. To really know, is to be intentional. Getting to know Jesus takes time, but, my reward is life itself. Envy will no longer be able to suck out my marrow.
Jesus, you never succumbed to the society around you.
Thank you for showing me that it is possible to live
a life of tranquility.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Present Power of His Resuurection

If the central saving act of Christian faith is reglegated to the future, with the fervent hope that Christ's resurrection is the pledge of our own, and that one day we shall reign with him in glory, then the risen One is pushed safely out of the present. Limiting the resurrection either to the past or to the future makes the present risenness of Jesus largely irrelevant, safe-guards us from interference with the ordinary rounds and daily routine of our lives, and preempts communion now with Jesus as a living person.

In other words, the resurrection needs to be experienced as present risenness. If we take seriously the word of the risen Christ, "know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time," we should expect that he will be actively present in our lives. If our faith is alive and luminous, we will be alert to moments, events, and occasions when the power of resurrection is brought to bear on our lives. Self-absorbed and inattentive we fail to notice the subtle ways in which Jesus is snagging our attention.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

I Chronicles 16:34

By Brennan Manning

Friday, April 2, 2010


The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
Psalm 145:14

Date notations in my Bible are reminders of my life at the time. It’s always interesting to cast my mind back to the date listed. Sometimes I can’t even remember the event that took place, but the verse usually gives some indication as to my location on the spiritual growth chart.

Today’s verse reminds me of a time when I was flat on my face. The life I had envisioned had disintegrated and I was face to face with the dirt. All day long God heard my plaintive bleats. It didn’t feel as though I was being upheld or raised up.

But, hindsight is valuable. That fact that I am able to write today is evidence that the Lord does raise up all who are bowed down. The sands that I slogged through for months have brought me, today, to a wide and spacious place.

It turns out that what appeared to be the end was actually the beginning. The darkness that enveloped me was what ultimately allowed me to see the light. Loss of dreams produced a clean canvas on which God’s vision could be painted.

This was not what I saw at the time but in reflecting back I remember early morning hours of prayer. As one day passed into the next instead of being on my face, I was on my knees. It’s a good place to be. Besides, hopefully, the next time I won’t have so far to “fall.”

Jesus, thank you for the press of your hand
on my back—leading, guiding. I want to stay on my knees
in this wide and spacious place.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

God? YES! Human? YES!

…so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey,
was sitting beside the well.

John 4:6

In my childhood Sunday school I learned about the strength and power of Jesus. There were amazing stories about his fighting off Satan’s temptations, healing paralytics, freeing people from the grasp of demons. Because Jesus was God’s Son he was able to accomplish the spectacular.

Many years later I understood the importance of claiming Jesus’ humanness. As a child the drama of Jesus drew me in. It was the human nature of Jesus that drew me as an adult. Knowing that Jesus lived life in the flesh, with all the stuff that goes with it, was what made him absolutely real.

I find comfort knowing that whatever I experience in life Jesus lived it as well—at least on the emotional level. Whatever I have suffered emotionally as a result of loss, illness, rejection, fear, Jesus also suffered. New Testament theologians believe that Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus probably died while Jesus was still at home—Jesus knew what it means to lose a parent.

The pressures of a hectic schedule weren’t foreign to Jesus. People demanding his attention were a daily occurrence. He was surrounded by people who didn’t understand him. Feel alone in a crowd—Jesus experienced it.

The deity of Jesus is absolutely important to my life as a Jesus follower. But knowing that he was wearied from walking and took time to sit down is an absolute solace!

Jesus, thank you for your willingness to be human.
Because you lived life in the real world
I know that it is possible to not
be overwhelmed but to live as a reflection of you.