unmarked journal entry:
not only is God’s patience with us extraordinary, His understanding & comfort when it comes to standing us up on our feet is incredible as well.
when we are bruised & battered, God gently reassures us. when we are still flinching from the blows of punishment, His hand gently clasps our shoulder to give us support.
even though He is the One who wields the rod of correction, His gentle love shines brighter than the sparks of wrath we deserved. grace & mercy rain down in an unending stream from our God who loves us more deeply than we can conceive.
when we are still unsure of ourselves, He gives us hope and an assurance that, if we follow Him faithfully, our lives & situations are going to get better (even though it may not be in the way the world understands.)
all glory & honor & praise to God our Father! His mercies are made new every morning. He sustains His people with His righteous right hand, and lifts us up out of our sin & misery when we call out to Him with a repentant heart.
with these unmarked entries, i have no reference point to what was going on at the time. i cannot determine a date, or even what i had been reading in the Scriptures that morning. but hopefully, God can use these very simple words…i cannot hope for change on my own. i cannot hope to bring myself through any situation, unless the Spirit guide me by the Father’s will. my own directions will get me lost and in an even more desperate situation. so i must stop, quiet my heart and mind, and listen to whatever He desires to tell me, or watch for what He wants to show me.
i fail daily. i did yesterday, and i’m sure i will drop the ball again sometime today.
in the face of my own sins and failures, i am driven deeply into despair, because i am certain that i cannot recover. i will crash and burn, hard.
but in the midst of my despair, and gloom and funk and self-loathing, the mercies & grace of God stand out like a spotlight through dense fog. He leads me to safe ground, lifts me up on my feet, cleans me up & gives me a new robe to wear. He wipes the tears from my eyes and reassures me that i am not alone. i will not suffer needlessly, and that He has something amazing planned for me if i will only follow Him.
and so, i can shake off that darkness like a dusty jacket, and step into the marvelous light & joy that He has reserved for those who put their trust in Him. thank-You Father for Your grace…by definition undeserved, and oh, so needed.
lift me up today, Father, show me the way Spirit so that my life may reflect Jesus to those around me, and that they might share in my Master’s happiness, too.