Leaning on the Rock, Jesus, over stumbling along in life, is the best response to a backpack of rocks.
Hebrews 10:15 - 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[b]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[c]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Spur each other on to good things, be a truth sayer, but we are not called to hold anothers suitcase of rocks. We can be a helper not enabler to those we love.
Picture this: You find a guy or gal walking along the trail of life. He / she has opportunities to choose to pick up gems of hope, joy, opportunity, love, compassion and peace. Those opportunities may be like picking up light weight beautiful, unique geological rocks that bring a sense of happy moments,. It is bliss as the person walks lightly maybe even skips as they sing a song of praise.
Ah, yes, life can be full of joy. We can have bumps on the trail but we hop right over the extended tree roots or loose gravel and still keep hiking up the trail.
You see, we consider the joy at the mountain top. Seeing the sun rise or fall as another day begins or ends is our reward for using the tools of right choice. Plus we have our Jesus with us as we sing, or consider His scripture. His word prompts us to keep walking.
What if instead, we choose to start the trail with an empty backpack. We may choose the rocks of bitterness, despair, anxiety maybe as a bigger boulder. You may start to place heavier items in your backpack.
You seek the world’s idea of pleasure, take your pick of the items: materialism, pride, alcohol, drugs, porn, food, whatever. The things you thought brought temporary pleasure are now huge, heavy burdens that cause your back to ache, your body to be exhausted and your mind to loose focus.
You started off with the mindset of reaching the top of the mountain. Ah, the sights you hoped to see were the vistas in the distance, the valleys below and sunshine to bring warmth to your soul. It was the plan to stay on the trail and fix your eyes on the summit and Jesus.
What happened? Where did the detour occur? Did you make the choice of pain or was it made for you? Either way, you must fight for a new trail and mountain top experience.
You can allow the backpack filled with rocks, heavy boulders to be emptied. The thing is you need a heavy lifter to help you unzip the backpack, hold the tissue as you grieve and let loose of the shame and guilt from the past.
His name is Jesus, He is the lifter of your head. He knows all about you. He wants to help you see yourself the way He does.
Do you want to be free of the heavy burdens? Life is not always easy, but He will be with you if you ask Him. Do you want to dump the backpack of the past?
Then lean on Him. Seek a family of believers who want to show you Jesus and His ways. Get you eyes on the Bible. Pray for Him the show you where to start.
There are many groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon( for those who love someone in addiction), Celebrate Recovery, Life Recovery and Sunrise. Any of these programs will draw you to a new life with your Higher Power, Jesus is awaiting.
I loved this song by David Crowder ft. Riley Clemmons,, ” I’m Leaning on You” so timely!!!!
Riley Clemmons adds a great harmony. Lean on Him alone and be ready for a new Life.
Dump the backpack of rocks and race to the summit there is a new sunrise awaiting.
Do you ever feel like a salmon swimming against the river current? You are in the living water, it provides a vehicle to allow your movement to a different place. Yet the boulders and tree branches that are scattered in the river provide the potential for detours, fits and stops.
You are using all your energy to stay in motion. Your body burns the calories, especially if your favorite stress reliever chocolate. Yum!! Yet the sugar in chocolate is still not enough to keep you moving.
If you remember your Biology class, once your simple sugars ( carbohydrates) are drained, your blood sugar drops and your body seeks another source of energy, such as fats and proteins. If you are endowed with an extra muffin top in your midsection, it may be a good thing to feel that fat waste away. If you are not endowed with extra insulating fat, your muscles can loose the protein energy and as a result, you tire and muscle can waste away. No Bueno!!!
Its the building blocks of proteins such as meats, nuts and such that provide the best energy source. You see, those food products can be used and last longer than carbs.
We need energy to endure in life.We must seek approval of God over man to endure. We must swim with endurance the river journey of faith.
Galatians 1:10 NLT Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. ❤️
The time we spend getting to know Jesus and filling up on His Word is like the protein stores. There are more energy bursts to grab from as you work through your day.
If you add additional stress, trials, illness, or trauma, you are drained like a salmon swimming upstream. One obstacle after another works against you.
You must dig deep into the words from scripture that can pop into your mind. This will only happen if you have been mediating on God’s wisdom. It can come to the surface of your mind energizing you and providing a place to turn to God over the river currents.
Philippians 1:6 NLT. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Whatever you may be going through, do not loose hope. Rest in Him. We don’t know the future, but if we are willing we can get to know the Creator God who knows the plans He has.
Fear comes from the enemy, Satan, He wants to keep us trembling, anxious, fearful, and hopeless. But God calls us to Trust in Him. It’s called faith over fear!
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Read in your Bible, Matthew chapter 6, it is full of instructions for life. If you don’t have a Bible go online to biblegateway.com. Just place the name Matthew 6 in the keyword search and open your mind to God’s wisdom.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Having faith in hard, challenging times is not easy? But it is necessary. Where do you put your faith? Is it in another person, another circumstance, an idol such as materialism, your bank account, from the words of others, alcohol or drugs, or any other distraction?
The world is full of distractions that can not bring peace but more stress and fears. Reaching for more of Jesus can really change your life. He knows all about you. He waits.
Only Jesus can fill the empty spaces of our heart, mind, and soul. He is the filler of unconditional love. He can be trusted.
Take a deep breath slow and easy. Do you feel it? He is breathing life in you as He did Adam and Eve. I have shared this promise from scripture before, it is a great reminder daily for me and maybe for you.
God is for us. I will say it again,He breathes His breath of life into us.
Enjoy this praise moment from an awesome song, Rest in Us, by Maverick City Music x Upperroom. I hope it flows over you like only the Holy Spirit ( God) can. Feel a moment of His Presence.
Take a step of faith. There is nothing to loose and much to gain. Even If you fail, God will pick you up. We have to reach out our heart, mind, soul and reach for His. He will direct you.
We have to take steps of faith. Be willing to be works in progress. Let Him lift up your chin. He loves you. Rest in Him.
Whether we realize it or not, most families have been touched by abortion. It is a controversial topic bringing many families to division. That is the enemies plan, to divide families physically, emotionally, psychologically and especially spiritually. It is something no one wants to talk about, I know personally.
World view says, “My body, my rules, government should not tell me what to do.” I get this concept a woman should be able to make informed decisions on anything that effects her body, be it, COVID vaccines, a life from conception, need for surgery, etc. Hear me out on the topic of unplanned pregnancy and being a servant for Jesus, please read to the end of this blog.
There is no grey zone, the truth is God created life between a man and a woman at conception. God gave women the beautiful gift of incubator; protector of an embryo to birth. It is a wonderful gift. It isn’t about convenience, time is not right, or I have different plans. The embryo is life. It doesn’t have a choice it is at the mercy of a mother’s decision.
To choose life or death, is a huge choice with many ramifications. Pro or con. A women must live with her choice the rest of her life. Many ramifications cause some women and men to go radio silent, they do not want to discuss their choice and as a result there can be isolation and despair.
I have served a community of women from preteen to middle age in unplanned pregnancy. I have witnessed the tears, the frustrations of a potential life change, shame, poverty, and the heavy burden of choice to parent, to place for adoption or to abort. It is not a decision made lightly.
The post-abortion regret can lead many women ( and yes, men too) to depression, anxiety, addictions, suicide and walking away from their faith in God. It is a dark, lonely path. How does one grieve when people may not be aware of the loss?
They are so alone, so at the mercy of isolation, grief, ( yes it is a loss, even if it was a personal decision), regret, shame and even feeling hate/death of self. This mindset leaves them vulnerable to the enemy. I have spent time listening, consoling, and praying with many women and some men. Someone on the outside of this choice, may not fully understand.
What the world sees as just a clump of tissues, a quick fix, I have seen as a life journey of mental health and spiritual crisis of unforgiveness for self or from Christian woman and men who aren’t reflecting the mercy and grace of Jesus.
Instead of coming alongside our sisters and brothers, post-abortive women/men may have regret, shame, grief. They may feel out of the circle of forgiveness, they may feel Jesus will never love them again and that no grace or mercy is possible. Post-abortive women may feel judgement, and shunning from other women who had not been in their shoes.
We are all sinners who need Jesus!!! It can be you, be the women in crisis, it can be members of the couples families who are on the sidelines with this heart wrenching decision. It is a hidden thorn. It may not be discussed.
Abortion choices remain in the shadows sometimes for decades. We must not judge. We must love. Loss is loss for all. Only in seeking Jesus, His forgiveness, grace, mercy and love can there be healing and hope.We can not take the steps to Jesus for another we can just pray for their walk.
How can we better reflect the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus to post-abortive women, men and their families?
We can love like Jesus. We can pray for their grief and loss when we are aware, and pray that they would return to their first love, Jesus.We can reach out and hug not avoid.Again, We do not walk in their shoes!!
We can come alongside them if they let us. We must put down condemnation. We are not to point fingers.
Consider the Samaritan women at the well, Jesus came to her to speak truth of His Living Water. He comes to the thirsty and the lost. The things of this world do not satisfy the empty spaces. Only Jesus can.
John 4 :1 - 26 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
Samaritans and Jewish people did not communicate in those days. It was forbidden. But Jesus, the Messiah, showed a loving personal God who knew all His people and wanted a relationship with each one. He wants to know each of us personally.
Who knows that you might be led to intersect with a women or man who has post-abortive regret. They may need a friend to listen, to bring Jesus alive to their empty spaces. It could be you!! Be ready to love. Listen, speak truth in love or just be quiet, ask Jesus for the steps of grace, mercy and forgiveness that may not come naturally. If you are not feeling called to a friendship. Prayer is powerful. Maybe some other person will be called to minister more personally. We all need love and Jesus. James 5: 16 says the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. By the way, we are not perfect only Jesus can cover the multitude of our sins.
Other ways we can help women / men in unplanned pregnancy:
Those who choose to parent should see your active faith as the hands and feet of Jesus. We can help single women in tangible ways, making the choice to parent is a life long journey, financially, emotionally, spiritually. We can be Titus women who support another woman with our time, our ability to help with goods needed, our listening ear, our parenting advice when asked, wherever the Lord sends us. These women need to feel love, our words of encouragement along with mentorship could bless the mom and generations to come. Single moms and dads are under a lot of stress they need help. When the Lord prompts we must seek to serve these parents.
Those who choose to place their child in adoption should be supported in their sacrifice. Placing a child in another home is hard but heartfelt knowing your child walks in this world and you may not be near is grief and loss. You can read more about this in my free E-Book, ” Healing through Sacrifice”, available on my blog site. It is written with insight from multiple birth-family wisdom. We can pray and support those who chose adoption. They felt the inner stirrings of life, they pondered their ability to parent. In many situations, they felt strongly to place their child’s future before their own. It took love, sacrifice, and a determination beyond what most of us can imagine.
I am amazed with our family through adoption and the strength of our birth-families. Our birth families are precious, they chose my husband and I to parent. I love them and words can’t express my humility at the journey of our families in open adoption.
God is intertwined to bind us together. Meet someone at the well near you, it could be a coffee shop :), step out of your comfort zone. Let Jesus draw more of His people to His thirst quenching power, love, grace and mercy.Let Him use your actions for His glory.God is love!
The world says I must be happy or something is wrong with me. A false thought, for sure. I think life shows us continuous happiness as a goal but it is not possible. Life has ups and downs.
Hypocritical Christians may tell us, “if you are going through hardship, conflict, emotional distress, you are not a good Christian. Maybe you aren’t walking with Jesus. Maybe, you are sinful and being punished, you don’t show Christian love.”
I liken these statements to bricks. They are stacks of lies from the enemy meant to keep us from the wisdom of God which can bring joy. They are meant to tarnish our testimony.
These bricks can limit our lives and cause others to question the love of Jesus. They are a barrier to freedom in Christ shared with anyone placed across our path.
John 16:33 Jesus said, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Jesus promised there would be troubles on earth. However, He said, He would be with us in the trials. He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Life has trials and sorrows but we don’t have to stay in a victim mindset. We can drop the bricks.
In my legalistic upbringing, I believed the lies I shared above. However, the more time I read the Bible for myself, the more I feel the Words of God speaking truth and taking down the bricks I stacked as a wall holding me back from freedom. There is freedom in Jesus.
What are your bricks named?
Is it, you are not enough? God does not really want to hear your voice.
I don’t suppose you will test God again and be a risk taker. Do you have a death wish?
You will never be forgiven. You are a lost cause. You are being punished for past consequences.
Slow but sure, the bricks are stacked. One by one, the wall gets higher and higher. On one side of the bricks is the condemner talking lies and discouragement. On the other side of the brick wall is Jesus waiting for you to stop and take down each brick as He guides your hand. The more you hear His sweet peaceful voice the more you see His face emerge. Bricks begin to fall, the space between you and Your Savior becomes cleared like a demolition. It is work to take down the bricks, however, the more we trust in Him the more endurance He gives to keep going.
I used to think the future had to be successful. I would put the work in, determined to achieve goals, career, marriage, have a family, buy a home, and then I would be happy. But life didn’t work the way I planned. I had to have times of no control and learn perfectionism is a brick of sin. My journey from infertility to being a mom blessed by open adoption was filled with fears, grief, love and joy. I was being made new as I leaned into Jesus.
What I am learning with every new day is God’s level of success is not in the stuff, it is in the obeying Him. He will direct my path to the best and He can be trusted.
There are times when no matter what I do or say to lives around me they can not be molded by me. I must give their lives to God. I must not pray for success, but instead for the trials and joys to draw others in my sphere of influence to obedience to God. The bricks will fall when I change my thoughts and pray in this way.
There are times when we do not see the fruits of our attempts to love like Jesus. We can not see into the future. It is in those times of uncertainty I found Ezekiel 3: 4 – 12 very insightful.
Ezekiel 3:4-12 NLT Then he said, "Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages.  I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand.  No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen!  But the people of Israel won't listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn.  But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are.  I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don't be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels."  Then he added, "Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself.  Then go to your people in exile and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says!' Do this whether they listen to you or not."  Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the LORD be praised in his place!)
Lord, help your people, parents, family and friends to loose the people who are in conflict.
Reread the Ezekiel scripture again. Place your family / conflicted persons name where you find the name Israel. Then leave your petition at the foot of the cross.
We can pray but only God can move mountains and open ears, hearts, minds, and eyes. In the end, sometimes the call is not success but to obey God.
El Roi is the Hebrew name for “the God who sees me.” It is found in the story of Hagar (Genesis 16). There are days when we feel unseen, passed by, invisible. It can be as a result of our timid nature, a struggle of confidence, circumstances done to us or as a result of our own choices.
Hagar was in the unfortunate position of servant to Abraham. Abraham and his wife Sarai wanted a child and were blessed by God to have a son. They were impatient in their old age and decided to have Hagar surrogate their son. Then Sarai was sad because she was not the mom. So Hagar and her son were not treated the best. Hagar took her son Ischmael into the desert to run away. There in the desert she called out to God and God came. What an encounter, the well (place) was named, ” God sees me”.
God sees you. He knew you from the moment of conception. He knew what you would look like, He orchestrated steps, He will be the still soft whisper in your ears, He will be the Shepherd to us, His sheep.
Psalm 119:18 NLT Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
God sees you. He knows everything about you, your mistakes, your laughter, your times of despair, your times of triumph. He wants to be in relationship with you.
Psalm 139:23 NLT Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
God sees you. He awaits your voice. He waits for you to reach out to him, He wants you to choose. He wants to spend time sharing wisdom as He did with Hagar. He knows the voice of each of His sheep.
We have one goat, when I hear her loud voice, I know it is her speaking. There are other goats in our neighborhood. These fainting goats have a higher pitched sound. I can tell the difference. If our goat, Loute (her name is German for Loud), makes her voice known, I answer her concerns by checking in on her needs. Usually, her concerns are an alert to let me know her best friend, Opie the horse has escaped his corral.
God sees you!! Call out to Him. Tell Him your concerns. Listen for the Shepherd. He will give wisdom.
Pray this scripture below, Ephesians 1:4-11 placing your name inside it, such as “ Even before He made the world, God loved me ( )He chose me ( )in Christ… God decided to adopt me…etc.” Complete the scripture aloud. He wants to hear your voice.
Ephesians 1:4-11 NLT Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.  God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ-which is to fulfill his own good plan.  And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth.  Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
God sees you! He is good. Reach out to Him! It is worth the risk.