The Breaking Point

People often think that the life we know is better than the life we do not know. That is why women stay in abusive marriages and continue to suffer the torment. They believe they do not deserve better.

When we come to Christ, He humbles us; yet He gives us His holy boldness. We start to realize that we are not defective; and that in Him, we are “enough”.

Christ in us transforms us into all that He intends for us to be. We no longer need to strive for perfection, because God’s Spirit within us changes us from one stage of holiness to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We find our true identity and fulfillment in Christ alone (Colossians 3:3-4, 2:9-10; Philippians 1:13-2:16). We are adopted as God’s children, conformed to Christ’s image and co-heirs with Christ of God’s Kingdom.

Most of us need a breaking point in our life in order to step over the line from self-effort to Christ-reliance. The trials, which God allows in our life, are designed to bring us to the end of our self.

My breaking point was when the love of my life decided that there was no option for us, but divorce. I had no job, no alimony and no foreseeable future.

In this bewildering new world, my only option was to rely totally on God for each moment of my day. As I did, I entered a deeper relationship with our Lord; one that I continue to this day.

As I listened to His Spirit within, He led me to get a job at a Montessori school where my training and relationships taught me to nurture my own soul.

He also gave me two other jobs, so I could pay my bills and save for a rainy day. Eventually, in His perfect way and timing, He brought a nurturing, appreciative husband into my life as well, and restored my ministry as a Pastor’s wife.

Prayer:
Father God, You brought me to the place in my life where I stopped trying and gave up. I cast all of my cares on You, because I had no doubt that You cared for me. You taught me that Your Spirit will put us in the right place at the right time, if we will listen to that still, small voice within us (1 Kings 19:11-13).

Remind us that the sooner we stop trying, and enter into Your rest, the sooner our life will hold unspeakable joy, even in the midst of sorrows. Your Spirit leads us to be productive for Your Kingdom; and in the process, all of our needs are met.

Thought for the Day:
As we totally surrender our heart to God in prayer, we give Him our weaknesses and failings – even the sins we commit in secret. We no longer live in shame, but in the fearless confidence and identity of Christ in us. – Job 11:13-15; 1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:27

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Come as a Child

Unless we are little children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Not a child in age, size or maturity; but a child at heart – innocent and captivating.

When I took my first baby on his inaugural stroll in the park, I realized that he had no recognition of what his little blue eyes gazed upon.

A tree, leaf, bird, flower, clouds, ants, beetles were unremarkable to him. He had no reference point, no knowledge to draw from, in order to categorize what he saw.

With a clean slate for a mind, a pure heart and total trust in my care, he gurgled with his head bobbing from side-to-side to take in all the sights and sounds.

Unspoiled by the negative influences, harmful people and ungodly choices in life, he relied on me to meet all of His needs (1 Corinthians 14:20). I wanted to protect him from harm and hurt and to bring him joy all the days of his life.

As human parents we are either aggressive, permissive, nurturing or a combo of these parenting styles. God calls us to love in a nurturing manner with unconditional love, just as He fathers us (Luke 11:13; 1 John 3:16).

Our Father God calls us to come to Him as children with innocent trust in His faithfulness (Matthew 19:14). Those who are converted, humble and childlike will have the greatest position in God’s eternal Kingdom in Heaven (Matthew 18:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, our angels are always presenting our needs to You (Matthew 18:10). You protect us as the apple of Your eye (Deuteronomy 32:10). You are our Father when our natural fathers abandon us, and you set us in families when we are lonely (Psalm 68:5-6).

You know what we need even before we ask for it (Matthew 6:8). We have constant and continual access to You and help from You through Christ by Your Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). Thank You for lavishing Your love on Your children (1 John 3:1).

Thought for the Day:
In times of trial and adversity, we calm and quiet our soul like a contented, weaned child. – Psalm 131:2

Health and Well Being – Part 2

God fashioned humans as a triune being: body, soul and spirit. He created our body from the dust of the ground, breathed into our spirit His breath of life and formed us into a living soul (Genesis 2:7). When our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – is neglected, it attempts to draw our attention to our legitimate needs, which require fulfillment.

If we neglect our needs, our Inner Child, which the Psalmist alluded to (Psalm 131:2), will make sure our body and spirit are also effected by this mental and emotional deprivation (Psalm 107:5-6). Mind-related illnesses cause our muscular, nervous, respiratory and vascular systems to break down. They are called psychosomatic illnesses. These have no physical cause or explanation.

Our dreams and negative emotions are two more avenues, which the soul uses to attempt to bring our needs to our conscious awareness. Our overall health depends on us heeding these messages. At times, as the psalmist realized, our soul is like a child and must be weaned (Psalm 131:2). If the Inner Child controls our thoughts, words and deeds, we never grow up.

Alternately, many of us work all day long to provide for the needs of other people and neglect our own needs. God created us to care for our own needs as well (Mark 12:31). This is not selfish unless our whole focus is on our self, or if we care for our self to the detriment of others. God’s Spirit will lead us into a healthy balance of nurturing our self and others.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we can give our soul a wholesome treat every day! Walking in nature, a healthy snack, chatting with close friends, hobbies, reading Your Word, writing a letter or email, relaxing in the sun and nurturing a garden are just a few healthy choices. Help us to discover what makes our thoughts and emotions happy. We want to make Godly choices, which meet our needs and to help us to nurture others as well.

Thought for the Day:
If we neglect our soul, we are only 2/3 of a person! If we do not nurture our soul, one whole third of our self is crippled.