Category Archives: Spiritual Reflections

His Great Compassion in All Things

Imagine someone is completely compassionate with you, no matter your performance, your circumstances, your attitude, anything about you. They never stopped loving you no matter what you did wrong, how little you spoke with them, or how much distance you put between the two of you.

How would you feel?

At ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough.

I think these are things we all crave in our relationships. The real truth though is that no human being can truly provide these things. But, we have good news. Jesus Christ died to take away the barrier we have with Him and we get to have this unconditional love from Someone – He never stops loving us! Never. Not in a big mistake or a small misstep.

Just recently I felt frustrated with myself by a small misstep I made with the Lord. Honestly, I just felt bad for pulling away from Him in that situation. But then, I realized that shame was holding me away from the Lord, and shame is NOT from God! Shame magnifies our failings; God’s love magnifies His compassion for us.

So, what should we do when we realize we have distanced ourselves from the Lord or fallen into sin? Run back into His arms! Don’t wait! His compassion is great in all things, and He loves to take us back into His loving arms. Feel at ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough. Rest in the great compassion of our God.

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

 

Who Are You Really Depending On?

Who are you really depending on for strength everyday? My answer to this question recently was a vulnerable one: me, myself, and I. Ouch.

I’ve trusted God for some things, and I have given Him some of my time, energy, and resources. I’ve moved closer to Him this year, I think. But have I really given it all to Him? What would that look like?

In my walk with God, I continue to realize how much I default to self-reliance and dependence. Somehow, it feels safer, even though God is SO much safer and reliable. And since I rely on myself, I strive to be perfect, which is exhausting! So, who’s kingdom am a I living in when I walk in this perfectionism and self-reliance? The answer to this question is yet again: mine. My kingdom. I want my kingdom to unfold MY way, so I will trust only in myself to get this right.

But, God’s kingdom is not like that.

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. Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust Him with all your heart, and in all your ways, submit to Him. He desires all of us. Every part. Imperfect, fragile, insecure. Every part of our heart He wants access to. I’m not saying that this happens overnight or that we really are able to give Him everything in our humanity. Rather, accept this invitation to give Him your heart. Let HIM make your paths straight. Depend on HIM for strength and nourishment each day. Let His presence and His Word feed your soul.

It’s not up to you and your own strength to manage your life. Turn your affection toward Him today and ask Him to help you let go of self-sufficiency and learn to depend on Him. Trust me. He will help you and lead you.

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6

Why You Don’t Have to be Perfect – Letting Go of Perfectionist Expectations

Recently, I had to look at why I felt so defeated as I looked at all the goals, plans, and dreams I have for my life. I realized I felt this way because of an expectation for it to unfold perfectly. Perfectly, really? In this imperfect world? Yet, there was the truth of the bondage I was walking in and had to face – and am still walking out.

Life isn’t meant to unfold perfectly, as much as we’d like it to. God is not asking for perfection – He’s asking for faithfulness. We don’t have to be perfect because Jesus was perfect! There’s grace and space for mistakes. There’s room for learning in the Kingdom of God. We never graduate to perfection on this side of heaven. We need Jesus – deeply, each and every day. Our hearts need to to be continually filled with and reminded of His love. And we can thank Him for His sacrifice of His Son for our sins and imperfect lives.

Steward what He’s giving you, and make small bold steps toward what you believe He is calling you to – with the grace and space for mistakes.

Lord, I lay down my unrealistic expectations for my life to unfold perfectly. It’s really when I let go and let You be God, that I find rest, hope, and vision for my future. Free me from perfectionism as I fling myself into Your loving arms. In Jesus name, Amen.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? How has that influenced your walk with God? What have you learned from Him and how has He set you free in this area?

 

 

 

Focusing on His Presence

Sometimes, life is overwhelming, and we need to step back and take stock of all that’s going on in life and reorder our priorities. Recently, I felt the Lord convict me of striving too much in my mental health recovery. I was focusing on fixing myself instead of fixing my eyes on Him and His presence. I need His presence over everything else – any treatment, therapy session, friend, or self-help book. As I’ve started to make this change, I have felt so much more peace, rest, and hope. I have connected with the One who fills me and helps me make sense of everything in life. Never forget where your strength and your source lies – His presence and His Word. It’s in that place you find wisdom and direction for the practicalities of life.

Lord, help me to keep Your presence first and trust in You to take care of me in all areas of my life.

On The Days You Feel Insecure

Ever have one of those days you’re just feeling particularly insecure about yourself, your life, and the decisions you have been making? Well, I just had one of those recently, and it was tough. I stayed home to rest because I was run down, which was good for my body, but perhaps not my mind. I got in my head and started questioning things. Am I really doing what God wants me to be doing? Am I doing enough to better myself, grow, and heal? Am I making any headway? Will I ever accomplish what I desire? The questions go on. And on. And they boil down to a matter of security.

I needed to be reminded of simple truths – I am loved. I have worth and value apart from what I do. I have set my heart to follow God and am doing the best I can in what I feel called to do right now. I am secure in Christ because what HE did for ME. Not the other way around. Wow. If we could let that truth settle in ours hearts, how much more confident and secure could we be?

Lord, please remind us of the fundamental truths of our identity in You so that we can walk in confident freedom in You to do all You are asking of us in this season. And thank You that You will do more than we can ask or imagine or believe. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Open Space

I see an open space

Where I seek Your face

I see an open space

Where I know my place

I see freedom, hope, and vision

Where You bring me wisdom

I see You calling me to You

To trust in what You do

To let there be open space

So I take time to seek Your face

To sit with the tension

And let go of self-protection

To let myself be led by You

To be cared for, nurtured, and held

To be okay with being

Knowing You are never leaving

You are taking me to an open space

To seek Your face

And discover grace

To hold things loosely

And not be so choosey

To let life happen

To let life unfold

To rest in Your abode

And allow life to grow

In Your process and Your way

Lord, help me stay in Your Presence and let You lead – not my timing, but Yours. Amen.

 

Deep Healing – The Bitter into Sweet

God has really been working on my heart recently about healing – that healing is possible, at the deepest level, and in every way. My earthly mind tells me a different story, but I choose to trust Him and to believe in the possibilities again. One day at a time. Slowing down, trusting in, and leaning into Him. When my heart hurts, feels lonely, and can’t understand what the heck is going on in my life, I will turn to Him and LET HIM in. This is how deep healing happens. And I WANT the deep healing. Yes, it will hurt. But it totally is worth the process and the intimacy that will inevitably grow with my Heavenly Father who will turn the bitter into sweet. So thankful He turns the bitter into sweet!
To the one struggling deeply to get over a hurt or struggling with mental illness, I understand. Healing may not feel possible. Honestly, that is how I feel right now with my mental illness. I have experienced some healing, but I sense God challenging me that He has more healing for me. I don’t know what exactly that will look like, but my heart is open. And, I hope this post may challenge you a bit to open your heart, even if it’s just a tiny bit, to the possibilities of healing. Healing for your heart. Healing for your body. Healing from the pain.
Lord, grant us the ability to lean into You and LET YOU IN in the hardest moments. It’s in that place, we will encounter your sweet, deep, healing love. We want to be about You and Your Kingdom. Bring us healing, for Your will and Your glory. Amen.