Category Archives: Spiritual Reflections

Bring Your Pain Into His Presence

Pain sometimes feels like a scary monster waiting to devour me. I often run from my pain, when in actuality, if I just started to tell God about my pain, relief would come.

Pain doesn’t have to be as scary as we make it out to be. I’m in no way discounting the deep pain we go through. I certainly know through experiencing times of deep depression and despair myself. If you are in that place today, I pray God breathes new hope, life, and comfort over you.

Today, I want to bring a fresh perspective to dealing with our pain and the purpose of our pain.

In Laura Story’s book, “When God Doesn’t Fix it” she shares how pain and trials are actually an opportunity – and not a curse. Trials are opportunities for us to turn to God and find God in the midst of it.

I know when I face trials, I have a tendency to shut down, numb out, and distract myself with Facebook, Netflix, or even cleaning my apartment. It feels as if the trial is greater than God. It feels like nothing will change. It feels like God may have left me alone. Thus, it feels safer to run to these other things. And while these things may bring temporarily relief, we know the Lord is our ultimate source of comfort and strength (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

We must remember our feelings are not facts, but that God’s truth is real. So ask Him to come into your pain. Bring your pain into His presence. Something that helps me is to turn on gentle worship music. I breathe in His love, and I exhale fear. I receive His love in that moment and surrender my pain to Him. It doesn’t mean I still won’t feel pain, but God wants to take off that heavy weight over us. I also write in my journal or go over comforting scriptures. In addition, I must remember to reach out for support and encouragement to others, who can bring God’s comfort and truth into my situation.

I invite you to bring your pain into God’s presence today and find practical ways to surrender it to Him. Trust me, it will bring a load off. And if you feel stuck, reach out to a friend to help recenter you back into Truth. May God bless you today to bring your hurt into His presence that you may find comfort, hope, and peace.

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

 

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

Is His Yoke Really Easy?

Recently, God challenged me if I really believed the Scripture that His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30, NIV). My flesh screamed with thoughts like, how could that be true when my life feels so hard? Yet, in this moment, I felt Him whisper, “If it’s not easy, it’s not God.” Now, keep reading, because I’m not in any way saying life is never hard or we don’t have to put effort into things – let’s unpack this and see if we can’t find a balanced, Biblical view of this verse.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

The first part of this scripture is an invitation to come to Jesus. Then, He gives us a promise of rest, followed by another invitation to take on His yoke and learn from Him. He then makes a statement of His character of gentleness and humility. Again, He promises rest. Finally, He makes an unfathomable statement: “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So if we are to take on His yoke, it is easy. Really? How could that be? What if we radically believed that statement and applied it to our lives?

I don’t think easy means perfect or that it means we won’t face suffering. This scripture is an invitation to come to Him for rest and comfort IN our times of hardship and distress. God promises we will have trouble in this world, but there is an easier way. And, this scripture points to that easier way.

Do you hear Him tugging on your heart to lean into Him and find rest? I pray you would find that peaceful, true rest that only HE can give. Take comfort in Him today. Ask Him to show you what it means to rest and take on His easy yoke. He’s waiting!

 

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

Restore My Passion, Lord

Isn’t it easy to let our passion for God and life dwindle? It sure is for me. Recently, I came across this scripture and it spoke volumes about the inner cry of my heart in this season:

Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me. Psalms 51:12

Yes, I deeply want to have passion and zest for life, being hungry for God and stirred up to do the things He has called me to do. But it has been a hard journey, riddled with setbacks, discouragement, and attacks of the Enemy. It has been a day to day struggle at times to find the hope and passion for life. I’ve needed to remind myself of God’s purpose for me and why He has me here in this season.

It’s important to recognize the season you are in with the Lord, as that helps bring clarity, vision, and guidance to walk through your season. When I recognize He has me in a transition, I am able to remember that these feelings and difficulties won’t last. It is merely a season. And, there is excitement to the new season coming.

In the meantime, I position my heart for transition by staying in His presence, crying out for that passion to be rekindled. Thank goodness He gives us glimmers of hope around the corner to help us hang on.

What areas of your life need restored passion? Is it your marriage? Your job? Your relationship with the Lord? I can say that if you rediscover your purpose and passion in the Lord that the rest of the things will fall into this place.

I encourage you to use this scripture as your prayer and hearts cry to the Lord in the areas of your life where passion needs to be restored.

God, restore my passion for life that I may taste joy in every breakthrough You give me. Let me see what You see and do a work in me that only you can do. I give you all my difficult circumstances and ask You to breathe life over each one. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

Back to Your Identity and Your Calling

The challenges of life can often take us away from two very important things: our identity and calling. Over the last few years, the Lord has been highlighting writing as an area for me to pursue. It has been a joy and a challenge at the same time. How much time do I devote to it? Is it reasonable to invest in it? Am I wasting my time? Am I doing enough? Will anything ever become of this? Perhaps you struggle with similar things in different areas of your life.

I must confess these thoughts have been swirling in my mind recently. As I write, I think I realize at least partially why these thoughts have been coming up recently. My schedule has been off. I evacuated Virginia for Hurricane Florence. And you know what? I totally got my eyes off of God! I was focused so much on the hurricane and just felt off with being out of town.

So, I’m writing this entry as an encouragement for you out there to reconnect with Your God, you identity, and your calling. When You remember who God is and who HE says you are, everything gets back in place.

We seek Him first and things come into place. Each and every time. I don’t mean to say this process happens overnight; yet, I have seen God do this very thing time and time again in both large and small scale ways. When I have gone back to Him as my first love, healing happens. Alignment happens. Focus happens. Good things come my way. I am better able to manage whatever trial I am facing.

So, as I write to the writer in me and to others struggling today to find their way back to their identity and calling- know who you are. Know who has called you. And rest secure that He has called you and will secure your path. You don’t need to know how it all ends. But HE does. So take heart, you who feel insecure or uncertain today. You’re doing just fine.

Love,

Marie, Secure in Christ’s love 🙂

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

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?