Anywhere With Jesus

7 10 2013

In 1887, Jesse Brown Pounds wrote the words to a song that are stuck in my head and heart today. Take a minute and sing with me.

Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go,

Anywhere He leads me in this world below;

Anywhere without Him dearest joys would fade;

Anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid.

Anywhere, anywhere! Fear I cannot know;

Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go.

Anywhere. Where are you going today? Some of us will get in cars, airplanes, or trains and take a physical journey. We can go anywhere in this whole wide world and never leave the Savior’s side or loving care. Some of us will walk in places of worry, fear, or stress today. Anywhere you go, Jesus is holding you in His arms, pouring out grace sufficient to meet your needs. Some of us will walk in the ordinary routine of our regular days. Whether in the grocery store, at the bank, or by the washing machine, God calls us to follow Him, open our eyes to His presence, and find our joy in His nearness.

My Jesus Resolution today is to go everywhere with Jesus. It doesn’t matter if I am taking steps onto new ground, steps into the unknown, or steps into the familiar and everyday. I can go anywhere with Jesus. I am going to be safe because He is by my side. I can depend on His guidance, rely on His wisdom, and have confidence in His constancy. I don’t need to hesitate, hurry, or have fear because Jesus is with me. Nothing will change His love for me or break His promise to be by my side. Today, I will keep humming. “Anywhere, anywhere!” Let’s go!

Prayers and Raindrops

4 10 2013

I smile every time he prays. There is an older gentleman in my church family that prays about rain every time he prays. He asks for rain. He is thankful for rain. He talks about the blessings that fall with the rain. He puts his crops, his animals, his land, and his trust in the One who holds the raindrops. Every time it rains, I think of his folded hands, humble heart, and earnest prayers.

His prayers remind me that when raindrops hit the roof, we are witnessing the power of God moving in our world. Like many parts of the country, we have recently experienced the devastating effects of drought. It is amazing how that time of scarcity has reframed how we see the raindrops. No one is complaining about the rain. We have a greater appreciation for its power, have a deeper understanding of its necessity, and are looking at the sky with new eyes.

The rain just reminds us of a principle that we see played out in our hearts every day. Grace is sweeter when we run smack into sin. Joy is richer following a period of sorrow. Peace is a marvel during a storm. The balance of God’s world teaches us to seek His face, reach for His hand, and embrace His presence no matter what the moment brings. Sunny days brighten our hearts as we soak in His warmth. Rainy days encourage us to crawl into the comfort of His arms and rest. Either way, we spend the day with Jesus.

My Jesus Resolution today is to pray for reign. I want to be as bold, persistent, and earnest about praying for God to reign in my life as my friend is in praying for rain to fall on the earth. I want to ask for His sovereignty to take hold of me, soak me through, and drench me in His desire. I want to be thankful every time I see Him at work in me or the world around me. I want to trust Him with all I am, all I have, and all I can be. I have learned that this man’s faithful prayers are not just about raindrops. They are about surrendering to a God who reigns on the earth and walking in the overflow of His grace.

Happily Ever After

2 10 2013

The Facebook message made me smile and then brought tears to my eyes. More importantly, it made me think. A young friend of mine recently posted a congratulations to her parents on their anniversary. Here is what she wrote.

“I don’t believe in happily ever after because of storybooks and Disney Princesses. I believe in marriages lasting because I see what a Godly marriage should look like. Thank you for showing me what I have to look forward to.”

How many of our children think that happily ever after only happens in fairy tales? Dreams of true love, faithfulness, gallantry, and deep goodness collide with the reality of our broken, selfish, fractured world, leaving our children to wonder why love should inspire our souls. Yet, Christian parents and grandparents carry a unique privilege and responsibility. We get to show our children that happily ever after aren’t words tacked onto the end of a story, but the true ending of The Story, life’s story, the story of Jesus.

We get to show them, in the practical, everyday ways that matter, what happily ever after looks like while doing the laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and balancing a budget. We have the opportunity to model kindness, respect, gentleness, selflessness, and humor when it would be easier to walk away or walk out. When life is dark, we point them to the Light. When life is hard, we live it on our knees. Children see their future in our todays.

My Jesus Resolution today is live out my happily ever after. It doesn’t matter if you are married or single, have kids or don’t. Happily ever after is about living life with God, here today, right where you are. Margaret Bonanno once said, “It is only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis.” Every day as we choose to look like Jesus, live love out loud, and surrender to God’s deep purpose, we are showing our children, our friends, our co-workers, and our neighbors what it means to live the happily ever after life.