Chubby hands clutching the ropes, “Higher! Higher,” she squeals. Only clouds and sun and sweet wind kiss her face. No cares, no worries. Nurturing hands push her upward.
More securely now, small hands on the ropes, “Higher! Higher,” she screams. Bows and ribbons and grass and tops of trees; Innocence on her lips, sweetness and life. Protective hands push her onward.
Careless and dauntless she climbs now. “Higher! Higher,” she demands. The world at her fingertips and knowledge a thing to be won; independence on her lips. Still guiding hands push her forward.
Smoothly and effortlessly she soars, “Higher! Higher,” she yells. Ambiguous horizon and ambivalent sighs, the climb ever necessary, the tasks ever present. There, gentle hands push her through.
Slowly and painfully she grasps the ropes, “High enough. High enough,” she says. Darkness and relief and calming storms fill tired eyes. A hush, a whisper, a breath. Gently now, tender Hands bring her home.
Long arms and strong legs swing effortlessly, “Perfect! Perfect,” she sings. Light and Love and Joy sing with her, life dancing in her eyes, laughter behind and all around.
Redeeming Hands hold her, and love her, and push her…
Swinging Swinging Swinging.
Not too long ago I was reading the familiar passage many bible translations label as “the call of Peter”. That is how I had always seen it – as that pivotal moment Jesus let Simon Peter know he would no longer be catching fish, but instead would be catching men for the Kingdom. True. It was that: an invitation to a transformed life that would produce fruit impacting eternity! But, on this day, I saw something else here; something my life-worn soul needed so desperately to see. (more…)
When my mother was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, I was thousands of miles away, living in Japan. I struggled with why God allowed such a devastating diagnosis to come three weeks after my Marine husband left for a six-month deployment. Why this? Why now? When I’m so far away?
We all face challenges that make us feel alone, to wonder how we will make it through the wilderness of hardship. Fear can tempt us to forget God’s love and care.
We are not alone.
“The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place’” (Deuteronomy 1:30-31).
What a clear picture of the love of God. Embedded in these words are principles of God’s love in the trials and transitions we wander through:
Grab hold of this truth and don’t let go.
But for all this.
“But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go” (Deuteronomy 1:32-33).
I am haunted by Moses’ words, “But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God…”
I forget God has been good and faithful in every hard thing.
Don’t let insecurity overwhelm you.
So often in scripture these same concepts and patterns play out in our lives. The details of the situation may change, but the principle resonates through time, out of the pages of ancient writings and into the details of our challenge.
When we face difficulty we can choose to trust God and move forward, believing He loves us and will help us.
Do you need to pray?
If you face a situation where your emotions and doubts are getting the best of you, join me in this prayer:
Lord, forgive me that I have been discontent and fearful about_________. Change my perspective so that I can move forward and enter into what you have for me. I ask you to give me this place, to make it my own and to possess what you have for me here.
I speak your word to myself: do not fear. You are going before me and you will fight on my behalf. I believe you will help me through this challenge as a father carries his son.
Thank you for fighting on my behalf. I trust you to show me the way I should go. Guide my choices and decisions—may they be prompted by faith rather than fear. I will not let my emotions hold me back.
Don’t let me be rebellious and unwilling in my heart, and prevent me from trying to fight the battles on my own, working out what I think needs to be done–putting myself where I think I should be.
Lord, I want what you want.
I will go where you lead.
In Jesus’ name, amen
Ginger encourages women to fully live God’s word and writes for GingerHarrington.com, and Planting Roots, as well as guest posting at Guideposts and (in)courage. She is a speaker and Social Media Coordinator for Planting Roots: Strength toThrive in Military Life. . She’d love to connect with you on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
September 28th of this year will mark the fourth anniversary of my Grandma’s passing. As you can imagine, my thoughts have been filled with memories of her, mostly sweet. I don’t know, maybe we clashed in personality, but some are painful and have left wounds that I am unsure will be healed on this side of heaven. But the good I remember, it is oh, so good! I think at times she was a hard woman because she had to be. She had a lot to manage as one woman. She not only raised eight children but aided in raising a few of her grandchildren, myself included.
As the memories of her life and her last days flood my mind, the words “purpose” and “moving forward” keep popping up. (more…)
Being married is hard. Being a mother is hard. Being in any relationship for any length of time with any person is hard.
I mean, let’s face it: We all live this life through a lens focused on self, and self often doesn’t like it when self is being mistreated.
Truly this isn’t news to any of us who have lived in adulthood for more than a few years, but what can be news to some of us is that this “self lens” is a lie, and it is the source for more of our life-spun angst than we are many times willing to admit. (more…)
By Dr. Deb Waterbury
My youngest son, Miles, and I have a unique mother/son relationship. We most definitely relate on a familial level, but also he appreciates my counsel. As a minister, much of what I do for women is counsel, but rarely does a parent experience that sort of relationship with her child. Miles, on the other hand, seeks my counsel. And understand, I do not mean simply my advice. At twenty-six, he still comes to me for solid counsel on every topic imaginable.
Needless to say, I love that he does so. However, it has also presented some very touchy situations between the two of us, situations where I have found it necessary to be a little more honest than I would ordinarily be comfortable with when speaking to my son. I know the value of transparency as a teacher and as a counselor, especially in terms of my walk with God, but that transparency recently took on an entirely new level in a recent conversation I had with Miles. (more…)