Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Lord, so often we get caught up in relationships with people that we aren’t quite sure about. And there are other people in this world who have talents to fool us, to take advantage of us, to be detrimental to our lives. I pray tonight, Lord, in Thanks that you have given us protection from these people. I pray in gratefulness that I need not worry over seeing these people close to my family, because You are closer. I am so glad, Lord, that I can rest in the safety You’ve made for us. I am so thankful that You have provided for us so many good and true friends who do not seek to cause us trouble and stumbling. Instead of us being upset or worried by our friends who are not always dealing with us perfectly, allow us to be examples to them as long as they are in our lives of what living in Your love and having forgiveness is like. Lord, we know that You do not stand for people taking advantage of each other, we know that You are not pleased by selfishness and self centered behavior, and we Thank You that You have shown us a better way to be. Help us remember to forgive time and again, but to rest also in Your protection.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Isaiah 66:13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Isn’t it interesting that in this verse, the prophet uses a Mother as the example of Godliness? God will comfort us as our mothers do. In many ways a parent’s love is often our greatest example of a Godly type of love here on earth. A mother can love her child beyond all measure, above all common sense, through any thing that might kill another kind of love. She can forgive her child over and over and over again, with open arms. And so, we can easily imagine that God might have made Mothers an example of His kind of love.
We see our Mothers as perfect, we see them through the eyes of Your love, Lord. As children we see them as examples of beauty and love, of nurturing and warmth. Lord, sometimes as we get older we see our parents, our Mothers in ways we would never have expected. They become real people to us, and we begin to worry for them, to fret over them, or even to have to take care of them as they once took care of us. Today, Lord, especially, we thank You for the gift of a Mother. For someone who goes above and beyond all common sense or usual human bounds to birth and nurture another person through this life. Thank You, Lord, that You have blessed so many children with Mothers who will love them beyond all sense and measure, who can be examples of Your love here in this world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
It can be so hard to feel guided by You in this life, even when we so desire to be. But I know You will counsel me when I seek it. I know You have promised to show me the way I should go, and that in these times of desperate seeking, You are found.
Please, Lord, let me clearly hear and see where You are aiming me and my family today. We want to follow Your path for us, and Your intentions with us. We want to be utilized by You in the larger picture that only You can see.
And so, today, we bow to Your will. Instruct us in the way to go, Lord, and let us see the path clearly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
Wounds from a friend can be trusted (Proverbs 27:6)
What does this mean to us? To me, it means that we need to learn to take criticism from friends and loved ones. God has tried to put people in our lives who can love us, love us completely, and love us as Christians, and who can help to correct us if we go off the path we are meant to be following.
If a friend comes to you and says something that feels like a wound, should we cut them out of our lives? Should we turn away in shame and fear that their criticism is correct? Or should we realize that this friend, or family member, or church member, may have our best interest at heart?
I’m not saying every criticism from someone we consider a friend, or every insult or wrong thing said, is something to be taken to heart. The best of us have some really bad moments and say things that might hurt others, for reasons other than love or their growth. But if we can remember this verse, we can maybe stay calm enough to stop and think about what has been said.
With God’s help we can take criticism well enough to use it for our own growth. We can take the time to examine not only the conversation but the friendship and hopefully be understanding if someone wounds us with good intentions.
Lord, I love that You have placed Godly friends and family in my circle here on earth to help me grow in Christ. I know that You have made it so that we can use Your Word as our guideline and instruction manual in tough situations and when we may be hurting. I am so thankful for this, and that I can trust that You will help me discern when someone is speaking from a Christian heart, and an intention of helpfulness, rather than seeking to hurt.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Lord, We get so lost in the day to day grind so often, and we forget to look to you. I get frustrated, my husband gets frustrated, and we forget to be grateful. But, Lord, Your word is always there to remind us, to gently chide or loudly convict us back to remembering who You are, and what You have done in our lives.
While You are busy providing our every need, we are often busy bickering and fighting over what we don’t have, or think might make us happy.
Remind me, Lord, to seek only You. To let Your priorities be mine. Remind me to put others’ welfare in the forefront as I seek to serve, and to trust that You will see to my needs as I do so.
Give us patience, Lord, with our own failings. As You forgive so readily, and see the good and faithful things in us.
Give us time, Lord. Enough time to grow into the people You are molding us to be, and enough patience to remember that You can stretch our days, allowing all of our priorities to be taken care of, so long as we line them up with Your plans and Your prescription as written in Your word.
Thank You so much, Lord. Amen.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. -Ephesians 6:10,11
Lord, we are all having undue hardships and stresses lately, and we call out to you to help us in our time of need. Help us to remember not to look to the things in this world to bolster our strength or to protect us from the things we feel hurt by in this world. Help us deal with this day’s struggles in just the way you want us to. Amen
I am very lucky to have the good job I have. I’ve been lucky to have it for 12 years. Still, my life has changed a lot lately and the job itself has changed over the years. I find myself now wondering if I’m called to do this job as I once was.
I am blessed to be able to work and also have my daughter along, but it also creates challenges to do so. I am often wondering what would be best for my baby and my client, because my attention is always split now. It’s kind of like I get to do all the work of a Stay at Home Mom, and do it all while doing all the work of my actual job as a working Mom.
The worries are daily. Would it be better to have my daughter in daycare so she got some kind of more structured schedule and routine, so the people would be there to focus on her, instead of always distracted from helping her? I work nights often of late and it bothers me so much to have to wake her sleeping self up to take her home. I hate also having to get her back to bed there. It’s no wonder she never has gotten into a routine at night and learned to sleep well. This also often leads to missed baths and teeth brushings and that adds to the motherly guilt and worry and questioning.
Other days I dress her while she’s still sleeping, or sometimes on the days we’ll work that late, and put her in the car to eat her breakfast on the road. I could wake her up earlier instead, should I do that? Would that help?
It’s not that she has some sort of awful time, and like I said, I’m blessed to have my job, I know. I’ve worked here 12 years now and I finally make more per hour than the years I’ve worked here. I have benefits which have been hard to come by in the years after the bubble pop. I get to see my sister and my daughter gets to see her aunt. But… but… there’s always the worry and the questions. There’s always this idea that I could be doing it better, giving her a better life.
It actually doesn’t help that my husband makes enough money that if we wanted to and were careful we could exist on only his income. It makes it harder, kind of, because it gives me this idea that I should be being a stay at home mom full time, that that would be the best thing for this little growing person who is so wonderful and needs so much attention. It just makes the questions bigger.
Meanwhile, Alice loves stimulation and going places and doing things constantly, and while she needs and wants a lot of attention and I feel divided and like I’m doing neither job as well as I’d like, she misses her Aunt when we don’t come to work. She asks to go places all the time when we do stay home. Am I worrying for nothing?
And in the end, I realize, that all I need to do is pray. The answers all sit with God, and He has made this challenge particularly for me, to grow my Spirit in the direction He is leading me. And Alice. If I believe He is leading me, I have to further believe He is leading and forming her.
And so the prayer:
I know You have given me this challenge for a reason. I know I need to give these worries up to You and allow You to work out the solution to what feels like an impossible question. I know that what to me feels like it would be reopening of old wounds to even speak about, to You it is nothing but a speck to be blown away. I pray today that You work in this situation. Give me the right words to speak about what I think I need and what I think I need to do for my baby and myself, give me the right way to handle this situation. And show me, Lord, what will be best for her in the long run. Teach me how to Mother with the love and Grace only You can supply, and show me where You are calling me now. Give me Your leading, Lord, as strong as I once felt it. Allow me to see clearly my path again, and to be able to take my daughter on that walk with me, as I carry her everywhere else.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.