Bible Verses About Spring

  • Job 29:23 ESV
    They waited for me as for the rain,
        and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.  (Job is speaking)
  • Proverbs 16:15 ESV
    In the light of a king’s face there is life,
        and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

    For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

    a time to be born, and a time to die;
    a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
    a time to kill, and a time to heal;
    a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    a time to seek, and a time to lose;
    a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    a time to tear, and a time to sew;
    a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    a time to love, and a time to hate;
    a time for war, and a time for peace.

  • Song of Solomon 2:11-13 ESV
    for behold, the winter is past;
        the rain is over and gone.
    12 The flowers appear on the earth,
        the time of singing[d] has come,
    and the voice of the turtledove
        is heard in our land.
    13 The fig tree ripens its figs,
        and the vines are in blossom;
        they give forth fragrance.
    Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
        and come away.
  • Hosea 6:3 ESV
    Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
        his going out is sure as the dawn;
    he will come to us as the showers,
        as the spring rains that water the earth.”
  • Joel  2:23 ESV
    “Be glad, O children of Zion,
        and rejoice in the Lord your God,
    for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
        he has poured down for you abundant rain,
        the early and the latter rain, as before
  • Zechariah 10:1 ESV
    Ask rain from the Lord
        in the season of the spring rain,
    from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
        and he will give them showers of rain,
        to everyone the vegetation in the field.
  • James 5:7 ESV
    Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.

Bible Verses about Boldness

  • Proverbs 28:1 (CSB)
    The wicked flee when no one is pursuing them,
    but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
  • Acts 4:13 (CSB)
     When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
  • Acts 4:29-31 (CSB)
    And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that your servants may speak your word with all boldness,  while you stretch out your hand for healing, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God boldly.
  • Acts 14:3 (CSB)
     So they stayed there a long time and spoke boldly for the Lord, who testified to the message of his grace by enabling them to do signs and wonders.
  • Acts 28:31 (CSB)
    proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:12 CSB
    Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness.
  • Ephesians 3:12 (CSB)
     In him we have boldness and confident access through faith in him.
  • Ephesians 6:19 (CSB)
     Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.
  • Philippians 1:14 (ESV)
    And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word[a] without fear.
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:2 (ESV)
    But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.
  • 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (CSB)
    Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power,[a] love, and sound judgment.
  • Hebrews 13:6 (CSB)
    Therefore, we may boldly say,
    The Lord is my helper;
    I will not be afraid.
    What can man do to me?
  • Hebrews  4:16 (CSB)
    Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.

Bible Verses for When You Need Strength

  • Nehemiah 8:10 NIV
    Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
  • Psalm 22:19 NIV
    But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
        You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
  • Psalm 27:1 NKJV
    The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    Whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the strength of my life;
    Of whom shall I be afraid?
  • Psalm 28:7-8 NIV
    The Lord is my strength and my shield;
        my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
    My heart leaps for joy,
        and with my song I praise him.
    The Lord is the strength of his people,
        a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
  • Psalm 29:11 CSB
    The Lord gives his people strength;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace.
  • Psalm 37:39 NKJV
    But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
    He is their strength in the time of trouble.
  • Psalm 46:1 NIV
    God is our refuge and strength,
        an ever-present help in trouble.
  • Psalm 118:14 NIV
    The Lord is my strength and my defense;
        he has become my salvation.
  • Psalm 119:28 NIV
    My soul is weary with sorrow;
        strengthen me according to your word.
  • Psalm 138:3 NKJV
    In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
    And made me bold with strength in my soul.
  • Proverbs 18:10 NASB
    The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    The righteous runs into it and is safe.
  • Isaiah 12:2 NIV
    Surely God is my salvation;
        I will trust and not be afraid.
    The Lordthe Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
        he has become my salvation.”
  • Isaiah 33:2 NIV
    Lord, be gracious to us;
    we long for you
    .
    Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in time of distress.
  • Isaiah 40:29 NIV
    He gives strength to the weary
        and increases the power of the weak.
  • Isaiah 40:31 NIV
    but those who hope in the Lord
        will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
        they will run and not grow weary,
        they will walk and not be faint.
  • Isaiah 41:10 NASB
    ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
    Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
    Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
  • Habakkuk 3:19 NIV
    The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
        he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
        he enables me to tread on the heights.
  • Mark 12:30 NIV
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Ephesians 3:16 NIV
     I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
  • Ephesians 6:10 NIV
    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
  • Philippians 4:13 NIV
    I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

We choose again today

I regretted ever starting in the first place.

It hadn’t been the plan for the day, wasn’t on my agenda, and didn’t appear on my to-do list.

But as I swept through my house doing my morning cleaning, I reached into my son’s closet to put something away and recoiled in horror.

This closet was at capacity.

More like over-capacity.

So I began the task.  I was “just” going to clear out a few things, “just” get rid of the boxes, “just” pull out the baby toys to donate, “just” put some clothes into storage, “just, just just….”

Until, of course that “just” meant the entire surface of the bedroom was covered with stuff from the now-empty closet.

This task sabotaged my entire morning, muscling everything else I intended to do that day out of the way.

At some point, I almost gave up.  I almost shoved it all back into the closet and shut the door because I did not have time or energy or patience or anything to tackle this project right then.

And so there was the choice….

Push through?  Persevere?  Take one more step and then another?

Or give up?  Step backwards?  Regress?

This is the same for us.

Once we choose to step out, we have to then choose whether to keep going.

Obeying God, following Him in faith, answering His call, choosing righteousness, putting down bad habits and picking up spiritual disciplines:  These are not one-time decisions.

There is the choosing….and then there is the choosing again and again and again.

I decide today to follow Jesus.  And I decide all over again tomorrow.

Giving up, of course, feels easier in the moment, but then my son wouldn’t have a clean closet and I’d feel the waste of starting a project and never finishing it.

Abraham chose to obey God no matter what.  When God called him in the night to journey up a mountain and sacrifice his promised son, Isaac, Abraham went.

I’ve always marveled at Abraham’s immediate act of obedience.

He didn’t waiver or question, pray over it for a while or seek counsel from others.

No, God called and “Abraham rose early in the morning….” and started on the path to obedience.

But here’s what I never noticed before:

On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance  (Genesis 22:3-4 NASB).

Abraham walked three days before he even saw the mountain God had called him to.

That meant he had three nights to wrestle with the task, three days to decide whether to keep moving forward or turn around and head back home.

He had three days to chicken out.

In his book, Drawing Near, John Bevere says:

“Why a three-day journey?  I believe He gave Abraham time to think it over, even to turn back.  It is one thing to initially move when you hear the voice of God, but what about the follow-through?” (p. 79 ).

Follow-through.

That’s what faith-journeys take.

Obedience doesn’t mean anything if it’s only partial obedience, or halfway obedience, or “I’ve changed my mind and I’d rather give up now” obedience.

And this matters for us because some days obedience comes easy.

The call from God feels fresh and exciting.

Our friends encourage us.
The sermon reaffirms us.
Our quiet time feels vibrant and alive.
We see the evidence of tangible success and real impact.

But that’s not everyday.

Some days we wonder if we ever even heard God calls us.

Our friends are absent, unsupportive, or unaware.  Maybe we even face detractors who discourage us and assure us of defeat.

God seems silent.

Nothing appears to make any difference and we are so small, so insignificant.  Failure feels imminent.

We are weary and weak and we can’t even see the blurry outline of the mountain anywhere in the distance.

It’s hard to keep moving forward when we’re overlooked, when we question our offering, when we lose hope for the future, when the mess we’re in threatens to bury us.

Maybe today is the day you feel eager to obey.  Or maybe today you feel overwhelmed and ready to quit.

Today might be the first day of your journey, or the third, or the twenty-third, or the one-hundred-and-third.

Regardless, today is the day to choose as Abraham did:  We choose to follow through.  We choose to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 ESV).

No turning back.

No turning back.

Originally published October 2016

Bible Verses about Spiritual Growth

  • 1 Corinthians 13:11 CSB
     When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.
  • Ephesians 4:15-16 CSB
    But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ.  From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
  • Philippians 1:6 CSB
    am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you[a] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
  • Colossians 1:10 CSB
     so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God,
  • Colossians 2:6-7 CSB
    So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.
  • 1 Timothy 4:14-15 CSB
    Don’t neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all.
  • Hebrews 5:12-14 CSB
     Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.
  • Hebrews 6:1-2 CSB
    Therefore, let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings,[a] laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment
  • 1 Peter 2:1-3 CSB
    Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander.
     Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation,  if you have tasted that the Lord is good
  • 2 Peter 3:18 CSB
    But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.

Finding a place at the well

We’re preparing for company and my son loves company.

He is a host extraordinaire.  At the first mention of upcoming visitors, he  cleans up his room and then grabs Clorox wipes,  the broom,  and wood polish and heads for the kitchen.

He’s five.

But he’s a five-year-old who loves to entertain guests, and he has mastered some basic essentials of hospitality:  create a clean space, set out games, and provide snacks.  What more could you need?

When I told him last  night that we’d be having company this weekend, I should have been prepared for an early morning wake-up from this boy who needed to  clean his room right this second.

Yes,  it’s 7:30 in the morning and we’re still getting kids ready for school and yes, mom would like some time with a cup of tea first.  But his room was messy and the company was imminent (as in arriving in the next 48 hours).  He does not want to  be unprepared for his guests.

There’s a beautiful moment in Scripture when Abraham shows a similar attentive hospitality. Genesis 18 says three strangers came by and that:

The LORD appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18:1 CSB).

Not just a guest, an unexpected divine guest.

I’d probably lock the door for a few minutes and toss dirty dishes into the oven, clean clothes back  into the dryer, and paper piles into closets before actually welcoming a surprise stranger.

But Abraham is so gracious,  so inviting.  He brings water for their feet and leads them to  a place of rest under the shade of a tree.  He asks Sarah to  bake bread,  prepares a meal , and then serves them a picnic feast of fine foods.

He makes the most of this moment with the Lord.  He is hospitable and attentive.  He is not rushed or stressed about all he isn’t getting done.

The Lord simply appeared.  And Abraham invited Him in.

What  needs to change in me so I can be more  hospitable to the Holy Spirit?  More attentive and considerate of His presence?  More responsive and inviting?  More willing to  sit and fellowship with Him?

I consider the challenge of this because sometimes you sit down for a quiet time, and the Lord feels….quiet.  You read.  You pray.  You copy down the verse.   And then you are done.

But other days you sit down for some time with Jesus and He invites you to linger because His presence is so strong. So you have to choose.  Do we rush Him along or settle in at His  feet?

Abraham chose to welcome the visitor.

His son Isaac did even more.

Yes, Abraham had set up camp and the LORD came to Him, arriving without invitation or planning or pursuit on Abraham’s part

But Isaac purposely set out to dwell in the Lord’s presence, making not just a one-time visit, but a long-term decision to abide..

Genesis says:

After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi (Genesis 25:11 ESV).

Beer-lahai-roi–that ‘s “the well of him that liveth and seeth me.”  That’s where God called out to  Hagar in the wilderness and He rescued her son by providing this same well to  quench Ishmael’s thirst.  Hagar called Him the “God who sees me” and the “One who looks after me. “Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi” (Genesis 16:14 ESV).

Hagar’s time there was temporary, but  Spurgeon writes:

“Isaac….settled there and made the well of the living and all-seeing God his constant source of supply….Let us too learn to live in the presence of the living God….Happy is the person who lives at the well, with abundant and constant supplies near at hand” (Morning and Evening).

Of all the places Isaac could have  brought his family and made his home, he chooses this holy place, this sacred site, and he settles in.

Could this be me?

Could I be like Abraham, ready, yielded, excited even by the  Lord’s visits?  Am I prepared? Am I ready to clean rooms,  make meals, and rest under a shade tree all in God’s presence simply because He showed up and I want t o be with Him?

But could I also be like Isaac, seeking out this same presence day by day?   Choosing to settle near the well of God’s supply, dwelling with Him and in Him, knowing that this well of His presence will not and will never run dry?

And that’s the best part.  On days when Isaac felt  weary, dry, worn out, stretched thin, stressed, or just had the blahs, he could go  to  the well and drink deeply from the well, dipping the cool  water over  and over if needed, all because he lived day in and day out by the well of His presence.

Bible Verses with Lessons about Trees

  • 1 Chronicles 16:33 CSB
    Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.
  • Job 14:7-9 CSB
    There is hope for a tree:
    If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
    and its shoots will not die.
    If its roots grow old in the ground
    and its stump starts to die in the soil,
    the scent of water makes it thrive
    and produce twigs like a sapling.
  • Psalm 1:1-3 CSB
    How happy is the one who does not
    walk in the advice of the wicked
    or stand in the pathway with sinners
    or sit in the company of mockers!
    Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
    and he meditates on it day and night.
    He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams[a]
    that bears its fruit in its season
    and whose leaf does not wither.
    Whatever he does prospers.
  • Psalm 52:8 CSB
    But I am like a flourishing olive tree
    in the house of God;
    I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever.
  • Psalm 92:12 CSB
    The righteous thrive like a palm tree
    and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon.
  • Proverbs 11:30 CSB
    The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and a wise person captivates people.
  • Proverbs 13:12 CSB
    Hope delayed makes the heart sick,
    but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
  • Isaiah 55:12-13 CSB
    You will indeed go out with joy
    and be peacefully guided;
    the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
    and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
    13 Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,
    and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
    this will stand as a monument for the Lord,
    an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.
  • Isaiah 61:3 CSB
    to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
    to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
    festive oil instead of mourning,
    and splendid clothes instead of despair.
    And they will be called righteous trees,
    planted by the Lord
    to glorify him.
  • Jeremiah 17:8 CSB
    He will be like a tree planted by water:
    it sends its roots out toward a stream,
    it doesn’t fear when heat comes,
    and its foliage remains green.
    It will not worry in a year of drought
    or cease producing fruit.
  • Ezekiel 17:22-24 CSB
    “‘This is what the Lord God says:

    I will take a sprig
    from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it.
    I will pluck a tender sprig
    from its topmost shoots,
    and I will plant it
    on a high towering mountain.
    23 I will plant it on Israel’s high mountain
    so that it may bear branches, produce fruit,
    and become a majestic cedar.
    Birds of every kind will nest under it,
    taking shelter in the shade of its branches.
    24 Then all the trees of the field will know
    that I am the Lord.
    I bring down the tall tree,
    and make the low tree tall.
    I cause the green tree to wither
    and make the withered tree thrive.
    I, the Lord, have spoken
    and I will do it.’”

  • Matthew 3:10 CSB (John the Baptist speaking of Pharisees and Saduccees)
    The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
  • Matthew 7:17 CSB
    In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.
  • Luke 6:43-46 CSB
    “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.
  • Romans 11:24 CSB
    For if you were cut off from your native wild olive tree and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these—the natural branches—be grafted into their own olive tree?
  • Revelation 22:14 CSB
    “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.

Bible Verses on Loving Others

  • Matthew 5:43-44 NIV
     “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
  • Mark 12:29-31 NLT
    Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
  • John 13:34 NIV
    A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
  • John 15:12-13  NLT
    This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
  • Romans 13:8 NLT
    Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV
    If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV
    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
  • Ephesians 4:2 NLT
    Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
  • Ephesians 4:31-32
    “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
  • 1 John 3:18
    Dear children, let us not love with words or speech b1john4ut with actions and in truth.
  • 1 Peter 1:22 NLT
     

     You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

  • 1 John 4:7-8 NIV
    Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
  • 1 John 4:11 NIV
    Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
  • 1 John 4:19-21 NIV
     We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Morning Prayers to Start Your Day

I do not understand the snooze button on an alarm clock.  I never have.

To me, sleep only works when you’re actually sleeping.

The first beep of an alarm wakes me up.  From that moment on, my mind is racing on into the day.  I’m not sleeping; I’m thinking.

Worse yet, I’m thinking without actually doing anything about the million-and-one things I’m thinking about, which is a pretty stressful way to start the day,  feeling like I’m already behind.

Snooze buttons only work for people who can fall asleep in two seconds and don’t mind sleeping in batches of 5 minutes at a time.

Since that isn’t me, it’s just a way to procrastinate my way into the morning and procrastination super-stresses me out.

But moms don’t get to dictate their sleep habits, sleep cycle, sleep hours, sleep anything.  We’re just thankful for whatever sleep we get.

I’ve only needed an actual alarm clock a handful of times since I gave birth to my oldest child over 14 years ago.  I have a new alarm clock called “Kids.”

Unfortunately, this new wake-up system came fully equipped with nothing less than a human snooze button.

Babies wake up and go back to sleep, wake up again and go back to sleep.  Toddlers choose to wake mom up whenever the baby is still sleeping.

Now it’s my school children with staggered schedules waking me up in waves as their own alarm clocks go off and they troop down the stairs and into the kitchen for breakfast.

I have early risers and I have night owls who don’t exactly appreciate the need to rise and shine and they all like me to be awake when they are awake.

My sleep patterns are dictated by the sleeping or lack of sleeping of a whole posse of other people.

I know in my heart this truth: I need to bring God right into the beginning of my day.  I need to  start it with prayer before I head out of bed and into  the to-do list.

But while I agree with the ideal, my life feels louder than that so many days.  Crazier than that.  Messier than that.

And yet, I still need His presence.  Maybe because of all the noise and rush, I need His presence even more desperately than someone who can lie in the quiet and calm of a morning and spend a few extra minutes in uninterrupted prayer.

I sure need Jesus to be right here in the middle of my mess.

My days tend to take turns for the unexpected.  The long, extended quiet time that I’ve been planning for days hasn’t happened yet, because the phone rang, and I got a message, and there was a doctor’s appointment (or two) and an after school activity (or ten of them).

But I read what a missionary wrote in his journal long ago:

“Poor and weak though we are, our abode is a very Bethel to our souls, and God we feel and know is here” (Richard Williams).

Bethel.  That means “House of God.”

It’s the place where God’s presence dwells.   That’s where Jacob saw the vision of the stairway connecting heaven and earth and the angels ascending and descending.

I’m reminded, then, that God’s presence right here in the middle of my life makes any situation, any morning, any messy day, any short quiet time in the parked minivan while waiting for my daughters outside of school… a Bethel for my soul.

Because God is here.

I’m still fighting for that extended quiet time.  I know it will happen.

But even on days it doesn’t, I’m learning  to “Do Messy Faith….” to pursue His presence on-the-go instead of waiting until all the circumstances are perfect to meet with Him.  Because if I wait for perfect, then it won’t happen.

So I don’t have an hour to spend in quiet with the Bible.  I have the Bible on my phone and my Kindle.

So I don’t have the luxury of a quiet morning wake-up.  I have a human snooze alarm and I can whisper those prayers in between morning visits from my children.

Dear God, thank You for this day.

Dear God, guide me today.

Dear God, Your will be done, not mine.

Dear God, Please use me today.

Dear God, Please help me.  I can’t do it alone.

Dear Lord, teach me to be the wife and mom you want me to be.

Father, show me how to love as you love.

You have blessed me.  Lord, how can I be a blessing to others?

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
Psalm 5:3 NKJV

What prayers do you whisper as you start your day?

Bible Verses About the Ways God Invites Us

Come all who are weary:

  • Matthew 11:28-30 NASB
    “Come to Me, all  who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is [b]easy and My burden is light.”

Come you who are thirsty:

  • Isaiah 55:1 NASB
    “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
    And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
    Come, buy wine and milk
    Without money and without cost.”
  • John 7:37-39 NASB
    Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, [a]If anyone is thirsty, [et him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From [c]his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
  • Revelation 22:17 NASB
    The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Come you who are hungry

  • John 6:33-35 NASB
    For the bread of God is [a]that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”  Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”
     Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

Come for forgiveness:

  • Isaiah 1:18 NASB
    “Come now, and let us reason together,”
    Says the Lord,
    “Though your sins are as scarlet,
    They will be as white as snow;
    Though they are red like crimson,
    They will be like wool.

Come all who need healing and restoration:

  • Hosea 6:1 NASB
    “Come, let us return to the Lord.
    For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
    He has [a]wounded us, but He will bandage us.

Come like little children:

  • Matthew 19:13-15 NASB
    Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, [a]Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Come boldly:

  • Hebrews 4:16 NASB
    Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Come sacrificially:

  • Luke 9:23-26 NASB
    And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
     24 For whoever wishes to save his [a]life will lose it, but whoever loses his [b]life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.