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Jesus Take My Hand

Trust in You by Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream. I lay each one down at your feet. Every moment of my wandering never changes what You see. I try to win this war I confess. My hands are weary I, need your rest. Mighty warrior, King of the fight…no matter what I face Your by my side.

Chorus:
When You don’t move the mountain, I’m needed You to move; When You don’t part the waters, I wish I could walk through; When You don’t give the answers, as I cry out to You ; I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings.There’s not a day ahead You have not seen; So in all things be my life and breath I want what You want Lord and nothing less.

(Chorus)

You are my strength and comfort; You are my steady hand. You are my firm foundation the Rock on which I stand.Your ways are always higher; Your plans are always good, there’s not a place where I’ll go You’ve not already stood.

I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You!!!!
*************************************************

Have you ever walked in darkness? I don’t mean the kind of darkness where you have street lamps or house lights to help you find your way home, I’m talking darkness with maybe the stars and the moon to guide you and it’s a cloudy night. Or have you ever played that game where you are blind folded (and no peeking, but tied tight;) and you had to trust the person you were paired with to get you through the obstacles that lay ahead?

I recall a time while I’ve been living in Haiti where I was caught in the dark and I had forgot my flashlight. We had just finished up with a Ladies Conference and I had been talking with some ladies afterwards and as I prepared to leave the gator and everyone had gone back to the house. I was left in the dark with only the memory of the road and the stars to get me back. It was one of those nights where I lifted up a quick prayer to Jesus to help me get home safely. It was only 4 blocks away, but it was dark…really dark!!! I made it one block when I felt a gentle hand grab my arm and this precious woman who lived next door to us walked me the remainder of the way home. She was watching out for me, protecting me, shielding me and helping me back home to where there was light. I did not feel like I was in any danger and I had no fear of walking home, but my neighbor was watching out for me…she knew, but more importantly my Heavenly Father was watching out for me by sending this dear woman to lead me home…because I trusted Him.

This past year I found myself walking in a darkness again.A darkness that a flashlight just can’t help. A darkness that covered me not only physically, emotionally, and mentally, but spiritually. Let me just say when you pray “Lord, strip it all away” be prepared. There were area’s that surfaced that I thought I had dealt with long ago, but they returned with such force, deception and power and with such fatigue I had no fight left .This woman who doesn’t like to give up was ready to do just that, but I realized there is a difference between giving up and surrendering. I needed to surrender it all to God…the good, the struggle, pain, confusion, fear and the ugly. It certainly wasn’t pretty and the example I spoke about in the last blog was failing miserably. I felt I was disappointing to many or that I had tarnished my character and walk because of my own insecurities of what I believed to be true, but in the midst of what I believed was truth…God was using many to lead me back to the joy of my salvation.

I am so very grateful to those that didn’t give up on me during this time…that walked with me, listened to me and poured into me selflessly even when it was so very difficult. I am grateful for the team members that came through without you even knowing it…spoke life, encouragement and love into me as you affirmed me. I am grateful to a dear friend that heard my heart and spoke truth to me to get help. I am grateful for those that interceded for me when you had no idea what was going on, but He placed me on Your heart so you prayed!! I am grateful for Alongside, an incredible retreat and counseling center for Pastors and Missionaries…that loved on me, poured into me, taught me and equipped me with tools to walk in truth, freedom, grace, peace and more joy. (spending 2 weeks with other missionaries and pastors to see how important self-care and community is on the field and ,despite different countries, deal with the same issues. WOW!! Still processing it all!!!) I am grateful for supporting churches that care so deeply for me even when I was falling apart…there understanding of where I was as a missionary and the counsel I received…overwhelming!!! And so very grateful for a family that loves me unconditionally and supports what I am doing…even when they may not understand, they know I desire to listen and obey.

Above all a Good Shepherd that sent each of you to gently take my hand and lead me to the next step in the light along each days journey. I have this plaque on my wall that one of my Haitian sisters gave to me that says…The Lord is my Shepherd!! I can’t tell you how many times I sat on the couch and stared at those words praying that I would shake myself out of what I was in. When I came out in Aug. to the states these words were a lifeline for me. “ The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3b He literally and figuratively did this for me. The Good Shepherd has held me tight and has never let me go.

The above song resonated and encouraged within me that despite the circumstances “I can and will trust in Him!!” He will be the Light in my darkness. “That I have this hope as an Anchor for my soul, Firm and Secure…” Heb. 6:19

I shared with our ladies a few weeks back the struggles I was facing. The depression I was in. The anxiety and fear I was dealing with. The health problems and emotions that I was dealing with and shared these Scriptures with them that I just shared above to encourage them that together with Christ we can defeat the darkness and walk in victory because He is ours forever!! Amen? I also shared this Scripture that really tied the message together.
“My health may fail and my Spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart;
HE IS MINE FOREVER!!” Psalm 73:26

You may be walking in the dark right now. Maybe you feel you have lost your way. Maybe you have been sitting in the tunnel of despair and feel there is no way out. Let me encourage you to call on the the name of Jesus…the name that is above every name. Ask Him to help you; put your hope and trust in Him. Allow Him to take you by the hand and lead you to the other side of the tunnel where there is light. Where there is hope. Where there is forgiveness. Where there is healing. Where there is freedom. Where there is love. Where there is redemption.

May we be able to say with confidence…”I WILL TRUST IN YOU JESUS; I WILL TRUST IN YOU!!” 

Just Like You, Jesus

Lord I want to be just like You ‘cause she wants to be just like me; I want to be a holy example for her innocent eyes to see. I want to be a living Bible Lord that my little girl can read. Lord I want to be just like You ‘cause she wants to be just like me.”

The past few Mondays I have had the privilege of teaching Ladies Bible Study. I so love starting the week off with these precious ladies. Learning, playing, laughing, crying (ok this is mostly me;) lol, discussing, arguing (yes, we can get into some interesting arguments that to me seem totally banana’s, but to them it’s real….sometimes I forget this and have to remind myself that many of these ladies are young in their faith…grace. Amen? Sometimes too, I have to remember to take the log out of my own eye, before I can help pull the plank out of my sisters eye.) serving, evangelizing, worshipping and praying. It’s been so exciting to witness these ladies grow in the ways of the Lord. Seeing those that lead and are mature in their faith grow stronger and be the example to those that are new in their faith.

This is where the lesson Pierre and I was sharing was rooted. The week before we had one of those drawn out discussions that I felt went in circles, but in the midst of it all I listened to their hearts as God translated and gave me better understanding. After that day one verse and the song above kept swirling in my head.

The song has been a prayer of mine since 1994 when one of the swimmers I coached drove with me from Ohio to Dallas, Tx. It was a great drive, but also difficult as I knew at the end of the trip I would have to say good-bye. This precious girl had become like a daughter/ little sister to me over the years as I helped coach her, and though I did not know what God was doing in her then, a few laters she would accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. As we crossed the border into Texas this song came on the radio. The radio had not worked for hours so to listen to this song and soak in the words it put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. This was the time God began to birth a deeper passion for discipleship and growing in Christ character. It still helps fuel this passion especially during seasons of struggle and confusion.

We shared with the ladies this scripture from 1Corinthians 11:1…Paul writes, “follow my example as I follow the example of Jesus Christ.” Why had Paul wrote this? Was he being arrogant or self-righteous? Paul never saw himself as sinless. In fact during this time of this writing the Corinthians knew nothing of the life of Jesus or His ministry. Paul couldn’t say, “hey look at Jesus, imitate Him, He is Your example” because the Gospels weren’t even written yet. They had no idea what Jesus was like. The best way to point these new Christians to Christ was to point them to a Christian whom they trusted. Paul had live in Corinth almost 2 years and had built relationships of trust with many of the new believers. (taken from Application Study Bible)Paul walked in Christ-like character…like the line to the song, “I want to be a living Bible Lord, that my little girl can read.”

I posed this question to the ladies…When we think of the characteristics of Christ what do we think of? It took them a couple of minutes to begin to answer, but once one of our ladies began, they were off and running. Compassionate, Forgiving, Patient, Gentle, Protector, Provider, Friend, Counselor, Peace, and on and on:) I shared with them that when I look up the characteristics of Christ I can find way over 60 traits and that I can get overwhelmed by so many, but the one place we can look for is in Galatians 5:22-23 Listing the Fruit of the Spirit and then asking ourselves Am I walking in Christ-likeness? What is it that I need to ask Jesus to help me with and who can I recruit to keep me accountable and walk alongside of me?

The week before one of the ladies shared this during our heated discussion. She shared with the ladies that she comes to Ladies Bible Study to learn more about Jesus and that she finds sisters here that pray for her, come alongside of her and offer help when she isn’t able to help herself. I reminded them of this and how beautiful it is that we can come alongside one another, study God’s Word with one another, pray for one another, grow in grace with one another, cry with one another, serve one another, laugh with one another, and keep each other accountable.

I posed another question to them…In our list do we find jealousy, envy, greed, gossip, revenge, fear judgement, anger, fear, bitterness, pity, selfishness….in Jesus? A resounding NO! NONE OF THESE!!! But do we find them in us? Oh Yes, Amen!!! We know we don’t want to admit it, but we all do. There are rooms in our heart that at we want to close off and not admit the struggle with.We all have them and unfortunately as the body of Christ we are harder on each other and on ourselves. We are good at pointing out the plank our neighbors eye before noticing we have our own log in ours. We just stink at just sitting down and being transparent with one another and saying, “hey, I notice your struggling a bit with gossip or jealousy. Can we talk about it together instead of talking about it all over town. Maybe together you decide to conquer this with Christ help.” We reminded them that they are more than conquerors with Christ Jesus!!

Lastly I asked them…How do we develop Christ character? How do we say I want to be a woman who walk in Christ-likeness and mean it? It means getting real with ourselves and others. It means doing a heart check as well as a thought check. It means getting serious about our prayers and ask for help in the problem areas that we know we struggle with. Which means if we are praying about it don’t be surprised if He places you in circumstances and experiences to teach us. In other words whenever we choose to respond to a situation in God’s way instead of in our flesh nature we develop His character. For this reason he allows conflict, disappointment, difficulty, temptations, times in the desert and delays.

We left them with this challenge…In what difficult circumstance in your life might God be trying to build your character? How does your attitude or perspective change in hearing this today? Who are you being a living Bible for?

I leave the same challenge for us all?

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