Here you are sitting at the table, talking to your teenage son about his future goals and it hits you, the realization that you can’t protect him anymore. It’s naive to think you ever were truly protecting him but in … Continue reading
Have you ever given yourself a death sentence or felt as though someone else has?
Has there ever been a time when you have done something, been ashamed, committed a wrong, and thrown yourself into your own prison?
Have you committed yourself or someone else to this death sentence?
Whether you have wronged someone or been wronged yourself, one of you might have, unknowingly been committed to a death sentence. You or someone else have done something that has caused such great pain that your lives will never be the same.
For the one who caused the pain, they feel forever sentenced to their wrong doing. It is as though anything they did before or will do, that might have been “good”, will be forever erased because they will constantly be known by their stripes. They will always be seen behind the prison bars and sentenced to a life of “death” to who they once were and forever chained and known by their “sins”. They daily encounter remarks or actions that are like lashes, continually beating them down, reminding them that they will never make an escape from the cell that they are in.
For the one who received the pain, they forever sentence themselves to the other person’s wrong doing. They put themselves behind the bars of their own fear, hurt, insecurity, and self doubt. They refuse to free themselves from pain that has placed them there. They hold so tight to the sentence that has been given to them that they can not see a way out. They feel so alone, weak, and hurt that they become enveloped by the cell that has been placed around them.
Before we begin to drag ourselves, or lead others, to the execution chamber, we need to know, or be reminded, that someone has already paid the sentence. Our “death” has been taken care of and our freedom has been paid for in full. No matter how far you have fallen, how greatly you have been wronged, how deeply you have hurt, Jesus Christ has gone to the execution chamber in your place and your sentence has been wiped from your records.
Jesus Christ died on the cross in order to pay the costly price for those hefty wrongs we have committed. He has shown us grace, love, and mercy by dying for us. Once we have accepted that, knowing it is nothing we have done but it is everything He has done, our sentence has been wiped clean.
So if He has taken our death sentence why are we still held up in that prison cell? The bars have been opened and we are still sitting in the cold, empty cell, alone in our imprisonment. The guards are gone and yet we refuse to leave, move, or accept our freedom. Why? We are our worst enemies. We are our prisons. We are our Wardens.
Stop looking down! Look up! Jesus is there, waiting to free us. Take His hand and escape from that prison cell. You have been set free! You no longer have a death sentence, you now have pure and beautiful freedom that only Christ can give.
Enjoy the warmth of the Son, you have been set free!
You are Special is a children’s book beautifully written by Max Lucado. It’s leading character, Punchinello, lives in a village where, if you are “bad”, strange, or different, you are given dots by the other townspeople. If you are “good”, beautiful, or acceptable, you are given stars. The townspeople walk up to each other and place these stickers upon one another as to inform them that they are either acceptable or unacceptable.
One day Punchinello meets a girl who has neither stars or dots and asks how that is possible. She informs him that she has visited the wood carver, their creator, and so Punchinello decides to do so as well. During his visit with the woodcarver, they discuss this situation with the dots, stars, and townspeople and the woodcarver goes to explain that it doesn’t matter what the people think of him but what his creator thinks of him. He proceeds to tell him that he thinks he is special, and he needs to find value in his worth; that the creator put in him and let go of the judgments passed on by others.
Hello my name is Value, Worth, and I am special!
Last Friday I saw courage.
I saw courage in my daughter’s eyes.
I saw courage in my daughter’s steps.
I saw courage in my daughter’s face.
I saw courage in my daughter and it was beautiful.
It was an evening of pies and poems for our home school group. Each child came up on stage, in front of a mic, in front of 100 people, and said their poem.
It was the first time my daughter had ever been on stage alone. She was scared all week but determined to do it when the time came. There was no pressure from us, just encouragement to try if she could. She boldly approached the stage when the time came but as the words came out, the tears did as well, and she shook her head as to say “no”, she was not going to do it and then left the stage while everyone clapped for the effort that was put forth.
Her father and I quickly followed her out the door and joined her in the hallway to comfort her and tell her we were proud of her for trying but understood it was a scary thing to do. Quickly her friends came out to join her and comfort her. One sweet girl pointed out that God would always be with her to give her strength and she would never be alone.
We eventually all came back in side to finish the rest of the evening, but as we did, I saw my daughter, walk up to the lady in charge of the event and ask if she could try again. I was shocked, but so very proud. That sweet, brave girl, marched back up to that stage, spoke boldly into that microphone, and said her complete poem from start to finish. The crowd applauded in a loud applause, recognizing the courage it took for her to return.
What a proud mama I was! What a gift for Mother’s Day weekend it was.
Last Friday, I saw courage in my daughter and it was beautiful!
There are days as moms that we can sometimes feel lost, unequipped, weak, or insecure. I totally can sympathize because I have those days as well. I have moments where I can look into their sweet faces and say ,”Are you sure I am your mom? Are you sure I am supposed to be here? Did someone forget to give me instructions?”.
I don’t know how many times I think I have scarred them for life or done them a disservice with a stupid choice I have made or word I have said. It is easy to look at my close friends and think what a perfect job they are doing with their children who for sure will grow up well adjusted and President of the United States. To think with me as a mom, my children will go through years of therapy and then proceed to some network talk show where I will find out the “great” job I have done.
We have those days don’t we? We have those fears, wondering who and what our children will become. Those are thoughts of insecurity, self doubt, and fear and they are far from the truth. Yes, we make mistakes and yes, we are not perfect (Here is a secret: That lady that dresses her kids all matching without a hair out of place? She is not perfect either!) but God doesn’t make mistakes. Our God made you the mama of that child for a reason, whether you are the birth mom or the adoptive mom, and you are the exact person to love on them, teach them, comfort them, and be their number one fan.
Embrace who you are in Christ! Find strength in Him and comfort that He does not make mistakes. Enjoy your role as a mother with all it means. You will fail, but what matters most is how you finish the race and what legacy you will leave!
“Don’t live in the motherhood box of someone else’s gifts. Be the mom God made you to be.”- http://inspiredtoaction.com
I went to visit a friend yesterday and we were discussing how overwhelmed we have both become with not only our everyday life but also the lives of others. We both have gone through our valleys and mountains and our friends and family are going through those as well. The world has just one disaster after the other happening every day. We realized how we could just get wrapped up in the fear of it all. Running from it all and hiding until it’s time to come out and “be safe”.
We then proceeded to talk about “our life source” and the reason we can live without fear and smile with hope in our eyes. She looked at me earnestly and said, “I can’t live without God.” She explained that she recognizes her need for Her Savior and that He has saved her, for when she dies she will spend eternity in heaven with Him but she, at this moment, was acknowledging the fact that she needed Him as much here on earth. We both spoke of the fact that we could not and would not want to try to go through our difficulties without Him. We wouldn’t know what to do. Who to talk to that would provide the answers that He does through prayer and scriptures. We wouldn’t feel the ultimate comfort or protection that only He can provide. We couldn’t experience the healing that only He can do.
God is our life source! He is the Living Water. He is the Bread of Life. He is what people are searching, hungry, and thirsty for. I choose to not live without Him! I can’t imagine a life without Him! What is your life source? Is it enough? Is it filling you? Is it supplying you with what your life needs? Are you thirsty, hungry, or searching for more? Find out about this Jesus. He has been waiting for you!
Below is an excerpt from a site I visit daily, Our Daily Bread. I really appreciated, as always, today’s devotional.
“Throughout my life, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. I have boxes of things that at one time were important but over time have lost their intrigue. And, as an unrepentant collector, I’ve realized that the thrill is in searching for and acquiring a new piece to add to the collection. Then my attention turns toward the hunt for the next item.
While we pile up many things that are important to us, very little of it is really precious. In fact, over time I have learned that the most precious things in life are not material items at all. Rather, it’s the people who have loved me and built into my life who are precious. When I find my heart saying, “I don’t know what I’d do without them,” I know that they are indeed precious to me.
So when Peter refers to Jesus as “a chief cornerstone, elect, precious” (1 Peter 2:6), it should resonate in our hearts that He is truly precious—our prized possession above everything and everyone else.” – All That is Precious by Joe Stowell