Well hello. You found me again or maybe you stumbled here for the first time. Either way, you are not here by accident today. I know that to be true because with every post on this blog comes a prayer for God to put it before those who need a bit of hope and encouragement to keep going. And here you are. I believe there is a nugget of blessing for you in the words you will read.
First let me say welcome to my “new and improved, freshly face-lifted” website! I hope that you like the new look. I love it and I must give a shout out to my web designer, Stephanie. If anyone ever needs a talented and dedicated web designer check out her work here. She will do an amazing job for you! She truly rocks in her field!
Secondly I want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! I had originally planned to launch my new website on January 1st but due to a few minor glitches, the big day was put off just a bit. That’s ok because in reality 2017 is still very much in its early embryonic stage of unfolding. That is why I can still say to each of you…Happy New Year!
A new year? What comes to mind for you when you hear those two words? I think for most people that may depend on what 2016 was like for you. Was the past year one of the best years of your life? Maybe 2016 was the year you got that job promotion you have been working for so diligently. Perhaps you became engaged or even married the person of your dreams. Maybe you became a first time parent or grandparent. Was it the year you took that cruise to an amazing destination you always wanted to visit? Did you purchase your dream home or that awesome new set of wheels that you have waited such a long time for? I hope it was a great year for you. One of the best! The truth of the matter is that even in the midst of many happy events last year, it was likely not problem free. If you did have a perfect year with not one single challenge…PLEASE…I would love to make your acquaintance and find out how that happened!
Life is never a journey of perpetual smooth sailing. As long as we are breathing there will be trials that come along in this experience we call life.
For some of you reading this right now, 2016 was a year you wanted to toss to the curb for garbage pick up! It seemed that it was one huge disappointment after another and discouragement was the only word left to really describe the past year for you. Sadly, it may have involved a serious illness, a failed marriage, loss of employment, broken relationships or even the heart shattering loss of a precious loved one. Even now, almost three weeks into 2017, you are still reeling from the pain that last year brought to your life. If that is you…I am sorry. SO. VERY. SORRY.
I wish that right now I could reach across to you and hug you tightly. I wish I could give you an explanation for all you have gone through. I wish I could help you make sense of what seems so senseless in your life. I wish I could take all your pain and collect all your tears. I wish. I wish. I wish…
~Acts 3: 6-8~ NIV
6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk.
For some of you the past year knocked you off your feet. As a result, you are still “paralyzed” just as the lame beggar in the third chapter of the Book of Acts. He begged daily for money. Maybe he begged for just enough to get by to survive for “one more day.” Just enough so he could be carried back to the temple the next day to repeat the cycle of begging all over again. But everything changed for this helpless and hopeless man because of one encounter with a man named Peter. God had a plan for him and yes…God has a plan for you.
So I ask you now my friend, what situation or situations have made it nearly impossible for you to move or even to stand?
No you may not be physically lame and paralyzed. But the paralysis that cripples the heart and the soul and the spirit can be just as devastating, if not more!
Precious one my heart breaks for you. And again I say I wish I could take it all away. But just as Peter did not have money to take away the beggar’s poverty, I do not have the ability to remove the events of your past. But hold on…there IS good news!
What did Peter have to offer? It was indeed something far better than any amount of money. Peter offered HOPE in the name of Jesus. The powerful name of Jesus! Peter commanded the lame beggar to WALK in the name of Jesus. He did not tell him to crawl. He did not tell him to just stand. Acts 3:6 says that Peter told the beggar to WALK. Then the following verse says that as Peter took hold of the man’s right hand and helped him up, the man’s feet and ankles were made strong immediately. As a result, we see in verse 8 that the beggar who was once lame from birth jumped to his feet and began to walk!
Right now I want you to know that the same Jesus who extended his hand to the lame beggar through Peter is the same Jesus who extends his hand to you. I believe that as you open you heart to the words you are reading right now you will see that he is reaching out to you. I know this to be true because I have lived this out in my own life more than once. God is faithful and no situation is too hard or too hopeless for him to change. What he has done for me in the past he can do for you. But you have to be willing to take his hand. You have to be willing to stand up again…not in your own strength but in HIS strength.
Yes, I know you are weak. Been there!
I know your present is crumbling and your future is uncertain. Been there!
I know you are scared half out of your wits. Been there!
I know you see no light at the end of the tunnel. Been There!
I know you are so overcome with grief you can hardly breathe. Been there!
I know your body is screaming with sickness and pain. Been there!
Yes, I have been in many of the same places you find yourself in right now. Our circumstances may have been different but we still found ourselves in that same dark and desperate place. But hear this truth my friend.
I was NEVER there alone. Never. And neither are you!
My prayer for you right now is that you will look up from your circumstances and see that there is a hand reaching for you. There is a voice of love that is telling you to walk again. It may start with baby steps and that is ok. But do not be surprised to find that once you take hold of His strong hand…you too will be able to JUMP and begin to WALK in ways you never dreamed possible!
God never intended for you to go through life begging, paralyzed and settling for “just enough” to survive. His will for you is that you walk and move forward in freedom. He is the God of more than enough. He has more than enough peace, grace, love, mercy, joy, and hope for you. You do not have to beg for anything from Him. He is in control of every situation you have faced, will face or are facing now. You are his child and He loves you. He will work things out!
In faith, I exhort you to LOOK BEYOND your yesterday. It is never too late to believe for a new beginning. Never! I am believing with you and for you. I know that nothing is impossible with God. God still has a plan for you…trust Him. It is a good plan because He is a very good Father. It is time to look up and look beyond!
~Isaiah 43: 18-19~ NIV
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
PS: Do you need prayer for the courage to step out in faith and begin moving forward again? Leave a comment below. You do not have to leave the details but simply say “Pray for me.” It would be my privilege to do so.
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