Pursuing God during the winter season

Brrrr… This morning the wind chill was at freezing and I thought to myself “I am just not ready for winter!”

As I thought about this, I know winter is really hard for a lot of people. The shorter daylight hours can bring about seasonal depression for some. The cold weather can mean pain for those who suffer with arthritis. The leaves are falling quickly and the bright colors they bring will fade to blank trees.

But also many are going through a “winter” season. It seems like it is cold, bleak and maybe hopeless. Maybe 2020 has almost taken you out. Maybe most of the year has felt like “winter” to you.

My friend I want to encourage you to keep pursuing God in the middle of these winter seasons. The winter won’t last forever. Joy will come in the morning. Below are a few tips to help you stay in hot pursuit of God during this “winter”.

Make time with God a priority.

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭63:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Often during the winter season it is difficult to stay focused on our consistent time with God. But when we will press through and spend time in prayer and the Word, we arm our souls (mind, will & emotions) with strength that we need.

Spend time in the SONshine

Studying the life of Jesus during your winter season will show you how He made it through His dark times. From dealing with betrayal to times of extreme pain from the cross .

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.””
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Turn the music on!

Worship music will turn your focus into Jesus and off the winter season. There is so much wonderful worship music out that will lift your spirit. Not only listen, but learn these songs and sing them out loud! Singing praises to the Father is a sure way to shift your focus.

Winter won’t last forever. The cold will give way to spring’s mild temperatures. Likewise the winter season you may be experiencing will not last forever. Don’t give up. God loves you so very much and will bring you through this dreary blah place you may be in.

Shalom and may God’s favor be on you.

Renae

Pursuing God in the middle of pain…

Tonight as I was laying awake at a time when I am normally fast asleep, some things came to my mind and I began to write.

Sometimes when I just write and allow the words to flow, I want to just bottle them and keep them hidden in a journal but tonight I wondered if this may be a help to someone else. So posting it here in hopes it may speak to you.

Near

When the tears fight to flow but you find dry eyes instead.

When you feel like screaming but find a smile instead.

When you feel like crumpling to the ground but straighten your shoulders instead.

Is it faking? Or is it finding a strength you didn’t know you had?

Putting on masks make us feel suffocated but yet we have been wearing a mask for years. Hiding the pain, hiding the tears. Saying “I’m fine” when you really want to say “It’s been a tough day. A tough week, a tough month. A tough year.”

There is one with whom you can safely remove the mask. One whom you can collapse in the floor in a sobbing mess. One you can trust and find safety.

Who is it? It is our Jesus. He bore all the horrendous beatings and eventually death on the cross so we could be healed.

Healing comes when you bare your heart to him. When you lay down the masks and ask him to search the layers and to begin to heal. Yes you may still hurt while you are healing but healing comes.

Slowly… painstakingly slow at times… layer upon layer. He begins to heal and assures you it’s ok to cry. He sends safe people to your life that will be the shoulder for you to lean on.

He speaks healing over you through the prayer of a friend, a hand on your shoulder, a hug.

Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5b

Godspeed

Renae

Pursuing God in the Psalms part 2

Again, it is such a privilege to be part of a group of people who are blogging their way through the Bible! We are slowly working our way through, just talking about our thoughts on the book of Psalms. To check out the archives, you can go here.

Today, we will be talking about Psalms 55 and 56. The title in the NKJV says “Trust in God Concerning the Treachery of Friends” As we read this chapter, in typical David style, he bares his heart openly before God. One thing I have always admired about David is that he allows the vulnerability of his heart to be out in the open. Me, I would rather hide it and stuff it down!

David starts chapter 55 with a plea to God to hear his cries. He says he is restless and moans noisily. Why? Because of all the noise and voices he was hearing from the enemy. He even goes as far as to say, if he was a dove, he would fly away! Wow! How many of you can relate to that? David goes on to talk about the evil and wickedness of those he is ranting to God about. Then he says, if this was a regular enemy, as in someone at war with him, he would understand why they were saying all these awful things about him. But they were not his enemies! Verse 13 says these were his companions and acquaintances! These were friends! As the old saying goes, “with friends like that, you need no enemies.”

In the midst of being betrayed by friends and companions though, David says in verse 16:

As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me.

He gives us a wonderful example of how we are to call upon the Lord, focus our attention on God even in the middle of being betrayed. He even goes on to encourage us to cast our burdens on the Lord, and says God will sustain us! Such wonderful promises!

In the next chapter, David was praying for relief from his tormentors. We may not have physical enemies who want to see us destroyed (or maybe some do) but we do battle constantly against the enemies of our mind. Depression, hopelessness, fear, doubt, worry and unbelief among many others. When we cry out to God for relief, He hears us beloved! He cares so deeply about the things we are facing. When we are afraid, we can declare that we will trust in God. We can face the enemies of our mind like David and speak forth the promises of God. We can refuse to fear.

Even in days as we are facing right now, with the Covid-19 Virus, we can resist fear and look to the Lord for relief. David says God puts our tears on a bottle and sees every tear we cry. Several times in this chapter, David says I will not be afraid, I will trust God.

My friend, I encourage you today to trust in Him. He will see us through this. He has never failed us and He never will.