Invitation to theTrusting Place

When our LORD promised “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28), his invitation could not have been broader. “All…” No exceptions! None! Nor did he define “weary and burdened”. He left that to those who heard his call. It was, and still is, his never ending,  whosoever will may come, great need or small, wide-open-arms invitation. Forgive me…but that’s a Hallelujah, run-to-Jesus, lift-the-soul moment! One that ought to make even the weariest among us shout for joy. Or the more proper among us can heave a sigh of relief. A great sigh.

But most of us know those words…by heart. Or maybe more…by head. Yet we struggle to live them. How do we restore their life-changing, burden-lifting impact? How do we hear and respond to our LORD’s invitation like we were hearing it for the first time?

I’m learning to quiet my heart and focus on the words of our LORD’s invitation. Quietly. Slowly. Hear them again…and again. Then let your head and your heart focus on the One who made this invitation. Feel his understanding and compassion, and resist the natural urge to begin searching for the answer to the burdens you are facing. Let you trust deepen and you focus on the One who promises the peace of his presence.

Prayer – Draw my anxious heart, O LORD, to the quiet reassurance of your ever-watchful presence. Amen

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2017

Let Your Heart Sing

Did you ever have an old song that sang in your heart? Over and over? As if your heart was trying to tell you something? For days a song I heard in my teens has been singing in my head…and my heart.

Like all deep truths, the message of that song is simple. “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust”. And that line repeats, making its message stronger: “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust”. Then, finally…a third time, with still more strength and  assurance: “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust”.

I can hear it in my heart. I need to hear it. The music…and the power of that declaration. The words are King David’s. From Psalm 31:1. Throughout the rest of the psalm, in words every caregiver can feel, David recites the depth of his distress and his urgent plea for GOD’s rescue. And then he ends where you and I want to be: “be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” (vs. 24)

Throughout this day, in times of pressure or uncertainty, let your heart declare: “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust.” Better still…sing it. Make up your own tune. The darker the situation, the deeper the fears, the stronger our heart’s declaration. Sing with me: “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust”.

Prayer – Help me, O LORD, to declare my confidence in you, in spite of dark circumstances and fears. Amen

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2017

Attentiveness

Caregiving has sharpened our senses. We’re learning to see changes. Changes in a loved one’s attitude or appetite. Changes in daily patterns and habits. Changes in needs. And levels of assistance. Now we catch things that, not long ago, we might have missed. In spite of all of its day-in, day-out stresses and demands, caregiving is teaching us to be more attentive…and more sensitive. We haven’t simply taken on challenges and responsibilities. We are being made into vessels for our ever-watchful, ever-supporting love of GOD.

Sometimes…maybe even today (or tonight) our own needs can get lost in that deepened sensitivity to the needs of others. We give, and give again…until our vessel is empty…with little or nothing left to give.

Our deep-listening attentiveness to the needs of others must now turn inward…to care for the caregiver. Our LORD who notes and cares when a single sparrow falls, calls us to renew our inner strength…before we fall. Patiently, lovingly, he offers to teach us to develop a listening heart. To learn to let him speak peace to our stormy seas. To find the “bread” to feed our hungry souls so that we have  “bread” for others. Our ever-watchful, ever-attentive LORD seeks to deepen our attentiveness to himself.

Teach me, O LORD, to quiet my heart and be attentive to your thoughts and ways. Amen

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2017