Afraid Yet Filled with Joy

Did you know that the saline crystal of a tear when viewed through a microscope is the shape of a cross? Learning that fact touched my heart because if there is anyone who understands the well of emotions behind tears it is Jesus, the One who took the cross in my place. I think He designed it that way to say "I understand and I love you".  Psalm 56:8 says -"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." He cares for the cause of each one, too. Tears come with many emotions..glad, sad, fear...

And speaking of fear, my daughter shared a verse from her morning devotional that got me thinking. Matthew 28: 8 says "So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell the disciples." - Wait, what?! When was the last time you were afraid yet filled with joy?! The women in Matthew 28:8 were afraid because they did not understand and didn't know what was going on but they had joy because the angels had said Jesus was ALIVE! It's like Philippians 4:7 says, you can't seek peace that comes FROM understanding, it is BEYOND understanding, it's only in the presence of the Prince of Peace in your life! Jacob said when he woke up from his dream... "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." (Genesis 28:16) To be in God’s presence and not know!

Do we choose to have eyes and ears open to perceive Him all around us? If I cannot find the source of my joy in Jesus regardless of my situations and circumstances than I never will. My four-year-old finds pure joy in rubbing his entire face in his freshly washed, snuggly warm blanket. That's joy in the little things. God is longing for us to notice Him. He's all around us. Choose to let Him wrap you up tight like in a straight-out-of-the-dyer blanket.

***For independent read: Isaiah 61:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Philippians 4:8, Psalm 42:11, Psalm 144:15, Nehemiah 8:10, Joshua 1:9

Janette Kieffer
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A Moveable Heart

The world is silent but my mind is buzzing. It may or may not be 3:00am-ish and this may or may not be the 100th time I’ve sat down to compose this writing and I may or may not have had to utilize the 90 calming seconds (multiple times) brain scientists say it takes to flush out the rush of frustrated emotion that comes when you work hours perfecting half a novel that is SURE to inspire the WHOLE world...just to have it not save, or to get locked out of your account, or to have the internet crashing!

90 seconds… deep breaths.

Yesterday I thought this can’t be what God wants me to do but yet here I am unable to sleep with the same message on my brain…. A Movable Heart.So, this is attempt number 10,009,876 to scribble down something He put on my heart.

Yesterday I read in Ezra how the Lord moved king Cyrus’ heart to release the Jews from captivity yet so very few took advantage of that freeing.   Why not?!  Why stay where I am when the Lord sets me free?  Fear, insecurity, past failure… But Proverbs 31:25 says "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."  Why? How? Because of Psalm 31:14 "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God. My times are in your hands.'" And Jesus is a God of second chances (think of the story of Jonah).

John 8:36 states "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  Wow!  Our God is able so why do we hesitate?  Ezra 1:5 says "Everyone whose heart God had moved prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem."  Do you see that? Everyone whose heart God had moved!

Oh, Lord take my heart and make it movable! Help me pray with all sincerity “Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

This is far from the perfected half novel I had planned but my little placed in His mighty hands is more than enough so I'm trusting Him with this message.

For further reading: Jude 1:24-25

Janette Kieffer
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Eye On The Ball

Recently I was yet again on my way to Walmart in the evening (in the freezing cold darkness) to get my crew another six gallons (yes, SIX gallons) of milk for the week (yes, a week at best). Even though it would probably be cheaper to keep a cow in our backyard until the Lord grants us the farm, we will continue to be thankful for our nearby Walmart.

When I’m driving Jesus just has a way of romancing me like no other time with His spontaneity.

All of a sudden this GIANT sized ball (the moon) caught my eye! I so desperately wanted to get a picture but alas, I was driving. Even so, His message continued to radiate in my heart.  

"In the game of life keep your eye on the ball, not the scoreboard. You can only reflect Me to the degree that you face Me. The extent to which you let this world come between you and I will determine how much and how well you reflect My glory.

Where are your eyes? Comparing, judging, trying to just be good enough? News flash: I never made anything to be 'just good enough.' The King of Kings only does mighty and awesome! Keep your eyes on the Light!

Jesus said 'I am the light of the world' (John 8:12). AND I am always moving!"

I was amazed when I left Walmart (6 gallons of milk later) that the moon was now small and VERY high in the sky. In John 5:17 Jesus says "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working."

If my eyes are not on the ball I might miss where He might want to accomplish His purposes through me. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). If you've lost in the past or failed and fallen short Romans 3:23 says we ALL have!

Our God is King of the comebacks. Remember three days after the cross? He blew out of that tomb ALIVE! It’s all about Jesus.

Am I in a position that I can see Him? How much of the world is blocking my view?

"Jesus lift my eyes, keep my eyes on You."

Additional reading:  Psalm 19:1-4.

Janette Kieffer
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