“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body.” — Peter Chrysologus
“For by gold the power of a king is signified, by frankincense the honor of God, by myrrh the burial of the body; and accordingly they offer Him gold as King, frankincense as God, myrrh as Man.” — St John Chrysostom
“Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things… Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.” — J.R. Miller
Restoration goes hand in hand with “renew”, God’s given word to me this year, and I’ve slowly been unpacking and experiencing something of its depths.
Namely the numerous ways in which we can become renewed, restored, and refreshed. Such a prospect offers us all great hope when life is hard.
As I’m in a season of requiring renewal, combined with extra rest and refuelling, I’m having to trust that the healing and restoration process continues silently within me even if I cannot see the results of it yet.
Because faith asks us to accept God is always at work even if it doesn’t look like it.And God specialises in encouraging the defeated, restoring the broken, healing the hurting, and strengthening the worn out and weary who trust in Him.
“The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.” — Dan B. Allender
“May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.” — Psalm 72:6
Friends, I think I tried to come back to blogging too soon after moving house because I’ve not been so well over the last few months, hence the weeks of silence. I hope you will be happy to accept an occasional offering here and over at joylenton.com for a while instead of the more regular posts you were accustomed to.
PS: It’s my birthday today so I’m giving a free gift to you!! It’s a pdf copy of my ‘Soul Shots: 31 Days of Pocket Wisdom for Your Hurting Heart’ e-book, which is a warm hug for your heart, with a mix of soul refreshing poetry and encouraging prose. If you like it, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon so others might be encouraged to read it too. Thank you! Lots of love, Joy Xx 🙂 ❤
“God hasn’t lost courage. God isn’t wavering on endurance. God doesn’t fear another day or another test, and God is standing behind me. He is making available for me all that he is. By grace through faith, I have nothing to fear, no reason to feel defeated.” — Gary L. Thomas ‘Simply Sacred: Daily Readings
Fear tends to infiltrate us out of nowhere. One minute we’re happily going about our days, and the next (or so it seems) we become scared of this or that, stuck in the muddy quagmire of worry, and consumed by anxiety and fear. A wall goes up and we cannot scale it, despite our best efforts.
I’ve experienced this over the last few months with the added stress of moving house before our previous property is sold. It’s the plethora of changes and extra admin that sink me, alongside the sheer weary overwhelm of being busy beyond my body’s capacity to cope. But there is hope and there is help for all troubled souls.
No scary situation we might face is a match for our matchless, fear-less heavenly Father’s grace.
God sits beside us, gently nudging us back to trust, softly reminding us of His all-encompassing Presence, great faithfulness, and constant love. And more than that, we have the gift of His calming and comforting Peace to keep us from staying afraid. May our faith be above every fear as we hand each one over to God.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” — John 14:27 NIV
“If you have been in the vicinity of the sacred – ever brushed against the holy – you retain it more in your bones than in your head; and if you haven’t, no description of the experience will ever be satisfactory.” ― Daniel Taylor, In Search of Sacred Places
A world within a world
Some can see a world
in the labyrinthine
whorls of a rose,
while others sense it
the smallness of a hazelnut.
Although it is too vast
and complex to be confined
inside one thing or one mind,
there remains a simplicity
bequeathed and revealed
to the soul of you and me.
A sacred space opens up
to the fathomless,
the infinite, the large,
as our tiny hearts
enlarged by holy love.
A whole universe exists
within each one of us,
ready to be explored.
All we need to offer
is our openness,
our receptivity is the path
whereby universal truth
can inhabit our hearts,
to be accepted—or ignored.
“And in this he showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, as it seemed. And it was as round as any ball. I looked upon it with the eye of my understanding, and thought, ‘What may this be?’ And it was answered generally thus, ‘It is all that is made.’”
“I marvelled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nothing for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it. And so have all things their beginning by the love of God. In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it. The second that God loves it. And the third, that God keeps it.” — Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
My friend, you might be feeling alone and far from God right now or fear that He has forgotten you somehow, but that just isn’t true, because we can rely on the promises in His Word that keep us safe and secure.
God never leaves our side for a second, and He finds a million little ways in which to demonstrate His constant presence, tenderness and love to our fragile, hurting hearts.
May you rest in His unconditional love today as you ask Him to open your eyes to the voyage of holy discovery and joy He wants to take you on. With blessings, love, hugs and prayer from this fellow voyager. Xx 🙂 ❤
“Are you weary of the pace of this world? Does the never-ending deluge of information from the media wear you out? God promises that when we meet him, we find our true rest along these ancient paths—not in a new technology, a new medication, or the passage of new legislation, but through intentionally and habitually coming to Jesus and casting our burdens upon him. Only there do we find true and enduring rest.” — Ed Stetzer
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” — Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
“I am about to go to sleep and so I turn over to him all those people I have been carrying in my heart. He never slumbers, he never sleeps, he never fatigues, he never stumbles. I won’t pick them up again unless he prompts me to do so. His burden is light, his yoke is easy. He carries the heavy end of the load, always. I am just his kid, carrying what I can carry, and he is a good Dad and never gives me a burden that would discourage or harm me by its weight.” — Katherine Walden
May I pray for you?
Turn our hearts more in the direction of your face, your heart, your voice, your love. Reveal just what unnecessary loads and heavy burdens we might be carrying, and encourage us to let them fall at your feet, where we receive your Peace.
May we sense the wisdom of spending quality time in your Presence to offload our cares and concerns and become strengthened. Help reorient our anxious souls back to faith, back to calm, back to rest, and back to hope. Amen
Do you feel that? It is a calm shift in the wind. Do you hear that? It is a soft whisper of hope. Do you see that? It is the divine hand of guidance, mercifully extended to aid our good fight.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
Times of darkness within and without can disappoint, defeat and drag our souls down. It feels as if we’re saturated in sadness and sorrow. But when we’re low and downcast, that’s when we most need to seek after God.
If we can train ourselves to listen to the small whispers of hope He offers us, and deliberately look for the tiny glimmers of light shining in the darkness, then we’re on our way to becoming brighter, bolder and stronger, as our faith and courage rise up.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” — Psalm 42:5 NIV