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The load I carry | Nikki Metzger
S~ Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. Psalm 81:6 (NLT)
O~ The Lord has started speaking to His people in this psalm. God really cares about people’s hearts over their behavior. Always.
A~ God is really changing my thoughts and emotions about Him. He is replacing my old thoughts of Him and how He sees me with this verse. He takes the load off my shoulders. My hands are free from heavy tasks. This is who my Father is! He carries my burdens and does ALL the heavy lifting.
P~ Father, I love You! Really: my job is to love You, love others. That’s it. Because YOU are in charge of EVERYTHING else!!
Help Me Remember | Michelle Myers
S~ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchandnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” Daniel 3:16 (NIV)
O~ So, the narcissistic king, Nebuchadbnezzar, built a huge gold statue of himself, and when people heard the music, he wanted them to bow down and worship it. If they refused, he threatened to throw them into furnace. THAT’S RATIONAL! Being Jewish followers of God, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego (these would make great cat names, by the way) refused to bow down and worship the kings goofy statue. He gets angry and confronts them. They reply by saying that they don’t need to defend themselves, God will. They go on to say, even if he doesn’t save them, they will not bow down and worship his gods. King Nebuchadbnezzar gets angry, throws a tantrum, has the furnace turned up seven times hotter, and has the three men thrown in there. God does save them, and when they exit the furnace, with people crowded all around them, the Bible says, “They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of the heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” (Daniel 3:27)
A~ When it comes to my extended family, I have learned and accepted that I am probably not ever going to get any “high fives”, because they don’t understand the choices that I have made. The ironic thing is, that many of these choices were made once I was able to recognize and accept their dysfunctions and how these dysfunctions repeated themselves, generation after generation. However, they don’t even recognize or want to deal with their own dysfunctions, so I understand that it is was pointless to grieve their lack of approval, judgement, and criticism. I pretty much learned to put up boundaries and let God defend me.
And that worked, until the temperature increased and now I am getting random comments, judgments, and criticism from additional family members, through various outlets. It has side tracked me a bit. When I talk about it, I can even get “advice” from others on how to handle my family or judgement in regards to the boundaries I have put in place. It leaves me wanting to defend myself and the decisions I have made. I have not made them lightly. It is not that I have not tried over the years. It is not that I have completely closed the door. However, for me, self care and the care of my family, means that I have to have firm boundaries and be very diligent in not getting caught up in the never ending, damage of the craziness. I have to accept that I am not the one who is going to change it for them, but can change it for me, my marriage, my kids, and my future grandkids. I have to focus on my relationship with You, and let You defend me in regards to the dynamics of my relationships with other people.
P~ God, I am so thankful for Your mercy. Please help me remember. Please help me remember the truth about the dysfunction, the truth about what I have tried, the truth about the damage, and the truth about whose responsibility it is. Please help me remember that YOU are my defender, and I just need to stay connected to You, so I can respond with wisdom and tact.
Resolve (Part 2) | Kim Chipman
S~ But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:18 (NIV)
O~ Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – ordered to worship a golden image on command or be thrown into a furnace. They refused to worship anyone but You. They didn’t feel the need to defend themselves. They were fully confident that You could save them, but even if You didn’t they still would only worship You.
A~ Yesterday what stood out to me was Daniel’s resolve. I see that here, also. They had their mind made up. They would not worship anything but You – no matter what. They were confident in their decision, they had faith that you could save them, but whether you did or not they were focused, decided, committed…RESOLVED.
This is where I need to be in my heart. RESOLVED. No matter what the consequences, what I feel like in the moment, how much I don’t wanna – I must RESOLVE. This is the only way to live out who I actually want to be. When I sit with You in the quiet, unrushed morning time…entering Your presence through Your Word…when I hear Your voice and know You are leading and guiding me…I must RESOLVE to act on those instructions from You. No matter what. Whether I’m in the mood or feel like it or not. Whether it hurts or not. When I know it is from You I need RESOLVE.
P~ Thank You for showing me what this looks like in the lives of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Help me to follow their example, no excuses! I love You!