July 27, 2017 Ezra 2,3; 2 Timothy 4:9-22

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

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Change is a bag of emotions | Deanna George

S~ But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.

O + A~ The older priests, Levites, and family heads weeped because they remembered how glorious the first one was. This temple would not look the same and they grieved. I just keep thinking, “this is like life.” How? When a change happens in life (going back to work, divorce, relationship problems with loved ones, changing jobs, etc) there is a period of grief, especially if the past holds happy memories. Some involved in the transition may be excited, but those who remember the before may question the change, doubt it can be better, or out right hate it. There are times that I am the cause of the change and guilt sets in. What I am drawn to is that I need to remember that when something changes for me, it’s okay to grieve even when the new thing is good for me. It is not bad for me to be sad and excited at the same time. If the sad is caused by guilt, then I need to work on that with God. If the sad is caused by knowing how great it was before and I “know” it will not measure up, then I need to to look at what I am focusing on. Am I focusing on the situation or what God is doing with my circumstances? Change is hard! Change provides opportunity for growth. Change is necessary when I try to take control of my life and take it away from God. He will call for change if he sees it’s needed. I need to get on board, accept it (even if there are tears and fears), call on him to walk through it with me, and create an excitement to see what he has in store for me.

P~ Lord Jesus, change is hard for me. It is such a mix of emotions that it can create havoc on my reactions with my husband and kids. Please help me to navigate change in a healthy way. Please steer my mind away from living in the land of comparison and focus on what you are going to do with the new. Thank you for bringing about change when it is needed. I know if I had my way, I would stay in my comfort zone, where I am most secure. I am very comfortable with the grieving, but now I am ready to strap on the excitement of what you have planned for my new career and face the “new” in my life with the anticipation that you are guiding me through it. Let’s conquer this change together God!

He will deliver | Marisa Tomlinson

S~ But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV)

O~ The Lord will stand by us through anything. His strength is enough to deliver us from anything so that we can share His love and message.

A~ When I feel like I’m not good enough, clever enough, or strong enough to do anything of value, I can count on Him to be there to guide me. I battle insecurity on almost a daily basis. I STILL, at age 40, want people to like me and think I’m great. I worry that my co-workers are frustrated with me. I worry that I’m annoying my fiancé. I worry that my kids walk all over me.  Remembering that He is there, loves me like crazy, and thinks I’m awesome definitely helps. When I take the time to sit with Him when those familiar insecurities pop up, my need to impress goes away and I can just be me. In those quiet moments with Him, I’ve learned to like who He made me to be. I may not understand all of my quirks yet, but I can be confident that they’re there on purpose to serve Him.

P~ Lord, thank you for making me unique and wonderful. Forgive me when I forget to recognize that. Thank you for giving me strength to overcome the obstacles in my mind. I am so grateful that I can just sit with You and be loved. Amen

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