Hi ladies! I hope and pray that you had a refreshing weekend. If not, then let's do our best to begin this new week looking to the LORD and the wonderful things He has for us. Well, we finally made it to Minneopa State Park. Yay! And it was the perfect day! There are two parts to the park. One side of the road is home to a bison range and has acres of land set apart for hundreds of bison. Out of those hundreds though, we didn't see even one! I guess it wasn't their day to be out socializing. We did learn some things about the animals, due to a channel you could put on in your car as you drove through. You can't get out, of course; apparently they are very dangerous and have killed more people than any other animal. After doing that, we drove across the road to the waterfall park and it was so beautiful! We took a lot of pictures and let Molly run around and sniff things to her heart's content! We even saw one of the elders from our previous church. It was great to catch up with him. After the park we had some lunch and spent a little time at Hobby Lobby. You just have to do that when you can. It's not just down the street anymore. What a fun day!
Yesterday was a great service at church and some meaningful fellowship time afterwards. What were you ladies up to? Just to let you know in advance, we are leaving this week (Thursday) for a vacation. It seems that we've been gone a lot, but it's been for family weddings. We will be gone for a week and are going to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We are planning to relax in the natural hot springs while we're there. So, I will miss a few days of sending out the devotions.
Great perspective today. Let the words of this devotion encourage you to "embrace" times of resistance because they will ultimately make you stronger. Rely on God during those tough times, because He is holding us up. Have a MEANINGFUL MONDAY ladies!
CBN Ministries, Gene Markland
One afternoon while running an errand near the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, I decided to go an extra block and take a peek at the ocean. The air was cold, in the 40s, and cloudy, with a slight drizzle. It was a typical off-season day. The boardwalk was deserted. So with my pick of the benches, I sat on a choice one, stretched out my legs, stuck my hands in my jacket pockets, and looked out over the water.
It was windy and the rough waves crashed ashore making that unmistakable sound of the sea. Looking up at the seagulls flying, I noticed the drizzle had stopped. So I decided to enjoy the fresh sea air for a while, and maybe even get a little inspiration from the nature God created.
Sitting there in the cold, my attention was drawn to a seagull flying above the boardwalk, about 10 feet in front and above me. Hovering perfectly still, his wings gave a slight flutter as he faced the strong wind.
At first, I felt sorry for him as he was getting nowhere in this wind. But by facing that wind, he was kept aloft by its force. For a few moments, he opened his wings without flapping them and remained stationary, directly in front of me, suspended in mid-air.
As I observed this remarkable sight, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “I’m not keeping you back, I’m keeping you up.”
Maybe like me, you can relate to that seagull. Have you ever felt stuck in your life? Seemingly held back and not going forward? The Lord let me know that He’s not holding us back; He’s holding us up.
As I pondered that thought and watched the seagull closely, I realized that if the seagull had flown away from the wind, he would have been blown down to earth. But by facing the resistance of the wind, with a slight flutter of his wings, he was lifted up. So when resistance comes against you, if you face it, put your nose into the wind and flap your wings. You’ll be lifted up and not cast down. Resistance will lift you higher!
“... You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind.” (Psalm 104:3, NLT)
When you pursue your goals and dreams in life, at some point you will inevitably encounter resistance. Think of King David in the Bible. He was chosen to be King as a young man, but the current King Saul put unrelenting pressure on him by trying to destroy him. Through the years of persecution from King Saul, David honed his skill as a guerrilla fighter, a strong leader of men, and a man of character and honor. Resistance lifted him to become the King he had been chosen to be.
Think of the early church. Great persecution came against the early church. Many were martyred for refusing to deny Christ and many had to flee for their lives. But this unrelenting pressure of persecution caused the church to become firm in the faith and spread far and wide in order to survive. Resistance lifted the church throughout the known world in 300 years, becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire.
If you turn from resistance and run, it will smash you to the ground. You’ll be crushed and your flight, as well as your dreams, will be over. So instead of looking at the winds of resistance as something formidably holding you back, look at it as something God is using to hold you up and make you strong. Embrace resistance, and it will raise you to the heights you dream of reaching!
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)