What a Catch

Luke 5:3-11

Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking…And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

There once was a lowly man named Simon. Simon was a fisherman. Not a glorious job, by any means. But it provided. And he was good at it. Fishing is what he had always known. While the more privileged ones had the opportunity to grow up in the synagogues, learning the scriptures of old, following a teacher and maturing into a scholarly man,…Simon…caught fish. He loved working with his hands, and being outside in the fresh open air. But there was always a part of him that felt deep down inside that he was a fisherman because he could never amount to anything greater. This was his destiny. His past, present, and definitely his future was covered in funky fish smell. His insecurity was deep, and something he rarely let surface. But one thing this job did was teach him to rely upon the Lord for His provision. Every time he cast his net, he looked to the heavens and prayed for it to come back with a bountiful catch. most of the time, he made ends meet. And he continued on day by day, fish by fish, cast by cast. Over…and over…again.

Until the God of all Creation interrupted his mundane routine like a bolt of lighting over a darkened and desolate field!

Today was just one of those days. Simon cast that net all day. And nothing! The fish sure weren’t biting today. When he finally convinced himself that it was time to give up (something a man never does easily), his heart cried for God to provide for tomorrow. As he brought in his net, his heart tingled…Jesus. Jesus came into his boat. Imagine! The dirty smelly boat of a lowly fisherman. Oh no, He had heard of this Jesus. And as he stood in the radiance of His presence, Simon’s soul unmistakably knew this man was exceptional. “Cast down my net? I’ve been doing that all day and have gotten nothing.” As his mind questioned this intrusion – his heart knew he needed to obey. And with the toss of the net, and a dash of timid obedience, Simon pulled back into his boat the catch of his life! The nets were breaking and the boat was straining to keep the weight of this catch above water. Simon could not believe his eyes! Did he sell this fish in returns for a profit, securing himself the comfortable and privileged life he had always envied as the homely fisherman he was? No!

For Simon knew a great and powerful secret. That this man Jesus had brightened his past, transformed his present, and rewrote his future…with just a cast of a net.

Walk away with this in your heart today:

  1. Jesus did not cast that net out. He told Simon to cast his net, and Simon obeyed. Jesus calls us to walk to the precipice and put action to our faith. But it is there, in the moments where we reach the limits of ourselves, when we are on the brink of something glorious – that the Lord can do the mightiest of works in our lives.
  2. Simon had just reeled in the biggest catch of his life. AND HE WALKED AWAY FROM IT ALL. In our world view, this just does not make sense. He left security and comfort, for what? To be a nomad and “have no place to lay his head?” Simon was entrapped with the realization and conviction that the reward of following Jesus would be far far greater than any other earthly achievement. He dared to love Jesus for Himself, and not for the things that Jesus could do for him. For this catch was a sign of the Lord’s provision, to tangibly show him the truth of the words, “follow Me and I will meet your every need. You will never be in want again.”
  3. Simon obeyed. IMMEDIATELY. As each of the Gospels foretells this story, we see a general theme of PROMPT OBEDIENCE. Simon did not hesitate. Nobody had ever chosen him before, and here was Jesus, of all people, choosing him. He dropped every earthly comfort and he immediately left the boat.

Matthew 4:19-22

19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”[b] 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him…22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Mark 1:17-18

17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”[f] 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 

I DARE YOU TODAY TO PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP AND LET DOWN YOUR NETS. FOR IF YOU DARE TO BE BRAVE…YOU WILL BRING BACK INTO YOUR BOAT THE CATCH OF YOUR LIFE…A LIFE OF FREEDOM AS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS. HE IS CALLING. DO YOU HEAR HIM…”BELOVED, FOLLOW ME.”

When the Stakes are Low

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

The Lord is currently blessing me with a chaotic…and beautiful season of being a mother to two vibrant young boys, ages six and three. My boys are the light of my life, the laughter in my day, and the smile in my rain. Being a mother to them and raising them up to know the Lord and serve Him, is the absolute greatest honor. My boys are pros at bringing meaning to my life…

They are also pros at testing my patience at bedtime. This abundant adventure known as “bedtime” has come every day since my oldest was born, and yet I still have not mastered how to wrangle two squirmy little boys into bed and make them fall asleep on command. If anybody knows how to summon this power, I am all ears! Let’s see, that is over 2,000 “bedtimes” I have had as a mother…and still every night I feel like I need a pep talk with Tony Dungy himself, before facing the undertaking that is “bedtime.” I am sure some of you are about to suggest how-to books for me to read, or maybe you are about to scold my lack of strict parenting. But, let me tell you, there is something that happens to my two sons when the clock strikes 7:30pm. I loving refer to this at “the witching hour.” Suddenly 7:30pm rolls around and my boys are hungry (even though they weren’t hungry when we all sat down for dinner), they are thirsty (even though I just poured out their milk they said they didn’t want), and they sure as heck ARE NOT TIRED (even though they almost fell asleep sitting in the sofa). Oh, and let me bring you in on the magic that happens when a little six or three year old boy gets out of the bathtub…they are transformed into energized naked little Tasmanian devils. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just went to bed myself at 7:30pm and let them find their way to their beds themselves. Eventually they will just pass out…right?

But, every night, mommy will always be there to set the limits and provide boundaries. And they will fight me, but I will not give up. Why? Not because it makes me a more godly mommy to have my sweet perfect little kids in their perfectly made beds before 8pm. But because I want to teach my children obedience and limits, when the stakes are low. Right now, their small world is wrapped in the security and love their mommy and daddy provide. And this is the best time to teach them how to distinguish right from wrong, and the consequences of choosing good and bad. You see, if they live in a home where they are expected to respect bedtime, then they will comply with a home in which they are expected to respect curfew. As I teach them to say kind words to each other, I am planting seeds that will enable them to treat their peers and co-workers with respect. As they are held to a standard of obeying us and their teachers, they will be able to continue this standard in respecting their employers and leadership in the real world.

Love your child enough to set limits and boundaries when the stakes are low. When the consequences may be a time out, and not a trip to prison. When the consequences are cake or no cake, and not life or death. Proverbs 3:11-12 reminds us that the Lord disciplines those He loves, just as a loving father reproves his son. We are following in the footsteps of our Lord, when we set boundaries and limits for our children. You are not being an unloving mother when you use this one word…”NO!” Rather, you are loving your child enough to teach them the safety and beauty of this word…when the stakes are low and they are in the protection and security of living under your roof. For one day, in the blink of an eye, they will be released into a world that has forgotten what the word “no” means.

Proverbs 3:11-12

11 My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline
    or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.

Let’s Be Real…

The other day, we were driving to church, with my two boys in the back. I always catch myself on this drive, trying to prepare my thoughts and words to be “ready for church.” If you are “normal” like us, our Sunday morning routine usually consists of sleepy and irritable children, a sleepy and irritable mommy, short tempers, hurry, hurry, hurry, and missed breakfast, hoping there will be donuts left when we get there. When my heart should be singing “come, now is the time to worship,” my mouth is saying, “stop that! don’t touch your brother! no yelling! don’t you dare unbuckle your seat belt! you better listen to your Sunday school teacher this morning!” And yet, somehow, we manage to put on our “church” faces and happy smiles just in time to walk in the front door and be greeted by the usher. Whew!

What if we were real with each other? Would I be voted “off the island” if when somebody asked me “how are you?,” I was actually honest? If instead of giving my normal nonchalant response of “fine,” I dared to be vulnerable? What if we prayed with our sister in her time of need, instead of talking to others about her struggles? What if we didn’t use the phrase “I am sharing this as a prayer request, of course” as an excuse to gossip about our brothers and sisters? What if, when we have an offense with somebody, we brought that offense to the Lord first and invited Him to perfect our hearts?

On one of these crazy Sunday drives, my six year old son told me he didn’t want to go to church. When I asked him why, he responded that he was tired and wanted to play at home. The Lord gave me a wonderful opportunity to share with my son about how blessed we are in America to have the freedom to gather for church. We can join with our friends and family and read the Bible together and worship the Lord together, without fear or persecution. I was amazed at the twinkle in my son’s eyes as he began to understand that little boys his age in other parts of the world do not get to go to church with their families. And yes, we do experience persecution in America for being Christians. Jesus said that we would be persecuted and He was persecuted. Yet…at least for now…we will not be imprisoned for sharing our faith.

We need to wake up and realize that we have the opportunity when we gather in our corporate settings of worship, to pray for each other, be real with each other, cry with each other, support each other, challenge each other, be accountable to each other. Where women of all ages, all body sizes, all personality types, married, single, divorced, widowed, barren, or bringing a small bus full of children…can be in one room together and be a community. And I believe that “church” does not just happen on Sunday morning or Wednesday night. Church happens every day of our lives, every encounter with another person. The disciples traveled miles and miles, following Jesus. Imagine how severely their impact would have been stifled if they “set up camp” in one building, and Jesus spoke once a week and the disciples sat in rows in front of Him, and they just expected people to come and listen. So, I challenge you. Do church. Do life. Every day. In your homes. At your jobs. At the store. At the park. Yes, even at the DMV! Pray for each other. Lift each other up in word and deed. Let us walk this life together. And when somebody asks you how you are doing, be real. And when somebody is real with you, pray for them. Right then and there.

Beauty in the Sacrifice

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

My sister, you have been given the Light, the Holy Spirit, not for your own edification but for the edification of others. You have not been infused with the Light of the Lord, so that you alone may live in peace. No! You have been entrusted with a great and beautiful brightness, and you have been called to spread this light to the nations. For the only purpose worth living for – the only goal worth striving for – is to bring “glory to your Father who is in heaven.” So, I charge you! Fan into flame this light that is within you (2 Timothy 1:6). It is time that we rise, oh Women of Faith, and claim the words in Jeremiah 20:9 as our own!

If I say, “I will not mention him,
    or speak any more in his name,”
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
    shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
    and I cannot. ~ Jeremiah 20:9 ~

There once was a very wealthy man who had everything he could ever ask for. He was living the dream. He had all the money, the power, the security to make a comfortable life. And now that he had conquered this world…what about the next? So, he approaches this man, Jesus, who he has heard talking about the life after death. Jesus has said that eternal life is available, and now this prosperous man must know how to obtain it. “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answers with living and revealing words: “You know right from wrong, and you live a good life. You generally make the right decision and you treat others kindly…but you have forgotten your first love! You may obey the “do’s” and “do not’s” of the Scriptures, but do you obey the calling to sacrifice?” The wealthy man does not understand. He has done everything right. He has worked with blood, sweat, and tears to obtain an enjoyable and satisfying life on earth, and he intends to do the same for the eternal life. But, you see, Jesus did not come to solidify for us a pleasant and convenient life. Rather, He came to change the rules. He looks at the young man and says, “My child. You know so little. You are blinded by your own human frailty. What I have to give cannot be earned. What if I asked you to walk away from it all? What if I asked you to sell everything you own, to forfeit your treasures and your prestige, to willingly sacrifice all but the clothes on your back? And follow Me?” Sadly, the wealthy man drops his head. “How can he leave everything he has worked so hard to obtain? How can Jesus even have the audacity to ask this of him! It’s not fair! He has worked so hard to get to where he is, and his wealth and prosperity is rightfully his. No, no. He can love his neighbor, he can omit from lying or stealing, he can even give his spare change to the poor and homeless…but this. No, this is too much.” So, at the edge of eternity, at the very moment where he decides his destiny, the rich man turns slowly…sadly…and walks away. And as his mind was already racing again with his business endeavors of the day, his heart unmistakably knew that he had missed out on something that was far greater than anything he would ever acquire on this earth. (Passage referenced: Luke 18:18-30)

The wonderful, perfect, and complete words of Scripture end this story in the best way: hope. As Peter and the disciples watch this exchange between their Master and this worldly man, they wonder, “We have left everything! We chose sacrifice! And not a day since Jesus called us out of the boat has been easy.” Jesus, patiently understanding that sometimes we need to be reminded that the way of the cross is worth it, offers Peter and His disciples the promise of hope. “Nothing that you can leave for My sake will compare to the glories awaiting you in Heaven. For every choice you make to place Me on My rightful throne as Lord in your life, will be rewarded in ways beyond your wildest dreams. The things of this world that you say goodbye to – in order to say yes to Me – will be compensated in ways beyond what you could possibly imagine. I am not preaching a prosperity gospel here, where Jesus will give you three cars if you give one car away. He will not give you a mansion if you leave your hut to follow Him. Now, He very well may if that is His will and in His gory to bring about His purposes in you and through you. But I think in this passage, Jesus is referring to His giving of PROVISION when you leave a high paying job to answer His calling – His COMPANY when you move to a new and strange place to answer His calling – His JOY in the midst of saying goodbye to people you love to answer His calling – His UNDERSTANDING and PEACE when what He is asking you to do does not make sense through the eyes of this world.

Go back and read the passage in Matthew 5:14-16. You have a choice to make today – a choice to make every day of your life. Will you be like the rich young ruler and consider the comforts of this world a higher thing to be grasped, unable to say “yes” when the Lord directs you? Or, will you say “yes, Lord,” and fan into flame the light of the Holy Spirit within you, and take this radiance of the Gospel to your neighbor, your co-worker, your sister, your father, and live for the only purpose worth living – the only goal worth striving for – to bring “glory to your Father who is in heaven?”

Off Limits

Genesis 3:8-10

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”

“MY DAUGHTER, WHERE ARE YOU?”

“My Lord, I am ashamed. Do not look on me.

MY DAUGHTER, WHERE ARE YOU?

Jesus, I am naked. I am ashamed. I have failed.

BELOVED, COME OUT INTO THE LIGHT AND ALLOW ME TO POUR MY CLEANSING LOVE UPON YOU.

God, you didn’t hear me right. Go away and leave me to the destiny that I deserve. Did you forget what I did last night? Didn’t you see what I allowed to happen? Did you not hear what I said to that person? I screwed up. I failed. You gave me a beautiful white gown and now I stand here, with my once beautiful dress now torn, muddied, pieces missing, incomplete and utterly filthy. I don’t deserve Your love.

I DID NOT ASK WHERE YOU WERE BECAUSE I DID NOT KNOW! I AM ASKING BECAUSE YOU NEED TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE! YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE STANDING RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY FORGIVENESS! DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THAT THERE IS ANY SIN TOO BIG, TOO HEAVY, TO BURDENSOME FOR ME! I HUNG ON THAT CROSS TO TAKE EVERY BURDEN, EVERY SHAME, EVERY MISTAKE, EVERY INADEQUACY FROM YOU. AND I ROSE AND CONQUERED DEATH SO THAT I MAY LOOK UPON YOU AND SEE SIN NO MORE! THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT YOU COULD EVER DO TO SEPARATE YOU FROM MY LOVE! MY DAUGHTER, DO NOT KEEP ANYTHING FROM ME, AND I WILL KEEP NOTHING FROM YOU. GIVE ME ALL OF YOURSELF, AND I WILL GIVE YOU ALL OF ME. NOTHING CAN BE OFF LIMITS TO ME!

I am just a frail woman. I am weak. I am tired. I am a failure. I am a liar. I am a cheater. I am a sinner. I will only dirty your hands.

OH MY BELOVED, I HAVE ALREADY DIRTIED MY HANDS WITH THE SIN OF HUMANITY. SINCE THE BEGINNING OF GENESIS, I HAVE BEEN ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF RESCUING YOU AND BRINGING YOU INTO MY GLORIOUS SALVATION. I HAVE WASHED AWAY YOUR SHAME AND I HAVE JOY AWAITING YOU. YES, YES. YOU ARE A LIAR, A CHEATER, A FAILURE, A COMPLETE MESS…ON YOUR OWN. BUT I HAVE A NEW IDENTITY AWAITING YOU.

I don’t deserve it!

THAT IS PRECISELY THE POINT! I DID NOT DESIGN OUR RELATIONSHIP AND MY LOVE FOR YOU, TO BE SOMETHING YOU COULD EARN OR DESERVE. YOU WILL NEVER EARN MY FAVOR! STOP DOING! STOP! ALL I WANT YOU TO DO IS REST! BE STILL. CEASE STRIVING. STOP TRYING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH! AND BELIEVE. BELIEVE THAT I AM THE LORD WHO DIES FOR EVERY SIN YOU HAVE EVER AND WILL EVER COMMIT. AND BELIEVE THAT IN MY AND IN ME ALONE YOU CAN HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, NOT JUST AFTER DEATH BUT HERE AND NOW, IN YOUR DAILY WALK. MY DAUGHTER, I MAKE YOU NEW EVERY MORNING. JUST RECEIVE IT. BELIEVE IT. AND TELL THE WORLD ABOUT IT!

My heart belongs to You, my King. My needs do not surprise You. The condition of my heart and soul do not surprise You. You want me to live in peace, to let You be God, to surrender every little thing to You. My control is an illusion. Oh King Jesus, remind my heart that You are good and that Your forgiveness is unfailing. Forgive me for dishonoring Your death and resurrection, by believing the lie that my sin is too much for You. I accept Your freedom. I accept Your joy. I accept Your peace. It is all available to me in every area of my life..if I simply surrender my heart to You. And I do! I give You my heart. I surrender my dreams. I lay at Your feet my fears, my past, my present, my future. Oh, how great is Your love for me that is new and alive every morning! Only You can heal me. Only You can edify me. Only You can make me new again. Only You can give me life. And I pray You give me the strength to chose, every day…every moment if that’s what it takes…to accept my new identity in You.

Strange Places

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

1 Corinthians 2:9

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

What do we do when we find ourselves in a strange and unfamiliar place, not sure how we even got here? We ask ourselves, “Can God do anything good in these uncomfortable circumstances that we did not plan for?” I am a planner. I have three calendars that I keep coordinated, and I always want to know where I am going, when I will be there, and what I need to do to get there. I certainly do not like surprises, or being unprepared. I believe this is why, despite my best efforts, I always end up leaving the house with my own purse and a bag of things that I may need for myself, my children, or my husband…”just in case!” Please tell me I am not the only crazy woman out there! Too many times that I could count, I have come before the Lord with my plan – my answers to the what, when, where, how, and why. And I can just imagine in those moments, the Creator of the universe looks at me…smiles…shakes His head…and says, “Oh, my dear. You have absolutely no idea!”

Maybe today you find yourself in a place you never thought you would be; a situation you never planned on experiencing; a challenge that you could never have dreamed of. You are constantly fighting to not be where you are. Every night when you close your eyes, you beg the Lord to rescue you from your current circumstance. And every morning you wake up, look around, and are hit anew with the realization that yes…you are here. The nightmare is not over. The unexpected actually is reality. The “never gonna happen” is the “here and now.” Things don’t look like you think they should look. Your life did not turn out the way you thought it would. What do we do? How do we get out of bed? How do we face the uncertainty of today and tomorrow? You may not be where you thought you should be…but you are exactly where God wants you to be!

I would like to submit to you that your King Jesus loves you. As a good and loving Father, He covers you in love and protection even when the skies look grey. His faithfulness is steadfast and never-ending. And I promise you this: wherever you are, He is right there as your strong tower, your ever-present refuge, your unfailing strength and protection. The “infinitely more than we might ask or think,” – the “no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor heart imagined” things are often birthed in our lives when we are in the unfamiliar and uncomfortable places. For in these places, the Lord can do something in us and through us that bears the mark of His own hands, not ours. For in these places, the Lord can craft a beautiful testimony that is according to His will and plan, not ours. It is in the uncomfortable, the unfamiliar, the unplanned – where we are stretched, challenged, and perfected. Here, we can say, “Okay, Lord…(big deep breath)…if this is where You put me, then You must have something for me here. Or You must have something to do with me here. What’s the plan Lord?”

Believe this today: You are exactly where you need to be for the sovereign plan of God to be worked out in your life. God’s abundant and glorious plan for you will never fit into the tasks, ambitions, and plans you have for yourself.Under the sovereignty of the Most High, where you are today is right where God wants you to be. You have been strategically placed right where you are, for the Lord to do wonders in you and among you and through you and with you…for the glory of the Lord! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be walking on a path paved by God, where difficulties are met with strength, where struggles are met with peace, where temptations are met with victory, and where my life will bear the mark of the Lord and actually mean something beyond my short feeble years, and into eternity.

Take heart, oh Woman of Faith, you are ALWAYS in the hands of the Most High!

 

Come to the Table

Coming to the table of the Lord, I approach slowly and carefully. I take one step at a time…slowly nearing the altar of the Lord. I am overwhelmed with the conviction that I am dirty and unclean – and yet also overwhelmed with the realization that I am forgiven and made beautiful by the Creator of the universe! Woe is me! A humbling significance!

Something in me knows that this is going to change my life. The Word of the Lord is a strong tower…a shelter to run into and seek refuge. The Word of the Lord is a two edged sword…piercing between life and death, between dark and light. The Word of the Lord is a lamp unto my feet…a guide without which I am utterly lost. Do I believe? When I open the living Word, do I believe that the Lord is who He says He is? Do I believe that He will do what He says He will do? Do I believe that I am who He says I am? Oh, if I would believe…it would change my life!

What if I lived with the realization, the conviction that I am who the Lord says I am? That I am defined by nothing other than the living Word of the Lord? How would it affect my attitude if I believed that I am a child of God and a fellow heir with Christ? And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)–if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:17). How would it change my self image if I believed that I am no longer condemned and shamed? There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). How would it transform my thoughts and therefore the words that come out of my mouth if I believed that I have been set free through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

Sister, either the Word is true or it is not! If it is not true, then we are just wasting our time. If it is true…then it is ALL true, and it is ALIVE and ACTIVE and it has the power to set us FREE! So, I am going to ask you a question…are you free? Are you experiencing the realities of being a daughter of the LORD right now, today, in your circumstances? Or, do you find yourself asking, “I know I am a Christian. I accepted Christ in my heart. I prayed the prayer. I go to church on Sunday mornings. But I still feel trapped, imprisoned, helpless, and so so tired. There has got to be more to life than this! This cannot be what the Christian life is all about! Where are you, God?” If you relate more with the latter, then I have a second question? When was the last time you welcomed the living, breathing, powerful Word of the Lord into your life. I am not talking about putting a scripture bumper sticker on your car or trying not to fall asleep in Sunday morning church. I am talking about turning off the television, putting down your phone, going to your closet and opening your Bible and inviting the Holy Spirit to come alive! And your “closet” may actually be a closet! Sometimes my alone time may only come in the bathroom! Your closet may be your car on your lunch break, or your laundry room as you fold clothes, or your bed when all your family has finally gone to sleep. For the morning people (which I certainly am not!) your closet may be right next to your coffee pot early in the day before your children awake and the joyous chaos begins.

I can promise you two things: 1) It will not be easy. It is not supposed to be easy. Do not forget that this world is not our home and that the enemy is always waging a war to keep you busy and to give you every reason not to spend time with the Lord. 2) IT WILL ALWAYS, ABSOLUTELY BE WORTH IT. AND WHEN YOU APPROACH THE TABLE OF THE LORD AND PUT HIM IN HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN YOUR LIFE, YOU WILL BE RENEWED, TRANSFORMED, LIFTED, ENCOURAGED, AND FILLED WITH THE HOPE AND JOY THAT YOU ARE DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR.