As read on Balm for the Soul with Tammy Nicole Glover podcast.
When they said I was worthless because my skin wasn't light enough, my hair wasn't long enough
And my face not pretty enough
I was still His.
Though they laughed at me when I dared to expose my dreams and said I was crazy
I was still His.
When I was scared, mistreated and overwhelmed
And when the pain and loneliness made it difficult to breathe
I was still His.
When my pride took over and I thought I could do life on my own
When I tried to ignore His voice and searched for what I thought was better
I was still His.
There's no more denying the truth.
I have been the liar, He is the truth.
There's no where to run or hide.
I was His before I was formed in the womb.
Now, there is only the decision to either remain in Him or to be lost in the darkness.
I decided to remain in Him.
To accept and follow His commands.
To trust completely in His ways.
To stay humble before Him and grateful for His mercy.
He owes me nothing and I owe Him everything.
I am completely His
A daughter of the Most High God whose name is Jesus.
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I wonder what my days would look like if I lived each day for God and not for myself. Would I be in a constant state of awe and gratefulness because I was able to clearly witness God’s grace and mercy? How many lives would I be able to positively impact? Would people look at me and be convinced that God is real and know that He is love?
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
“They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendents of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.'” Numbers 13:32-33 NIV
I was given the vision and told what to do and where to go. It was such a huge and impossible dream that it could have only come from God. It scared me but the Lord kept encouraging me. He told me to be strong and courageous. He told me that He would never leave me nor forsake me. All things would work out for my good if I only believed. I believed.
Armed with His love and His Word, I stepped out on faith to do what He called me to do. Before I could even step out of the boat, I saw giants. Hold up…wait a minute, I thought. The Lord never mentioned that there would be giants. He also failed to mention all the other powerful enemies waiting for me. Everyone is bigger, stronger and more skilled than I am. I don’t think I belong here.
Lord, do you see those giants waiting to devour me? They’re laughing because they know I’m about to be squashed. Wouldn’t I have been better off if I had just stayed in the land of mediocrity? I may not have done great things there but I would still be alive. I’m too far to go back so what I’m supposed to do now?
I stayed in my pity party for quite some time. I watched the giants enjoy the land that I was supposed to have. They mocked me and turned their noses up at me. Finally, the Lord had enough. He said, “didn’t I tell you to be strong and courageous? Have I not given you clear instructions? Did I not get you through the wilderness? Was I not there to pick you up every single time you fell? Did I not heal your wounds? What cause have I given you to doubt me now?
Gulp. He was right. I have faced battles with enemies that were stronger and more skilled before and each time God gave me the victory. I seriously needed to repent and give God praise.
After I received God’s forgiveness and thanked Him for His mercy, I stood up and held my head up high. The Lord is with me and I will not be afraid.
Look out, giants, here I come.
“The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:9 NIV
Why so downcast, oh my soul? The Lord woke you up this morning. He kept you safe through the night. His sun shines on you. His favor covers you like your favorite blanket.
It’s time to rise and shine. What happened yesterday has past. Today is a new day, full of new blessings and new mercies. Arise and be of good cheer. There is much work to be done by the Lord’s people.
Open your eyes, the world is hurting. Open your ears, the earth cries out. Open your heart and accept God’s assignment. He has given you strength, peace and joy. There is no need to be downcast, oh my soul. For your Heavenly Father is with you today and forever. He has promised to take care of you and to protect you. Your Heavenly Father is El-Shaddai-God Almighty. He is the Creator of the Earth. There is no one and no thing greater than Him. He parts seas. He heals the sick and raises the dead. He sent His Son, whose blood cleanses you of all sin. He has conquered death surely, He can handle your problems.
Praise the Lord, oh my soul, for He is good and His love endures forever. He is generous, not only with His mercy, but with all that is His to give. You are His child. Arise!
“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
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out the workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37 NIV
Do you ever murmur and complain about the things that God calls you to do? Do you put it off because sometimes what He’s calling you to do seems so small that it’s not worth the inconvenience? Before you procrastinate doing something that God has called you to do, ask yourself if your delayed reaction will cause an answer to someone’s prayer be delayed. Ask yourself if you will be responsible for someone else to stumble.
If you put off praying for someone or something that God has put on your heart, will it mean that someone’s suffering will be prolonged? If you put off giving away something that you never use, will someone who truly needs it go without? If I hold off on giving to a charity that has touched me spirit, will it mean that someone will starve? If I don’t give someone an encouraging word, will that mean that someone will give up on life? If I decide to wait to tell someone about Jesus, will that mean that someone will spend an eternity in hell?
When God calls us to do something it is to fill a need. We are his arms, his hands, his legs and his feet on earth. We are not to just focus on ourselves. We are supposed to be following his example and loving others. Loving others means being inconvenienced sometimes. It means stepping out of our comfort zones. It means sacrificing. Someone is praying for a miracle and God maybe calling you to be that miracle. Don’t ignore his call. It is an honor and a blessing to be used by God.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it wuold be better for them to have a large millstone hang around their neck and to be drowned in the sea.” Matthew 18:6 NIV
“My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 NIV
Lord, when I heard your call, I was excited and a little scared. I knew you were calling me to greatness, not so that I could receive the glory but so that you could. I felt honored and blessed. I forged ahead not realizing exactly what your plans entailed.
I expected things to happen immediately. I expected an always smooth path. I expected complete clarity. However, as I went along, I realized that I had to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. As I waited I became anxious and unsure. Did I hear you right? Maybe, I just needed to move things along a little faster for you. Maybe, you forgot about me. None of these things were true. What I had to understand was that there were preparations that needed to be made and things that I needed to learn while I waited.
Deep inside, I think I knew this but I didn’t want to go through the hard stuff. I didn’t want to go through rejection and strange looks from other people. Why couldn’t I accomplish your plans and remain normal? Why did I have to learn how to forgive? Why did I have to learn to be humble? Why did I have to learn to overcome my fears? Growing hurts and it’s hard. I wanted to do things my way and reap all of your rewards. I realize that this is impossible.
Lord, I surrender. I will listen when you say stand firm, even though I’m in the middle of a storm. I will be patient when you say be still. I will press forward when you tell me to walk on water, despite how scared I am. I will say what you want me to say and I will trust you. I will forever praise you.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19: 21 NIV
“Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 NIV
I’m constantly at war with myself. My spirit wants to follow God’s will but my flesh wants to do it’s own thing, and so begins the battle. My spirit wants to love and forgive despite how I’m treated but my flesh wants to curse and fight. My spirit wants to give freely but my flesh wants to hoard everything for itself. My spirit wants to be proactive but my flesh wants to procrastinate. My spirit wants to praise God for my blessings but my flesh wants to complain about my problems. My spirit wants to trust the Lord completely and to not be afraid but my flesh wants to doubt and hide. My spirit wants to rejoice but my flesh worries that people will think I’m crazy. My spirit wants to write and share this blog but my flesh doubts that anyone will be encouraged by it.
Sometimes, these battles between my spirit and my flesh overwhelm me. I get exhausted and want to give up, but quitting is not an option for me. I didn’t come this far to go back to the life I used to live. I can’t forget how much God loves me. He loves me so much that He gives me grace and mercy each day. He gives me the strength and encouragement that I need to fight these battles. He loves you just the same. He sees your struggles. He knows how hard this fight is. He wants you to know that He is with you and with Him all things are possible. He loves you and He will never leave you nor forsake you. Don’t give up. Keep praying, believing and following God’s will for you. He will never break His promises.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1 NIV
If only I had savored every moment with my family. If only I would have loved more and judged less. If only I had paid more attention to the people who tried my patience, maybe I would have seen how much pain they were in. If only I had spent more time forgiving and less time holding on to anger for something I can’t even remember. If only I had seized more opportunities to give to those in need. If only I had spent more time reading and listening to the Word of God. If only I hadn’t rolled my eyes when people tried to tell me how much God loved me. If only I hadn’t given up on that family member that kept breaking my heart. If only I had prayed more. If only I realized that I didn’t have more time.
As I lay in the back of an ambulance, while a paramedic shocks my heart to get it to restart, I realize that my life has always been in God’s hands. I’m hoping that God will have mercy on me as I feel my spirit leaving my body. I’m praying that He will bring me back and give me more time, time that I will no longer waste. I know now, how precious time is. Time is meant to be spent loving, forgiving, learning, growing, helping, giving and praising God.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Psalm 95:7-8 NIV
“The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Luke 24:7 NIV
Did you save me so that I could live in fear or worry about tomorrow? Did you save me so that I could complain about my blessings? Did you save me to be secretly envious of others? Did you save me so that I could avert my eyes when someone in need is standing in front of me? Did you save me so that I could sit idle while there are so many people that don’t know you? Did you save me so that I could live in shame? Did you save me so that I could have a false sense of superiority? Did you save me so that I could feel hopeless?
Absolutely not. You saved me because you wanted me to walk in light, not in darkness. You saved me so that I could enjoy your blessings. You saved me so that I could praise you even in the midst of troubles. You saved me so that I could pray for others. You saved me so that I can have compassion for those in need. You saved me so that I could spread the good news that Jesus is Lord and Savior. You saved me so that I could forgive those who have hurt me. You saved me so that I could fulfill your purpose for my life. You saved me so that I could be hopeful. You saved me because you love me.
Lord, please let me always remember and to also remind others why you saved us.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” John 15: 16 NIV