This past week, I had the opportunity to share my love of writing through a piece on the subject of Winter, with my home church in Grand Rapids. The piece below was God-breathed, His words flowing through my pen. Every … Continue reading
I am often in need of help, but I am not often willing to accept it. Lately my need for help far outweighed my ability to hold it all together, but I was geared up and ready to try. It … Continue reading
It was Christmas 2010. I had just received the greatest gift I could ever unwrap, a baby boy swaddled up in a soft white muslin blanket. Not just any baby boy, however, he was a big brown eyed, curly haired boy, … Continue reading
Ready or not here it comes! Christmas Music has made its way to the radio, $280 Teddy Bears are for sale at Costco, and not so cheery red cups are ready for filling at Starbucks. The holidays are officially here. I can … Continue reading
The harvest marks the end of the growing season. A time when farmers rejoice or lament over the quality and quantity of their crops. It hurts to imagine how all those hard hours, sweat and blood, labored over each and … Continue reading
I would stare in the mirror each morning hoping to see someone the world would love. Someone beautiful enough, smart enough, good enough, brave enough, strong enough; I just wanted to feel loved enough. And while the words of affirmation … Continue reading
She came downstairs on Tuesday, the day after her fainting spell, and said “mommy I wanted to tell you, Jesus loves me and will always keep me safe.” From the mouth of babes – at times – God speaks … Continue reading
The truth about things that weigh us down are they are often only half of the load
When we feel weighed down, hearts heavy, burdens great, soul overwhelmed, mind and body weary we look for relief.
We search and we try to find freedom wrapped up in more.
More Praise, More Adoration
More man-made plans, More power, control
More new- new toys, new clothes , new diets and fitness routines
More wordly good
More of what’s easy, More self
More unhealthy habits and secret addictions
More fantasy worlds imagined with every turn of a page or push of a button
More of a life like theirs, our “Friends” whose lives we “Like” more than we Live our own
We hang all these “mores” on our security blankets and wrap them around our already aching backs and slouching shoulders until we feel like we might collapse under the weight. The weight of trying to fabricate peace and joy when peace is a Person and joy is His gift.
So Come, come all who are weary and all who need rest, and hang your heavy blankets of false security over my bleeding shoulders and your burdens over my nailed scared hands- for this, this here is why I died for you. So you could find freedom not wrapped up in more but in Me.
So we open up your word, breath in your truth and exhale our cares to You.
And You find us there, bent over and tired, and you stand us up straight. Held tight in your unfailing arms.
So let us not double our load by adding more of this world to it. Instead, may we give it up completely by adding more and more of You.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Worship: I love music and I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Enjoy! All Is Settled – The Village Church
Other posts you may enjoy:
© Tamara Gurley 2015
I watched as the director stood before the children, telling them when to rise and sit, move their bows or be still, increase the volume of their instrument or soften it’s voice; but my daughter and her fellow sixth grade novice musicians were not just being told what to do, they were being shown.
Toward the back of the stage stood the orchestra’s co-leader. Not pointing and directing, but playing alongside the students, modeling for them how to follow the directors lead and giving them a perfect musical example to follow. She cared deeply about showing these children how to play the music the way in which it was composed.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said -Matthew 4:19a
When Jesus said, “follow me”, he meant do as I do, not just as I say; for He cares deeply about showing us how to live life following our Father’s lead. Not just so our lives can be filled with only beautiful harmonies, but for the times when we are overwhelmed by the tension and dissonance that often mark this life.
Every moment of our day offers the opportunity to look at our circumstances through the lens of our own emotions or through the lens of Christ’s example.
Through His example, we can trust that whatever we are being called to, through or from, He has crossed that bridge too. For our Savior is acquainted with our grief, empathizes with our weakness, was tempted in every way but did not sin, perfectly loved his neighbors as himself, communed continually with God the Father, fulfilled the Great Commission, was betrayed, wept, humble, patient, embodied true peace and joy because He is true Peace and Joy and ultimately, endured great suffering and gave His life, so we might live.
This is life lived the way God composed it, the way He intended it to be. Yet, He doesn’t just point the way, he is The Way; and he is standing beside us, sweetly and gently showing us that His way is perfect. It may be hard to take that first step, but when we do, we find that His way leads to life. His way leads to freedom.
Follow in his steps.
Worship: I love music and I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Enjoy! I Have Decided – Elevation Worship
Other posts you may enjoy:
© Tamara Gurley 2015
I looked up from whichever distraction I had chosen to occupy my mind on that nine hour journey south. The blue SUV to the right was edging into our lane, inches from knocking us into the concrete median. My renaissance man swerved to avoid the inevitable crash, yet at 70 miles per hour that sharp jolt of the wheel was all it took for us to unwillingly surrender control. This car, which within it held everything I loved most in the world, my heart made up of three beautiful children and a faithful friend, rocked back and forth, in and out of lanes, dodging passing cars, and guardrails. My love tried to regain control, but simply could not. We spun 180 degrees as we crossed three lanes. Facing the on-ramp where I was certain we’d meet our last breath, I heard him cry out, “Jesus, please.”
Within moments, the car landed on the opposite edge of the highway, out of the way of oncoming cars and inches from the guardrail.
It was as if it had been placed there.
It was as if for that one moment, as eternal as it felt, all of the traffic that had occupied the highway had been cleared out of our way.
It was as if someone knew for that short stretch of time we would need three lanes of room to remain unscathed, when for up until that point the road had only been made up of two.
It was as if I was meant to look up.
It was as if we were meant to survive.
To experience it, but to survive it.
I realize that it is not always the case. Sometimes we are left to survive when others are not. I know that feeling too, do you?
Deep breaths. Gratitude. No words, just tears. Streams of gratitude.
It was as if God was watching over us in that moment, but the truth, He always is.
The cancer-free diagnosis, the heart attack survived, the sick child fully healed, the accident avoided, the marriage saved. Sometimes in moments like these we see more clearly his hand and it’s easier to trust his heart. But how many times have we been inches away from hitting a concrete wall? Protected, shielded, guided away from inevitable brokenness and led to a place of safety.
I don’t just mean dodging painful experiences, but walking through them covered by the presence of God, awakened by the power of his Word—a deep well of promises that pain often brings to life, and comforted by those who love the Lord and bring light when we are fighting the darkness.
Had we all not made it out of that terrifying near-accident, could I still be filled with gratitude? Could my heart still be content? My faith unshaken? Is my treasure stored up in these earthly gifts or in the Creator of each?
It is possible to be in a place where we are as thankful for the walls we hit as for the ones we miss, when we see that experiencing pain is not God sweeping us away, but rather a call to draw us near. God uses each experience to grow us, shape us, form us and teach us more about his unfailing love.
For in this fallen world we will have trouble, but we can take heart that this is not our eternal home.
We can be content no matter what the circumstance, because He is in control.
We can survive suffering on this earth, because He suffered on our behalf.
And his suffering brought Life, eternal life, so that our suffering could be but momentary. Free of fear and worry. Resting in the full assurance that ‘it is well, it is well,” with our soul.
Worship: I love music and I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Enjoy! Psalm 42– The Sing Team
© Tamara Gurley 2015