Distraction of Denver

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth
,” Psalm 121: 1, 2.

On my first trip out west, I was mesmerized by the ever changing landscape. The Rocky Mountains slowly rose as white ghosts of snow-capped summits into view and took my breath away. For the first time, I was witnessing the sights that must have inspired the lyrics, “purple mountain majesty” and “the mountains declare the glory of God.”

As I arrived to the city of Denver, the sights quickly consumed my view: the new baseball stadium, quaint café squares adorned with statues and fountains, remodeled antique store fronts contrasted with shiny modern architecture. These new highlights diverted my focus from the beautiful landscapes in the distance. I loved the sights of the city, but they completely distracted me from the splendor of the mountains on the western horizon.

Then it struck me. How much is this like my daily life? I often spend devotional time in the morning when I lift my eyes vertically to the Lord and am refreshed with His power and glory. But when I leave my devotional time and jump into my day, I become consumed with the horizontal demands and sights close at hand.

God is like those mountains that surround the western side of Denver. He is always there watching and waiting to offer strength and refreshment. When we look vertically to Him, we are aware of His presence, but many times our thoughts and view are consumed with our horizontal daily demands.

We are called daily to lift our eyes, vertically, to the hills. This is where our help comes from.

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth
,” Psalm 121: 1, 2.

It is only then that He endows us with strength and empowers us to reach out horizontally to others.

Dear Lord, How Majestic is your name in all the earth. As I seek to serve you daily, help me to focus on the glory of your vertical insights that will strengthen and guide me in my horizontal demands. Amen

Note to my readers I want to share an exciting opportunity I have to publish some of these devotions in a book called Devotions for the Distracted Heart. I will keep you posted on the details when the book comes available, hopefully by June 2019. This has consumed much of my time, so I wanted you to be the first to know about this.

Also if you are interested in meeting in person, Check out this link for some of the places I will be speaking or conferences I will be attending. Let me know to look for you there!  https://wonderofwomen.org/events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distraction of the Dawn 2018 #devotion

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:1,2

I wish I was a morning person. Morning is a time that engages the senses with the pastel ribbons of the dawning sun painting the sky as it rises over the horizon. The fingers of light float over the earth and give definition to the shadows in the landscape. The birds fill the air with a cheerful chorus and the fragrance of the morning dew refreshes and energizes me. I love taking my coffee out on the deck and just basking in the gift of God’s new day.

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to wake up in the morning. I will lie in bed and tap the snooze button just one more time to garner a few more moments of sleep. But the days I rise early enough to experience the dawn, are the days that I truly feel a connection with God’s spirit and gain strength for the day through the gifts of the morning creation. No matter what challenges the night has held, dawn brings that hope of a new beginning.

I thought about this as I heard the Easter story this past weekend. Mary went to the tomb right before dawn with spices to preserve Jesus’ body. She was grieving the loss of her friend and Savior, probably still questioning why his death had to happen. I am sure she did not see the beauty of the colorful dawning sun or hear the song of the birds in the air. She was using her all her strength to find comfort by caring for the body of Jesus.

Psalm 30:5B Says “sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Mary had no expectations for experiencing joy in her time of grief. She probably had not slept all night but instead tossed and turned restlessly. Yet we know that first Easter dawn did bring the joyful gift of the resurrected Savior not only to Mary but to all believers. Across the world believers seek to capture the inspiration of that moment by worshipping at sunrise services each Easter.

This gift of a resurrected Savior is offered to us at any time, just like the early morning gifts of dawn are available every day. Sometimes our burdens blind our ability to experience the peace and joy that the Lord wants to give us with a new dawn. Other times our own stresses and exhaustion obstruct our ability to connect with energy that comes with the gifts of the morning creation. No matter where you are today, remember, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is His faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22,23

Father God, Thank you for the gift of salvation and grace given freely to me through the resurrection of your son Jesus. Help me to experience your presence and the joy of Easter each morning in the gifts of creation and the words of your scriptures. Amen.

A blessed Easter to each of you! Thank you for your support!

Peg is available to speak at retreats, conferences, and more.

Email her today. pegarnoldwow@gmail.com

Peg’s new co-authored book-Reigniting Hope is available now for sale! Just click the link below!

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