Inviting the Enemy Out to Play


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We live in a fallen world. The enemy prowls and surrounds us on all sides. He is shrewd. He is cunning. He is devious. He twists the facts and distorts the truth. He comes to you wearing sheep’s clothing and, if you are not suited up in the full armor of God, you will be deceived.

Then, just like that, before you even know it, you are dancing with the devil. What started out as a little flirting has ended in you inviting him into your home, your job and all the places you hold dear. You invite him out to play where he is more than happy to go to work, spreading evil from corner to corner of your life. You give him an all-access pass to your life and then wonder where in the world you went wrong.

Good news! We are never too far away to be reached by God. He is always near, but you must reach for Him. God is a giver. Realize he gave you what you have. He doesn’t need anything from us…he gives us breath….we are in the place god always meant for us to be….puts us in circumstances…so that men will seek him and find him….God is God…always in charge!

He is a sovereign God….a sovereign guard….he guards and guides us….

Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, you know the needs of this day. I will do my part and clothe myself in the armor that You designed. The belt of truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The Gospel of Peace. The Shield of Faith. The Helmet of Salvation. And, the only offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Please open the eyes of the spiritually naïve, Lord, so that they may suit up and STAND as well, at all times, but especially today when it seems the enemy is being called out to play. Amen and ehmen!

And The Word of God Says:

Ephesians 6:10-18New International Version (NIV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

God is Real!


Writer’s Note: I just love these little reminders of how much our God loves us and is ALWAYS in ALL WAYS there for us. This was a little praise report I posted on my FB page on August 3, 2012 as my only child headed off to college and I prepared myself for an empty nest. Oh, and by the way, my nest is far from empty. My daughter is back at home, at least until next year when she gets married, and my beautiful mom has just moved in. God is good. All heart isaiah 46.4the time.

Oh, my, how great is our God! I have to share this with you, but please bear with me as I try to convey this before completely processing it all. It’s just so incredible to me, I can’t wait. As I was struggling a bit tonight with my impending empty nesthood, I did a little google search for an article that might help. The one I chose was about single parents struggling to find their purpose when the kids they focused on for so long were now leaving the nest. Towards the end was a scripture that really caught my eye. Isaiah 46:4 “I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Oh, how I needed to hear that! So much so, in fact, that I got up and went in the other room to get my bible so that I could read it in context; really study it. As I sat back down and opened the bible to begin my search, my eyes rested on a scripture. I noticed it was 46:4. No way, I thought! Then I looked up and saw the Chapter Title. Isaiah!!! Oh my! Out of 2600-plus pages in my bible, 31,000-plus verses, my bible opens to that page and my eyes fall on that verse. Coincidence? No way. Thank you, God!!! I asked you earlier today for sure signs. Thank you, God, for being so patient and thank you for making yourself known to us in such undeniable ways. Can I just say, you rock! Amen and Ehmen!

Isaiah 46:4: New International Version
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Her Faith Rises Up like a Phoenix…


 pheonix borrowed from webWriter’s Note: Over the years, I have watched my friend struggle with depression, but, no matter how dark the nights may get, her faith has always managed to bring light to her path. Sure, sometimes she has needed others to remind her, and God always seemed to make sure I was in the right place at the right time when she needed such a reminder. The following is a short snippet of a vision he gave me one night in regards to my friend. It gave me hope for her and for all of those who may continue to struggle with depression, but who never give up on the God who never gives up on them. His promises are real and His love is unfailing, unconditional and never ending. Thank you, Jesus! Amen and Ehmen!

Sometimes it seems as if the darkness overtakes her from the inside out. Satan knows just what to use to cloud her soul, hurling her into an abyss of loneliness, hurt and depression. He knows full well that is harder for her to follow and find comfort in her Great God when her own eyes are shrouded by clouds.

What he can’t comprehend, however, is how her faith can still rise up like a phoenix from the darkest, nethermost reaches of his hellish plantings. And, just when he thinks he has her in his evil grip, the majestic bird adorned with colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet scoops her up and drops her safely in the lap of her Father.

Happy HIMdependence Day!


I am finding more and more truth in the old saying, “time flies” these days. In fact, the older I get, the old tick-tock seems Happy HIMdependence Day! Finalto sprout bigger and faster wings, hijacking the moments and carrying each and every one of them far, far away. If we’re lucky, the good ones land somewhere in the recesses of our memories to be retrieved and enjoyed many times in the future and the not-so-good just keep floating into the dark abyss of time never to be recalled again or, better yet, they wind up in God’s toolbox where He repurposes them and turns each into something useful.

Actually, the truth is, God promises to always use our stuff. He says so many times throughout the bible and most expressly so in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to his purpose.” Notice, He says ALL things; not just some things, but ALL things. All He really wants in return is our unwavering love, another fact that He reminds us of throughout His word, such as in Matthew 22:3, when Jesus himself spoke the greatest and foremost commandment of all: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

My prayer today is that all of us learn to love God just like that—with all our heart, soul and mind—for I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is that kind of love that leads to full trust, obedience and dependence on Him and full dependence leads to guaranteed fulfillment of the purpose for which our Father created us. And that, my dear friends, will ultimately lead to the words we all long to hear straight from the lips of our Awesome God: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done!” Oh, how incredible that will be! I know it’s almost July 4th here in the United States, but this year, I say let’s forget Independence Day and start celebrating Himdependence Day!

Amen and Ehmen!

Pondering “On Purpose”


From my personal “Dear God” journals. Did you know that the best prayers are really just converdear godsations; a real, two-way chat between you and your Heavenly Father? You talk and you listen…the latter being the most important, especially when the other conversationalist is your very Creator. In recent years, I have enjoyed putting those conversations on paper, starting my morning with God’s Word, a blank page and a desire to get closer and learn more from my Father in Heaven. Much of what I write stems from these early morning sessions. This morning I invite you into my private God time in hopes that you find a word or perhaps two that speaks to you. And, remember, you, too, can talk to God. You don’t need fancy words or a specific time and place. Just talk to Him like you would a friend. He’s always listening…and speaking.  Amen and Ehmen! 🙂

Hey, God.

I’m sorry about letting work and things get in the way of our time together this morning, but here I am. Better late than never, I suppose. Help me to stay right here with you, mind, body and spirit until we have had this very important one-on-one time together. Help me to stay committed as I know that this is what is needed to get me to the next level of your will and purpose for me. It is what is needed to help me learn to move aside and let you do your thing….your way….in me. It is what is needed to get the education that You want me to have, oh Teacher. Lord, help me to turn everything else off and “just be” with you. I don’t want to be that kid that is texting and surfing the internet the whole time their parent is trying to talk to them. Billie has done that to me and it doesn’t feel very good. And, honestly, I’ve done it to people too and there is no way that I got everything that I should have and could have gotten out of the time spent with them. Satan is happiest when we bow to our flesh or his temptation and will do anything to drive us to distraction when we are trying to do what is righteous and what is good. He will do anything to close our bibles and clog our minds. He will do anything to keep this time between us from happening, but anything is possible WITHIN my power in You, in Jesus’ name. Help me to stay in Your Name, dear Lord. Today and every day. Amen and Ehmen.

Dear Child,

You are Mine and I am proud of you. Your enemies may distract you, but they can never take you away from Me or My love. You are special. You are talented. You are finally beginning to open the gifts I have given you. I know it is hard for you to just sit in front of this blank page with a clear mind focused on just Me and My purposes for you. But, I will say this again and again until you hear me. Your desire to seek my perfect will is what matters the most and that, together with My power, is all that is needed to get the job done. You are My child and I am your Father. I will always be there to gently correct you when it is needed and will always do everything out of love and for your best interest. And, in serving your best interest, I will always be fueling you to fully and completely fulfill the purposes I have laid before you. You will get there, my Child, as long as you stay with me. And it will be more glorious than anything you can imagine. But, also know this, it is a process. My will for you is ongoing. There are checkpoints along the way; tasks that will be completed and fulfilled, but your purpose is not one thing, one end result. It is not one book to be written or even published. That may be part of it, but it’s not the end. Your responsibility in fulfilling your purpose continues until you come home to Me for eternity, and the end results of your fulfillment of that purpose will, like you, live on for eternity. Not just until the end of the age when I return to gather all of my belongings, but after My Kingdom has come as well; for your purpose, just like the purposes of all My children, is to spread the good news to and fro across the earth, through the ages and all generations, and that has eternal implications. There are people that you and only you can reach for the Kingdom and these are people within your personal sphere of influence today as well as people who you don’t even know and even some that aren’t even born yet. I don’t expect you to understand it all. You can’t on your side of Heaven, but you do have to trust Me. I’m proud of you for wanting this more than anything; for wanting my Will and Purpose for you more than material or worldly things. I have heard your cries and pleas. I know you are ready to “get started”, but I need you to understand that THIS is “getting started.” Just stay focused on me; stay in obedience. Keep communicating with me daily and, yes, stick with our morning time together, not because I want to give you another rule to keep or hoop to jump through, but because I want undistracted time to truly develop and grow you; to touch you spiritually and to deeply love you. To help you fulfill your purpose from me as that purpose can only be fulfilled through Me. Let that seep deep into your understanding, dear child. Any purpose from Me, must be fulfilled though Me. Oh, the plans I have for you. Now, go about your day, dear Child, and know that I am with you every step of the way. It really is all good, when I’m in the picture. Shalom.”

Oh, my dear Lord, thank you so very much. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I lay here smiling broadly and deeply breathing in a sense of peace and joy that can only come from you….such a far cry from where I was less than an hour ago when this exchange started. I was knee deep in work frustrations, which I allowed to start, before my time with you, and, yet, just as You always promised, you brought me back into Your Peace and Purpose. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I cannot wait to go back and see what was written as I am always astonished by the wisdom, love and beauty. I can’t always see the entire picture when I’m typing. I get an idea, but nothing like what I get out of it when I read it. Thank you for communicating with me like this. What a precious gift. I love you, dear Father. And I praise you as I strive to always live in Jesus’ name, Amen and Ehmen!

Flying High: From Earth to Heaven.


vapor trail and neil for blogWriter’s Note: As I stepped outside, my eyes were automatically drawn heavenward. Blue, it seems, is the color of this beautiful May day as nature celebrates with a sky clothed in the most brilliant hues of blue. But even the sky in all its splendor isn’t what really caught my eye. Instead, it was the feathery white brush stroke left by a big metal bird that appeared to be heading south for the summer. Now, I realize that vapor trails are a common sight on any given blue-sky day, but they hold special meaning to me. They remind me of my good friend, Neil, who left this earth way too soon; but, more than that, it reminds me that God is real. Like the rainbow is a symbol of a promise to all of us from God, the white brush stroke of an airplane is a symbol of a promise to me—a directional arrow perched in the heavens and pointing to my purpose here on earth; to write, a specific story as well as other words that lead people to that place inside themselves where God is patiently and lovingly waiting. If you haven’t already read this piece, I hope you will take some time today. It’s a true story. I know because I lived it. Oh, and, Denny found the ripcord on her parachute. God made sure of it.

Neil, you know I’ve written more in the last few years than I have my whole life. We talked about it on more than one occasion; about how clear it was that this was what God had purposed and how it was, undoubtedly, the reason for the eternal friendships that He had so carefully orchestrated between you, me and Denny.

In five short years, I’ve written page after page of happy things, sad things; of tragedy and hope. It hasn’t always been easy, but God always seems to take over and the ink will suddenly freely flow.

But, when it comes to recounting that day, now two years past, tears have always seemed to drown out the words.  And, yet, I know must try. It’s too important. It’s critical that others know just how real God is and how He orchestrates events for our greater good. The story of December 8, 2011 is proof of such. May I never forget or take for granted the love and responsibility with which God has gifted me.

The story actually started in early October when I began searching for air-fare to come for a visit just before Christmas. I was planning to fly in on Dec. 10th, which also happened to be my 50th birthday. Already struggling a bit with this milestone birthday and not wanting Denny to feel like she had to put together some sort of celebration, I thought it would be easier to just travel that day.

To paint the picture more completely for you, I had been bidding on tickets through Priceline for several weeks trying to get the best deal. For those of you who haven’t ever used Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price,” you have to submit a method of payment along with an offer for airfare on selected travel dates. If your offer is accepted, your credit card is charged and you are the sole owner of a non-refundable airline ticket.

Anyhow, somewhere around mid-October—after two weeks and a dozen or so rejected offers —I decided to try one more time, after which, if unsuccessful, I would just outright buy a ticket. I logged on and filled in all the information along with an even lower price than I had attempted before. It was a long shot, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I was ecstatic when it was accepted at almost 40 percent less than the going ticket price. God had answered yet another prayer! My desire to be there with my friends obviously lined up with His will for me.

But, wait. The departure was 7:05 a.m. December 8, 2011. December 8th?  It was supposed to be December 10th. December 10th was the dreaded birthday and the date my work vacation started. God, however, obviously had another plan and what I thought was a mistake turned out to be yet another affirmation that He is always, and in all ways, in charge.

And, so, in the early morning hours of December 8, I sat back in the seat thankful that even on a full flight I had somehow managed to get a seat all to myself. Again, there was God, showing me that He was always looking out for me and that He knew I had much to think and pray about, especially on this day.  Like how in the world I was going to get through this trip.  Barb was gone. You were very sick and Denny was quickly slipping into a pit justifiably described as hell on earth as everything she knew and loved was systematically being stripped away from her.  She was looking more and more like a female, modern day version of Job. I hurt for her, to the core of my being, I hurt.

As the stewardess stopped momentarily in front of my seat to close the overhead compartment, she gave me a sympathetic nod. My pain, obviously visible to even a stranger, quickly liquidated and turned into a stream of tears.  I had so hoped that I would get there in time to say goodbye to Barb, but instead would be attending her funeral.

Oh, my dear God, how quickly life can change. Not just Barbie, but you too. Just a few months before, you were both so full of life, running circles around me, all the while smiling the most infectious smiles I have ever seen. Now, I was on my way to Canada to say a final farewell to Barb and to be by you and Denny’s sides as you both continued to maneuver your own deep, dark valley.

I sat back in my seat, ear buds tucked tightly in my ears and cranked up the Christian tunes. There was time for a lot of prayers between the airport runways of Atlanta, Georgia and Edmonton, Alberta.  And, as soon as the plane took off, the praying commenced.

During a short layover in Denver and before boarding the final leg of my day’s journey, I texted Denny to see how she was doing. She had been pretty emotional the night before when I talked to her, but was adamant that she would be the one to pick me up at the airport. I begged her to let one of our other friends do it, but, as per usual, she got the final word and she would be there waiting for me.  Period. She didn’t reply to my text, however; and I presumed she was probably busy with Barb’s funeral planning and taking care of you.

Back on the plane, I started to get more and more anxious. Denny was going through so much heartache and seemed to be beginning to struggle a bit with her faith.  She was finding it hard to fight anymore; her strength understandably gone. Just as this illness had stripped you of your physical muscles, Denny was feeling stripped of her spiritual muscles. She still loved God. She still believed in Jesus and she still believed in heaven. In fact, those were the only things that made any sense to her at all anymore. Yet they seemed so far away and her heart continued to crumble under the weight of it all.

And here I sat on this Canada-bound airplane wondering why God would possibly interject me into the world of such wonderful people, just as your world’s began to unravel. What could I possibly do to help? What was His plan? Why you? Why me? Why now?

My mind, my heart and my emotions were swirling like a hurricane as the plane taxied down the Denver tarmac and I again turned on my music, once again getting lost in my own little world of praise, worship and prayer. About halfway through the four-hour flight, “Hold My Heart” by Tenth Avenue North came on and I was immediately transported back to exactly one summer before when my previously-planned visit turned out to be a time of support as Denny’s brother, Stevie, had tragically drowned just the week before.

“One tear in the driving rain, One voice in a sea of pain Could the maker of the stars Hear the sound of my breakin’ heart? One light, that’s all I am Right now I can barely stand. If You’re everything You say You are Won’t You come close and hold my heart.”

As the song pervaded my heart on that day in late June, I turned every word into a fervent prayer for my friend, Denny, pleading with God to please—just as the song beseeches—to come close and hold my friend’s heart.  As the song continued, I began to feel a sense of peace and then an inexplicable nudge to open my eyes and look out the window. When I did, I saw something that I shall never forget. Right there, on a canvas of deep blue sky and billowing clouds, were clouds in the distinctive shape of two strong hands gently cradling a heart. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and quickly reached for my camera, but when I looked back up, the image was gone. I may not have gotten the picture with my camera, but it was forever etched into my memory and heart to be recalled many times in the days and years to come—including that December day in 2011 as I traveled once again to see my friends.

Leaning forward in my seat, I wondered if perchance God might give me another sign. Praise and worship lyrics still dancing in my ears, I studied the clouds, but no matter how hard I tried, I saw nothing. I then looked towards the ground, thinking perhaps I would see something there. Still, nothing. I settled back into my seat disappointed, but continuing to pray when I decided to try one more time.

Sitting forward once again, I pressed my forehead to the window pane and gazed at the sky like a kid waiting for Santa to appear in the Christmas parade. The sky at this point was cloudless and there was nothing really to see when all of a sudden a streak of white shot across blue sky. It happened so quickly, I almost gave myself whiplash snapping my neck to the left to see if I could see the plane that obviously just left this trail. However, I saw nothing.  “Man, that was way too close,” I thought to myself. I didn’t think planes were allowed to fly so close to one another.  Not to mention, that thing must have flying at the speed of light. I settled back into my seat quite perplexed and a little nervous. If that was a mistake by air controllers, perhaps I should be worried. And, if it were a message from God, I didn’t get it. It was not near as obvious as my previous experience.

As I continued to ponder what it could have possibly been, the flight attendants began preparing the cabin for landing. I turned off my iPod as instructed and began stowing all of my belongings for landing. In less than a half an hour, I should be on the ground and on my way through customs. My emotions shifted from anxiety to more excitement as I knew I was about to see the people who had become so near and dear to me.

Having visited several times before, I had become somewhat of a pro at maneuvering through customs. I breezed through and, luggage in tow,  followed my fellow travelers through the concourses and hallways leading to the lobby where you and Denny usually waited for me.

Walking through the doors, I looked around for Denny. Not seeing her right away, I figured she was probably hiding around the corner and laughing at me looking around like a lost puppy. She loved to make me look like a dork and, to be fair, I often did the same to her. I loved when we would make you laugh with our silliness, and when I knew all you could do was shake your head, it made me laugh, too.

In a calculated effort to outsmart her and maintain at least a shred of my self-professed coolness, I stepped to the side and looked down at my phone. As I peered back up, I saw a couple of familiar faces walking towards me. It was Alex and Trina.

“Good,” I thought to myself, Denny had decided to take a break and ask for help. We exchanged hugs and I started into my story of how customs didn’t try to give me the third degree for once. As I used Neil’s name a few sentences in, I noticed Trina’s eyes filling with tears. Alex’s face grew dim and right there in the middle of the Edmonton Airport, I heard these words, “Brenda, Neil passed away this morning.”

Neil, I’m telling you, the world came to a screeching halt right then and there. It just couldn’t be true. Maybe I had fallen asleep on the airplane and was having a nightmare. There was no way that you could leave this earth this soon. There was no way you could leave your wife or your struggling church. There was just no way.

I began to hyperventilate as my sweet friends, themselves sobbing, guided me to a nearby chair. And, right there, in that moment, it all became clear.

I looked down at the airline ticket in my hand. The December 8th Priceline ticket I held was far from a mistake. I was pre-destined to fly in on this very day as support for my dearest friend now plunged into the darkest hour of her life.

And that streak against the sky; that was you, my sweet friend; it was you, doing a fly-by and letting me know that you were indeed ok.  I could always see the passion in your eyes when you spoke of flying; how exhilarating it was for you to play high above the earth, amidst the clouds and along the very threshold of Heaven.

Yes, my dear Neil, every single time I see an airplane etching its own beautiful, feathery brushstroke of white amongst the clouds, I think of you and I know in the deepest reaches of my heart that you live in a constant state of that same exhilaration multiplied by infinity. I thank our awesome God every single day for writing me into you and Denny’s story and for this new symbol and hope and joy.

Keep flying, my dear friend. We love you. We miss you. We will see you again, but not before we fulfill this purpose that God has placed before us and for which you played and still play a pivotal role.

But please, Neil, please ask our Dad in Heaven to guide Denny’s hand to the rip-cord on her own chute. I know that I know that she will safely land on her feet, but the freefall sometimes takes her breath away and, even today, two years later, she seems to forget.

Let this day–December 8, 2013, be the day that she feels your love and His love to such a degree that she can once again see life from your high-flying and heavenly perspective. Amen and Ehmen!

Sending much love from earth to heaven,

Brenda (aka “Wife Number 2)

God is the Silver Lining…


Dear God,

Tonight as I stepped outdoors to go for our evening stroll together, I took pause when I saw a darkening sky. I debated for a moment whether or not I should go and then decided to go back inside, grab an umbrecloud with silver lininglla and get to stepping. I don’t like to miss time with You.

And, as usual you didn’t disappoint. As I walked along, I felt Your Presence urging me to look up.  And there, Your sky became a theatre and the story You told, just like You, will stick with me through thick and thin.

“My child, thank you for trusting me enough to come on this walk,” I heard you say. “And, because of your obedience, I have something to share with you.”

“Look up, child. Though there are dark, ominous clouds rolling in, there are also white, puffy clouds with silver and gold highlights perched ever so gently in the blue heavens. Those white clouds, blue skies and beams of sunshine represent Me. And, even though, storms may roll in, I Am always here. Just on the other side of that dark cloud and whatever it may bring, I, your Father, your Creator, exists, working even in the storm to bring about good. Don’t forget, my child, that this is My story. I Am the Author and the Producer and I control the outcome.  And, this Good Guy, won’t ever be finishing last.  Just breathe through the storm and know that all dark clouds will eventually pass and you will see Me in all My Glory, smiling and proud of your obedience and faith. Here, child, take a bow with Me.”

Love,

Brenda

Writer’s Note: I wrote this in my personal God Journal a couple of years ago. I decided to post it today, because it is another living example that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. Trouble, in many different forms, did come to me over the weeks following this conversation with God and, to this day, I firmly believe that this reminder is what helped me to traverse those very difficult waters and come out on the other side better than before. Proverbs 3, verses 5 and 6 says: Trust God with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” I’m continually learning this lesson by experience and, oh, what a difference it makes in my life. Things are just so much easier. Thank you, God, for continuing to direct my path. Amen and Ehmen.

And the Word of God says…

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NLT)

John 16:33

 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (NLT)

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (NLT)

Pour Out Your Uncried Tears…


Writer’s Note: If we look closely enough, through the lens of our Heavenly Father, we can often unearth lessons of Godly wisdom in our everyday lives. The following is the written account of one such lesson learned while just hanging out with my good friend. I hope you enjoy and take the time to uncover such lessons in your own life. God loves it when we do. And He loves us even more. Blessings today and every day.

We walked out of the hotel heading for the train that would take us to the airport, the first leg of Denny’s trip back home. How I wished I was going with her. First and foremost, because I knew how very much I was going to miss her, but also because I knew that it was much, much cooler there. Georgia’s triple digit heat and humidity just didn’t mix well with the hot flashes this decade of life had brought me. It was completely amazing to me that the sun’s slumber had provided very little relief and that, even at 6:30 a.m., the air felt almost unbearably heavy.He Collects Our Tear Slide Art for Blog 5.10.15

We boarded the train, reminiscing of how she had left her computer on this same train when she first arrived 13 days earlier and how God had answered our prayers by prompting a sweet man to pick it up and keep it until he could find its rightful owner.  Having spent well over an hour frantically searching for the computer which contained all her passwords and sensitive personal information, she had been relieved to get a late evening call from her husband that this Good Samaritan had called to let him know the computer was safe and sound.

Though relieved, neither of us was terribly surprised, however. God continually seemed to bless our time together. It was always obvious that He liked it when we spent time as a pair and that He had a purpose for us both—not alone, but together. We always said that God introduced us and, on this day, three years later, it was more obvious than ever that our friendship was hand-designed by the Maker Himself.  This angel, disguised as a proud papa who had traveled across the country to see his daughter play softball and who had found and returned her computer, was just one more reminder that God was always with us and always listening.

I looked over at Denny, clutching her computer case in one hand and holding the bar with the other as the train zoomed along. Though she was still smiling, my personal amusement quickly melted away and I groaned as she remarked how wonderful the early morning heat felt. Easy for her to say, I thought.  She was headed back to Canada and I was being left behind to look forward to yet another day of humid, sweltering sauna-like heat. I looked across the aisle at her again and growled and, as the day’s first bead of sweat made its debut, I began to ponder.

Why, I wondered to myself, does the air feel so darn heavy here? Logically, I knew it was the humidity, because humidity is water and water does indeed make everything heavier.  Anyone who has ever gone swimming in their clothes knows this. I couldn’t help but smile again as I thought back to the first night of our visit when Denny had jumped into the pool fully clothed and how when she got out, she looked as if she was walking in a full suit of armor.

Wait, that’s it, I thought, that’s why our hearts feel so heavy when we are sad or hurt. Saturated in our uncried tears, the heart, like humid air or water-soaked clothes, gets incredibly heavy. But, God, stands ready to collect each and every one of our tears and to lighten our load. We were never meant to bear life and pain alone.

I smiled again, another teaching moment from God. And, with this revelation, I filed a mental note to immerse myself in His Word as soon as I got home.

And our Gracious Lord says:

Psalms 56:8 (NLT)

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

John 16:33:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”