Never Alone

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This post is one of gratitude to God, without Whom I wouldn’t be alive today; to my mother and grandmother who planted the seeds of a faith that has helped me see beyond the worst of a situation, and helped me grow stronger in the face of adversity; and to the friends who, throughout the years and more recently, have patiently been by my side and forgiven more than I recount.

I look back at the days when you see someone you love slowly die. Reading the Bible together, the accounts of love and forgiveness, of an end to sufferings, gave us much comfort and much peace. I’m grateful for that.

I’m reflecting on the years of intense stress, being worried about every immediate family member, the heart beating harder when I see that my sister is calling me, and praying that it won’t be to tell me that my mother, too, passed away. Feeling helpless, yet hopeful.

Still in all, God has been good. The miracle hasn’t been the mountains and the stress magically going away. It’s been in having the strength to face them and deal with them one day at the a time, most time having the energy and wisdom I needed just for one day, waiting to open my eyes the next morning, to start the process again. I’ve experienced His grace through the friends He put in my life, who helped in so many ways, small and big, in a tangible manner or by offering the most needed moral support.

I think I can summarize what I’ve learned so far as follow: When I felt the most alone, I wasn’t.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka [Weeping],
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
    listen to me, God of Jacob.
Psalm 84:5-8

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The God Who Never Quits

Easy.
It’s so easy to give up.
As if giving up would solve all conflicts, put an end to the confusion, end the pain, make life easier.

God.
It’s so easy to give up on God.
Why hasn’t He answered?
If He existed the world, my life wouldn’t be such a mess. He wouldn’t allow bad things to happen to good people. He would prove His existence.

Yet

He says

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. (…) I will rebuild you (…) you will again be happy.” Jeremiah 31:3

“In a burst of anger I turned my face away for a little while. But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:8

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

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Carry Each Other’s Burden / Portez Les Fardeaux Les Uns Des Autres

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Meditating this morning on the “carry each other’s burdens” portion of the verse. How do you carry someone else’s burden if you’re already stumbling under yours? Why would Jesus ask this of us? Because He’s carried our burdens, every single one of them. Is there a situation, a problem He doesn’t have a solution for, a word about? Carrying a friend’s or a stranger’s burden becomes possible when you do it with His strength and wisdom. When you give Him your burden through a prayer, He answers and takes it away. Praying that you be blessed today.

Today I give You my burden. Thank You for giving me strength and wisdom for the tasks ahead. Thank You for giving my loved ones strength and wisdom for the day ahead. Please, teach me today to carry my brother’s load, my sister’s burden. IJN, Amen.

[FRENCH]
Portez les fardeaux les uns des autres, et vous accomplirez ainsi la loi de Christ.
Galates 6:2

Portez les fardeaux les uns des autres. Comment est-ce possible si on trebuche déjà sous le sien? Pour quelle raison Jésus nous fait-Il cette requête? Parce qu’Il a porté nos fardeaux, chacun d’entre eux. Y a-t-il une situation, un problème auquel Il n’ait pas une solution, une parole? Porter les fardeaux d’un ami ou d’un frère devient possible quand on le fait avec Sa force et avec Sa sagesse. Quand on Lui donne notre fardeau à travers une prière, Il répond et le prend. Je prie pour qu’aujourd’hui tu sois béni.

Aujourd’hui je te donne mon fardeau. Merci de me donner force et sagesse pour les tâches à venir. Merci de donner à mes proches force et sagesse pour la journée qui s’annonce. Enseigne-moi à porter la charge de mon frère, la fardeau de ma soeur. Dans le nom de Jésus, Amen.

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A Prayer for the DC Victims / Une prière pour les victimes de Washington

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
Psalm 34:18

L’Eternel est près de ceux qui ont le coeur brisé.
Psaume 34:19

HEALING demands

Strength. In order to get better, even the sickest body needs to regain strength; so please, give us the strength we need in our darkest hour, when we face death, even through the eyes of a loved one, of a friend, of an enemy.
Forgiveness. Never oblivion. Please, help us stop the cycle of violence: of violent words, of violent behaviors, of violent silence. Let it stop here.
Love. “for love is as strong as death.” Please, give us wisdom, in honoring the memory of those we loved and who loved us; in loving the rest of us left behind; in loving the generation to come; in creating a loving future for all.

I pray for healing, for forgiveness and for increasing love toward one another, today and the day after.
I pray for the strength and wisdom to move forward.
I pray, dear God, that You would bless the authorities of my country, and that You would help us change and fight whatever enables hatred and violence.

In Jesus name,
Amen.

“whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Mark 11:24

Keeping the families of the victims, as well as everyone affected by such events, in our prayers. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/16/navy-yard-shooting/2819543/

[French]
LA GUERISON requiert

Force. En effet pour guérir, le corps le plus malade a besoin de regagner des forces. Alors s’il Te plait, donne-nous la force quand vient l’heure la plus sombre, quand nous devons faire face à la mort, à travers la perte d’un être cher, d’un ami, d’un ennemi.
Pardon. Jamais oubli. S’il Te plait, aide-nous à arrêter ce cycle de violence: la violence des mots, la violence des gestes, le silence violent. Que cela s’arrête ici.
Amour. “Car l’amour est fort comme la mort.” S’il Te plait, remplis-nous de sagesse, pour honorer la mémoire de ceux que nous avons aimés et qui nous ont aimés; pour aimer ceux qui sont restés; pour aimer la génération à venir; pour créer un futur heureux pour tous.

Je prie pour le guérison, pour le pardon et pour un amour grandissant les uns pour les autres, aujourd’hui et le jour suivant.
Je prie pour la force et la sagesse d’aller de l’avant.
Je prie, Seigneur, pour que Tu bénisses les autorités de mon pays, et que Tu nous aides à changer et à combattre tout ce qui encourage la haine et la violence.

Au nom de Jésus,
Amen.

“Tout ce que vous demanderez en priant, croyez que vous l’avez reçu, et vous le verrez s’accomplir.”
Marc 11:24

Gardons les familles des victimes, ainsi que tous ceux affectés par ces massacres, dans nos prières. http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/fusillade-a-washington-un-seul-tireur-presume-17-09-2013-1731649_24.php

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Water on Dry Land

“But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
    Israel, whom I have chosen.
This is what the Lord says—
    He Who made you, Who formed you in the womb,
    and Who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.”
Isaiah 44:1-3

“(…) listen.”
God calls. What is our answer?
“He Who made you, Who formed you in the womb (…)”
Wait. You mean I’m not there by accident?
“(…) and Who will help.”
This sounds like a promise.
“Do not be afraid.”
Who has never felt, faced fear?
“(…) I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground.”
Pausing to look at our lives. What are we thirsty about? Good news? relief? Healing? What is our “dry ground?”

God promises to restore. “I will pour My Spirit on your offspring.” When God blesses, it overflows. His blessing cannot be contained. God, in answering, can do beyond what we can ask or imagine.

Are you thirsty? It’s about to rain.

Prayer:
Dear Father,
Your thoughts are too big for me to fully grasp, Your ways too mysterious for me to fully understand. I thank You for the relief that is coming. Please, send water where the land is dry. Show mercy and compassion to all the desolated places on earth. Help us feed the hungry and give water to the thirsty. Bless the people I know who, today more than ever, need You to move in their lives. Bless this country, bless the authorities, bless this day, and bless me.

In Jesus name, Amen.

[French]
Écoute maintenant, ô Jacob, mon serviteur! O Israël, que j’ai choisi!
2 Ainsi parle l’Éternel, qui t’a fait, Et qui t’a formé dès ta naissance, Celui qui est ton soutien: Ne crains rien, mon serviteur Jacob, Mon Israël, que j’ai choisi.
3 Car je répandrai des eaux sur le sol altéré, Et des ruisseaux sur la terre desséchée; Je répandrai mon esprit sur ta race, Et ma bénédiction sur tes rejetons.
Esaie 44:1-3

“Ecoute.”
Dieu appelle. Quelle est notre réponse?
“Ainsi parle l’Eternel, Qui t’a fait, Et Qui t’a formé dès ta naissance (…)”
Attends. Tu veux dire que je suis pas là par accident?
“Celui qui est ton soutien.”
On dirait bien une promesse, là.
“Ne crains rien.”
Qui n’a jamais connu la peur?
“Je répandrai des eaux sur le sol altéré, Et des ruisseaux sur la terre desséchée;”
Petite pause pour considérer notre vie. De quoi sommes-nous assoiffés? De bonnes nouvelles? De soulagement? De guérison? Qu’est-ce qui, en ce moment, est sec dans notre vie?

Dieu promet de restaurer. “Je répandrai mon esprit sur ta race, Et ma bénédiction sur tes rejetons.” Quand Il nous bénit, ça déborde. Sa bénédiction ne peut être contenue. Quand Dieu répond, Il ets capable de faire au-delà de ce que nous demandons ou pouvons imaginer.

As-tu soif? Il va bientôt pleuvoir.

Prière:
Cher Père,
Tes pensées sont trop grandes que je les saisisse pleinement, Tes voies trop mystérieuses pour que je les comprenne vraiment. Je Te remercie pour la délivrance qui arrive. Envoie, je T’en prie, de l’eau à la terre desséchée. Montre Ta miséricorde et Tes compassions dans toutes les parties désolées de la terre. Aide-nous à nourrir les affamés et à désaltérer ceux qui ont soif. Bénis les personnes que je connais qui, aujourd’hui plus que jamais, ont besoin que Tu bouges dans leurs vies. Bénis ce pays, bénis-en les autorités, bénis cette journée, et bénis-moi.

Au nom de Jésus, Amen.

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Your Will Be Done

“your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.”
Matthew 6:10 (New International Version)

Your will be done in my life today.
Whatever You want for me is good, because You know my needs and You won’t let me suffer in vain.
If I ask for bread, You won’t give me stones.[a]
If I cry out to You for help, You won’t stay still and be silent.[b]
In good times or in hardship, I choose to trust You, to believe that something good will come out of all this.[c]

Your will be done today in my life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

References:
[a] ” 9 So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.
11 What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”
Luke 11:9-13 (Amplified Bible)

[b] 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV)

[c] 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

[French]
“que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.”
Matthieu 6:10

Que Ta volonté soit faite dans ma vie aujourd’hui.
Tout ce que Tu veux pour moi est bon, parce que Tu connais mes besoins et que Tu ne me laisseras pas souffrir en vain.
Si je demande du pain, Tu ne me donneras pas des pierres.[a]
Si je T’appelle à l’aide, Tu ne resteras pas immobile, silencieux.[b]>/sup>
Quand tout va bien ou dans les moments difficiles, je choisis de Te faire confiance, de croire que quelque chose de bien sortira de tout cela.[c]

Aujourd’hui que Ta volonté soit faite dans ma vie.
Au nom de Jésus,
Amen.

Références:
[a] 9 Et moi, je vous dis: Demandez, et l’on vous donnera; cherchez, et vous trouverez; frappez, et l’on vous ouvrira.
10 Car quiconque demande reçoit, celui qui cherche trouve, et l’on ouvre à celui qui frappe.
11 Quel est parmi vous le père qui donnera une pierre à son fils, s’il lui demande du pain? Ou, s’il demande un poisson, lui donnera-t-il un serpent au lieu d’un poisson?
12 Ou, s’il demande un oeuf, lui donnera-t-il un scorpion?
13 Si donc, méchants comme vous l’êtes, vous savez donner de bonnes choses à vos enfants, à combien plus forte raison le Père céleste donnera-t-il le Saint Esprit à ceux qui le lui demandent.
Luc 11:9-13 (Segond)

[b] 17 (34:18) Quand les justes crient, l’Éternel entend, Et il les délivre de toutes leurs détresses;
18 (34:19) L’Éternel est près de ceux qui ont le coeur brisé, Et il sauve ceux qui ont l’esprit dans l’abattement.
Psaume 34:17-18 (Segond)

[c] 28 Nous savons, du reste, que toutes choses concourent au bien de ceux qui aiment Dieu, de ceux qui sont appelés selon son dessein.
Romains 8:28 (Segond)

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The Battle Is Not Yours… Yolanda Adams

Be encouraged.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”      — Hebrew 13:15 (NIV)

‘(…) because God has said,

   “Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”’  — Hebrew 13: 5 (NIV)

 

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