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“Stay in your lane.” I hear you telling me dear Lord. “Run the race I marked out for you.” Yet I see runners next to me, runners leaner and more fit. Runners with better coaches. Runners with a cheering section. Runners with supportive families. Runners with lucrative sponsors to help them.

“Stay in your lane,” God tells me. “This is the race I have marked out for you, only you.” He tells me this is the path he has chosen for me to run. He tells me he chose me for this race at this time. He tells me I am uniquely qualified to run this race, even though the people in the lanes next to me look better qualified to win. “Run the race marked out for you,” he shouts from the sidelines. “Victory is yours!” I have the best coach around.

My legs ache. I fight for breathe. I struggle to keep running. Voices in my head tell me to quit, but I press on. I can’t see the finish line. I don’t know if I can keep this pace. I watch other runners pass me with ease. I look ahead and see Jesus waving me on. “Follow my lead,” he smiles.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Phillipians 3:13-14

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

© 2019 CGThelen

In the moment, wedged between memories of past traumas and worries about a future yet to be, there’s emotional pain from the past and deep fear of what is to come. The pain and fear robs me of this moment dear God; steals my ability to be in the moment, to fill my senses with the joy of the moment before me. Help me dear God to be fully in the moments you give me. Help me dear God to open past traumas and pain at the appropriate time to bring healing. Help me dear God to trust the future to you. Fill me with your wisdom and only appropriate concern for the future. Your promises are true dear God. Help me to immerse myself in your presence, in the moments you bless me with each day. Thank you for how you patiently shape me each day so I am closer to your image for me. Thank you for the grace and love you give me each day.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

What does it mean to be still dear God? Can I rest? Can I be motionless? Can I really just stop at this moment as the world passes by in a blur? The Psalmist recorded, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10, NIV).”

I know he is God. I know that in my heart. Yet to be still and know that he is God is quite a different thing. Being in the moment. Clearing my mind of the blur of activity. Resting my tired body. Pressing the stop button of my life instead of pause. To know God is to be still in him. To empty myself and let his presence flow freely into my life, instead of just letting him seep into the remaining cracks and crevices of my full life.

To be truly still is to be motionless, stopped, empty. To let exhaustion take over and immobilize me in the presence of you dear God. To stop pressing onward and release myself to your hand, your lead. Take your hand in my hand dear God, like the small child I am who still has so much more to learn about you. May I look up to you with confidence that you will lead me, lead me on the right path.

© 2019 CGThelen

People will disappoint. Expectations will not be met. I will be hurt by others. Grief will come. I can count on them happening to me in this world. Yet you dear God are faithful. Your grace and love continue to abound. Your promises are truth. Forgive me for having unreasonable expectations of you. Forgive me for being disappointed when you don’t meet my expectations. Forgive me for being inpatient with you dear God when you don’t work in my timeframe. Help me to align with your will, your plans. Help me to forgive those who hurt me. Fill me with your grace and love.

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. – Luke 23:33-34 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

This morning broken hearts are on my mind dear God. Hearts shattered by those close to us. Hurt that seems like it will never go away. Pain that continually penetrates like a thorn in our side. Piercing pain that drains the life from us. Heal us Lord as only you can do. Fill us with hope only you can give. Bind up our wounds to bring healing as only you, the great physician can do. Absorb the tears from our eyes with your soothing tissue of love and grace. Nurture us back to life, new life in you dear Lord.

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. – Psalm 6:2-4

Today my mind is full, the vessel of my life overflowing. As I look at my day, there is little room for you dear God. Help me to empty my vessel of me and my desires; help me to prioritize my day with you in mind dear God. Fill me with your wisdom to know what I should do with this day you have given me. May you fill me to overflowing with your love and grace.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. – Philemon 1:9-11 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

Grateful. Thankful. I sit this morning, trying to clear my mind of so many things that make me feel ungrateful, envious, unthankful. I am so blessed. Help me Father God to focus on you today. To keep away the thoughts and things that corrode — that erode the foundation of gratefulness. Help me to rest in your hope and grace, to see you at work around me; to express my gratitude for the beauty of this world; the beauty of life.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15

© 2019 CGThelen

May my heart be pure this day. May it be filled with your joy dear Lord, filled with your peace. May I reflect you today dear Lord and not my own selfish desires. Help me to be aware of you at work around me, to seize the opportunities you place before me. Give me a genuine concern for those you place in my life. Grant me discernment to focus on what is important to the Kingdom of God.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. – Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

I dig deep in my soul. I think your ways are my ways; your desires my desires. And yet I can feel distant from you God, not understanding why some things need to be the way they are — why the pain and suffering. It seems so unnecessary. I only desire for them to be free from being enslaved to the lies, to the deceit; free from the sin that only brings misery. I only want them to bask in the joy of your light dear Jesus. Isn’t this also your desire dear God? So much pain, at times it seems unbearable. My heart aches, my soul weeps. I cry out to you God in prayer for change. Help me to grab hold of your wisdom and truth, even in the midst of my doubt. Help me to trust in you.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. – Psalm 46:1-3

© 2019 CGThelen

May you this day dear Lord, call out to those who are faithful to you. May they hear your voice to respond to the hurting. May they have eyes to see the pain in others. May they have ears to hear the cries of pain. Give them discernment to bring compassion to those ready for your healing. Equip them with the words, the actions to bring eternal healing to those crying out for relief. May the balm of your gospel message soothe the tired soul. May it bring strength and calm in the midst of the storm.

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people. – Jeremiah 8:22 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

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