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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

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

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

Today Lord I think of your servants who have chosen to become therapists. I am amazed at their patient work with broken people, listening to deep hurt, traumatic events and emotional pain. They validate the pain and direct so many toward healing. I think of how they can help people beaten down by life and raise them up; how they can help the weak become strong; how they can help fill those who are drained by ministry. I pray Lord you will give both therapist and client strength and wisdom. Fill them with your Spirit; fill them with the possible and remove the impossible. May they feel renewal as they work to rebuild lives.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

This weekend Lord I saw with my own eyes your restorative power. I saw a man, who I visited only two years ago in a prison, now living free — not just physically free from prison, but living free in Christ Jesus. I watched him interact with his wife and child in a loving way and all I could do was praise you dear God. I pray Lord that you forgive my doubt that you can change seemingly impossible things. May I not lose faith that you can transform lives. Help me Lord to trust your perfect timing; help me to grow in my faith in you dear God; to expand my belief that you are who you say you are. Your promises are true.

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

© 2019 CGThelen

Oh God, you are faithful. Your word tells of your steadfastness. May we reflect on your word and have confidence in who we are in you.

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NIV)

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. – Duet. 7:9

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. – Joel 2:22-23

I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God. – Zechariah 8:8

Come near to God and he will come near to you. – James 4:8

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 62:5-6

© 2019 CGThelen

The sun set and the darkness moved in, but God’s promises stand. I look to the east and see the first light of dawn. Darkness recedes at the presence of morning. Help me to stand on your promises today dear God. Let me not fall prey to the false promises of this world. Give me discernment to see through the facades of beliefs that are empty inside; people who are whitewashed tombs. May I be at peace knowing Jesus; knowing he sacrificed his life to give me eternal life; knowing he freed me from the chains of my sin. Let me this day rest in you dear Lord — rest in knowing my future is secure in you.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

The pain of past hurts is still there.The hurt of rejection. The laughter and judging eyes. The isolation, feeling rejected. But you rise up in this moment dear God to remind me you were there; to remind me you are here now. You long to show me your graciousness, your love. Even when I could not see you, you saw me and held me. You have carried me all these years, to this moment when I can look back and see how you protected me; how you cared for me, soothing my broken heart. All the time you inched me along, pointing me to something better, deepening my faith in you, strengthening my hope in you.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God. – Isaiah 50:10

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! – Isaiah 30:18

© 2019 CGThelen

Today oh Lord I think of your loving care for us. No matter how ill we feel or discouraged we may be, you are there with a gentle arm around us, holding us ever so carefully. You cradle us in your hand like a fragile piece of fine china. You value us more than anything on earth. We are your precious creation, your prized possession.

All praise to you this morning dear God. We praise you for your love and grace. We praise you for the gift of salvation that you graciously offer to us. May we embrace your gift and never let anyone tell us we don’t deserve it. May we freely accept your gift and not feel we have to earn it. Praise God that we can rest in your son Jesus. All praise to you dear God, You are worthy of all praise. I rest in the knowledge that my life is in your hands.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

Lord today help me to see myself as you see me. Help me to know you as you know me. Help me to see myself as created in your image.

May we see others we encounter this week as you see them. May we help others to know you dear God as you know them. May we help others see themselves as created in God’s image.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

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