“In His Loving Hands”

holding me

by Dona Hake

Because His hands are strong, He steadies us.  When we are down, He stands us up and strengthens us by His power.  It is then that we can stay standing and go forward.

 

Yesterday I shared about the danger of a sheep being “cast down.”    David mentions this term several times relative to his soul being cast down.  He would pray things like, “why are you cast down oh my soul…hope in God!”   The loving shepherd is ever so watchful that none of his sheep are in the “cast down” position because it only means death if not caught in time.

 

You may be wondering how a sheep ends up cast down.  This is how it transpires.  A heavy or long fleeced sheep may lie down comfortably in some hollow or depression in the ground.  As it lays on its side it may stretch out to relax and suddenly the center of gravity in the body shifts so that it turns on its back and its feet no longer touch the ground.  The sheep feels a sense of panic and starts to paw frantically.  If it lies there too long, gases begin to build up in the rumen.  All this works together in a bad way  as it cuts off the blood circulation to the extremities of the body.  If not found and lifted back up by the strong arms and hands of the shepherd the sheep would definitely die.

 

This is such an interesting analogy to ponder.  For me I can see such a parallel to what depression can do to an individual.  David’s prayer makes even more sense as he prayed “why are you cast down oh my soul?…hope in God!     Depression and any devastating experience can cause you to just “lay down” and lose hope.  Thank God for our loving Shepherd and His watchful eye.  Let us call upon Him in those times when there seems to be no hope.  Call upon Him in those times that you have fallen and you know you cannot get back up on your own.  Oh what a loving Shepherd our Lord is!

 

Please feel free to share your comments on the bottom of the page!



“He Upholds Me”

He upholds

by Dona Hake

I picture in my mind David writing the Psalms in the quietness of the night while his eye was watchful over his flock of sheep.  I am sure that his days were long days some were more challenging than others.    Sheep have a way of getting themselves in trouble, and they can be helpless as well.  A good shepherd seeks to understand every aspect of the care of his sheep.

There are a handful of Psalms where David used the term “cast down.”   This is a term used for a sheep that has turned over on its back and cannot get up again by itself.  I want to make emphasis on *it cannot get up again by itself.   A “cast” sheep is a sad sight.  It lays on its back, and as its feet are in the air, it struggles frantically to get back up again.  Sometimes it will make little bleating cries for help and just lays there frustrated.  If the shepherd  does not arrive on time, the sheep will die. Since a sheep that is cast is in such a helpless state, it is also vulnerable to attack by predators.

I think this is such an excellent analogy of our condition at times, yet David would use this term within prayers such as “why are you “cast down” oh my soul…hope in God.”  I am sure we can all relate to times that we are down, feeling frustrated and helpless.

Psalm 37:24    Amplified Bible

“Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down,

for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”

I encourage you that in those times of being down and feeling helpless that you would  look up for His hand.  It is there for you to grasp!  He will lift you up and put you on your feet again.  Our Lord is a good Shepherd!

If you desire to comment, feel free!  I would love to hear your thoughts…scroll to bottom of page and leave your thoughts.

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“Choices God Puts Before Us”

choose

by Dona Hake

Everyday we have choices before us.  It would be interesting to take note of all the choices that we make everyday.  What shall I eat?…what shall I wear?…what words should I speak or not speak?…who should I associate with?…etc…    In life there are so many different types of choices.  Sometimes you may make a wrong choice that may just bring inconvenience. It may not matter if you choose one  route over another to travel to work but today the route you chose was full of construction, and it made you late.   These types type choices may disrupt your day  but these days will happen.  On the other hand there are choices we may make that could bring us heartache and cause us to bear painful consequences that we must bear the rest of our lives.   It is sad to see an individual’s life completely altered due to one poor choice or decision.

God has given us choices as well relative to making wise decisions based on His Word and instruction for our lives.

Proverbs 8:10-11   (NIV)

 “Choose my instruction instead of silver,

    knowledge rather than choice gold,

for wisdom is more precious than rubies,

    and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

In this scripture God is showing us that even the jewels that we could ever possess that are incredibly expensive do not measure in value to His instruction, His wisdom and knowledge.  Think about it…NOTHING we could ever desire no matter how wonderful can compare to the worth of His great riches !!

 

I invite you to leave a comment if you wish!  I would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional…just scroll to bottom of page!!! Have a blessed day, Dona

 

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“Love’s Giving Strength”

 

 

 

Love's giving strength

 by Dona Hake

 

Think about times in your life that without the help of others you would not have made it through a particular hardship.  Never underestimate the times that you have felt prompted to pray for someone and you had no idea of what they were walking through.  Simple obedience in such a matter could mean a major victory in an individual’s life.

 

God desires to use us to be a strength to those around us.  I find this scripture interesting as well as applicable to the thought I am bringing to you today.

Proverbs 20:12

“It was the Lord who gave us eyes for seeing and ears for hearing.”

He wants to use your eyes to show you what He is seeing and He wants to use your ears to hear the hearts of people around you.  Let us ask the Lord to help us to see and hear the cry of people around us.  I have had times where I might see a complete stranger and I see pain in their eyes and I walk a way and just whisper a prayer for them.  I more than likely will never see nor speak to them ever again yet I believe the Lord uses us to possibly change situations through such simple prayers.   Also, do not be fooled by those that seem so strong and happy on the outside because they may be falling apart on the inside.  Again, see people’s hearts with God’s eyes and you will not miss such things.

 

Keep your ears and eyes open to those around you.  Never take the position that you have to know all the facts before you can pray.  If you see or hear pain…just pray.  No fancy words…just pray.  God wants to use you and I to reach down and strengthen those that need our help.  God bless you!



“Sufficient Grace”

 

sufficient grace

 

In the scriptures (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)  Paul spoke of calling out to God to help him. Paul had enough of dealing with problems and he begged God that the whole issue would depart from him.  God’s response…”My grace which is my favor, my lovingkindness, and my mercy are all that you need.  My grace is sufficient against any danger and it enables you to bear this trouble manfully.  My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves MOST effective in your weakness.”

Paul’s heart was totally toward God and he realized that all he had to do was allow God’s grace to rest upon him.  One translation implies to allow God’s grace to rest as a tent pitched upon us.  What an awesome way of looking at dwelling and drawing upon His wonderful grace.

Paul then said, “when I am weak in my own human strength, then I am truly strong, able and powerful in God’s strength.” Paul saw that God’s grace was all that he needed.  He saw that it was sufficient.  God’s grace is adequate for any purpose and it is always more than enough.   God’s grace is sufficient for us as well.  May we draw upon it as we live this life.



“Allow Him To Mold You”

Allow Him to mold you

“We are just clay, and You are the potter.

 

We are the product of Your creative action, shaped and formed …”

Isaiah 68:8 (the Voice)

 

We are the clay that He has to work with.  Let us remain pliable that He is able to work and form us.    One of the very first things a potter will do with that clump of clay is center in on his wheel.  For us to be worked and formed for His purposes we could look at it this way…

 

Stay centered on His “wheel”

and you will be in the

center of His will.

 

As I pondered this devotional my heart began to think about four things that will position us that He can continue to mold us.  I already stated the first and that is to stay centered or focused on Him.  The other things would be

*stay humble before God.

*stay humble before others.

*see yourself humbly for this will guard you from self deception, which is the worst of all deceptions.

 

Let us humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord that He may continue to work and form us for His purposes.

 

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“We Are the Work of His Hands”

Potter A

If you believe that there is indeed a Creator and you know that He formed you within your mother’s womb, then this image should speak volumes to your heart.   Everyone of us are still under the molding and workmanship of the Master’s hands.  His hands are loving and they work with purpose.  Some days we might not feel all that great on the outside and things may be a bit stormy on the inside but know this…God’s loving hand is at work in your life.

 

Isaiah 64:8  (the Voice translation)

“Still, Eternal One, You are our Father.

    We are just clay, and You are the potter.

We are the product of Your creative action, shaped and formed into something of worth.”

 

Next time you feel  tempted to question your own worth I encourage you to refer to this scripture.  Next time you feel put down by others or you feel you do not measure up to the world’s “plastic” images of success, remember this…

YOU ARE the work of His hand!  God bless you.

 

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“The Lord Provides”

provides

Luke 12:27-27 (TLB)

“Look at the lilies! They don’t toil and spin, and yet Solomon in all his glory was not robed as well as they are.  And if God provides clothing for the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, don’t you suppose that he will provide clothing for you, you doubters?”

 

This scripture reminds us of God’s loving care and how He watches over us and is there to provide for us all that we need in that particular moment of need.

 

I heard one of my favorite news contributors being asked a question and it went something like this…The interviewer asked him “If you had to give words of advice relative to this situation what would you say?”    His humble face showed that he did not have the answer in that present moment that he was being interviewed but then he said, “The Lord would provide.”  Basically he was saying that if  he had  to have an answer to that question that he would know exactly what to say when that moment came.  He knew God would put the words in his mouth to speak.

 

This man’s words just refreshed my heart and reminded me that this is how life is to be lived.  Many times things can look so complicated.  Sometimes it seems we can fear making decisions.  We may be afraid that we are not going to have the answers that we need.  Yet if we trust Him to provide in the exact moment of need THE LORD WILL PROVIDE.

 

I felt challenged to just ponder this thought more.  When I need wisdom…The Lord will provide.   When I need strength…The Lord will provide.  When I need direction…The Lord will provide.  Think about all you may need and then begin to become strong in your faith that the Lord will provide!

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“Lean Not…”

trust and lean not

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is turn to your own thoughts and understanding in matters we face.   Many times we can overlook the fact that God may be seeing our situation in an entirely different way and it would do us good to throw everything into reverse, be quiet and consult with Him.  I think the most common mistake we can make is only taking difficult matters to Him because we think the easy ones we can figure out on our own.

 

I can not tell you how many times I thought a matter was a simple one to wake up and find it to be complicated.  Somewhere along the line I was leaning on my own understanding and not trusting to see His guidance for that matter.

 

There are different ways that one can lean relative to their understanding.   You may have a very strong opinion about something and that is okay but then again our opinions must always be based on truth or they can get us in trouble.  Sometimes leaning on your own understanding can become like a crutch or a comfy place.  You may be tending resist looking beyond your own ways unto God’s ways therefore it hinders you from trusting Him.

 

God has blessed us with intelligence, creativity  and know how but let us always be mindful to lean upon Him even in the smallest of matters that He is able to guide our paths.  Today I encourage you to learn of Him and lean on Him!

 

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6 Responses to “Devotional”

  1. Lisa Viands says:

    This is a good way of teaching the kids to forgive each other(Matt. 5:7). I like the power of this gentle scripture and lesson… Thanks!!

  2. Selena Neely says:

    Ralph &I are really enjoying your devotional together.

  3. Selena Neely says:

    Oh, what a wonderful reminder! I want to break the magnifing glass of worry and trust God for each step I take.

  4. Dona Hake says:

    It is interesting Selena how the more we worry the bigger and more magnified things get in our minds. Oh how important it is to trust our God for the smallest of things! Thank you for sharing!