“So everyone, come to me! Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me, I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.” (Matthew 11:28-30, TPT)

This blog is coming from a place of a personal need to process through all of what I have been feeling the past couple of weeks. Anyone else feeling tempted to give too much time and space to negative emotions or fear? I feel that there has been a recent surge of spiritual attacks throughout our nation, specifically geared towards causing division, destruction, and hatred. Just in my own life, I have seen this to a smaller degree in the lives of people that I work with and in the struggles of friends and family members. But, with all of the political confusion and slander, the devastating mass murder of innocent people, and the loss of children I just feel a deep sadness press on my heart.

I don’t think I am the only one feeling these things.

I was talking to a co-worker today who said, “In my quiet time this morning, I was just feeling an intense spiritual heaviness and praying protection over all of our staff. I keep asking God to give us courage and bravery in the face of clear spiritual darkness and attack. When we are being obedient to the Lord, we are in the cross-hairs of the enemy.”

Yes, Lord, give us courage and bravery. I know I could use more of that!

I think we need courage and bravery to be vulnerable and honest about our grief and sadness about the devastating events in our own lives and in the lives of our brothers and sisters around our Nation (and our world). Unresolved grief can transform into sinful hatred, anger, vengeance, retaliation and lead us to exhibit violent behavior. This is not who we are, church. We are courageous and brave with the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s choose to work towards healing and the resolution of grief and anger in our lives.

I think we need courage and bravery to check our hearts and tongues and make sure that all we are doing and saying is motivated by LOVE. If there is any other motivation, we are acting outside of the will of God. The need to express my personal opinions about the condition of this world pales in comparison to the importance of shining your light, producing your fruit, and glorifying you with my words and actions, Lord.

I think we need courage and bravery to acknowledge that we are uncertain about the future, and to decide to trust that God is good even when we don’t understand what is going on all around us. The future is a mystery to me, but I heard it said once that “Mystery is important, that’s where faith is proven.” I desire for my faith to be proven and strengthened. 

I think we need courage and bravery to decide to actually spend time with Him. Why? Because this is where we are refreshed and restored. We will find that we have to “sacrifice” some of our “me-time” scrolling through social media, watching the news, or sleeping in. We must choose to come to Him; He is our Savior and trading post. In His presence is where we exchange worry and anxiety for peace and rest. True rest is never associated with guilt. If you feel guilt when you are resting, you may need to re-evaluate what true Sabbath rest is. But it starts by joining your life with His and fighting for the refreshment and freedom He has made available to us.

Lord Jesus, give us a greater measure of bravery and courage to do your will, to love people well, and to abandon our selfishness. Today, I give you my entitlement and complaining, I acknowledge that my heart is grieved, but I know that this is not a forever season for my heart. I desire to please you, not because I have to, but because I want to. I want to know you more intimately and to walk in close fellowship with you. I do not want to give evil influence in my life, so I fix my heart on you and ask you to guide me through this time of feeling overwhelmed and saddened. Thank you for giving me the gift of compassion for myself and others, help me to learn how to steward this gift in my daily life. I love you, Father.