Week Four: Palm Sunday

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Morning dawned fresh and beautiful. The dewdrops glistened on the rosebuds that curved up to the roof. They had yet to be touched by the power of the sun. Hope. Anna saw hope. Anna smiled a bittersweet, weighty smile as she looked out over Jerusalem from her roof.  She missed her father even more but she felt his presence when she sat here. It was almost as if her father was here. Her heart was still pained but she had met Jesus and she was slowly beginning to heal. Anna slowly stood up from the bench. She decided to go to the market for some fresh produce. She hoped that she would see Jesus. She wanted to see Him again, to touch His robe, to hear His voice, to just be near Him. That was enough.
As Anna was selecting the best apricots she heard a symphony of noisy, joyous, cheering. Now what could that be? She saw Jesus coming on a donkey. The townspeople took off their robes and quickly cut branches off the nearby trees. They shouted joyously. Some of the women were weeping tears of joy.
“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest”! (Mt. 21:9)

“Tell Daughter, Zion, look your King is coming to you, gentle and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden” (Mt. 21:5, Is. 62:11, Zch. 9:9).
Anna watched in awe. Her mouth hung open. Jesus was riding a donkey but not once did the donkey’s hooves touch the ground. The robes of the people blanketed the dirty ground. Children ran back and forth excitedly shouting the name of Jesus. A festive mood covered the streets of Jerusalem. Anna smiled when Jesus passed her by. Jesus smiled back as if she was the only person in the whole wide world. Oh, how Anna wished that her father was present. He would rejoice to see Jesus praised and to see an old prophecy come to light. It seemed such a juxtaposition for Jesus the king of kings to be riding on the humblest of animals. But perhaps, Jesus used the most humble and unwanted to best proclaim His glory. Anna wiped a tear that slipped from her eye. She was broken and rejected and yet God still decided to use her for His glory. It blew her away. Jesus turned down the Via Dolorosa where the people continued to praise the name of Jesus. Today it was not the way of suffering.

 

Luca stood in the background behind the Olive tree on the outskirts of Jerusalem. It was his duty to stand guard and make sure the Jews were obeying Roman law and that the Jesus fellow didn’t start a revolt. But he wished to remain hidden. He didn’t wish for Anna to see him. The guilt was still too much for him to bear. Anna had been a nice girl, sweet, kind, loving, and spunky. But she didn’t compare to the gorgeous Sophia. Sophia was easy to love. Anna was difficult because she had faith in a God that Luca refused to believe in. Such foolishness. How could Anna really believe that simple man riding a donkey was the so said Messiah? Luca had his life planned out to a tee. Nobody was going to ruffle his plans.
“Hey babe”. Luca turned to see Sophia slyly come up. She placed her left arm on his.
“I brought you some fresh coffee from the Jerusalem Java”.
Luca smiled and lightly kissed the top of her head.
“Thanks”.
“What’s with you honey? Something’s wrong”. Sophia’s syrupy, sweet, words flowed out and soothed any convictions that Luca might’ve once possessed.
Luca shook his head.
“Please tell me you’re not still thinking about the Jesus girl”.
“Sophia, there’s something different about Jesus. He’s different than any of the religious leaders. I mean what religious leader actually would ride on a donkey and get people to follow Him? Most of the religious rulers around here only tell others what to do without doing it. I’m sick of this hypocrisy!
“’Babe, Jesus is just a nice man doing good things. Don’t worry about him. You have better things to pay attention to”. Sophia put her arm on Luca’s armor and smiled seductively.
“Tonight, come to my house. I’ll be ready”. Sophia purred the words out as she batted her freshly mascaraed eyelashes. She quickly kissed his cheek and frolicked away.
Luca smiled. He was a lucky man.

 

Jesus had passed through the streets and the crowds had followed. It looked like he was headed toward the temple. It was time to follow to make sure everything remained under control.
Luca strode confidently ahead. His face remained stoic, showing no emotion.
Merchants of all ethnicities were selling their best at the temple square. The crowds that had just journeyed from the streets were eagerly buying in the temple. The merchants had certainly thought through this marketing scheme quite well.
Luca watched as Jesus calmly got off his donkey. He tied it to the nearest pole outside the temple square. But Luca saw his eyes. The eyes of Jesus were like a flame of fire. He was not pleased.
Jesus turned over the tables and knocked over the chairs of the those selling.
Luca covered his face to hide his smirk. This was too funny. Luca knew Jesus would mess up sooner or later.
“My house is to be called a house of prayer! You have made it a den of thieves”!
All money changing stopped. Not a sound was heard except the doves crying.
Everyone was stunned by the actions of Jesus.
Luca saw Anna kneel and start helping clean up. Luca slipped into the shadows, so he wouldn’t be seen. He had seen her face, how she watched and adored every move of Jesus. But Luca had also seen the look on Anna’s face when he had turned her away not long ago. Luca knew that his rejection of Anna hurt her deeply, though he refused to dwell on the fact. What was another woman’s heart?
Jesus stood firm until all the moneychangers had picked up their merchandise and left.
Then the blind and lame began coming to Jesus. Jesus healed each one. He looked them each in the eye and had a personal word with everyone regardless of the size of the concern. Luca marveled that someone could care for so many disgusting, dirty people.
The children were chasing each other around the temple as they waved their palm branches. They continued to cry “Hosanna, Hosanna”!
The religious leaders became annoyed and frustrated.
“I wish these children would simply shut up and go home. Do you hear what these children are saying”? The religious leaders said loudly so that Jesus would hear.
“Yes, I hear what they are saying! Haven’t you read the prophecies? Out of the mouth of infants the truth is proclaimed”.
The leaders were silent and shuffled over to Luca who was still cowering in the shadows.
“I want Him out immediately”. The tall, Pharisee whispered to Luca.
Luca nodded, and said nothing as the Pharisees stalked off.

 

Scripture passages taken from Matt. 21, Mark 11, and Ps. 8:2.

 

He is Faithful

 

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As I sat in the new building for Bedrock Community Church, I felt like crying. My heart was full.  I thought about the miracle of the prayed for seats that were filled to the right of me. My hand lightly touched the seat beside me. My heart wept softly at the silent seat beside me on my left.
Bedrock had gone through so much over the past ten years. They had not given up on being a God centered, gospel centered people. God blessed their faithfulness. I thought about different God dreams that had birthed in me while at Bedrock. I thought about people that had listened to the gospel while at Bedrock. My heart ached over the dreams that had died and at the seats that were absent by personal choice. God’s word does not return void. Looking around at the beautiful walls, sound system, and kitchen, you wouldn’t know the devastation that once lived there. Looking around at many of God’s people you wouldn’t know the struggles and heartache that they have endured to become the godly warriors they are today. God had rebuilt the ruins and repaired the broken. Oh, how like my own broken and wayward heart. Friend, God does repair. He heals, and He does restore. Allow the Lord to chisel away at your insecurities and carve away at your fears so you can be radiant for Him! Not every dream will come to pass, but we’re still called to walk in faith! Heb. 11:6. When you pour into a person in the name of Jesus it will not return void. Even if they turn away, God’s words did not turn void.      Isaiah 55:11. You keep being faithful!

Trust God. Trust Him. He is all sufficient. He is so faithful! Let Him repair the holes in your life. Let Him hold and restore your broken heart. The time of mourning is over. Let us rejoice and move forward! ❤
“And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations” Is. 61:4. ❤

When God Plucks Your Heartstrings

 

SAM_4433       I sighed as I slipped my violin back in its case. I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I would’ve liked. My notes were still squeaky and my fingers still clumsily trying to grasp the bow. I was defeated. My back, shoulders, and neck ached from violin posture. I wanted to give up like I had before.
I think that we are all like a violin. We’re beautifully handcrafted by our Creator. We are made in His image. (Gen. 1:26-27). He knows the ins and outs of our personality, the color of our eyes and the rhythm of our heartbeat. But to be used for God’s glory, we must surrender the bow. We must surrender control, allowing God to fine tune us into His masterpiece. We must relinquish our dreams for His amazing plans.
We must also show up. You will never be great at anything unless you show up. You will not have a dynamic, powerful walk with God unless you spend time in His word. You must show up. God is the one who works, but you must be willing.
So dear one, surrender your bow to the Creator of Music, the Creator of sound. Whatever you long to control, give it up to Him. Everyday show up and be ready for what God can do through you. God is ready to use us, but we must be willing. I think so many times we miss God’s opportunities because we were distracted and wouldn’t give up the bow.
Whatever you’re holding onto
Give it to Him.
Allow Him to fine tune you into a symphony for His glory. It will take time, trials, and tears but one day others will hear you, see you, and know that only Jesus the breather of music could produce something so wonderful from something that was once so broken.

Week Three: A Bend in the Road

 

SAM_4210                Drip, drip the rain cried along with Anna’s heartbreak. Anna was almost thankful that the sun refused to shine. It would be better if the sun never shone again. What was the use? Lovingly she placed each of her father’s robes and hats into a wooden crate. She would place it in the barn when she was done.
Anna sighed and sipped her Jerusalem Java with extra cream. She moved into the back corner where her father kept his sacred writings. She might as well pass them on to the younger priest downtown. She squatted down on the earthen floor and began to sort through pieces of Malachi and passages of Isaiah. Ironically, though her father hadn’t stopped talking about Jesus she hadn’t ever discovered Him for herself.
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end”…. Is. 9:7
She put her finger on the familiar Hebrew lettering. Was Jesus truly going to overtake the Romans as Luca had feared? She continued to find more copies. It looked like her father had hand copied each book of prophecy by hand. Everything her father had said from childhood was penned in the worn pages.
“He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surley He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed” Is. 53:3-5.
Anna thumbed away at the tears that had edged out from her lashes. The words were all very puzzling. What could they mean? If only her father were still here. She longed to talk to him again and to ask forgiveness for the way she acted. As if by a miracle the pieces began to come together. This man that called Himself Jesus was in fact the Messiah that her father had been talking about for all these years.
“Yes”! She began to cry softly. Her father had always been telling the truth. Jesus was the Messiah. She wanted Him to be her Messiah. Her Savior and Lord. She felt so foolish for mocking her father.
“Lord, let me belong completely to You. I am Yours”.
She was still Anna, but she felt like a new person. Oh, how she ached to hug her father. Luca, she must see him. It had been a week since the funeral and she hadn’t seen Luca. She ached for him with an overwhelming intensity. She brushed off her dress as she wobbled to get up off the earthen floor. She must tell Luca that Jesus was the Messiah! He was exactly who He said. Luca didn’t need to worry!

She sprinted down the streets of Jerusalem looking for Luca. Thankfully, the rain had stopped though the clouds still billowed. Where was he? As she was searching frantically for Luca she saw Jesus. Her heart quickened when she saw Him. There was a group of ordinary men gathered around Him, listening intently.
“Soon, I will be taken away to die, but do not be troubled because in three days I will rise again”.
Anna quickly hurried on before she heard what the men had to say. It was troubling. Why would Jesus die? She continued looking around for Luca. Her feet sloshed in the mud. She was in too much of a hurry to wipe away the mud off her dress. She had to see Luca. She had to tell him about Jesus!
Finally, she saw Luca. Oh, how joyous! He steps quickened closer to him. Luca didn’t see her coming. His back was turned, and he was speaking to someone else. She blushed and hurriedly began wiping away the stains that refused to come out.
“Luca, I’ve been looking everywhere for you”! She was sorely tempted to give him a squeeze but thought better of it.
After her words spilled forward she saw Sofia and her heart sank. She was the beautiful girl that exceled in everything that Anna didn’t. Her long red hair fell gracefully around her shoulders and Anna quickly wanted to hide her brown hair that didn’t glisten. What business could Luca have with her? Anna thought she trusted Luca….
Luca’s face looked pained. Sofia smiled and sashayed away.
“Luca, I’ve been looking everywhere for you. It’s so good to see you”. She tried to keep her voice light and cheery to mask the uncertainties that lay there.
“Anna, we need to talk”. His voice was heavy and troubled.
“Tonight, by the Olive tree”?
“No, Anna, now”.
“What is it?”
“We are not going to work. I’m in love with Sofia”.
Anna was stunned. He hadn’t even offered condolences for her father.
“What happened”.
“Anna, I do not wish to discuss it. You’re to Jewish and to deeply committed to your faith. I admire you for it, but I cannot support anything that has to do with worshipping a man that dares to call himself the Messiah”.
Anna felt like falling over. Her speech about telling Luca that Jesus was the Messiah were lost.
All she could utter was a meek, “I’m sorry”.
Without a word of apology, Luca walked away, his armor glistening in the sunlight, a perfect contrast to Anna’s aching heart.
Anna had to get away. She hurriedly walked away, hoping that the tears would wait to flow.
She saw Jesus sitting on a rock talking with the children. Anna smiled. Most of the leaders scoffed at the children calling them a nuisance, but Jesus took time for them.
“You must enter the kingdom of God like a child”, Jesus spoke.
Anna wanted to be with Jesus. She wanted to sit at His feet. Jesus smiled at her and handed her one of the little ones. Jesus was bouncing little Moses on his knee. Three-year-old Moses was laughing and playing with Jesus’s beard. Anna would’ve thought that would’ve upset Jesus, but he seemed to be at peace.
“You’re Anna”.
It was a statement, not a question.
“Yes, Jesus. Yes”.
He smiled.
“I’m sorry to say but I used to doubt You. But I was reading my father’s prophecies and then I knew. You are the Messiah. You are the Son of God”. Anna was weeping softly.
Jesus gently squeezed her hand and said softly, “Yes, Anna”.
Anna knew that Jesus understood and that He loved her. ❤

 

How Long?

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“Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons” 1 Sam. 16:1.
How long?
How long?
My heart panged at the words. There is a time for mourning. There is time to mourn a lost job, a lost friend, or a broken heart. Ecc. 3:5-6 But I don’t think God meant for us to constantly be in a state of sadness.
But how long, how long dear one will you mourn?
Repeatedly I  mourn things from my past that I cannot change. It could be yesterdays past, last months, or a recent season, or even a few years ago.
Samuel was mourning that Saul was no longer going to be king. I don’t know but I wonder that Samuel must have poured into Saul. Samuel was having a difficult time letting go.
But God said, “Go”.
Samuel was to find the next king. The time of bemoaning  was over.
Sister, put away the tissues. Because of Jesus you can stand strong. Put the past behind you and reach forward to what God has in store. “But I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” Philp 3: 12b. Christ already has a purpose that He has for you. I think so many of us (me too) fail to reach our potential in Christ because we refuse to put our past behind us. The sooner we can move on from the past, the faster we can guide into God’s future for us.
So, Samuel went. It was probably inconvenient and difficult. But Samuel was close to God and put Him first. Samuel goes to Bethlehem to anoint the next king. (1 Sam. 16: 4). Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint the next king of Israel. God knew that one day The King of all Kings would come from Bethlehem. Samuel goes down the line of all of Jesse’s sons and becomes discouraged as God refuses them. Perhaps Samuel thought the process would’ve been automatic.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, Do, not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance but the LORD looks on the heart” 16:7.
Finally, David the youngest, and least important son is brought to Samuel. David wasn’t even brought to the selection. He was kept with the sheep. David was not viewed as important. He was simply a shepherd of Bethlehem. But David was the one God had chosen to be king (16:12). And from the line of David would come Jesus ,God with us.
Samuel, could’ve allowed his grieving  to stop him from moving onto the future God had for him. Sometimes our past seems safer even if it was spiritually or physically harmful. Sometimes we feel more secure in our insecurities than boldly trusting God for a future that we can neither see nor understand.
Take a leap of faith
Take the hand of Jesus
And walk with Him
Forget the past
And boldly walk forward with Him.
To grow, we must first give up the past. I believe that many people never reach their full potential because they are more comfortable complaining than trusting God as they move forward.
Run forward
Run after Him.

 

Part Two…A Curve in the Road

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Anna tiptoed as she did when she was a child playing hide and seek. She stifled a  desperate giggle. She put her fingers to her lips to silence the butterflies in her stomach. Finally, she closed the door behind her hoping her father wouldn’t awaken. He used to be a deep sleeper but ever since his health started to decline, he had been waking up more frequently. As Anna closed the wooden door behind her, a wisp of her father’s wisdom pressed in on her heart. “Be sure your sin will find you out”. Anna brushed the thought away. Visiting the most handsome solider in town was not sinning. It was pure excitement! She loved the thought of doing something secretive. It was freeing. With that thought Anna attempted to walk like a lady though inside she longed to race.  Would Luca still be there? Anna was thankful that the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem were silent. By the time the stars were out the townspeople were asleep. Fear crept in. What if he was there? What would she say? She reached the outskirts of town and saw the lone Olive tree that overlooked the grassy fields nearby. She saw Luca sitting on a rock in front of the ancient tree. Trying to look calm and serene Anna smiled and sat down on the rock beside him.
Luca smiled though he kept refolding his hands.
“Anna, this land of yours is beautiful. I have not been here long and already I am in love with it”.
Anna smiled, unsure of what to say. She knew what her father would say if Luca had commented on the beauty of the land. Her father would tell Luca how the land was blessed by God and that His hand was on it. Anna gasped inwardly, surprised that she would be thinking about her father at a time like this.
Luca spoke again. “But it is not the land that I have grown deeply fond of. It is you”.
Anna blushed as Luca inched closer.
“Are you seeing someone”?
“No, I am not betrothed”.
“Perfect, then would you consider going steady with me”?
“Who else would I chose over you”? Anna smiled a coy grin while batting her eyelashes.
Luca squeezed her hand silently and the two continued to watch the stars in silence.

Later that night Anna slipped carefully into bed, hoping that her movements wouldn’t interrupt her father’s sleep.
Morning dawned fresh and hopeful.  The people in Jerusalem went from day to day. Sunrise to sunset was how they lived. But to Anna today was a day full of miracles. She was in love and nothing else seemed to matter. Anna was in a cheerier mood. She quickly got dressed as she had overslept due to being out so late with Luca. She began bringing the eggs in from the chickens and crack, crack, she began to make breakfast. Anna knew her father had been up since before dawn praying.
“How did you sleep”? Anna asked as she heard her father’s steady footsteps enter their kitchen.
Her father did not respond. It was unusual of him. Anna hoped that her father did not know about her secret rendezvous last night.
“Anna, I want you to come with me today to the temple. Jesus is coming”.
Anna turned around to flip the eggs, so she could roll her eyes privately.
“I don’t know father, I am busy”. What she actually wanted was more time to day dream about Luca and last night, and a future as bright as the stars last night. Her heart grew tender just thinking about it.
“Anna, Jesus is coming. You do not have time to be busy. You will come with me”.
Anna was not in the mood to argue. Anything to hide from her father about last night.
“Alright father, I will come”.
She might see Luca. She brightened at the thought.
She packed a small lunch, humming the whole time.

Anna was not sure what to think of her father’s Jesus. Jesus was sitting on a hillside preaching. He was sitting on a hillside preaching. What man of the law sat to preach? Where was his level of authority?
She said none of this to her father. They sat in the back, because there were so many people crowding up near Jesus. How could Jesus speak? But He didn’t seem bothered to be around so many people.
Her father was listening intently even though Anna knew that his hearing wasn’t what it used to be.
Anna halfway tried to listen, but her mind was on other things. She kept looking over her shoulder to see if Luca would arrive. Jesus kept talking about being poor in spirit, and how believers were to be the salt of the earth. It was all rather puzzling. Suddenly, she spotted Luca out of the corner of her eye.
“Excuse me father, I will be right back”, she whispered. Her father would probably think she needed to relieve herself.
She forced herself to walk slower and look more at ease.
Luca smiled but it wasn’t a wide smile.
“Hi Luca”. Anna said, shyly.
“Good morning Anna. Did you sleep well”?
“Yes”.
“I can tell. You look more beautiful than you did yesterday”.
Anna lowered her eyes and blushed again.
“So, did you come to watch Jesus too”?
“It is my job to watch Jesus. I have no choice. It is my duty”.
“What do you think of Him? He is so unlike any teacher I have ever seen”.
“Anna, don’t pay him any mine. He is simply a radical. There are rumors that he wishes to outrun the Romans”.
Without thinking Anna tenderly touched Luca’s arm.
“I’m sorry. I hope those rumors are false”.
“Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere”. He winked at her, but she could see the uncertainty in his eyes.
Anna could see Luca pull away from her as his supervisor came into the distance on a horse.
“Tonight, at the Olive tree”?
“Tonight”.
Luca squeezed her hand and quickly left.
It was not fitting for their relationship to be public, a Jewish girl and a Roman solider would never fit in society. But Anna knew better. Love was stronger.
Anna went back to sit with her father. His eyes were still fixated on Jesus, but her father’s face was tense and strained.

 

That evening as they were walking home, her father startled Anna’s daydreams by speaking a loud. “Anna, I was full of hope today. I have seen the Messiah! I have heard His voice. It is really Him”!
Her father’s face was full of light. It had a special glow about him.
“Anna, why do you doubt?”
“Father, how do you know that He is really who He says? How do you know that He is not just trying to turn the people away from Rome”?
Her father gasped. “How could you say something like that, He is just and meek, bringing salvation. Every since you were little I have raised you to know the prophecies of old. This is Him in fullest light”.
Anna simply nodded. She thought everything her father told her as a child were merely stories.
“Anna, I know you must want to be married. I hope he is a good man and loves Yeshua.
Anna was silent.
“Is there such a man? Oh, how I have prayed to see this day! How come he has not approached me yet”?
Her father stopped and watched her face.
“Who is it”?
“I cannot tell you”.
“You must. You know that our heritage the father must match the daughter. It is to be a match made in Heaven”.
“His name is Luca, and I love him”.
“I don’t remember any boys named Luca in our district. Who was his father”?
“Father, you wouldn’t know his family. He is Roman”.
Her father’s face turned red. Her father rarely became angry. Losing Beulah, her mother had been the hardest blow on him and she believed it had aged him. But Anna knew her father was angry that she would have the audacity to go behind his back.
“You must stop seeing him”.
“I will not”.
Her father was upset but he didn’t speak. He put his hand over his chest. He began to breathe heavily, and then he collapsed to the floor.
“Father, I am sorry. I am sorry. What can I do”.
“Stop Daughter. Stop your worrying. My time has come. I don’t have to be here any longer. I have just seen Jesus and I tell you He is alive. The prophecies are true! You must follow Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the Life”.
Her father smiled.
And then he was gone.
Anna held his body in her lap and began to sob. It was all her fault.

A Walk in My Shoes

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I don’t know about you, but I hate buying shoes. Oh, I know it’s beneficial and I love the end results, but I don’t enjoy the process. I must try on so many pairs before I can find the perfect match. I also become very attached to old shoes. They may be ripping at the seams and have holes, but they are comfortable, and they are mine. I know what miles I have walked in each pair of shoes. I know which shoes I was wearing when the guy told me I was pretty. I remember the shoes I wore to an audition or a special occasion. Shoes are like a piece of where I’ve been and of the miles I’ve traveled.
I like to compare friends to shoes. When you first meet a good friend they are snazzy, new, and so put together. At first you are not sure how to fit them into your life. Maybe this person looks really cool from far away but how could they possibly want to be friends, with an ordinary person like me? You want them to fit but we all know the pain of wearing cute shoes that pinched our toes. But friend you must be brave and go make some friends. Share your smile. Some people may reject you but keep being the person God has called you to be. He will show you. Some friends may appear perfect. However, the more you get to know them the more real they seem.  Outward appearance is such a small portion of what truly lies inside a person. It’s what in the soul that counts (for shoes and people 😊).
There are some shoes that you would never where in the rain, they are not durable. There are other shoes that you would wear to a party while others are perfect for cleaning the car. I think some friends are like that. Some friends can empathize with your deep pain. They know when to speak and when to stay silent. Many times, God puts friends in our lives that can empathize with our pain because they have walked the same road before and have tasted the same flavor of heartache.
Our friends will fail time and time again. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” Prov. 27:6.  The shoes will break, and you will have to go to the shoe store again to try on fifty some pairs before finding the right one. Sometimes our friends will leave and our hearts will stand by and break. But alas we cannot keep every shoe. Sometimes it’s sad when we are just getting comfortable in our new pair of shoes and then leave. But we must trust God. He must have brought a friend in our lives for a reason that may never be explained to us. You have no idea how your life could be eternally impacting your friends lives, even those friends that walk away.
Sometimes it is healthy to let our friends go. Just like I had to throw away shoes that I’ve had for years due to sentimental reasons, we to must put aside feelings of the past and walk in the new future God has for us. Lives will move on and situations change.  It can be difficult to give up control and say goodbye to memories or moments of affection but You can trust God. It is better to surrender at God’s timing then to hold on and cause more damage after God has asked for the release.
But you know what? Jesus is the closest friend you can ever have. He has walked every mile with you. If you are His child then He is with you through every puddle, every heart break, and every time you turn away. Jesus is there. He will never leave you or forsake you. Stop looking for a perfect friend, a perfect parent, or a perfect spouse. They will never be flawless. We cannot expect them to be.
But Christ Jesus is flawless. He will never leave me. Only Jesus Himself can completely empathize with my pain and wipe away every tear. Jesus is the best friend in the world because He is God and He is the only one who completely understands.
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it” Psalm 139:1-6.

So be thankful for your family and friends. They are worth keeping. But as you take each step remember the One who goes before you and walks beside you. With His steps He bore our sins as He walked to Calvary. When we belong to Jesus He can mold our will to fit into His. And then there is always a perfect fit between you and Your Savior.  ❤