Tag Archives: god is my strength

Your Rubicon Trail

I have a friend with a Jeep and one of the things he likes to do is to take it off road. There are trails around the country that Jeep enthusiasts go to. These trails are rated by the package on your Jeep. To go on certain ones, you have to have a certain package or another with upgrades or you won’t make it. There’s one in the High Sierra’s near Lake Tahoe called the Rubicon Trail. It’s a grueling 22 mile off road trail that challenges even the most seasoned off road drivers. I’ve watched several videos of people doing some amazing driving on this trail. These drivers move forward on this trail confidently and help others along the way. It’s pretty cool to watch them navigate, learn and maneuver some rugged terrain.

When talking about our spiritual walk, we often refer to the good times as “mountaintop experiences” and dark times as “being in the valley”. However, like the Rubicon Trail, sometimes the challenging times of life are high on the mountain or on your way up. You may get some bumps and scratches on the way through the rugged terrain. Some of the toughest times in David’s life were after the high of being anointed king. He had to navigate through some rough terrain, but in the process, God was preparing him for the responsibility of what was coming. There were some emotional set backs on his Rubicon Trail to the throne, but he kept moving forward with the confidence of his calling.

I’m reminded of Habakkuk 3:19. It says, “The Lord GOD is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]” (AMP). I don’t know what your Rubicon Trail is, but I do know that God is your source of courage and your navigator through rough terrain. He will help you to keep moving forward towards your goal with confidence even when the roadway is seemingly blocked and you can’t see the end. He uses these times as part of His process to prepare you for the promise. Look around you to see who He has placed in your life to help get you through. Don’t travel this terrain alone. Find a strong believer to help guide you and pray you through.

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Psalm Of The Living

I’ve never understood why Psalm 23 is solely used at funerals. I believe it is a Psalm for the living. David didn’t write it for a deceased friend. He wrote it to thank God for being his guide in this life. David’s path had twists and turns, ups and downs just like yours and mine.looking back on his life, he realized where God had been right with him in the hardest of times and when God had brought rest when he needed it most. God still does that today for you and me. Let’s look closer at this Psalm today to see how it applies to our lives.

When the first verse says that the Lord is our shepherd, it’s implying that we need someone to feed, guide and protect us. Sheep need help pretty often. The shepherd doesn’t get upset with the sheep for messing up or getting lost. He goes after them and brings them back to safe pasture where they can flourish. It’s a great image of what God does for each of us when we wander away from the path He has for us. He searches for us and returns us to where He wants us and can protect us from the enemy.

I like how the Message puts the next couple of verses. It says, “True to your word, you let me catch my breath and you send me in the right direction.” God knows that there are times in life when we get so busy that we need a break. He intervenes in our lives constantly trying to take us to those still waters causing us to lay down. He wants us to catch our breath and rest from time to time so we won’t burn out. When we’ve caught our breath, He points us in the right direction and sets us loose again.

Sometimes that path goes through the darkest of valleys, but we don’t have to be afraid. The New Living Translation says, “I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” God doesn’t abandon us in the darkness of life. He’s right beside us enduring it with us. When we are in the valley, he is there with his rod and staff to protect and comfort us. He’s not way out ahead of you in the sunlight saying, “Come on! Hurry up and get here.” No. He’s right there with you in the darkness, by your side saying, “I know you’re hurt and I feel your pain. I won’t leave you here in this place.”

In verse five, the Message says, “You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.” No matter who is against you or what life brings in the valley, God has a plan. He has times of refreshing ahead for you. He gives you what you need to sustain you in those times, then He takes you to place where you will know joy once again. He revived our heavy hearts and lifts our spirits. When we look up, we will see that our cup full of blessings is overflowing with God’s goodness. We don’t have to feel forgotten or lost because God still gives blessings in the darkness of the valley.

David wrapped up this powerful Psalm by saying, “I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life. (GNT)” He knew because God had been faithful to him. He could trust God because God had never let him down even in the valley. We too can know that God’s love and goodness will be with us all the days of our lives. The New Living Translation says that God’s goodness and unfailing love will pursue us. He will not stop being with us or pursuing us with His love in this life. So you see, this is a Psalm of the living more than the dead. God is with you right now no matter what part of the path you’re on. Trust in Him and His plan. He’s watching over you like a good shepherd. 

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Take A Break

Do you ever have those days where you are just drained? You know, the days where the alarm clock goes off and you wonder if you even slept. You don’t want five more minutes, you want five more hours! It seems like being tired is more and more the norm for people. As technology improves, we have become more efficient in our work. That efficiency has translated to having to do more work, not less. Our minds consume more information in a shorter amount of time than in any other point in history.

It’s no wonder our bodies and our minds are tired. We are exhausted, but are too afraid to take off work because the amount of work that will pile up while we are out. I know people who take a vacation, but work remotely while on it. The vacation is just really working away from the office. So many of us have put work above our own health and our families. I understand needing to make a living, but don’t forget to make a life while you’re at it. Every once in a while you need a break from all the mental and physical stresses you put on your body.

I’m reminded that Creation was hard work. God out all He had into and still took a break. He took a day to rejuvenate and to rest. He has encouraged us to do the same since then. One of the Ten Commandments was, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” The root word for Sabbath means to rest from labor according to the Blue Letter Bible. God wanted us to just breathe and relax one day a week. He didn’t design our bodies to run 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

When our bodies have had enough, it’s ok to take a break. It’s ok to put down the technology that keeps you connected and the information flowing. I’ve found that when I take a break, the world keeps on moving without me, work still gets done and the world won’t fall apart. It’s an humbling reminder that it doesn’t need me in order to keep going. Life will continue after you and I are gone. The world will go on. There’s no use in burning ourselves out. We have to think about the long haul.

When I get tired and worn out, I remember Psalms 73:26. It says, “My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; He is all I ever need.” It requires me ask why I’m weak. Is it because I’m doing eternal things or because I’m doing temporary things? Either way, I need to take sabbatical and rest every now and then. When I’m recharged I’m able to make a bigger difference at work and for the Kingdom. It’s ok to take a break. In fact, God requires it. Schedule it and make it happen.

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