John 15:4a: Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;

The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,

Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

This is a famous Christian hymn written in 1847 by a Scottish Anglican, Henry Francis Lyte during his battle with tuberculosis. He passed away three weeks after it’s completion.

There are other famous hymns like What a friend we have in Jesus and I have decided to follow Jesus that have such beautiful stories behind their creation where God has used these vessels to be high power lights for multitudes.

It is very difficult to not panic when we face a tsunami in our life. Even more difficult to not panic when we are sitting in a doctor’s office hearing bad news about ourselves or a loved one. My parents say that it is very hard for loved ones to hear bad news when they are far away cause it’s a helpless situation. Here’s God’s promise for you and for me. Just as the vine gets all its nutrients and daily needs and protection from its branches, we have a Father in heaven who has promised to be with us if we remain in him.

Let’s set aside a few minutes everyday to try and get to know him more , it’s just the same as working towards excelling at a new job,a new course or a new hobby. Let’s take this up as this week’s challenge to start by setting aside our time each day. It’s not the number of minutes that counts, it’s what you do in that time that actually matters. Quality over quantity.

Lord, help me now as I wish to get closer to you. Help me to get to know you more. Lord be with me this day as I want to be with you. Abide with me Lord.

Amen.

John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last.”

Don’t you at times wish you can voluntarily choose your teammates or colleagues or your manager ? At times we tend to replay scenarios in our mind of how different the situation would have been if we were put in the team of our choice with a manager of our choice.

At times such situations are way beyond our control but we start asking God why me! At times when we get into conflicts with replaceable people in our life like few friends who can be lived without, we tend to just forget them and move on to making new friends.

In the book of Job, Job exercises immense faith during his difficult times and says that “ He knows the way that I take ; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Can we look into our situations today with our family,friends and colleagues and consider them as part of God’s perfect handpicked plan to refine us? We didn’t really choose our family but don’t we feel at times that it couldn’t be more perfect. God chose us for His Big plan so let’s make ourselves useful today.

You can spread God’s love by giving a smile to the next person who walks past you, a helping hand to the colleague who sits next to you, a pat on the back for your sibling when you go home today or phone call.

Remember you were handpicked. You are indeed special. The big picture.

Lord, I know that you chose me,thank you for choosing me and loving me and keeping me safe in your hands. Help me to be an ambassador for your love today and be nice to others. Amen.

I, the Lord,have called you in righteousness;

I will take hold of your hand.

-Isaiah 42:6 [a]

At times all you might need is a gentle nudge, a soft touch or a warm hug to bring you back into reality; to bring you back into this world that it was just a bad day yesterday and not a bad life.

Haven’t we all done referencing either in school or our workplace where we reference a particular word or line to the similar word or line in another chapter where the same thing occurs. There is an interesting fact about the passage from which today’s verse is taken. The first few verses talk about preparing the way for Jesus. We must note that this was written before Christ, and this promise is reassured to us in Mathew chapter 12, verses from 17 to 21. Personally, I find it very fascinating that a promise was written so long ago and was fulfilled well after so many years and that too in a generation without social media, smart phones or digital technology.

In Rick Warrens series of ‘Purpose Driven Life for 40 days‘, he says that we were all made for a purpose, and that we are a part of a bigger picture. He also says that the major mistake we do is when it comes to finding our purpose is we tend to start by asking ourselves what we what to do, what we love and what we dream of. Whereas, we are all created by the Most high for a divine purpose, so we actually need to ask him what our purpose is. (If it helps, I’m trying to figure it out too).

One of my Sunday school teachers once enlightened me with a particular fact that I am one human being out of all the billions of human beings on the earth and, the earth is a planet in our solar system which is one of the solar systems in a multitude of solar systems in the universe, and despite of this, He treats each one of us like the apple of His eye. He remembers His promises to us and keeps them and today’s verse as a reassurance to us that He will be there with us holding our hand if we ask him to.

Footprints In The Sand

by Mary Stevenson (1922 – 1999)

Footprints in the Sand

One night I had a dream.
I dreamed I was walking along the beach
with the Lord..

Across the sky flashed scenes from my life..
For each scene, I noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord..
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,

I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.

This really bothered me
and I questioned the Lord about it:
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why
when I need you most you would leave me.”

The Lord replied:
“My precious child, I love you and would
never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then
that I carried you.”

 

by Mary Stevenson

Matthew 7:14 “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

There was a road in the college that I studied in, which diverged into two, a tarred road and a sandy road. Every time I walked past that road the philosopher in me would wake up and mostly think about “the road not taken” by Robert Frost (it’s a poem we learnt in school) and my most recent visit to these roads actually made me think differently than my initial interpretation of Robert Frost’s poem. I now think of choosing the narrow road not because it’s “the road not taken by many” or “the road less trodden” but because we are called by our Father in heaven to be a part of his perfect plan, the big picture.

I am reminded of the story of the Prodigal son who went for the riches of the world, but later came back to his father. We are like prodigal children almost everyday, but don’t really realize it.

Ida Scudder, Mother Theresa, Iris Paul, Graham Staines, to name a few had actually chosen “The road not taken”. They could have led their comfortable lives back in their homes but they heard the call of the Father in heaven who sent His one and only son to earth to save us for our sins.

Lord I hand over my time,my talents, and anything you ask of me today to you. Lord let it be used for your glory. Help me to face my day with heavenly grace and courage,guard my mouth and the words that come out of them. Lord be with me. Amen.

Psalm 37:34: “Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed you will see it.”

What is our first resort in a tough situation? What ends up being our last resort during the same situation?

Who do we turn to when all the doors are closed? Which door did we knock first before these doors closed?

Waiting for most of us humans is the hardest part, from the nine month wait to the wait to grow older to the wait for every single thing in life. Little do we realize the importance of the ‘period of wait’.

I met Mr. Khanna on one of my recent journeys. He is 89 years old and had an amazing youth that he still reminisces and wishes he had a bit of it left. Talking to him I got the impression that he’s also a fellow passenger in the ‘wait’ journey but there was an aura about him that makes you want to keep having endless conversations with him.

It made me realize the ‘wait’ period is the time to get nourishment from the word of God and one of its aspects is to grow stronger.

There is nothing as hard as walking in pitch darkness with the hope of not falling and with the hope of being led into light instead.

Lord, I hand over my problem of the day to you. I am reaching out to you as my first resort. Help me to wait patiently and wait for your time. Guard my lips and the words that come out of them. Thank you for the peace you have granted me. Amen.