14 Jul Matt 11:28-30 (Arms Wide Open!) by Lisa Skowron
Posted on Thursday 14 July, 2011
Welcome God now with this LIFE Group Devotion (FB), provided by LIFE Runners (FB).
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matt 11:28-30(full readings)
Lisa’s Reflections: When I read Matt 11:28-30 I have a picture in my mind of Jesus standing with arms wide open, ready to comfort me. As a child, it’s the picture I remember hanging on the wall in my church. But as I grew up, that childhood picture began to fade. I could no longer think of standing in Jesus’ presence. Shame and guilt kept my eyes from His face. I didn’t think Jesus could ever forgive me. How could He, if I couldn’t forgive myself? When I was 16, I aborted my son Jonathan (December 19, 1984). I worked very hard over the years to keep those painful memories pushed down deep, and I felt completely separated from God. But when I broke my silence in 2008, and my secret was exposed, all I received was His grace and compassion. At ahealing post-abortion Bible study, I was encouraged to take my questions to God. Listening to Christian music and running was what finally helped me pray and spend time with God. God used running to help me process the memories and to defuse a lot of the pain, anger, and tears. I began to cherish that time with God, running with Him instead of from Him as I had done for nearly 24 years. By the time I had worked through my recovery, God and I had run a half-marathon together in 2008 and a full marathon in 2009 (dedicated to Jonathan). Through all the miles of training, the Lord taught me and changed my heart. I finally found healing and peace. And in Christ, my soul finally found rest.
Faith Challenge: 1 in 3 women sitting in church pews across the country have an abortion in their past.And for every one of them, there was a man involved, who is also hurting, and a family.They carry an incredible burden alone.An entire mission field has been created by abortion, and it exists within the walls of our very own churches. Please pray for post-abortion recovery programs today.
Counter-Culture News: LSN, LifeNews, Priests for Life, AFA, Vatican, Project Rachel.
Feast Day: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (Native American). “She was just twenty-four when she died on April 17, 1680. Exactly three hundred years later, on June 22, 1980, Kateri Tekakwitha was declared “blessed” by Pope John Paul II.”
Faith Quote: “No woman wants an abortion like she wants a Porsche or an ice cream cone; rather she wants it like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.” ~Frederica Mathewes-Green
Through Christ Our Lord,
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (22% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa.
* Evangelize:Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.