When You Need a Good Night’s Sleep

by Edie Melson

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 NIV

I rolled over, repositioned my pillow and tried to will sleep to come. But my mind was my enemy. The thoughts crowding my brain circled like vultures, diving with sharp claws and ripping away the fabric of sleep. The worst thing was that I couldn’t pinpoint the exact source of my insomnia. There were lots of reasons for me to be stressed, but no single one appeared to be the ultimate culprit. 

Finally I gave up, grabbed my Bible and settled into the recliner downstairs where my tossing and turning wouldn’t disturb my husband’s rest. I thumbed through the book of Psalms—my go-to place when I’m searching for a cure—and that’s when I found this verse highlighted. 

In the past I’d used it to pray while our son was away on deployment. That night I initially dismissed it as not really relevant to my current situation and continued to skim through Scripture. When those words wouldn’t leave my mind, I turned back. 

Could this passage be more pertinent than I’d first thought? Two words stood out: peace and safety. Peace was definitely something I needed. Safety, however, didn’t seem to fit my struggle. I couldn’t pinpoint any specific fears. I prayed, asking God to share His insight.

What He answered has stayed with me. He pointed out that I really was afraid—of many things. I was worried about not measuring up, not getting everything done, not being able to continue at my current speed of life. As each fear exploded into my mind, it felt like God whispered His provision over it. As He spoke, that particular worry vanished. I went through the entire list and when my mind was quiet, I found myself ready for sleep.

I learned that when I let my fears take up residence in my mind, they grow and multiply, pushing out the peace of God

Taken from Soul Care When You’re Weary, Bold Vision Books.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. As a popular speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 41A8ARHsOoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Her numerous books, including Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos and the award-winning Soul Care series reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where she spends time off hiking with her husband and her camera. Connect with her on http://www.EdieMelson.com and through social media.

Join the conversation: What do you do when you cannot sleep?

The Truth about Speaking the Truth in Love

by Edie Melson

Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. Ephesians 4:14-15 CSB 

“Speak the truth in love.” 

I’ve heard that admonition about as long as I’ve been in church. It’s advice that’s generally given when a situation is dicey. It’s uttered as encouragement, in an almost don’t-forget-to-buckle-your-seatbelt tone of voice. But just with a seatbelt, there’s no guarantee the outcome will turn out the way we expect.

I’ve also heard the phrase tossed about after a situation blows up, usually with a sorrowful shake of a head. “If only they’d spoken the truth in love.”

Beyond that, the advice to speak the truth in love carries with it an unwritten assurance—a false assumption. Do it correctly, and everything will turn out fine. While that does occasionally happen, usually it’s after some serious fallout. And there’s never a guarantee about the outcome.

At best, truth speaking is an untidy proposition. 

It involves laying bare the lies we’ve accepted as truth. No one likes being exposed, and that’s what truth does. God’s truth is a light that shines in the dark. It makes visible the things we’d often rather keep hidden.

But when a lie is holding the position that belongs to truth, it must be done. It’s rarely pleasant. Replacing a lie with truth means that some serious restructuring needs to occur. I don’t think I’m alone when I confess that I’m not a big fan of change—even change for the better. Let me assure you that exchanging a lie with truth is a MAJOR change. It’s about as perfect a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree change as you can get.

The bottom line is this, though. No matter how difficult, when we practice God’s love, we will be called on to speak the truth. It won’t be pretty, and it certainly won’t be nice—for anyone. But that’s okay because a friend recently reminded me of this truth—being nice isn’t one of the ten commandments.

When we follow Jesus, we find ourselves in messy situations. We’re accused of being mean, our reputations are maligned, and even our families are attacked. None of that should stop us from loving those God puts in our path enough to speak the truth.

So today I’m drawing a line in the sand. I’m refusing to bow to those who want me to be nice. Instead I’m going to love—with the truth—no matter how hard it is. It’s going to get messy, but I know I’m going to get to see God at work, redeeming unredeemable situations. 

How about you . . . care to join me?

This article was brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. As a popular speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 41A8ARHsOoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Her numerous books, including Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos and the award-winning Soul Care series reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where she spends time off hiking with her husband and her camera. Connect with her on http://www.EdieMelson.com and through social media.

Join the conversation: Has anyone ever spoken the truth in love to you? How did God use it in your life?

Looking at the Sacrifice in Christmas

by Edie Melson

I’ve always celebrated Christmas as the time of Jesus’ birth. It’s a joyful time—after all, when is the birth of a baby not a reason to celebrate? It’s marked with angel choruses, gifts of the magi, and celebration to end all celebrations.

In contrast, I’ve always approached Easter as a more somber time—certainly a time of ultimate triumph. But one that was preceded by the agony of Jesus on a cross. To me, Easter was when Christ laid down His life for us.

Now I’ve begun to look at things a little differently.

Recently, I was challenged by a friend to view Christmas in a new light. She pointed out that His birth on earth was when Jesus left His Heavenly glory. The more I considered this, the more sharply I saw the contrast of His life in Heaven. I had always looked at Christmas as a gift—which it is—instead of seeing past the present to the sacrifice it must have been. Jesus’ birth truly was the time when He laid down His life for us.

These are my thoughts on what Jesus really sacrificed by coming into this world:

  • He exchanged Heavenly robes for swaddling garments of ragged cloth.
  • He exchanged the chorus of angels praising him day and night with the voices of cattle in a lowly manger.
  • He exchanged the power and authority of being God in Heaven with that of living as a helpless—fully human—baby.
  • He exchanged the protection of angels with the dubious protection of human parents.
  • He exchanged immortality with a life that would end in physical death. (Yes, He was fully resurrected, but He had to go through the process of living to dying to reconcile us with God).
  • He exchanged perfect—intimate—fellowship with God for a relationship with us.

I will never see Christmas the same way again. How about you?

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 NIV

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:6-8 NIV

This article was brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 41A8ARHsOoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

About the author: Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. As a popular speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books, including Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos and the award-winning Soul Care series reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where she spends time off hiking with her husband and her camera. Connect with her on http://www.EdieMelson.com and through social media.

Join the conversation: What thought brings meaning to your Christmas season this year?

True Colors

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cool, crisp days that bring relief from summer’s heat. But most of all, I love the beautiful colors adorning the trees in our Blue Ridge Mountains. My husband and I get great joy from driving through the mountains and hiking the trails to see the changing leaves. And as a photographer, I love capturing images of the lovely scenery.

Recently God revealed a lesson that has changed the way I look at changing leaves and made me love this season even more than before.

Many look at fall as a melancholy time of year. I’ve heard others refer to the colorful trees as giving their last burst of beauty before they die. Truthfully that perception couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Did you know the vibrant colors we see during fall are the true colors of the leaves? Those colors are masked at other times of the year by the flood of chlorophyll that turns the leaves green.

I think of spring and summer as times of abundance. Plenty of sun, with weather that’s easier on the wildlife. Even for people it’s seen as a time of rest and relaxation. And yet, this time of ease masks the true beauty of the trees. During these seasons the trees wear a uniform color, blending in with each other. While it’s beautiful, there is a certain sameness to the landscape.

Life is like that. As much as I love having times of ease, they’re not the times when I shine. I get lazy and my spiritual life reflects a certain amount of lethargy and complacency. When things are easy, I can grow stale, and instead being true to who God called me to be, I merely blend in.

It’s easier to just go with the flow, instead of standing out.

But when adversity strikes, I dig deep and move closer to God. I leave the crowds and begin to work harder at being true to who God created me to be. So, as a direct result of my struggles, my spiritual life begins to shine as insight and inspiration bring color to my relationship with God. This in turn allows me to follow the path He has for me much more wholeheartedly and effectively. Instead of blending in with the crowd, the complacency drains away and His colors begin to shine through me.

We’re in the midst of adversity right now. I don’t know many who aren’t struggling with the new paradigm of life today. But I would like to challenge you to let God use this time to drain away the things that hide the beauty of His Spirit inside you. Allow Him to make you into the true person He called you to be. And as you dig deep and draw nearer to God, do it with anticipation for what He has ahead. 

God has great plans for His people and you are a vital part of that. Rejoice as adversity brings out your true colors! 

And think about this life lesson in light of Romans:

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5 NASB

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True Colors – thoughts on letting God shine through when life is hard, @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 41A8ARHsOoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

About the author: Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. As a popular speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books, including Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos and the award-winning Soul Care series reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where she spends time off hiking with her husband and her camera. Connect with her on http://www.EdieMelson.com and through social media.

Join the conversation: How has God brought out your true colors in this season of adversity?

A Foundation When the World Shifts

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. Psalm 119:136

Everywhere I turn, I see believers crying out, looking for answers. Many are looking for our governments to step in and save us. And while I do have personal opinions about the events of these days—what I’m truly mourning is the fact that we’re no longer looking to God for salvation, but to man.

I don’t believe it’s possible for legislation to save us. More than that, we cannot look to legislation to guide morality. Morality must spring from something more foundational, and I believe it does. 

Each of us carries a foundational idea of right and wrong. It’s something that God has instilled within us. 

You see, our conscience comes from God. It was created within us when we were formed in the womb. If we were just products of Darwin’s theory, then our conscience would be weighted with a foundation of kill or be killed—survival of the fittest. Instead, we have a different foundation.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at our laws. Take a look at our day-to-day interactions. We don’t reward bullies and those who look out only for themselves. Our belief system reflects something more than that. It reflects God. 

We can stifle our conscience by ignoring it and trying to re-educate it. But it’s still there, and when we once again turn our ear to that pure voice, it will spring back to life.

In these days, we each need to turn back—to look to God to dictate what is right and what is wrong. First as individuals, then as a country. When we make God our priority, all the other things will fall into place. We’ll interact with one another in love.

No, I’m not suggesting some type of hippy nirvana filled with a false sense of anything goes. Or a watered-down version of who God is and how He demonstrates His love for us.

His love is the real kind. The hard kind. 

The kind that calls for

  • Loving our enemies.
  • Forgiving those who wrong us.
  • Holding one another accountable.
  • Turning the other cheek.
  • Standing up for what is right, whether it’s the law or not.

When we look to God for the answers, we’ll find unity. 

Not uniformity, never that. God created each of us unique and special. But He gave us traits in common—with Him—and with each other.

So today, I’m praying for our country. And I’m not praying small. I’m not focusing on individual sins, although I’m beginning there. I know I’m not perfect. So I’m first praying about my own short comings and asking for forgiveness and a renewed sense of right and wrong. I want God to clean out the junk and put me back on a track to be more like Him. Then I’m asking God to reclaim this country as His—with His definition of right and wrong.

Can one person make a difference? 

Maybe not at first. 

But for a difference to be made, we must all begin alone, in a one-on-one conversation with God. Then, when all those individuals come together and return to God…absolutely. 

Will you join me?

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14

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A Foundation When the World Shifts – encouragement from @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

About the author: Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. As a popular speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books, including Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos and the award-winning Soul Care series reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where she spends time off hiking with her husband and her camera. Connect with her on www.EdieMelson.com and through social media.

Join the conversation: How do you pray for our country and its leaders?

Spacious Places

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Weariness.

That’s what almost everyone I talk to is facing.

We’re inundated with to-dos, to-bes and shoulds that bury us in an avalanche of not-enough-time. It’s tempting to hit the mental snooze and go through our days, weeks, months and even years with eyes only half open—too tired to even try to prioritize life.

This is what God was speaking to me up on the mountain that morning.

I was teaching at a conference and had another devotion all written and ready to go. But God said wait. He had something else for me to share.

So the three of us—Joyce, Ginger and I—hopped into the car and drove up the mountain to see the sunrise.

We stopped first at a field, about half-way up the mountain. There were lots of things to see there. And we focused on the details, but sometimes details—as beautiful as they are—aren’t enough. So God drew us up still higher. We headed up the narrow one-lane road, praying we wouldn’t meet another car. Sure enough, we did. But we navigated the difficulty and continued on.

We were almost to the summit, when the trees began to thin just enough so we could see the sun peeking through. We were close to some spectacular views. There was a small parking area in the trees, and we pulled in, tempted to take a quick walk to see if we could reach a vantage point by hiking through the trees and underbrush.

Instead we decided to push on.

A minute later, and we were at the top. There were wide vistas, where we could see the scenery below clearly, with an unimpeded view. The morning blues and pale pinks of dawn made a stunning spectacle.

Then the fog rolled in.

But God wasn’t done showing off. There was beauty that could only be seen because of the fog. It danced through the trees, reflecting the rays of the sun, bringing out starbursts of incredible color and shape.

And then, as we stayed still and waited, God once again opened up the wide vistas and the mountains rolled out before us.

Life is like that.

We can get caught up in the details of life and ignore the call to climb higher with God. The view where we are is nice, and has some truly God moments.

But we need to keep moving higher when God calls us.

Through the one-lane roads and unknown challenges.

Then we reach a dangerous part of the journey—the almost-there. It’s tempting to pull over and park, working our way upward on our own, ignoring the fact that God is still with us and still able to make amazing things happen.

When we push through, we find a spacious place with God.

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; He brought me into a spacious place. Psalm 118:5

That place can also have clouds that roll in and fog that obscures our perspective, but just like the sun hadn’t moved, God is still there. And often it’s through the fog that God reveals hidden, beautiful treasures, for us to see and enjoy.

So going forward, don’t grow weary as you push ever upward. Join God in the spacious  places He has prepared for you.

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Finding You Spacious Place with God – @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

About the author:  Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged Edie Melson soul careaudiences across the country and around the world. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.com and on Facebook and Twitter

Edie’s latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, offers a solution to our busy lives and struggle for peace. Sensory involvement deepens our relationship with God and gives rest to our souls. Through thoughtful devotional readings and prayers, tap into your creative side. Warning! This book may become dog-eared and stained. Draw in it. Experiment with your creative passions. Learn the healing power of play. Allow God’s power to flow through opportunities for creative expression.

Join the conversation: Have you ever pushed through weariness and found hidden treasures that awaited you? Please share!

 

 

The Aroma of Christ

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It was a grim scene.

Travel back in time with me as we watch Joseph and Nicodemus take the body of Jesus from the cross that fateful Friday afternoon. It must have taken valuable time to convince Pilate to let them have Him before sundown, but they managed. Nicodemus carried seventy-five pounds of myrrh and spices with them to prepare the body. It was an offering worthy of a king—a dead king.

Imagine the tears they shed, as they silently and gently lowered his broken body to the ground. Evidence of the abuse He had suffered at the hands of his accusers rendered Him almost unrecognizable, covered with blood and filth, swollen from wounds and intense suffering. Still they loved Him so much.

Time was running out before the Sabbath began. They didn’t have time to prepare His body like they wanted—like He deserved. But at least there was an unused tomb in the garden close by. They took Him there and did what they could with hands of love.

They tried to cover the stench of death with herbs and linen, but can you imagine the odor inside that dark, cramped tomb? The sickly-sweet smell of myrrh combined with the overwhelming stench of blood and torture must have seeped into their noses, hair and clothing. When they left, they brought the odor of despair with them as they gathered with the others to observe an empty Sabbath.

Move ahead to Sunday morning, that Resurrection day. Mary Magdalene has breathlessly returned with the news that someone has stolen Jesus’ body. As the disciples race to the tomb, a part of them must dread what they’ll find. But John enters that resting place of the dead to discover that Jesus’ body isn’t the only thing missing.

They see the empty grave clothes and spices, but the air is decidedly different. In a place so recently redolent with the stink of death, there is only the aroma of life.

Jesus led the way to triumph over sin and death. He replaced our odor of death with an aroma of life. Now it’s up to us to follow Him, and lead others to join us in that same walk of victory.

“Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 NASB

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Carrying with Us the Aroma of Christ – insight from @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Edie-MelsonAbout the author:  Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged Edie Melson soul careaudiences across the country and around the world. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.com and on Facebook and Twitter

Edie’s latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, offers a solution to our busy lives and struggle for peace. Sensory involvement deepens our relationship with God and gives rest to our souls. Through thoughtful devotional readings and prayers, tap into your creative side. Warning! This book may become dog-eared and stained. Draw in it. Experiment with your creative passions. Learn the healing power of play. Allow God’s power to flow through opportunities for creative expression.

Join the conversation: What part of the resurrection story has struck you during this Easter season?

Time to Refocus My Life

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. Psalm 51:16 HCSB

I don’t know about you, but I’m a doer. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to help myself. And while I have made some improvement over the years, unless I’m really focused, I’m going to judge my day, my progress, even my worth, on the things I’ve accomplished.

I know in my head that a check mark by everything on my to-do list isn’t synonymous for how good I am. Unfortunately, I just can’t seem to get the default setting for my feelings to switch over to this way of thinking. Some days this unhealthy outlook permeates every part of my life, especially spiritually. That’s when I fall into the trap of believing I can win God’s favor by doing more.

And that’s when I know it’s time to refocus my life.

Being a Christ-follower has its emphasis on the state of being verb, rather than an action verb. Yes, we are supposed to put feet to our calling and our purpose, but God has always been more interested in the process rather than the product.

David wrote the above verse in contrition for his sin, a pouring out His shame and love for God.  He knew from his predecessor Saul that actions like sacrificing were meaningless without heart behind them. After being caught in sin, Saul had attempted to make things right with God by making a sacrifice. But it would have been a superficial effort, avoiding the fact that what God really wanted was his heart. He was all about the relationship. As God told Isaiah: “[These] people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote” (Isaiah 29:13 NASB).

I must remember—especially on those frantic doing days—that God is relational, not task- oriented. Whatever needs doing, He can do. He uses us to accomplish His will not to keep us busy or because He Himself doesn’t have the time. He allows us to join Him where He’s working because of the relationship.

God wants to spend time with me. He wants me to be so familiar with His voice that I can instantly hear and respond when He calls my name. But when I fill my life with things I feel I have to do to win His favor, my focus drifts. Then things and tasks capture my attention and draw me away from the relationship.

So daily I’m evaluating my focus and readjusting my life accordingly. I’m looking at the person of God and making concrete plans to spend more time with Him, instead of for Him. Care to join me?

TWEETABLE
Time to Refocus My Life – @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Edie-MelsonAbout the author:  Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged Edie Melson soul careaudiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.comand on Facebook and Twitter.

Join the conversation: Do you struggle in finding significance outside of your accomplishments?

Am I Carrying Baggage or Luggage?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.” Matthew 11:28-30

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble forgiving myself. For some reason I expect a level of perfection from myself that I would never expect from someone else.

Because of this, I also struggle to accept God’s forgiveness.

Somewhere deep inside is the fear that God has finally reached the limit of His patience with me and my constant sin and shortcomings. Just writing this makes me shake my head because it’s so far from the truth. But I’m sad to say it’s something with which I struggle.

The result of this lack of forgiveness is that I carry a lot of baggage that I don’t need to. I’m weighed down with past sins that God has long since forgiven. I also carry the baggage of sins I have not confessed because I’m fearful of returning to God over and over again asking forgiveness for the same thing.

At times, I add the baggage of my own refusal to forgive someone else. I hold on to the way they’ve hurt me and try to make it into some kind of armor against getting hurt again. But choosing to be unforgiving is just more weight to carry.

That kind of burden can weigh a person down.

Baggage is something I need to get rid of. It’s stuff I need to drop it at the feet of Jesus and leave there.

Luggage, on the other hand, is something that equips us for our travels. My luggage consists of the things that God has blessed me with. It also includes the lessons I’ve learned through the struggles and the triumphs of walking with God.

  • It’s the Bible verses I’ve memorized.
  • The praise songs that run through my mind.
  • The stories I’ve heard about God’s faithfulness.
  • My own awareness of His goodness to me.

Everyone needs some luggage to be equipped for the journey has God in store for us. The trick is to get rid of the baggage.

TWEETABLE
Am I carrying baggage or luggage? @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Edie-MelsonAbout the author:  Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged Edie Melson soul careaudiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.comand on Facebook and Twitter.

Join the conversation: So today I ask you what I asked myself. Are you carrying baggage or luggage on your personal journey?

Persistent Patience

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 NIV

I heard the phrase, persistent patience, several years ago, and it stuck with me. Patience, to me, has always seemed like a passive endeavor. Truthfully, I equated times of waiting with wasted time. Turns out nothing could be farther from the truth.

God is at work in the waiting.

That’s a difficult concept for me. I don’t know about you, but waiting patiently isn’t in my top ten of favorite things to do. I hate being patient, whatever it is—I want it, and I want it now. I particularly struggle with waiting when I’m striving toward a dream or goal. I look for ways to hurry things up, and that leads me to look around to judge others who have had to wait for something similar. Then that leads directly to comparison and competition and ultimately dissatisfaction. It’s a vicious cycle and a hard one to break.

I would like to say this impatience is due to the time in which I live and the environment around me. After all, we live in a world of the instant now. How nice it would be to put the blame anywhere else but me. But God’s word shows us lots of impatient people throughout the Bible. I can’t honestly say it’s caused by anything except my human nature.

One thing God has shown me—over and over again—that it’s in the waiting where I grow closer to Him and stronger in my faith. Learning to wait has given me strength of character and perspective.

God has also shown me that impatience really is immaturity with a mask. So many times in my life, if God had given me the answer the moment I asked, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed the sweet prayer time, the fellowship with others who shared in my journey, and the ultimate joy of something anticipated and achieved. I would have also missed out on being used by God to teach and comfort others as they saw Him work in my life.

What are you waiting for? Use this time to walk closer with God and watch the amazing things He does for you and through you as you depend on Him!

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Practicing persistent patience as we walk with God – @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Edie-MelsonAbout the author:  Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged Edie Melson soul careaudiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.comand on Facebook and Twitter.

Join the conversation: What has God done in your life as you have waited for Him?