Living By Grace

Table of Love

Contributed by Debra Kay Yarbrough

This will really help everyone struggling right now about what to do where to go.  Pray this brings peace to each of you.

Isaiah 26:3-4; 27:5

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.  

So trust in the Lord.  Commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him –  forever; depend on God and keep at it because  the Lord God is an everlasting Rock the Rock of Ages and your everlasting strength and in Him you have a sure thing.

… let them take hold of My strength and make complete surrender to My protection, let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with Me! Yes, let them make peace with Me!”

Dear Father:

It is all too easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the season and get our eyes off of You.  Then, we wonder why we are so stressed out!  Here is the answer – You will guard us and You will keep us in PERFECT peace and in CONSTANT peace – if we will just keep our minds on You!  That means we are committing ourselves to You.  We are leaning upon You.  

When we are tired and worn out, we tend to find something to lean against.  Something that will hold our weight.  Something that will not hurt us if we place our weight upon it.  When we find something to lean upon, we have already decided to trust this object.  We have unconsciously placed our hope in this thing we are going lean upon.  It is one thing to say “Boy, am I beat!  This load I am carrying is heavy! I can’t sit down, I wonder what I can lean upon?  Oh, there is a table.  It is sturdy, it can support me and whatever I am carrying in my arms.”  But what if I look at that table, I know it will support me.  I see other people leaning against that table as proof that it will do the job.  The table will not hurt me and it will give me some relief.  I can actually place my load upon the table!  But I choose not to lean against the table.  I just stand in the middle of the room holding that heavy load, becoming weaker and weaker by the moment – and I don’t have too!  There is a perfectly good table waiting, ready and willing to help me out.  In fact, the table was placed there specifically for my use!  I know it is there for that purpose but I do not claim the benefits of having a table.  Eventually, I will not be able to carry that heavy load.  I will become too weak and will fall and everything I am carrying will scatter and be a big mess unless I put down the load and rest against the table.  But if I decide to make use of what has been provided for me and I place the load down, then I have committed to this table.  I have proven that I trust the table to meet my need.

Jesus, You came for us.  You were placed here on earth, just for us.  You said You would carry our heavy load.  You said You would carry us!  You said we should lean upon You.  We carry very heavy loads.  We carry loads such as stress on the job, people coming against us, telling lies about us.  There are those in a love-less marriage.  Others, their children are in a state of rebellion.  There are financial loads, emotional baggage of the past we can’t or won’t get rid of, schedules to meet, presents to buy, parties to give and parties to attend, all the rushing and running about, and on and on and on.  There are many who have the heavy load of having lost a love on and the place in out heart carved out for them feels both empty and heavy at the same time.  Then there are those who are sick or have loved ones who are sick.  The list goes on and on and on.

You are the table.  We see that You are here to help us.  You want us to release the weight of the load and allow You to support us.  We may say “I know You can carry me, Lord, but I will just stand here and do it all myself!”  How foolish!  We will fall under the weight of the load.  The stress will overtake us and cause even more fatigue, not to mention take away the joy of Christmas.  The joy of celebrating You.  When we fall, everything we have been carrying scatters all over the place and makes a big mess!

Lord, give us the strength to let go.  Give us the courage to not only say we know You can carry us and our load, but to take that step of faith and actually commit to You by giving You our everything.

Father, we do trust You.  Today, we lean upon You, Jesus.  Our hope is not in this world, not in our government, not in our families – our hope is in You, Jesus.  You are our everlasting Rock.  The Rock of Ages.  The Rock that does not roll!  Jesus, You are our Strength.  Our Strength in our weakness.  You are our Peace – Jehovah-Shalom.

Today, we commit to trusting in You, Lord – forever.  We depend wholly upon You, Father.  We take hold of Your strength and we make a complete surrender to Your protection.  We come to You looking for a refuge.  Looking for a place of rest.  Looking for restoration, refreshment, quietness and peace.  That sweet peace that can only come from You.

We are going to stay focused on You, Jesus.  We let go of all anxiety, all fears, all anger, all unforgiveness.  Help us to know when we have crossed the line, so to speak, from thinking about a problem or situation, over into worry.  Worry brings on fear and anxiety which in turn brings on stress which has an effect on our bodies, our minds and even our spirit-man.  We know You do not want us to ignore potential problems.  We are not to pretend these things exist.  No, what we are to do is say “Father, here is a problem.  I can do this or that, go here or there, but I really do not know what is the best solution.  Lord, I need Your wisdom.  Guide me in this situation.  Help me to know who to act or react.  Give me favor with those involved.  Use me as a witness to those involved.  Lord, I refuse to allow stress and worry and anxiety to take over my life.  I give the whole situation over to You.  I trust You, Jesus, to carry the burden.  You said we are to lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross.  You will take them from there.  Our part is to trust You.  Our part is to stay focused on You. We give it all over to Your care and keeping.”

And Lord, we do.  We release the weight of whatever is trying to hold us down.  We are not going to allow stress to take over.  We are going to rejoice in Your Birth, Jesus, and rejoice in the victory You have given us in our lives.  Give us the discipline we need in order to resist the temptation to worry about a problem.  We trust You to guide us and lead us and show us what to do when the time is right.  Open our ears to hear Your Voice.  Open our eyes to see Your leading.  Open our hearts to receive Your peace.  That peace that passes all understanding.  A peace the world cannot understand.  Peace to live.  Peace to love.  Peace to give and peace regardless of what is going on in us or around us.  We know You are in control.  

You told us to focus on whatever is lovely and loveable.  Whatever is good and right.  You said every good gift and every perfect gift comes from You, Father.  There is so much in this world to focus on which is lovely and loveable, good and right.  When worry tries to take over our thoughts, we are going to get our thoughts back on You.  That is where our strength comes from, where our peace is born, where our joy takes root.

Thank You, Jesus, for Your Peace, for Your Strength and most importantly, for giving Your Life for us.

In Jesus’ Name…Amen

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