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Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

A Walk with Purpose | Contemplations in essays, creative prose, and poetry | A Christian's perspective on life, written by someone who happens to be working to health from chronic illness | May your day be brighter and your dreams sweeter | © 2012-2017 Bernadette Saddik, RoomFullOfIdeas.com | All rights reserved. I am not an expert. All photos, writing, and anything else posted is my own unless otherwise stated. Please, if you would like to share, give credit to the author. The content on this site is not professional advice or analysis. Please note that your comments are subject to moderation. Thank you.

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Faith String Holding | Transformed by God’s Power

Author: Bernadette Saddik

“And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.” Matthew 14:32 KJV

Adventuring along the narrow path,
I run into a roadblock obscuring the way.
Here I am, stuck…
with a string.

This string of faith
(beat up and knotted)
(what else am I supposed to do
with anxious thinking hands?)

“But when he [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me.’” Matthew 14:30 KJV

Even worn, this God-gifted faith string radiates power.
“Lord, save me!” I cry, having nothing left to do but to
bind that roadblock with my gnarled string,
heaving and praying with all my frail might.

As I hear it strain, the string stretches taunt,
but it holds as each doubt-chased moment passes.
Steady hands wrap around my failing own.
Then the mountain moves.

“And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’” Matthew 14:31 KJV

Yet another after another, roadblocks appear.
I grow weary in this journey.
My nerves and string are frayed.
There is nothing left to do but to close my eyes and pray.

Tied for the strangest thing about this string…
is when I look away from the wreckage…
God transforms those frayed ends.
And when I look back…

We are both stronger than before.

“And He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” Matthew 14:29 KJV

Matthew 14:29 KJV

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Categories: Inspirations

Thought Castle | Home in Christ’s Love

Author: Bernadette Saddik

“But when [the son] was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him…the father said to his servants…’let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.'” Luke 15:20, 24 KJV

Ease your frantic scrambling in that
ever-expanding thought castle.
(your ideas, plans, and dreams are
its tiles, bricks, and beams)

Yes, you are a castle keeper,
though not its only one.
No more than a child is keeper
of her safety, of her growing.

Tend to your thought castle,
but release the in charge-control-alone-illusion.
A keeper is no good lost.
(and there is much you still don’t realize)

Because how easily otherwise it is to
fall from not-yet opportunity walls,
drown in contrived joy moats,
burn in misunderstood hope dungeons.

You know this, because you have,
in consuming panicked-purpose fear,
slammed the door in Father’s face.
(deadlines looming, no time for Word-breathing Love)

Then you crumble,
and everything caves in,
and you don’t know where or who you are,
and that frantic energy is ready to explode.

You’ve locked yourself inside,
stuck with heart-barred windows.
This wondrous thought castle of possibility,
distorted into an angry, lonely room.

Yet, He Who came in a stable, Luke 2:4-7
Who left hanging on a tree, Luke 23:20-49
Who came back from a tomb, Luke 24:1-30
Who is risen unto Paradise… Luke 24:49-53

He has the key,
You have the need (cry out to Him!),
He has His open arms (what grace!).
Finally, in your castle, you see Home.

You, an inheritor, learning from the King, explore…
Walls reveal doors.
Moats uncover treasure coves.
Dungeons turn to passage ways.

For now, though, you have tired yourself.
Today, let Shepherd carry you up top —
up steep faith-stairs —
and rest in a high safe tower.

Rest in awe of that glorious resurrection view,
In awe of Christ’s glory.
Child, rest in awe.
Rest in peace-filled awe.

“His work is honourable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth forever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.” Psalm 111:3-4 KJV

“The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Psalm 116:6-7 KJV

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Categories: Inspirations

Swirling Hope Spheres | Immersed in God’s Grace

Author: Bernadette Saddik

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” 1 Peter 1:3 KJV

“By Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope…” Romans 5:2-4 KJV

I peer through the darkness.
Can’t see my hands in front of my face.
So frustrated.
So terrified.
Then I hear a whisper, calm, full of love,
nudging me, “My child, just open your eyes.”

There cupped in my hands,
bright swirls of hope, sphered.
(light beams create a path)
I cradle it.
Cradle it dear.
A perfect present from a perfect Father.

Too scared to let go or damage or destroy
this fragile-looking gift,
I stand perfectly still.
Cradling it.
Protecting it.
No harm shall I let come its way.

Then the earth shakes,
shakes a little more.
I can barely stand.
I have to take a step,
threaten my hope in the
unquantifiable movement of escape.

And worse, this hope threatens to fall,
and shatter.
I resist, I refuse to let go.
Why would God send this hope,
and let it shatter?
And so let me shatter?

Despite all the focus, the care
to keep that precious sphere
from falling, from breaking,
we shatter as the earth shakes.
It ruptures open.
Where am I now?

I close my eyes.
So frustrated.
So terrified.
I’m lost.
Hope’s gone.
And we’re broken.

The bright swirls change,
released from their sphere.
And they grow with plumes of smoke,
consuming the earth all around,
disappearing in the jaws of former dreams.
If only I had pursued them before we fell.

I run and trip and fall and crawl.
So frustrated.
So terrified of this…monster.
It was hope.
Why would hope devour my reality?
Why does it blind me?

When I open my eyes, I still cannot see.
Every time I cry out for Shepherd,
it grows bigger, chases closer to me.
I can’t go on anymore.
One last heave of my legs and I’m done.
It wins.

I’m on fire.
I’m on ice.
I’m too empty, yet too full of
frustration
and terror,
still grasping for hands more reliable than my own.

And then suddenly I see.

I see farther.
More color.
Beauty seeping into scars.
Light fragmented from embracing broken places.
I, no longer scared of the darkness in blinks.
Breathing in freed hope’s sweet air.

Standing straighter.
The ground beneath me no longer shakes.
And I know when it does — and it will —
I’ll run stronger, and braver.
Knowledge coursing through my veins.
Confidence bursting from my bones.

My hands, not imprisoned by any sphere,
stretch out and I notice a mist fading as it
marks the way, colors the world in miracles…
the signature of a Saviour.
His hands guide my all-encompassing awakening,
smoky and scary only by my unbelief.

That perfect present from my perfect Father.
Hope not still.
Not fragile.
Always dynamic.
The quantifiable movement of purpose.
My purpose immersed in grace.

I am immersed in God’s grace.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, Which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 KJV

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 KJV

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Categories: Inspirations

To trust in the Lord…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Confusion and chaos everywhere. Still Your song plays clearly.
Is this how peace sounds, my Lord?
Calling, softly calling!
Nearer, My God, to Thee

“Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8 KJV

To trust in the Lord…
Pain searing and mind burning. Yet Your hold wraps me tenderly.
Is this how comfort feels, my Shepherd?
Cradling, gently cradling!
Softly and Tenderly

“Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me;’ even the night shall be light about me.” Psalm 149:10-11 KJV

To trust in the Lord…
Bright lights and blurry faces. Then Your messengers appear.
Is this how mercy looks, my King?
Swift, oh so swift!
Great Is Thy Faithfulness

“The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion…” Psalm 20:1-2 KJV

To trust in the Lord…
Parched and sick and tired. But Your tears cleanse this wreck.
Is this how hope tastes, my Saviour?
Sweet, oh so sweet!
Be Still My Soul

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 KJV

Scared for a second, scared for a year. Nevertheless, fear roots not within.
For You, my God, shelter me.

You lift me in Your wings.
You tuck my spirit in the safety of Your love.
You protect me in all my ways.
Psalm 91

Heavenly Father, I come to You humbled and in awe at Your grace.

I Need Thee Every Hour.

Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust.” Psalm 16:1 KJV

Psalm 16:1 KJV

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Categories: Inspirations

Here I am, Lord

Author: Bernadette Saddik

…..Lord, here I am. Why don’t I see You?

My child, your eyes are too broken to see clearly how I am healing you. Close them and see with your mind and heart.

Remember how you were lonely and I sent a messenger your way?
Remember how you were sorrowful and I sent you happiness?
Were these not tangible? Could you not read them, see them?

I am not bound by shape, I am not bound by size to come to you the way you need Me most.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:9-10 NIV; “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a Voice came from heaven, which said, ‘Thou art my beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.'” Luke 3:22 KJV

…..Lord, here I am. Why don’t I hear You?

Ah, My treasured sheep. The world is a noisy place. If your senses are pointed in its direction, you will not hear the sweet music I play your way.

But you have heard Me, on many occasions.
You hear Me in the rain, beckoning you to come outside and breath.
In the silence, soothing your hurting head.
In the waves, calling you to peace.
You hear Me in the chaos, for I am the Voice that tells you, “It’s OK.”

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” Psalm 29:3-4 KJV

…..Lord, here I am. Why don’t I feel Your presence?

My beautiful child, I am with you always! Sometimes you do not seem to feel Me because you are wrapped so tightly in My embrace that you have no comparison to what your life would be like without My everlasting presence with you.

You feel Me in the shakes of your laughter. In the convulsions of your tears, each sob hitting against My shoulder. In the company of those I have placed around you.

You are never without Me. And, as much as it may seem like it, you are never alone. Direct your thoughts to Me and I will show you evidence of My comforting presence.

Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10 KJV

…..Lord, here I am. Where are You taking me?

My precious sheep, you spend so much time trying to figure out the future. I encourage you to stop comparing your expectations of My direction with the actual path on which I am guiding you. My plan far exceeds what you can ever hope for!

I am taking you to your purpose, and I am bringing you there in the easiest way you will let Me in this broken world. Let that be enough by focusing on one day at a time, with your eyes set to the future by looking to Me.

For I promise to show you the path of your life.
For I promise to fill you with joy.
For I promise to lead you to a beautiful eternity.
Psalm 16

I have already died for you, little one. I have already gained your victory. Just trust in Me.

My love, let yourself rest in My love!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body…It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken. Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to Himself.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 13-14 NIV

 

The responses to the questions are my own interpretations and are not the Word of God. It reflects my own internal dialogue and contemplations in prayer in an artistic sense, not an actual conversation or Divine speech.

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Categories: Inspirations

To be in Your presence…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

The responses to the questions are my own interpretations and are not the Word of God. It reflects my own internal dialogue and contemplations in prayer in an artistic sense, not an actual conversation or Divine speech.

….Lord, I call out for Your presence. Why don’t I feel You always?

My child, I AM here always. I AM with you. Please, ask for your heart to be open to Me. Ask to know My presence. I welcomed your invitation to let Me in your life. Won’t you welcome mine to be comforted? (Matthew 28:20)

…..Lord, I need someone by my side. Why is there no one there?

My precious lamb, I AM the friend you hope for, the One who listens to you pouring your heart out in the dark of night when you hurt so much you cannot sleep. (Psalm 42)

…..Lord, I want to hear Your voice. Why is it silent?

Listen, little one, listen to the whisper in your heart saying, “Rest now,” when you are weary and, “Go on,” when you are ready. Listen to My miracles of your heartbeat and of your breath when the demons distract you from My voice. I AM present, and I speak to you. (John 10:27-28)

…..Lord, I reach out for You to lighten my burden. Why must I carry so much?

Young one, you are not meant to carry the burden of suffering alone. It is only by My power that the troubles in this life are navigable. I do not give you this load to handle. I give you My shoulder to bear it. (Psalm 68:19, Matthew 11:2-30)

…..Lord, I ask to taste life’s sweet moments. Why must I eat through the bitter too?*

O creation in My image, first realize how much more I suffer these than you! The burden of the cross weighs heavily on Me always. But suffering is part of the world, the consequence of sin. (Genesis 3)

Remember My grace that allows you to move past this life. The end of this journey is neither bitter nor bittersweet. It is full of satisfying moments composing an eternity of joy. (Romans 5)

In the meantime, relish your time spent with Me, for I AM eager to show you My peace. (Philippians 4:6-7) It brings a shepherd great joy to protect his sheep. (John 10:11)

My lamb, let Me be always and in everything your Shepherd!

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:1-2, 11 NIV

*For further reading: 2 Corinthians 4-5

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Categories: Inspirations

Jesus, You are my answer…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

On the warm water, I need not worry about staying afloat. You hold me close, as a lamb to her Shepherd. You keep my head above water, sustaining me with the breath of life.

“But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3 NIV

Floating is hard work, especially when I fight Your hold. I am hungry, always hungry for more. But You fill with Your bread of life.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 KJV

So much artistry in this glorious creation! As I rest in Your arms, You free me to see dawn’s streaks of color. The sparkling jewel that is the ocean. The shimmering fish scales from the passing school.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

I close my eyes now, and feel Your healing touch. Every fiber of my being relaxes from the rolling waves of Your calming presence. Even in these moments of pain, I know You are healing me every second of every day. It is a matter of time. And meanwhile, You cradle me tenderly.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5 NIV
“O Lord my God, I cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed me.” Psalm 30:2 KJV

Yes, Lord, I am happy. Happy because of Your overspilling love.
Yes Lord, I am joyful. Joyful because of Your beautiful grace.

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” 1 Peter 1:8 NIV

Thank You for always open arms.
Thank You for everlasting hope.
Thank You for forgiving us at our worst.
Thank You for loving us first and best.

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him…We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:9, 19 NIV

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Categories: Inspirations

Lord, my heart hurts…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

I’m afraid this post doesn’t offer many possible answers or ways to clear the fog. Just a lot of questions. Questions I’ve been praying about the past few months. For that, I apologize. It won’t become a habit. Please, as always, you are welcome to comment!

Thoughts spinning
Voices swirling
Heartbeat racing

Too much!

What do You want of me?
How much more must I bear?
Dare I utter the cruel words-
“It’s not fair,”?

What do I know of fair?
If fairness existed right now, then I’d have a lot more problems.
But how does one handle grace, well, gracefully?
How…

The plates come crashing down.
One-two-three…
Does it even mean anything?
Why should I care?

Please, tell me how education matters?
Why people matter?
What…doing, being!…matters?
Where is that fine line between buying the lottery ticket, and letting You take care of the rest?

Lord, I really don’t know.
But I take comfort that I don’t have to.
All I need to hold on to are Your words.
Those beautiful names who You are.

“I AM your Shelter.” (Psalm 91)
“I AM your Father.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15-17)
“I AM your Saviour.” (1 John 4:13-15)
“I AM your God.” (Exodus 3:14-15)

“I will not forsake you.” (Psalm 9:9-10)
“I will not let you walk alone.” (Psalm 138:7)
“I have a purpose for you.” (Proverbs 16:3-4)
“I have eternal peace and joy in store.” (Romans 15:13)

“Just don’t give up on Me.” (James 1:12)
“I have not, and will never give up on You.” (2 Corinthians 4)
“My child, hang on.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)
“My child, I love you.” (1 John 4:9-10)

“As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me…” Psalm 55:16-18 KJV

 

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Categories: Inspirations

Lord, where is my rest?

Author: Bernadette Saddik

The responses to the questions are my own interpretations and are not the Word of God. It reflects my own internal dialogue and contemplations in prayer in an artistic sense, not an actual conversation or Divine speech.

I’m tired…
…of the nightmares. Cold sweats, can’t escape. Of the enemy I cannot see, but when I see it in my dreams, I never want to see it again. Of the enemy I face at night.

I’m tired…
…of the pain in blinking. How can that possibly hurt? Of the fire tearing through my face when I smile. How is that fair?! Is that what you’ll throw at me, you cruel disease? I can’t enjoy the simple pleasure of smiling!

I’m tired…
…of feeling the need to be strong for others. Because that’s what everyone expects of me, right? Except I don’t feel like doing that at all. I’m supposed to be strong. I don’t feel strong. I don’t even want to be strong. But isn’t that wrong? I’d say I want to go back to sleep, but for those awful nightmares.

I’m tired…
…I don’t know what I want. I want to do everything, but I don’t want to do anything. I’m tired. Is that bad of me to say?

My child, I know you are tired. I know it intimately, that it hurts. It hurts a lot. Was I not exhausted carrying the cross on my shoulders? Was I not wiped out by the burden of all that is evil? (Luke 23:26-49)

My child, let not the dreams disturb you. Though evil taunts you, attempting to trick you into fear and despair, let Me respond. Trust Me, this is not a battle you want to fight, nor can you. This is as all battles–in My realm. (Psalm 55:22-23)

My child, keep blinking! I count every hair on your head–do you not think I also count every time you blink? And for each stab of pain will come a glorious wave of serenity. (Luke 12:6-8)

My child, if nothing else, in your heart smile! Your spirit is safely tucked away with My Spirit. Evil cannot approach you there–as much as it will try–if you take solace in My arms. (Psalm 139:7-12, Romans 8:5-13)

My child, you are right–you are not strong! Nor must you be. I am strong for you. This is one of My gifts of salvation. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Think not of how others perceive you. I’ll work on their hearts as I work on yours. Concern yourself only with nestling in My open shoulders. (Luke 12:24-26)

My child, this life of yours is a stage of impending victory. The decision of ‘what to do’ is very little. Keep living and loving in Me, and you will be fulfilled. Because I’ve done the work. I always have and always will win. (Hebrews 12:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10)

My child, seek, ask, believe–salvation is yours. Peace and comfort are yours. (Romans 5:1-2)

For I AM risen! (Matthew 28)

“‘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.'” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

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Categories: Inspirations

To Hear His Voice…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

The sweetness of His voice! The gently crashing waves on the shore. Singing a poem, a song, a painting, a play.

To hear His voice…
All my troubles melt, even if just for a moment. A taste of heaven, a life with my heavenly Father. Calling, softly calling.

To hear His voice…
This isn’t forever. You hear that, pain? This isn’t forever!

To hear His voice…
Calm, my mind in turmoil. Peace, this is the gift of life. Marking the departure from confusion.

To hear His voice…
One day at a time. Lulling a hymn in my ears as I work, broken. Making me whole with His notes.

To hear His voice…
Cry, little one. Scream in ugly rage, if you want. But listen, listen.

To hear His voice…
Say goodbye to the anger. To the notes off-key. Listen, listen, to the beautiful melody.

To hear His voice…
Hello to a life brand new. Bearing the lessons of the scars of old. Bearing the joy of new.

To hear His voice…
A gift from above. Lord, let me hear Your voice! Let me hear the heartbeat of strength, the pulse of victory, the breath of life!

“Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto Thee will I pray. My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:2-3 KJV

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Categories: Inspirations

What is faith, my Lord?

Author: Bernadette Saddik

The responses to the questions are my own interpretations and are not the Word of God. It reflects my own internal dialogue and contemplations in prayer in an artistic sense, not an actual conversation or Divine speech.

…..Lord, it’s too hard. Everything is too hard.

My child, My yoke is easy, my  burden is light. If anything too too difficult, it means you are not relying on Me enough. (Matthew 11:30)

…..How, Lord?

Help Me help you. Focus on listening to My Spirit in you. I have given you intuition in that Voice in your mind and in your heart. (Romans 8:26)

…..But, Lord, what does that mean? How can I define this guidance?

Oh, my stubborn little sheep, My Spirit needs no defining. Some things in life are not logical in any sense you are capable of handling. One day, you will understand the details. But, trying to get to the numerical answer will cloud you from understanding what I want you to know today. (Proverbs 2)

…..So then, what should I do, Lord?

Seek My love, and love others. It is this act which opens your soul to know what you need to know, and when. See, My Son died for you. This is the ultimate act of love. In His resurrection, He opened the way for you to join Me. Follow in His footsteps, love, and you will see My knowledge come through the gates of the world. (Philippians 1:9-11)

…..Lord, how on earth can I do that? Isn’t that difficult? Doesn’t that bring me back to my original problem?

Well, you are right, My child–there is no way on earth you can accomplish love. I AM love. Which means you just have to submit yourself to Me and let Me do all the hard work. (1 John 4:7-21)

…..But, Lord, giving up control is so, well…hard!

Remember my servant Paul? How he experienced so many troubles? Yet, somehow, he remained zealously faithful to Me. That is because He trusted Me to do the work. The hardest thing I will ever ask you to do is have faith. Evil will throw horrendous obstacles your way. It breaks My heart, and I suffer what you suffer. But, even in these times, all I ask you to do is have faith. (2 Corinthians 11:23-33)

…..I don’t get it, Lord.

Imagine a young sick child. She cannot do anything by herself. What does she do? She trusts her parents to feed her. She trusts them to give her water. She trusts them to take her to the doctor. You see where this is going. Does she ever cry, “Mother, where shall my food come from!”? Does she ever cry, “Father, how will I get to my appointment!”? No! Even if the parents must search high and low for resolution, she herself needs not to worry. Because her parents take care of her. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Now, imagine how much more I, your Heavenly Father, will take care of you? How much more capable of love I AM than any other parent? My child, free yourself from the burden of ‘how.’ (Matthew 7:11)

My child, let yourself be My child! (Matthew 18:2-5, 19:14)

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 NIV

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Categories: Inspirations

To my Shepherd, my Father, my Comforter:

Author: Bernadette Saddik

You are my every good thought, word, action.

Because, “there is nothing new under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) all I can offer you is “a joyful noise” (Psalm 100:1) from Your Spirit stirring within me.

I am never alone. I should never be lonely.

Sorry for each time I have disobeyed You. Whenever I stray, I am away from Your comfort. You are my greatest peace. Forgive me.

Please accept from me this “broken spirit, that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice to hear the joy and gladness” (Psalm 51:8, 17) of You.

Every sin of mine drives the nail in the cross a little deeper. But, in Your mercy, You have gladly carried this burden, that I may “know this love which surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).

Let everything I say “be like the very words of” (1 Peter 4:11) You, and let everything I do be done as Your servant.

Grant me the humble wisdom, discernment, and knowledge to hear You and act on Your guidance.

Through your grace, everything that happens in my life is for good. Each thing that hurts is not from You, but You turn it into a blessing.

Thank You for Your love.
Thank You for Your open arms.
Thank You for Your victory.
Thank You for Your eternal peace.

“Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.” Psalm 6:8-9 KJV

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Categories: Inspirations

Lord, You see me…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

In my every breath, You see me.

Behind the smiles, You see the frowns.
Behind the laughter, You see the sobs.
Behind the enthusiastic energy, You see the utter exhaustion.
You see me.

There is no hiding behind the wall of “It’s OK.” I’m really not.
There is no showing you only a part of the picture of how I really am.

In front of You, I need not try to be strong to lift others up. Between You and me, I am completely weak.

And that’s alright.

Your heart may break at the sight of my pain, but You are bigger than it. My heart won’t break at Your seeing me raw and unfiltered.

I can cry myself to sleep at night, comforted by You, an ever-present Help, my Shelter, my Shepherd.
You do not judge me by my inabilities or appearances.
You do not make me feel guilty for causing sadness.

The pain must be protected. Is it wrong to shield others from the storm in me? Most of me doesn’t want to expose the fullness of my situation.
I expend excess energy to seem mentally clearer.
I’ve figured out the right products to give my skin more color.
I’ve learned to wince and cry inside where no one can see, except You.

But, some days, I think I’m about to shatter. It can be so hard not to reveal my complete thoughts and feelings. I get frustrated when people tell me how good I look, or how well I seem.

I suppose I bring this on to myself–after all, how can one expect others to be mind-readers? They discern from what they see. And only You see all of me.

Besides, they speak to me with Your love and compassion. Through them, You are my support system. Every small victory is worth praise.
Nevertheless, it wrongly causes doubt.
It causes alienation.
It causes raging anger.

And then I remember You. What matters most is what You know, what You see, what You do.
And You know the extent of my pain.
You see the deep-reaching suffering.
You love me despite my flaws and surround me with wonderful people.

My heart cries out for a friend, and You Lord, are my Friend. The Keeper of my secrets, the Prince of peace. One day, I might be ready to show the world all of me.

For now, though, I will not burden others with the entirety of my lot. I will show others the comfort You so mercifully give. You have called us to be Your lamps, and that is what I’ll do.

Because it is enough that You see me.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV

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Categories: Inspirations

My Shelter, carry me

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Some days you feel trapped inside your body and you get so frustrated that you want rip your hair out by the roots and unravel your nerves. You have a burning desire to beat every fiber of your being that hurts into behaving.

The pain becomes overwhelming. You can’t breathe. And you, flawed, tired, weak, and worn, build a cage for the illusion of protection. But, you haven’t the will to do anything else, much less push back.

So, the disheartening pain shoves you further into your prison, making the cage smaller and smaller until you are caught. There is nowhere else to go. There seems to be no hope, no way out.

Swelling inside you is the urge to kick, shout, scream, cry. You wish that in one swift blow, you could transfer that cruel pain to your chair, or wall, or any object you can get your hands on.

This is not the way to treat the body God gave us. This is not the way for a child of God to think, or His image to act.

Within a gasp, the blink of an eye, a heartbeat, you can have the space of the universe, a comfort for eternity, a hand to hold you for all ages.

You can answer Christ’s knock.

No need to spend extra resources calling Him. He is already there.

He is the shield and light Who effaces the tyrannical darkness and places you on the path of salvation. His abundant strength pulls you from your agonized curl and stands you tall, leading you to green pastures.

What joy He instills that keeps you persevering. I can do nothing good without God, yet with Him, in Him, because of Him, I can withstand anything.

Such peace is a priceless treasure, such love ever-lasting.

Some days it’s easy to acknowledge God is in control. We don’t fight Him as much. We’re open to what He says and know how to follow through on it. Other days, though…they can be tough.

We get scared to relinquish control because we wrongly feel it is all we have left. Yet, when that weight inevitably hinders every breath, we must remember God, Who asks us to let Him steer our lives.

He does not want any of His children to suffer. Yet bad things happen. We live in a world marred by sin. But, God can and will and does carry our burden. He works everything for the good of those who love Him.

All we have to do is embrace His arms that are ready to be our refuge, our shelter.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 KJV

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Categories: Inspirations

Lord, please hear Your sheep.

Author: Bernadette Saddik

The responses to the questions are my own interpretations and are not the Word of God. It reflects my own internal dialogue and contemplations in prayer in an artistic sense, not an actual conversation or Divine speech.

…..Lord, I am tired.

I know, My child, but I carried your burden on the cross, and I already defeated it. When you are weary, think of Me. Take from My Bread, from My Blood, for they are full of life. see Matthew 26:26-28

…..Lord, I am sad.

There is no sadness, My child, for the joy of resurrection comes from My Spirit, Who nourishes your every need. When you are down, look up, for I descended to earth, and then ascended into heaven that you may come join Me in eternal happiness. see Ephesians 4:7-16

…..Lord, I am frustrated.

My child, listen to My whisper. Immerse yourself in My peace. Frustration has no place in perfection. It is not of Me. When you are fed up, remember that I have a plan for you, and it is for a life testifying Me. It is a wonderful life headed for utter bliss. Still your soul. see Romans 8:22-28

…..Lord, I am guilt-ridden.

This, My child, is unnecessary. I forgive Your sins when you ask and repent. I do not hold them against you. And, little one, you should never feel guilty about My plan. When you feel bad, ask for My serenity to accept the situation I choose. It is for the best of My flock. I take pleasure in comforting you. see Ephesians 2:14-18

…..Lord, I am confused.

Ah, this is so simple, My child. You need not understand why. This is the source of confusion. Accept My will. Request a humble wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to hear and apply My instruction. When you are baffled, it means you need to give me back the wheel. Trust in Me, for I love you and will never harm you. see Psalm 23

God listens to our prayers. He answers our cries.

…..Lord, I rejoice in You, “…for Your merciful kindness is great toward us, and Your truth endureth for all generations” -Psalm 117:2a KJV

Won’t you join me in praise to Him?

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” -Matthew 6:9-13 KJV; In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.

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Categories: Inspirations

Life doesn’t turn like the pages of a book…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Not the kind of book we imagine.
It is a work of art the Father brilliantly creates.
It is a stunning blueprint, a gorgeous picture, an awesome performance.

So let us pray that our will is God’s will, and bring forth beautiful light in the darkness of this world.

Yes, darkness will come. But in His mercy, He blesses us through that. Each moment is either bright, or it is not, in which case the light seems brighter.

When we fall, rising makes us closer to the Shepherd, as He gently lifts us and holds us nearer. Not only so…

He takes every arrow evil throws at us and turns it around a hundred times.

Evil may be a near infinite power, but God is infinite, and He, with His flock, prevails in His masterpiece plan.

But even with His kindness, I sometimes still feel so very broken, not at all marvelous. Then, He lovingly reminds me that…

Courage, true courage, is the courage to say, “I am weak.” That
Bravery, true bravery is to ask for help.
Wisdom, to accept that help. And
Knowledge, to know that it is not by my power.

Isn’t that a relief?

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

Courage, Bravery, Wisdom, Knowledge

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Categories: Inspirations

May your day be brighter, if not better…

Author: Bernadette Saddik

For each moment of light casts away the shadows.

Those inevitable demons make the light so much sweeter. They try to take us down, only for God to raise us up again.

Remember the time when you cried out, “God, grant me some good!”? Today He fulfills that promise.

Think of the miracle of each passing breath. Is there not reason, then to sing praise to our Heavenly Father in the night, even in our most despaired hour?

Yet, when this is not possible, for you and I are only human, think of the candle. Let not sorrow’s phantoms overpower you. My child, God offers, partake of my Bread and be lit with the glory of resurrection.

Look to a new day.

Reflect on a time in your life, any time in your life, when you smiled at the kindness of a child, or laughed at the curious bark of a dog. At some point, God has granted us all at least once the memory of His grace. Cling to this dearly when you enter the dreary caves of sadness.

God is merciful. When we are low, seek His presence in the deepest trenches of the ocean. When we are ecstatic, remember His presence in the highest mountaintops.

He is always. Thus joy is always. When happiness cannot be attained, know that joy can. Joy in His love for us. Joy in salvation. Joy in the hope for a better day.

But for now, may your day be brighter, if not better.

You might find that a glimmer of light lifts, perhaps just a little, the day’s troubles.

“But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise for He has been good to me.” -Psalm 13:5-6 NIV

 

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Categories: Inspirations

When in the dark I pray,

Author: Bernadette Saddik

An endless horizon of the surf meets the sky. As I look up, I see the stars proclaim God’s majesty.
…..I see an enduring Fortress.
…..I see His infinite love for me.
In His creation He shows me His breath-taking splendor. In His mercy, the Father reveals that what I comprehend now is only a sliver of His grandeur.
…..It is more magnificent than my heart can fathom.
By His grace, the Spirit stirs within me, granting me a taste of His satiating tranquility.

My eyes glaze over the silhouette of the tamed tide.
In the caressing ocean breeze, His hand brushes away the hot streams on my cheeks. In the swirling winds He hugs me close.
…..He tells me of His love, that He will never let go.

How can the sheep drown when the Shepherd carries her?

I dig my face in His open shoulders, screaming in rage and frustration, my mind lost in the chaos.
He comforts me with the assurance of a time with neither grief nor guilt, neither embarrassment nor agony.
…..There will be no knives, shots, shocks, throbs.
I will jump in dance without crackling lightning.  I will, with untiring voice, sing loud songs of praise without crumpling in piercing pain.

But for now, He reminds me that every time I fall, no matter how hard, it is always on His hand from which He gently lifts me.
He does not want His children to hurt. Yet, this is the course of life here, the consequence of sin, the battle against evil.
…..Out of it, He promises to teach me closeness to Him that I may approach nearer His full measure; to guide me in helping others that they may suffer less; to strengthen my spirit that my body will not defeat me.

This undertaking, He guarantees, is not nor will ever be in vain.

On the cross, Christ gladly bore the pressing weight of all my tears.
With His victory over death, He inspires faith, hope, joy that each drop brings me one step closer to eternal bliss.
…..In the meantime, every stab needs not be hauled by me. In fact, I am weak and capable of nothing without God–only by His power is this burden overcome.

God urges me to open my heart to Him.
…..He resonates with the sensibilities of my soul as He declares that He is the Voice which rebukes the sea, and it fearfully obeys. He clothes the withering grass and feeds the fleeting sparrow.

My child, He pleads, follow Me and know how much more I will use My power to love, to grow, and to protect you.

I breathe deeply as His whisper immerses me in peace.

I listen to my Lord’s sweet song from the lumbering waves lulling my soul to everlasting serenity.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.” Psalm 42:11 NIV

 

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Categories: Inspirations