Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20 ESV
With a name like Caligiuri, you can imagine what it was like for me in school when the teachers took attendance the first day of each year. Usually, after a while they would get it right but sometimes, I just gave up and simply smiled and nodded at their mangled attempts. The great thing about Jesus is that He not only knows our name, but He also knows how to pronounce it as well as every other detail of our lives! In this time as we are passing through storms of violence, division and confusion, it is a great comfort to know that if we have given our life to Jesus and repented of our sins then God has our names written in Heaven. There, no one will ever erase it, forget it or replace it. We have an eternal place with Jesus and there is no greater joy than being His! Today’s song – When the Roll is Called Up Yonder reminds us of this time of celebration, in a toe-tapping and upbeat way that has made it one of our favorites at the nursing home. I wish I could show you more of the faces of my friends there, but with usually this is not permitted. But one day we will have the chance to all meet on the other side and the good news is that we will all be younger and better looking there!!
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 ESV
In light of the despair many of us are feeling from the two recent senseless mass shootings, I simply share this familiar verse. Though we have heard it thousands of times, the amazing thing is that God’s Word always has something fresh for our daily lives. The first time I came upon this verse I loved the idea of soaring like an eagle. I had spent half my life packing boxes and moving to another new neighborhood where I had to make friends and register for another school, but rather than feeling free, it felt more like life in a glass cage. Everyone knew who I was – the new kid- But I had no idea if they would like me, ignore me or pick a fight. Soaring like an eagle in my newly found faith in Jesus seemed wonderful. With Him I could leave behind the old reality of never belonging anywhere and fly with Him to a new life.
But something strange happened with my flight plan. One day as I was soaring nicely along, out of the blue a lightning bolt struck and burned off all my feathers and I fell to the ground. But once the shock of the crash wore off, I discovered that even though that I couldn’t fly any more, Jesus was still with me! Instead of a flight plan, I found myself on a racetrack where I began to run the race of faith. Up hills and down through steep dark valleys, I found that running wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
Then one day, I woke to find that my knees ached, my hips hurt, and I could only manage a slow walk. As discouragement began to set in, the Lord came, inviting me to lean on His shoulders, and reminding me that He also struggled up the path that the Father had chosen for Him. Then as we walked along together, I remembered that He also was often the new kid in town, He too had wept at the grave of a friend and understood better than I what it meant to be alone. Today I am not flying well, nor even running my race quickly, but through all that has happened I am more than ever walking slowly but surely with my Lord!
If you have had a crash and burn landing or two in your life don’t give in to despair. If you do not have the strength to run another mile, be encouraged, Jesus will walk the second mile with you. May the Lord strengthen and bless you today and keep you today as you lean on His shoulder and walk another day with Him!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV
Not long ago we had the fun of driving through Safari Park in Virginia. I loved this photo we got of the zebra with the sign behind him. He stands in the roadway blocking us frim attempting to travel in the wring direction. My father once told me that the middle of the road is the most dangerous place because it is where you are most likely to get run over! In our crazy divided world if we are looking for a safe place to stand for Christ we had could stay home and be quiet. But I believe our very unsafe Lord Jesus would far prefer we follow this fearless Zebra and stand in the middle of the road for Him!