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Making Room: A Study of Biblical Hospitality: Day 12

Making Room for the Lost Cause

by

Today's Text: Psalm 25:3, Psalm 28:6-9, Jonah 3, Luke 19:1-10, Acts 9:17-31, 1 Peter 2:9

Text: Psalm 25:3, Psalm 28:6-9, Jonah 3, Luke 19:1-10, Acts 9:17-31, 1 Peter 2:9

“Everybody, even the worst stinker on earth, is somebody for whom Christ died.”
- Robert Farrar Capon

I know so many stinkers. I bet you do too. The question of what to do about someone who seems like a lost cause is, frankly, often on my mind. I knew some real stinkers even when I was in middle school, and during those years I was very committed to reading The Lord of the Rings. All those years ago, dressed in my mithril shirt, clutching my sword of Gondor, and nibbling on lembas bread, I discovered the stinker to beat them all: Gollum.

Originally, he was just a normal hobbit, until he fell into some bad circumstances (found a dangerous object) and made some bad choices (murdered his cousin) that conspired to turn him into the wretched creature, Gollum. Most of the “lost causes” I know got that way because of similar reasons: an unfortunate combination of bad choices and bad circumstances.

That instinct to be free of a “lost cause” is something many of us share, although we aren’t inclined to admit it. But, man, remember how Saul persecuted the Church, and stood by, complicit, at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:54-66)? God picked Saul up, turned him around 180 degrees, and sent him in the other direction with instructions to proclaim Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 9:20). God wasn’t done with Saul; He had a whole new life for him as Paul.

The story of Zacchaeus is similar, though instead of a zealous Pharisee, Zacchaeus was a rich and “sinful” man (Luke 19:1-2,7). But, like Paul, Zacchaeus repented when Christ called him (Luke 19:5-6). Both Paul and Zacchaeus repented, not because they sought Christ on their own, but because they were called to Him. The change in their lives didn’t happen because they were fed up with their way of life and turned all their gumption toward making themselves better human beings. It was God who called them to Himself.

If you are a Christian today, it’s not because you are a better or more disciplined person than your “lost cause.” It is because of “the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). He calls us. He changes us. It is He who makes the difference in the lives of the broken, the stubborn, the sneaky, the exhausting, the terrifying, and the unlovely.

What do we do in the meantime? If it’s all up to God, does that get me off the hook? I would be so happy to go back to my second breakfast and let God deal with His own invitations to stinkers. Jonah definitely felt the same way: Good riddance, Ninevah, you bunch of eye-gougers! (Jonah 3:1-3; 4:1-3, my summation and paraphrase). Then God had to call both Jonah and Nineveh to obedience; He called Nineveh to repent and Jonah to deliver His message of repentance.

And there it is. God does the calling. God does the changing. But we pray and walk in obedience, even if our steps are slow.

We don’t know the end of the story. In spite of how much I wanted Gollum to be shoved off a cliff and go away already, at the end of The Lord of the Rings, he was the only one uniquely and perfectly suited to save the whole world. Even the most seemingly hopeless case may still have a part to play. The gospel urges us not to give up hope and continue in quiet obedience.

But I will hope continually
and will praise You more and more.
- Psalm 71:14

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  • Evan Rayyan

    Simply wanna tell that this is very helpful, Thanks for taking your time to write this.CosmosEntertainment

  • Diane Huntsman

    I love these “real life” Bible story reminders.. these guys were real.. they were messes just like me, and Jesus saw their mess, loved them in their mess, and called them to turn from their sin and mess and follow Him.. I too was a mess, still am more often than I’d like to admit.. but that’s on me.. I don’t have to be a mess because when I am it’s usually due to my wondering.. my neglect of choosing that better part like Mary did.. sitting at His feet.. taking in His words as if they were the oxygen I needed to breathe.. I have chosen so many things over Him.. I have chosen my phone, the social media, my comfort, my job, my physical upkeep.. if I truly want to see my messes cleaned up I must choose Him above all else, I must sit with Him distraction free.. I must discipline my thoughts to meditate on His truths.. I still won’t be perfect, I understand that, but im settling for mediocre at best Christianity because I’m choosing so many other things as my primary focus.. I want to see His power manifested in and through me so that my transformation is radical and noticeable like it was for Paul and Zacheus.. so Lord help me and you too who can relate with me, to lay aside all the distractions and little gods that are interfering with radical godly living.. amen

    • Kristin

      Thankyou Diane for posting this. I totally relate! I will be praying for you! Not to settle for mediocrity but to reach for what Christ offers to us in the mist of our day, putting Him first. Keeping Him first and foremost in our lives so we can live the life He has planned for us. He can turn Sarai and Abrams into Sarah and Abraham. Saul into Paul, He is working in us right now, not by our own effort but with His. He is creating in us something new and beautiful.

  • Jess Gardiner

    For years it broke my heart that I was the lost cause. Growing up in a loving faithful Christian home, receiving excellent teaching in His Word and having very little baggage I expected great things of myself for God. Then hit the teens and my life fell apart with an eating disorder, anxiety and depression. For 8 years I battled to simply survive. The shame was the worst part. After all God had blessed me with, this was how I returned the favour. Hiding away at home months at a time, binging and starving myself and begging him to take my life. God destroyed my self righteous do-it-yourself Christianity. He brought me to the end, like complete end, of myself. That desperation drove me to Jesus. Oh Jesus LOVES lost causes. And he will do whatever it takes to help you see that you are a lost cause, *so that* you may be found. I am found now, hidden in Christ. This devotion was a precious reminder of how he pursued and saved me and how I have the glorious privilege of partnering with Him in that work.

    • Susan

      This is a beautiful testimony! Thank you so much for sharing your pain and struggle and God’s glorious redemption.

    • Christina

      What a precious HIStory you have! I love the reminder that we must be lost before we can be found. If we can do life and the Christian walk all on our own, then we are not living the Christ-life. Thank you for sharing!

    • Kris

      Love your story! Thank you for sharing your heart. ❤️

    • Diane Huntsman

      So beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!!!!

    • April M.

      Jess, thank you so much for sharing this. I have a very similar story–great Christian home and upbringing, blessed by the Lord in so many ways but seemingly unaware of my self-righteous approach to my faith. BUT GOD used an eating disorder and a crippling battle with legalism to bring me to the end of myself and show me how much I needed Him. Thank you for reminding me of what He did for me!

  • “God does the calling. God does the changing. But we pray and walk in obedience, even if our steps are slow.” Such a profound word. Thank you.

  • Wow. I am a Saul. I am a Jonah. I am Gollum. I turn away from Jesus so incredibly easily. I have been addicted to a temptation. Pornography. But this past year has been one of growth, because I found freedom. The barrier between me and God was broken down, and God brought me to my knees. I have still stumbled though!! I am so sinful!!! I am so quick to put on a mask when I am in public and take it off when I am alone. But I’m not alone. God is with me. And I sin in his presence. I sin IN his presence. I know that being a Christian does not automatically make me free from sinning ever again. I need to remind myself that being a Christian, a Christ follower, a God-lover, means to acknowledge that I’m NOT perfect, I’m SINFUL, and that is EXACTLY why I need a Savior. That is why I desperately need Jesus. I can’t find happiness on my own. I can’t continue to conjure up temporary pleasures. I can’t live life without Jesus. Pornography does nothing. It does NOTHING. It is temporary. It is fading. It will NEVER satisfy. But Jesus. Jesus thought of me while he was climbing the Hill of Calvary. He thought of me as the nails went into his hands. He thought of me as he was crucified, knowing that the pain he felt now was worth it, if only I could come to know Him. If only I could stop looking left and right and finally look up at him. Lord, nothing and no one comes close to you. It’s you and you only. Nothing could EVER come close. Help me know that. Help me believe that. Help me live that. And help me grab on to you, forever. Senior year of highschool, and I will trust you. I think I know where God wants me to go to college (Liberty University). I’m excited. I feel like I need to be immersed into a Christian community. I know it won’t last, I’ve been exposed to different people in my public highschool. And unfortunately, my experience at a Christian elementary school did not end well, with some betrayal of “friends” that was extremely hard. But I think this is what is best. I think this is what God wants for me. I have to keep praying, what is best for me and what is best for GOD? That’s what’s most important. I’m excited. If you all could please pray for me, that I would not fall into temptation again. Love this community, so thankful. Also, I think I am going to start Lent early and get off of FB and Instagram and YouTube. I think I need that. Thank you all. (haha ranting…sorry this is so long)

    • Lisa

      Praying for you now Sarah!

    • Farah

      Hi Sarah! I am in my senior year of highschool as well (in Belgium). How brave of you to share this with us. Being sinful doesn’t make you a bad christian, I think. You have found Jesus again and it will only make your faith stronger. I have experienced as well that Jesus is the only one that can really make me full of joy, even though it is sometimes hard to keep my faith strong in highschool, I try every day to pray and to give my life to Him. I wish you all the best, I believe you are a wonderfull girl and I will pray for you.

      • Sarah D.

        Wow thank you so much!! That’s so cool you’re from Belgium, I hope you have an awesome senior year!!!

    • Candy

      Wow Sarah so proud of you and how you are turning around your life at a young age. Lots of people wouldn’t have even recognized that they had a problem. I think that God was def telling you something when you posted about trying to decide on a university and someone that usually doesn’t even read the comments from Liberty answered you -wow! God has such wonderful plans for you! Ephesians 2:10
      I love this new quote from the new star wars movie. Your belonging is not behind you but in front of you-your future. Don’t let your past dealings with people sour you to the future. Don’t give them the power to determine how you feel about yourself. God has got you and you are loved even more than you can ever imagine. I pray that each day of your walk will reveal to you how much you are loved and valued.

    • Gema Muniz

      Wow! You are a brave young lady Sarah to bear your soul and expose your own sin, there are many people walking around falling into sin and not even acknowledging it. 1John 1:9 says “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” This is your first step to a new you, believe and have faith that through your obedience and your love for Christ God will cleanse you and not allow you to fall into temptation anymore. When you find yourself slipping away and about to fall into sin seek the lord and know he will give you a way out, he always does. God bless you sister, praying for you.

    • R

      Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable and share bravely. We have an enemy, Satan, that would love to distract God’s children and get us entangled in ANY sin that works in keeping our eyes off our Savior and Lord of our lives. Praying for you sister Sarah that God will strengthen you, restore you, and bless you. I’m praying this verse over you: “I am always aware of the Lord’s presence, He is near and NOTHING can shake me.” Psalm 16:8

    • Heather

      Hey Sarah I think I replied to you before. I live in Lynchburg, and I would love to talk to you and to be here for you when you come to Liberty in the fall. :)

    • Shelby S.

      Hi Sarah! I’m a senior in high school too, and I always feel a little special connection when I see other high schoolers on SRT. It’s nice to see that I’m not alone ya know. Thanks for being willing to share vulnerable parts of yourself and letting us as your sisters in Christ help carry your burdens. I’m praying for you girl and I know that God will be faithful to you and help you with all of your struggles and challenges. Liberty will be awesome if you go there; I have friends who love it!

      • Sarah D.

        Aw awesome yes, haha I always get excited to see other high schoolers too. So cool! Thanks so much Shelby.

    • Denise

      Hi Sarah! I am so glad that you have chosen LU to attend for college. I live about 5 minutes from there. It is a very wise decision to immerse yourself in a community that is Christian based. I read that your experience with a Christian elementary school did not go well. I can relate to that as I had a similar experience with a Christian elementary/ Jr. High school. Jerry Falwell said that just because we have a Christian university does not mean that all that attend here are Christians. Our hope and prayers are that by the time they leave here they will become Christians. Also, Christians are sinners just like me and just like you. We all struggle with our temptations and fall so very short of the glory of God but it is through the incredible grace and mercy of Christ that we are forgiven. Again and again and again keep repeating this . . . .
      Please feel free to contact me when you are here. I would love to help you feel at home. Lifting you up in prayers.

      • Sarah D.

        Thank you so much!

        • Denise

          Keeping you in prayers. Let me know if you would like my contact info. Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)

          11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

  • I didn’t want to read this devotional right when I saw the name. I know all the right answers already, I know that no one is truly a ‘lost cause’ and that God alone does the calling, God alone does the healing. So that’s been my excuse to estrange myself from these ‘lost causes’, or at least keep our relationships to once a year phone calls. Tying hospitality and lost causes together goes against everything in my nature, partly because I’ve tried. These people who hurt me so badly, and who are so stubbornly sinful and feel justified in their aggression and self righteousness have been invited into my home, and reject my family. Eaten my food, and still attack me. Continually abusing others very dear to me for the sake of their own ‘happiness’ and abusive control, manipulating scripture and science to fit their own perspective of truth.

    How do you show hospitality and love to the lost causes in your family that cost you energy, time, and endless emotion while keeping up necessary boundaries for your own health and sanity? I don’t have a answer, but I take comfort in the knowledge that our God does the calling, that he does the saving- their salvation doesn’t rest on me. But I cringe knowing that my work isn’t ‘done’, that as family and a sister in Christ I am required to show love however I can, in whatever way I can. But I can’t do it on my own- my soul must rely on God’s strength, my trust must lay in his very nature of goodness. “But I will hope continually and will praise You more and more. – Psalm 71:14″

    • Candy

      Veronica I too have some lost causes in my family. And I also have had to “pull away” to save myself. I try to put them in Jesus’s lap in my prayers. But it’s so hard to watch someone destroy himself. I pray that God will continue to work on our lost causes and show us our paths. God bless you for sharing!

    • Christine

      Read the book “Boundaries” it changed my life. I can relate to everything you have shared!

  • I love this so much. How often do I make it about myself, but it’s all about HIM. Thanks for this reminder. I am so grateful for the grace of Jesus

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Logan Chrisitne

    This week has been tough for my husband and I due to some “stinkers.” The whole week it was easy to think so badly of them and want to talk them down after the hurt they have caused us, but last night as I prayed the Lord reminded that I needed to forgive them and pray for them. This reading couldn’t come at a better time! My husband and I have been called by God and we need to pray that He would call them to Himself as well, because without Him they will probably always be stinkers. And whether they stay stinkers or not, we need to forgive them and show them grace because that is how we can exemplify Christ’s love and forgiveness to them.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Rebecca for letting God use you to speak to my soul today.

  • I love this. At some point, I remember I was the lost cause. Even though I believed in God, I reached a point where I had given up on Him. I have up the wish of living a happy life. I just wanted it to end and gave up on my life. But although I gave up on God, He never gave up on me. He was silently there in the background just waiting…. waiting for the moment I would come back to Him. He knew I would get there. He knew I would realize He was what I needed all along. Now that He saved me, I want to help Him save the lives of other lost causes. Give them a fighting chance. That’s why I’m working on my special project that includes my writing. It’s where I’m going to share my testimony to all those who may be going through rough times, doesn’t matter how old you are or where you are in your life. I feel like He has called me to do this and I can’t wait to see what He’s going to do with it. I am so desperate to share my testimony and share how great and powerful and loving my God is <3

    • Farah

      Thank you for sharing this! It gives me hope to know God never let us go and always invites us to come back to Him. Thank God He saved you, because even though I don’t know you, I believe you are wonderful. Your testimony will help a lot of people, I think it is amazing you are sharing it! Good luck with the project and never give up on God or on yourself.

  • Martha Swanson

    It must be the place that I am right now, I know it is. I came into today’s reading needing balm for my soul. I was hanging onto Jesus for dear life this morning, waking with a heavy heart. I have been and to some still am a lost cause. I say the inappropriate things, not purposely, even with Jesus in my life. I am the one people avoid. Even in Church. I am sorry ladies but I did not find this encouraging. Yes, I am “that one” to many of you.

    • Jennifer

      But to Christ, YOU are the one He loves. You are the one He died for. You are not a lost cause, because he has claimed you as his own. People will disappoint you, and yes, regrettably sometimes the greatest disappointment comes from within the church. You may label yourself a “lost cause” sweet Martha, but God labels you forgiven, worthy, valued, and adored. Praying that you come to understand your worth as a child of God, regardless of what others say or make you feel.

    • Jess Gardiner

      Hey beautiful lady. Lost cause over here too! But the kingdom of God is for such as us. Those who are entirely sick of themselves and cling to Jesus as their only hope. This is the very foundation God uses to turn lost causes into saints. So be encourages. You are greatly favoured by Him. Keep clinging sister and you’ll see Him work wonders in your life in His timing.

  • SO needed this today! Amen!

  • I love the comparison to Gollum here! The mercy both Bilbo and Frodo show to him throughout the story allow him to continue to fulfill his purpose. Both of them had easy opportunities to kill Gollum, but they both had mercy. How often do I write off people that I don’t think have a part to play in The Story anymore… But that’s not my job to write them off like Job did to the Ninevites. My job is to have mercy and realize that at the end of the day, I am just a wretched creature like Gollum, undeserving of mercy, but receiving unending second chances from my savior. I can think of a few “lost causes” in my life right now and so this challenges me to extend mercy and make room for them in The Story.

  • Keri McCue

    I think knowing that God chooses us first is so comforting. It’s not because of anything I’ve done, it’s only by His grace and mercy that I am saved! I love this!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • The timing of this isn’t lost on me. Last night I awoke abruptly and very clearly God showed me that I had been mean to people I worked with for several years (not always mean, but still the same, mean with unrealistic expectations) due to my own insecurities and fears related to my past. It was like a punch in my stomach. He showed me flashbacks to my angry moments and I was ashamed. I cried out to Him and asked if I could be changed and asked forgiveness. Today this was waiting for me. As I wrote on my page, “people change, God changes people, repent, compassion, kindness, God’s love ” His message was so clear to me and I again cried out with thankfulness and praise. God is changing me! He is turning my heart of stone to flesh. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say it’s a little scary! Allowing myself to feel things after so many years of hiding behind anger is not an easy task…but Jesus! He has me and is showing me!

    • Elise

      Thank you for sharing Jamie. I too have struggled with anger and also anxiety. You are not alone. He is big enough to change us with his gentleness. Praying for you today.

  • I realized at a young age that I had a heart for the so-called “lost causes”. ALL of my favorite characters were known, even named, by their grumpiness, their angered hearts or lack of “happy”. I was convinced they were all misunderstood characters who just needed a little love and understanding. I had no idea how much this tendency would play out in my life, especially after coming to Christ. Once I knew Christ, I KNEW He was the answer for everyone, so those misunderstood folks, yeah, I just knew they needed to know Him. And in truth, they did. We all just need to know Him. The world is very different place with that relationship in tact. Soooooo, when I met the young man who would become my husband, I knew, I knew He needed Jesus and I thought for sure that I was going to help him see that. I saw the “Paul” parts of my husband that no-one else did, not even himself and I was convinced that with encouragement and love and loads of prayer he would begin to see them too. And he did. There were days and months in years that were amazing but there were many days and months and years that were not. I sorely misunderstood my place in that role and unbeknownst to me inserted myself in place of Jesus in my husband’s world. It’s an easy mistake to make, but not an easy one to identify. There was no doubt I loved my husband. So incredibly much but he didn’t much love himself and belief that relationship with Christ would help him, well, that was a pipe dream to him. Over the course of many years, he would lean away and I would stick by his side, speaking truth but while chasing after him to do it until one day, God was very clear with me … He made me very aware that I needed to leave, in fact, what I heard was, “get out of the way”. I was humbled and hurting. Did I really hear what I thought I heard? But you know what, all those years of misunderstanding my role had just plum worn me out and in the messiest of marriages, I was exasperated, tired and worn down beyond words, so I left, kids in tow. There is much to that story, so much to that story but for now I will tell you, it only got worse in that separation and just when I was really done, ready to walk away forever, just when I put the phone down for good, stopped talking so much, stopped yelling, stopped encouraging, stopped fighting, stopped everything. When I stepped away, God stepped in. And the “Saul” in my life, became the “Paul” I was always convinced was there, things didn’t become a fairytale overnight, there was still stuff to be ironed out and work to be done but God had taken a “lost cause” (those words dashed upon my husband for years, even by his own mother) and turned him inside out, cleaned out his bitterness, his anger, his hurt and gave him a new version of himself through a circumstance much like Jacob wrestling God.

    We all know God’s capability here. We know that there are no “lost causes” with Him. We know this but my point is that we can not misunderstand our place in it. “And there it is. God does the calling. God does the changing. But we pray and walk in obedience, even if our steps are slow.” I was quick to see small change and lavish love on it in a big way, like trying to stoke a fire with holy water … but it would cause that change to shrivel up and die down. I needed to slow down in my efforts. I needed to let God build the fire and I needed to sit quietly, while slowly tending to it. He was the physician, I was the nurse, not the reverse. That experience wasn’t just for my handsome husband, it was for me too. The humbling that took place for both us, changed our family for good and we have never been the same since. Just like there is no lost sheep to a Shepherd, there is no lost cause to God. If He is calling us to be a part of the search party, without a doubt, we need to comply. ~ B

    • Christy

      Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    • Churchmouse

      I love your last two sentences, B. There are times when I was determined to save the “lost cause”. It took me awhile to grasp that I can certainly be a member of the search party, but there is only one Savior. I’m content to walk in slow obedience and leave the saving to Him.

    • wendy

      Discovering your story…….we tend to do that for others, but God has already gifted us with the tools, and people for our own journey. Your story speaks to many, more than you know. Keep sharing , it is a blessing for others. Humility is so powerful.

      • ~ B ~

        I agree so much, we have already been given tools, we just need to learn how to use them. Still learning on this end. Thank you, for your kind words, Wendy.

    • Leslie

      B, thank you for sharing your story. Some day I would like to hear it all. You write in a compelling way that consistently brings the glory to God.

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you, Leslie. Your words, this morning, are soothing to me. This is when I wish we could all sit down over coffee or tea and chat. You SRT women are the best.

    • Kate

      Thank you so very much for sharing your story. I am in a similar circumstance right now, although I do not have children and am not married. I see the goodness in my love and I see who he is meant to become. We have been together for over 2 and 1/2 years… I thought we would be making some permanent decisions soon. However, some of his recent actions have hurt my heart and I have been wrestling with the idea of walking away… at least for a little while. My love is trying to change his life and commit to both Christ and myself. I know this will all take time. The trouble is, I don’t know if I should stay or go. I keep asking myself the same questions: If I stay, does that give me time to heal? And if I go, would we ever have hope of being together again?

      • ~ B ~

        Oh, Kate. I know the place you speak of and I will be prayerful over you. The biggest thing that has stuck out to me over the years is that my love of my husband clouded my hearing on how to handle relationship with him, while we were dating. I believed he was one I would marry, but I was so afraid of making a wrong decision in letting him go, that I believed God would work through our marriage (and of course, He did) … but by choosing marriage before God wanted me too, I/we gave Him so much more to work through. The road was so much more difficult than God ever intended it to be. The biggest thing to remember is that God will always work things out for the better if we will let Him. Letting go is hard, walking away … soo difficult but God will bring peace and beauty that is beyond your imagination. This I know. I don’t know what that looks like for you or your guy but I KNOW the plan is a beautiful one. Love to you in this!

        • Kate

          B, Thank you so very much for this wisdom! I appreciate it so very much and I know you are right. We have decided to take a small break to give us each time to ourselves and God. I have only begun to realize how much I have depended on him for security, peace, and love instead of God. Right now, I’m just going to trust. I’m so thankful for this beautiful community SRT has brought together! Thank you again for your kind words and love!

    • Carly Howard

      “Just like there is no lost sheep to a Shepherd, there is no lost cause to God.” I hope you don’t mind, B, but I’m taking your words and praying them over my family today. May God do the changing. Amen! Thank you for your story!

    • Rachel

      Wow B thank you for sharing. So encouraged by you!

    • Lana

      Thank you, B. I really needed to read this this morning. I can’t thank you enough for sharing. I’m sending you all my love.

    • AL

      Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing.

      • ~ B ~

        Morning AL! Hope you have a fantastic day! Thank you for taking the time to read my words!

    • Eriana

      Thank you for sharing this! I love your story, and it was everything I needed to hear today. There was someone in my life—a “lost cause”—I spent the last year fighting for, trying to be Jesus to him without fully comprehending that I was stepping out of bounds. But as I felt I needed to let go and let God work, it was difficult for me to do that knowing I wouldn’t have direct access to this person and his potential change in heart. Humbling, indeed. It’s still a struggle for me, but I have to remember that God is still working. I’m learning to accept my place in this, even if it’s from the sidelines or totally out of the picture—for now or forever. I’m trying to trust in the seeds that God has planted and is still planting in his life. Your story is so encouraging to me and helped me see all this clearly, knowing I’m not giving up by getting out of the way. Thank you, B!

      • ~ B ~

        Oh, Eriana! I am so grateful that God gave you the foresight to let go. That is so incredibly hard. I remember our separated seasons and the tears that would fall at the thought that the change I prayed for would take place, but that I would be a part of the beauty in it. I was humbled by the reality that his change wasn’t about me and that if God blessed him with it, it would bless others. It hurts but you’re not on the sidelines, though it feels that way. I like to think more along the lines of an assistant coach that’s been sequestered to the locker room during an all important game. You’ve got to trust that the seeds God used you to plant will come out in unexpected ways and that though you aren’t there to see it, they’ll produce a big win, that many, God Himself will celebrate the victory! You’ve done good, sweet friend!

    • Emilie

      B~I so appreciate your comments! Today’s was no different, thank you so much for your willingness to be transparent and raw with us “shes” I’ve learned so much from you ☺ being part of the search party is enough but somehow I get wrapped up in thinking I can do more when really that is the work of Christ, thank you! Bless!

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you, Emilie! You are kind to me. It’s so easy to fall into trying to lead the search versus just being a part of it, you are not alone. We just love to see good things happen and we forget that “Be Still” is actually more a command than a suggestion. “Being still” in the search is allowing for so much good work to be done!

    • Veronica

      Thank you for sharing your story. This speaks to me today.

    • Candy

      B thank you so much for sharing your soul with us. This really spoke to me and maybe God is telling me also to “get out of the way” with my “lost cause”.

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you, Candy and love to you in this season. That is such a hard place to be. I will include you in prayers today. Hopeful that God will speak clearly to you and give you the wisdom to heed His leading.

  • Oh I so needed this Word today! A reminder this isn’t ME- this is Jesus calling me. I get so caught up in trying to make sure I do everything right instead of remembering to lean in and listen to the Lord-

  • Jennifer, praying for you. I have also been a stinker in my life. Masking things to others that God knew and loved me anyway. Trying to take bold steps to redeem those lost years. Being a bit of an introvert myself trying to find a way be a witness to the saving grace of God.

  • I’m a stinker, I’ve been stubborn and unwilling to listen to God even though I know he was talking to me. I remember all of the times I would critique someone or pretend to be perfect and how many times God would remind me I’m not. I am so thankful for a forgiving and merciful God that uses people that no one would have ever thought He would.

    Can I ask for some prayer for all of you She’s I am switching churches at the moment and feel lost in the new one. Being a newbie isn’t exactly easy especially for an introvert. But also I’m feel bad lately health wise and I feel like I could really use some prayers from other believers.

    • Becky

      I will pray for you Jennifer. We have also switched churches, and my introvert self is missing my old church and grieving for it!

    • Lynne

      Jennifer, I am praying for you.

    • candacejo

      Been there, going through that, Jennifer. I am praying for you today that God gives you a love for the people there and a desire to go. That is how I pray for myself (smile). Lord, give us a desire to be in YOUR house, with YOUR people, lifting up praise to YOUR name.

  • We were all in darkness and God brought us into His marvelous light. I like that it says, “but, we pray and walk in obedience, even if our steps are slow.” It made me think of the verses in Romans that say, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching. And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10: 14-15).
    I have a student who is a seemingly lost cause. Please pray for her. It’s a mess. She was taken away from her mom when she was three, put in foster care, sexually abused, put in another home, then adopted, left her adopted parents to go live with her biological mom. That’s not working out the way she thought and now she’s having panic attacks – 2 to 3 a week. She needs to be in counseling and she needs an adult to step in and get her there. Neither “mom” seems to be willing to do that, so I kind of feel like God’s calling me to step in. Pray that she gets the care she needs. Pray for me that God will give me wisdom and discernment. Thank you for praying.

    • Lindsey

      Lifting you, your student, and her mom & birthmom up in prayer.

    • Carly

      Praying for you and your student!

    • Candy

      Praying for you and this hard situation with your student. God has answers that we haven’t even thought of! Thank you Jesus that You are in charge.

  • Somehow the story of Jonah has followed me around for the past two days. This just confirms my initial inkling, God does not want time to stop praying for my “lost cause” person.

    Also, I was a LOTR nerd too…if God is going to include lambus bread in a devotional you better bet my homemade elven cloak He’s speaking directly to me.

Further Reading...