Be at rest, oh my soul. The Lord hath dealt kindly with you. The pain of this world has made you afraid, but come now, take refuge in my Lord. You have been brought low, but you will rise again. The storm is past, the waters abated. Do not fear to come out now and bask in the light once again. Do not hide in the dark any longer. Let the sun shine on your face. Let the freshness blow in your hair.

See now, even the birds give once again their song and squirrels rebuild their nests. The devastation is past. That which was broken will be rebuilt. New shoots come forth where the broken branches fell. The flood water recedes, washing away the debris. Once again the elements come into order and balance is restored.

Be at rest, oh my soul. Do not fear to build again, for you will have many good years left, years to bless and to be blessed. Rise from the mud now. Lift your heart from the tears. Whisper softly to your heart to yield to life and beat again.

Dear heart, so crushed and torn. So tenderly you have loved, and so terribly and fully broken. Beat again, my heart. Pick up again your steady pace. You will flow with life once more. You will once again be full and generous, with much love yet to give.

Whisper these words, soft lips of mine. Speak these words to my soul. The voices of cruelty are many. Dark and hideous their voices whisper of doubt and fear, of death and defeat. Speak out sweet lips and silence your advisories. Speak a word of hope and strength to lift this weary soul. Be strong and remember the songs of your youth. Please sing them once more to me. Tell of the glories and joys of my God, that my heart would not faint.

Dear eyes that have been so long in the dark, with no color or light. Emerge from the shadows, uncover your face, and let your sight adjust to the sunshine. Do not fear to lift your gaze, to see beauty in the world all around you. There is much beauty yet to be seen, new sights yet to be discovered. Look up, my eyes, and look to the horizon, to the wonders of life that are yet to come.

By Marie Morrow

Dear Tempter,

You probably think you are very clever, thought your latest campaign to be so successful. You thought you could finally prove yourself to be so much stronger than me and that you could gloat in your victory. Well I’m sorry to have to knock you off your high horse, but your conduct in this fight was both cowardly and sissy.

You sought to attack me when I was already at my weakest. This was a weak and shameful move. You were just trying to take credit when all the hard work had already been done for you. Grieving the death of my daughter had already ground me to dust. Only a lazy coward would launch an attack when his opponent is already knocked out.

You must have been feeling pretty smug for a while, thinking I was pretty much gone. With me knocked out and unable to fight back, you thought this was an easy one sided fight.  Well, before you do your little victory dance, you might want to take another look. It is true that I’ve been too weak to fight you at all, but that doesn’t mean you win by default. You’d best reexamine the rules of the game and pay attention to what is going on. While you had your focus on little old me, you missed the strong hero who stepped into the rink to champion for me. And yes, that is legal.

Your plan has backfired. Did you really think you could just walk in here unchallenged? Did you think that my savior would leave me in my weakest hour with no means of defense? My champion has taken over my fight, so you’d better watch out because He is no picnic. I’d advise you to read Psalms 18 to get an idea of what you’re up against.

You hoped to make me lose confidence in myself and in my calling, tried to make me forget who I am. Oddly enough your attack has only served to boost my confidence. I want to thank you for having faith in me when I had lost faith in myself. I thought I was already defeated, but somehow you still viewed me as a threat and increased your assault. I’m really quite flattered that you esteemed me so highly.

You thought you could isolate me from the kind and strong voice of my savior. I will not give you credit for this. See, my savior and I, we had an understood silence. He silently held me, and I silently trusted Him. Your interference did not really interfere with anything.

Through all the smoke and mirror tricks you have tried, you have missed the important truths which negate your assumptions. Firstly, my confidence is not in myself in the first place. It is in my savior. (2Cor. 12:9) Secondly, He is the one who chose me, taught me, and cared for me all these years. He will not abandon His own project after He has invested so much time and love into it. He will protect His investments. (John 10:28-30) Thirdly, my savior is also an amazing artist. He is talented and creative. He creates with intention and purpose. He made me, therefore I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (1Thes. 5:24)

Next time, don’t be such a wimp coming after me when I am defenseless and beaten. And then again, don’t ever underestimate the defenses of a defenseless person. The rules of the game allowing for champions are set up to protect us from cheaters like you. And just to warn you, my champion is both jealously protective and undefeated, a dangerous combination to tangle with.

So until next time…

Marie Morrow

My steps are slow and clumsy as I walk on two left feet.
My failed attempts to do my best have left me feeling weak.
Giving up I sit down still, don’t know what else to do.
You take my hand and lift me up, then pull me close to you.

May I have this dance? Let me lift you off your feet.
Let me show you how much easier life with me can be.
I’ll hold you firmly close to me and guide your every move,
Relax and let me take the lead, my steps are sure and smooth.
As we dance…

Life was never meant to be a burden and a chore.
Come with me I’ll show you how you can have so much more.
When work is done in step with me it isn’t work at all,
Every move is like a waltz we share in life’s great ball.
As we dance…

But time goes on and I forget, I wonder on my own.
Life spins on around me as I struggle on alone.
Then I look up and see you there, and know just what to do.
It’s my  turn reach out now and ask the same of you.

May I have this dance? Can you sweep me off my feet?
 Hold me close until I feel your heart with every beat.
I want to move in step with you, to follow where you lead.
I’ve learned by now to love the dance when you are holding me.
As we dance…

-By Marie Morrow

 God looks on us with all our weaknesses and imperfections, and says, “You are beautiful.” Why is this? It is because when God sees you, He is not limited by our current view of time. When He looks at you, He sees all of you. He sees deeper and farther than any human eyes could ever see. He knows the whole person.

He sees the past, the moment he created you in purity and innocence, untainted by the hardships of the world. He looks with on with joy and pride on the creation of his hand and says, “It is good.”

He sees the present as a current stage in the process of growth and change, the making and shaping of a man or woman. He looks on with the pride of a father watching as His child learns to walk, reaching down many times to pick you up again, rejoicing at each new step of progress.

He sees the future, all that you will someday become, the destiny you were created to fulfill. And He sees further still to see you in white robes, washed clean from all that this world has dragged you through. He sees the one He will receive into his arms the day you arrive in Heaven to see Him face to face.

Yes, dear friend, God sees all of you,  the whole person, and that is truly a beautiful thing.

Even the black of the darkest night
Loses strength at the coming of dawn.
Eventually spring must be born anew,
Though the winter seams so hard and long.

In spite of the fury of the raging storm,
When its deafening winds rage against you,
Peace will come in the stillness again,
When sunlight breaks through to refresh you.

There’s no sorrow too deep for God’s love to reach.
There’s no pain that His hand cannot heal.
Even the seeming impassable road,
Has a way through which He can reveal.

So hold on to hope, though the hope is so dim,
That its glow cannot even be seen.
The sun is not gone, it will soon rise again.
Things are never as bad as they seem.

By Marie Morrow

      "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" Elisha’s servant asked.

      The king of Aram was at war with Israel. He sent horses and chariots and a strong army to the city of Dothan to capture Elisha the prophet. They came by night and surrounded the city.  When the servant of the prophet got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city.

      "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see."
      Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6)
      In this story the angelic army was already there, but the servant was afraid because he hadn't seen them.  Why must we always see with our own eyes in order to believe?  Is it not enough to believe because God has said so?  He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways(Psalm 91:11)  Seeing is the reward of believing, not the other way around.
  Why does it have to be this way?  Why does God make it so hard for us?  Why do we have to take everything by faith?  The answer lies in that last little word: faith.  It wouldn't be faith if we could see. Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen Me you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
This principle of faith seems to be something God is very interested in. He places a great deal of importance on it.  It's something He seems to give us more credit for.  Maybe because it is a sign of our love and trust in Him, that we believe Him , and His word, and His spiritual powers and principles.  The Bible says about Abraham, that because of his faith he was called a friend of God. (James 2:23) That's a pretty powerful statement.  How do you become thefriend of God?  Read the story of Abraham and find out.  You'll see that his whole story is one of faith. 
This issue of faith is what sets us apart from the angels.  They can see and feel God and His power.  Faith is not something they get rewarded for.  It is a privilege reserved only for us.  The angels cannot have what we have. The blessings and rewards of faith are reserved for us, who walk the hot, and hard dusty roads of life.  
      We are battle weary and scarred but we come home triumphant.  The angels blow their trumpets to herald our victory.  We have won the war of faith. We held on when it seemed the whole world was against us.   We didn't give up when the storms of life rocked our ships.  Satan attacked us from every side. He threw his worst at us, but we survived.  We're still here!  We held on.  We believed!  We did our best.  Henceforth is laid up for us a crown of righteousness.
      When I receive my crown on that day, I will know I didn't earn it by myself.  We too have been helped and aided in our fight by the invisible armies of heaven, the “great cloud of witnesses”.   On that glorious day I will want to meet my guardian angel.  I would want to meet those dear saints who walked with me and who lifted me up when I was weary.  On that day, I will thank them face to face. 

Posted by Marie Morrow 

Courage is not the absence of fear.  It is forging on in spite of your fear.  So how do we have courage?  Courage to face the road ahead, courage to do what we are afraid to do?  I think the answer can be summed up in one word, Vision.  Why?  For the same reason they say, "don't look down," if you're scared of heights.  You have to keep your eyes on the goal.  Look beyond the fear.

There is a popular TV show in the United States called Fear Factor, in which opponents will compete in various test of courage.  They have to accomplish certain feats under terrifying, grotesque, or horrible conditions.  Why would anyone in their right minds willingly submit themselves to such torment?  It's all in the goal.  –A $25,000 goal, to be exact.

But they are not the only ones.  Mountain climbers risk life and limb, under grueling conditions; enduring cold, hunger, exhaustion, and deprivation.  They climb for the goal; the thrill of reaching the top.

The apostle Paul tells how he was persecuted, stoned, imprisoned, beaten, and troubled on every side.  How did he find the courage to endure?  In Philippians 3:13 he tells us his secret.  "Forgetting those things which are behind (don't look back), and reaching forward to the things which are before.  I press toward the mark of the prize, of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord."  That's the secret.  Press toward the mark. Keep your eyes on the prize.

This world is filled with sorrow and pain, and is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  We must look beyond this life and focus solely on the prize.  For many of us Heaven seems so far away.  It is difficult to place a reality to it.  But the Heavenly vision is at the very core of faith, courage, and endurance.

Moses “endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”  Like any athlete, you have to picture that trophy, that prize.  As Paul said, "I have run a good race.  I have finished my course. Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…"

This is what will give you the courage to make difficult choices to follow God, to face your fears, and to look beyond the troubles of today.  When fear takes hold of us we must have something solid to hold onto.  When our courage is weak, we must keep our eyes focused on the goal, the prize, the Heavenly vision.

Posted by Marie Morrow 

 Sometimes I feel it is easier to trust God and depend on him for the big things, than it is to trust Him for the little things. I know I need his help for the major crises and decisions, but the little things I feel are my problem. So I carry the weights and struggle alone. After all why would such a big God, care about such small details.

       As I stopped to think about it I was amazed at the great care and attention God put into the smallest of his creations. From the perfect social structure of an ant colony to the precision of a single cell, God’s attention to details is plainly evident.

      In my home our children watch a lot of animal planet documentaries. They are not only educational but are often fascinating.  Each kind of animal, reptile, bird, and insect has their own unique style of courtship, mating, nesting, etc. Many have complex social structures, or intricate nesting designs. Each baby from the elephant to the honey bee is raised in its perfect environment suited to it.

       All nature moving with activity and busing with life survives because God cares about details. He knows that too much or too little rain can be devastating, too many or too few blood cells could be deadly. God’s creation moves with balance and harmony.

       Surely this problem I am carrying is not too small for Him. He is my father; He is in tune to my every need. He knows better than I do how to handle it. I must simply trust him.

Posted by Marie Morrow 

  I started this game filled with confidence. From my vantage point at one end of the board, as I looked at the field of black and white squares before me, I was sure I was about to accomplish great feats. I looked up at my master’s face. Will he use me? Will I be great? I wanted so badly to make him proud!
      One by one he moved other pieces, but I remained in place. The board became a maze of black and white faces. My way was blocked. Why had he not moved me sooner? Now I shall be stuck here forever. I could not see a clear step in front of me. I watched as pieces moved again, here and there. Yet, still I was passed over.
      Then I felt his strong hand envelop me. It was dark and I could not see my way. I became afraid. After waiting so long, would I fail him now?
      His grip tightened. Was he angry with me? Would he cast me aside? I looked but could not see his face—only darkness inside his mighty hand.
      I lost my footing. He was lifting me up. I felt dizzy and disoriented. When I looked down, the black and white squares were a blur. How could I win if I could not even see where I was going? I wanted so badly to serve him well, but now I am lost. All is lost!
      He set me down and loosened his grip. I looked around and got my bearings. I was surprised to see how far I had come. I had captured one of my opponents. My master must have seen that chance. He must have known.
      As the game progressed, I learned first to recognize his touch, to trust the shadow of his hand. I even learned to love the tightness of his grip; he would never let me fall. He did not always move me where I thought I should go, but I found a sense of freedom in his hand.
      I looked up and saw him smiling proudly. That was when I understood. He was the one playing the game. It was his game, not mine. He could see the entire field and had an overall strategy, and he would chart my course. I would not win for him; he would win for me. I was just a simple chesspiece. I would go where he saw fit to put me.
      When his hand overshadows me and I cannot see my way, I will trust. When I feel the pressure of his squeeze, I will trust.
      Put me where you will, dear God.

Posted by Marie Morrow 

 I have always been told that "God does not give us burdens greater than we are able to bear."  Why then do our circumstances at times seem so unbearable? 
 They say, "If God allowed you to go through this, He must know you can handle it." It is in this very sentence, that we find the flaw in this thinking, and through it discover the secret of its meaning. 
             The truth is you can't handle it.  It is at those very times when life is sounbearable and we can't handle it that we find divine "grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16)   "My grace is sufficient for thee."  (2Cor. 12:9)  He does not ask us to bear the unbearable.  He says.  "Come unto me… and I will give you rest."  (Mat 11:28)  He will lift our burdens.  He and I can bear it together.
             This is the miracle of dying grace.  This is the secret of the martyrs; Christ in us. He came to take our burdens on himself.  He came to get involved in our lives, to be our strength.  It is not when we are strong that we discover his power; it is when we are weak, when we are insufficient.  "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves.  But our sufficiency is of God." (2 Cor. 3:5)
             I have personally been in many unbearable circumstances.  When I had to come face-to-face with the possibility of losing my husband as we battled for his life; my fears as a young wife and mother of four children were overwhelming.  When I battled with cancer, the physical pain I experienced would definitely fit into the "unbearable" category.  Afterward, I developed fibromyalgia and have on many occasions felt that the pain and fatigue, coupled with the mental and emotional stress, were more than I could bear.
             But never once has Jesus failed me.  Never once has He left me alone.  There has never been a time when His grace was not sufficient for me.  I have leaned on Him, depended on Him, and when all else failed; fell helpless in his strong arms.  He is strong enough.  He does care.  He can work miracles today in your life.  Put Him to the test.
             Take that burden you are carrying, the weight that crashes down on your shoulders, and give it to Him.  He will take it for you.  It is at that moment that you will find His strength.  It is only when we come to the end of ourselves that we truly discover the sufficiency of Christ.  It is in this dependency on Him that we truly know Him in us.  "Christ in you; the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)
             In this is our hope and our strength.  From this truth came the words of Paul, through terrible suffering and tribulation.  "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor 12:9)  We are weak, but He is strong.  We are insufficient, but His grace is sufficient.  Our troubles are unbearable, but He will bear them for us. "Surely He hath borne our grief and carried our sorrow." (Isa. 53:4)  "I will put my trust in Him." (Heb. 2:13)

Psalms 116:1-8
1.  I love the LORD, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. 
2.  Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. 
3.  The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 
4.  Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5.  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
6.  The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me
7.  Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8.  For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

Posted by Marie Morrow