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I have a Mighty Mouse persona in matters of standing up for the underdog…against all odds I recall racing up to a group of rowdies who were harassing a younger boy and demanding they back off. They did.

This runt-sized bravery emerged early. I would rush to my mom’s defense when dad was berating her…with no thought that he was HUGE (in my sight) and could well turn on me (though he never did).

Does leaping fearlessly into rescue mode for others seem ODD for someone whose faith waffles in her own life now and then??

Back to the Gymnasium Called Life
Have you ever developed your own exercise regimen; worked hard at it; (at least for a while) only to discover: wrong regimen for the muscles you needed to develop? Such was my plight. I had no fight in me when it came to personal fears. My spiritual abs definitely had some flab…and I didn’t yet know a Personal Trainer was available to me.

Bend and Stretch
And finally (after years of being a Christian) I was introduced to the Holy Spirit, aka Personal Trainer. He knew just where I needed to bend my will and stretch my faith.

Faithing my fears
Thus spoke the Holy Spirit to me:

“Whenever you are afraid, trust in God.” From Ps. 56:3NKJ

Then He introduced me to God’s Perspective…which is My Objective.

Live by Choice, not by chance
When I felt afraid, I was to choose to trust in God. “Will my choice cause my fears to flee?” I whimpered (hoping for a very quick fix). The gentle response, “No, but I will give you the courage to face your fears…to go through the challenge. That’s how your faith will be developed.”

Practice what you have Learned
…and the God of peace will be with you.” – from Phil. 4:9 Ampl.

As I practiced living by choice, my awareness of His peace increased. His yoke is easy. While we are yet learners, His Peace is with us. Lord, cause us to experience Your Presence, for You are our Peace.. (Eph. 2:14)

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You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart,
Matthew 22:36a

With ALL my heart? Am I even half way there? Half-heartedness sounds, well, so half-hearted…no better way to say it. I’m glad I learned that whole-heartedness speaks of His destination for me. I’m not yet all I am meant to be

My present station is not my destination.
Nor yours.

May my journey toward whole-hearted devotion encourage you to give yourself grace in whatever place you’re in. (Grace – His divine favor – not license to be stuck , but His pluck – courage – to move forward.)

My tendency has been more toward stuck, not His pluck. Sadly that’s the tendency for many of us – whether we are self-sufficient or somewhat deficient in believing we can handle life. His answer, as always, is in partnering with Him:

“…Walk out your own salvation in fear and trembling…
…Not in your own strength, for it is God Who is all
the while effectually at work in you – energizing and
creating in you the power and desire – both to will and
to work for His good pleasure…”
From Eph. 2:12-13 Amplified

These Amplified verses became my primer for understanding grace. He called me to walk out my own salvation – my daily life – in fear and trembling, which left me trembling with fear. He prompted me to trust Him and His Ways (verse 13) “rely on My power; believe that I AM at work within you causing you to do My will …” Now that’s grace…He tells me/us what we must do and then empowers us Not overpowers; forcing us; but supplying His strength and leaving us to choose to apply His power to our lives.

When I tend to linger overlong in the station I’m in, the Station Master will call out, “Next train to your destination about to leave the station.” The call will even come more than once. But if I choose not to hear, life – my gymnasium – may speak to me in terms I can’t ignore. Trials usually clear up my hearing deficit. If not, He will let me sit at my present station…my choice. Well, “sit” suggests “being at ease” which is far from accurate. Dis-eased – without comfort – is a more fitting description when I choose to hunker down in stuck position.

Whether my desire for Him is eager or meager; whether I’m cooing in delight or boo-hoo-ing in fright, He continues wooing me; pursuing me. And so it is with each of us. Even if we are blind or numb to His pursuit, our Father which art in heaven and within us, presents His ongoing personal invitation:

“BEHOLD what manner of love the Father has given unto us
that we should be called His children.”
1 John 3:1

BEHOLD as in a mirror, who you are called to yet be. – 11 Cor. 3:18

“I love your writing. You really have a way with zingers, but I think what really matters is the life wisdom you bring to the page. You say hard things, but you make them go down like warm apple pie.” David Kopp - executive editor, Multnomah Books

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