Pause

What’s standing in the way between you and feeling fine?

What’s squeezing you in its grip, refusing to let go?

What’s staring you down, telling you to give up?

Opposition = the force that works against you. And it’s not always a cartoon character bad guy, is it?

It could be a hurt you can’t release. A person you can’t forgive. A habit you can’t shake. Those people who never believed in you. That voice in your head that tells you you’re nothing.

What if you listened for a different voice instead?

A voice that whispered the truth?

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Listen

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather your people just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that. Look, your house is abandoned. I tell you, you won’t see me until the time comes when you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name.”

Luke 13:34-35

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Think

Isn’t it wild how people can reject the very thing they need? We don’t always want to hear where we’ve gone wrong. We don’t always know how to receive genuine love. Sometimes we stare a real gift in the face, but we can’t bring ourselves to accept it.

Jesus’ heart broke for the beloved people of Jerusalem. Their city stood as the center of spiritual life, and yet they turned good teachers away. They had all the religion in the world, but rejected the Rabbi Jesus.

And so he doesn’t force the love. He longs to gather them up as a hen gathers her chicks, but they were not willing.

What would it look like for you to be willing? To have Jesus gather you and tend to you, providing shelter and care? Could you take five minutes even now to close your eyes and imagine him drawing you near?

Cari Pattison

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Pray

God,
There have been people I’ve tried to love and hold close,
but they were not willing.
There have been times you’ve tried to love me,
but I wasn’t willing.
I can’t make sense of it all, Jesus.
Will you gather me in?
Will you hold close the ones that I can’t?
I love you, Lord.
Amen.

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Go

Thus sayeth the Lord:

No weapon formed against you shall prosper.

No weapon of defeat,

No weapon of self-doubt,

No weapon of fear or rejection or jealousy or rage.

No thing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So be strong in the Lord and in the power of God’s might:

‘Cause nothing can stop your journey now.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison is an ordained Presbyterian minister and fitness instructor. Originally from Kansas City, she just completed over a decade of ministry work at The Reformed Church of Bronxville (NY). On March 17, 2019, she leaves to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

What Wondrous Love is This

Mark Hayes

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