Consumed With (fill in the blank)


thWhat comes to mind when you see “consumed with _________.” Do you think you’re not consumed with anything? Think again because I bet you are. Did you know that consumed means to waste away or to use up, to devour? It’s not a positive concept, yet many of us are still consumed with something.

Consumed With Guilt

Have you ever felt so much guilt about something that you literally felt you were being eaten up by it? Like it was devouring you from the inside? I’ve known people who carried guilt with them for years. They’ve never forgiven themselves for the hurt they caused or the poor choices they’ve made. The guilt they carry becomes a weight that keeps them from experiencing any true joy because the guilt is a constant reminder that they are not worthy of that joy.

Consumed With Anger

Anger and hatred are partner emotions that take up space in our hearts and leave no room for peace. Those consumed by anger unleash their emotion on anyone who crosses their path but most often the target of their anger is someone or something that is far removed from the current situation. Resentment can build over time and evolve into anger and hatred toward a person or situation if left unaddressed and unresolved.

Wasting-Time-in-Social-MediaConsumed With Busyness

Many of us find ourselves consumed by activities and busyness that rob us of valuable time. We can simply pop onto social media for a quick check and lose an hour as we venture off on rabbit trails of pictures and posts that add no value to our day. We can get hooked on TV shows and build our schedules around them as we become engrossed in an activity that will ultimately not provide much benefit.

Consumed With Worry

Do you find your thoughts drifting to scenarios of situations that haven’t even occurred yet and may possibly never happen? Are you constantly anxious over things that have no certainty of taking place? Do your thoughts lean toward the negative side and do you find yourself assuming the worse will happen instead of thinking positively?

Consumed By Grace

Sometimes I still find myself consumed with one or more of the above. When I find myself feeling resentment toward someone or wasting time with TV shows or social media or catch myself thinking negative thoughts of worry and anxiety, I remind myself that, as a child of God, the only thing I need to be consumed by is His Grace.

The difference in the other things (anger, worry, busyness and guilt) is that they all require our participation. That’s why we use the word “with” when we refer to them. We allow ourselves to be consumed with them when we give them our focus and attention.

thNRLLX738But when we are consumed by the grace of God, we use the word “by” because it’s no longer about us and what we can do, but it is by His grace and what He’s already done for us. God’s grace is more than sufficient to overcome our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:19). His grace will fill the places in our heart and in our mind where we have allowed ourselves to be consumed with negative emotions.

What is consuming you today? What is causing you to slowly waste away on the inside? God knows what you’re going through. He knows your thoughts and your struggles. If you will trust Him to be your strength, He will begin to push out the negative emotions in your life and will replace them with the peace and joy you’ve been missing. Open your heart to be consumed by His grace and begin the journey toward the freedom that negative emotions have kept you from.

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Seasons change – and that’s a good thing


The leaves have all fallen and the cool air reminds me that winter is settling in. The changing seasons are inevitable and they show us that old things come to an end and new things begin. Sometimes when there is a new season in our lives there is great anticipation and excitement as God moves us into something new. Other times there is apprehension and doubt. We may hesitate to move from what is comfortable out of fear of the unknown. If you choose to hang on to a season God is calling you from, you may begin to experience frustation, difficulties and challenges. God’s timing is perfect and “He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).  And if you hestitate because you’re afraid of surrendering to His will you may just miss out on something incredible that is waiting just a step of faith away. But when you put your trust in God when He reveals to you that it’s time for a change of season, you can enter in with the confidence that no matter what the change may look like going in or how difficult it may seem, God desires only His best for you. We can entrust the details to Him and be assured that He will never take us anywhere that He will not be right beside us. When your heart’s desire is to be in the center of God’s will, your worries and doubts will turn to joy and peace as the new season unfolds into God’s destiny for your life. If you are in a place where you know God is telling you that it’s time to move on, be obedient and take a step of faith as you follow His lead into the new season. Following the end of a season in your life marks the blossoming of new things and a new season God wants to usher you into. Embrace it and get moving!

Time Heals All Pain


Time heals all pain, or does it? I am the primary caretaker for my 99-year-old grandmother. Each morning about this time I get up and set the necessary things out in the bathroom for her and then knock on her door to wake her up. Most mornings she’s already awake and responds with a chipper “come in”.  For her age she is in remarkably good health. She is on one medication, she reads the entire newspaper daily and she loves to watch Dancing With the Stars. Of course she is slow in her movement, especially in the morning when I help her out of bed but she walks without assistance. Her body isn’t what it used to be but she has very few limitations considering her age. But ironically it’s her emotional limitations that are most paralyzing in her life. She is gripped by fear – fear of death, fear of falling, fear of someone breaking in the house, fear of not having enough money to pay the extremely minimal bills she has, fear of being alone, and fear of not being in control. I remember earlier in her life she had a fear of flying which prevented her from traveling anywhere beyond a reasonal driving distance. Her fear of driving in snow kept her homebound whenever there was even a minimal snowfall in our town. Her fear of water kept her from enjoying time on the lake with family. And her fear of germs created extra work for her as she felt the need to sterilize everything before it was used. But back then her fears were more of a hassle than a handicap. My theory has always been that over time things would get better – that at 99-years-old and having never had to experience any extreme illnesses or tragedy in her life that she would be living carefree with not a worry in the world other than the obvious physical concerns. I thought she would feel free to not worry about the things in life that caused her such concern when she was younger. Based on her life experiences I assumed she would find enjoyment in her twilight years with a peace of mind that she has lived a fulfilling life, is blessed with family who loves her dearly and with the comfort of knowing all her financial needs are securely met.  But what I have found in not only my grandmother but others, is that over time the things in our lives that go unchecked, unhealed, and unanswered only get worse. The roots begin to go deeper in our souls and take hold of our lives with a grip so tight we become bound by whatever it is that has us held prisoner. For some it’s unforgiveness toward someone who has hurt them, for others it is insecurity and fear of failure, for others it’s the fear of rejection rooted in someone they thought loved them and would always be there for them leaving them unexpectedly. For many it’s a sense of shame and guilt associated with something they did that consumes their thoughts and affects their relationships and behaviors years later. We falsely believe that over time we will feel better – that the hurt won’t hurt so bad, that the guilt will diminish and that the anger will subside – but it doesn’t. We become a prisoner to our past. There is only one option that will bring the true freedom we seek. Only One who can set us free from the things that keep us bound from living life instead of just trying to make it through it. His name is Jesus and He died for your freedom, He died for the forgiveness of the sins that hold you captive and for the unforgiveness toward others that keeps you bound. It’s time to cut whatever it is off at the root before it goes any deeper. It’s time to surrender it to God and let Him begin healing those deep-rooted wounds and hurts in you. It’s time to heal all pain.