“I wonder. How well did Eve really know God, her Shepherd? She seemed so easily swayed by the enemy’s lies.
Why was Eve instantly gullible?
I believe that even though Eve knew truth, she wasn’t firmly grounded in truth. She knew what God “said” but never fully grasped Who He was—completely trustworthy and good. She didn’t understand He would never hold back any good thing from her.”
I read these words this morning and immediately found my own story and journey weaved through them. Growing up I knew what God “said”. I went to church. I read my Bible. I even did a “read the Bible in 365 days devotional” one year when I was a teenager. During these same years, I stood in awe watching my mom’s faith and trust and love for “her Savior” become stronger and stronger—even though cancer was eating away at her body.
I recently shared with my son that it wasn’t until years later that I personally came to believe that God was completely trustworthy and good. I often describe those early years of my faith as “riding on the coattails” of my mom’s faith. She had “enough” for both of us. She was my tangible. She was my rock.
And then my rock was gone. The “free” ride was over and my faith crumbled. I quickly discovered I had no clue how to fly and navigate this faith journey without her.
To make a long story short, I spent the next decade or so of my life on a crazy, painful, humbling journey that ultimately taught be to grasp Who HE was—completely trustworthy and good.
It was His Wings I needed. I had a rock to cling to again…but this time it was The Rock, a firm foundation, an everlasting, enduring anchor for my soul.
“I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me.” Psalm 61:2
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Psalm 40:31
“He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.” Psalm 91:4
As we drove to school yesterday morning, my son told me about a friend in his gym class who is struggling with God and doesn’t want to go to church. Sean said that this friend lost his dad to cancer some time in the last year or so. The “why” questions torment him. He told Sean that when he asks people why God would allow his dad to die, they give him all the typical answers about “God having a plan.” Sean told his friend that he didn’t have a good answer for him but would try to find an answer.
This conversation took me back to the early days, months, years after losing my own mom to cancer. I told Sean that I understand his friend’s frustration. When we lose a loved one, the last thing we really want to hear is the “God has a plan” speech. I’ve struggled over the course of the last 24 hours at finding a “tangible” answer to give my son. At this point, my answer comes with years and years of grief walking under my belt.
The answer God gives us to our “why” question is vastly different than the answer we expect or think we need. And yet, it’s 10,000 times better than the answer we expect or think we need. That’s the answer I want my son’s friend to hear, to cling to, to be renewed by and to be comforted by.
The answer, the truth we need to hear, speaks directly to our soul. It’s not tangible (at least not in the sense that we are accustomed to), you can’t hold it, but it’s realer than real.
Years ago I read a book called “Questioning Evangelism” I can’t remember too much of the book but I did write down and keep the following quote about the painful journey Job took.
“God wants us to be healed, not informed, and that takes times…His (Jobs) declaration confirms that, more than the answer to the ultimate ‘why’ question, God wants us to know the answer to the ultimate ‘who’ question.” ~ Randy Newman
I experienced the same confusion as my son’s friend. I asked the same questions. I doubted God’s goodness and, for a time, I ran in a total opposite direction from the answer I needed. It wasn’t until I chose to turn around and pursue Jesus that He started revealing the answers my heart desperately longed for and needed.
Jesus told his disciples “in this life you will have many sorrows and troubles but take heart I have overcome the world.” By choosing Jesus, He has given me the ability to “take heart” and has assured me over and over and over and over of His goodness. I have experienced and reaped the benefits of my My Redeemer doing what My Redeemer does best. This has given me more peace, joy, hope, comfort than ANY answer to ANY of my “why” questions.
I no longer need the answer my soul thought it was looking for. I have the answer my soul needed.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Folks, I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record player sometimes. But I can’t help myself. I know God can choose to use broken record players. 🙂
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and song lyrics were playing on repeat again.
“I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone”
The words kept repeating, too loud to just ignore or roll over and go back to sleep.
Yesterday, was one of those days…one of those days when waves of panic would hit me and knock me down. Change does that to me sometimes…especially if I begin looking at the mountain instead of the moment.
One of my favorite Elisabeth Elliott quotes just came to mind.
“Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.”
As I was listening to those song lyrics in bed last night. Two things crossed my mind. First, I remembered a post I wrote a couple of years ago about feeling overwhelmed. Since I was awake any way, I went back and found that post. Here are a few parts that stood out as I reread it again.
“Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.” ~Zephaniah 3: 17 Message
I love lots of things about this journey, but having this kind of love present in my life, one that is big enough and strong enough to set me free from things that hold my heart captive, has got to be the most precious gift ever.
I’ve often said that I’m so glad that when I made the decision to take back hold of His hand and walk with Him, he didn’t (and still doesn’t) address all my “issues” at once. Looking back, I think it would have overwhelmed me.
The other morning, I put the following comment on Facebook:
Nothing makes me hyperventilate more (and do a tiny little freak out on the inside) than when I receive 17 emails in a span of 90 minutes from my client. Deep breaths. Coffee. Let’s go! 🙂
I’m so glad that my journey with God doesn’t look like my email inbox.
God’s love should never stress us out. God’s love should never feel like 17 tasks waiting in our email inbox.
I then thought about how much I admire folks who seem to thrive under pressure. I think about athletes who seem to get better when all eyes are on them to win the game. I marvel at the player who must take the last minute free throw that wins a championship basketball game. I marvel at the last minute field go a football player scores to bring his team into the lead.
That, I can tell you, is not my gift. Pressure tends to unravel me. And, I’m thankful that, in life, winning the game doesn’t rest on me alone. I don’t have to have all the answers or make the game winning shot. I just have to cling to the One who does have all the answers and did make the game winning shot.
I then thought about this memory of when I was in high school and one of my peers was challenging me for my clarinet chair in the band. We both had to take turns going into our music teacher’s office and playing a solo to see who would now be sitting in the better chair. I remember being so nervous during my try out that I asked my teacher if he would mind if I just turned my chair around and faced the wall while I played my solo piece. The challenge and pressure would be easier if I couldn’t see the judge’s eyes looking at me. I’m surprised my teacher agreed to these conditions. I’m even more surprised I won the challenge and saved my chair. 😉
This morning when my eyes opened, another song was “calming me with His love.”
“Our God is the Lion, the Lion of Judah…Our God is the Lamb, the Lamb that was slain…who can stop the Lord Almighty.”
I got up, fixed my coffee, and opened up my devotional for the day. The last part spoke loudest to me this morning.
“If we’re going to fully follow our heavenly Father, we’re going to need to pay attention to His messages! Remember, His divine communication comes in a variety of formats: His Word, a fellow believer’s counsel, a Bible Plan, a dream or vision, a whisper, or a nudging thought. Yes, the mode of God’s communication is vast because He’s a BIG God and a communication expert desiring to continually connect with you!”
The devotional I’m currently reading will also recommend a song to listen to. “First” by Lauren Daigle” was this morning’s song. It was perfect.
Today…I can’t turn away from a challenge and face the wall…but I canturn up His voice and treasure His calming presence in my life.
“You are my treasure and my reward
Let nothing ever come before
I seek You”
“Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.“Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message. John 20: 11-18
I was reading through this account of the resurrected Jesus appearing first to Mary Magdalene.
You know what my favorite part of that whole section is? It’s when Jesus simply calls out “Mary!”
Before this Jesus asks Mary two questions. Mary, distraught and grief stricken, answers him, thinking he is the gardener.
Then Jesus responds “Mary!”
I’m trying to understand why this one word response from Jesus means so much to me. That single word response is overflowing with heart gushing love and anticipation.
In the middle of her pain, Jesus calls Mary out by name. He doesn’t respond by saying “It’s me, don’t you recognize me?”
No, Jesus cuts right to the chase. He calls His child out by name and, instantly, Mary’s heart hears the truth and responds.
This scene actually reminds me of how Jesus tells us He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. The shepherd calls his sheep by name and the sheep recognize His voice.
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3
He calls his own sheep by name…
Can you hear it too? There is so much love packed into this one word! I can almost see Mary standing there, full of despair, and then hearing her Savior’s voice calling her out by name. And, if this were a scene in a movie, we would see a flashback scene of Mary’s journey with the Lord. We would see the moment she encountered Jesus for the first time, the moment her life went from captivity and torment to freedom and joy. The moment this once demon-possessed lady knew, with complete certainty, who was King over her life and Lover of her soul.
But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. Isaiah 43 1-4 (Message)
Sharing this old one this morning. It came to mind as I was writing this post. It takes me back to that season in my own life when Jesus called me by name, the cloud of doubt and despair lifted, and my heart knew.
A couple of weeks ago I was called for jury duty. In my 44 years of life on earth, this was my first time ever being called. To be honest, I was giddy for the opportunity to see how the whole process worked. Over the course of my week to show up and serve, I was selected to sit as a juror on two different cases.
The selection process was fascinating to me. Both the prosecutor and defense had the chance to ask potential jurors questions to see if our minds and hearts might be predisposed toward leaning for or against. Questions were designed to rule out any biased jurors who might hinder a fair trial.
Because you experienced__________do you feel you can be impartial in this case?
Do you think you would be prone to place more validity on the testimony of law enforcement officers (simply because they are law enforcement) or could you be impartial and base your decision strictly on the evidence supplied?”
I thought about all of this again after going to see The Case For Christ yesterday afternoon. The movie follows the journey Lee Strobel takes to investigate the validity of the resurrection. At the time, Strobel, an atheist, was an award-winning legal editor at The Chicago Tribune.
Without going into too much detail, one of the scenes that stuck with me was when Strobel realized he had allowed preconceived notions of cops (good guys) vs criminals (bad guys) to cloud his vision and arrive at a false conclusion.
And as we see in the movie, Strobel “didn’t see the truth because he didn’t want to see it.”
As Strobel writes in his book, The Case For Christ this seemingly “open and shut” case ultimately prompts him to look through a different set of lenses.
“But when I changed those lenses- trading my biases for an attempt at objectivity – I saw the case in a whole new light. Finally I allowed the evidence to lead me to the truth, regardless of whether it fit my original presuppositions.”
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with the first half of a song verse stuck on replay, “When we see broken beyond repair…”. At the time, I couldn’t hear the rest of the verse; I could only hear the melody. I woke up this morning and googled the rest of that verse and listened to the song again. It’s a song called Mended by Matthew West
When you see broken beyond repair I see healing beyond belief
As I thought more about how my mind was only able to recall the “broken beyond repair” portion of that song, I thought again about that scene from the movie. We are prone to see and believe only what is visible on the surface. But what if there’s more to the story? What if hope and truth lie deeper? And, what if, with a little unbiased searching and a new set of lenses…we can discover it too?
“I am telling you before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.” John 13:19
These are the words lingering in my heart this morning. Jesus stated a version of this statement many times. “Prediction” was one of his go to teaching methods.
I also thought about how Jesus, himself, was the living, breathing, walking come true prediction. The prophet Isaiah told us with incredible accuracy, all about the Savior of the world 600 years before he even arrived on the scene.
This is what you need to look for, this is where He will come from, this is how He will live, this is how He will die, this is how He will save. (Isaiah 53)
It’s no wonder that Jesus, the come true prediction, uses prediction to teach his generation and future generations too. Predications that play out accurately cause us to pause and ponder. And the purpose is to produce in us solid and secure belief. These moments along the journey are faith and trust building moments. These moments are designed to point our hearts to the glory of God.
Jesus the come true prediction carried out his rescue mission and all the while he taught with plenty of I am telling you the future moments.
This is what is about to happen. I am going to allow it to happen because what you will receive from… experiencing it, observing it, living it …will be invaluable.
And what’s the “invaluable gift” Jesus is attempting to give His audience by reading the future?
I’m am telling you before it happens (even though it might be difficult or painful or confusing) so that you believe that I am He.
Belief in the I AM HE is the gift of all gifts.
And, it’s the only gift that helps us make sense and wrap our brains and hearts around the pain and the struggle and the hurt in this life.
I read a great quote a few days ago.
“If you ask people who don’t believe in God why they don’t, the number one reason will be suffering. If you ask people who believe in God when they grew most spiritually, the number one answer will be suffering.”– John Ortberg.
We don’t understand God’s delays. And yet, these delays are always meant to accomplish one thing: A deeper dependence on Jesus and a firmer grasp of His love for us. I think about the death of Lazarus and the reason why Jesus delayed coming to prevent that death when he first heard the news.
“When Jesus heard it, He said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (PREDICTION) Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. so when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.Then after that, He said to the disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.” John 11: 4-7
Do you see that?
“Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. so when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.“
We would expect that to read…So when He heard that he was sick, He rushed immediately to get there.
But it doesn’t. Pain and suffering was the avenue Jesus used to grow the faith of his friends who he loved dearly. Why? Because Jesus can see the whole picture. We think we know what we need…but Jesus…BUT JESUS knows what we need. He gives us not what we think we need but what we truly need. He did it here. He did it on the cross too. This is love.
This morning I was reading in John 10 about Jesus being the Good Shepherd and being the door we walk through. I underlined these words that Jesus said to the crowd of people listening…some listening skeptically…some listening and truly seeking…
“If I am a not doing My Father’s works don’t believe Me. But if I am doing them and you don’t believe me, believe the works.”
After reading these words in John, I looked at this 4 year old photo on Facebook and the “works” the Lord displayed in my own life and journey came flooding back.
This photo was taken on Easter Sunday 2013…exactly four years ago today. At the time, my husband, son and I were in Georgia staying the week with my husband’s family so he could go to a couple of scheduled job interview the following week. Our 12+ year chapter in North Carolina was quickly coming to an end and the road stretched out ahead was filled with uncertainty.
Here are some words I wrote a couple of years ago about that Easter morning.
We arrived the Saturday before Easter and stayed overnight with my husband’s brother, Rick, and his family. On Easter morning, we attended church with him. Rock Bridge Community Church was very similar to the one we had been attending for over a decade in North Carolina. I loved the worship time and the message the pastor gave. As we left the service and walked back to the car I looked at my husband and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if you ended up getting the job here in Dalton. We would already have a church to go to.” I couldn’t help but get the sense that God was cooking something up.
This was my old puppy dog Bisbee. She was waiting in the car for us after that church service in 2013. While Roger was talking to his brother, I placed my son’s Georgia Bulldogs hat on Bisbee’s head and snapped this shot.
Over the years, I have shared bits and pieces of this season in our life and the “works” Christ displayed along the way but I’ve never shared with you the whole “inconvenient” story. It’s long, more like a short story, but one I decided to add to my blog today so folks could get a glimpse of God’s incredible faithfulness. Pour a cup of coffee and read it here: a ONE WORD journey
If you doubt that Jesus is who He says He is…look at His works. Look at how God’s invisible hand moves the visible around in our life every single day. Look at how He provides. Look at how he leads. Look at his mercy. Look at his grace.
He is a good good Shepherd.
“How great is your goodness that you have stored up for those who fear you.” Psalm 31:19
One morning this week I was standing in line at the post office to mail some packages for work. It was early; the post office had just opened for the day. There was only one person working the counter. I was the second person in line when another lady arrived behind me. I could sense from the moment she walked through the door that she was eager to get out as quickly as possible. Her demeanor said, “I don’t have time to wait.” She complained several times about there only being one person working the counter. And, as she did, a battle rose up inside me.
I hate lines and most of the time I might appear patient on the outside but on the inside I’m usually just a fidgety and prone to negativity as the lady behind me. I just do a better job of hiding it...especially on the mornings when all the packages I’m mailing have a church name and return address written on the outside of the package. D’oh! When you’re doing God’s work you can’t be outwardly impatient and annoyed, right? 😉
So, when it was my turn to approach the counter I motioned to the anxious lady behind me. “You can go ahead of me.”
“Are you sure?” She asked.
“Yes, no problem.” I answered.
The more I thought about my gesture, the more I realized it didn’t stem from a place of kindness. Instead, it originated from a place of frustration and impatience too…just like this lady.
The truth? I saw too much of my irritated-self oozing out of this lady. Observing her was like putting a mirror up to my heart. I didn’t like the way she was acting. I was annoyed by her comments. When I let her go ahead of me with a smile on my face it was simply because I wanted her to be quiet and go away.
Listening to this lady complain was too much like listening to me complain…maybe not audibly…but definitely on the inside. Her impatience was rousing that sleeping bear inside of me. The one I try to keep in hibernation mode. But the thing is, just because the bear sleeps doesn’t mean the bear isn’t there. And, sometimes, it takes standing in line at the post office to remember that.
I read a couple of verses this week that reminded that the motives of our hearts need to be examined on a regular basis. When we do something “kind” it doesn’t necessarily mean our hearts are kind and pure. When we do something without complaining or with a smile plastered on our faces it doesn’t mean that our hearts are doing joyful somersaults. Sometimes, we just become experts at keeping that bear from stirring.
All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives. Proverbs 21:2
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so the outside of it may also become clean. Matthew 23: 25-26
There was a theme threading itself through my quiet time this morning. I read Psalm 27 again this morning. Whenever I read this Psalm, I am encouraged by the matter-of-fact confidence and beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt faith David expresses.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom should I fear?…”
“Though an army deploys against me, I am not afraid…”
“I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing upon the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in his temple…”
“My heart says this about You, ‘You are to seek My face.’ LORD, I will seek Your face…”
David is standing on a sure foundation. He knows who his rescuer is. His rescuer had shown up in his life and in his circumstances on countless occasions. He knows who he can trust and depend on with absolute certainty.
This morning, I came across an old guest post I wrote and shared three years ago on Facebook. I had completely forgotten I had written it.
“I called out your name, O God,
called from the bottom of the pit.
You listened when I called out, ‘Don’t shut your ears!
Get me out of here! Save me!’
You came close when I called out.
You said, ‘It’s going to be all right.’ Lam 3:55-57
You came close when I called out. You said, ‘It’s going to be all right.’
Have you ever experienced deja vu while reading Scripture? I’ve heard the Lord whisper those words to me before. I know exactly where I was when He did. I can picture the scene. I was sitting on my couch and He was there with me. I told Him I was too tired to try anymore. I told Him I didn’t have the strength to throw another punch. I told Him I was giving up.
It’s a Psalm 27 moment you could say. It’s that pivotal point in my own faith journey when His greatness and His worthiness was solidified in my soul. Matter of fact confidence, beyond a shadow of a doubt faith. THIS is what one personal encounter with the God of the universe will do.
This morning, I also read the beautiful account in John 9 of the man who was born blind and then, One day, he had an unforgettable encounter with the ONE true God. I can’t help but believe that this encounter was this man’s Psalm 27 matter-of-fact/beyond-a-shadow-of a-doubt story for the rest of his days.
“One thing I do know: I was blind and now I can see!”
“People can debate theology. But they can’t argue what Jesus has done in your life.” Lysa Terkeurst
These were the song lyrics from Tenth Avenue North playing on repeat as I opened my eyes this morning and as I sat down to read my devotional for today. The devotional focused around Matthew 28:2
“Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.”
As I thought about this verse, I recalled a quote I came across a few years ago in a book I love called Skin in the Game by Rick Lawrence.
“Jesus will set off an earthquake in our soul if it will spring loose our prison door.” Rick Lawrence
Lord, I am grateful for the earthquake that opened my prison door.
The part of that verse I kept going back to this morning…
He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.
The angel was sitting on what once wastheobstacle. It was no longer being used as a blocking or captivity device.I can visualize the angel sitting on this stone. It’s almost as if this scene, and this decision to sit on the stone, is a reminder to future generations that obstacles are no longer a threat and have lost the power to confine or imprison. And as my devotional pointed out, Jesus “conquered everything that stood in the way of life.”
Death lost its sting. Death could not hold Him.
For some reason this made me think of the verses in scripture that talk about God making a footstool out of His enemies. When I searched for this account I found it in several locations. I noticed that Peter referenced these verses at Pentecost…verses that David had originally written in the Psalms.
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know.Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.For David says of Him:
I saw the Lord ever before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced. Moreover, my flesh will rest in hope, because You will not leave me in Hades or allow Your Holy One to see decay. You have revealed the paths of life to me; You will fill me with gladness in Your presence. Act 2:22-28
I read these verses and thought, again, of that song verse playing on repeat this morning.
“I have this hope in the depth of my soul.”
I then went back and read these words in Psalm 16
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 16:9
“God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this. Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says:
The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!” Acts 2: 32-36
He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.
Let those words sink into your soul today.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39