Unshakeable

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

Mountains are fascinating. When I explore the mountains in which I live, I am always amazed. On summer hikes I can see the majestic high hills, let my eyes wander into the distance from above and enjoy the wonderful view. I enjoy the mountain meadows, clear lakes and deep valleys. The peaks are covered with ice and snow. After a day in the mountains, I feel a little closer to heaven.

In the Bible we often read that people meet and experience God on the mountains. Even Jesus walked to the mountains to pray and to find rest.

The size, mass and height of the mountains are enormous. They stand before me irrevocably and immovably. It is impossible to move such a mountain, it has its permanent place. It is stable over many millions of years.

Here is a short story: “Once every thousand years – only every thousand years – a bird comes to a mountain. He sits on top of the summit. There on the rock this little animal whets its beak with a short, quick movement. Then the bird flies away again. When the whole mountain is scuffed, only a second of eternity has passed. That is consistency. “

In the Bible, in Isaiah 54:10, the Lord our Merciful says:

“Mountains may remove and hills may sway, but nothing can shake my love for you and the covenant of my peace shall not fall.”

What a wonderful promise. God’s love for us is even more permanent and unshakable than any mountain on earth. No matter what happens, mountains should shake, God’s love lasts forever and cannot be shaken. God is the eternal rock, the ground on which we can stand safely. His fidelity is irrevocable and his grace never ceases. We can build on him, we can rely on his word. He never abandons those who love him.

This verse strengthens my hope, my faith and gives courage in uncertainty and difficulties. May difficult situations burden me, no certainties, changes happen in my life, his love for me is that which remains and cannot be shaken by anything, come what may. God has made a covenant of peace with us. Through Jesus Christ, who came to earth as a human being to pay for our debts and who gave his life for us, we have peace, forgiveness and access to God.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

At the end a psalm:

My Help Comes from the Lord
1 A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121

Future Prospects

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

What will the future bring? The media don’t predict anything good for us, one negative headline follows the next. A little virus keeps the whole world under its spell and messes up our entire lives. Every day the media keep us the latest corona numbers, the number of infected, sick and dead. Again and again new measures and restrictions to interrupt the wave.

  • How are you doing in this situation?
  • Does resentment, fear, worry or insecurity want to spread within you?
  • Do you have a queasy feeling when you think about your future?
  • Do you wonder if it will ever be the way it used to be?
  • Do you care for your health, for the health of your family?
  • Are you struggling with existential fears due to the economic constraints?
  • Do you feel lonely because you have to do without social contacts?

Nobody knows what the future will look like. There are many different opinions, forecasts, but ultimately nobody can tell us what will happen and how long this crisis will last. It doesn’t get us any further if we just focus on the problems and constantly torment ourselves with negative thoughts. Worries and negative thoughts do not help us.

“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It keeps you busy but gets you nowhere. ” Glenn Turner

Instead of listening to or looking at the latest news over and over again, we’d better ask about who is holding our future in his hands. Do you know him? It is the God who created heaven and earth and who has a good plan in store for the world and for us humans. His truth is eternal, and we can rely on his promises. He is the only one who can say something about your and my future. You can read his promises in his word, in the bible. There are words of hope and confidence that drive away your fears, worries, resentment and insecurity and give you peace and new prospects for the future.

This is what God says in Jeremiah 29:11: “I have plans for you that are full of future and hope”

In Psalm 37: 5 it is written: Confide in the Lord and don’t worry about your future. Leave them to God. He’ll do it right. “

We can decide anew every day where to direct our thoughts. On our difficult circumstances or on God who has everything under control, who is omnipotent and omniscient and whose love for us is infinite

. “God my future is in your hands.” Psalm 31:16

“So don’t worry about tomorrow – the next day will take care of itself! It is enough if each day brings its own difficulties. ”Matthew 6:34

This is why you should focus your life on God:

 God knows you by the name (Isaiah 43: 1)
 God thinks of you Psalm (139:16)
 God is your refuge Psalm (62: 6-8)
 God fights for you in Exodus (14:14)
 God is always with you Matthew (28:20)
 God loves you John (3:16)
 God is your protection Psalm (119,114)
 God is your rock Samuel (22:32)
 God is your confidence and strength (Psalm 46: 2)

Keep peace

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

When my heart trusts in you
and i look at your love
I find peace, I find peace
I can defeat storm and waves
In the midst of turbulent times
Your presence will always be with me.
Even in the greatest uncertainty
with you is peace always.
My troubled heart becomes still and comes to rest
for the God who keeps my peace is you.
(Ulrike Nägele)



On the subject of peace, I recently read the following story:

“Once upon a time there was a king who wanted to give an award to the artist who painted him the most fitting picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all of the pictures, but there were only two that he really liked; he had to choose between them.

In one picture there was a calm lake, in which the peaceful mountain landscape towering around it was perfectly reflected. Above it a blue sky with fluffy white clouds spread out. Whoever looked at this picture must have thought it was perfect peace.

In the other picture there were mountains too, but they were rugged and bare, and above them a raging sky with flashing lightning and heavy rain. In the back of the picture a foaming waterfall tumbled down. None of this looked very peaceful. But behind the waterfall the king discovered a small bush that grew in a crevice. A mother bird had built her nest in the bush. There, in the midst of the raging water, the mother bird sat perfectly peacefully in her nest.

What do you think? Which picture won the award? The king chose the second picture.

“’Because peace does not mean,’ said the King, deeply moved, ‘to be in a place of perfect calm, free from anger and stressful work, but to remain calm in all of this. That is the real meaning of peace. ‹”

I like this story because it explains so well the real meaning of peace. Peace does not mean that the external circumstances are good, that there are no difficulties and problems to be overcome, that we have no challenges, but rather to find inner peace in the midst of stressful circumstances, uncertainty, chaos and turmoil.

Looking to Jesus we can come to this peace. In his presence there is peace, yes, he himself is peace. Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.

Nothing and no one else can give us this peace. Trust in God is the key to that peace.



“I am restless, but by you is peace” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“In the daily rush, in our work, in all situations of natural life, it belongs to us: the unshakable, inviolable peace of Jesus.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

I found this peace in the presence of God, in a relationship with Jesus. I experience him in the community and the encounter with him when I direct my thoughts on him instead of looking at my worries or problems. And I want to chase after this peace again and again, because sooner than I thought, peace will be stolen from me again. In order to remain in his peace, I am allowed to come to Jesus anew every day, let him give me presents, unpack his gift of peace and accept it for myself. Every day I can make the decision to trust him completely, to focus my heart on him, to let go of everything that is difficult and to believe that he will keep my peace.



“I told you all this so that you would have peace in me. Here on earth you will experience many difficult things. But have courage, for I have overcome the world. ”John 16:33

“Do not worry about anything, but in all things let your requests be made known to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving! And the peace of God, which is higher than all reason, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ”Philippians 4: 6-7

Confidence

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

What does the word confidence mean? Confidence is the firm belief that something positive will happen, the feeling of a strong inner belief that tells me that it will always go on, even when something is not good.

If you look at current world events, the future prognoses are not good, many people feel less confident and worry, displeasure, perplexity and fears want to spread.

Today I would like to encourage everyone who is currently in a difficult situation, be it due to the coronavirus or other circumstances that want to rob you of the joy of life.

Are you afraid of sickness?
Are you unsure how to continue economically?
Do you have existential fears?
Do you feel isolated, alone, lonely, do you lack social contacts?
Are you worried about the future?
Do you feel a great insecurity?
Are you sad, depressed?

Maybe it feels like God is far away, maybe you don’t feel him anymore, he is silent and doesn’t seem to hear your prayers, you feel empty and hopeless. You are plagued by doubts whether God means well for you.

God wants to meet you in the midst of all the difficult circumstances. He goes with you and carries you through. You can bring your suffering to him and complain, hand it over to him, he helps us let go of it step by step. He comforts you. He is the God of all comfort.


Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercy and God of all consolation, who comforts us in all our tribulations, so that we can also comfort those in all tribulations with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted from God ”2 Corinthians 1: 3-4

It is he who can give you hope and confidence again, who brings light back into the darkness.

Without God you could despair and despair about some things, but hold on to the fact that in the end he has a good plan, that he knows everything and holds everything in his hands. Choose to believe that God can make all things good and make something good of everything.



“But we know that for those who love God, all things serve for the best” Romans 8:28

God sees you even if you don’t see him
God hears your prayers even if you don’t hear him right now
God’s love envelops you, even if you don’t always feel it

God is “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”. Nothing and nobody can separate you from his love. Hold on to God’s promise, God’s word. He is with you all the time, especially when you are in the dark valley.


For I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor powers nor authorities, neither present nor future, neither high nor low nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. “Romans 8.38-39

Hold on to his hand and let him lead and guide you.


“You surround me on all sides and hold your hand over me” Psalm 139: 5

Believe in the God who works miracles. Your belief in him is more than a feeling. It is a firm confidence in what you hope and a non-doubt of what you do not see.


“God is our confidence and strength, a help in the great needs that have hit us.” Psalm 46: 2

“For you are my confidence, a mighty tower from my enemies.” Psalm 61: 3

“With God is my salvation, my honor, the rock of my strength; my confidence is in God. ”Psalm 62: 7

Hope in him always, dear people, pour out your hearts before him; God is our confidence. ”Psalm 62: 8

“But it is my joy that I stand by God and put my confidence in the Lord” Psalm 73:28

“He will cover you with his wings, and your confidence will be under his wings. His truth is a shield and a shield. ”Psalm 91: 4

But the LORD is my protection; my God is the refuge of my confidence ”Psalm 94: 2

Where your treasure is there is your heart too

Lesedauer 4 Minuten

There are numerous guides, magazines, and books in which you can find tips for a happy and content life. Many authors and scientists deal with this topic and have already gained a lot of important knowledge about it.

Satisfaction, gratitude, family, social contacts, exercise, healthy eating, etc. are all factors that can contribute to personal happiness. But I miss the most important point in this list: putting God first



“Happy is the one who trusts in you” Psalm 84:13


Time with God, to meet him and to be connected with him makes us happy. This is what we were created for, the community and relationship with God our Creator is our purpose.

However, our everyday life is often overcrowded with duties, challenges, work, consumption, leisure time, shopping, personal hygiene, social and cultural activities, sport, visits to the doctor and much more, so that we can easily get into a daily grind. Always the same, day in, day out. In this routine we often do not take much time with God and can easily get into everyday stress. We are under time pressure, lots of errands, a mountain of laundry waiting for us, stress, anger, no time. In addition, volunteer positions, homework with the children and other things that can become a burden for us.

How can break this cycle?

I have discovered for myself that this routine, which leads to frustration and dissatisfaction, comes, when I forget one thing: to give God first place

If I just function , try to do everything on my own, just am in action and forget to recharge my batteries with my God, to let his love fill me, to take him into my everyday life, then my joy is lost.

It helps me to plan specific times with God, to start and end the day with God, to read the Bible, to hear songs of praise while doing housework, to take a walk with God or to soak up the sun for 10 minutes on the balcony during the lunch break Enjoy the silence. Talk to God, a prayer. God is never more than a thought away. There are many ways to be in touch with God.


“Think of him at every step; he shows you the right way ”Proverbs 3,6


There are often times when it is difficult to take your free time. For me, for example, that was the case during the apple harvest. From 5:30 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening, the program was full. Prepare breakfast for the harvest workers and prepare children for school, then go to the meadow, distribute lunch, cater for everyone in the evening and do the minimum works around the house. At 9:30 p.m. I went to bed tired, after reading 2 to 3 sentences in the Bible I was already deep asleep.


“He gives it to his own in their sleep.” Psalm 127: 2


But where I recharged the most strength and energy for each day during this time was in the thoughts, short prayers to God, just to be aware of his closeness and to take him with me everywhere. Even if there was no time for Bible reading, there was a lack of church services and fellowship in the house group, God was always with me and that was my happiness.


“To be close to God is my happiness” Psalm 73:28


The more time I spend with God, the more balanced i am. God helps me to set priorities correctly, to distinguish the important from the unimportant, to realign myself internally, to eliminate time robbers and distractions again and again, to use my time correctly.

I have many plans, but often it is better to let God interrupt me, to listen to his guidance, to his voice.


“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:11


Perhaps it is more important to visit someone today than to clean the windows.

Maybe today helping someone is more important than running my errands.

Maybe today it’s more important to listen to someone than to move on quickly so that my schedule doesn’t get mixed up.

Maybe today it is more important to take a walk than to iron my clothes.


“There is a time for everything and there is a time for every noble man under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1


We worry about a lot, think about what there is to do , sometimes forgetting that God is by our side. With God in the boat, we won’t sink into a sea of ​​worries so quickly. If we let him participate in our concerns, he takes all our worries away and gives us new strength and joy in everyday life. With God, even house cleaning is fun.


First seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Then he will provide you with everything else. Matthew 6:33


Happy the people whose God is the LORD! ” Psalm 144.15

Happy are those who live in your house. They will always praise you. Happy is the person whose strength is in you, who follows you from the heart. Psalm 84: 5-6

Happy is the man who does not listen to the advice of the wicked, who does not follow the example of sinners’ lives and does not mockers. With joy he does the will of the Lord [1] and ponders his law day and night. It is like a tree that has roots on the river bank and bears abundant fruit year after year. His leaves do not wither and everything he does succeeds in Psalm 1: 1-3

Persistence

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

What is persistence? Persistence means immutability, durability, reliability, stability and loyalty. Consistency is a strong rock, a secure anchor, a constant, a hold.

Have you ever asked yourself who in this world is actually permanent, what is permanent? Does something like this actually exist?

The world is constantly changing, nothing stays the same. Times change, people change, feelings change etc. and yet people have always longed in their hearts to look for something that always remains.

“He has placed in the heart of man the desire to search about what is eternal.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

When I look back on my life, this search and the questions of meaning began at a young age. When everything changes, everything passes and nothing remains, everything has no sense either. Where do I come from? Where do I go? Why I’m here? Our life has to have a bigger meaning than that we live on earth for a few decades and then it’s all over.

I didn’t know then that my search was basically the search for God. Only he was able to satisfy this longing in me, because only God is eternal and constant.

God’s love doesn’t change

“Because I am quite sure: Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons [7], neither present nor future nor any powers, neither high nor low or anything else in the world can separate us from the love of God, which he in us Jesus Christ our Lord gives. ”Romans 8: 38-39

God’s character does not change

“I, the LORD, do not change” Malachi 3: 6

“I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God. My patience is great, my love and loyalty know no end! I let people experience my love over thousands of generations. I forgive guilt, injustice and sin, but I do not leave everything unpunished. ”Exodus 34: 5-7

God’s good qualities do not change

“Praise the Lord, for he is good, and his grace never ceases” 1 Chronicles 16:34

God’s promises don’t change

“God is not a man that he lies, nor a human child that he should repent. Should he say something and not do something? Should he speak and not keep something? ”Numbers 23:19

God’s plans don’t change

“God also made an oath so that the recipients of this promise could be absolutely certain that it was immutable. So God gave us both his promise and his oath, both of which cannot be changed because God does not lie. For us who have sought refuge in him, this is a great encouragement, because we want to achieve the goal that lies before us, the fulfillment of hope, Hebrews 6: 17-18

God’s purposes do not change

“All good gifts and all perfect gifts come down from above, from the Father of light, with whom there is no change, nor change of light and darkness” James 1:17

God’s ways don’t change

“But what the Lord wills is forever, and what he intends is forever established” Psalm 33:11

God’s truth does not change

“Your truth endures for and for” Psalm 119.90

God’s word doesn’t change

“I assure you: not the smallest letter in God’s law – not even a single line of it – will ever lose its validity as long as heaven and earth exist. Everything must be fulfilled. ”Matthew 5:18

“Heaven and earth will pass away; but my words endure forever ”Matthew 24:35

God’s Son does not change

“Jesus Christ yesterday and today and the same forever” Hebrews 13: 8

“But Jesus lives forever, and his priesthood is therefore immortal. That is why he can completely and forever save all who turn to God through him. He lives forever to stand up for them with God. ”Hebrews 7: 24-25

“A long time ago you created everything, heaven and earth are the work of your hands. They will pass, but you will stay. Like old clothes they will fall apart, like a worn out garment you take them off and change them. But you remain one and the same, your years have no end ”Psalm 102: 26-28

God’s constant love is my rock, my anchor, my hold. I can rely on him at all times. He is my rest in a changing time and my security in eternity.

Rejoice all time

Lesedauer < 1 Minute

How does joy arise? Joy is a reaction to a happy event, something beautiful that I have experienced, an emotion in a pleasant situation or the memory of it. This is a joy that depends on my circumstances, on how I feel, on events that happen to me.

Paul writes in Philippians “Rejoice at all times!” But there are also circumstances that do not give rise to joy, difficulties, challenges, problems, crises, bad days. How can I be happy there at all times?

So there is a joy that does not depend on circumstances, but is constant at all times, and which I can remember especially in difficult situations. Where does this joy come from, where is the source of this joy?

If I read on in Philippians, Paul describes the origin of this joy:

“Rejoice at all times because you are connected with the Lord”

Another Bible translation reads:

“Rejoice in the Lord always”

The secret lies in the connection with God. God is the source of joy.

My joy comes from knowing that God is with me no matter what the circumstances are. This is a joy that nothing and nobody can take away from me and that also leads me through the valleys of life. The relationship with God is the key to this joy that never fades. Through fellowship with God, I can change my perspective even in difficulties, challenges, problems, crises and bad days. I look to Jesus and his presence instead of what is bothering me. His love and the joy he gives carry me through.

“One joy dispels a hundred worries” (Japanese proverb)

“To be close to God is my happiness” Psam 73:28

“The joy in the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10

Dealing with difficult people

Lesedauer 4 Minuten

We meet a wide variety of people on our journey through life. Everyone is unique, everyone has their own peculiarities, their values, their life experiences, their behavior. Sometimes it is easy for us to establish a relationship, the feeling is right from the start, we feel a sympathy and connection with the other. We understand each other when we have similar interests, when we have experienced similar things, when we find characteristics of ourselves in the other. Often it is also the opposites that attract us, we recognize positive qualities in people that we don’t have, and the other way around in us, so that we complement each other perfectly in the relationship.

However, there are also encounters with people who seem difficult to us, where we often don’t know exactly how to deal with them. These can be people who hurt us, people who constantly nag and whine, people who like to blaspheme or poke at others, who make others small, can get quick tempered or angry, people who steal our energy, etc. These people have behaviors that cause us problems and that we find difficult to deal with.

How can we deal with it without letting ourselves be led to negative actions, without being influenced by them, without making ourselves vulnerable and open to attack?

The best and most effective method and strategy we have as children of God is the love of God within us. The Word of God challenges us to meet everyone, whether friend or enemy, with this love.


“Accept one another as Christ accepted you” Romans 15: 7


“You have heard that the Law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ [14] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, Love your enemies. [15] Pray for those who persecute you. 45 So act like true children of your Heavenly Father. Because he makes the sun rise for bad and good and sends rain for the just as for the unjust. 46 If you only love those who love you too, what is special about it? Even the corrupt tax collectors do that. 47 If you are only kind to your friends, how do you distinguish yourself from other people? Even those who do not know God do that. 48 But you shall be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect. ”Matthew 5: 43-46


We can try and learn to see everyone with God’s eyes, without judging. We should be aware that everyone is a creature of God and that God loves everyone. God always makes a distinction between man himself and his behavior. God hates sin, but loves the sinner.

“But God proves his great love for us precisely by the fact that Christ died for us when we were still sinners” Romans 5: 8

If we meet difficult people in a friendly, loving manner, with a smile, we can radiate God’s love within us and make the other think about his behavior.

To see fellow human beings through God’s eyes means to be interested in them, to question the background of his behavior. Why did man react one way or another, why did he behave like this? We should try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and understand them before we judge. The other could have had negative experiences himself, be hurt himself or have a bad day, etc. Nothing justifies that he belittles or insults other people because of it, but knowing the motives does help us to not take his behaviour personally. Often the behavior of the other has nothing to do with us.

Injured people hurt people

What we can still do when we encounter difficult people in our eyes is to ask ourselves what we can learn from them and what the respective situation wants to show us. It is also possible that the other person reflects behavior to me that I don’t like about myself and that I should change.

“As one grinds iron through iron, so one man grinds another’s character” Proverbs 27:17

We ourselves have flaws and weaknesses that can be difficult for others.

“Why do you see every little splinter in the eye of your fellow man, but you don’t notice the bar in your own eye? 4 How can you say to him: ‘Come here! I want to pull the splinter out of your eye! ‘And you have a beam in your eye yourself! 5 You hypocrite! First remove the bar from your eye, then you can see clearly in order to also pull the splinter out of the eye of your fellow man. ”Matthew 7: 3-5

We can learn from Jesus to love people and to accept them as they are. We shouldn’t pigeonhole people or divide them into different categories based on their behavior. Because if we say from the outset that this person is so and so, we have an opinion about a person that is difficult to get rid of. We form an image from which we can hardly break free, even if the person tries hard. That is why it is so important to let go of inappropriate behavior, to forgive and not to be resentful, not always to look at the mistakes of the other, but to look at his positive traits that discover treasures in the other.

“Love is always ready to believe the best of everyone.” 1 Corinthians 13: 5

“My friends! Let us love one another because love comes from God. He who loves is a child of God and knows God. ”1. John 4: 7


We should never repay evil for evil, but rather

pray for the other “But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!” Matthew 5:44
forgiven “Rather, be kind and merciful and forgive one another, just as God forgave you through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4.32
Not crediting guilt “Most of all, don’t let up in loving one another. Because “love overlooks mistakes” 1 Peter 4: 8
do not talk badly about the other person, make him badly with others “Who gossips about others, shares secrets; but those who are reliable keep a secret to themselves ”Proverbs 11:13“ Do not speak ill of one another, but have a good word for everyone who needs it. What you say should be helpful and encouraging, a benefit to all Ephesians 4:29
help “but you who really listen to me, I say: love your enemies and do good to those who hate you” Luke 6:27
Do not be malicious “Do not rejoice over the misfortune of your enemy; do not rejoice at his fall! ”Proverbs 24:17
“Always treat people as you would like them to treat you” Matthew 7:12


To implement all of these resolutions and to deal with people as described in these verses is impossible by one’s own strength and willpower. In order to be able to act in this way, we must be filled with God’s power and live from his love. Our natures are weak, but God’s Spirit within us makes the impossible possible if we only trust and believe.

The desert

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

Poem:

The desert – a place of dryness,

Drought and disorientation.

The heat during the day – the cold at night

makes life and growth impossible.

Desolate and deserted, only stones and sand,

far away is blooming land.

The desert – a difficult life

Challenge, crisis, waiting time.

“Don’t be afraid

I am with you and do not leave you “,

a soft voice speaks to you.

God is there and hope awakens

his loving arm watches over you.

Especially in your desert time

his love is not far from you

He meets you in emptiness and silence,

Community and relationship – that is his will.

Open your thirsty heart to him

he knows your desert, he knows your pain.

He is your provider in the arid country.

He guides you through the desert with a strong hand.

He is the source that never runs dry

and your desert bloomed like a garden.

The presence of God will envelop you

fill you with growth and new life.

(by Ulrike Nägele)

Imagine a desert landscape. Far and wide only stones and sand. There is no water and the drought does not allow vegetation. The heat during the day and the cold at night are almost unbearable and life conditions are hard. Life is not possible and the infinite vastness leads to disorientation and aberration. The lack of vital water makes you thirsty. The desert is an abandoned place, no one far and wide.

In our lives, too, we sometimes experience desert times. Challenges, trials, hopelessness, loneliness, difficult circumstances to which we are exposed. We are disoriented, lost our way and thirst for water that is essential for life.

But there is an oasis that promises life, a source that never runs dry, a fountain that overflows. Desert times are not always the worst times because they often lead us to this saving oasis, to the living source.

This is how I experienced it in my life, exactly in my most difficult time, when everything seemed lost and hopeless, I experienced the presence of God as strong as never before, experienced liberation and Jesus led me out of the desert into the community and relationship with him .

I will give to the thirsty from the source of living water for free. Revelation 21: 6-1
“But whoever drinks of the water that I give him will not be thirsty forever, but the water that I will give him will become a source of water in him that swells in eternal life.” John 4 , 14

“Because in you is the source of life, and in your light we see the light.” Psalm 36:10

Jesus is the source of life, he leads us out of the desert and provides us with guidance and support. There is new life in him, he is “the way-the truth and the life”. Jesus quenches our thirst and lets us bloom again like a flower, he lets us grow and prosper. It protects us from dangers and never leaves us alone.


“The desert becomes a flowering meadow and you can hear cheers from the mountains. Psalm 65:13

“When the Lord led them through the desert, they did not have to suffer thirst because he provided water: he split the rock and a stream gushed out” Isaiah 48:21

“I let brooks break out on the bare hills, and springs are said to spring in barren valleys. I am transforming the desert into fertile land with ponds and bubbling springs ”Isaiah 41:18

“Look; I’m doing something new; it is already germinating. Don’t you see it? I make my way through the desert and create rivers in the wasteland ”Isaiah 43:19

“The Lord your God took your wandering through this great desert on his heart.” Deuteronomy 2: 7

“God! You are my god! I long for you, I need you! Like an arid steppe longing for rain, I thirst, oh God, for you. ”Psalm 62: 2-3

Remove the masks

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

How are you in the current situation with a mask obligation? It happens to me often, when I go to the village or to the shop for shopping that I don’t recognize the people under the mask at first. I always have to look twice. Meeting people with masks is different, it feels more distant, I don’t recognize facial expressions, no facial language. The masks serve as protection, but they are like a barrier between people.

Today, however, I would like to speak about those masks that we also wear outside of obligated mask times. We all know situations in which we wore an invisible mask. Situations where we do not show what we really are, pretend and are not authentic. But why do we want to hide behind masks?

we want to protect ourselves
we are afraid to show our true face
we think about what other people think or say about us
we seek recognition from people
we just want to show our best side
we are afraid of being hurt even if we show our mistakes and weaknesses
we fear the judgment of other people
As a result, we like to take on roles that we are not. We pretend and hide under a mask that shows the picture of us that we just want to show.

But we are not really doing well, we all want to be accepted and seen, just how we really are. We feel comfortable in an environment and with people, where we are accepted and loved, with all our mistakes, inadequacies and weaknesses, in our imperfection.

Where and with whom can we remove our masks?

I have experienced such unconditional love primarily with God. I don’t have to pretend in front of him, he knows me better than I know myself. He knows my heart and everything that goes on there.

“Lord, you have tested my heart and know everything about me” Psalm 139: 1

He knows every one of my thoughts.

“When I sit or when I get up, you know it. You know all my thoughts ”Psalm 139.2

He knows all of my intentions and actions.

“When I go or when I rest, you see it and you are familiar with everything I do” Psalm 139.3

He knows my words.

“And you, Lord, know what I want to say before I say it” Psalm 139: 4

I cannot hide from God because He is everywhere.

“Where should I flee from your mind, and where could I escape your presence? If I fly up to heaven, you are there; I went down into the realm of the dead [1], so you are there too. If I took the wings of the dawn or lived on the outermost sea, your hand would also lead me there and your strong arm would hold me. If I asked the darkness to hide myself and the light around me to become night – I could still not hide from you; for night shines as brightly as day and darkness as light “Psalm 139: 7-12

God loves me just as I am. His love is unconditional. He has good thoughts about me.

“How precious are your thoughts about me [3], God! There are an infinite number. If I wanted to count them, they are more numerous than the sand! ”Psalm 139: 17-18

The more I become aware of his love and recognize who I am in God’s eyes, the more I can accept myself as I am and be authentic to the outside world.
The more I know how God thinks about me, the less important I get what other people think about me. Fear of God defeats fear of man.
The more I realize that God is powerful in my weakness, the easier it is for me to show my weaknesses and to be less vulnerable.
The more I know that I am a child of God and belong to him, the less I always have to belong everywhere.
The more masks I take off, the freer I become and the more i can be who I really am, just as God created and meant me.

“You created everything in me and shaped me in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderful and excellent! Your works are wonderful, I know that. You watched how I was made in secret, how I was formed in the darkness of the womb [2]. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was written in your book. Every moment was certain before the first day began ”Psalm 139: 13-16

I want to keep growing in seeing myself with God’s eyes. I am a beloved daughter of God, made unique and valuable and I want to live more in this identity. Because living without masks brings freedom, transforms distance into proximity, is real and honest. And in addition to God, there will certainly be people who appreciate this openness and honesty and who understand and love me, not because I wear a mask, but precisely because I took it off.

And in the same way I want to meet others and create space for real encounters, where masks can fall and the other can be as he is, feels valued and accepted. So that the real self can appear under the mask.

A person sees what is in front of their eyes; but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16.7