Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Provision

Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
Sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
Singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!

Over the past month, I have been observing a Hummingbird build its nest in our backyard Madagascar Palm tree where Jan and I sit enjoying our morning coffee and time with God. The Madagascar Palm has very sharp cactus like spines on its trunk. Watching her build her nest was amazing! She actually built her nest among and on the sharp spines to support and strengthen her nest!

As I‘ve watched this unbelievable miracle of nature – the amazing work of God’s hand, I was reminded of the passage in Scripture where Jesus says,

“Look at the birds, free and unfettered,
Not tied down to a job description,
Careless in the care of God.
And you count far more to him than birds!”

Did you hear that? We count far more to God than the birds! Watching this serves as a reminder to me – especially when I find myself worrying and struggling with my life issues and the uncertainty of the future. I can trust God to take care of me just as He cares for the Hummingbird providing all that was needed to build that little nest and the food she will provide when her little babies hatch!

How much more will He provide for you and me! It may not be what we asked for but it will always be what we need. We can be anxious for nothing! We can even be assured that sometimes the sharp spines that we unwillingly experience in our lives can provide us with a foundation of strength upon which we can build our future – just as the sharp spines provided a foundation of strength for the Hummingbird’s nest!

Father, thank you for bringing this little Hummingbird into our lives! Thank you for your reality, initiative and provision!

“Steep your life in God-reality, God initiative, God-provisions.
Don’t worry about missing out.
You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
And don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up
when the time comes.”

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Go ahead and be angry.
You do well to be angry –
but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge.
And don’t stay angry.
Don’t go to bed angry.
Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

Feeling anger is not a sin but how we react to that feeling is where we can open ourselves up to sin. The above Scripture describes two ways we can sin in response to feeling anger. We can be an oppressor by allowing rage to control us and control others or we can be a suppressor of our anger and allow a bitter root of resentment to grow poisoning our relationship. Dave and I have both responses covered – we are both guilty.

Dave was an oppressor and his anger exploded during his cancer journey. Whenever he would feel anger because of fear, hurt or frustration, he would often explode with uncontrollable rage. He was never physically abusive but he was definitely verbally abusive with his words and tone which would send me inside myself and I would shut down. But I knew he was unable to express his pain by crying (he was taught that boys don’t cry) and I felt sorry for him.

But I was hurt by his words and by stuffing and suppressing that pain/anger I was feeling, a bitter root of resentment developed in my heart towards Dave. And to top it off I built walls around that bitter root so that it continued to grow – it slowly poisoned me from the inside out.

Fortunately for Dave, several years after Dave’s amputation he went for a year of anger counseling when he became aware that his rage was sin and I can honestly testify that Dave has not had a rageful fit for 25 years. But I was not made aware of my suppressed anger until I started walking through my anger issues this past year.

Awareness is the first step to transforming behaviors and the Holy Spirit which lives inside of me, has been revealing to me one of the roots of my adult lifelong battle with depression. Suppressing anger was destroying me from the inside out. I am so grateful to share that I no longer suppress my hurt, fear or frustration and I have experienced the healing Grace of God this past year through my husband, my adult children and the heartfelt counsel of old and new friends that God has blessed me with.

How do you respond when you feel anger? I pray that if you are struggling that you will pray and ask God to direct you to others who can help you with your hurts, fear and frustrations. It is life-giving! Life-changing!

The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Understand this, my brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak,
and slow to get angry.
JAMES 1:19 (NLT)

Over the past year, I have been working through an Anger Workbook with my close friend, Nancy Beggs. As we have journeyed together through our anger issues and the anger issues of our spouses, God has shown me so much on how suppressing my anger and my passive aggressive ways in response to that anger, have hurt myself and my family.

Feeling anger is not a sin but a red flag warning that I am either feeling hurt, fear or frustration. It is how I respond to that feeling that will determine whether I sin or not. Both suppression and oppression of anger are sinful reactions. I knew expressing rage was wrong but I always thought that by stuffing and swallowing my anger that I was being “Christ-like” by not hurting others. But in reality, I was hurting myself and others with my passive aggressive responses.

God has shown me that I can indeed feel, acknowledge, and express my anger in a Christ-like way when I Pause (realize what I am feeling) Pray (ask Him to help me to understand what was said and whether my feelings are justified) and then allow Him to help me Respond in a loving way. At first, this was very difficult for me because I never wanted to ignite a fight and I always feared the other’s response. But it has been amazing to me how when I choose to Pause, Pray and then Respond how the outcome is so healing in my relationships with others.

I pray that this is helpful to all the suppressors and oppressors (yes it is helpful for them too!) that are reading this. Practice PPR and see the difference it makes in your life and relationships!

Don’t worry about anything,
instead pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky