Wednesday Wisdom 🙂

Inspiration this week comes from the Gospel of John 18: 1-4

“After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.

Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?”

This summer, I’ve been blessed to take part in a middle school / high school girls Bible study. Reading God’s word takes on a new significance when you are blessed to be able to share it with a group of intelligent and faithful young women. We have learned a lot of things about Jesus during our study of the Gospel of John, but what has jumped off the page at me over the last couple of weeks is a greater understanding of how steadfast Jesus is.

He believes.

He loves.

And, he leads with a gentle heart and nerves of steel.

Whether he is healing the sick, sharing parables of wisdom, visiting with a troubled woman at the well, or facing death at the hands of his own people, the same Jesus shows up every single day. Regardless of circumstance – He is steadfast because he trusts in God. He shows us what happens when you live with wholehearted faith, and holds out his hand to help us travel that same journey.

My girls have a family joke that I am like Old Faithful — I have things that yank my chain and inspire a flair of temper with relative frequency. In fact, there was a rumor that my hair used to turn red as my temper built signaling a coming eruption 😉 A couple of years ago, I figured out that as God continued to call me to work with young athletes that I needed to change this habit in order to be faithful.

I needed the steadfastness of Jesus.

Jesus spent his life intentionally stepping into God’s call – regardless of circumstance with a quiet confidence and selfless heart. Even when his crucifixion is eminent and Peter lashes out in fear induced temper and cuts off the ear of a soldier, Jesus calms the situation and heals the man. He is steadfast, with his eyes and heart completely focused on God’s call.

What is your response when you are challenged or someone yanks your chain?

I’d like to report that I act like Jesus, but the truth is that I likely fail as often as I succeed. I’ve got a bit of Peter in me – despite the fact that I love Jesus, sometimes my emotions get the best of me and I make mistakes. Jesus loved Peter through those moments of failure, and my heart tells me that Jesus loves me through those times as well. My faith calls me to lean into Jesus, to draw from his peaceful confidence.

That gives me hope.

I’ve come to realize that hope allows for peace and love to prevail – even when circumstances are grim. I am thankful that my source of hope is steadfast, and each time He steps toward me to ask, “Who are you looking for?”, I pray that I will reach out to take a hold of his hand with the same quiet confidence and trust with which it is offered.



Filed under General, Wednesday Wisdom

7 responses to “Steadfast…

  1. Roger Hunt

    That was a beautiful message, Anne Burkholder!! You are a blessing to me and I’m sure to all others whose life you touch. Your faithful heart, your honesty, your transparency and your shared love make you special indeed! May God continue to bless you on your journey and me through you.

    • Thank you, Roger 🙂 I appreciate your kind words and support! I’ve truly loved working with these girls all summer — interesting how true the message is “it is in giving that we receive”. So very many things to be thankful for. I’ve discovered over the past 7 months that gratitude enables me to see what I have, instead of focusing on what I don’t have. It’s opened my eyes to a new sense of peace.

      I hope that you all are doing well. The girls head back to school in about 2 weeks. I honestly don’t know where the summer has gone. I love to have them around more and have to admit that I wish the start of school was a few more weeks into the future! We started Cross Country conditioning this week so I am back in the “coaching seat” and trying to work through the challenge of coaching Cross Country while only being barely ambulatory. It’s easier on the pool deck when you only have 1 good leg! I assume that all of your beautiful grandkids are getting ready to go back to school as well.

      Take care,

      • Grandkids are heading back to school here in about 2 weeks as well. Olivia will be a junior and Gavin will be sophomore. Not sure if Arlo will be in preschool or kindergarten and Nora is still at day care. Jackson will be sophomore at DeMac Community College and Davis will be a 3rd year architecture student at Iowa State. So they are kind of all over the board.

        Would you be able to use a golf cart in your x country coaching? A lot of times back here they run on golf courses.

        I’m beginning to think about/plan for my yearly Nebraska retreat. I was just watching a video on Nebraska today and they said fall is the most beautiful time of year. And, I’ve not been there in the fall before. I really would like to see the prairie grasses at that time of year. I think they should be in beautiful shades of rusty reds and sepia. In your opinion when does that occur back there?

        Take care of yourself Anne and give yourself all the time you need to heal.


  2. Becky

    Thank you, Anne, for another inspirational message. I am finding the longer I lay here unable to do much, the more my mind tends to find fault. Your reminder to stay steadfast and focused will adjust my thinking today!

    • So good to hear from you, Becky. I’ve been following on facebook and praying for you. I am so sorry for your struggle. Keep up the daily devotional messages on facebook — I enjoy reading them and they help to guide me on the journey.

      Keep your hope – your smile – and focus on the peace that Jesus brings. I will keep praying for you 🙂


  3. It’s very nice message and nice family

  4. Kate

    True wisdom! I completely admit I have a temper that sometimes gets the better of me (and funny enough, I am a redhead!). In those moments, I take a step back, take a deep breath, and listen for what God wants me to do. He’s never steered me wrong.

    If you don’t mind me asking, how tall is your youngest daughter now? Whenever you post a picture it seems she’s grown. What a blessing!

    – Kate

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