Tag Archives: Worry

Be Still

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“…Be still,

and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

How often do we ask God for help or guidance, but we don’t stop to listen and wait for His response? The act of being still means more than simply remaining in place, it also means to be free from sound or noise, and free from turbulence or commotion. Yet in the busyness of life, it is challenging for us to carve out quiet chunks of time being still. The world requires action from us, yet God asks us to simply be still and spend time focused only on Him.

Not only is it difficult to come to a complete rest from motion, it’s also nearly impossible to quiet our thoughts. Silence can be intimidating because that’s when our anxious thoughts seems to kick into turbo speed – “What if something bad happens? What if I fail? I’m not smart enough; I’m not good enough; I’m not successful enough; I can’t handle this; I’ll never get through this; I’m a failure; There’s no hope; etc..”  If we fill our time with endless activity, non-stop work, mindless television, internet surfing, or social media browsing, it’s easy to dodge our concerns and block any worries. Silence can force us to face issues that we might be trying to run away from, yet God wants us to bring those cares and apprehensions to Him. In Mark 4:39, Jesus quieted a raging storm with these word, “Peace, Be still!” Ask Him to quiet the tempestuous thoughts in your mind with those same words. He will shine the light of His truth into your life and replace those fears and self-doubts with His peace.  Both your mind and your strength will be renewed through this process.

On a recent trip to Central America, our group came upon the sloth pictured above.  We were enthralled with this unique creature and thrilled that we were able to experience this rare sight! During the entire time I watched him hanging by his shaggy arms, he remained motionless and seemingly oblivious to the chatter and activity below from our group of observers. As I stood viewing this fascinating animal, the Lord gently reminded me that His slow-motion-creation provides a great example of what it means to be still.

So when you need strength or help from God, or when your anxious thoughts are overpowering you, learn a lesson from the sloth.  Cling to Jesus and rest in His unending love and care for you. Block out the distractions and noise from the world and meditate solely on His voice. Simply, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

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A New Perspective

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The Lord helps the fallen

and lifts up those bent beneath their loads.

Psalm 145:14 (NLT)

As I awaited departure for my flight home, I worried that my trip would be delayed or cancelled due to the ominous appearance of the brewing winter storm.  The dark, billowing clouds matched my dreary mood.  Thankfully, the flight took off as scheduled, and we ascended through the turbulent mass of clouds.  For a while, I saw nothing out of my window seat view except gray wisps of thick foggy vapor mixed with icy rain droplets streaking across my window.  As the plane punched through the cloud ceiling and reached its cruising altitude, I was blinded by the glorious light of the setting sun.  My spirit instantly brightened, and it amazed me to think about the stark contrast of this majestic site above the cloud canopy, compared to the gloomy conditions below.

This experience reminded me of how often we allow burdensome circumstances in life to weigh us down and make us feel that we are “bent beneath our loads.”   Our outlook is gloomy because we only focus on the worrisome details of our lives, and we lose sight of the fact that the Son is up above us watching over every moment of our day.  He cares about our burdens and wants to lift us up and give us a new perspective.

“In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came to His ears.  He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under His feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness His canopy around Him— the dark rain clouds of the sky.  Out of the brightness of His presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.”  2 Samuel 22:7,10-13,17

Your distress might be in the form of financial struggles, a health crisis, career concerns, parenting issues, addiction battles or relationship strife.  But regardless of what load you are carrying, it can be overwhelming.  God listens to each whispered prayer, and your cry for help reaches His ears –He loves you and He wants to help.  He will lift up those bent beneath their load.  He doesn’t always completely remove the burden, but by lifting your focus from doom and gloom to His majestic glory, your soul is strengthened, and you will have renewed stamina to keep moving forward.

“…the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.”

Psalm 146:8 (NIV)

God Leads The Way

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“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;

He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

With God as your life’s Heavenly Navigator, you never have to worry or be fearful when forging ahead into uncharted territory.  You can confidently trust that the Lord is going before you, guiding you in the path that is best for you.  He promises to be with you each step of the way…even in the deepest, darkest valleys and through the most treacherous terrain. When the going gets tough, He will never abandon you or forget about you.

Perhaps you are struggling with decisions about your career, finances, relationships, child-rearing, education, or even treatment options for a health crisis.  You would never travel to a new place without consulting a map or GPS system. Why do you think that you could blindly traverse though life’s journey without consulting God’s divine wisdom?  He is your holy Field Guide for your earthly trek. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or afraid, focus on the fact that God is already ahead of you, leading the way.  He knows the plans He has in store for you ~ seek His excellent guidance and ask Him for wisdom.   With Him by your side, you can have confidence that the choices you make are best

He’s already in your future…follow His lead.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Genesis 28:15
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”
Deuteronomy 4:31

Cure for a Fearful Heart

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Say to those with fearful hearts,

“Be strong, do not fear:

Your God will come,

…He will come to save you.”

Isaiah 35:4 (NIV)

 

What are you afraid of today?  Is it fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of death, fear of enemies, fear of pain, fear of judgment, fear of financial ruin, fear of abandonment, or even fear of the unknown?”  Fear can be debilitating and paralyzing.  When you are fearful, you stand frozen in your tracks, afraid to make a move lest you cause your deepest, darkest fears to materialize before your eyes.  You feel that if ___________________ happens (fill in the blank), then you will certainly _____________________(fill in the blank).

In the face of uncertainty, a yearning for your most basic needs begins to bubble up to the surface:  security, peace, hope, love, and acceptance.  You spend your time and energy worrying about your circumstances ~ longing for peace of mind ~ and you never move forward in your life.  Ultimately, if you are fearful about something, you doubt that God is big enough to handle your unique situation.  God’s word tells us not to fear, but rather to trust in Him, and believe that all things are possible with Him.

 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41: 9 – 11

The divine neutralizer of fear is trust in God.  When you place all of your uncertainties, inadequacies, and apprehensions before Him, the heavy chains of fear begin to dissolve. Allow God to pierce through and deal with the insecurities of your fearful heart.  Tell Him about your most private fears and place them all in His capable hands.  With the assurances of God’s promises, you can have a heavenly peace of mind that transcends all understanding.  A fearful heart will no longer hold you captive, because God will replace your fear with courage and strength.  With God on your side, you can have courage in the midst of your crisis.

 “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
 

“Nothing on earth is its equal – a creature without fear.”  Job 41:33

Nothing is too hard for God!

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By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
Their starry host by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
He puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the people of the world revere Him.
For He spoke, and it came to be;
He commanded, and it stood firm.

Psalm 33:6 – 9

When I watch beautiful displays of nature, I am reminded of Jeremiah’s affirmation to the Lord:

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth with your outstretched arm.

Nothing is too hard for you!” 

 Jeremiah 32:17

If God can create the heavens with His word and the starry host with His breath, He can speak life into any situation that you or I face here on the earth He created.  Absolutely nothing is too hard for Him.  Since He also created everything in the earth…including you, He knows – and cares about – everything in your life.  If you face a problem that seems insurmountable, turn to the God who gathers the waters of the sea into jars for help.

 Your problem is not bigger than God.

Listen for His Song

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The Lord your God is in your midst,
A Mighty One who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Take a moment to let the words of this scripture penetrate your mind and permeate your heart.  The same Mighty God who created the universe is in your midst.  As His child you are never alone.  Your Heavenly Father is beside you every step of the way.  He is always present in your life.  When the going gets tough, He’s not going to bail out.

God loves you unconditionally.  He celebrates and sings because of YOU.  As a mom of three sons, I know how it feels to “rejoice” over my children.  Be assured that my voice will be the loudest one cheering in the stands whenever there’s a home run, touch down or game winning basket.  I also celebrate other accomplishments with them such as good grades on a report card, learning a new skill, or making the team.  Truthfully, I rejoice over my boys each morning when I wake them up and each time they walk in the door from school.  So if an earthly parent can have such joy over her children, I can’t imagine how much more our Heavenly Father, who created each and every one of us, rejoices over all His children.

When you are fearful, hurting or sad, He quiets you and comforts you with His love.  Our All-knowing, All-seeing, ever present Lord knows your every need and thought.  He senses the pain you may be feeling.  He knows your circumstances and understands your fears with complete clarity.  Just imagine His divine arms wrapped tightly around you, holding you, consoling you, reassuring you, soothing you and calming all your fears.

God’s word is true.  So we can believe without a doubt that the Mighty One who will save is in your midst.  He is rejoicing over you.  He is quieting you by His love.  And your Heavenly Father is singing loudly over you with joy.  Acknowledge His presence in your life.  Sense His joy and gladness over you.  Feel His comfort, and listen for His loud singing throughout your day.

God’s Watches Over Us

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“The Lord looks down from heaven

and sees the whole human race.

From His throne he observes all who live on earth.

He made their hearts,

so he understands everything they do.

Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him

[who revere and worship Him with awe],

who wait for Him and

hope in His mercy and loving-kindness.”

Psalm 33:13-15,18

 

Nothing is ever hidden from God’s view, and no tiny detail is out of sight for Him.  As a mom of three boys, this truth about God amazes me because I remember how difficult it was for me to keep up with my energetic sons when they were toddlers.  I had “baby gates” all over my house to corral them into certain rooms so that I could watch over them and keep them safe.  I baby-proofed the cabinet doors and the electrical outlets and tried to remove any potential harm from their reach. Yet even with all my safety precautions, I would miss something.

My youngest son was skilled at finding the tiniest toy parts or miscellaneous objects and quickly hiding them away in his mouth.  I would catch him stashing things in his cheeks such as Legos, GI Joe shoes, wheels from toy trucks, lost buttons, lumps of play dough, rocks, coins, rubber bands and paper clips…just to name a few!  It seems as though I would take my eyes off of him for a few seconds, and he would find some potential choking hazard to stuff in his drooling little mouth!

Those days seemed exhaustingly difficult at times, because I was always on high alert.  I thought it would be much easier as they grew up, but now that my oldest is in college and the other two are in the midst of teenage adolescence, there are more dangers lurking than I ever imagined back in their toddler years. The types of dangers they face today can’t be shielded with baby gates or cabinet locks.  I can no longer patrol them 24/7, and I must rely on their ability to make wise decisions when faced with compromising situations.  For teens, this is not an easy task in the face of peer pressure and the strong desire to fit in.

It would be very easy to remain in a state of constant fear and worry over this precarious situation, but I must remind myself that their Heavenly Father is watching over them at all times.  His love for them is even greater than my own.  He never sleeps and His eyes are never off of them, not even for a few seconds.  Throughout their lives they have been taught about right and wrong from a Biblical perspective and watched the example set in our home.  Where my limited parenting capabilities end at this stage in their lives, God’s limitless capabilities are just beginning!  Instead of worrying, I must entrust Him with their lives daily and rely on Him when I feel powerless and fearful.

With our imperfect human understanding it is impossible to imagine how God can view the entire human race at all times.  Yet, that’s just one of the astounding attributes of the amazing God we serve.  His abilities are boundless.  He is all knowing, ever-present and all-powerful.  He made each one of us and sees every intimate detail about our lives.   Trust that His capabilities far surpass your inadequacies and ask Him to help you no matter what circumstances you face.  Believe that His eye is always upon you and no tiny detail slips past His visual range.

“…for He views the ends of the earth and sees everything under heaven.”  Job 28:23