Yesterday morning, I woke up, read my Bible, and asked God, “What do you want me to do today? I could keep deep cleaning around the house or go Christmas shopping or work on my devotional book.” I went about my morning routine waiting for God to lead me in one of these ways. Little did I know that He was going to answer me with a “none of the above” response.
As I went downstairs to grab some breakfast, my son and daughter-in-law Facetimed me. I wasn’t expecting their call. Their team lead’s mother has passed away while visiting them overseas. “Boy, Lord, what a reminder that our lives are in Your hands. You can take any one of us at anytime,” I thought as they told me what had transpired. After encouraging them, I grabbed breakfast and took my dog for a walk. “Lola, why are you walking so gingerly with your head down?” I asked. I knew right away. She wrenched her neck again. She’s in a lot of pain. I couldn’t get her into the vet that we have used for the past 20 years, so I spent a better part of day searching for somewhere to take her to. What I found was filled schedules or wait times for urgent care or emergency care to be a 2-4 hour wait. I was frustrated with the inability to find help for my dog. My vet was out of the office yesterday but today he can see Lola which I am thankful for. I am praying that she doesn’t have a bulging disk in her neck. She has wrenched her neck before. I am stressed over seeing her in pain and not being able to help her immediately.
“Carol, trust me. I will work things out. Haven’t I always? Know that I am fighting for you, taking care of you, and working things out for your good. Remember Romans 8:28 and Psalm 46:10. Calm down for I am with you. Remember Psalm 62:5-7, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my Rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.”
While figuring out how to help Lola, I texted with my friend who tries so hard to stay afloat but life keeps throwing things at her and she can’t seem to catch a break! By this point, I am sad and wondering why God would take a mother who was visiting her daughter and her new grandson only to have a stroke and pass away. I am stressed over my dog being in pain and I can’t fix it in the moment. I am frustrated over my sister in Christ who works so hard yet can’t get past making ends meet. Bills are always knocking on her door.
“Lord, life is hard. This world is unfair. Where is there stability, a guaranteed assurance that all will end well?”
Do you have days like I had yesterday, days that don’t go as planned, days full of uncertainty, sadness, stress? I greatly dislike these kinds of days, but I have to tell you, they help me to refocus. Days like yesterday remind me that in this world, anything can happen to anyone at any time. These kinds of days help me to keep looking up and knowing that God is in control. This is enough for me, is it for you?
God’s Word is full of truths that will help when you face trying times. Here are a few that calm my spirit and refocus my eyes, ears and mind towards His voice over my own:
1. In Philippians 4:11-13 ESV, the apostle Paul states, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
What a great reminder that in Christ you are complete, full, satisfied. What makes this difficult to believe is that your flesh thinks otherwise. While in my soul I know who God is, He has never been unfaithful to me, and He has always made a way for me, my flesh thinks independently and forgets God. I have to stop, remember who I am in Christ, and return to His truths and dwell in that realm where I am victorious for Christ lives in me.
2. In 1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV, Paul also states, “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
God needs to awaken me every morning that there is not much I need to survive in this world. I don’t need 90% of what I have. It’s all fluff, added enjoyment. All I need is Jesus. A funeral will remind you of this reality. The birth of a baby will too. You come into this world naked and dependent. You will leave the same way. A baby is dependent on God in the womb, and it’s mother, father, or care-giver after birth. In death, every soul is dependent on God, whether one has chosen His Son or not.
3. In Matthew 6:31-33 ESV, Matthew who was one of Jesus’ disciples said this, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
First things first, God knows what you need more than you do. I know that is hard to believe but it’s true. Seek Him first and live how He is wanting you to live, and He will give you other things that will make your life full and abundant. Will you trust Him?
Will you believe that God is working on all the trials of your day, even before they reach you? I always act surprised. Maybe this is why I struggle with anxiety and get frustrated so easily. I need to start my day with God and thanking Him ahead of time for my day.
“Lord, you have given me this day. Thank you. Whatever comes my way is no surprise to You. You are already handling all the irons in my fire. You are with me and I can face hearing bad news, helping my dog, and praying and encouraging my friend. There is never a time in my life where You are not there. Jesus, thank you for never leaving my side. You are my peace, my joy, my contentment. I love you.”
Anticipate God’s glorious presence today. He is with you.