WHY ARE WE SO AFRAID?

“Am I dying,” I asked the doctor, “because my body is falling apart?”

He gently smiled and comforted me with a confident, “No.”

As my health worsened questions about the future raced in my head: Will I be like this the rest of my life? Will I ever walk again? Will Normal ever come? Will God answer my prayer?

Have you ever been overcome with fear?

It’s paralyzing at times, isn’t it? Despite our best efforts to generate happy-go-lucky thoughts, sometimes life is HARD, and sweet musings never materialize.

If we’re not careful, we grow comfortable with the What Ifs and worry becomes our best friend–how difficult it is to divorce ourselves from those rambling thoughts!

My anxiety didn’t disappear overnight. After months–no, years–of prayer, confiding my fears to my husband, and learning to live moment by moment in the Lord, the worry subsided. It wasn’t easy; it was a process God allowed me to endure for the sake of relying on Him, even for my thoughts.

How about you, friend?

Has fear trapped your thoughts in a cage? Are you bound to worry and stress as you wonder what might happen?

Hear the truth of God:

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come.’” Isaiah 35:3-4.

Even though you may be alone with your thoughts, the Lord has not abandoned you!

Do you remember the timeless words of Jesus, spoken to the terrified disciples?

“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Matthew 8:26

His calm reproval makes me feel silly for freaking out. Why are we not trusting Him? He is GOD. Our lives are in the Creator’s hands. Our hearts beat becaue He wills it! So, certainly our life’s problems are not impossible for Him.

My heart echoes the cry of the father who took his child to Jesus for healing,

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

With love and compassion,
Carrie

Again, Lord?

A few weeks ago my health took a momentary downward turn—fatigue and pain reared their ugly heads again. Even though I know the disease will wax and wane, I was most surprised by the fear that accompanied it.

Didn’t I already deal with this, God? Haven’t I already faced my fears of living with a chronic illness?

I guess not, because panic and doubt wormed their way into my thoughts. What Ifs popped up repeatedly as I considered the possibility of the disease returning full force.

But, almost as suddenly as those anxious thoughts appeared, I remembered the work of Christ:
Through this illness, the very thing I fear, God has done an amazing work in my life. He stripped me of the things that distracted me from Christ—now trash in a landfill.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him. Philippians 2:7-9

 

Why am I afraid of this pruning process?

Ultimately it only serves to enhance my dependence on Jesus Christ. I must admit I struggle to join the Apostle Paul in prayer:

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 2:10-11

Does anyone want to share in Christ’s sufferings?

Of course not, because that involves pain. But, it’s that very discomfort that reveals our desperate state. Without Christ, our troubles broadcast our need for a Savior. With Christ, our struggles confirm we can’t go at it alone.

I need Him. You need Him, too.

I guess there’s still a lot of rubbish that needs to be thrown out.

ARE YOU DEPRESSED?

I remember those dark, gloomy days, dreading to get out of bed. I knew the moment I put my foot on the floor pain would instantly consume my body.

I remember wearing the same clothes over and over, rationalizing that since I couldn’t leave my home, no one cared if I wore the same things twice.

I remember dreaming of dying just so I could escape the pain. I begged God to let be with Him and out of this rotten body.

I remember being DEPRESSED.

For me, depression was like a never ending PMS—I knew I was emotional and sad, but I just couldn’t pull myself out of it.

The reality was, I was in living hell and couldn’t escape.

Medication and counseling helped tremendously, but they weren’t the only solutions. I learned to lean on Christ. The Bible became life-giving food for me as I discovered what it means to feast on the Lord:

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever. John 6:57-58

It’s not just about food, or our daily provision for normal living. Jesus is saying that HE IS OUR LIFE. He is the reason we have breath. When we feed on the bread of Christ, we acknowledge our trust, love, and dependence on Him. Without Him we perish. With Him we have abundant life here, and eternal life hereafter.

Don’t misunderstand me. Simply reading Bible verses with an apathetic attitude won’t change your depression.

I’m talking about a new way of looking at Scripture. Rather than seeing it as a book of wise words, written by wise teachers, about a Wise Man, allow your eyes to be opened.

Many of us know the Lord’s Prayer by heart and have prayed it countless times:

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

But, we mistakenly think that is merely a prayer about God’s physical provisions—food, clothing, and housing. In reality, when we look at Scripture in its entirety, Jesus is teaching us that HE IS THE BREAD. We are to feast on Him.

This means hungrily seeking the Lord with all of our hearts, souls and minds. We are to lay aside our fickle emotions and thirst for the Living God. Only He can satisfy. Only He can fill the desperate ache in our hearts.

Are you hungry for something real? Try the Bread of Life.

 
Carrie Cooper @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

Is Anything Too Hard For Our Lord?

Do you ever feel tired, stressed out, beaten up, worn out, or bruised? Life tends to run us over sometimes doesn’t it? As a mom, there are so many days where we don’t feel that pretty. Our lives encompass a lot of “duty” in them. When we do tasks like laundry, cleaning toilets, making the bed, and sweeping – we don’t feel that glamorous. And then there are those single parents that don’t have a spouse to rely on to give them a break when they are worn out. There is the working mom who is juggling both her work and home environment. No one set of circumstances has all of the answers or perfect solutions to a life that won’t leave you feeling stressed out or tired at times. Its just “Life” – all of it will bring these feelings upon us at times.

I think of Genesis 18:14 where it says, “Is nothing too hard for our Lord?” and it brings me comfort. It reminds me of the God who molded and shaped beautiful hills and mountains with His own hand. It reminds me of a God who can bring plagues, raise someone from the dead, and part the sea.

If God can do miracles and do things that we don’t even dare think of, can’t He also help me get through a tough day? Can’t He help me fix something that is broken, find time to fit in my necessary chores, give me a few hours of much-needed sleep, or keep me safe? Can’t the God who helped David beat Goliath, the God who gave Esther the courage to save her people at the risk of death, also give me the strength I need to not yell at my children when I feel overwhelmed? Can’t He help me find the time to love on my children after a full day at work? I believe He can. I KNOW He can.

So often we forget that God cares about the details of our daily lives. I think we tend to ask for the BIG things because He is a BIG God. We may not think He cares about our laundry piles, broken dishwasher, or ant problem. But He does. He cares about them because He cares about us. NOTHING is too hard for our Lord. He is the best problem solver around!

God wants to get personal with us. He wants us to come to Him with things we think are silly or insignificant – yet things that are concerns or issues for us. He wants to amaze us and show us just how much He loves us. Just as you desire to show your children how much you love them!

We will have bad days. We will have moments where we just want to crash. But, we can be encouraged and remember in those moments and on those days that nothing is too hard for our Lord. Give Him a chance to show you just what He wants to do for you in your life. You’ll feel so wrapped up in His love, if you do. It just takes a little faith.

~ Dionna Sanchez is the Founder of EmphasisOnMoms.com. Sign up for her free monthly ezine geared to encourage your life as a mom, wife, and woman.

Heart’s Need

On day in my quiet time, I read the following in my favorite devotional, God Calling…

Never a heart’s need that I could not comfort and soothe.”

I said, “Lord, if this is true, then why do I sometimes feel as though You are not there?”

He answered, “My dear one, I have been here all along, through it all. I’ve been here by your side, though unnoticed. I’ve been here, holding your hand, though not felt.

I’ve been here, hovering over you like a mama bird over her chicks, even though the rush of My wings went undetected. I’ve been here in the blackest hours, shining My light, though its radiance went unseen because hurt and pain had shut your eyes.

I’ve been here, through the floods of adversity, rowing your boat for you through all those uncharted waters.

I am the Navigator. I know where we are going. It is your job to sit still before Me and trust that I know best. Don’t rock the boat by telling Me where you want to go. Just let Me take you to the place best suited for you.

Ride quietly and trust Me and we will reach our destination much more quickly. Don’t be a hindrance to the One who knows the way. I will not steer you wrong nor will I allow the waves to overtake you. Just trust Me, because I love you.”

“Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still. Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:28-30 AMP

~~Blessings, Lynn~~