Your planted snuggly in wet concrete with your tennis shoes going no where, feeling completely stuck in your circumstances. Pulling your shoes up feels like they are sucking your legs right back down into a vacuum. It is virtually hopeless right? You may as well give up. Wrong. This is the lie whispered in from the enemy. You may have to get dirty, reach your hand down there, untie the laces, and drag your feet unwillingly from your shoes. It will be exhausting and hard. Yes, you leave the entrapping filthy sneakers behind and start over with new ones. Yes, you get muddy, but that all washes off. Sometimes the things that are binding us to our messes need to be cast off and left behind, for good. When you slough off the dirt clinging to your life, replace it with the truth treasures of God's word. For every anxious worry and fear that keeps your feet rooted in muck and mire, there exists an even stronger seed of truth that can and should be planted and grown in it's place. When you meditate on this truth and nurture it into your life, it will grow to fully replace each and every fear, but this doesn't just happen. We actively participate in the process of digging ourselves out by taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and purposing to chase off the ones that don't belong with the truth.
I know that many of us have grown up hearing this, but not really understanding what it looks like practically. An example would be when the lie sneaks in and whispers "your going crazy, you can't handle all this, you need to just give up."
The truth says in Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."
The lie screams silently throughout your mind "Things are bad, why is this happening? I should really be worried about this, in fact, I'm afraid!"
The truth in Philippians 4:6-7 refutes by saying "Do not 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 your minds in Christ Jesus."
So what do I replace the negative thoughts with? Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
Did you catch the action part of that incredible phrase? The peace of God, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. When we go to him in prayer, with our petitions and offering thanksgiving, it is his peace that will be actively guarding or our hearts and minds. This is a treasure to me when I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to protect my searching heart and wandering mind.
My aunt Kathy had back surgery yesterday, (I thought it was today and got this out a day late) after being told that they couldn't fix the fusions. Praise God that after years of seeking the Lord, he has heard and lead her to this new Dr. who can indeed perform the surgery that she needs. Lord we ask that you give her peace as she had pre-op this last week and surgery yesterday. It is all happening very quickly. Having had a similar surgery, she knows what recovery will be like and it is a daunting journey she faces, yet with God at her side and the power of a praying people she will walk this path in victory.
Several families and friends that we know have been sick for suck a long time. It has got to be wearing them out both physically as well as emotionally. It sends me back to those days of when I had smaller children and we had roto virus plague our home for 6 weeks! Have mercy Lord on these families and touch their homes with your mighty hand.
The little baby from our home group is sick again with similar symptoms to his last illness (RSV). Mom is worn thin and dad is coming down with something himself. Lord cover this home. Protect this family. Please give them perfect rest in you. Allow them to rest and recover under the shadow of your wings. Be their strong tower.
Another sweet friend is experiencing some anxiety and depression. Lord I pray you would direct them to the scriptures they need to find strength and truth in you. Shower them with your presence and be their Almighty God.
Mark received a call tonight for a job. He goes Saturday for a 4 hour test at 7:30 am. This could be a really good job for him if it is the one the Lord has in mind. Pray that God's peace would be upon him as he goes for the testing. Give Mark the continued assurance that you are in control and if this is the job, the testing will go fine.
A possible job opportunity has presented itself to a friend. Give wisdom and clarity as this process begins.
I continue to rejoice when I read Stephanie's blog and Cyrus's. Both are moving forward, cancer free and giving all glory and honor to Jesus Christ. I am encouraged and strengthened when I read how Stephanie is choosing to keep cancer as a part of who she is rather than turning and running for the hills. (This might be my first choice) She wants to be able to minister to others who find themselves in this battle. God thank you for giving her a servants heart to minister to others hurting. Allow her to have opportunities to share your goodness and faithfulness to others in need.