I opened up Jesus Calling today to September 17. It reads, “You will not find My Peace by engaging in excessive planning: attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. This is a commonly practiced form of unbelief.”
It appeared that Sarah Young had written this one specifically for me. My mind had been spinning at 3:00am with popcorn thoughts from my to do list. I remembered how my heart had been beating a little quicker than normal, a sure giveaway that showed how helpless I felt to stay above it all. And now here were the words that confronted me; this was a sign of my unbelief.
In truth, my life is in a peaceful stage right now. The medical crisis that taught me to cling to God for hope and strength the year before had passed. My faith has grown since that time. I’ve known the freedom of living under the easy yoke of our gentle Lord. But here I was at it again, trying to manage even the normal messiness of life on my own.
I’ve been memorizing Romans 15:13 this week. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” It’s the perfect reminder: I don’t have to have all the answers to overflow with hope. My God is the God of hope. Tonight I think I’ll put away my to do list, and meditate on the God of Hope.
What about you? Do you ever trust God in the crisis and then take back control, worry and all, when life gets back to normal. Perhaps you’re in the middle of the storm and feeling overwhelmed. Share your thoughts and what you’ve learned or where you struggle. –
The September 8th Jesus Calling devotional begins, “Accept each day exactly as it comes to you…not only the circumstances of your day, but the condition of your body.” Wow! I know for me during cancer treatment it was difficult for me to accept each day, especially when my body was going haywire and I was so sick from chemo. Feeling a range of grief emotions and feeling my body in turmoil, I learned I could struggle in trying to make sense of it all or just release the struggle and accept how I was that day. God wants us to release wherever we’re at for that day into His care. He infuses His strength into us and offers His peace. I could never have imagined where my life has taken me after cancer. The blessings are one-thousand fold. I love this verse Exodus 23:20 “I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” We can’t see the road, but He can. All we need to do is accept as it comes and release it to God.
What are you struggling with today? Have you wrestled with something in your life and then found relief when you released it to God? Please feel free to write me and share your thoughts and how we can minister to you or your loved one.
I keep going back to the words in August 22nd Jesus Calling book. “Trust Me, and don’t be afraid. I want you to view trials as exercises designed to develop your trust muscles. “ Anyone going through cancer can tell you it is a trial! For me it was a trial involving every area of my life: emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental. I was brought to the depths of utter weakness and was scared at times. Throughout the experience, God helped me develop my trust muscles. Sometimes it involved releasing my emotions to Him, sometimes it involved relying on others to help me and sometimes it was when I was sitting doing nothing but absorbing His peace and calm. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” I am grateful He is still developing my spiritual muscles.
Have you ever felt that it was hard to trust God? In what ways did you see your life differently after a trial? Is there a trial you are going through that you need prayer for? Is so please share and let us know so we can pray for you.
I paused to reflect on the words in Sarah Young’s entry for today. It read: “When things go ‘wrong,’ you tend to react as if you’re being punished.” But I don’t think I do. I’ve come to rely on God’s promise in Jeremiah 29 verse 11: My loving God wants to prosper me and not to harm me. But knowing something and embracing it can be very different things. I can fight hard when hardship, disease, pain, or heartache come into my life. I feel guilt when I don’t want to embrace my “thorn in the flesh” for the future growth and reliance on God it can yield.
Sometimes I’ll even put up a cheerful front for my friends. But not to God. What good would it do? I know that “before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” Psalm 139:4
Instead, God lets me cry out to Him with or without words. He accepts me right where I am with full honesty. And once I have emptied my heart he offers the most precious gift of all. I am allowed to give it all to Him. And rest. Rest completely on him whose “right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:10
How about you? Do you accept God’s hand in both the good and bad in your life….but inwardly cry out when that brings pain? Have you experienced the peace of crying out to God and letting go?
Reading from the Jesus Calling devotional for April 10th reminded me of flashbacks of my life as a cancer patient.
It says, “Trust me in every aspect of your life. Everything that happens fits into a pattern for good for those who love Me. Instead of trying to analyze the intricacies of the pattern, focus your energy on trusting Me and thanking Me at all times.”
During the initial stages of my cancer diagnosis, I felt angry and wanted things to make sense. Why did this happen? I tried to analyze it and come up with answers as to why…resulting in no answer at all. Trusting God was hard during the difficult times. The physical, emotional and mental chaos of my diagnosis was overwhelming. But now looking back ten-and-a-half years later, I see God orchestrated all the pain into something bigger, more than I could have imagined. I have a deeper gift of empathy and passion for helping cancer patients. In Him I can trust. Thank you God!
Comments: What were your thoughts as you read today’s scripture passage and devotional? Have you struggled as you deal with the anger? Have you found a way to “focus your energy on trusting Me and thanking Me at all times?”
Reflecting on the July 1st devotional from Jesus Calling I am struck by the words, “Through communing with Me, you transfer your heavy burdens to My strong shoulders.”
In the midst of a confusing time, undergoing cancer treatment we can call upon God to help and know that He will. From one day to the next, or hour-by-hour, we might feel emotional, mental or physical struggles. We can ask Him for help and meditate on His words. I can’t sum up how he wants to carry our burdens better than the 23rd Psalm verse 2: “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”
Comments: What were your thoughts as you read today’s scripture passage and devotional? Have you experienced the “strong shoulders” of God?