Wednesday, October 1, 2014

God Will Not Leave You Stuck

Hey Friend,
I was all set to write my blog post last Thursday, when I got a call first thing in the morning.  It was my daughter in tears.  In the middle of the night someone had smashed in her back window and vandalized her car.  Hers was not the only car hit at her apartment complex.  I quickly flung on my "supermom" cape and coached her through what to do in a situation like this.  Needless to say, the train had come off the tracks and was heading in a direction all its own.
I was already tired because my senior dog, Zoe, who has dementia gets restless and disoriented in the middle of the night and has taken to barking when she feels distressed.  It harkens me back to the days of being up with a newborn in the middle of the night.  Only at 53, I don't cope as well with sleep deprivation.  In my many years of having dogs, I've never had a problem with fleas, but on Saturday we will be evacuating the house so it can be smoke bombed and will be taking the dogs for baths and flea treatments...sort of a spa day gone bad.
Add in a good measure of issues with adult children that cannot be solved with a Band-Aid or a time out and one might say I've been in a "funk".
In the scheme of things these are small potato issues, but I have been talking to and praying with friends and readers who are dealing with bigger issues - death in the family, terminal illness, divorce, clinical depression and anxiety, etc.  A common question that is asked is, "Is this ever going to get better?"  "Will I always feel this I going to get stuck here?"
Having been through a painful divorce (no divorce is ever pain free) and having dealt with episodes of depression and anxiety I KNOW first hand the fear that somehow I'm going to get stuck here and will never come out the other side.  It is then, when we are down, feeling alone and like we are the only one, that the enemy whispers lies in our ear.  He wants us to believe that God has somehow forgotten us and we will spend eternity in this pit that we are in.  At the time, those feelings can seem very real.  That's why they are so scary.
Feelings can lie to us, just like Satan whispers lies in our ears.  When the red flags of fear and anxiety kick in, I know that it is time to go to God's word.  Two of my "go to" verses when I feel stuck are:  Isaiah 43:1-2 and Psalm 23:4.  Read them with me slowly...
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."  (Isaiah 43:1-2)
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.  (Psalm 23:4)
Notice in both scripture references the common emotion or feeling is FEAR! God knows that we will find ourselves in fearful places, that's why over and over again in is loving compassion, He wants to calm our fears by reminding us of His presence and His devotion to us.
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
God calls us to himself and reassures us that NOTHING will ever snatch us out of His hand because we are His!
...You are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Just as a shepherd would give his own life to protect his sheep, the Lord promises to always be with us, to protect us and to comfort us in our time of need. 
In both scriptures I italicized the verbs "walk" and "pass".  They are followed by a very important word..."through".
We can rest in God's promise to bring us through the waters, rivers, fire and valleys.  He WILL NOT LEAVE US STUCK THERE!
The Bible informs us that in this world we will have trouble - that you can count on, but greater still is God's promise that He will bring us through these trials.  I don't know about you, but this brings me great comfort when I worry that I will remain "stuck". 
Hebrews 11 discusses the topic that we are all just pilgrims passing through.
We can be in this world, but not of it.
Sometimes I have to keep my eye on the prize - eternity.  In this blink of an eye earthly life, I am just a pilgrim passing through.  If I persevere, I will receive the crown of eternal life with my Heavenly Father and Savior and all the saints that have gone before. 
Are you going through something difficult right now?  Do you fear that you will get stuck or never come out the other side?  Then let me remind you that ours is a God of goodness, love and compassion.  He is a God of safe passages through whatever we are dealing with.  He is the God that truly sees you and the trials you are up against and wants nothing more than to hide you beneath the refuge of His wings.  May you be encouraged and know that you are loved beyond measure!  Be blessed...
In His love,
Redeemer Christian School Update:  Thanks to your generosity, we have secured a lease on a two room house where the children can begin to meet!  Please pray for their safety as they meet since they are learning of Jesus' love and light and the world today would like nothing more than to snuff out that light.  In the Middle East, Christians risk their lives each day in order to bring the good news to ears that need to hear.  Please pray that God would bless RCS's efforts to take children off the streets and teach them.
GIVEAWAYS:  In celebration of 20,000 pageviews, I am giving away Starbucks gift cards as well as perpetual calendars with daily reminders of your value and worth by Holley Gerth.  To be entered all you need to do is subscribe to my blog in the month of October.  Previous subscribers will be entered to win as well.  One post per week and no lists ever sold or distributed.