Do Not Be Anxious

The last few days I have been anxious, well overwhelmed even. Not the overwhelmed I get when facing depression, but overwhelmed with the great need around me and the sheer amount of hurting people in my life.

I wonder if anyone else has experienced this…but in the last year or so, when God has been growing in my heart a desire for prayer, He also has heightened the burden I feel like I’m carrying through prayer. I just am spending more and more time praying for others…especially in a season when so many are suffering.

I asked God yesterday to give me some scriptures to cling to…to pray over my friends…to help me to rest in Him and not allow my anxiousness to overtake me. He is faithful!

The very title of this blog comes from Phil. 4:6-7, and I read this in the Message yesterday and remembered how much I LOVE this passage in the Message! I hope it will encourage you, too!

Celebrate God all day, every day.
I mean, revel in Him.
Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side,
working with them, not against them.
Help them see the Master is about to arrive.
He could show up at any minute!

Don’t fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayer,
letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it,
a sense of God’s wholeness,
everything coming together for good,
will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ
displaces worry at the center of your life.
Phil. 4:4-7, the Message

I don’t know about you, but I need Him to settle me down sometimes!

Here is another passage He showed me a few hours ago.We will all have our share of suffering in this life. Only by the power of God can we keep on keeping on.

Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. 2 Tim. 8-9, the Message.

Tonight, as I head to my prayer closet, please help me lift up my friends. {My precious friend, Fran, recently diagnosed with cancer after celebrating 5 years being cancer free! Our amazing friends, DJ and Rebecca, who are dealing with job loss right now. Our small group at church, there are many families really struggling right now. There are so many needs just in our church, then when I start thinking of you, my friends around the world, and all the needs in your life and your churches, WOW…I think I need to be on my knees 24/7!}

Please leave me a comment with how I can pray for you or your loved ones, too!

Advent …let the waiting begin

 

It doesn’t sound exciting does it? To begin waiting? We hate waiting. Waiting in lines. Waiting on children. Waiting on spouses. Waiting on money to come in. Waiting on God with an endless list of desires. Waiting. Usually we think of waiting as a drudgery.

But this year, I’m excited about the waiting. I’m eager for this period of waiting to begin. Eager to wait…almost seems like an oxymoron. I’m eager for the joyful expectancy of the birth of my Savior. I’m eager for a period of reflection, worship and prayer. I’m eager to wait.

This year I have purposefully said “no” to a myriad of events that usually crowd our December calendar. Yes, we still have many exciting times coming in December, but several things I’ve said no to for good reason. And that good reason…to wait. To slow down. To remember the reason for the season.

When my calendar becomes too full, I don’t have time to worship. When my calendar becomes to full, I don’t take the time to pray that I so desperately need. When my calendar is too full I have to say “no” to serving others when I really wish I could do it. But, how is that being a servant or helping anyone else if I only “want” to help but am so busy that I cannot do so?

When my calendar is too full, I don’t have time to enjoy the many gifts and blessings that God has given me…the beautiful colors…the laughter of my children…the sweet whispers through His Word…the smile of a stranger.

I believe this is what it means to “wait on the Lord.” Waiting with Him. Waiting for Him. The beauty of waiting is that when I am focusing on Him, my heart becomes transformed…in the waiting, He is making me more like Him. A true miracle.

The miracle of Advent…Emmanuel, God with us.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in His word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:6

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

Yet the Lord long to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!
Isaiah 30:18

But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

…we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior,
Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:13

(repost from 2009)

 

Hope

Tonight as I was walking just before a rainstorm came in, I happened to look up at the clouds. I am fascinated by clouds, they are so beautiful! And each one so unique. Tonight, what I noticed, though, was not their uniqueness…but a hole. A hole in the clouds.

A storm was coming in; the clouds were very dark. Yet, there was a hole in the clouds. Through the hole I saw blue sky, yet there were gray and stormy clouds all around it.

A hole in the clouds.

A light at the end of the tunnel.

A ray of light shining through.

A rainbow in the storm.

Hope.

Peace in the middle of the storm.

As I walked, I was reciting scripture verses that I’ve been memorizing and praying through these verses. God showed me hope through one of my all time favorite verses from the past.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1

God is my light. He is my Hope. My hole in the clouds. My peace in the storm. Whom shall I fear? I do not need to fear the darkness, because HE is my light. Not my feelings, not my children, not any other person, not my anything. He is the light in the darkness. He is the hope in the night. He is a little ray of light when the darkness surrounds. He doesn’t always choose to remove the darkness or storms from our lives, but He does provide a hole in the clouds or a light in the darkness. A light to show me the way. A light to give me hope.

Hope. He is my Hope.