Depression · Fear · Hope · worry

Paralyzed By Fear, Pain or Depression?

This week I have been preparing to teach my grandsons the story of the paralyzed man who had four friends that brought him on his mat to Jesus. As I read through different materials for children, I have been amazed at how most children’s curriculums make the lesson in this story all about the four men who were kind to their friend. That totally misses the real truth in this passage.

The Hero of every story in the Bible is Jesus!

The wonderful thing that happened to that paralyzed man that day was that his great faith in Jesus brought him to the place of receiving forgiveness for his sins! Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
That’s the best day in ANY person’s life!

The whole issue for each of us who can feel so desperate is looking to Jesus Christ in the midst of our “paralytic situations.”

When we are paralyzed with fear, indecision, pain, loss or heartache, in faith we can “tear the roof off” and make our way to Jesus.

Why should we turn to Jesus in our desperate situations?

  • He is able to bring us to a place of healing. It may not be the physical healing that this man also received, but He will allow us to understand the One from Whom our real peace and joy come. Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. John 14:27
  • He will point us to the real source of happiness. It’s all from Him – not our improved marriage, our fuller bank account or our compliant children. He is always the answer to every paralysis. Romans 8:33-39
  • He changes our finite perspective to an eternal one. Revelation 21:1-5

Friend, how are you doing today? Are you experiencing any “paralyzing situations right now? My heart was grieved to hear of a woman who took her life this week. The pressures that she was feeling were just too great. She had been in despair and thought that the only outlet was death.

In the days in which we are living, it can be easy to feel as desperate as this woman may have felt, but I’m here to tell you that there is hope for each of us today. There’s something better than a bag of potato chips, a pill, a glass of wine or ending your life. That hope is in the One Who healed the paralyzed man on a mat all those years ago. He is able to do whatever is needed to rescue us.

  • Come to Him by calling out to Him.
  • Open His Word in a Quiet place and let Him speak Truth to your heart.
  • Talk to Him. Pour out your heart.
  • Sing. Praise Him. Lift your hands in your worship of Who He is.
  • Then take all that He has said to you, all the comfort He has given, all the hope poured in and share it with someone else.

Sometimes He does use friends to bring us to Him, and perhaps this blog post was sent to your path today to give you the hope you need. If I can pray for you or encourage you, I would be so happy to do so. You can leave a comment here or you can email me using the email address in my contact information at the top of this page.

You’re never without hope for your paralysis…turn to Jesus.

Bible study · Biblical Womanhood · Fear · peace

Safe Am I

When our daughter and son-in-law brought their precious twin boys home from the hospital, I watched with intensity as they got the babies ready to go to sleep in their bassinets. They would lay down a blanket on the changing table, set the baby at an angle in the middle, and then bring each side in very tightly. Finally the bottom part of the blanket came up and was tucked in securely. it was like they were ready for shipping by UPS! There was not chance for flailing arms or legs – every part of the boys was tucked safely and securely inside.

Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

This was a whole new approach to me, since my last baby came more than 25 years before. I felt concerned.

“Won’t the boys need to stretch?” I asked.

“This swaddle will keep them from jumping and alarming themselves while they sleep” my daughter explained.

True to its word, that tight little swaddle kept them snug and sleeping soundly until their tummies woke them up with hunger.

Little babies have it made, don’t they?! To be wrapped so safely and snuggly and allowed to rest like that would be like….well, it would be just like what Christ does for us as His children. As a matter of a fact, there’s even a reference in Scripture to the Lord doing that very thing for David.

We’ve been taking a look at the story of Nabal the fool and how he angered David by refusing to feed him and his men after they had treated Nabal’s sheep shearers kindly. David decided this man and all his household would die as a result! A wise servant of Nabal’s hurries to Nabal’s wife, Abigail to tell her what has taken place and also of the sure destruction that was coming soon unless someone stopped David.

Wise and beautiful Abigail stepped in by sending a huge gift of food to David and his men. (Wisdom fed the men before talking!) It was sheep shearing time, and there had been lots of preparations, so she was well able to load the donkeys with the best of food to fill the appetites of these hungry soldiers.

But now David needed to be addressed and Abigail had the godly character and wisdom to know just how to speak the truth into his heart. You can read exactly what she said here. She simply reminded David that if he killed these innocent men, he would have a blight on his name, but if he would trust the Lord, God would take care of wicked Nabal.

As I imagine this scene in my mind, I see David’s hand drop from his sword and hang down at his side. His shoulders relax and his head drops as he realizes the foolish decision he had been spared.

Abigail reminded David of a truth that is especially beautiful for each one of us who know Christ and could feel like some threat or danger is before us ~

But the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God;

She was saying that David was safe in God’s hands, that God would watch over and protect him, just like a traveler who carries their precious possessions bundled up underneath their robes.

Friends, that is our position in Christ! We are bound up in His bundle! It’s like He has us wrapped up in a swaddling blanket and carries us close to His heart.

When I was a girl we would sing the song, Safe am I, safe am I, in the hollow of His hand. There’s no better place to be than safe in Christ!
(Here’s a recording of the song made by The Dayspring Quartet.)

Whatever trouble may be around you today, stop and realize that if Christ is your Savior, you are safe and secure in Him…all day and all night, too. Like those little baby boys wrapped so tightly, there’s no need for us to jump or be alarmed!

Now rest peacefully.

Fear · Stress · worry

Winning Over Anxiety

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

So you’re sitting there mindlessly twirling your hair while your stressed out thoughts are also twirling through your head.

Your anxiety level is up.

You sigh again.

You pick up the cold cup of coffee sitting beside you and mindlessly sip its contents.

These anxious thoughts have become a pattern during the daytime and they plague your thoughts in the night and rob you of sleep.

I don’t know the reason of your worried thoughts, but I do know that we all have them from time to time, and perhaps now more than ever. What are we to do as believers in Christ when anxious thoughts plague us 24/7?

Recently I picked up my Bible to read the Proverb for the day. It was Chapter 7 – a familiar chapter about how the adulterous woman lures men into sin. I then asked God to show me what I needed to hear from this chapter that truly seemed to have no significance in my own life at the moment. The Spirit of God arrested my attention when I read the first five verses!

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

That they may keep thee from the strange woman,

Though I wasn’t dealing with the subject of infidelity mentioned in this chapter, the Lord showed me that obeying the first four verses of this chapter is how we overcome any sin that is overwhelming us…including the anxiety that seems so prevalent in our world today.
Here’s what I learned about winning over anxiety according to this passage:

  1. Obey God’s Word and commands. Just do it. What you know to do, what you are challenged to do…do it. Instead of sitting and fretting, get up and obey what you know you’re to be doing.
    Read His Word.
    Pray.
    Serve the Lord in your home.
    Give the Gospel to others.
    Fellowship with believers.
    Do the work God has called you to do…laundry, meals, your day job. Be faithful.
  2. Keep God’s commands and live! Love God’s Word as though you cannot live with out it, for indeed we would be lost without His counsel! He has the Words of life!
  3. Keep God’s Word as the apple of your eye. The most tender part of your eye is the most beautiful and vulnerable part of your eye. You must guard it against being neglected. We may be shocked or horrified when we read of Bible burnings that are taking place, but are we truly valuing God’s Word as we would guard the apple of our eye? We must value God’s Word and see it as the most precious part of our life. If that were true…
    ~How often would we read it?
    ~How much more value would we give it?

    ~How much more would we speak it and share it with others?
  4. Bind God’s truths on your fingers. This is speaking of treasuring Scripture like you would a precious gem on your fingers. Maybe it would help us to keep God’s Words at our fingertips!
    This made me think of my Memory verse cards – these should be dangling more often from my fingers as I treasure the Truth written on them, study them, and obey them.
  5. Write them on the table of your heart. We can only do this by memorizing verses and passages. In the middle of the night when darkness prevails, the passages we’ve “written on our hearts” become a light in the shadows.
  6. Call wisdom your sister . Recently my husband was trying to reach a friend of ours and her number was busy every time he called. Then finally she called him and said, “I was on the phone with my sister, but I saw you kept calling. It takes someone really special to make me hang up on a phone call from my sister! This verse is saying, more than an earthly sister we love and take delight in, we must love the wisdom we receive from God’s Word. We need to read, to listen, to glean from it’s pages.
  7. Call understanding your kinswoman. A kinsman is a near relative. We must make the Word of God familiar to us, consult it, and consult its honor, and take a pleasure in conversing with it as we would a close relative. 

In the middle of the night when darkness prevails, the passages we’ve written on our hearts, become a light in the shadows.

Verse 5 then says if we do these things it will keep the man from the strange woman. But I have it written in my journal like this:

That they may keep me from ____________________________.

We need to put our besetting sin on that line, because God’s Word can keep us from it. Is it…

What anxious thoughts are plaguing you today? We can win over them if we will apply these simple Truths from Proverbs 7.

Which of these truths do you need to ask God to help you do today? He will help you if you ask!

Refresh your heart and win over anxiety!

Coronavirus · Fear · Fear of death · worry

A Book To Help With Your Fears

Are you afraid right now?  Do worry and anxiety threaten to overwhelm your heart?  Listen to these statements:

Fear fears joy.

If your family sees you paralyzed by fear, they have to conclude that you do not think that God is all-powerful 

We fear God because we do not know Him very well

Why is it people can change your countenance, but God can’t?

These are all quotes from a book I read past month.  It has been in my possession for several years.  I’m not sure why I had never read it, except for the fact that I know that reading it at this time in my life was perfect.  The book title?

Fear Not. Meditations to Overcome Fear, Worry and Discouragement. It’s written by Rand Hummel, a good friend and a preacher who knows how to communicate.

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I honestly would have told you that I’m not a fearful person…until I read this book!  The book addresses so many areas in our lives that fear touches –

the fear of failure,

dying,

public speaking,

rejection,

being hurt in relationships,

the future

and on and on.

Today we hear the word fear on a daily basis as people deal with the threat of the Coronavirus infecting them.  The thoughts of sickness and death bring fear to many.  Rand’s approach to each fear is pointing the reader’s attention to what the Bible says.  He shares examples of people in Scripture who had that fear and how God helped them.

Every morning when I would read and meditate on the passages shared, my heart was so strengthened and encouraged!

One night this week I went to bed not feeling very well. I was awakened in the middle of the night with a gripping fear and thinking about the virus.  Immediately, truths I had read in this little 159 page book came to my mind and I ran to the Lord in prayer.  Soon I was back asleep.

I would highly encourage you to get a copy of the book.  You can find it in the link above.  There’s a Kindle edition, too, so you could have it in your possession as soon as today!

God doesn’t just want us to sleep well.  He wants us to trust Him and this little book can be a great avenue to show you how and why you can!

What worries you the most right now?  I’d love to pray for you if you’d either leave a comment or send me an email using the email address in the contact page.

denise a

 

 

Coronavirus · Fear · worry

How To Spend Quarantined Time During Coronavirus

 

Praying

Whitney and I had a discussion recently about how people are wondering how they will spend their time at home if they are quarantined at home during the Coronavirus.  Some are treating it like an extended “Snow Day.”  They’re eating, watching movies, and scrolling through social media.  While there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those activities, I’d like to challenge us to use this time to refresh ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically. If you’re wondering what in the world you’ll do if you’re forced to spend a couple weeks at home, here’s a list of ten suggestions that can leave you stronger at the end of the virus, rather than just entertained for its duration.

  1. Spend longer times in God’s Word. Find passages that will remind you of Who God is.  Psalm 46 is a great place to start/park! Listen to Scripture on your phone.  Pull up podcasts that give Truth!
  2. Turn every care into a prayer.  Pray specifically so you’ll know when God answers!
  3. Keep a journal of the things that God is teaching you each day. You will forget these lessons when life gets back to “normal.”  These truths can be an anchor for the next trial that comes!
  4. Tell others what is comforting you during this time!  Is there a promise you’re clinging to?  Do you have assurance of God’s presence and peace in times of a storm?  Be ready to give the Hope of God’s Word to others who are afraid.
  5. Unplug.  Rather than using your extra time to have more screen activity, why not limit yourself to 30 minutes a day?  This will allow you to hear One Voice.
  6. Read other sources that can encourage you.  Fiction books are fun, but why not use this time to read that which will teach and tether your heart to God?
  7. Pray about how you can be resourceful.  Those apples that are mushy? Cook them into applesauce.  The strawberries you’re worried will mold before you can use them?  Flash freeze them and put them in smoothies or frozen salads,,breads or desserts. Run out of meat?  Look for a pasta dish using the fresh veggies you have on hand. Try not to be tempted to jump on board and order extra food or produce because you’re afraid you’ll run out.  Wisely use what you have and take one day at a time.
  8. If the weather and restrictions permit, go outside.  Take a walk.  Trim back your rose bushes.  Get the raised beds ready for planting.  Clean up the yard and prepare it for spring. Get your porch spring-ready while you’re at it!
  9. Do some work. It’s amazing how just doing something normal can settle anxiety.  Start your spring cleaning.  Sort out a closet.  Straighten up the garage.  Move out your winter wardrobe.  Dust the winter out and sweep in spring!
  10. Spend greater times together as a family. 
    Talk.  Share concerns.  Listen.  Pray. Pray together for people affected by the virus – those sick, the medical personnel, those out of work now, the children in need of care, those in the nursing homes who are restricted from their families, people in roles that have to make hard decisions – our president, other governmental officials, pastors, and the list could go on and on.
    Be together. Cook together. Serve others in your neighborhood. Look for ways your family can be a blessing.

If you’re finding it difficult to deal with the stress and anxiety of this situation of the Coronavirus, I invite you to this page of my blog, Help for Troubling Times.  or to this post. Also, Whitney wrote a wonderful post, What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do that I know will encourage you!

Make the most of this time and refresh yourself – whether you’re quarantined, or just forced to slow down!

I’m curious, what do you find is making you most anxious about this time of the  Coronavirus?

denise a