Years ago I remember walking along a path in which there was absolutely no light. I had no cell phone flashlight in my pocket to aid my faltering steps. Therer was no moonlight or glowing porch bulb that might remove the terror of my feet. I found myself grappling along, inch by inch, down a concrete stairway and sidewalk in which I made every step cautiously and with hesitation. It was as though my toe would move forward and the rest of my body hesitated to follow, due to fear of what was ahead!
Fear can lead to lots of miserable things in our lives, but it can do the same in relationships. Let’s think about what fear in marriage can do. If a wife is afraid that her marriage might not make it, it can keep that relationship from experiencing the freedom that a simple light would have given me that night on the dark path. What might be the results in a marriage?
My husband and I live in a two-story home and our bedroom is upstairs. I have had a scare a few times when he’s been away and I heard a noise coming from the living room or kitchen downstairs. I’m alone and I’m afraid. Because of that, when my husband is away from home, he will often call me or text me to say, “I’ll be home in a few minutes. If you hear someone downstairs, it will be me.” At a time when I could be fearful, he wants to comfort me with his presence. His presence in the house makes all the difference! Any bump or bang isn’t even noticed by me when I remember that Dale is with me.
That illustration pales in comparison to what our loving God does for us on a daily basis! Look what He tells us…
Isa 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
This is addressed primarily to the exiled Jews during their long and painful captivity in Babylon; and the idea is, that they who had been selected by God to be his special people had nothing to fear.
But the promise is one that may be regarded as addressed to all His people in similar circumstances, and it is as true now as it was then, that those whom God has chosen have nothing to fear.
In times in which we could be fearful, Isaiah 41:10 tells us that our God is saying to us, “Don’t be fearful,” and He also tells us why we don’t have to be afraid. ~
I’m here with you. I’m here in the fear that is gripping your heart. I’m in the need you’re experiencing. I’m in the diagnosis you just received. I am with that child that concerns you, that husband who has forsaken you, and that load that is weighing down on you. I am there in your loneliness, your weakness and your greatest fear.
There IS no need to be afraid; I’m there with you – now,
This comfort is in the present tense! Not “I was with you.” Not, “I’ll come in a little bit.”
It reminds me of His name that He said to Moses – I AM. The Present tense God gives us Present tense help. Present tense comfort.
“Fear and despair are high points of atheism” D.L. Moody.
Look! God has said it. What more do we need? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Fear and despair often happens more readily to us when we are alone, but we must remember that we are never alone!
He goes on to say – Be not dismayed for I am your God. Dismayed means “to see, to look”; and then to look about as one does in a state of alarm, or danger. That puts a picture in my mind of the Egyptian army coming after the children of Israel. Moses reminded them not to be startled, but to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!”
I am your God! Remember, Israelites, remember how I helped you? Remember what I’ve done for you? That’s me!
He had delivered them, met their needs, He had kept His promise to them. He had led them, loved them, and forgiven them.
So whatever has you looking around in fear today, heed His admonition and don’t be alarmed! He is with you!
I am grateful for a husband who will text me to tell me not to be afraid because he’s coming home and any noise I hear will be him. I can look at that text when I hear a bang and remember what he said.
I am even more thankful that God wrote this promise in Isaiah for me to remember. I can also look to the past and recall His faithfulness and I can look to the future and know that even then He will be the same.
What has you looking around at others with fear and dismay? God is here reminding you not to be afraid! He is with you and He can help you!. That makes all the difference in the world!
Refresh your worries with this truth...He is with you! He will help you.
A quick glance at today’s headlines are more discouraging than the wrinkles that reflect in my mirror. With daily reports of violence, inflation, deadly storms and a global pandemic, a person could look around them frantically for a means to protect themselves.
A concealed weapon
A hidden nest egg
A storm shelter
Masks and vaccines These may all give a person a certain level of security, but we all have to realize that our ultimate protection isn’t from any of those man-made methods, but it is from our sovereign God. The psalmist put it this way…
Horses and chariots are man’s means, and they can help, but how wise to trust even more in the name of the Lord!
Author Johanna Weaver put it this way –
If God isn’t bigger than my life, then my life is bigger than God and that’s when anxiety takes over.
But let’s go a little deeper in this subject of trust. Are we so foolish that we put our absolute trust in any of those methods of protection, but NOT put our faith and trust in the God of this universe?
All around us there are men and women who will accept the plans of people with their whole heart, but then shake their fist in the face of God as they mock Him and deny His very existence. They have turned their back on God’s plan of salvation through the shed blood of Christ. They reject the God Who gave them life, and the gift of His Son Who died to give them eternal life.
Some trust in horses and some in chariots. Horses die. Chariots fall apart. Our resources crumble. But when you remember the name of the Lord our God and depend on Him for the one thing that matters most – your eternity – then you have a sure and solid protection for both these difficult days and eternity!
What are the “horses” and “chariots” that you are trusting? Are you keeping your faith more in the eternal God or the short-lived fixes? This is Satan’s tactic – to get us so focused on the temporary that we neglect the eternal.
To choose Christ is true wisdom. To reject Him is more foolish than anyone you may point at that isn’t using the temporal protection of your choice. It’s so easy to get upside down in what we value most. We can be wise in making good choices for our earthly protection, and totally miss what is truly important. Friend, be sure of eternity. Jesus is the choice that matters most.
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
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.
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.
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!