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?
On a recent early spring day, my husband and I were strolling on one of the beautiful walking paths near us. There is a little river that runs alongside the path. There are a couple of small waterfalls. There are green pastures and mountains. I was reveling in the beauty of it all when I looked at a woman walking towards me. She was not looking at the scenery. She wasn’t looking at the path or those that were walking towards her. She had her phone lifted up and she was texting and scrolling, totally oblivious to the beauty. Now perhaps she had a good reason to do this, but all I could think was, She’s missing all THIS!”
But how often I do the same thing when I’m overwhelmed with things going on in my life! All I can do is be obsessed with what is happening and how it’s affecting me. I miss what God is wanting to show me or remind me.
It’s so comforting to me to see in Scripture that even great men of God had times when they did this, too. But the blessing is that we also get to see when they got the victory over their defeat and how they did it.
Psalm 42 reminds us of a difficult time in David’s life –
V. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8 Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
. David makes a choice to remember His God. It’s often easier for me to focus on the problem or worry at hand. I remember every detail and tell anyone who will listen! But there’s no victory there! Victory comes when we remember to remember – Who will help us, what He will do and when He will do it.
Who – David said, Oh, MY God. Even though David was in despair, he remembered Who would help him – HIS God would! Spurgeonsaid “You cannot praise another man’sGod.” He was David’s God and He praised him for that fact! When we remember Who our God is – Holy, immutable, powerful, merciful, omipotent, omnipresent, and OURS, we don’t have to wonder what He will do! We know that we can trust His sovereign, loving hand to do what is right.
Where – David recounts several places he’d been. Perhaps he was remembering how He had known God’s presence and power in those places. The truth stands that no matter where David went, God was with him. It’s easy to forget that when we feel alone in our struggles. But look back and remember that on that little hill of sorrow, God was with you. On that mountaintop of blessing, it was God that blessed you. Those deep places call out to the other times of deep trouble when God supplied and strengthened us there and there and there.
When – David recounts that in the daytime he will see God’s lovingkindness, in the night God’s song would be with him, and his prayer would be to the God of his life. It sounds like David is reminding himself that God is faithful during the day, comforting during the night, and listening to his prayers ALL HIS LIFE.
Oh that we would remember to remember God’s activity in our lives when our heart is overwhelmed. Think about Who, Where and When you’ve been helped in the past. It will make you “put your phone down” and count the blessings that are all around you. God is the same as He was back then. He will not fail you now. Just take a look and see what He’s doing on your behalf even today!
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.
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.
2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
5 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:
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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…
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?
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,
being hurt in relationships,
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.