One of the earliest Bible verses I’ve ever known was Psalm 118:24, ‘This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it’ As I got older I realized that there are days that are hard to be glad in. As an adult the realities of this world are more apparent and everyone’s struggle is different but very real. Some may wake up worrying about their health and others may find their worries in their financial situation. Some worry about their kids and others are worrying about their job. Every worry is real for their circumstance and it’s not a bad thing to have concern for what you are dealing with.
The other day, though, I was talking to a friend of mine quite early in the morning and I asked him how he was. His response was very concerning to me because it started with a look of defeat upon his face and his words came out with a sigh. I was caught off guard by this man of God who would start his day with so many burdens and I told him it wasn’t okay. This encounter has been heavy on my mind this week.
Psalm 118 is worth the read. I called on the Lord in distress and the Lord answered me. All nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord, I will destroy them. Does that encourage you? Does that light the fire back inside you? You can call on the name of the Lord and He will answer you! How many times does the Bible tell us to call to Him, gather together and He will be there, knock and it shall be answered…
I’ve gone through some hard things in my life. I learned about death in grade 2 when my friend was hit by a car. From that moment as a child I knew that my parents could no longer tell me bad things don’t happen to little kids. In grade 7 my parents split up. After graduation I learned how hard it was to have a job, go to school and pay the bills. After I was married I found out that happily ever after wasn’t how it goes. I learned that being a Christian didn’t mean I wouldn’t have a miscarriage. I learned that family members can die before they even had a chance to live. I learned that cancer can kill and destroy. I’ve felt my heart break, I’ve seen my finances go down the toilet, I’ve watched my son struggle to breathe. I know hard. I’ve lived hard. Hard gave me anxiety attacks.
Then one day I stumbled across 2 verses in John. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. Take heart! I have overcome the world.” And the second,”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” I took a permanent marker and wrote on a big piece of cardboard the second verse and every time I felt the panic rising, I stood in front of it and read that verse until it stopped.
Since that day I have still had trouble. I had to work hard with my husband to rebuild a marriage, I’ve moved across the country and back, I’ve struggled as a parent in raising four kids, I’ve watched close friends struggle through crisis and put their lives back together. But the anxiety isn’t there anymore. I do not let fear overcome what Jesus has put in place. I used to be terrified to go to the mailbox because I knew there would be cancellation letters, debt collectors…. there was never any good news there. So I prayed about it and for weeks everytime I would go to get the mail I would repeatedly call on the name of Jesus every step. I do not fear going anymore.
I am not perfect. I am just an ordinary person. But I do not wake up in the morning experiencing dread. I don’t sigh even on the hard days that hurt. I get up and I do my best to remember that this is the day that Jesus has given me and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. I will rise up that day against my enemies and it will be well with my soul. I will not have fear because Jesus has overcome every inch of this world. He has defeated death and He is victorious! And if the victor goes before me then what should I fear?
As we put our finances back together we started to pray every time we called about a payment we had missed or that we couldn’t make and things got better. I remember this one time I called and the agent upon signing off the conversation said God bless. I know that was definitely not part of her script but it made my heart soar because it was just one more confirmation that the almighty God who created the galaxies, walked before me.
If you are waking up in the morning dreading your day. If you are afraid for any reason or if you are burdened, you NEED to go to Jesus. You need to give those burdens to him so that he can deal with them… and you can believe me when I say that he will. It won’t always be how we imagined it to be but He will take care of it and the end result will be far more than you ever imagined.
I will end this week with a quote that actually is not even from scripture but it is from a movie and it really struck home with me. “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.”
Have a blessed weekend,