The Lord protects all those who love Him

Several months ago, my husband and I watched the movie Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. To put it simply, his character lives in a perpetual dream state. Once he seems to be awake, he wonders if he’s truly awake because his dreams were so real. It’s a fascinating movie that really messed with my mind for a few days because I dream very vividly and it seems to be a constant condition. Unfortunately, my dreams are rarely happy.

Last night’s dream was no exception. I woke in the dark, clutching the blankets and my husband’s arm, tears streaming, dragging in deep breaths like a woman starved for air. Only I was starving for reality. Today’s confession brings comfort because I know it is the truth.

The Lord protects all those who love Him.

This is taken straight from Psalm 145:20. It was tempting to make the confession, “The Lord protects me,” and He does, but I need to know that He protects all those who love Him (emphasis mine). My biggest fears involve harm to the ones I love, but if I can place them in God’s hands and trust that they have a relationship with Him, I can rest in the certainty that He will protect them far better than I can. In doing that, He protects me from destruction. I just have to trust Him.

That’s a tall order some days, trust. For that reason, I will speak this truth into my life today. I will speak it into the lives of the ones I love. The Lord protects my husband who loves Him. The Lord protects my children who love him. The Lord protects me.

What are your biggest fears?

 

I trust you, O Lord

Today is my biggest little’s birthday. It’s a bittersweet day for me because I remember life before he came to us, and I remember his birth, and I remember too easily the jumble of my mind in the months that followed.

My kids are three of God’s greatest gifts in my life. They shower me with His love and devotion and they give me a reason to press through difficulties. Their smiles and laughter make even the greyest day brighter. While this has been true since I first held them, the months immediately after they were born defy words.

Excruciating. Confusing. Intense fatigue. And fear like I’ve never known. What if something happens to them? What if something happens to ME? Who will take care of them? Will they know and love Jesus? A thousand other terrifying scenarios played through my head every day. Not one of them could I foresee, prevent, or control. It became – and to this day remains – an issue of my trust in God.

As I remember my first days of motherhood, fear tries to wrap itself around my heart and head again. Back then I couldn’t even see clearly enough to turn to the Bible for perspective and truth. But today I can. Psalm 31:14 says, “But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying “You are my God!” And a confession of truth changes the fear in my heart to faith.

I trust you, O Lord.

It takes conscious effort to trust God sometimes. Obedience to willfully turn from what I fear and choose to believe He will take care of my family with love and kindness. But we must turn from what is slowly killing us and embrace the One who loves us.

My prayer is that I gift my children with faith in the living God, that I teach them to turn from fear and embrace Him. It is the best gift I can imagine giving them.

What do you fear? Do you trust God in the midst of it?

 

I will not depend on my own understanding

Trust is hard for me. Trust means I give up my opinion and I believe in someone other than myself. It means I don’t question and I don’t try to understand.

I like to understand.

In spite of that, it’s no secret I don’t understand much in this world. Why I must have chocolate every hour, why my children don’t sleep at night, why awful people thrive on mistreating others. I especially don’t understand why I am such a coward when the Spirit of God lives in me.

Today’s confession sticks in my throat. I want it to be true. I want my life to be defined by trust in God. I want to leave fear and worry and distress behind. In my wild imagination, I swing from skyscraper to skyscraper on an itty bitty string, not trying to understand this enormous change that’s happened to me and my family. Strong, fearless, scanning creation for bad guys and opportunities to save helpless victims.

No, wait. That’s Spiderman. (Or my biggest little after he watches Spiderman. My furniture looks like a skyscraper to a three-year-old, right?)

Okay, no swinging and no helpless victims. But trusting, not trying to understand. That would be incredible. So in spite of the words sticking in my throat I confess:

I will not depend on my own understanding.

Then I turn to Proverbs 3:5 and find today’s confession in full. I’m not surprised to realize it’s about trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

This one will take awhile to soak in. Things happen that I may never understand, but if I trust in God I don’t need to understand. I just need to seek Him.

Does trust come easily to you?

Anything is possible

I’m becoming an optimistic person.

It would be nice to believe that I’ve always seen the brighter side of things, and I have had moments of brighter-sides, but the truth is that I would not be writing a blog on confronting fears if I always saw the world through rose-colored glasses. Not long ago, I cowered in the darkness, craving the sunshine in my spirit. I even cowered in the sunshine, afraid of the moment it would diminish and clouds would once again cover me in chilly despondence.

But the healing power of Jesus Christ is complete and amazing in its immediacy. I no longer fear the darkness. I don’t fear the end of the sunshine. Now I live in the sun and bask in its warmth. I know how to deal with impending doom and darkness.

I believe.

Take a minute to read Mark 9:22-24. A father, a possessed little boy, and Jesus. The father says, “Help us if you can.” And Jesus says (with amused indignation, in my own mind), “If I can? Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Jesus isn’t talking about the power of positive thinking, or believing in magic or dreams. We can’t ask to win the lottery and then go on a spending spree. He’s talking about having faith in the power of the Almighty God. Read that again: having faith in the power of the Almighty God.

Today’s confession is one of faith and trust. Say it with full realization of the One worthy of your faith, trust, and belief.

Anything is possible because I believe.

What is the ‘anything’ in your life, and what do you believe about it?

I trust in the Lord

My husband came home this week and told me work will be slow, possibly for months, and he won’t get full-time hours. Bills loom, little ones fuss for food, and our cars (and computers) need repairs. My first response is to panic, but something keeps my emotions in check. Barely. I remind myself that much of the world can relate – and even has a more dire situation than ours. Who can get us out of this mess?

With the national unemployment rate hovering at just over 9%, the jobs crisis continues. Headlines report the world economy is on the brink of crashing as hundreds of thousands of people pull their money out of national banks. The United States of America watches televised debates of potential presidential candidates and scratches their heads, wondering who can be trusted, who can get us out of this mess.

I’ve learned something in writing this blog. Whatever the situation looks like, I don’t need to panic. I don’t need to be afraid. Because I trust in the Lord.

Today’s confession comes from Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

When panic threatened to take me out at the knees, I chose instead to listen to the Truth. Yes, I’ve had to repeat this confession several times, but the effects are amazing. The more I say it, the more I believe it.

He loves you, dear one. He won’t let you out of His control. Who can we trust? Who can get us out of this mess? Only the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator of the universe. If there’s anyone you can trust, it’s Him. So say today’s confession out loud or say it in the recesses of your heart. But believe it.

I trust in the Lord.

What does your situation look like? Do you trust in the Lord with all your heart?

Do whatever He tells you

When was the last time someone told you to do something? If you’re married or have a boss, chances are it was fairly recent. (If you have children, you’ve likely been told to do something within the last five minutes. Or two minutes. Or are being told right now.)

So did you do it? Whatever that person told you to do, did you obey?

I have to admit, obedience used to be one of my finer points. I don’t know if it’s a good point or a bad one, but as long as I knew what the directions were I could – and did – follow them. As I get older, I find that’s harder to do. The voice I want to obey now is not as clearly heard as my dad’s voice when I was young. It’s not as immediate as my husband’s voice or as loud as my children’s voices, though it should be all those things in its stillness and softness.

Perhaps it’s not the decibel or the clarity or the physical nearness that’s important to obeying. Perhaps it’s as simple as faith. If I have the faith that God will reach me in a way I can hear and understand, I will still obey Him. And obedience to God is vital to our relationship with Him and to our quality of life.

Today’s confession requires simple faith of a different sort than yesterday’s. This time, the burden of action is on you. But don’t worry. You won’t have to do it without Him. You can’t even if you try!

Do whatever He tells you. John 2:5

Today, you will confess to yourself and to Him that you will do whatever He tells you to do. Do it in faith that He will tell you in a way you can understand. Do it knowing that you want to obey Him. Do it knowing you are not alone.

“I will do whatever You tell me.”

What is He telling you to do today?