Even now. Even here.

The following is a declaration of faith – the start to a prayer you can pray when things are difficult. I have learned that even in the waiting, wishing, and hoping, and even in the pain, confusion, and chaos, the Lord is with us.

Even now. Even here.

I will abide, even now. I will trust you, even now. I will believe, even now. Because you are working. You never grow weak or weary.

I will pray and seek you, even now. I know that you are leading me by your Holy Spirit, and shedding light onto my path. At every turn, you are with me. In everything, you are right beside me. When the heights are higher than I can climb, you sustain me.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    able to tread upon the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

So even here, I will praise you. Even here, I will bless your name. I trust that you will teach me and show me your best way. I can face my fears, because you are with me.

There is nothing you do not know, and nothing escapes your eye.

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Psalm 16:7-9

 

Keep Walking

Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Psalm 13:4 NLT

I’m on board with what you’re doing, Lord. I am laying aside my own plans so that I can have a part in yours. Show me what you would like me to do. Help me to know your voice and to stand firm on what you’ve said.

This verse in Psalm 13 stuck out to me the other morning, and the prayer above is what I wrote in my journal. I keep going back and forth between feeling pretty confident of the things that God has called me to do, and thinking that I’m way off base and I’m trying to manufacture a calling that he never actually issued. Have you ever felt that way?

Have you ever been doing something for God and felt conflicted, wondering if it was actually God who asked you to do it or if you were mistaken? Maybe it was actually just your own idea? It’s such a hard place to be in. It paralyzes you so that you can’t do anything. You want to do what the Lord asks, but you get trapped in fear that he never asked you to do it in the first place. And so the battle rages on.

My husband had some wonderful advice when I told him about my conflicting emotions. In a nutshell, he told me not to let the enemy win by succumbing to doubt, meaning that the enemy will try to put a halt to things by making me just unsure enough to stop moving. In light of that, I need to keep walking in obedience until I know otherwise.

I don’t want to look back a year from now and realize I’m still in this place of uncertainty – waffling back and forth and back and forth. I want to be so far down the track that this is just a distant memory.

If that’s you and you’ve experienced what I have where you’re so scared to do the wrong thing that you just stop and stand still, then start again. Move forward. But do so in faith and in prayer. I believe God will show us when we need to change directions. Or, he’ll address a heart issue when it’s needed. But we’re not to stop serving him. We’re not to stop ministering to people and pointing them to Jesus.

Let’s spend time in the Word this week and dedicate time to prayer. To be honest, it all comes down to this anyway. If we ask God to show us his will for us, I know he will do so.

Move forward in faith, and trust that God is going to determine your steps.

Guest Post: I would have lost heart…

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

My precious husband and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage this month. I honestly didn’t think we’d make it to 40 years – its been a very frightening year but we’ve also experienced the grace, mercy, and closeness of our Lord in so many ways.

In January, my husband fell ill and was experiencing horrible physical symptoms: He lost 40 pounds in just a matter of weeks, had severe jaw, neck and shoulder pain, a constant fever that ranged from 99 to 103 degrees, drenching night sweats, sore eye sockets, periods of uncontrollable shaking, bruising on his palms and legs, weakness, exhaustion and difficulty breathing. As he would rock back and forth in pain sitting on the edge of the bed I would sit next to him and gently run my hand over his back and pray, finding it hard to breathe myself because I was so terrified. The only whisper of a prayer that I could get out was, “I trust You, I trust You.” It took weeks of blood draws, scans, x-rays and biopsies to finally come up with a diagnosis. He had Large B cell Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

During this time we would encourage each other the best way we knew how, reminding each other of the goodness and trustworthiness of the Lord. Through our mustard seed-like faith, He grabbed hold of our hands and walked us down a path of amazing blessings. I started making a list of the surprise gifts from the Lord that grew to a couple of pages which gave us an expectancy of how He would “show up” each day. Out of the many different kinds of this type of cancer he was diagnosed with the one that is not only treatable but curable and had very little to no side effects from chemotherapy. In addition to having enough money stashed away to get us through the eight months he was out of work, people randomly handed us money – we even found a $100 bill lying in our back yard partially covered with leaves. The other financial miracles left us awe struck. We had the awesome love, support and help from our daughters and their husbands, many prayers, the tireless help from my sister-in-law who has uncanny medical knowledge and came to every doctor appointment with us. God used the many kind words, gifts and gestures from so many people to remind us He was moving, working, and fighting our battles.

After making it to full remission in May and being back to work just a few short weeks he had a major heart attack while on the job. He drives semi and thankfully was at his first stop when it happened. He was airlifted to St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester where, through an angiogram, it was discovered that the widow maker artery was totally blocked and two stents were put in. If it wasn’t for the quick action of an employee calling 911 and the first responders that were readily available, he wouldn’t be here today. God was still showing us His faithfulness.

The Lord chose to give divine wisdom and insight to the medical professionals in both cases to save his life. For those of you who are going though a similar situation, let me encourage you not to lose hope and to trust fully in the Lord. We don’t know what the coming year will hold, but we have come to understand on a deeper level just how good God is. He is faithful, He cares, He knows, and He’s concerned about every little detail of our lives. My husband’s latest scan still shows no cancer and the oncologist doesn’t expect it to return. He’s back to work and is continually gaining back much of his strength. Praise!


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Kathy lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with her Super Hero husband, Joel. She has two adult daughters and two over-the-top smart grand children. She divides her time between painting, gardening, and the joy of taking care of her home and family.