I have absolutely loved the snow and the unexpected winter break. All of the kids have had to be home from school, college, and even work. We baked and cooked, went sledding, watched movies, read books and just enjoyed one another.
Okay….AND we got a little stir crazy and tired of each other too at times! It really has been great though!
But the break has also give me the time to evaluate some things and consequently, really become concerned. As I focused on these problems, they seemed larger and larger. My God then become smaller and smaller, allowing fear and anxiety to creep into my mind, threatening the peace that I have now grown so accustomed to in this abundant living.
Instead of my usual early morning time with the Lord in my rocker by the lamp, today the Lord wooed me outdoors to look at His creation. It was as if He knew I needed a little different scenery today. As I walked in the brisk, cool air on the crunchy, snow-packed streets, the Holy Spirit interrupted my weary thoughts to remind me of the Truth…His Word.
Earlier I had read in 1 Samuel 30 about David and his troops who had just fought a battle and had come home to find all of their families gone, women and children, animals, all of their possessions gone and houses destroyed. They had absolutely lost everything. The men, including David, were automatically devastated. It even says that they cried until they had no strength left. But with what they did have left, they mustered their anger towards David, their leader, and had decided they would kill him by stoning him! What else could they do with their emotions? Someone had to pay! In that moment, David made an incredible decision. With the obvious realities facing him, he had every right and reason to give up and die or let them kill him in their rage and sorrow. But he didn’t.
1 Sam 30:6 says, "David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God." He then goes to God and in verse 8 it says he "inquired of the Lord saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?’ The Lord answered him. Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." In the end, they not only recover their families and possessions completely, but end up with more than they had before.
David’s response of encouraging himself in the Lord and calling upon the Lord changed the outcome! If he had gone with his emotions and with the reality of his circumstances, the outcome would have been drastically different.
When I was focusing on my problems, I had rehearsed in my mind all of the ways each person in my family had been harmed in some way because of this sinful world we live in. The enemy has stolen all sorts of things from us as a family, and I was making an evaluation of the toll we have all paid. And then it hit me. I too have a choice to make.
I chose to look at the realities, the circumstances, and declare that EVEN THOUGH these things were real and true, my God is BIGGER than each and every one of these problems. I then reminded the Lord and myself of His Word that promises that He will "bring good from what the enemy meant for evil." Then more scripture came to my mind, reminding me that He also takes care of all the concerns of His children who put their trust in Him. I had begun encouraging myself in the Lord.
After quoting the scriptures aloud, I then began recalling the miracles of the past, my Red Sea moments, where God had showed Himself faithful and mighty in my life. My faith was renewed and I began to believe that the Word was alive and active and working in MY life…to enlarge my view of God even more…to KNOW that He is able EVEN THOUGH circumstances give me every reason to fear, complain, or give up in hopelessness.
EVEN THOUGH your circumstances may be the worst you could imagine, like David’s, follow the example he set for us by seeking God….encouraging yourself with the Truth of His Word….remembering the things He has done for you in the past….placing your faith and trust in Him again for the things that concern you today.