Lent FLOW March 19
March 19, 2018
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
In the darkest time of my illness, August, 2013, I went through a bout of ICU Psychosis as anesthetic medications cleared my system. My nightmares were my reality. "Real" life was more like a fading dream. I was terrified. I was sure that the nursing staff was trying to kill me and hurt my family and friends. Because I was sick, I thought my husband was leaving me and he and my parents were taking the kids away from me forever. During this struggle, Wade set up a rotation of friends and family to be with me at all times. I was never left alone. Some of you were there and spent the night or a few daytime hours at my bedside to comfort me by letting me know I was not alone. The comfort of opening my eyes to see a loving and safe face was immeasurable.
The Bible is filled with words about the importance of companions: "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken;" "For where two or three gather in my name, There am I with them;" “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven."; Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs rather than singly; "The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God created us for relationships.
Our most important relationship is the one that inspired God to create us—choosing to love and interact with Him. This life verse from Joshua, given to me on a poster my 9th grade year, has been a continual reminder that I am NEVER alone! I have faced almost all of my worst fears and God has proven this verse to be true. HE HAS BEEN WITH ME WHEREVER I HAVE GONE—ALL THAT I HAVE ENDURED! HE IS WITH YOU, TOO!
One other note—Notice that this promise is preceded by a command. Being strong, courageous, and encouraged are all reactions we can choose. They are acts of trust in the Lord who is always faithfully with us, wherever and whatever comes our way.
Question: What is one moment or challenge when God was definitely present to help you? (Start a praise list of those moments to train your brain to see God being with you).
Prayer: Lord, please help us to see you being present in our lives. Help us to choose the holy reaction of trusting courage to battle fear and dismay. May the strength and courage we display give glory to you. In Jesus' Holy Name, Amen.