The Samuel Project (Day 11): God Speaks to the Worrier

Often, I say that my spiritual gift is worry. That is tongue-in-cheek, of course.

I worry about big things like what kind of world my kids will have to live in when they are older. I worry about little things like what my kids will be for Halloween or if my almost 3 year old will ever be potty trained.

Some of us are certainly prone to worry, aren’t we? Please tell me I am not alone in this.

Have you ever wondered what God has to say about this human tendency? You probably know the answer, but let’s listen anyway.

So, what does God say about worry?

What I Read:

Matthew 6 / Luke 12

What He Said:

If we read God’s Word carefully and listen intently, we will find that God certainly has a Word for us on the subject of worrying. And that word is:

Don’t.

  • Don’t worry about what you will eat (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about what you will drink (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about what you will wear (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about your life at all (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about the future (Matthew 6:34.)
  • Don’t worry about what to say to those who oppose you (Matthew 10:19.)
  • Don’t worry about defending yourself when you stand for Him (Luke 12:11.)

I think God is pretty clear on this subject, don’t you? Big thing. Little things. Family issues. World issues. Heart issues. He has it all under control and we add nothing helpful when we worry.

Trust Him.

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

~~~~~

For a little more on the subject of worry, join me over on the MODSquad Blog (Mothers of Daughters)! Hop on over. I’m waiting for you!

The Samuel Project (Day 10): God Speaks to the Thirsty

Water is essential to the human body. A person can, generally speaking, only last about a week without it. Another interesting fact? A person can not store up the water necessary for survival. It must be replenished daily.

One of the symptoms of dehydration in a person is fatigue. Without water, your body does not have what it needs to function and you become weary, exhausted.

Does life have you tired and worn out? Could it be that you are just plain thirsty? If so, God has a word for you.

What I Read:

Isaiah 55:1-13 / Jeremiah 2:5-13

What He Said:

God knows that life is hard. He is well aware of our fragility and what it takes for us to survive. That is why He calls the thirsty to come to Him.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters. – Isaiah 55:1

He knew we would need Him – the living water – for our spirits to thrive in this barren land. Without Him pouring into us, we become weary. We begin to just shrivel up spiritually. All we have to do to be refreshed and refilled is come to Him.  Sometimes, though, we think we can do it all on our own.

For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water. – Jeremiah 2:13

I love the imagery of God as a fountain and us as cracked cisterns.  When we immerse ourselves in God and His Word, the water is constantly flowing over us. It refreshes us and giving us energy.  The problem comes when we think okay, I’m feeling good. I can step away and handle it on my own for awhile.  You see, we are just broken cisterns.  So, the moment we walk away from God, the water leaks out through the cracks and, in no time at all, we’re dry.  We become dehydrated and dehydration brings weariness.

Does a certain trial have you down right now? Are you feeling weary and parched? Maybe, you’re just a little dehydrated. If that sounds like you, God invites you to come. Drink freely without shame.

O God, you are my God,
       earnestly I seek you;
       my soul thirsts for you,
       my body longs for you,
       in a dry and weary land
       where there is no water. – Psalm 63:1 NIV

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

The Samuel Project (Day 9): God Speaks to Gideon

Prior to reading Judges, I did not know much about Gideon. Okay, I didn’t know anything about Gideon.  However, within 3 verses of meeting him, I felt a connection. Maybe you will, too.

Gideon asks God the one question we have all asked at one time or another. Why?

Have you ever asked that of the Lord? If so, read on. God has an answer. It may not be the one you hoped for, but it may just be the one you need to hear today?

What I Read:

Judges 6:11-16

What He Said:

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”  Gideon said to Him, “Oh my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles…?”  –Judges 6:12-13

There it is. The question on many a believer’s heart. If the Lord is with us – then why do all of these things happen to us?  I imagine that maybe there was even a catch in Gideon’s voice as he asked…Where are all of His miracles? 

Haven’t we all asked that haunting question? Why, Lord? Why? Gideon asks the question on behalf of all mankind. And, you know what? There was not a clear answer given to Gideon’s question.  The Lord simply said: “I will be with you.”

It may seem, at first glance, that God simply ignored Gideon’s question.  But, look closer. God did answer his question and the answer had two parts.

The Lord is with youThis is probably the best answer Gideon could have received.  God knew that there was something more important for Gideon to know. I think about how many times I have asked Why? and how many times, knowing the answer, would not have changed a thing.  The Lord was telling Gideon, You don’t need to know the ‘why.’  You just need to know that I am with you.  Could it be that we are not given the ‘why’ because we would not understand the ‘why’ anyway? Maybe, knowing the why would just trip us up.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

God is not the author of confusion.  He is not going to do anything that may cause us to stumble.  He wants us to focus on what is important – His presence.

Another part of the answer is found in Judges 7:2.  Gideon is facing a battle.  It’s a large battle and one that he is concerned about.  He asks God for signs that the victory will actually be his.  In preparation for the battle, Gideon gathers as many troops as possible.  He has done everything he can to ensure success for himself.  So, imagine the shock when God says:

…You have too large an army with you…

Too large?  You would think a large army would be good, right?  Large battles call for a large army. Makes sense to me.

But God makes Gideon get rid of some of the soldiers. Then, He makes him get rid of some more. Why?

I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me.

He could not give Gideon the victory when he had so many men or Gideon would be tempted to think he did it all by himself. God sent Gideon into battle with little according to the world’s standards. And he was still victorious because God fought on his behalf. He will fight on your behalf as well.

All glory is His.  Every victory is His.  Every triumph is His.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name… Psalm 29:2

Oh my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?

  1. The Lord is with you
  2. God gets the glory

Whatever the trial, He is there with you. That, in the end, is far more important than knowing the why.

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

The Samuel Project (Day 8): God Speaks to the Exiles

To be in exile is to be far from home. It’s a difficult and lonely place. It’s a painful place to find yourself.

I’m sure it has happened to you. Life was going along fine. Everything was good. Then, without warning, your surroundings become unfamiliar and there is an ache in your heart for home.

Are you struggling? Do you find yourself on an unfamiliar path? Maybe, you’re just feeling a little bit homesick these days.

If this is you, God has some encouragement for your exiled heart.

What I Read:

Jeremiah 29:4-14

What He Said:

There have been many times in my life when I thought, if I can just survive… There are seasons like that, aren’t there? There does not seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. The days are difficult. The nights are long. And, God seems very far away.

In those moments, I just hunker down and try to survive.

But, when God spoke to the exiles taken into Babylon, He encouraged them to do just the opposite. He wanted them to thrive in exile.

Encouragement to the Exiled Heart

  1. Be productive (Jeremiah 29:5-6.) Build houses. Plant gardens. Get married. Have children. Life does not stop while you are in exile. Do not give up. Do not shrivel up. There is work still to be done.
  2. Grow (Jeremiah 29:6.) God tells the exiles to not decrease, but increase. Increase in number. Increase in strength. A time of exile can be a time of tremendous spiritual growth.
  3. Remember, this too shall pass (Jeremiah 29:10.) When in exile, time seems to stop. There is a fear that the pain will last forever. God reminds the exiles, however, that there is an end to their trial. Exile is not forever.
  4. There is a promise of a great reunion (Jeremiah 29:10,14.) Wherever your exile takes you, no matter how far from home, God promises to bring you back. And you don’t even have to find your own way. He will come to you. He will come and bring you home. That is His promise to every exiled heart. Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3.)

Do you feel lost and far from home? Me, too.

But, take heart, He is coming back for us both. In the meantime, let’s be productive. Let’s grow. When He returns, let Him find us faithful.

~~~~~

This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.