Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Night. In a house filled with the noises of 3 children and a dog, sometimes it is the only time of the day when it is quiet. In the darkness that surrounds my bed I can think. I think of the events of the day, the triumphs and the failures. I pray. Confessing my sins, praying for my family and friends. Finally, praise for the day. Sometimes I drift off to sleep during my prayer. I don’t think that God minds.

But it was  not so long ago that night was a source of fear and anxiety for me. I found, over this time, that while I could fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion something, either a child or a nameless sound, would wake me around 2 A.M. 2 A.M. became my fear. When woken up my mind began running in an endless cycle.

The cycle usually started with the worries of the day. Then those worries would take me on the journey to the land of what if. This is a hopeless wasteland of my mind. A place where my worst fears would happen with vivid color and send my mind running to find a solution. I would begin to plan for the worst. Once my planning was done I would look at the clock and calculate the hours until my children would awaken. If I was lucky, it would be 2.

All these sleepless night began taking a toll both mentally and physically. I began to dread those quiet nighttime hours. Night took on a sinister look.

I tried everything to fall back to sleep. Counting sheep, counting my blessings, counting sheep named blessing. I took a journal with me to bed and would write when I woke up. That usually just lead to more writing. I took books. I began to read my bible, some devotion books, anything that kept my mind from wandering. When I was given the list of scripture I mentioned last week I decided to take it with me too.

2 A.M. arrived and I picked up the list. On page 3 I found this verse Job 11:18-19 “18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.” Hope and a night free of fear!  I began talking to God about what I was afraid of. Instead of venturing into what if’s I began to remind myself what was. The facts of my day and my situation rather than the speculation of tomorrow.

Gradually, my nights became less fear filled. Truth began to be my comfort in the darkness. God’s truth and the truth of my life. Hope became my minds new landing place. Hope found in the promises of God. Hope found in the growth he was doing in me and those around me. Hope that things were going to get better. As hope began to grow my sleep increased. I slept past 2, 3, 4 finally the whole night through.  

Hope, truth and promises became my sleep aids. Night took on less fear and more peacefulness. Peace of the quiet sleeping children bring. Peace of the presence of my husband by my side. Peace that truth brought.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stressful Assurances

In everyone’s life times of stress happen. Sometimes they are the little stresses of life like fitting everything that needs to be done into a 24 hour period. Sometimes the stress is more serious and life altering. Recently I was given an eight page listing of verses to help during times of stress. I wanted to share some of these with you. I pray that these verses encourage you whether you are in a stressful time right now or just dealing with everyday life.

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he[a] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.15He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. ”

Psalm138:3 When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.

Isaiah 40:28-31Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 43;1-3 But now, this is what the Lord says—    he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Job 11:15-19 you will lift up your face;  you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble,  recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday,  and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.

Lamentation 3:22-26 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Romans 8:31-39 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Stressful times are never easy but remembering  the promises of God help fortify our spirit for what lies ahead. This is a very short list but I hope it reminds you of God’s love for you. If you don’t see  your favorite verse added it in the comments section. You never know whom it might touch.
Finally, Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. AMEN