March 29, 2018
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
Lord, this feels bigger than I am. I need Your help.
Even as I type, I can remember the very first time I needed this prayer of desperation for my girl.
I received one of those calls you don’t want from the school: Madi wasn’t feeling well. My heart sank as I walked into the nurse’s office; the sadness emanating from Madi’s eyes was becoming all too familiar. “Mom, something is wrong. I can’t breathe.” What is going on with my girl? I thought as we headed straight for the hospital.
Her doctor informed me Madi was having a panic attack. What is a panic attack? I thought. I was too embarrassed to admit my lack of understanding to the physician. For quite some time I thought she was experiencing a heavy dose of teen angst. Struggling to live right in a world so wrong is a hard, daily battle she was fighting. That had to be the source of her struggles, wasn’t it?
What I was not seeing, because I was unaware, were the early symptoms of a mental health disorder, and I knew I had to do something to help her.
I wonder if Sheerah struggled with this type of pressure too. (You can find her story in 1 Chronicles 7:20-24.) She also would have been a woman without the education needed to help her family.
Before Sheerah’s birth, tragedy struck her family of nomadic herdsmen. With only flimsy tent flaps for their protection, her brothers had been murdered by a nearby enemy. If only there had been city walls instead.
Sheerah couldn’t change the past, but she could change the future. First Chronicles 7:24 tells us Sheerah went on to build three cities. This woman stepped up, did the hard thing and gave her family a safe place to live.
In ancient times, normally a woman plus a herding family does not equal an engineer. But Sheerah took a new step from agriculture to architecture. And when she did, God was there to help … just as Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I, too, needed help to learn new ways — an education to help my girl not just survive, but to thrive with her new diagnosis. God provided this learning through classes at the hospital and support from others with loved ones who’ve struggled, as well.
When my daughter was diagnosed, I didn’t feel confident that I would have what it takes to help my girl. But confidence is not a feeling. It’s the strength to move forward — even in the face of fear. The Lord provided that strength.
Friend, just like He did with Sheerah, whatever God calls you to do, He can give you the strength, courage and wisdom to accomplish it — even the uncomfortable and scary things. Power and strength all come from the Holy Spirit residing in you. We access that power, wisdom and strength — despite our fears and failures — by making a decision to fill our minds with the truth in His Word. Then we can take the necessary action steps with His power.
Dear Jesus, this struggle in my life is bigger than I am. I desperately need the strength and help You offer me. Help me fill my heart with Your truth and step forward. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV)
Isaiah 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (NIV)
Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, Lynn Cowell’s newest book, empowers women with a confidence that can withstand even shaky situations! Get your copy here.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Just because we feel afraid to do what we feel prompted to do doesn’t mean it’s not from God. God will give us the confidence and courage we need even when we’re afraid.
What’s one step of courage, big or small, you can take today to help move forward even in the face of fear?
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© 2018 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.