6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray. 7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies. 8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I love the imagery of hiding in the shadow His wings. What a safe place to be! Comfortable, caring, soothing…rest there, sweet friend.
This morning is the third day of rain, rain and more rain here in Florida. It is dark, gloomy and I am convinced I am going to need a snorkle to even leave my house! The Scripture that came to mind to post here was the following:
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. -Isaiah 43:2
The passage describes such overwhelming conditions, yet the Lord tells us He will be with us and we will NOT be totally overwhelmed - we will not be swept over, we will not be burned, we will not be set ablaze. In the hurting times in our lives, it easy to think that this time it has gone too far, “Lord, this is too much, I can’t handle anymore!” But He is there with us, ensuring the waters do not sweep over us, that we will not be burned and we will not be set ablaze.
Rest in the comfort of His arms this day and His promises. He is more than faithful.
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease. 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day. 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
When I was discouraged during my illness, I would read this repeatedly. It brings great comfort to many who are struggling. Find rest today, know that He alone is your refuge and shelter, day or night.
The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17
This is one of my favorite Scriptures. Each phrase gives me so much comfort!
The Lord my God is with me… He is with me every moment, every day, every night. He is my God, my Lord. He is with me. Not was. Is. At this moment. I love that.
He is mighty to save. Mighty to save. Mighty to save. I am no great theologian and have so much to learn in my own spiritual walk, so if there is some great spiritual insight into that phrase I have no idea what it is. But taking it at face value, I read it as Him saying to me that no matter where am, no matter the depths, no matter how sticky the mud, no matter how sick I am – He is mighty to save me from it. He is strong enough to carry me through it and He will.
He will take great delight in me. Really? Seriously? When we are in the lowest of lows, feeling less than human, like the worst mom in the world, it is easy to feel utterly defeated. It is in those moments that I remember this promise – He will take great delight in me. Not just delight. Oh no! GREAT DELIGHT. How awesome is that?! He will take great delight in you. Not maybe, not if…He will. That makes me heart so glad.
He will quiet you with His love. Quiet. Oh, to be quiet. I don’t know about you, but when I was sick, there were times when I was screaming inside and outside. My thoughts would not stop, or I just felt dead inside. I just wanted peace and life again. He will quiet me with His love. Love. Peace. Quiet. Just picturing it calms my heart even now.
He will rejoice over you with singing. Rejoice? What possible reason could my God have to rejoice over me? Oh, honey, so many!! He loves you with an everlasting love and He is going to see you through this dark valley. And He will rejoice over you with singing. It is a promise, again, not an “if” or a “maybe.” I also think of a lullaby here. We long to sooth our little ones to sleep with a lullaby or to be soothed by a lullaby ourselves. (Again, I am no theologian, I am taking this at face value as it hits my heart.) I picture being wrapped in His arms, quieted by His love, and soothed by His rejoicing, His song, His lullaby.
The Lord my God is with me, holding me, comforting me, with strength – saving me. He is quieting me with His love, delighting in me, and soothing me, looking upon me with rejoicing and song.
I challenge you to memorize this verse. Pray it. When you are in a dark moment, full of anxiety, fear and/or sadness, say this or pray this.
I love you all! Here is Laura Story’s Mighty to Save…enjoy!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
What an amazingly simple Scripture. I cannot tell you how many times I said this to myself over and over and over and over on the days that I was not sure I could make it through. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…
I’d say when I got angry. I’d say it when I was crying for the 1,734th time in a week. I’d say it when I felt helpless and inferior as a mother. I’d say it when I was dog-tired from sleepless nights.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…
It is such an simple Scripture to memorize, to keep right there at the tip of your tongue, to say it when you feel weak and remind yourself of where your strength comes from. You CAN do this. You ARE going to get through this and be well again. And it is NOT your fault.
You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Amen.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
He is my God of hope. Full of hope. Full. And He will fill me with all joy and peace as I trust Him, with everything, so that I, too, can be full, even overflowing, with HOPE.
How powerful is that? If you can pray just one prayer today, may it be this one. I remember days when I had no idea what to pray other than Lord, get me through this! I know you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling. They are not, trust me. He hears every word and He is answering.
Here is one way to pray this Scripture, if you would like. Simply pray, read the words, whisper the words aloud, or read them to yourself. Let them rest in your heart.
Lord, my God of hope, please fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in You (learn to trust you; and help me to trust in You; etc.), so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
When we go through postpartum depression, the rest of the life does not slow down or stop the rest of its troubles until we are better, unfortunately. It is easy to feel entirely overwhelmed and angry when bad things happen while we are trying to get through this one, long, enduring bad thing at the moment, right?
I may not be going through postpartum depression any longer, but the feeling of being overwhelmed was very strong earlier this week. Our beloved pet, Goldie, passed away right here with us. Our hearts were utterly broken even though we knew it was her time – she was twelve years old, fairly elderly for her breed (Golden Retriever). She was our baby before we had babies, when we could not even get pregnant, and an absolute angel when we did have babies.
A few hours after her death, my daughter woke up screaming and subsequently started puking for the reminder of the night and into the next day. It was starting to feel like too much, but I have learned I have a choice on how I can handle it: meltdown or place my trust in Him and derive all my strenth from Him. I strove to choose the latter.
An exhausting 18 hours after she first got sick, I received a message that a dear friend from graduate school had delivered a stillborn baby at 22 weeks. Crushed. I was sick of the illness and death all around me. Why, why, why?
It’s a question asked from the beginning of time, and one I screamed at my God when I was overwhelmed in the midst of my postpartum depression and/or additional tragic or stressful events.
But my God is faithful and unchanging. I think my mentor said it best when she emailed this to me:
“Thank goodness we have faith…faith in a loving God who comforts us in the face of heartbreaking mysteries.”
When you feel completely overwhelmed by what you are going through as well as other stressful and/or tragic events in life and you are ready to “throw in the towel”, make a choice to choose Him and keep going, one foot in front of the other, one breath at a time. He is your Strong Tower.
Psalm 64:2-4: 2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
I was reading my Bible the other day and this passage really stood out to me as an encouragement to women hurting from postpartum mood disorders. This is the New Living Translation. I encourage you to read this a few times, savor it, write it out on a notecard, even underline your favorite phrases! You will have overwhelming victory over PPD and what you are going through does NOT mean He does not love you…read on…
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
What an incredible image this paints for us when we are in the depths of despair! It is an image of hope and most importantly, promise! He absolutely turns our wailing into dancing, removes our sackcloth of despair and clothes us with joy. I cannot promise it will be tomorrow morning, for God’s time is not our own, but it will happen! Your heart will sing to Him and will be unable to be silent and you will be able to give Him thanks.
I know what you are thinking. This lady has forgotten what this is like! She has no idea how I am feeling right now – I cannot even summon enough energy to eat. I do know and I remember, but I want to show you what our God, who loves you and every hair on your head so much, has promised you.
I have a challenge for you today. Find a 3×5 notecard and write out this Scripture. Carry it with you, memorize it. Read it out loud frequently, especially in the minutes when you want to sob or get angry or you have an intrusive thought. Remind yourself of the promise from the God who loves more than you know.