We Matter


Today’s reading is Mark 16


On Monday, Chet wrote about Peter’s betrayal of Jesus and Jesus’ beautiful example of forgiveness of Peter before Peter even betrayed Jesus. Today I want to look at what happened after Peter betrayed Jesus.

Peter told Jesus “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” Peter responded, “NO even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” Then a few verses later in the chapter we find out that on separate occasions, Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times in one night. Peter heard the rooster crow and then Jesus’ words flash through his mind. He was faced with the realization that he had actually done exactly what he had emphatically declared to Jesus’ face that he would never do. He broke down and wept. Does your heart go out to Peter? Mine does! I promise myself and sometimes others that I won’t do or say something, and then before I know it, I find myself doing or saying exactly what I said I wouldn’t. It is bad enough to break a promise to our selves but poor Peter broke a promise to Jesus…and then Jesus was killed! Can you imagine the pain and shame he must have been filled with for the three days that Jesus was gone? Peter had no way to seek forgiveness or reassurance from Jesus because He was dead. I can only imagine how small Peter must have felt before God and his friends. He must have been devastated and broken. Then Mark 16:7 tells us that the angel in Jesus’ grave told the ladies who had come to prepare Jesus’ body for burial that Jesus was risen from the dead. The angel told the ladies to go and tell Jesus’ disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee, you will see Him there. Do you see the forgiveness and redemption in those two words between the commas? The angel said, “including Peter”. God new the shame that was debilitating Peter at this moment in time and He chose to be clear, that Peter was still included in Jesus posy. If this doesn’t display God’s personal love for us, then I don’t know what does. In the midst of our messiest messes he reaches out and offers us help and redemption if we choose to take Him up on His offer. Also proof that we can’t earn His gifts of relationship and forgiveness. He loves us just as we are no matter how broken or messed up we are. The sweet, sweet story of the gospel of Christ!

Let’s sit with that for a moment. We matter to the creator of the universe. Our feelings, thoughts and actions are known to the Almighty, and He acts in our stead to save, protect and love each of us. At this very moment He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand listening to us, considering our circumstances and guiding those of us who seek Him. I can think of no better way to be encouraged this morning than to spend some time soaking in the truth that I matter to Jesus…so much so that He gave His life to make a way for me to have relationship with Him, His Father, and The Spirit.

What Are You Willing To Do?


Today’s reading is Mark 2


The first story in Mark 2 has become one of my favorites in last 10-20 years. The miracle that Jesus performs in this passage is astounding! Jesus completely reverses terrible physical circumstances in a man’s life. While I am awed by Jesus’ handiwork, the part of this story that challenges me and encourages me isn’t as much about the miracle as it is the faith and tenacity of this man’s friends. Jesus was preaching to a group of people in someone’s house. The house became packed full with people wanting to hear what He had to say. The crowd was spilling outside the door into the yard. While Jesus was preaching four men showed up carrying one of their friends who was paralyzed. When the friends realized they couldn’t get the man to Jesus because of the crowd, they literally pulled some tiles off of the roof so they could make a hole in the ceiling of the house and lowered the man on his mat right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus forgave the man’s sins and after a discussion with the teachers of religious law, He told the paralyzed man, “ Stand up, pick up your mat and go home”. The man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked through the stunned onlookers. Jesus changed the rest of this guy’s life by healing him.

This paralyzed man’s friends were willing to carry him to the place that Jesus was speaking. The passage doesn’t tell us the distance that they had to travel to get to the house but let’s be honest here, carrying the weight of a man on rug seems precarious at best and the thought of offering that for even a city block makes my back hurt. Next, when they realize that they couldn’t walk him right up to Jesus because of the crowd, they devise a plan to get their friend the help that they believe he needs most. They are willing to climb up on the roof, damage some guy’s house, hook up ropes to the rug and lower their friend down to Jesus. Don’t you wish you could have been privy to the conversation that hatched that plan? These friends cared about this guy enough to inconvenience themselves, make some physical sacrifices, risk financial cost in damaging the homeowners roof, and give of their time to make this miracle possible for their friend. Makes me wonder what we are willing to do to get those we care about to Jesus.

Several years ago I did a Beth Moore study on the book of Luke. This same story is told in Luke 5, and Beth’s comments on this scenario are what developed my love for this story. I’ve already covered the literal implications for us to consider as we look at what this man’s friends were willing to do to help him get to Jesus, but in the Luke Study, Beth talked about how this story translates for us since we don’t physically have Jesus present. She stated that sometimes the way we can best help those we care about is to “put them on mat” of prayer and “carry them to Jesus”. The concept that stuck with me most from this study is that we can “carry others to Jesus” without their consent or agreement. We have the freedom to set anyone we choose on that mat and carry them in prayer to the One who we know can help them the most. This is powerful! As a young mom I clung to the idea of putting my kids on the mat and sometimes “dragging” them to Jesus when I didn’t know what else to do to help them change their hearts. Since I was gifted this concept or word picture, I have told God in prayer, more times that I can count that I am “putting ______ on the mat, and bringing them to You”.  Can your mind be relieved of worry for someone you are concerned about? Are you at a loss for tangible ways to help someone you care about? Are you beyond your abilities in helping or too far away to help a loved one? We have the option to put anyone we want to on that mat and carry them to Jesus.

Our Hearts Matter

Matthew 15 and 16


Looking at Matthew this morning, the theme that repeats over and over is that our hearts matter. The beliefs that we hold, the thoughts that motivate us to act (faith) and the relationship we foster with Jesus are what make up our “hearts”. Jesus addresses our hearts over and over again in these two chapters to help us understand that our actions aren’t as meaningful to Him as our motivation for choosing those actions is to Him. He cares about our hearts and why we chose to do what we do more than the face value of our actions.


Matthew 15: 8-9 tells us Jesus’ response to the Pharisees when they ask a question trying to lead Him into a verbal trap so they can appear smarter and more Godly than Jesus does. Jesus quotes Isaiah’s prophesy, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.” Jesus’ point is so simple. The question doesn’t even matter to Jesus…it doesn’t deserve a response because the Pharisees hearts were so far off base. They were looking to elevate themselves over seeking Jesus. Jesus doesn’t want us to be smart rule followers, He wants us to love Him and seek Him. Next Jesus turns the Pharisees underminded question into a learning opportunity for the crowd around. He explains to the crowd that the state of their hearts is what gets them in trouble, not the breaking of the rules of the day. He says that the words we speak come from our hearts and that is what defiles us. “From the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” The ugly actions come after the decision to do wrong is decided in our hearts. It is easy to tell our selves that a poor choice or selfish action just “happened”. We often lie to ourselves in believing that we had no control over a choice. The situation was moving fast and we didn’t have time to think, we just responded. The truth is two fold in these cases. One, if we are seeking God on a daily basis, our hearts are more likely to react as His would in a given situation. Two, there is always a choice made.


So lets look at Jesus’ heart in the remainder of the chapters. Jesus knew the heart and faith of the woman coming to Him for healing in her daughter. He told her that her faith was great and granted her request. He saw the hunger needs of the crowd listening to Him speak for three days, and met their physical need of food to sustain them on their trip home. He called out the deceptive and accusing hearts of the Pharisees a second time and then used their selfish hearts as a real life lesson to His group of disciples. Jesus renamed Simon Peter the “rock” that He will build His church upon when Peter voices that Jesus is the Messiah, Son of the living God and two paragraphs later Jesus called Peter “Satan” for seeing the situation merely from a human point of view, not from God’s. It may appear that Jesus is contradictory or hard to figure out in chapter 16 if you only consider His words. His words are contradictory! For a person to go from a “rock” to “Satan” is a 180 degree turn. So we have to look at Peter’s heart, the motivation behind those contradictory words to see the explanation for the abrupt change in Jesus’ response. When Peter’s heart is understanding who God is and what He is capable of, Peter is very much aligned with God’s heart. When Peter is speaking against what Jesus said (with the best of intentions) and saying that circumstances will be different than what Jesus just told them, Peter’s heart is putting himself in authority over God, and Jesus calls it out.


Our hearts are what matter to God. What we believe, who we have faith in, the motives that lead us to act and the desire we have for relationship with God is what God is looking at in each of us. He wants us to be His. He wants our hearts to be aligned with His heart.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 149

We celebrated Father’s Day last weekend. Throughout the weekend when I picked up my phone and scrolled through social media, most posts were related to the holiday. Kids were celebrating and honoring their fathers. They were writing words of gratefulness for the selfless acts of their dads and sharing memories of special adventures and everyday routines of love that they appreciated about their dads. Moms were praising their husbands for being awesome dads and posting videos of their husbands in their best fatherly moments. They were listing the reasons they most appreciated their husbands and the acts of service they found most endearing in their partners. I read many beautiful tributes to men from people who felt honored to be in family with great men…people who felt privileged to be able to share with the masses their love, honor and praise for their special man. Many of the Psalms read similarly to these Father’s Day posts. They are praising, honoring and documenting the attributes and acts that the Psalmists appreciate about our Heavenly Father. We’ve read almost 150 of them since the first of the year so we should be well versed in the hearts of these writers. We should be familiar with the words of praise and the honor they ascribe to our Father. The phrase that struck me this morning is “glorious privilege”. It is our glorious privilege to sing a new song to the Lord, to sing His praises with others, to rejoice in our Maker, to praise His name with dancing, to be delighted in by Him, to be crowned with victory by Him, to rejoice that He honors us, to sing for joy as we rest in bed and to let the praises of God be in our mouths! All are our glorious privilege!


As I read back over the list of praises described in this Psalm, I am overwhelmed by God’s love. I still, after almost 50 years of relationship with Him can hardly believe that the Creator of the universe delights in me. As I try to accept this one truth, my heart is filled with praise, gratefulness, wonder and awe. Out of 9 verses of truths and 150 chapters of truths in just this one book of the Bible, one sentence has the power to melt my heart and show me the value that God places on my life. Which truth undoes you?


My hope is that this past six months has changed the way we see and relate to our Heavenly Father. I trust that soaking in His praiseworthiness for so many days has renewed our sense of wonder and awe for who He is, how He relates to us, and what He has done for us. I hope we are more readily relishing in the glorious privilege of being His. I hope we are more grateful and aware of the good gifts He lavishes on us. I trust that praises of Him are running in our mental ticker throughout our days with less conscious effort on our part. I hope that spending this much time in one book of God’s word has made us different.


Psalm 137


Do you look back over your life and feel any regret over choices you’ve made? Do you wish you had done anything differently? Do you pine over careers other than the one you chose? Do cities, states or countries other than where you live call to you for adventure and lifestyle? Do you wish you had met God sooner in your life? Can you think of specific circumstances that would have changed the trajectory of your life if you had consulted God and followed His guidance? Psalm 137 is a song of pain and regret. The Israelites mourned their choices of idolatry and disobedience to God while their lives were safe and good. These selfish and dishonoring choices landed them a humiliating march from their homeland to Babylon and forced captivity by cruel captors. Loved ones were killed. They lost almost everything they owned. The city of Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. They mourned the loss of their pleasant and blessed pasts. They were suffering, in pain and they were full of regret.

It is easier to see the good when we are experiencing the not so good. Sometimes we take good things for granted and assume they will always be good. It isn’t until those good things change or go away that we notice how much we enjoyed them, valued them or appreciated them. I recently read Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s book, “Where the Light Gets In” that tells of her experience living through her mom’s battle with a rare form of dementia. Kim was being emotionally and mentally knocked down every time her mom had an incident or lost another skill. Kim and her therapist came up with a new way of thinking for Kim to help her through the slow loss of her mother’s personhood. “Don’t look at what you’re not getting from your mother. Look at what you are getting.” Through the difficult circumstances of her mom’s deterioration she decided to view the “hard” as “not only an opportunity to love unconditionally, but her mom’s situation allowed her to practice being comfortable with what is uncomfortable. To grieve and also embrace what is broken. To know that some days she could receive who her mother is now and some days she struggled with it. She wanted things to be the way they were. Letting go of what used to be was the hardest act, and yet the most liberating.” While the pain and sadness in Kim’s life came from disease, not as consequences of disobedient choices she made, she responded with practical and Godly wisdom that applies to so many difficult circumstances that we may be facing because of poor choices or just tough circumstances.

~Instead of focusing on what we have lost, or what we     regret, look for the ways that God has protected, saved and preserved.

~Focus on loving others unconditionally instead of looking at what you have lost.

~Grieve the losses and let go of what used to be so you can move forward with healing and repair.


(It goes without saying that if we are in tough circumstances because we made poor choices, the first step needs to be asking for forgiveness from God and changing our actions from sin to right living. If we don’t make right our relationship with Him there will be no repair.  If others were wronged because of our poor choices, we will need to ask forgiveness from them also before steps can be taken to change our focus.)

Praise God



Psalm 125 is a praise song that the Israelites sang together while walking to Jerusalem for the Feast of Jehovah. This feast was celebrated every year. The people would make the trip so they could worship and celebrate together. Can you picture the scene?… a steady stream of people joyfully singing as they make their way up towards the city surrounded by mountains and hills. The temple sits at the highest point of the city so as they march up, praising God together with this song, their eyes are on the temple. The imagery is stunning and I get goose bumps thinking of the sound of masses of people praising God with this song on their journey. I wish I could hear the melody that goes with these words.

This tribute to God shows the people’s reverence toward His holy name. It speaks of His long-suffering, His goodness and grace, and it shouts thanksgiving for His everlasting mercy. These people had witnessed God’s faithfulness in the past. They were confident in His continuing goodness and grace toward them in the future. They recognized that God’s loving-kindness is unsurpassed and that His strength is matchless. They knew with certainty that God’s promises to His people last forever so they publicly and shamelessly raised their voices in this song to thank God.


“Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever. Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, both now and forever.”


The promises in this Psalm are meant for us just as they were for the Israelites. We can look back through our own lives and see God’s goodness, faithfulness, grace, kindness and strength. We can recall the times He protected us, intervened on our behalf, and loved us beyond what we can comprehend. We should also look forward to the fulfillment of His promise to complete the good work He has started in all of us through Jesus. His promises last forever so He will not abandon us in our partially “finished” state. He will continue to shape us, renew our hearts, and complete the work of making us more like Him. This is praiseworthy! This makes me want to get to a mountaintop so I can shout out my thanks! There is hope for the things I am struggling with and the flaws in my person. He is working in me and changing me. He will complete the good work He has begun in me!!!



Psalm 113


“Praise the name of the Lord now and forever! The Lord’s glory is higher than the heavens! Who can compare with the Lord our God who is enthroned on high?”


Reading the Psalmist’s words reminds me yet again that my praise to God can improve in quality and quantity. After reading more than one hundred Psalms this year, we have seen countless phrases that describe our Lord’s character and capabilities. The writers of these songs challenge me to be more creative with the words I use to praise God and the ways that I think about His works. They write general phrases about God’s being and they also write of specific goodnesses they have experienced personally. They speak of who God was in the past and they speak of what He is currently in the process of doing. They write of struggles they have had with God and they write of gifts He has given. My point is that the Psalmists give effort to cover God’s vastness. While their praise is creative and thoughtful, it is also prolific! These songs of praise are many and some are long. It is of utmost importance to them that God receives that glory and adoration that He deserves. The Psalmist’s determination and commitment to honor God properly is what challenges me to be more thoughtful, creative and constant in my personal praise. It is easy to fall into the simplicity of allowing corporate praise, singing praise songs in church, to be the bulk of our praise to God. I think we are missing out on knowing God more intimately if we limit our praise to singing in church. I have learned over the past 10 years how valuable it is to spend time praising God during my personal prayer time. Each time I pray, I focus on one of God’s character traits or names from the Bible. I spend time thinking and meditating on that specific trait or name for God. (I got a list out of a book written with the purpose of enriching people’s prayer time.) Those names or traits from the Bible help me sit with a side of God that I might not recognize on my own. They help me be creative in seeing God differently than I would if I relied on whatever popped into my head. The list makes me intentional about looking for new (to me) praiseworthy attributes of my Father. This type of focused praise has changed they way I understand, revere and relate to God. It has made our relationship closer, deepened our communication, and grown my awe for who He is. Currently I am aiming to be more conscious of those attributes of God throughout my days as well as during prayer. While I have no intension of changing that intense praise during my prayer time, I want to grow in recognizing Him and praising him more consistently during my days.


How have the Psalmist’s songs inspired you over the past four months? Are you challenged to be more intentional about praising God?



Psalm 101

How often do you find yourself considering doing evil? I find that I have a few certain sins that cause me to fall into their trap time after time, some daily. For me it doesn’t seem like I get tempted by each option that blows by, instead I fall for a few specific things often when they are in my path. When I look through my list of confessions to God it seems like there are several issues that make almost daily appearances.

In our reading today, David states his goal of “being careful to live a blameless life”. Next he writes out a very specific list of things he will do and not do to help him self accomplish his goal of living a blameless life. He even goes so far as to list the traits he will not tolerate in those around him and says that he will only allow those above reproach to serve him. He says his daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and to free up his city from the grip of those wicked people. This passage lists the specific steps David plans to take each day to help him keep his promise or commitment to God of living a blameless life. Thank God that I, unlike David, do not rule a city. My world and life are smaller than what he was responsible for at the time this was written. Because of the life he lived I see the wisdom in stating his goals and the things he could not tolerate in the people around him. But I wonder what I can learn from his approach.

My story looks different than David’s does. In past years, I would make sweeping promises to God like, “I am going to beat this issue!” or “I will never do that specific thing again”. I may have made it a day or two or even a little longer on certain issues without falling but the truth was that I never truly “beat” the issue. It would always rear its ugly head at some point and I’d give in and do it again. My promises broken, I wanted to hide from God instead of going to Him for forgiveness.  Out of shear necessity I quit making promises I couldn’t keep. I think I felt like a double failure in these instances, first for sinning and second for not keeping my commitment to God. After a good amount of time with no promises and only confessing the actual sin, I started to see a pattern in one of my main struggles. Sometimes the thought of this particular sin would pop into my mind and I would consciously think, “I’ll deal with the consequences of this later-go ahead and enjoy”, and at other times I would consciously think “Not with God near. The idea is so offensive, I couldn’t possibly do it in front of Him.” So what is the deciding factor in which approach I decide to take? For me, it is if I have spent time with Him earlier that day and if I have had a strong run of consecutive days of time with Him. When I have spent more time with Him, He is able to communicate more freely with me because I have put myself in position to hear His promptings, He manages the temptation for me. I think I am finally coming to grips with the fact that I will never develop enough willpower to overcome some issues. God is the only one who can change the way I think and the way I respond to situations. (We all know this to be true in knowledge from reading the Bible, but I think I am actually seeing it work in my life so it is becoming real to me like never before.)

Like David I want to live a blameless life. While my circumstances are very different than David’s, I am learning that my strongest defense against sin is closer relationship with God. I see the wisdom in David’s plan to put the best influences around him self and to remove the people with ungodly habits from his close associates. By vetting his staff with his list of strong moral criteria, he built a support system and a hedge of accountability around him in his daily life. He had the wisdom to use other people’s relationship with God to support him in his desire to live blamelessly. I have made similar choices in the people I choose to spend my time with. It helps to have likeminded people with the same life goals as me being the main voices speaking into my life. While these relationships with people will never hold a candle to the power and influence that my relationship with God has in my life, they are a huge help in keeping me aimed at my goal. So maybe today I need to read David’s words as a set of guidelines to help me achieve my goal instead of seeing them as proclamations or promises to God that I am unable to keep. If I set up a good support system around myself, and stay committed to spending the time with Him that I know I need, I will see Him make me different than I am today.

Taking the time…


Psalm 89

This Psalm is penned by Ethan the Ezraphite, a man known for his wisdom. He was likely a contemporary of Solomon and alive during David’s reign. Ethan’s words are filled with praise for God, and they concentrate on God’s mercies. This Psalm is sometimes thought of as a declaration of God’s “covenant love” or the loyal love of God.


(14) “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.

Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.”


Two thoughts struck me from this passage. First, I hope you don’t find yourself reading as I did this morning. I breezed through this 52 verse song to complete my assignment. I saw the familiar phrases of praise, similar to what we have been reading for the past 88 days and I let my mind float to auto-pilot. I was skimming to finish instead of taking the time to comprehend what I was reading. I challenge you today to slow down your reading pace and let the words actually land in your heart. Soak in the meaning and richness of each sentence. Think on the declarations and ponder the power spoken of in these songs. One of the commentaries I looked at said, “The lovingkindness of God lasts forever, so the praise of Him should also be sung forever.” We should never tire of these praises or the opportunity to be awed by the awesome character of our God. If some of these songs seem repetitive, it is only because our God’s unfailing love lasts forever and the author’s heart is overflowing with gratefulness!  (vs 2) Did you see that? Our God’s love is UNFAILING and it lasts FOREVER…This one sentence has more meaning than we can grasp if we soaked with it for a lifetime. Spurgeon says, “We have not one, but many mercies to rejoice in, and should therefore multiply the expressions of our thankfulness.”  Can we spend the time required in God’s word each day to let our hearts be affected by what we read?  (This seems so obvious but I clearly needed the reminder today and maybe other’s do too.)

Second, Ethan knew personally of God’s love and faithfulness. He took meticulous care to specifically list God’s attributes and praiseworthy actions in his song because he wanted others to benefit from God’s faithfulness and mercies. Ethan wanted to spread what he knew and had experienced with God to everyone who would listen. His joy was overflowing and his thankfulness could not be contained. Do we do the same? Are we thoughtful enough to articulate God’s character and our personal experiences with Him to others? Are we overflowing with thankfulness and awe? Are we so filled with excitement that we share with whoever will listen?


I want to live my life craving the words that describe the praises of my Father. I want to soak in the memories of what He has done and is still doing. I want to be able to articulate God’s specific traits and my personal memories of His work throughout my life. I want these thoughts to consume my mind so that His story flows out of my mouth whenever I have the opportunity to share.

Which Side of the Coin Do You See?




I don’t know the circumstances that caused Asaph to pen this psalm but they sound dire!

-I was deep in trouble

-I prayed but my soul was not comforted

-I am longing for His help

-I can’t sleep

-I can’t even pray

-Has the Lord rejected me?

-Will He never again be kind to me?

-Is His unfailing love gone forever?

-Have His promises permanently failed?

-Has God forgotten to be gracious?

-Has He slammed the door on His compassion?


For 10 verses Asaph cries and shouts out to God in fear, brokenness, hurt and despair. He feels abandon by God. He is wondering what has changed in his relationship with God that makes him feel this way. All seems lost… fear and pain rule his thoughts. And then verse 11 says, “But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.”


-Your wonderful deeds are constantly in my thoughts

-I can’t stop thinking about your mighty works

-Your ways are holy

-Is there any God as mighty as You?

-You are the God of wonders!

-You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations

-By your strong arm, you redeem your people


Asaph is in terrible circumstances. He is gripped by despair and fear because his circumstances have grown bigger, more awful and all consuming. He isn’t able to see or feel anything but abandonment by God. And then… Asaph remembers. His mind is suddenly redirected. Asaph begins to think on past experiences with God that remind him of God’s faithfulness and goodness.  For Asaph, the coin has flipped. His thoughts make a 180 degree turn.  His mindset is completely changed from wallowing in his negative circumstances to concentrating on God’s power and might. Remembering truths about God, and setting your mind on those truths is powerful! It doesn’t appear that Asaph’s circumstances changed at all. His problems weren’t suddenly solved. Asaph’s outlook changed because he quit looking at his mess and started looking at God. G. Campbell Morgan said “The message of this Psalm is that to brood on sorrow is to be broken and disheartened, while to see God is to sing on the darkest day. Once we come to know that our years are of His right hand, there is light everywhere.”


I experienced this for myself last week. A friend invited me out to the country to take a walk with her. As we walked, we talked and each shared some things that we had been struggling with. As I was sharing my struggle, I was telling her every angle of my issue to help her understand that there was no human way out of this issue. No one can see the future and the only way to solve my “problem” was to know the exact circumstances I would face seven months from now. I knew there were no answers because I had been stewing over the issue for the past five months and I kept landing in helplessness. When I finally took a breath, she stopped walking and said, “Do you mind if we stop right now and pray together over this issue?” Amazing wisdom from a dear friend at the right time stopped me in my tracks and refocused my weary and frustrated mind on God instead of my problem. As we stood in the woods with the sun shining on our cheeks, we dropped my issue in God’s hands. For me, the relief was palpable. Let’s be clear. I still don’t know the future. I don’t have any idea how my issue is going to shake out in real time seven months from now, but I got my mind off of the problem and on to my God who cares about this issue as much as I do. I can look back over His faithfulness in the last forty years of my relationship with Him and know that He will not abandon me when this “issue” takes place. He will be there, and He will work. I don’t know what those days will look like and I don’t know exactly how He will work, but I know He is trustworthy. Getting my mind off of my problem and on to Him completely changed my outlook. What is filling your mind today with fear, worry or dread? Can you stop, right now and recall His holy ways, His wonderful deeds, His awesome power and His mighty works?