In John 20, Mary Magdalene visits Jesus’ tomb and sees the stone rolled away and that it’s empty. Her mind immediately thinks his body has been stolen. Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary (Luke 8:2). She followed Jesus closely and listened to his teachings. Yet, when she saw his body gone she did not immediately hope for his resurrection, rather she panicked. She let her grief blind what she already knew and what was right in front of her. She relayed the news that his body was gone and two disciples came to see for themselves. John looked around the tomb and the Bible says “he believed” (John 20:8). There was nothing hindering his sight; he knew Jesus had risen and he didn’t need to see him for the proof.
Just like Mary, instead of feeling hopeful for what God could and would do for my mother-in-law, I let fear and panic cloud my mind. I’m not saying that if I had immediately remembered the full power of God's healing over my mother-in-law that the road to her healing would have been smooth. Finding hope in God’s promises can overshadow the feeling of grief and provide peace during the storm.
I encourage you today to root yourself in God’s word and remember the hope that is waiting for you when you remember the promise He has given us. Take time to pray today for God to lift what is blinding you, to release the blindfold tied over your eyes and to look for the hope of what He can and has done for you. Pray for God to guide you through the grief and fear that grips you and to fill you with the peace that only He can give you.
Memory Verse: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” - 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV)
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he explains to them to “live worthy of the calling they have received” (Eph. 4:1) and to do so with humility, making every effort to stay peacefully unified. Paul later relates this concept to marriage: that as man and wife you should be unified “as one flesh” (Eph. 5:31).
After reading this, I felt called out, rightfully so. In the struggle, I was looking to myself to do everything when I should have been looking to God who would have pointed me to my husband. I was trying my best to live out my calling of being a mother, but I wasn’t putting the same effort into my calling of being a wife. I wasn’t humbling myself or submitting myself to my husband, so how could I expect any sort of peace?
I was sitting in that chair at night wishing my daughter would sleep better or that my husband would read my mind. Instead, I should have been communicating with God on how I could communicate better to my husband. It was easier for the enemy to attack me in my sleep deprived state, feeling alone and upset, because I was cutting myself off from God’s guidance and my husband's support.
God doesn’t want us to do everything ourselves. The Bible explains that we are all part of the body of Christ with different functions and to be able to function properly, we have to work together (1 Cor. 12:12-28). We need our brain to tell our feet to move forward so we can walk. In this way, we need our communication to help our families work as a cohesive unit. When we fail to communicate, it is easier for negativity and resentment to bubble to the surface. The doubts and anger from the enemy start to seep in. Paul encourages the Ephesians to “speak the truth” and not to “give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:25-27).
If you’re feeling alone and unsupported, maybe it’s because you’ve cut yourself off from the other parts of the body within your support system. By not communicating the truth of your feelings and needs, you rob your support system of living within the calling that God has given them. Live worthy of your calling and humble yourself to allow others to live worthy of theirs.
In the quiet moments (and the loud ones), I encourage you to pray fervently. After all, communication is key. Let God’s grace and gentle guidance lead you to those around you when you need help and encouragement. Submit to your spouse in love and respect and feel the peaceful unity God has graced upon both of you.
Memory Verse: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
Recently, my daughter’s class was asked to dress up for community helper day as something they would like to be when they grow up. My darling first born baby girl thought for a while and said she wanted to go to school dressed just like me, a mommy. That’s when God whispered, “I’ve already given you one.” He was referring to the fancy title I’d asked Him for. God knew I didn’t need a new job or title; I needed a different perspective: His perspective.
In 1 Kings, Elijah was fearless in approaching the king and stayed steadfast in his calling from the Lord. Elijah just defeated the Baal priests, but Jezebel became enraged at this and threatened his life. Fearfully, Elijah ran. In his weakest moment, God not only provided food and drink, but also called out to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9). Elijah was ready to throw in the towel, completely defeated. Elijah answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Armies, but the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they’re looking for me to take my life” (1 Kings 19:14). Elijah waited for a tremendous answer like he had previously received, but that’s not what came. God brought mighty winds, an earthquake and a blazing fire, but His voice was heard in the small, gentle whisper.
God’s whisper and signs were the encouragement Elijah needed to hear and see from God’s perspective. His confidence came from God and God alone. Nothing in this world can sustain us other than our God. The Lord asked him once more, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:13). Elijah felt God’s presence with him and he was humbled. His words were the same and his situation unchanged but he was renewed by hearing God’s voice. God’s whisper helped Elijah exchange his doubt for trust.
Elijah was waiting for God to answer him with a miracle; instead, He sent Elijah a whisper. He didn’t change his path or his calling. He gave Elijah a shift in perspective. Through that seemingly small answer, Elijah remembered his God given purpose. He was confident and courageous again. He rested in his confirmation from the Lord.
Instead of asking for a change in circumstance, pray for a change in perspective. Pray for your doubt to be exchanged for trust in the Lord’s unfailing love and promises. I encourage you to shift your perspective of how you view yourself to the same lens God uses. The deeper I become rooted in God’s Word, the easier it becomes to step into the identity of who God says I am and to step out of the identity of who the world says I am. God has given you an assignment and if you’re listening, you’ll find guidance and confirmation in His sweet whispers.
Memory Verse: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2
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