I am certain of this!

Did you wake up today with feelings of anxiousness or fear?  I know we are living in uncertain times, and this can leave us with many negative emotions. 

I love what our Pastor said in one of his recent messages, “What we know is what gets us through.”  So today, I want to write about what I am certain about.

I am certain God is with us as we walk through this unexpected storm.  

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalms 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”  As our hearts are full of emotions, God is there comforting us and guiding us.  He was with me during my deepest pain when I walked through a heartbreaking divorce.  He was with me in my grief when I lost my sweet baby girl at 16 weeks pregnant. He was with me during my intense sadness as my dear friend lost her battle to cancer. 

Friends, if God was with us in past storms, He will be with us in future and present storms including COVID-19.  I am certain of this!

I am certain God cares and will meet all of our needs.

As I walk through the grocery store, I see many empty shelves which can lead to worry.  I have to intentionally stop and remind myself that God will provide all my needs.  He will do the same for you. 

Just like He provides for the birds of the air (Matthew 6: 26), He will provide food for you and your family during this coronavirus. Last week, my podcast guest shares how God showed her a sparrow to remind her that He will provide.  It was amazing because God revealed a bird to me that same week.  I pray God will show you a bird this week too as a reminder that He will provide all your needs.

Friends, God deeply cares about you.  I am certain of this!

I am certain God is in control even when life spins out of control.

This one can be the hardest to believe as we stay hunkered down inside and watch the news. It is difficult to believe that God can bring good out of this world crisis. However, I believe God specializes in bringing purpose to our pain and beauty for our ashes.  This is the gift of hindsight; we can see how God was working out all the details. 

This reminds of the song, WayMaker.  I love the part when we sing, “Even when I can’t see it, you are working. Even when I can’t feel it, you are working.  You never stop, You never stop working.” 

Friends, God is working even when we cannot see it and He is in control even when life feels out of control.  I am certain of this!

When doubt and worries enter your mind, I recommend writing out what you know for certain and cling to those truths. 

God is with you, God cares, and God is in control.  Friends, I am certain of this!

Love, Jodi

Turn Your Worry Into Worship

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”  Gen 16:13

I woke up in the middle of the night; the worries of the week were dancing in my head. Feeling overwhelmed, I began writing my thoughts out on paper.

Journaling has become an act of surrender. I start with my stresses and frustrations, but somewhere on the pages, I exchange these worries for worship.

Our church pastor likes to remind us that you cannot worry and worship at the same time. Worry is focusing on your problems. However, worship is focusing on the God who is bigger than your problems.

In Genesis, we find a woman named Hagar who is distressed by her life circumstances. She is the servant of Sarai, who instead of waiting on God’s perfect timing for a baby, decided to take matters into her own hands by urging her husband, Abram, to sleep with Hagar. As the conflict between these two women increases, Hagar runs away.  Alone in the wilderness, Hagar is pregnant and full of worry. 

If I was Hagar, I would be worried too. But I love that an encounter and conversation with an angel shifts Hagar’s focus. She turns her eyes from her problems to the God who sees her and the God who hears her.

She moves from worry to worship.

After this encounter with the angel, Hagar’s circumstances did not change. She was still pregnant with Abram’s son, and she would still have conflict with Sarai when she returned. Even though her circumstances did not change, her focus did. 

What are you focusing on?

Are your eyes fixed on the coronavirus crisis or concerns about your child? Are you focused on your finances or your overwhelming emotions?

We have a choice. Are we going to focus on God or our problems?

In the middle of the night, God reminded me of Hagar’s words in Gen 16:13: “You are the God who sees me.” Just like Hagar, the circumstances in my life did not change, but my heart and soul were now fully relying on God for guidance and wisdom in the middle of these hard circumstances.

Friends, God wants to do the same for you too. He sees you and cares deeply for you. He has not forgotten you. Today, I pray you can shift your focus from your problems to the God who sees you and wants to walk with you through these hard circumstances.

Dear God, Thank You that You are in control even when life seems to spin out of control. Help us to remember to focus on You and trust Your timing and Your plan. We love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.