daily devotional

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it seems the demand is greater than your supply and you will never have enough of what is required. But may I remind you of God’s track record on getting you through? May I remind you of your 100% survival rate so far? Honey, if he got you through that, he will get you through this!

You don’t see what God is doing here on your behalf. You can’t imagine how he is working all of this together for good. Your mind can’t possibly fathom all he is doing to make a way for you … BUT HE IS. You haven’t seen the end, but he has. Since the very beginning he has seen the end. Before you even had a name, the purpose for which you exist was formed. The destiny you are stepping into now was laid out before your first breath. And just in case you’ve gotten lost in the chaos and overwhelmed in the trouble, today was accounted for. He is not surprised or shaken by these circumstances. This is not out of his hands, it all fits perfectly in his capable hands where he holds every single thing concerning you and your life.

You know that, right? But still you worry. Still you stare into the darkness and fear. Still you feel troubled.

Do you think your Heavenly father is disappointed over your worry? Do you think he’s insulted by your fear? No sweet child of his, he responds with the care of a Father who knows right now the path is hard, but there’s a way through it and it leads somewhere good.

This past weekend I came across a journal I had left at my mama’s house. Within the pages I had written my prayers and studies on Psalm 77. Our family was going through a crisis and this scripture gave me guidance on how to take the next step when the way seemed so dark. Today I look back and I see how faithful God has been. I see how he was indeed leading us to better days, and future goodness I couldn’t imagine. I see how he was calling me on so I didn’t get stuck.

I believe he is calling you on here so you don’t get stuck. Don’t get stuck in this darkness. Don’t linger in this mess. Don’t circle in this hardship. Don’t dwell in this chaos. You’re passing through, not pitching a tent to stay.

Going through hardship is life and we can’t avoid it no matter how hard we try, but we don’t have to dwell there. We don’t have to allow our mind to be overwhelmed by the negative thoughts that wander into darkness. We don’t have to wallow in today’s realities and forfeit tomorrow’s progress. There is a different way to navigate these roads, a better way.

Psalm 77 shows us a shift in perspective. A literal turn from negative to positive.

It starts with verses 1-4:

“I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.”

Worry kept him from sleeping. He begged for help, and nothing changed. He feared things would never change. He prayed, but he still didn’t feel better. He has tried and everything he has tried didn’t work. He began growing tired.

Maybe you’ve been praying, but honestly you don’t feel any better. You’ve hit your knees, and got up with no better answers or clear plan. You’ve asked for help, but nothing has changed. You’ve done all you know to do, and nothing seems to be good enough. And maybe you’re just freaking tired from the battle.

Is it okay to feel this way? Absolutely. We just don’t talk about it, do we? But the truth is, this is what life feels like sometimes. And these feelings lead to questions. Questions like verses 7-9:

“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

The series of ‘why God’ and ‘why me’ questions. Why has this happened in your family? Why has this hardship been permitted? Why do you have to go through this? Why hasn’t God swooped in and saved you?

I don’t know. But I know this, if you circle in these questions, you may get stuck here. You may be circling and missing the exit to move on. It’s like the roundabouts on the road. People freak out over those roudabouts. They get in the traffic circle, but they’re not sure how to exit. My first experience with a roundabout was in Paris with 5 lanes of traffic and no clear lanes, everyone just circling and swerving and we got stuck going in circles and couldn’t seem to find our way to an exit.

We do the same with our questions. We circle and circle around the ‘why’, and while the question never seems to be answered here, we miss the exits to move on.

Do you have to know WHY, or are you ready to move on without that understanding? Will you choose to stay stuck in the questioning and forfeit the offering of potential future goodness? Do you really have to hash this out, or can you just agree to move on?

I’ve found in parenting my kids most needed to see the potential goodness from here over going back and examining all they did wrong. They need to see the exit from the circling so they know they don’t have to repeat bad choices.

We need to see the exit from our own circling so we don’t dwell in darkness we can now step out of. Are you ready for the exit from this circling? Are you ready to move on from the questioning and move forward with progress? Are you really okay with not understanding it all, but moving on anyway?

This is a shift in perspective. An intentional look for the exit and a choice to stop circling. How do we do it?

Verses 10-14 show us the shift:

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles!

He goes from ‘what if’ to worship. He takes the exit from his unanswered questions and chooses his thoughts intentionally. ‘THEN I THOUGHT …”

Oh girl, what will you think about here? Will you dwell on how unfair this is for you and your family? Will you stare at the shadows and fear what could happen here? Will you circle around and around with ‘why God’ and ‘why me’? Or will you shift your perspective and turn your thoughts in an intentional direction?

Will you remember what God has done for you in the past? Will you dwell on how he has always provided and made a way? Will you seek his fingerprints on the details and see he is working? Will you remember his miracles and exit the circle trusting he’s already doing miraculous things ahead for you?

Worship him here. Yes, here where things still aren’t okay. Here where it’s a freaking mess and you have no idea how to fix it. Here where questions still aren’t answered and sleep is still hard to come by. Worship him here.

This is the exit of the circle where you get stuck. This is the way to future goodness and progress from where you are. Worship. Remember what he has already done and trust he is up to even better things now.

I have a long list of all God has done for me in the past. I see undoubtedly how he has saved me, rescued me, covered me and provided for me. Don’t you look back and see the same in your life? Don’t you see how he has brought you through all that? Well sister, he didn’t bring you through that to just leave you here. You’ve had dark nights before and you made it through them by the grace of God. You will make it through this one too.

He is the God of miracles, and honey if a miracle is what you need to get through this, you’re in luck!

So, what will you think now? Where will your thoughts go today? Will you circle, or will you exit to what he can do next?