The Restored Heirloom

by Nancy Kay Grace

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1 NIV

The antique parlor grand piano remained the final item in my in-law’s estate. The family didn’t know what to do with the instrument, since it hadn’t been played in decades. It was out of tune, and needed a lot of work to make it playable. Its mahogany wood grain was barely visible through the cracked, dull varnish. The closed piano lid provided a display area for family photos and plants, and years of watering the plants had damaged the wood.

My husband and I didn’t have the heart to discard the piano. We felt an emotional connection to this family heirloom with its unique history. It had been on stage during silent movies, and was played by a long-ago relative in a church. I, too, had played it in its better days. Could the seemingly worthless instrument become a restored treasure with a new song?

We took a risk and found a piano restorer who agreed to work on the instrument. The restoration began as the legs were removed, and the keyboard set aside. Decades of dust clung to the strings. Some strings needed replacing, and a hammer had to be handcrafted. Sanding and refinishing the damaged wood took months. But eventually the restored instrument was delivered to our home. Was it playable?

Tears filled my eyes at the beauty and sound of the piano. After decades of dormancy, the 100-year-old parlor grand piano gained a new life, redeemed from disposal. The keys no longer stick and are responsive to a soft or firm touch. The rich wood grain has a warm patina.

The restored piano sounds better than it should, for all it has been through with many moves in its lifetime. It holds a tune, to the piano technician’s amazement. The instrument has a new song.

The Lord has transformed me, too. He has taken my old self with doubts, fears, and insecurities, and exchanged them with hope and acceptance in His love. He shapes me by smoothing off my rough edges and out-of-tune attitudes. God has given me a new song. I am a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God uses everything in our lives when we give everything to Him—our past, our pain and brokenness, even the times when we have no song. Anyone is worthy of restoration in God’s eyes. We can be renewed day by day when we seek the Lord. Our growing faith is a legacy to be shared with future generations.

The Lord restores and tunes us to be more like Him, creating a new song in us.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: What differences have you noticed in yourself since believing in Jesus?

Beware of Identity Theft

by Nancy Kay Grace

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him… Psalm 103:11 NIV

Not long ago, when I checked the status of a credit card account online, I noticed a charge I did not make. After several phone calls to the vendor and the credit card company, it became clear that I was a victim of credit card fraud and identity theft.

Thankfully, this did not involve a huge sum of money.  It did cost a lot of time to get the issue resolved. The theft happened without my knowing it. After a new card number was issued, I had to contact any merchant that had used the previous card. It took nearly a year before the refund appeared on my statement.

Identity theft can also occur within our hearts. The enemy of our souls robs us of our joy and self-esteem by whispering lies that cause us to doubt our value to God.

Comparisons, perfectionism, and focusing on past mistakes are a few of the lies that can snatch our self-identity. When we compare ourselves to others, we lose sight of our uniqueness to the Creator. If we think anything we do must be perfect, we believe the lie that we are only as good as the last performance of a task. Regrets from past mistakes keep us from forgiving ourselves and moving forward with confidence. When we succumb to any of these, we are suffering from identity theft.  

How can we prevent spiritual identity theft? By knowing and believing what God says about us in His Word. Here are a few key thoughts and Bible verses to bolster self-worth:

God knows you personally. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 NIV

God created you. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

Because of God’s unconditional love, Christ died for you. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV

Because of God’s immense love for us, we are chosen as His children. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”1 John 3:1 NIV           

As someone who has struggled with physical identity theft—through my credit card incident—and spiritual identity theft—through listening to lies about myself —I know my source of truth is in what the Word of God says about my value.

Each day presents a new opportunity to look in the mirror and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator who loves me.”          

Our self-worth is stronger when we understand our identity in Jesus Christ.

As someone who has struggled with physical identity theft—through my credit card incident—and spiritual identity theft—through listening to lies about myself —I know my source of truth is in what the Word of God says about my value.

Each day presents a new opportunity to look in the mirror and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator who loves me.”          

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: With what part of your spiritual identity do you struggle the most?

Lifelong Love-Letters

by Nancy Kay Grace

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” 1 John 4:9 (NLT), in God’s love-letter

When I was in college, a handsome young man caught my attention. We began dating in the fall, and enjoyed getting to know one another every day.

Months passed. Holiday break came, and I had to return home several hundred miles away. I felt sad leaving my newfound love. In the weeks until I returned, we promised to write each other every day. Phone calls were too expensive. There were no cell phones and computer technology.

At home, I eagerly checked the mail every day, looking for a written word from Rick. When a letter arrived, I immediately read it and reread it. Our relationship grew stronger in spite of the distance.

My letters to Rick were written on scented stationery. If I used plain stationery, I sprayed my perfume on the envelope. He could tell a letter from me had arrived before opening his mailbox. The scent wasn’t as pleasant as the day I sent it, but I didn’t care. I was a college girl in love and wanted to show it. Of course, his roommates teased him about the fragrant mail. I’m sure the post office workers laughed when handling my letters at arm’s length.

The love letters were an important part of our relationship until we married.

God’s Word, the Bible, is a love-letter written to all of us. It tells us of the great love story of God drawing us into relationship with him, becoming one of us in the life of Jesus Christ, who took the penalty of our sins and conquered death. Throughout the Old and New Testaments we learn of the depth of God’s love to us, as shown in these passages:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Roman 5:8 NIV)

“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39 NLT)

Yet life gets busy. We can neglect reading God’s love-letter. When this happens, I begin to feel disconnected from the Lord. My faith is at risk of drifting into depending on a previous understanding of God instead of learning new revelations from Him. I need reminders of God’s love for me.

When I recall my eagerness to read the love-letters from the early days of Rick’s and my relationship, I want that same desire to open God’s love-letter for fresh insights from God.

I still have a box of Rick’s love letters in a closet and cherish them. Although I haven’t read them in a long time, I know the gist of what they say.

God’s lifelong love-letter has become even more precious to me even though I’m familiar with the story. There is always something new to discover in the scriptures. Its words are a source of daily encouragement, written with love from the heart of my heavenly Father.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: How do you view the Bible?

Trust the One Who Knows

by Nancy Kay Grace

On New Year’s Day, when changing the calendar on the fridge, I uncovered a familiar magnet.

Once hidden by pictures, coupons and notes, the revealed message resonated in my head and heart as if I read it for the first time. The magnet featured a quote from Corrie ten Boom:

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

A new year brings new challenges. Every day will be an opportunity to trust God with our fears and problems.

Trust. A simple but powerful word. It is the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, or effective. We put trust in someone who is greater than us. What better source of trust is there than the all-knowing God? When we can’t see through the darkness, His presence is with us. He sees the beginning and the end, the first days of the new year through its closing hours.

Consider these 5 assurances to trust our God in the new year:

  • God sees the whole picture of history. We see only our present and have an understanding of the past, but God holds the future. He knows how all of history fits together. “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals the deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with him” (Daniel 2:20-22 NIV).
  • God is aware of His creation. The Creator cares for each of us, His workmanship. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” Hebrews 4:13 NIV He is involved in every detail of the world around us.
  • God is the great comforter, the God who is “with us.” “When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who knows my way” (Psalm 142:3 NIV). We are never alone.
  • When we trust in God, we gain peace. His peace stabilizes us in uncertain situations. “He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).
  • Our strength may wear out, but God’s strength is ever present. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7 NIV). He is strong enough to carry us through. We can rest in the sovereignty of God’s grace. Whatever 2022 holds, always look to the Lord. He is soooo trustworthy—he has been in the past and will continue to be trustworthy in the future.

These five assurances show us Who to trust in these changeable times. Which one do you need the most?

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: What do you know about God that helps you trust Him?

Reflections by the Christmas Tree

by Nancy Kay Grace

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 NIV

Can you imagine what treasured memories Mary must have had? She witnessed her baby sleeping in hay, shepherds telling of the angels’ message, and Simeon and Anna in the temple prophesying over Jesus. Mary held baby Immanuel, God With Us, in the midst of her reflections.

Our personal reflections are not as dramatic. After Christmas, we see unwrapped gifts, empty stockings, and scraps of shiny paper on the floor. The twinkling tree remains, full of memories from Christmases now past.

Personal reflections on Christmas memories become new gifts under the tree.

Sitting by the tree with a cup of mocha mint coffee, I reflected on warm memories—laughter in the sparkling lights, the joy of a grandchild discovering special ornaments, and cuddles with the newest family member, too little to care about the excitement.

Life moments were shared around the table and tree. Grandpa’s reading of the nativity story was memorable. The once-scattered family enjoyed meals together for the first time in months.

Unfortunately, not all Christmas reflections bring happiness. Some carry sorrow from remembering our parents who have passed on and will not know their great grandchildren. Many folks have heartache from loneliness or a recent loss. Some can’t wait to pack Christmas away because of the pain, hoping for better year. I’ve had Christmases like that.

With the inconsistencies of life, it is a blessing to know that we are not abandoned, though sometimes we may feel that way. At those times, remember the gift in the manger—Immanuel has come. God is with us in the highs and lows of life.

Through Jesus’ birth, God gave us hope to endure any darkness, peace that does not depend on circumstances, unconditional love that covers any unworthiness, and joy that gives us another chance.

These are the Christmas reflections that we can carry in our hearts all year.

What are your reflections by the tree? If they are painful, may the peace and hope of the Lord redeem your memories. If they are cheerful, may the embers of love and joy remain in your heart.

Either way, look to Immanuel, who is always with us.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: What memories from Christmases past are most precious to you?

God, Grace, and Gratitude

by Nancy Kay Grace

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

A small, wooden plaque on my office shelf contains three words: God, Grace, and Gratitude.

When I saw it in the store, the simplicity of the message spoke to my heart. The three words remind me of the blessings God has freely given and guides my response to them. Let’s look at the interesting connection between those three words.

God. The “God of all grace” is one of the names given to God in scripture (1 Peter 5:10). God is the author of grace, freely given though we are undeserving. God’s greatest gift is the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. The blessings in daily life like family, sustenance, or even the next breath we take are also gifts given out of grace. I praise God for this amazing salvation and the daily outpouring of his grace gifts.

Grace. The word for grace in Greek is charis, meaning goodwill or favor. This is also the root word for charity, which is generosity and helpfulness shown especially toward the needy.

Charity is a free gift. We are in need of God’s free gift. Every day, I need connection with the Lord. God, the author of grace, generously gives us his favor as a free gift, not from anything you or I do.

Gratitude. It is interesting to note that the Greek word for gratitude is also charis. Our response to receiving grace from the Giver of grace is gratitude. The difference is that one charis (grace) flows from the Giver and the other charis (gratitude) is the response of the receiver. Grace flows from God to us; his blessings flow to us. We receive them with gratitude, the counterpart to grace.

God, grace, and gratitude are related words that spill into our lives. No matter what season in life you are experiencing, whether it’s a time of great blessing when things are going right or a time of distress when life overwhelms you, the God of all grace is present.

Thanksgiving is more than a season. When we begin and end every day with thankfulness, we gain a better perspective. Simple ways to live with overflowing thankfulness are to make a gratitude list and refer to it often, to thank others for their impact on you, and to thank God for the small and large grace-gifts in your life. Cultivating a heart of gratitude lifts our eyes to the expansive gift of God’s grace.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: How does gratitude help your perspective?

Simple Daily Blessings

by Nancy Kay Grace

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

The overnight rain gave way to a sunny day. The autumn Sunday afternoon turned into the perfect day for a field trip to a local pumpkin patch with my two-year-old grandson and his parents.

In the muddy field of pumpkins, little Zach spotted a small round pumpkin, ran over to it, pointed and exclaimed, “Punkin!”  He toddled over to another pint-sized one, picked it up, and again burst out with “Punkin!” He then dropped it in pursuit of another.

Tripping over the vines in the mud, he headed toward a big orange one that was taller than his knees. After groaning to pick it up, he gave up when he spotted a small white pumpkin. He ran over to it, letting out another joyful squeal. The mud didn’t bother him. Zach’s excitement over each discovery was contagious. We laughed and pointed out more pumpkins for him. He never tired of finding the different sizes and kinds of gourds lying on the ground. Each one was new to him. Before we left, Zach chose his own special pumpkin, which he held on his lap during the ride home.

This sweet autumn memory makes me wonder— am I as excited as a toddler discovering new things as I see God’s simple blessings in daily life?

The verse in Lamentations reveals how God’s compassions are new every morning. They are as fresh as the crisp, morning air after an overnight rain. God’s handiwork is available for us each day, if we have eyes to see it. His faithfulness and provision overflow into our laps if we would embrace His goodness.

In the busyness of our lives, may we be eager to discover the wonders of God as seen through the eyes of a toddler, pointing out the simple blessings that are all around us.

Heavenly Father, thank You for being faithful with new mercies every morning. Open my eyes to see how You are working in this crazy world. Help me to walk joyfully with You, discovering simple daily blessings. Amen.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: What have you discovered about God lately?

Pardon the Interruption

by Nancy Kay Grace

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5

This wasn’t supposed to happen!

Have you thought that when an interruption disturbs your routine? Interruptions drop into life all the time, demanding our attention. Sometimes they are small, like discovering your car needs unexpected maintenance. Or walk into the kitchen to find water leaking from an unknown source ruining the floor. Addressing the problem takes time, effort, and resources.

Major interruptions have larger implications, like hearing the news of a cancer diagnosis or that you are soon relocating. These demand more energy to handle, often leading to bigger decisions affecting your family life.

Many people in the Bible experienced significant life interruptions and were used by God in the midst of the disruption.

Moses was minding his business, tending his sheep, when suddenly a burning bush interrupted his life. God got his attention and gave Moses an assignment. At first, he didn’t take the interruption well. He thought he wasn’t capable enough to lead the Israelites and argued with God (see Exodus 3 and 4).

Eventually, Moses yielded to God’s interruption as direction for himself and the Israelites. He went on to lead the Israelites out of captivity and through the desert to the Promised Land. 

Do we handle frustration by throwing our hands up in frustration or in surrender to God’s plan?

When interruptions occur, God guides us if we look to Him.

Two years ago, my husband and I wondered what the next season of life would bring as he considered retirement from church ministry. We sought the Lord for guidance.

At just the right time, God presented a ministry option for us. I was excited for this new opportunity, but was also conflicted, because it meant a major relocation away from family. Like Moses, I argued with God. Didn’t He know my dilemma? Had He heard my cries and prayers?

Yes, God did.

One day while worshipping and praying for direction at a conference, I heard a divine whisper to my soul say: “I’ve heard your cries and your prayers, and will take care of you and your family.”

God whispered the exact phrase that I used, which brought deep peace during tearful worship.

We moved. It was hard to leave friends and farther away from our grandchildren. But in this new season, we have seen God move in unexpected ways. He has provided good friendships that support us. The Lord led us to top-notch medical care, when I had another tongue cancer diagnosis. We have been able to visit our family more frequently than we anticipated, in spite of the distance. God has stretched my faith in using us in a nationwide ministry to encourage pastors and their spouses, for His purposes.

Interruptions in the midst of life occur. When God says, “Pardon the interruption,” Psalm 25:5 NIV offers hope. “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

By looking to God, His grace will steady your uncertain heart to step into the next season.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Has God “interrupted” you lately?

Can Turmoil and Peace Co-Exist?

by Nancy Kay Grace

Do you long for peace in a world of turmoil?

Have you found yourself overextended by pressures or frazzled by uncertainty? The pandemic has added another layer of stress on everyone, as we’ve had to adapt in many ways. Add to that any interpersonal problems or anxiety regarding health issues, and concentration becomes more difficult. I find my mind spins faster and flits from one thought to another when confusion ramps up. When the mind races, the heart loses peace.

At those times, peace seems unattainable and far away.

Yet Jesus gave the promise of peace. How can peace co-exist with turmoil?

I witnessed this unusual co-existence while my husband and I hiked along a mountain stream. The early summer rains and snow melt flowed through a valley. Although sections of the trail were underwater, we kept hiking, stepping on rocks to crisscross the winding stream. We were determined to see the waterfall at the end of the trail. As we approached the waterfall, we heard the roar of the water tumbling off a rugged cliff from thirty feet above. Closer, the crash of the water over the rocks sprayed my face. It was exhilarating being close enough to feel the coolness and hear the power of nature.          

Glancing down at the pool of water at the base of the falls, I noticed a great contrast. One side of the pool churned and bubbled under the waterfall, but the water on the other side of the rocky basin remained smooth and undisturbed. On the calm water rested a butterfly, oblivious to the swirling water only a few feet away.

Crashing water on one side, gentle butterfly on the other. Turmoil and peace coexisted side by side.

Peace in the Bible is characterized by shalom, which is more than the absence of hostility. It is the wholeness that comes through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Peace allows us to rest secure in him in the midst of insecurity. The Lord is the creator of real peace, a true refuge of security and safety.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, gave us these promises for the times of turmoil:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Remembering those promises calmed my anxious heart when I faced the uncertainty of cancer surgery. Jesus gave me true peace in the midst of turmoil. By spending time with the Lord in prayer and the Scriptures, God’s power and tranquility soaks into us.

What a blessing it is to look to the Prince of Peace instead of the turmoil of the world!

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Do you have an anxious heart?

Do You Feel Pressed In on All Sides?

by Nancy Kay Grace

Have you ever felt pressed in from all sides, with nowhere is go in a difficult situation?

Recently my husband Rick and I drove to a short getaway from the pressures of life. Our destination was several hundred miles away, so I settled in for the long drive.

Dormant brown farm ground stretched as far as I could see. Further south in warmer weather, blossoming dogwoods and blooming redbuds dotted the countryside. The drive was uneventful until road construction funneled us into a one-lane section of highway. Bright red taillights of the vehicles in front of us indicated a delay ahead. Sure enough, we were stopped on the one lane Interstate, on a bridge over a river. There was no way to turn around. We were pinned in by traffic, with a fuel tanker truck ahead of us. All we could do was turn the car off and look out the window. We waited. No one moved.

That is, until the backup lights of the semi truck in front of us indicated movement toward us.

The gap closed between our car and the truck, inch by inch. As the truck got closer, my eyes grew big and palms got sweaty. My husband jammed our car in reverse, but could only back up a few feet. Panic set in. I prayed. Life was at a standstill.

Would we be crushed between the truck and the vehicle behind us? What were we to do? We were over water on a single lane road with no place to go!

Have you ever been in a situation where there seemed to be no way out? God’s Word gives us hope when we’re pressed in on all sides.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NIV reads, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

The Apostle Paul wrote those words referring to the trials he and others suffered, while teaching us a valuable faith lesson: trials will happen, but with Jesus, we can press on.

At different times I’ve felt hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted or struck down. When my husband lost his job, I wondered how we could provide for our young family. Within a few weeks, God opened a door for another ministry position. When I got a cancer diagnosis, I cried out to God. God gave me deep peace and assurance in the uncertainty.

While I may feel pressure and wonder how I’ll go forward out of the mess, the Lord has provided strength to not be crushed or in permanent despair. This passage reminds me to look to the living hope of Jesus beyond the trial. God has provided for our needs when life seemed out of control.

Thankfully, the tanker truck stopped when it touched our car’s bumper. Whew! Our panic eased. We waited for an hour before traffic moved. Although we made it to our destination later than hoped, we were safe.

As I reflect on the weekend getaway, I remember the laughter and good times more than the stress of being pinned in on a bridge.

When we’re in a tight situation, it seems like it will last forever. We get anxious while we wait for the outcome. Eventually, in God’s time and with a different perspective, God provides a way. Life once again moves forward.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Are you in a tight situation?