Sunflower Love

by Sheri Schofield

Warm summer breezes sweep the ripened grass in the meadows, and all along the roads, sunflowers gently nod. The cheerful golden manes around the brown faces dot the landscape when most other wildflowers are done for the season. From first light until dusk, the sunflowers face the sun, following its orbit across the sky, never wavering in their devotion to its warmth.

King Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, reminds me of the sunflowers. He was at home in Jerusalem minding his own business when a messenger came to him with troubling news. The kings of Moab, Ammon and Edom were marching on Jehoshaphat’s kingdom of Judah. Three nations! How could Judah withstand such an onslaught?

Jehoshaphat was alarmed by this news, and his immediate response was to turn his face to God for guidance. He sent out orders to all his people that they should fast. When the people heard the news, they left their towns and rushed to Jerusalem to seek the Lord together. King Jehoshaphat, who met them in front of the Temple of the Lord, led them in prayer.

“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you . . . If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us. . . We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:6, 9, 12, NIV).

The Lord answered Jehoshaphat immediately. The Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel, a man from the priestly tribe of Levi. He said, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them . . . You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV).

The next morning, Jehoshaphat chose some good singers and told them to march in front of the army singing praises to God declaring his unfailing love. Now that is confidence!

As they neared the enemy encampment, the choir began to sing. At the first notes of  praise, the Lord caused the invaders to start attacking each other! By the time the choir, the army, and the king arrived, not one enemy could be found alive. God had saved all Judah in a spectacular manner.

Have the cares of this life surrounded you? Do you feel overwhelmed? Then look toward Jesus. Cry out to him, “Lord! I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you!” Like the sunflower watches the sun above, keep your eyes on the Son of God. All deliverance and freedom is in him. He will come to your rescue!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked our for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1- 2 NIV).

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Sunflower Love – insight on #GodsLove from Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.

Join the Conversation: How do you keep your eyes focused on Him?

Never Too Much for Him

by Lynn Eib

The battle is the LORD’s…1 Samuel 17:47 NIV

 I consider myself a strong person. But back in 1990, at the age of 36, facing cancer and the fact that dying was a greater possibility than surviving was simply more than I could face.

Worrying about whether my three precious little girls would have to grow up without a mother was way more than I could bear. And fearing that my sweet husband would bury another wife was absolutely more than I could endure.

This is more than I can handle,” I remember telling God one day…trying not to sound too whiny.

“I know,” He whispered to my heart. “But it’s not too much for Me.”

That was one of the most freeing things I learned through my cancer journey. It was all right that I sometimes had more than I could handle. I didn’t have to reach down inside myself and muster up some super strength. God would supernaturally supply it to me as I trusted in Him.

What a relief!

Even if my own resources were exhausted, God’s would never be.

My strength might be sapped, but He could still move mountains.

Everything could be changing around me, but He always would be my Rock.

During those first early dark-days-after-cancer, I often thought of the shepherd boy David as he went into battle against the giant Goliath. Do you know what his battle cry was?  He wasn’t like The Little Engine That Could, chugging along and repeating “I think I can, I think I can.”

No, I believe he was thinking, “I know I can’t, I know I can’t.” After all, he was the youngest and smallest boy in his family and Goliath was more than nine feet tall. But David was at peace, because his battle cry was, “I know God can, I know God can.” If you read 1 Samuel 17:47 you’ll hear his exact words: “the battle is the LORD’s.”

That phrase became the catalyst for my prayers as I awoke on post-diagnosis mornings.

“I feel like a little shepherd with a slingshot facing a giant named Cancer, and it is more than I can handle,” I told the Lord. “But I am so glad it is not more than You can handle. The battle belongs to You, Lord. Fight for me and through me. Do what I cannot do on my own.

And He did.

I love how the Apostle Paul describes a time in his life when he, too, was faced with more than he could handle: “We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9.

What a powerful message: You find strength and hope—and yes, peace—when, like Paul and David, you stop relying on yourself and learn to rely on God. Your struggles and setbacks, your disappointments and dilemmas, your fears and your failures are never too much for Him to handle. The battle is the Lord’s and He will win it for you.

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Never Too Much for Him – insight from Lynn Eib on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

lynn eibAbout the author: Lynn Eib is a long-time cancer survivor, a patient advocate, and an award-winning journalist. She has six titles with Tyndale House Publishing, including When God & Cancer Meet with 100,000+ copies sold. Her website www.lynneib.com provides a bi-weekly blog of encouragement; tips for founding, facilitating and finding faith-based support groups; and free resources for cancer patient and their caregivers.

In Lynn’s beautiful, giftable book, Peace in the Face of Cancer, she shares how to live well from the moment of diagnosis through the rest of life. You’ll discover how to bring God’s peace into your own home and heart―regardless of your or your loved one’s medical prognosis.

Join the conversation: What battles has the Lord fought for you?

Even the Little Things

by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward

One day in the grocery store, I was caught in the fallout of the prevalent “I don’t need a cart” mentality. As I perused the apples, I noticed a man carrying four 2-liter bottles of soda in his arms. Just as he passed me, one of the large bottles slipped from his arms and hit the tile floor. The angle of the impact was just right to be wrong – for me.

The lid popped off and a powerful shower of Coca Cola covered me and my cart. The man glanced at me, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Huh. Who would’ve thought that would happen.” Then he walked away. No apology. No offer to get me a paper towel. When I got home, I not only had to take a shower, I also had to wash all my groceries before I put them away.

Okay, I’ll confess. Many times, I too have gone into the grocery store and decided against getting a cart because I “only need a couple of things.” As I rush down the aisles to get the bread, milk, and bananas I usually end up seeing other things I really need too. Then before you know it my arms are overloaded and I end up leaving a trail of things behind me as I make my way to the checkout line.

Unfortunately, I do the same thing with life’s little problems and stresses. When just one or two small things come along I often fail to turn them over to God. “I can handle that… and I can handle that…” But before I know it I’m weighed down with a myriad of things I really can’t handle on my own.

If you are anything like me you may sometimes find it harder to cope with life’s little things than the major trials. I trust too much in myself and too little in God. In my sinful independence and arrogance I think, “I can do this. I don’t really need to bother God with this one.” But when I fail to give everything to God right away – no matter how seemingly insignificant – all those little things tend to mount up into one giant mess.

Are you weary from trying to carry an armload of life’s troubles all by yourself? Jesus urges us to bring all our burdens to Him:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give your rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

David, the shepherd boy and great king of Israel, intimately knew the great Burden Bearer: Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.  Psalm 55:22 NIV

So did the Apostle Peter: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Don’t wait until you’re buried under a pile of cares before you come to Jesus. Bring the first one and every one to Him.

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The Importance of Remembering to Turn to God Even in The Little Things – wisdom from @KathyHHoward on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Kathy HowardAbout the author: Kathy Howard encourages women to live an unshakable faith for life by standing firm on our rock-solid God no matter life’s circumstances. The author of 8 books and a former “cultural Christian,” Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education. Kathy and her husband have 3 married children and 4 grandsons. Find out more and get free discipleship tools and leader helps at her website: www.kathyhoward.org.

Join the conversation: What do you need to bring to Him today?

 

Finding Your Quiet Place During a Season of Weariness

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

I remember waking up one morning and thinking I don’t feel like facing this day.

I didn’t feel like doing anything on my to-do list. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed.

I was exhausted from a busy schedule, tired of all the noise, and in need of a quiet retreat.

I dragged myself to the Psalms that morning because I had nowhere else to go. In those songs of Scripture, I sensed the heart break, the happiness, the frustration, the elation, and the desperation of those songwriters – all human beings who felt many of the same emotions I did.

And there in Scripture’s songs I discovered a pattern. In all 150 of the Psalms, the phrase “I will” was sung 140 times. And that told me that despite the way the songwriters felt there were certain things they were determined to do. And I realized that there were, as well, certain things I needed to say “I will” about, whether I felt like it or not. One of those “I will’s” has stuck with me through the years: “I will not forget Your Word” (Psalm 119:16 CSB).

As I poured through the Word of God that morning, letting its words penetrate my soul, I found I was refreshed and renewed. I experienced what the Psalmist did when he wrote Psalm 119:25: “Give me life through Your word” (CSB).

On those days when I don’t feel like facing all that I have to do, I now turn to God’s Word first and not only find refreshment and renewal to get me through the day, but a place of quiet retreat, too. In Psalm 32:7, God is called our “hiding place.”

Do you need a place of quiet retreat? A “hiding place” to which you can go and be renewed and refreshed?

Then make Him and His Word your place of quiet retreat – that tower of refuge to which you can run… that shelter in which you can hide.

Hide away with Him and His Word.  Listen to what He has to say to you in the pages of His book. You’ll be refreshed, renewed, and reminded of the One who’s been waiting to get away with you.

God, draw me daily to the strong tower of Your Word where I can find refuge, the green pastures of Your Word where You can feed my soul, and the spacious places in Your Word where I can find rest. Thank You that Your Word is my quiet retreat and the place where I can be renewed. 

God provides a quiet place when we’re weary – @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including When Women Long for Rest, When You’re Running on Empty, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Join the conversation: Do you have a place of refuge where you can be renewed?

When You Don’t Feel Thankful

by Linda Rooks @Linda_Rooks

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.                                                                                                                                         Colossians 4:2 NASB

As we approach Thanksgiving, many of us excitedly anticipate the day, rejoicing in thoughts of reuniting with family, feasting on turkey, and remembering the blessings of the past year. But others may feel empty; their problems seem to envelop them and their circumstances look bleak. With the holiday approaching, they may wonder if they have anything for which to be thankful.

I remember such a time, when my marriage was on the point of collapse. My husband and I were separated. Confusion and fear gripped my heart, and I had no idea what the future held. It was hard to be thankful that year.

During this difficult time, however, I discovered an amazing irony. While I struggled with painful circumstances, I found that when I raised my eyes toward heaven and simply thanked God for being my Lord and Father, my heart grew lighter, and I felt at peace.

As I praised Him, the clutter of doubt and fear cleared from my mind, and my perspective changed. God appeared larger, and I became more aware of His awesome power and majesty. As a result, my painful circumstances seemed less weighty and prominent. I saw only God, only His love, only His comforting presence. Thanking and praising God was a salve to my aching heart. In the midst of praise I knew I would be alright.

The irony I discovered is that thanking God—even when it seemed I had nothing to be thankful for—actually gave me something for which to be thankful.

Psalm 100:4 tells us to “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, and praise His name” (NIV).

It is when we are thankful–when we praise His name—that we can enter into the very presence of God. And when we do, we find that His majesty and power is greater than any problem we encounter. In the light of His almighty presence and power, the darkness in our lives pales. God’s glory washes away the dross of the world around us.

Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him” (KJV).

If you are struggling to feel thankful, when you wake up on Thanksgiving Day, begin by praising God. Thank Him for His love, which never ceases. Thank Him for being a big God that nothing can defeat. Thank Him that you have the incredible privilege of coming before the God of the universe and offering up your heart.  When you do, He will pour His strength into your weakness. He will fill your heart with Himself and the forever love He has for you. And with the tenderness of God’s presence so near, you might find this to be the most meaningful Thanksgiving of all.

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God will fill up your heart when you don’t feel thankful – @Linda_Rooks on @AriseDaily (Click to Tweet)

linda rooksAbout the author: Having traveled a difficult three-year journey from separation to reconciliation in her own marriage, Linda W. Rooks has a ministry of hope for those in broken marriages. Her book Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation, brings strength and healing to those who need an encouraging friend in the midst of marital Broken Heart on Hold: Surviving Separation by [Rooks, Linda]breakdown. Her new book, Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated, takes the next step by offering practical guidance for those who desire reconciliation. It releases in February 2019.  Linda writes for both adults and children, and her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Focus on the Family and Today’s Christian Woman. She and her husband reside in Central Florida where their ministry to marriages in crisis has helped many couples reconcile their relationships.

Join the conversation: Our God never changes, no matter what our circumstances might  at times tempt us to believe. What things about God can you praise Him today?

Keeping Hope to Keep the Call

by Pam Farrel           

I was weary—a tired to the bone, drop-dead fatigued, completely exhausted, “can’t take even one more step” kind of weary. It seemed we were caught in the perfect storm: the ship of our life being tossed about on a tumultuous sea of unending responsibilities.

The positive included constant travel for our ministry, which we loved, but it did take a physical and mental toll. We also had ongoing multiple book projects, which are wonderful blessings, but require much labor.

And in the midst of it all, we were dealing with aging parent care, which required Bill to drive through grueling Southern California traffic for months on end. We were both at the end of our proverbial ropes.

I knew that the Word has some prescriptions for handling weariness.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV )

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalms 62:5 NIV

“. . .Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV 

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex 33:14 NIV

“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work…” Ex 23:12 NIV

I knew I needed rest, renewal, revival, rejuvenation—and recovery! So, when the Professional Women’s Fellowship hosted a one-day retreat at a lovely private estate, I went. And begged God to speak to me there and give me HOPE!

During the hour-long quiet time, I stretched out under the shade of a large tree near the pond. As I opened my journaling Bible, I couldn’t help but think of Psalm 23 as I lay down in “pasture” that was “beside still waters.” So, I continued to pray through the psalm: Lord,  refresh my soul….guide me along the right paths  for [Your] name’s sake.  

I flipped opened my Bible to other Psalms, as I nearly always gain refreshing hope there.  I landed on Psalm 55:22 (NIV): “ Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

I thought, “Wow Lord, this seems the perfect verse for me, but exactly what does it mean to “cast my cares” on You?  And what does it mean that you will “sustain” me —because I REALLY need some sustaining power!”

After praying out my weariness, I looked up and found the word translated as “burden” could also be translated “assignment” or “gift”. I thought, “A gift? Really?” I was beginning to see that I had been viewing the responsibilities God had given me as a burden rather than a blessing. Obviously, I needed a paradigm shift to a more heavenly viewpoint!

I also saw the promise that God would “sustain” me– He would nourish, strengthen, and support me — and make me sufficient to handle my assignment.  God was whispering hope to my soul, that whatever my ministry was depleting, God would pour back into me—and more!

In that moment, peace, relief, and a rejuvenating hope washed over me. To lock this insight into my mind, I sketched out two hands, representing God’s caring hands. In one palm was my “gift” of cares and in the other… myself.

Both you and your calling are held up by the Good Shepherd. We are in His sustaining, caring hands. God’s got us!

pam ferrelAbout the author: You too can find hope from God in the Psalms: Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience by Pam Farrel, Jean E. Jones, and Karla Dornacher, from Harvest House. Find out more at discoveringhopeinthepsalms.com.

Join the conversation: What burdens do you need to cast upon the Lord?

Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash

Accept Help and Support from Others

by Twila Belk

So Joshua did as Moses said, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the hilltop. Now when Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and when he lowered his hand [due to fatigue], Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy and he grew tired. So they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side; so it was that his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed and defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.  Exodus 17:10–13 AMP

I have a confession: I’m not perfect. Hard to believe, isn’t it? What I’ve written below is humbling, but I’m laying it out for the world to see.

My responsibilities include working long hours at home to provide an income for my family, care-giving for my husband, handling my son’s ongoing issues, doing all the shopping and heavy lifting, cooking, coordinating multiple medical appointments, wrestling with never-ending paperwork, making important life decisions, managing my own health needs (when I can fit that in), attempting to keep the world spinning, and … and … and … The truth is I can’t do it all. I get weary.

At times I struggle just to hold my head on my neck, yet I’m embarrassed when visitors see my clutter and the piles of unwashed pots and pans on the counter. I don’t want them to know the real me—someone who has shortcomings. I’ll admit I occasionally have trouble letting people into my life because of a crazy feeling that I’m being judged for what I haven’t done.

Yes, I know that’s flawed thinking—the kind of thinking I’m overcoming after years of trials and with no recourse but to rely on other people’s help. I’m finally grasping this reality: I can’t survive without support and assistance.

Even Moses couldn’t. When Joshua fought Amalek, Moses stood at the top of the hill with his hands raised in prayer. While they were lifted high, the Israelites prevailed. But when Moses struggled and his arms dropped due to fatigue, the enemy overpowered them. Aaron and Hur brought a stone and encouraged Moses to sit, and they stood by his side to uphold him until the sun went down. Because of their support, the battle Moses oversaw was won.

Likewise, we can endure our battles with the help of others.

On many occasions friends, family, and church members have come alongside to keep me from falling. I had emergency gall bladder surgery that required a seven-day hospital stay three weeks after my daughter was born. I wasn’t able to carry her for seven weeks. I also had a twenty-month-old son at home. It would have been an impossible situation without help.

After our run-in with the drunk driver, friends and acquaintances filled in at our Christian bookstore and vending company. They did chores, kid duty, ran errands, and watched over me.

During agonizing times with my husband’s health issues and hospitalizations, my friend Jennifer mothered me, and my friend Nancy cared for our three children.

Most recently with my cancer treatments, numerous people have sustained our family through monetary gifts, meals, yard work, house projects, prayers, and encouragement.

Does accepting help mean that I’m weak? That Moses was weak? That you’re weak? No. It means God provides what we need to keep us strong. It’s a message worth remembering.

Loving God, thank you for the support and help of caring people. If I had to face my battles alone, I don’t know how I would endure. Thank you for knowing who I need and what I need and right when I need it. You are so good to me. I like to think that I can do it all, and I get frustrated when I can’t, but the reality is that nobody can. You created us for friendship and fellowship and to uphold each other. Even Moses became fatigued and needed help. Thank you for reminding me that accepting assistance doesn’t mean I’m weak. It means you love me enough to keep me strong through others.

(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)

twila belkAbout the Author: Also known as the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, Twila Belk  loves braggin’ on God. Whether she’s writing, speaking, or teaching, she offers hope and encouragement for people to fix their eyes on him. Twila is the author of The Power to Be: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous and Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose as well as five other books. Mom to three grown children and Grandma to three precious little boys, Twila lives with her husband in Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River and the home of American Pickers, John Deere tractors, and Whitey’s ice cream.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner 51veIj1tu+L._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Twila’s new devotional book,  The Power to Be, please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: How are you at accepting assistance from others? What battles have you faced that you couldn’t have survived without the help of other people? How did it make you feel to have their support?

 

Crossing the Jordan

by Tammy Kennington

“And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” Joshua 3:17 NASB

It was a glorious day, one that Israel had long awaited. God was bringing them into the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey. Their entrance was a memorable one, as the waters flowing from upstream began to pile up into a heap, miraculously allowing them to walk in on dry ground. It was a dramatic sign of God’s approval and support, a visual picture of what He had already promised for His nation: “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you.” (Joshua 1:3 NASB)

He calls each of us to follow Him into His Promised Land as well. But sometimes there is no “dry land” to be found. Sometimes God doesn’t meet our expectations. What happens when we’ve slipped a toe into the edge of the Jordan and suddenly we’re neck-deep in the river; disillusioned and doubting the call of the One who promised us beauty…bounty…blessing on the other side? What happens when our hopes or dreams are dashed against the rocks–shattered and floating further from our reach?

Do we blame Him for letting us down? For leaving us. For our struggle against the rushing water as we’re dragged somewhere unknown and unanticipated?

Instead of trusting that our Rescuer has already journeyed into the depths for us, we are tempted to give in to the pull of the current. Drifting. Doubting. Denouncing Him in our inability to see clearly from this side of the river to the other.

At times, I’ve been overwhelmed by the dark waves. Smashed against the river bottom. Sputtering for air. Shouting my doubts into the mist. Because suffering? It hurts. And sometimes I’ve felt like I’m drowning even in my living.

Some of you are crossing your personal Jordan right now. Cancer. Anxiety. Mental illness. Divorce. Death. Pain so big it’d be easy to lose sight of the largeness and power of God. My heart aches for that journey you’re taking right now–the one causing fear unequaled. Feelings of aloneness. Deep soul-sorrow.

Can I remind you? He is El Roi–the God who sees. He is Yishmael–the God who hears. He is Adonai–the sovereign Lord, who loves you perfectly. And He is the God who walks on the water–right next to you…reaching out for your hand…and reassuring, “It’s me, don’t be afraid.”

If we can trust Jesus with eternity, let’s trust Him with our today–even as we totter toward His beckoning hand over the next wave.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2 NASB

Tammy Kennington About the author: Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.

The author of five children’s nonfiction books, Tammy’s work has also been featured by Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and others. You can meet regularly with Tammy at Mercy Multiplied.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Tammy’s children’s book for 8 to 11 year olds, Penguins,  (Exploring our Oceans: 21st Century Skills Library), please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Have you been overwhelmed by the waves in life?

Come to the Quiet Place

by Tammy Kennington

The mound of dishes extends to the uppermost edge of the kitchen sink, and reluctantly, I begin the process of methodically rinsing each plate, bowl, and glass before depositing it in the dishwasher. I have just enough time to finish peeling the baked-on oatmeal from the insides of the crockpot before my daughter rushes around the corner with a look of concern etched across her delicate features.

“Mommy, I need help with my math. NOW,” she emphasizes.

Casting a quick glance toward the stove, I notice the pot on the right back burner is spitting angrily across the surface. With a sigh, I quickly twist the knob to low and turn my attention to the middle-school girl planted directly in front of me. She is a diminutive package of tears and foot-tapping frustration, and I can’t wait for the school week to end and give us both a break from homework.

In that moment, the dogs begin barking uncontrollably—probably at a wayward rabbit passing through the yard—and a hungry teen-aged boy utters something about being hungry.

Me? I just want to go to bed. And I wonder why some days seem much longer than the standard 24 hours.

Jesus recognized this same weariness in his disciples.

Their day had been overflowing with prayer, preaching, and healings. The people–needy and desperate–longed for someone to make a difference…to change their lives…to offer hope. By the busy day’s end, the men were as empty as my freshly rinsed sink. Do you ever feel it, too? The need to be filled up…restored…replenished?

Jesus offers us the answer. He beckons gently, calling each of us to spend time at his feet. “…Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31 NIV).

Make your appointment with the Prince of Peace, friend. Breathe in the rest only He provides. Step away from the pressures of the immediate and discover soul treasure in the Eternal. He’s waiting to meet with you today.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29 ESV

Tammy KenningtonAbout the author: Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy leads women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.

The author of five children’s nonfiction books, Tammy’s work has also been featured by Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and others. You can meet regularly with Tammy at Mercy Multiplied.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Tammy’s children’s book for 8 to 11 year olds, Penguins,  (Exploring our Oceans: 21st Century Skills Library), please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What do you do when you spend time with the Lord? Share what works for you.