Trust God’s Plan!

by Sheri Schofield

Twenty-six years ago, the Lord brought our family to Montana. While it is beautiful here, this is still cowboy country with old-fashioned views of the roles women can fill in churches. Although I was a trained director of children’s ministries, my church would not allow me to fill that position. I knew it was no different from the other churches in town in this regard, so there was very little point in changing churches.

I chafed at this restriction, for I wanted to start a children’s ministry program that would reach many children in our area. I felt restricted. Rebuffed. Disrespected. Not valued.

I asked God, “Why did you bring us here? How can I reach children for Jesus without the backing of my church?” He did not answer me. For years! But he did tell me to continue teaching the children. Each year, he would tell me which group he wanted me to focus on. So I did, even though the restrictions continued to bug me and I felt suffocated.

Eventually, the Lord told me, “If I wanted you to be the director, I would open that door. Trust me. Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (See Hebrews 13:1, NKJV.)

I did not like what God was saying, but I trusted him and did what he told me to do.

In 2015, the Lord told me to use the teaching plans he had given me for leading children to Jesus. I was to write and illustrate a book on that topic. I did. The Lord provided money for us to publish it. When it was published in 2018 he said, “Sheri, you have been longing to reach the children of your town for Jesus. Now you have the tool to do so. Give the books away to the children.”

We have now given away nearly 5,000 books on the plan of salvation, fully illustrated, to the children in our city, our state, and some (in Spanish) to Mexico. Now the adult version of this book is going to start circulating here. I could never have reached this many people for Jesus if the Lord had given me what I wanted in those early years. My kingdom harvest is larger, because I followed his directions.

Sometimes the Lord gives us orders we do not understand or like. If we obey him, we eventually see the beautiful pattern he has woven into our lives, for his glory. God’s plan is always more beautiful than we could imagine! But if we want to receive that plan, we need to trust him and follow his directions.

David, whom Samuel had anointed to be king in Israel, did not receive the promise immediately. Instead, he spent many years hiding from King Saul, who wanted David dead. But David did not fight back. He avoided Saul and trusted in the Lord’s timing. Later he wrote these words—

“Trust in the LORD and do good…take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:3-6 NIV).

God rarely shows us the big picture of our lives. He simply asks us to trust and obey. Trust his plan!

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 NIV

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

sheri schofield

About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.

Her first book on salvation, “The Prince and the Plan”, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, “God? Where Are You?,” tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read. 

Join the conversation: Has God surprised you with an unexpected plan?

Love Isn’t Spelled W-O-R-R-Y

by Kathy Collard Miller @KathyCMiller

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Philippians 3:10 NIV

I can still remember as a child hearing my grandmother say to me, “Kathy, I was worried about you.” I have no clue or memory what she might have been worried about, but I remember her comment—because I knew she was trying to say, “I’m worried about you! I love you!”

But what she actually said didn’t make me feel loved nor did I feel helped. I wanted her to say, “I love you. I prayed for you, and I knew God was helping you.”

It’s easy to think worry communicates love, but it doesn’t. It actually breaks down relationships. But telling someone we are praying for them communicates love, builds the relationship, and strengthens the faith of those we care about.

Prayer is powerful; worry is powerless. Prayer builds the relationship; worry destroys the relationship. God never says, “I’m worried about you,” but He does say, “I love you, and I’m doing the best thing for you.” The Holy Spirit says, “I’m praying for you!” (Romans 8:27).

Although I’m far from conquering worry completely, I have greater victory, because I can look back and see how my worry caused me to over-react. Worry not surrendered to God motivates ungodly reactions.

We know the scenario. Our daughter is late getting home from a date. It’s past her curfew and worry begins to rear its ugly head as horrible thoughts of her being raped, or an automobile accident taking her life, or …a thousand other fears. We know those kinds of things actually happen, and we’re afraid it’s now going to happen to our family!

So when our daughter walks in the door late, because she and her date ran out of gas and their cell phone batteries died, what is our reaction?! Anger! “I’ve been so worried! How could you put me through this? What were you thinking? How could you do this to me?”

We aren’t communicating love with worry, because fear enters the heart of our child from our reaction. And often our words can be interpreted as it’s really all about us—our pain and worry, not our concern for our beloved child.

We can justify our worry by saying, “I love her. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her!” But worry didn’t keep her safe and worry has now made her afraid of us. We don’t have to do it! We can trust God.

We will be strengthened to trust God more when we realize there’s a difference between fear, concern, and worry.

Fear can be legitimate when it’s about actual dangerous things. (Just think of that bear running toward you. You should be scared and take action).

Concern is legitimate awareness of a potential danger and we can take it to God who cares for us and everything we are concerned about (I Peter 5:7 NIV tells us, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”).

Worry is when we are no longer trusting God and believe we must take action without God’s direction.

Identifying which of the three you are experiencing can help you to take the right kind of action.

Remember my grandmother? Years later she said to me, “Kathy, I’ve been praying for you.” Not only did I feel loved, but I knew God’s effective power was taking place.

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

About the author: Kathy Collard Miller is the author of over 55 books, including Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries from which this devotion is adapted. Her books include devotionals, commentaries and women’s Bible studies. She loves to speak at events and has spoken in over 30 US states and 9 foreign countries. She lives in Idaho with her husband, Larry. They are parents and grandparents. Visit her: www.KathyCollardMiller.com.

Her latest book is co-written with her husband, Larry, titled God’s Intriguing Questions: 60 New Testament Devotions Revealing Jesus’s Nature. This post is an excerpt from that book. Visit her at https://linktr.ee/kathycollardmiller.

Join the conversation: What do you do when worry overtakes you?

Believing for God’s Best

by Christina Rose

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

It was time for a new car, but it was hard for me to let go. Our 2003 Honda Odyssey was filled with memories of camping trips, carpooling kids to practices and tournaments and trips to the beach and Disneyland. It seemed like yesterday when I would glance in the rearview mirror to see the volleyball girls laughing and enjoying a movie with popcorn, red vine licorice, and Gatorade after a game. The van was now almost 20 years old with dents and defects, but I couldn’t give it up.

My kids were now driving new cars and pleaded, “Mom, this is embarrassing, your car smells like old dogs and soccer shoes and it looks like junk. Get a new car.”  One day another dad pulled up next to me at the grocer’s.  Elby had a life size cardboard cutout of Julia Roberts strapped to his passenger seat with a bungee cord.  “Hey Christina,” he teased, “Why are you still driving that dinosaur? When are you gonna get real that you’re not a soccer mom anymore?”

I laughed, “The day you get real that Julia Roberts is not your girlfriend!”

I began the search for a new car and decided that a little white car would be nice. Since it had been almost 20 years since I bought a new car, the high prices overwhelmed me. Nonetheless, I printed out a picture of a little white car and put it on my altar next to my Jesus painting. Each day and night for months I prayed, “Thank you God, for the grace and favor for my new car.”  Despite this, I still couldn’t let go of my old car.

Until it got totaled. Declared a total loss by the insurance company. I felt sick and frozen with anxiety as I said goodbye to my car, recalling years of happy memories. It was like losing a best friend. I fought off fear, knowing that since I couldn’t let go of this car, God was now taking it out of my hands and had a new car for me. While I searched for it, I soon found out that my fixed budget wouldn’t buy much. As I was about to settle for an old piece of junk that looked like a garish dented blueberry, I heard God speak to me, “I don’t do junk. Go get your little white car.”

I picked out the perfect little white car just a few miles from my home and gave a ridiculously low bid, yet it was instantly accepted. Within a few hours I had the keys and was happily driving down the freeway, confessing, “God, thanks for taking care of this for me and please increase my faith about everything.”  I wanted that peace that surpasses all understanding.

I was given the vision of Peter, walking across the water towards Jesus in a terrible storm. He wanted to have faith and believe that he could walk on water just as Jesus could, but midway through, he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm instead.

But when he saw the strongwind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Matthew 14:30-31 NLT

Focusing less on our circumstances and more on the object of our faith helps us to face seemingly impossible situations. If we have compassion on ourselves and accept that as humans we are not expected to shoulder every burden, we can let go and trust that God knows our every need. Sometimes he may rip the control out of our hands if we refuse to let go, as he did for me to show He wants nothing but His best for us.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Ephesians 3:20 NLT


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

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Has God ever supplied what you needed and more?

Running in Circles

by Sandra Julian Barker

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:10 NKJV

Do you ever feel like you’re running around in circles in your prayer life?

I’m reminded of the time I watched my grandson Storm playing Duck, Duck, Goose with a group of kids at Vacation Bible School. The kids sat in a circle while Storm chased a boy around the outside of the circle, trying to catch him before he reached a safe opening to land. Storm ran on the slippery gym floor for all he was worth, but never caught the other boy. 

Sometimes when I pray, I feel like I’m running around in circles on a slippery floor.

We have such an awesome God who offers us the privilege of prayer — the ability to actually talk with the One who created the entire universe and beyond, to express our feelings and needs to Him, and to have Him listen and respond. When you think about all that, it’s beyond amazing!

Yet, if you’re like me, you don’t really understand the whole process and how it works. When Jesus says, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24 NKJV), what does that really mean? Does it mean that I can ask God for healing for my loved one with cancer and he’ll definitely be healed? Does it mean I can ask God for answers to various other needs and always expect a happy outcome?

Sometimes, God answers our prayers in the affirmative immediately, other times there is a need for extended prayer for the thing before He gives it to us. Then, there are times He answers with an entirely different outcome than what we asked or wished for. Those are the times we question and, in some cases, we might wonder if our prayers even matter at all!

One day I lamented to God, “I just don’t understand prayer!”

I felt Him lovingly answer my spirit, You don’t have to understand, you just have to obey and pray.

I actually felt relieved that I didn’t have to understand the process (because trying to understand always brings on a “circle moment”). I just needed to obey God’s directive to pray and trust Him to handle the outcome.

That old song, Trust and Obey, is so relevant here. We need to obey God’s directive to pray—which is plainly taught throughout His Word—and then trust His loving heart to know what is best for us on this sinful earth.

I believe the verse, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16 NKJV), reveals a lot to us about the power of prayer. Even so, we should never forget the verse in Isaiah 45:12-13 (NKJV) that reminds us of the sovereignty of God:  “I have made the earth, and created man on it…and I will direct all his ways…”

There will always be times we get caught in a circle while we remain in this world (which is itself a circle), but God has promised that He provides a safe landing place for us. I always come back to the wise verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Thank you, Lord for the awesome privilege of prayer, and for your patience with us when we run around in circles. Help us to land in your arms of love and grace and peace. And help us to always trust and obey.

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

About the author: Sandra Julian Barker is the author of more than a dozen books, numerous magazine articles and a story in the best-selling “Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul.” She has a passion for sharing the love of Christ, encouraging hope and helping others seek God’s path of purpose in their lives.

Sandra’s latest book includes her own story of God’s grace in the face of great tragedy. She blogs at sandra-ramblingrose.blogspot.com/ and is in ministry with womenvictorious.com.

Join the conversation: For what is God asking you to trust Him?

Welcome to The Mystery

by Christina Rose

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Colossians 2:2-3 NIV)

Everyone loves a great mystery! I’m convinced there’s no greater mystery than life itself. Looking back at the more than 60 years I’ve spent on earth, there were many surprises, just like the surprise of the corona virus putting the world on pause.

Much of what we depended was suddenly in jeopardy. Many of us were like little children, blinking in shock and asking, “What just happened?”

But as we wake up each morning and look to the sky – we know it will always be there, just as it has been since the earth came into being. When we can’t sleep at night and step outside to wonder, we can gaze at the stars and know that the light we see came from a place billions of light years away. While we may feel small, we come to learn how big God is. Everything is under His dominion. While we may not be able to count on ourselves and earthly structures we have relied on before, we can always count on Him.

A few years ago I had a three-hour commute to work in San Francisco. I shared this stress-filled commute with thousands of others. One day while riding the ferry, I was struck by the silence as people were engrossed in their electronics, oblivious to one another. We were all in the same boat, like little worker ants with our noses to the grindstone, trapped in the monotony of producing to stay alive.

About that time, it seemed as though everything I had worked for was leaving. My husband left, my home was sold, my kids had grown and left to build lives of their own. My health had failed, and because of that disability, my finances dwindled. As a believer, I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. Where was God in it all?

It was torment. One night, as I looked at the sky, I said, “God, why are you doing this to me? When will it end?”

And I heard in return, “I will be doing this to many people, as they have forgotten me. They will learn to turn to me. I walked you into this, and as I walk you out of it, tell everyone about me.”  That evening my fortune cookie read, You have a charming way with words, and you should write a book.  I started writing for God.

God doesn’t want us to be stressed out worker ants with heavy burdens that weigh us down. He wants us to enjoy our lives, and trust that His plan is better than ours. This global pause of the pandemic is causing all of us to rethink our lives and turn towards Him for guidance.

God knew it would be hard for us earthlings to see and understand him, so he sent his son Jesus, to walk upon the earth as a human being. Jesus is the gateway to understanding how God’s ways are so far beyond human reasoning. We get a glimpse into the mystery that is God. Jesus leads us to how unfathomable God’s love and power are—so much greater than our human souls can comprehend.

This moment is a perfect opportunity to walk like Jesus and lead others to the great mystery of God.  When we know He is our father, and we are His children, we have nothing to fear.  He knows our every need, and will supply those things when we rely on Him. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19 NIV.)

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Welcome to The Mystery – encouragement and challenge from Christina Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina roseAbout the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Where have you found evidence of the greatness of God?

A Worthy Example

by Cheri Swalwell @CheriSwalwell

The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.  Genesis 39:23 MSG

I really want to be like Joseph.

If you want to read his story, it’s found in Genesis 37-50. It’s not a pretty account. His jealous older brothers sold him into slavery. His life in Egypt was a series of trials, like being falsely accused and thrown into jail. But Scripture assures us: God was with him and granted favor, which extended to those around him.

He was eventually given leadership over his fellow inmates. After years, he was asked to interpret a dream for the pharaoh. The king, seeing his wisdom and personal connection with God, set him above all of Israel. As a result, he was able to save millions of people from a famine, including his entire family back in Canaan.

So why would I want to be like Joseph? The first reason is that in all of the trying circumstances, and there were many, Joseph never complained. He didn’t turn bitter, or rail against God. Ever!

It seems likely that Joseph had learned to trust God from an early age. The Bible mentions repeatedly that Joseph was a man of integrity, always choosing God’s way when tested.

The second reason I admire Joseph is explained best in Genesis 50:19-21, when Joseph told his brothers: “’Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.’ He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart” (MSG).

Joseph always focused on the big picture. Even while suffering, he kept a long-term vision. He trusted that God was in control, and all would all work out in the end for God’s glory.

Joseph held a powerful position in Egypt, but he remained humble. God worked in Joseph’s life and grew him into a man full of integrity and humility. Joseph didn’t focus on his discomfort. He trusted in God’s plan, even when he didn’t know the whole journey. He merely walked in obedience, content to be doing his part to bring God glory.

I have always liked the story of Joseph, but after realizing the above, I’m inspired to emulate this biblical character. I want my focus to remain on God and others instead of turning inward when faced with a trial. I want to trust in His plan for my life and His power to make it happen.

God blesses a humble heart. We need to stop focusing on our own desires and instead seek ways we can serve Him with a humble heart. He is the same God who watched carefully over Joseph and rewarded his faithfulness.

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A Worthy Example – encouragement from @CheriSwalwell on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

cheri swalwellAbout the author: Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower who thoroughly enjoys her calling to be a wife, mother, and writer, in that order. Cheri’s devotional book series, Spoken from the Heart, and two other books, Hope During Heartache and Caring for the Caregiver are available through Amazon. She would love to connect with you through her website, www.cheriswalwell.com or Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/cheri-Swalwell.

Cheri’s latest release, Marriage Matters, features eleven couples’ marriage stories. You will find wisdom and encouragement from their experiences and help for living out your own marriage.

Join the conversation: What biblical character stands out as a example for you to follow?

The Good Path

by Marilyn Turk @MarilynTurk

This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.  Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

One day I went out for a walk. I usually stayed on the sidewalk in our neighborhood, but when I noticed a wide trail leading into the woods, I was intrigued. I had never noticed this trail before, and I didn’t even know existed.  But I knew I had to follow it. Although it was obvious that I was not the first to travel the path, what lay ahead was unknown to me. Where did it lead? How far did it go? How long would it take me to discover what lay ahead?

Step by step, I followed the trail, fascinated by the unveiling scenery around me, a natural barrier between two streets. Through the trees and undergrowth, I could see the backyards of houses or their back fences.  Sometimes the path was wide and clear, and I could see farther ahead. Other times, the undergrowth closed in around me, and I could only see part of the path. yet I pressed on.

I questioned myself – why did I go off the main sidewalk? Had I committed to a journey I wasn’t prepared for? Yet, I wanted to find out where it led, trusting the invisible hand that beckoned me. As I traveled, unexpected surprises met me along the way—a fallen tree I had to climb over and lovely wildflowers in yellow and lavender bringing color to the greenery around them. I stopped to take a few pictures with my phone, then continued on, pulled forward like metal to a magnet.

Occasionally, a jogger or a biker passed me on the path. I didn’t mind though, because I knew my pace was my own, and I needn’t hurry to catch up. This was my path, my time, and my chance to enjoy the journey.

When the path appeared dark and mysterious, fear threatened my progress. Yet I continued, expecting to see light just beyond the obscure places. And I was not disappointed, because the path finally opened up for me, and I found myself at the end, glad to have experienced the journey.

The destination was important, but the discoveries made along the way were equally so.

Life is much like my walk down the trail. Like the verse above, when we ask God to lead us, He often takes us down trails we hadn’t expected. We can be afraid and balk at the challenge, or we can accept the new opportunity as part of God’s plan. Sometimes we meet roadblocks or detours and think we’re on the wrong path. But God has reasons for these as well, and He calls them all “good.” He wants us to learn, to grow, and to trust Him, as we travel. But how can we do that unless we keep moving forward?

Jeremiah was called by God to bring His word to the people. His people were steeped in sin and judgment was imminent. They were looking in the wrong places for peace and security. God was calling them to choose a different path. They were being given a choice and were standing at the crossroads.

Would they trust Him?

They would not. God informed him: “You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you” (Jeremiah 7:27, NASB). Their bad choice resulted in missing out on wonderful blessings they would have been given had they taken the other way. As they traveled with Him, He would have revealed Himself in new ways and their love for Him would have grown. It was the way of rest and life and security. Their lack of trust in God’s plan for them cost them dearly.

Perhaps we have our own idea of what we plan or want to do. Maybe we’re confused about which way to go. But God knows the plans He has for us, and once we trust Him with our future, He will give us peace, “rest for our souls,” that comes from the confidence that we are following His leading.

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The Good Path – @MarilynTurk on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Marilyn TurkAbout the author: Marilyn Turk’s roots are in the coastal South. She loves God, discovering stories hidden in history, and lighthouses. Her novels show how faith works in the lives of her characters and include two World War II novels, The Gilded Curse (placed second in the Golden Scrolls Awards) and Shadowed by a Spy, and the Coastal Lights Legacy series set in 1800s Florida, Rebel Light, Revealing Light, Redeeming Light, and Rekindled Light. Marilyn is also a contributor to the Daily Guideposts Devotions book.

Join the conversation: Has God ever taken you on a journey on an unexpected path?

Night of the Frogs

by Peggy Cunningham @Inca_Writer

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; for he acknowledges my name.”                                                                                                                                   Psalm 91:14 NIV

As I sipped tea, the frog perched on top of my lamp caught my eye. I had to laugh as I instantly thought of the Night of the Frogs. It happened years ago in the little mud house we called home for a time. But unlike my ceramic frog, the frogs that night were real.

We’d arrived at the mission school to join the staff after less than a month in Bolivia and moved into the “farmhouse.” The school rested on a flat valley plain. A short walk from there was a breath-taking panorama of acres of fields. At the bottom of the hill sat the “farmhouse,” a little mud home in the middle of nowhere.

After settling in, my husband left for the city eight hours away to buy a refrigerator, leaving our five-year-old daughter and me alone. There were no neighbors, no lights outside, and no way to communicate with anyone at the school. I dreaded the moment when the generator turned off at night to leave me with only candlelight.

On the second night alone, I heard a strange noise. I nervously peered out the kitchen window to where the sound was loudest. Pitch. Black. It sounded like a motorcycle trying to start.

After it continued for what seemed like hours, my imagination was going wild. Hell’s Angels came to mind. Could there be similar gangs in this remote area? Were they waiting for the generator to shut down to make their move? Who could come to our rescue?

More scared for my daughter than myself, I knew I had to get a grip. I began to think about Paul’s letter to Timothy. Like Timothy, we were in the youth of our ministry. Fear was something we had in common. I thought about Paul’s encouragement to him.

“I call to remembrance the faith that is in you…” (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV). Paul first reminded him of the faith he’d seen in him. Maybe that if that statement were given today, it would sound like, Hey, Tim, you can do this! Then came Paul’s powerful reminder: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV).

Fear is not from God and paralyzes a ministry. Faith in God powers our ministry. Believe. Pray. A calm settled over me as I chose to trust God to take care of us.

Then, a knock at the door. I inched forward to see a familiar face looking back at me through the window. It was our son’s dorm parent, Mike. Telling him my concerns, he took a quick look outside. Nothing. But then the noise started again. I whispered, “There, do you hear it?”

Mike burst into laughter. “It is frogs making that sound.”

No way! Chagrined, I asked, “Do they have little motorcycles?” We laughed until we wept.

That eerie night I learned to trust that God would always be with me. There would always be fears to face, but I did not face them alone. When we choose to trust God, He moves us from fear to faith.

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Night of the Frogs – insight from Peggy Cunningham @Inca_Writer on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Peggy CunninghamAbout the author: Peggy Cunningham and her husband, Chuck have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Rumi Rancho is their ministry base and home outside the city of Cochabamba where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry.Shape Your Soul: 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains by [Cunningham, Peggy]

Peggy is also a published author of several children’s books and women’s devotionals. Shape Your Soul is her latest devotional book for women, available on Amazon.

Join the conversation: What do you fear?

God’s Got This

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.                                                                                                                               Proverbs 16:20 NASB

My friend, Allison, sent me a text message upon learning that her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was surprised by her reaction.

“God’s got this,” she wrote.

Not a “Why him?” or “Why did God allow this?” Not even a “What if…?” She showed only an unswerving trust in the One who can handle all things.

I want that type of unquestioning faith in the face of uncertainty. Like Allison, I want to be able to think or say “God’s got this” when the unexpected or unthinkable comes my way. And I realize I have the ability to display that kind of trust in God because I’ve been given the same thing that Allison has been given: God’s trustworthy Word.

I’m encouraged that God is intimately aware of all my ways and His Word tells me that He knows my thoughts (and concerns) before I even think them (Psalm 139:1-4). That assures me He is already working on the matters that concern me most.

I’m also glad God knew that His creation would be prone to worry, and so He had the Apostle Paul address that habit of ours in Philippians 4:6-7:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT).

Any time we find ourselves in a situation we can’t do anything about (which is why we worry in the first place) we can trust that God is Who He says He is, and that He can work out that situation far better than we can.

Today, when I begin to worry that God hasn’t “done something yet,” I have to remind myself that He is God. He doesn’t need my help. He doesn’t need my stress. He desires my trust. When I acknowledge that He is God, and I am not, and that His plan is always better than mine, that is when He gives me peace that guards my heart and mind.

The next time we begin to worry, we can ask ourselves “What am I believing about God that isn’t true? Do I believe He is true to His Word? Do I really believe He can take care of this?”

And when we can answer those questions with the statement “God’s got this” we can experience His peace.

Lord, help me to trust You with every ounce of my being, every day of my life  so when the unexpected or the unthinkable comes my way, I am already assured that “God’s got this.”

TWEETABLE
No matter what…”God’s got this.” Thoughts from @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 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), When You’re Running on Empty, When God Sees Your Tears, 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: In the last time you struggled to trust God, what incorrect belief about Him could have been influencing your heart?

A Watched Pot Never Boils

by Deb DeArmond

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

“A watched pot never boils, babe,” I advised my newlywed husband. He continued to stare at the pot filled with still stiff pasta. Silence.

Then, “What kind of pot is it?” he asked.

“A watched pot. You know–it will never boil.”.

“Then why cook the pasta in it?”

We’d received many kitchen items as wedding gifts, including a variety of pots and pans: crockpots, Dutch ovens, frying pans and more. He misunderstood that a “watched” pot was a brand of cookware! I literally meant a pot that’s being watched or observed. Apparently, my mother had a few colloquialisms his didn’t.

The concept is simple: the more closely we watch to ensure something happens, the more it may be delayed.

Life is like that at times. The single surfing the web for the perfect mate. The frustration of waiting for a new job opportunity. The monthly disappointment when trying to conceive. The closer we watch, the longer it seems to take.

But does God want us to agonize while we wait? Jesus told a parable about a farmer who plants seed in Mark 4:26-29. After planting his crop, he doesn’t watch it minute by minute, or dig it up to make sure it’s still there. When his part is done, he rests in the process.

Why is this hard to do? Simple. In our humanness, we like control. For Christians, that’s a problem, of course, because God asks us to trust Him with our lives. That’s His process. It’s sometimes challenging to apply.

My mother was once injured in a devastating accident. Doctors decided there was nothing they could do but wait and see. It was difficult news, but it was easy for us to pray and trust a merciful God. Why was it easy this time? Because there was nothing else we could do. No other efforts were possible.

But when dealing with financial difficulties or concerns about a child’s behavior, it’s easy to take matters into our own hands. Take a second job to deal with the money problems. Read a book by a popular author on childrearing. Searching for solutions is not wrong, unless we are using them to replace turning to God in prayer and trusting Him for answers.

God doesn’t expect us to do nothing in difficult times. He expects us to pray and seek His will. He may lead us to pursue an idea that occurred to us. But He wants to direct the traffic in our lives, trusting the process, trusting Him.

If you want to watch something, forget the pot. Watch God fulfill His word to His children! 

DeArmond-29 copyDeb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship, and conflict resolution. A writer and professional speaker, Deb addresses topics related to the family and women. Her books include: Related by Chance, Family by Choice,  I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last and Don’t Go to Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight! Deb’s books help readers whether engaged, newlywed, or long-time married create the life God meant marriage and family to be. You can read more from Deb at Family Matters/Deb DeArmond.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Deb’s book,  I Choose You Today,  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 pot are you watching? What’s God asking you to let go of and give Him the control?