Rest in GodNew Every Morning | January 3, 2018
GOD, I NEED RESCUING more times than I can say. I feel besieged—by the world and its terrors; and by the terrors of my own soul. The only time I feel safe is when I know I am in you. I find my refuge in you, Rock of my shaky life; steady me and surround me with peace that comes for safety. I do not want to fortify my fears; I do not want to claim people as enemies only because they are strangers. But deliver me from unjust, cruel, and unrelenting circumstances. Teach me to trust you, as I did with abandon as a child. I do not want to return to naiveté, but I do want to rest in you. You have been a leaning post in weary times; continue to let me rest in you. Amen.
– Valerie Bridgeman Davis
The Africana Worship Book, Year C
From page 47 of The Africana Worship Book: Year C, edited by Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua. Copyright © 2008 by Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.
May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
Psalm 72:2, NRSV
This Week: Pray for inner peace. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
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This week we remember: Simeon Stylites (January 5).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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What a wonderful feeling to know that I can rest in God. It feels safe, warm, and loving. “I am the daughter of a great king. He is my father and my God. The world may praise me or criticize me. It matters not. He is with me, always at my side, guiding and protecting me. I do not fear because I am his.” I start by saying this everyday when I start my meditation and mindful exercise routine. On the days that I don’t have time for a complete routine I keep saying this throughout the day…It calms me and keeps me focused on God. The world is a crazy mixed up place…it always has been and always will be. God is our direction and our peace to help us through everyday. The UR is a place that we find God’s peace in each other. I pray for all here at UR that God’s peace will help you with your mental, physical, and spirital struggles. It is beautiful how we are all so very different with different challenges,struggles, and needs and at the same time we are the same in God. May you all find inner peace.
Thank you, Louise, for this gentle guiding. I continue to study different devotionals and especially draw peace from Daily Catholic Reflections and Divine Mercy Reflections. I occasionally say nine day novenas, even though I am Methodist, for people in special situations. I don’t know if Catholic people are offended, but my Pastors say it’s okay. It doesn’t feel wrong and I prayed about it. I do the scriptural Rosary, that quotes bible verses.
Louise – thank you for sharing that proclamation. So good – I imagine it provides peace and confidence.
Yes – I consider God my Rock. Not necessarily a leaning post as stated above, but I suppose that could fit. For me – I envision myself clinging to My Rock. He is steady and sure, and always present. I am most at rest when I am present to Him.
Grateful for lazy days, a complete change of pace from the rigidity of the schedule of school. The cold weather has kept me indoors, mostly under a blanket next to my little heater. I have begun to do some schoolwork, but do not feel burdened by it. Today I must venture out…a doctor’s appt, drop in on my parents and my god daughter’s basketball game this evening.
Prayers for continued progress for Marcy – so glad you were able to send us a message without assistance. I have learned how important little milestones are in the healing process.
Thank you, Jill. No physical therapy again today. But am happy to type my own posts. Pastor brought my Bluetooth keyboard several days ago, when Marisol was still typing. Looking forward to tomorrow, maybe that will be the day I get started! I am trying to follow your advice of clinging to and leaning on our Father God. When I’m successful, it’s sublime! Thankful you are having some calm and restful days. My love to you, Jill.
Yes, God may we continue to rest in you!
Amen, Mary. And praying for inner peace for you and your family, students, sweet sister!
Thanks so much, Marcy!
You are indeed a prayer warrior!
This prayer absorbed me, I could feel my body relaxing into the words.
Likewise, Louise, your words are so insightful and heartening.
Jill, your school has not resumed?
Marcy, I second Jill’s well wishes.
Mary, continued prayers for you aand your parents.
I envision God as a loving father and I crawl into His lap and He envelopes me in HIs warm and protective arms.
Love and healing to my UR friends, I love you even though I do not see you as we love God without seeing HIm
Thanks so much Julie!
Good morning, my friends in Christ. What wonderful postings yesterday! I smiled as I read of Lou’s Christmas with her family, full of love and laughter. Also, Andrea’s sharing of “Be still my Soul”. (verse 4 touched me). Thank you , Louise, Robert, Jill, Julie, Edy, Marcy, Mary, Carol. I read every one. Yes, God’s hand brought us together here and for that I am very thankful. May He meet your every need in 2018.
This reading is timely, as well as your prayer, Louise, which I will use.
My daughter is raging at me since yesterday and has withdrawn her invitation for me to visit today, while she has a couple of my family members over. I need your prayers.
I am concerned about her. This happened right before Christmas too. She is so rude and disrespectful despite how I do everything possible to support her and help her. Yesterday, in a text conversation, she got angry because I told her a friend gave me two stuffed animals and I wanted to wait until Valentine’s Day to give them to my grandson, since I have given him so much both at Christmas and the New Year. She said she didn’t understand why I would not give them to him right away when someone has given them to me to give to him – meaning today, when I was invited to visit. I replied I preferred to space my gifts to him. She became enraged and said that I am “withholding, controlling, disrespecting her.” This morning I received a text un-inviting me to the little family gathering she is hosting. I feel blindsided.
I have to walk such a tightrope with her, not wanting to inflame her, yet not wanting to be a doormat. When she told me right before Christmas that she was ordering a purple dress for my grandson, I asked if that might be confusing to him, especially since she was ordering the dress rather than him expressing a desire to wear a sister’s clothes – he does not have a sister. She told me I was the one who is confused about his wanting to try different ways of dressing and said I was not to make him feel like something was wrong, which I would never do. Knowing the futility of saying anything more, and not wanting to enrage her, I simply texted back, “Got it.” (This is when Louise advised me not to give advice, which I know is the best course.) My grandson is not 3 years old yet! She put a little girl’s sequined ballet skirt over his pants on Christmas Day, saying “Would you like to wear this now?” and again on New Year’s Eve.
I am concerned about her mental health (she has no diagnosis and she has been much more even in the last two years, but she does go up and down and I would say she has an anger management problem with me and is often unable to see me as a person with feelings). I am concerned about my grandson. I am also heartbroken at her shutting me out today and anxious that my family members will use the situation to badmouth me. I am also anxious that she could be the one to withhold from me – my grandson.
I am grateful for this space to share my sorrow and my perplexity about what to do. When she disinvited me for today, I texted back that I am deeply saddened and this is very difficult for me and that I love her.
I will pray the prayer in the reflection. Thanking God for all of you.
Andrea, my heart is absolutely breaking for you and I just finished a long intercessory prayer for the well-being of your kind soul this morning. It is true, as Louise says, that holding back is the wisest course, but oh so hard for you. I, myself, am unsure of how much the brain’s wiring has to do with these matters and we know so little about the massive computer God equipped us with. So, as in all else, I judge no one for that is God’s job, and I know you are not doing this either. The age of your grandson does concern me, but again as a child , instead of putting on my mother’s dresses, I got into my Dad’s overalls! Once, I found his WWII uniform and at five years old was dragging around in it, medals and all. I still remember the consequences!
It sounds to me, though I’m no doctor but do recognize certain things you have mentioned concerning your daughter, that I myself suffered before medicatuon. I am diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD after years of horrendous treatment from my husband after being attacked by a sadistic predator in my twenties. It completely altered my life, even to the point of the brain chemistry because I sought no treatment for over 30 years. I will pray more intercessory prayers that she goes for a full work up and does it soon. Meds can be avoided, but are sometimes necessary. I finally gave in. Now all my chemical issues are under control, and I’m seeing a faith-based counselor for the homework. The point is, Satan would have had me broken forever, but God stepped in, I remember like yesterday, told me, “Marcy, go to the psychiatrist, the Day Program, do not think that I, your Father in heaven disapproves of medications and doctors. These too, I have provided for My children. You have been far from Me, but never turned your back on Me. You have always believed in My Son, Jesus and accepted Him as your Savior. Now go in peace and know that I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This may not be verbatim, but it’s the way I always remember it. It’s been two years. I continue to heal in many ways, but most importantly, my Love for our Triune God deepens. Keep the hope alive, Andrea! Our Father will carry you through this, your faith is strong and true, you are such a blessing to all of us here. And this UR family of siblings love you and care for you so very much. We are with you all the way. I love you and care about you deeply, Andrea.
Andrea, my heart goes out to you. I know exactly what you describe as your tightrope. I walk the same exact line with my daughter.
Now, I will put on my social worker hat.
My opinion is to seek advice from a trusted friend who is also impartial yet has some training in family matters
I suggest your minister. This involves the well being of a vulnerable child.
Good luck and you need to be his advocate. Yet realize that you risk estranging your daughter.
Only after deep reflection and prayers will you know God’s direction.
Blessings and prayers sister in faith and fellow mother
Andrea my heart goes out to you and my prayers up to the all powerful God for you. And for your daughter and grandson, this is so sad to hear and I understand. I battle in similar ways with two daughters. There has got to be a special measure of grace for Mothers, and I pray it for you now in Jesus mighty name. I hope it is of comfort to you, as it is me, that you are not alone in this. It is definitely a spiritual battle, I know we feel defeated, but that’s not the real truth, just feels that way for sure. Keep loving, is hard right now for me with much anger, but that is what will win the battle for us w our prodigal children. I am meeting w a Stephens ministry person tomorrow, I hope you can meet someone to help you thru this and know another Mom is praying and gets it.
Keeping you and your family in prayer, Andrea!
Yes, O yes, Lord! I want so much for You to take me back to the unquestioning, awe-filled, wide-eyed belief I had in You as a child. Not the naivete, but that all comforting, all encompassing sureness that existed between you and I, Jesus. I am faithful, my belief is strong 99% of the time, because of all I have seen you do, not only in my own life, but the miracles you have brought about in others. Some real hard cases. I believe, that if it is Your will, Lord, You will let me back to that special place where I lived in a house with some strife between my parents, the heart surgery, the bullying because of the scars on my chest— You held me and led me and protected me, Lord, and developed in me at the age of eight years old, what would become Your leading me for equal social rights for people of all colors and creeds, even if they weren’t Christian, to know them, be in their shoes. (We all should have healthcare as a right. I know. “You can have healthcare, but you cannot.” I had to file bankruptcy before the Affordable Care Act. I still have two years before I can file again. I don’t want to have to do this, again, if the law is repealed. And there’s absolutely no good reason I should have to. I’m disabled and worked that way until I could no longer do so, damaging my body further in the process, have to live off food stamps, live in a roach infested subsidized housing unit I waited two years to get into and upon moving in was immediately infested with bed bugs, own a sixteen year old vehicle and that’s it. Now they want to take away my health insurance. I’m so sorry for the rant. Forgive me sisters and brothers, please. We are not a poor country.) Please Lord, make our leaders compassionate and generous, less concerned about how much more they could possibly want or need, help our middle class, where I grew up and was the backbone of our country and stop the ever widening gap between the poorest and the richest.
Thank you all for your gracious, loving encouraging prayers, my dear UR family. I was quite disappointed yesterday, as I didn’t get any physical therapy because the therapist wasn’t in. But we do start today at 1pm. I am thankful to have food to eat, a roof over my head, SSI, and health insurance for now. I know God is in control of all, but at this stage in my life, I couldn’t live in my car again, as I had to do once before. My health alone, combined with the cold….well, let’s not go there. I love you all, Julie, Andrea, Jill, Mary, Lou, Robert, Louise, Connie, Betsy and Grace, Cherie and all of you, so much, like Julie, I feel the same. I’m hugging on each and every one of you and living on each and every one of you. I pray for all struggling through grief, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual hurdles and rejoice with each of you in the Love of our Abba Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Christian kisses to each of you.
Dear Marcy, i keeping you in prayer.
May God bless you with good health and a condusive environment to live!
Somehow I missed this reflection yesterday, I got the follow up emails, but without the initial post, it was hard to fathom all of what was going on. Thankfully I read All Will Be Well before reading this reflection. It fortified me. Prayers for Andrea, Louise, Julie, Chloe, Lou and every UR member who has children. Trying to love and help them and then getting treated roughly or worse is pretty tough. Thankfully God is there, has the same experience from us and still loves us. Without God where would we be?
Getting people to get help for a broken leg isn’t so hard, most often the patient will go. When it comes to mental health, it’s a new and different situation. If the patient doesn’t want help, won’t go, or even goes under pressure they can still resist. Not an easy situation. Have been there, done that, and I continue. I compare it to the situation between the US and North Korea. Have been to Panmunjom where the armistice halted the Korean War was signed and where talks continue. Better to be talking, even if it doesn’t seem like progress is being made, than no conversation at all. You never know when things might change.