When was the last time you spent time alone with Jesus? Do you know that the strength of our faith directly coincides with the time we spend alone with Jesus?
I am about to share a story with you that is hard for me to share. But I have prayed and trust that someone visiting today needs it. If it is you, please leave a comment and let me know.
In the weeks prior to Christmas, I spent very little time with Jesus. Notice I said with Jesus.
I had spent time in God’s Word researching for a new study and reading a daily devotional. And I faithfully had prayed each morning the prayers I needed to pray. But not a single time did I simply take time to sit and be with my Lord and Savior.
This was not a conscious decision. It’s just that life was busy. I know you understand…a house to decorate, parties to attend, family coming, a trip planned, a New Year’s Eve party to host.
As Christmas drew closer, my spirit grew more and more uneasy.
I felt anxious.
My heart raced.
Peace was nowhere to be found. As a family ,we were memorizing Isaiah 9:6 about the Prince of Peace, yet I felt no peace.
I finally reached a point where my racing heart kept me awake through the night. Night after night I lay awake for hours counting my heartbeats, faster and faster they came. Anxiety and sleeplessness eventually stole not only my peace but also my joy.
One particular night, I could not handle it anymore. I just knew I could not survive one more night like this. I just couldn’t. I felt myself slipping farther and farther away from all that I loved.
I stepped out of bed that morning weak and exhausted. A warm shower sounded good. Maybe I could wash away every stressful thought and anxious feeling. But instead, panic ensued. I felt as if I could not breathe. I turned off the water, flung open the shower door, enveloped myself in a towel, fell to my knees and wept. Tears fell uncontrollably.
My husband walked into our room. I ran to him, and he held me. I felt so safe in that moment, but when he left for work, all the feelings returned. I picked up the phone and called my doctor. They made me an appointment that day.
I cried and cried during the appointment. I felt embarrassed, ashamed and weak. What a blessed life I live. How could I feel this way?
I felt as if my life…my faith… the very core of who I am was unraveling. What was happening to me? Me, the Bible teacher. The one who equips and encourages others. I felt like a failure…a phony.
I cried out to God. I still had faith that He could help me. But it was a weak faith. I needed more. Reaching out, I begged God for more of Him…for more faith…for healing, for peace, for joy to return.
My sweet Savior met me right where I was. He reminded me how He had missed me. He led me to my Bible that had sat unopened next to my bed for weeks. He gave me Truths…Truths to cling to…Truths to pray…Truths to transform my heart and mind. Truths I want to share with you today, sweet friend.
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25 (NKJV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b (NIV)
I did not just read the words. I breathed them in. I spoke each and every word over myself. I prayed them with every irregular heartbeat, through every waking moment in the night. I ate and digested them. I believed God at His Word.
And God was faithful.
Recounting His truths and promises restored my soul!
I had not lost my faith. I was not alone. God was right there with me. The problem had been with me. I had forgotten to meet with Him.
And not only did God give me these truths, He gave more…so much more. A few days later, our associate pastor at Forest Hill Church, Jonathan Scott, spoke a message I was certain He wrote just for me. It was on REST. He taught from Hebrews 4:1-13 (a lesson I had taught just one year before, mind you!). To watch his powerful sermon, click here.
The words that stuck with me most were “RESOLVE TO REST.”
RESOLVE TO REST
Everyday since that day, I have resolved to rest. I have spent time with my Savior in the Word and in a devotional book, The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings, written by one of my favorite authors and Bible teachers, Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
God returned my peace. He restored my joy. He calmed my heart. He has met me each and every morning as I sit at His feet.
Does my story sound familiar? Do you need to resolve to rest? Take the verses I have shared and pray them for yourself. Dig in the Word and ask God to lead you to your own verses to pray. Share those verses with us and leave a prayer request today. I promise to pray for you.
Remember, sweet friend, in His Presence are Peace and Rest!!!!
If you are visiting today for the first time from my Proverbs 31 Devotional, God is Waiting, please stop back by again. I would love to get to know you and have you join our on-line studies we do here. You can register by visiting the right side of my blog. Sign up where it says “Sign up for Wendy’s on-line Bible Studies” and where it says “Subscribe to Updates.”
Blessings to you,