The very first Sunday I missed church I was lying in bed feeling like I might die. It had been days since I had eaten and kept anything down. I was weak and weary, in so much pain and we were very unsure what was going on. Fear and anxiety were closing in quickly and I thought of all the things I should be doing that morning but could not even get out of bed. I prayed to the Lord very seriously and frankly…is this going to be what takes me out? Is this it? As in…am I going to die? I feel like You’re not done with me yet. Right then I heard my phone ding notifying me of an email and I didn’t want to look…but something told me I needed to.
I have a dear friend who moved south almost 5 years ago and it seems like every time I am getting really discouraged, anxious or fearful…usually about a physical trial…she sends me a note or an email or a Facebook message of encouragement. It is SO God. He nudges her to reach out and she obediently does. This time it was an immediate answer to my prayer.
My friend said she had read these verses that morning and that her devotional led her to encourage me and let me know that she was praying for me that day. It may have seemed random to her…but both of those verses…the very Word of God…refuted my looming fears. The peace that came over me was unexplainable. I knew at that moment that this illness was not going to take me out.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.
But I also had the feeling we were in for a long road ahead…much like I had a month earlier that beautiful, starry night.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.
Do you know how many times I have opened that message and read those Words? I can’t even tell you. When doubts creep in I go back to that moment and remember what God told me so clearly. Today I am grateful that God speaks to us through His Spirit, through His Word…beautiful starry nights and the love of others…and through anything else He wants to.