But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
Friend to Friend
I will never forget the first time I took our two-year-old son to the beach. I assumed Jered would take one look at the ocean and make a beeline for the water. We lived in South Florida at the time where many of the people we knew either had a swimming pool or lived on a canal that literally ran through their backyard. Since the tropical climate made it possible for Jered to play outside almost every day of the year, it was not unusual for him to be around water of some kind on a regular basis.
Just to be sure the trip was successful, I did what I thought was a fairly impressive job of preparing Jered for his first beach adventure. We talked and read books about the ocean and watched television shows about going to the beach. We quizzed friends about the best places to go once we got there and, finally, the day came when we actually went to the beach.
I am a list-maker. So, of course, I had compiled an extensive list of things to do and take with us.
Suntan lotion – check.
Picnic basket filled with snacks and drinks – check.
Mickey Mouse sunglasses and hat for Jered – check.
Beach towels, a beach ball and toys for building sand castles – check.
Jered helped me pack the car and scrambled into his car seat yelling, “Go, Mom! Hurry!” I did, and off we went.
We sang and laughed all the way and planned what we were going to do once we reached the water. Honestly, it never crossed my mind that Jered would be afraid of the ocean because Jered is afraid of very little in life. Even as a toddler, he approached each task with confidence and the attitude that the only reason he could not do something was because he had not had the opportunity to try it.
As we pulled into an ocean front parking lot, Jered began clapping and cheering. He quickly scrambled out of his car seat, grabbed my hand and promptly froze. Miles of sand and water stretched out before him in every direction. When the waves crashed against the sand, he gripped my hand and asked, “What’s that, Mom?” Puzzled, I said, “Why, that is the ocean, honey. Isn’t it great?” I watched the color drain out of my son’s face as he backed up, pulling me with him. “I don’t want beach, Mom!” I couldn’t believe it! Obviously a little reassurance was needed. When I pulled Jered into my arms and slowly edged my way toward the water, he promptly burst into tears. “Too big, Mommy! Too big!” he cried. I suddenly realized that Jered did indeed love the water – as long as it was surrounded by cement and filled with chlorine. The ocean was an entirely different matter altogether. It was too big and completely overwhelming.
Are you facing a circumstance that is much too big for you to handle? The deafening waves of doubt may be crashing around you, drowning out the promises of God.
The unknown stretches before you and all you can see are the mistakes you have made and the opportunities you have missed.
Fear has brought you to your knees and you are more desperate than you have ever been in your life.
The questions far outnumber the answers.
You cry alone in a darkness that is unlike any you have ever faced.
You long to be understood and crave a love that accepts you just as you are in the midst of your fear and doubt.
I have great news for you, girlfriend! God sees you. He has not been caught off guard by the circumstances you face and where you are is no surprise to Him. In fact, God will take what the enemy means for evil and use it as the perfect setting for a miracle.
You don’t have to understand God to trust Him. Restoration and peace are His specialty. He will be your refuge and your strength. Right now, quietly turn to Him. He is waiting.
Father, I come to You today with a sense of helplessness. I am desperate for You, Lord. I need Your strength and power to sustain me because everything seems to be falling apart. I want to be a woman of faith and stand strong when trouble bombards my life but I cannot do it alone. Today, I turn to You, God, and celebrate the truth that You will turn to me and be my refuge.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Jered has grown into a wonderful young man who loves the ocean. Swimming, fishing, tubing, snorkeling, water skiing … he enjoys it all. What once held only fear and uncertainty now brings him joy. God can do the same thing for you.
Look back over your life. When did God take something bad and bring good out of it? Describe that experience. Remember the truth that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and what He did in your past … He can do today and tomorrow. He is faithful – even when we are faithless.
Read and memorize Today’s Truth found in Psalm 59:16. Choose to sing a new song of praise – no matter what happens today. Record this verse on an index card and keep it with you. When fear and doubt come, meet them with this powerful promise from God.
More from the Girlfriends
We are with you, girlfriend! Sharon, Gwen and I want to encourage you with the truth that you are loved. God loves you and so do we!
Need help dealing with stress? Check out Mary’s book, Escaping the Stress Trap, for practical and powerful steps found in Psalm 23 for managing stress before it manages you.