No matter how many times I tell myself not to worry…I still do. I am a worrier. I constantly think about the ‘what ifs’ and try to control my future. I do hear God say that He is in control and to trust Him, but in my humanness I doubt if that is true. Which is exactly what the Israelites did.
In Exodus 14:15 God basically asks Moses why is he complaining, and tells him to have the Israelites move on.
God said to Moses: ‘Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea; Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground. Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase-I’ll use Pharoah and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am God.’
Exodus 14:15-18 (Msg)
I get the sense that God may have been annoyed. He was in control and had a plan, and yet the Israelites didn’t trust Him. They did not believe the Almighty God would deliver them from the Egyptians. I think that is why he told them His plan. That way, when the Israelites saw that God was their Deliverer, they would then believe and trust who He is.
When I am in my worrying state, and don’t know what God’s plan is, is when I try to control the outcome. That behavior points out the glaring reality that I am not trusting my Holy Father. He wants our trust. He wants us, His children, to come to Him with our problems, and then trust that He will deliver us from them. We don’t need to know what His plans are, we just need to know who He is.
After Devotional: Write down all your worries on a piece of paper and lift them up to God in prayer.
I weep sometimes at night. That is when I am alone with my thoughts. All of the hopes and dreams I had for my life that didn’t come to fruition, haunt me.
I have had several nights like these in the past. I toss and turn and raise up an honest prayer. I cry out to God and ask, ‘How long will these thoughts overwhelm me?’, ‘When will this sadness and pain leave me?’ The next morning I will feel tired and emotionally drained. I would struggle with opening my Bible and seeking God. because what’s the point? I had prayed numerous times for relief and I still felt tortured.
Have you ever felt this way? If you have, then know you are not alone! We are surrounded by great company, David, Moses, Jesus..All of them cried out to God and asked why; but, for the purpose of this study, we are going to talk about Moses and how his story relates to our trials and sufferings.
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, ‘What it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’ Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’
If the Lord will fight for them, why wouldn’t He fight for you?
After Devotion: Study Exodus 14:10-14. What words jump out at you? What do you hear the Lord whispering to you? Write down the actions you should take.
Lets start with a question: How many of you have things going well in your life but still feel empty?
I have many blessings in my life. I’m working hard on my health and losing weight and inches, planning my wedding, my children are healthy and doing well in school, there has been healing in family relationships, and so much more. Here I am though, despite all those blessings, feeling numb on the inside. I am tired and worn down. I am having trouble concentrating and when someone is talking to me, it sounds like the adult in Charlie Brown..just noise. I am distracted by my mind. It is on overdrive and is also affecting my sleep.
This isn’t new to me. I have been living with mental illness for some time, but this depression episode is really getting me low. I am taking a hit to my self-esteem and confidence. I am starting to question my health journey. Questions like, “Why am I not losing as quickly as her?”,“Can I really reach my goal weight?”, “Why am I not good enough and disciplined enough to stay on plan?”, “Don’t I want this?” .
Next is the self-criticism as a mother. My mind is in such a chaotic state, that I am having trouble listening to my children. I am thankful that they both share things with me, but right now I can honestly say that I couldn’t repeat what they have told me. I look them in the eyes, I stop what I’m doing to give them my full attention, and yet I can’t retain what they are saying.
I just want my mind to rest. I need some peace. I need to feel something again.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30 (Msg)
I just recently started getting some form of exercise in by walking. It helps clear my head and gives me that feel good sensation, but it is short lived. Once I come down from that high, the numbness starts to creep back inside. I came upon the above verse today and was what I call, “God-smacked”. I hadn’t sought out God to be the one to give me rest. I didn’t hand over my burden to Him and allow Him to carry it.
We forget that don’t we? We forget that we have a Heavenly Father who is just waiting for us to come to Him and throw our worries, troubles, depression, and anxiety at His feet. “Come with me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.” How comforting that is to me right now.
Self-doubt can cripple us. It can shut down the momentum in our goals and we begin to believe the lie that our goals are unreachable. But God, tells us how to combat this:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”Philippians 4:6-8
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22-24
So although it seems dark right now, I know that God will help me fight through the lows, strengthen me to reach my goals, and not allow me to fail.