by Pastor Tim Burt
Today's Fresh Manna is written by our good friend Julie Larson. Enjoy and be blessed!
My youngest daughter, Hannah (age 14), got home last week from a two-week visit with my husband’s sister and her family in Connecticut/ New York. They just moved from New York across the border into Connecticut, and Hannah was going to put her love of organizing to good use and help them get settled in. She had been looking forward to it for most of the summer. The best way I can describe Hannah’s personality is that she has a quiet confidence about her. She’s very comfortable with who she is and in the things she does. Whether things go right or wrong, she typically just deals with it independently. She uses her words sparingly, and doesn’t take extra efforts to be social with me—just for the sake of being social. I am STILL getting used to this since I am very social and like to talk about everything. She is totally content to be across the country and only call me if there’s an actual emergency, like asking if I could mail her a book she forgot at home. You know, important things like that.
She is always good about letting us know that she’s gotten to and fro somewhere safely, and I was glad to receive her text when the plane landed in New York. But then I didn’t hear from her for a couple days, so I figured I’d give her a call and see how she’s doing. I also just wanted to hear her voice. So I texted and called her phone, but no answer and no reply. After a couple hours of waiting, I called Jon’s sister’s landline and it rang endlessly, not even rolling to voicemail. So I started down the list of calling Jon’s sister’s cell phone, my brother-in-law’s cell phone, my father-in-law’s cell phone (since he was out there too). NO ONE was answering! Where in the world were they… and why was no one answering?! I’m beginning to feel uneasy by this point and checked Hannah’s Facebook to see if she had been on there at all since she got to New York. Nope.
Oh, man. What now?! Criminy. Okay, deep breaths…
I went from complete rest one minute to the deadliest feeling of fear the next. In the blink of an eye, I felt a helplessness that I haven’t felt in a very long time. My head took over, and in mere seconds, my mind went crazy. I was consumed with fear. It gripped me, and logic and reason could not be deader than in that moment. I told Jon if I didn’t hear from Hannah soon, I’d be booking a flight to New York… tonight! And I was not exaggerating. There’s something about DOING something in the midst of fear that makes you not care whether you’d be of any value, or care if you made a complete fool of yourself in the process. I stopped to pray a quick prayer that Hannah and everyone else was safe—wherever they were. But I kept on, still a wrought-up wreck on the inside. And watch out because I’m about to come unglued!
Have you ever felt such a lack of control?
By the grace of God, I realized I was calling their old landline in New York. I looked back in an old email to retrieve their new Connecticut phone number, called it, and someone did finally answer the phone. Surprise, surprise… Of course there was an explanation for everything. It turns out that nobody’s cell phones work in the mountainous area they just moved to. Ugh…
Not only was I embarrassed for such a major FAIL at trusting God, but so thankful for a good outcome to a situation that I, ahem… created in my own head. In spite of all my fears, God still had angels watching over Hannah, and she was always in His care. Why would I ever doubt that? I apologized and asked Him to forgive me, and I know that He did. He didn’t tell me to go away and come back when I have more faith. He helped me to see my lack of faith, but didn’t make me feel bad for it. His love and gentle nature gave me peace in my heart, and I know He doesn’t hold my doubts against me. God knows we’re on a journey, and He knows we continually face some scary things in this life. He just lets us know that He’s always there, and worthy to be trusted.
Next time you’re gripped with fear, I pray the peace of God washes over you like warm, gentle ocean waves, and your head and heart are calm as you rest in knowing that God cares about ALL the things you care about. He’s faithful to the end, and He’ll never leave you or forsake you… or your children!
John 14:27 (NLT) ~ [Jesus said,] “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Psalm 56:3-4 (NLT) ~ But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. I praise God for what He has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
Enjoy more of Julie's writing at: First Draft by Julie Larson
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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