Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Days That I Struggle

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On Days That I Struggle
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Psalms 55:6-8
 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
   I would fly away and be at rest—
7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert. ~ Selah
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

There are days when my struggles seem to rage and roar around me like a great storm. I find comfort that David, who penned many of the Psalms had days when he struggled too. I may wish like David that I could fly away and be at rest.  I might like to flee my circumstances. Wish that I could hurry far from the tempest and storm.  Most of the time flying away is not an option and I’m stuck in the midst of my storm so I wanted to share some of the things I do to get through a stormy day.

I take time to worship - I go some place where I can turn up some worship music and I lift my praises, worship and thanks to the Lord. I set aside my concerns and honor the Lord. Later I lift my prayers before the Lord then I listen to hear if He will speak to me in my heart or through His word. I often journal those thoughts. Then I go on to do the things that I can or have to do.

I will often have a verse that I am standing on written on a 3x5 card and sitting on my desk. I may carry around a penny to remind me “In God We Trust” or I keep a look-out for pennies during my day.  Sometimes I carry in my pocket colored stones that represent the people I am praying for. 
I look for reasons to be thankful, sometimes it someone’s flower garden that I am passing or a sunset, or a thought of a friend.

I look for ways to encourage others - I try to minister out of my own struggle and I have found that often I am encouraged by encouraging others. Today I posted the following on my facebook page “Psalm 31:24 Be Brave, Be Strong, Don’t Give up. Expect God To Get Here Soon. - In the NIV it says Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord.” Just a reminder to myself today.” I had a number of folks comment thanking me.  I posted later in the day “I’m glad God is able - even on days when things that concern us seem to weigh heavily on our hearts. I bind fear, and discouragement and pray for His provision for all the things that concern us. Take heart all you who hope in the Lord.”
I thought about sharing all my concerns but I decided that it really was not necessary - God knew and I knew He was working. In spite of feeling kind of down all day, I reminded myself that what I believe is not based upon how I am feeling. Some days I struggle to get my feelings to turn but I stand on the truth. God has not forgotten me, He has heard the cry of my heart, He does love me no matter of how I might feel.  One friend respond to my post saying “ You put your faith so easily into words, it shines through.” To which I responded “Glad my faith shines through on a day that I have struggled. Have had a number of things that have weighed heavily on my heart today. God’s answers often come like the ram in the thicket did for Abraham. (Genesis 22) You can tell from verse 8 that Abraham trusted that God would provide long before the answer came. He was obedient to God’s plan. We have to keep moving forward by faith and in obedience on the course set before us and not be like the deer in the headlights of an on coming car - frozen by worry, fear and doubt. - I should just go write tomorrows devotional.”  Which I have now completed - I hope it will help you on days that you struggle.
Dear Lord,
Thank you for understanding and showing me your compassion and mercy on days when I struggle. Thank you for standing with me in the storm - In You I may bend but I won’t break. You know how much I can handle and it is often far more than I think. Thank you for stretching me and allowing circumstances that cause me to press into you.

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