A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Have you ever made plans and looked forward to their arrival, only to find God set this up for a different reason?
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing.
Heading to Virginia to visit my son, I knew this was not going to be the easy, relaxing weekend we had planned two months prior. I had been praying for this visit from the time we set it up. He had been going through tough times, and I wanted whatever came from me to be from the Lord. Just to be a light and comfort to him, and not a clanging cymbal.
Mid-week before the trip, I doubted if I should go. I was exhausted from sleepless nights with my sick granddaughter and was not looking forward to the 6 hour drive. I hesitated to make a decision, waiting for an answer from God.
Down to the wire, but right on time arrived a text that anxiety and depression had settled in. I realized God knew this was coming and had been directing us to be together. Decision made.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us “pray without ceasing.” That is what I did for the six hour trip.
The weekend was full of ups and downs. Each time we talked, I asked the Lord that only what He wanted come out of this mouth. Thankfully, He blessed this mamma, and our time together was fruitful.
As I headed for home at 6:30 Tuesday morning, I was full of gratitude to the Lord. I wanted to hear a particular worship song. I searched YouTube and hit play. It was a beautiful rendition. What came next was even better.
Rejoice always, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18.
Have you ever noticed how praising the Lord and thanking Him for his kindness and goodness fills you up in a way nothing else can?
For the remainder of my trip, YouTube continued to play worship songs. I sang and praised Jesus for His mercy and grace to Jere and me in our time together.
God knew I needed that too, because He knew what I was going home to. By the time I pulled into my driveway, I was so peaceful, filled with the joy of the Lord. And then bam, the chaos and destruction greeted me at the back door. I had such an unpleasant surprise. Yet, I was able to stay in the Lord’s presence and handle it in a calm, respectable manner.
You would think I knew better now, but by the next morning I was back to my old ways. My thoughts were not on prayer or praise, but how I needed to find a new tactic to reach the lost people I live with. Oh how quickly I took over again!
Thankfully, through the recent experiences, the Lord had prepared me. Words from Phil Wickham’s song immediately pushed those thoughts out!
So when I fight, I’ll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
And every fear I lay at Your feet
I’ll sing through the night
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
God does not want us to be tired, frustrated, or down trodden. He wants us to be filled with His joy as we await the miracles he is performing in the lives of our loved ones. He wants us to let go so He can do His job. It is our nature to want to fix things and people and see everyone happy. That is an impossible job for any of us.
And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. II Chronicles 20:15.
When the battles loom large in your life, remember He has you in the palm of His hand.
Abba is the gift in time. Get back to your job; pray and praise. He is fighting for every one of us!