This post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--DESIGN 
Five minutes to free write about it.

Maybe the timing of when Carol Kent's book, When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakeable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances crossed my radar wasn't so good, or maybe it was perfect. 

Since the beginning of the year I have been battling fear, and listening to this audio book brought feelings to the surface I didn't want to face. Hearing how God turned what seemed like the worst, most unthinkable thing that could happen to someone into an amazing ministry gave perspective as to why He allowed it to occur, but it was not comforting. 

I know each one of us has been created, by design, for a special purpose in God's plan. That this tiny blip of time spent in our earthly bodies cannot compare to eternal life with Jesus where there will be no more death, or sorrow, or tears (Revelation 21:4). However, I have such an irrational fear of physical pain, becoming incapacitated, and/or being a burden to my family, that it can blind me to anything else. This kind of fear is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7).

If I really trust God as much as I think I do, why the struggle to relinquish control? And if I truly believe His promise to never leave me or forsake me (e.g. Joshua 1:9; Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 41:10,13; Isaiah 43:2), why should I be afraid of where He might be leading me? Especially since He has proved Himself over and over again in my life, always being there for me, always taking care of me, no matter how dark the valley.

These are the things I need to focus on. His goodness, His faithfulness, His unconditional love, and that He never gives up on me.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the
strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73:26 ESV)

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I
shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will
be a light to me.
(Micah 7:8)



This post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--FRESH 
Five minutes to free write about it.
There's nothing like catching sight of the rising sun ushering in a new day -- a blank page to write on -- a fresh chance to get it right. Gloomy thoughts gave way to praise as the masterpiece unfolded. Despair turned into hope.

But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; 
his mercies never come to an end; they are new
every morning; great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV)



Welcoming in a new year and the opportunity for a fresh start is something I've always looked forward to. On this New Year's Eve, however, hopeful anticipation was replaced by guilt over my many blessings, apprehension that things had been good for too long and were about to change, and an irrational fear that 2021 was going to be a stormy year of tests and tribulations.

But then, God...

My very first devotion of the year, Unchartered Waters (in Our Daily Bread), addressed my fears with a reminder that even though none of us knows the future or what storms it may hold, whatever we face, God will be with us, and He has the power to calm the waves.

Later, I decided to listen to a sermon from a series I've been listening to, and the one that came up was a message by Pastor Gary Hamrick of Cornerstone Chapel, entitled Don't Be Afraid. No coincidence here. After quoting several verses found in Isaiah, chapters 41-43 that confirmed the message from my devotional, he ended with a powerful acronym: 

F -- (My) Father
E -- Eternal
A -- Almighty
R -- Reigns