You’ll Be There

It was April 1, 2002, around 9:45 a.m.  I was at work, the librarian for our local elementary school.   I began feeling slightly light-headed, slightly nauseous and somewhat concerned.  By 10:30 a.m. I had notified the teacher whose class had come in for Library Class, as well as our secretary, that things were escalating in my system for whatever reason.

Long story short, by the end of May a tumor had been located in the region of my left ear (Acoustic Neuroma) and needed to come out.  It was small, but would double in size over and over if not removed.

I had never had nor needed surgery, and this was rather daunting to face.  There would be a regular surgeon AND a brain surgeon in attendance as part of my skull behind my left ear had to be removed and the tumor accessed near the brain.

Well, nerves and fear and questions hit from time to time.  One day when I was overly concerned, I sat in our rocking chair and was praying for guidance and peace once again.  The Lord dropped into my heart the assurance that He would be there with me.  He even started giving me a message in prose and the music to go with… and it became this song, “You’ll Be There” that I will share below.

As the words to the second verse formed in my mind, I could picture a dark sky and rough, stormy ocean with an old-time fishing vessel making its way through the waves.  Then, what joy, there at the front, standing boldly erect with hand raised and pointing straight ahead into the dense dark fog, stood Jesus…showing the way.

What a peace descended into my heart!  God reminded me that whatever the situation, whether I can make sense of it or see the way from here or not, He is there with me, guiding the direction to go and pointing out the safe way to head even in the rough and turbulent times of my life.

How loved we are, for our patient and gentle Father to listen to our hearts’ cries, gently calming the fears of His children.  He does not condemn nor rebuke us, but lovingly reminds us we are not alone, even when He leads us through the storm, rather than calming it.  Without correcting us He speaks peace to our hearts and reminds us we are not alone.  He is faithful, ever ready to answer the cries of His children and comfort with His presence.   Yes, it is a comfort to know He’ll be there with us through the storms of life.

 

YOU’LL BE THERE

Lord I don’t know what lies ahead

Sometimes my heart is filled with dread

But this one thing I know—You’ll be there

Guiding my feet along the way

Holding my hand from day to day

Thanks, Lord, for I know You’ll be there.

 

When bad news comes to overwhelm

I see You standing at the helm

It comforts me to know You are there

You show the way that’s safe to go

Through journeys rough it’s good to know

I do not walk alone — You are there.

 

Copyright 2002 by Patricia A. Hunter

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Worrying – what’s the point?

I know numerous people who work hard at worrying, don’t you?  Or worse yet, maybe you are one!  These caring folks that I know work hard at pretty much everything including worrying, actually, so it must be a natural tendency.  But even as little as I personally worry, I have felt the drag, the drain and the tension worry causes.  It sometimes smacks us like a freight train, and at other times it slips in silent and insidious.  Either way, it ends up undermining our very peace and trust.

I see no point in saying, “just stop it, it is not good for you.”  That would be as effective as those highly-accomplished worriers telling me to be a high-octane, energetic and bustling dynamo. “Ain’t happenin’!” comes first to mind!

So I’ve been thinking about this recently.  Surely the energies put into intensive, consistent worrying about whatever could be put to better use, like telling it to the Lord and placing it in His capable, loving hands and leaving it there while we put our mind towards something constructive and uplifting.  In Matthew 6:27 (NKJV) we read:  “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”  That pretty much shows just how ineffective worrying is, right?  No matter how much we think and think and rethink…that’s all we actually accomplish and produce…more thoughts.  Worry accomplishes no goal, but rather creates angst, heartburn, impatience, ulcers, arthritis…you get the picture?  And it adds fuel to our fears.  It just plain is not healthy nor worthwhile!

Here’s a thought!  Why not develop a new habit?  How about when we recognize we are worrying, we turn from it and purposefully start declaring we are trusting in One greater than our own selves, who cares even more deeply about our concerns than we can?    (“casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”  I Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

I wrote a song a few years back based on the scripture “The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; ”  Deuteronomy‬ ‭33:27a ‬ ‭(NKJV)‬‬  My husband and I have been privileged to get to travel by plane now and then, and we love to fly.  As our plane banked and approached the airport for our mid-trip layover in 2008, I thought of how relaxed and contented we were, happy to be flying and really enjoying the trip, and yet by contrast, how others are so full of fear and anxiety when just contemplating flying.  Once again I personally claimed that scripture in Deuteronomy while on our approach, relying on God’s arms underneath us, upholding us in His care, and *a new song began forming.  I started jotting down thoughts as they flowed about in my mind.  When it was complete, the chorus repeated throughout states, “Underneath are the everlasting arms, I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.  There’s nothing to fear for I know that underneath are the everlasting arms.”  What a comfort this truth gives when we let it be truth, believing and acting on it?

God gives us so many promises of being with us, caring for us, never leaving us, being a hedge of protection, giving us an ear to hear us anytime we cry out to Him…. let’s start walking in faith, actively trusting Him, and experience the fullness of joy He has to offer us rather than letting worry eat away at our peace and ultimately undermining our trust in God.  Search the scriptures for every promise of God’s loving care, how He will not leave you, how He wants us to ask Him for what we need.  Need peace?  Go to God and ask!  Believe!  Receive!  Rejoice!

You know, if we are letting worry rule our days and/or our nights, we need to change our focus.  We need to change our view.  Quit mentally looking at the worst, imagining the negative, the things that could go wrong, the events that might happen, and instead start quoting scripture and faith-based songs that affirm God has our life in His hands, and that nothing can touch us without His permission.  Do we trust God to be God?  Really?  Then why are we scaring ourselves into a frenzied lather?  Really!  Do we believe His word, that He will go with us (and our loved ones) and meet our needs?  Yes, in this world things do sometimes go wrong, that’s life!  But we are not left to struggle through by ourselves!  He is with us to go through the dark times with us.  He promised in Deuteronomy 31 to be with us, and encourages us with these powerful words in verse 6:   Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”  And in verse 8:  “ And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”(NKJV)

OH, there is SO MUCH I could say about this!!!  But how about it?  How about a new focus for a healthier, happier life?  Do you need help changing this harmful habit?  Let’s take it to God!  He is our answer.  Pray with me:  Lord, I believe You, I trust You, and I thank You that You are in control.  Lord, I want to refocus my heart and mind from worrying to trusting You and rejoicing in being Your child.  I ask You to catch my attention, and show me when I start to fear and worry.  Help me to remain committed to replacing those thoughts with words of faith and hope, with scriptures and songs and affirmations that build up my faith and release Your power to be at work for the good of my own life and of my loved ones.  Lord, I know You love me and mine and promise to be with us through the hard times.  So I release the angst, the worrying thoughts into Your care, and I rest in Your promises.  Thank You Father for loving us so deeply, and for providing peace for my turmoil, giving joy for my journey, and for being my strength when I am weak.  What a wonderful God You are!  In Jesus dear name I pray, with thanksgiving, Amen!

There, we did it!  Step one!  What’s next?  Keeping on putting one foot in front of the other, consistently following the Lord, reading His word, believing it, memorizing and rereading it, researching and learning and internalizing His truths so His thoughts become our thoughts.  And there it is!  We just hit the key, right?!  Here are some of my favorite verses in the entire Bible because for me they are a guide and a control devise so my thoughts won’t go so far amuck!   Philippians 4:6-8, New King James Version (NKJV): 6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Not one time in those verses does it say to be anxious, to let our thoughts and fears run rampant, to focus on the bad that might happen.  We are to think of the good, true, noble, pure, things of good report…etc!  So yeah.  What’s the point of worrying?  It profits us nothing, brings doubt and fear (which are the opposite of trust, by the way), and is self-destructive.  Instead, let’s focus on God and His promises, knowing that in Him we are never alone, always loved and in His care.  Look to Him, and rejoice.  Remain steadfast and committed to taking those worrying thoughts captive and controlling them.  You’ll be so glad you did!

* (You can read the lyrics to above-mentioned song in my blog entitled [no surprise here!]  “UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS.”)

Underneath Are the Everlasting Arms

UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS
CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 1
I’m traveling with Jesus
He keeps me day by day
The Lord is here beside me
To guide me, Come what may—

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 2
The way gets steep and winding
And can be very rough
Wherever life may take me
The Lord’s more than enough

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 3
Sometimes the path is rugged
And sometimes smooth and clear
Wherever His hand leads me
I’ve nothing now to fear

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 4
I’m going on with Jesus,
My Savior and my friend
He promised to go with me
Clear to my journey’s end.

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

©2008 Patricia A. Hunter, All Rights Reserved. 4.24. 2008

Reality Smackdown!

Matthew 1:18-20. I would like to know Joseph and Mary if they lived in my community. She was favored of God, and he was a just man. Even though Joseph at first thought Mary had been unfaithful to him, he was considering “putting her away privately, not willing to make a spectacle of her.” This he considered and thought upon, rather than rashly acting out in a fit of rage and bitter hurt. Verse 20 “but while he thought about these things,” the angel of the Lord brought assurance of her faithfulness to him and their betrothal.

Matthew 1:21-25. Again I am touched by and made aware of what a Godly, honorable man Joseph was! He was smacked in the face with reality. No longer was he awaiting the fulfillment of the prophecy that some virgin lady would bear God’s Son, but his very own fiancee is said to be pregnant yet a virgin. That takes faith! Even with hearing it from an angel, that takes faith! But God’s spirit must have borne witness and rang with truth in his heart…something like “your lady is pure and honorable and has humbled herself to whatever lies ahead. She knows she very well might be scorned, face rejection from her beloved as well as local communities…” Talk about a smackdown…SMACK!!! Reality just hit! HELLO!! God WITH us, God changing our lives! God intercepting our day to day plans and wishes for a greater good. SMACK!!! MIRACLES upon miracles!!! Oh the tongue wagging and finger pointing and shunning by RELIGIOUS folks Mary and then Joseph agreed to by saying YES to God! WOW! Think about it! But thank God for their willingness to deny self and accept God’s challenge-filled blessings. Eternally grateful here in Idaho for the deep, life-changing faith of Mary and her fiance Joseph so many years ago. Point to ponder: Is my relationship with God such that I know hear and know His voice AND willingly obey?

COME UP HIGHER

COME UP HIGHER

“Come up higher!” God calls us to draw near
Leave the noises and distractions, His simple message is plain and clear
Read His Word, Heed His call, give thanks and believe—
Come up Higher, fully alive in Him—there’s so much to receive!

Come up higher. Do not focus on the bad;
The hard things in life, things that anger, confuse and make you sad
The things that you don’t understand—do not dwell on them so long
But rather give them all to Me; let me fill your heart with song.

Come up higher, why fight your way through life
Trying to force things to turn around—why live a life of strife?
My peace I’ve come to give you, My strength is for the weak
Lay aside your heavy burdens, Come to me – I’m all you seek.

Come up higher! There’s joy beyond compare
When you look to Me you’ll find refuge; My love with you I’ll share
I’ll wash away your sorrow, give guidance, peace and hope
You do not walk this road alone; let My Spirit help you cope.

Come up higher! It really is your choice
To struggle or live fully, follow the world or heed My voice.
Set your face like flint, keep the eyes of your heart on My Son
Veer not to the left or right from My truth so My will on earth can be done.

“Come up higher!” God calls to you and me
Let My Spirit lift you; come, child—live in Me and be free.
Rise above the cares of life and all that would ruin your day
Come up higher! Follow My voice, I Am the Truth, the Life, the Way.

Matthew 11:27-29 King James Version (KJV) 27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

© 2012, by Patricia A Hunter

Like An Eagle

Found a treasure and wanted to share with you!

We’ve had a guest speaker in Sunday School subbing for regular teacher last week and this. Topic: Like An Eagle. It has been inspiring and informative. The Teacher researched eagles and compared them to our Faith Walk. Instead of just using Isa. 40:31, the Lord instructed her to include vs. 27-31. I started jotting down thoughts as she read the verses last week. After I shared my notes with her, I was asked to share them with the class today.  I woke up this a.m. to print notes and instead started typing   The Lord blessed me with COME UP HIGHER as well as, from the Sunday previous, the notes.   All are included here…I’m sharing in hopes you’ll be blessed as I have been by these.

Sunday AM, March 4/2012
PITY PARTY or FULL STEAM AHEAD?  The opening verses in Sunday School caught my attention and got me thinking.
“Why do you say, oh Jacob, and complain, oh Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord;
My cause is disregarded by my God?’
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints, nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall;
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint…”
Isaiah 40:27-31
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
To say “My way is hidden from the Lord,” to say “My cause is disregarded (not even seen) by my God” is to speak against the very essence of who God is, to ‘make Him less”, to actually belittle and limit Him.
For God, the “One, True God” with a capital G, knows all, sees all, cares about all. Is He not omnipresent, as in He is everywhere? Then why say my ‘way is hidden’? Not possible! He is there! He is in my presence, on my trail, walking my personal path of life.
Is He not omniscient, all-knowing? To say “my way is disregarded by my God” is to imply that God does not care enough to look my way and see my plight. God is love. He cannot “not care”!
To complain is to be untrusting. To complain is to show lack of trust. Our lack. Yet we put the blame on God. We lay the fault at His door.
Verse 31 calls us to come above the place where we are, the place of doubt, mistrust, fault-finding and blame. Against Almighty God, no less! Who are we to raise our wishes and wants up in the face of God, accusing Him of abandonment, of not caring, not bothering to notice us?
He calls us to let Him renew our strength. He has made the way–His way—for us. It is this: use your time in a God-ordained way to focus your attention on God, to wait on Him, to mount up (arise) using that renewed strength He has for usto come up higher, above the land of “poor me, I’m all alone, unseen, unloved, uncared for.”
Run! Don’t stay here moping—be strengthened and run! Run to the Rock whose ways are higher than our ways. Run on in life, knowing that in Him we will be freshly renewed again and again. In Him we’ll be able to walk and walk and walk on—not fainting along the way, but living strengthened.
Those who trust God, believe Him to be who He says He is, who He is, will turn to Him in their weakness and be empowered (eventually at least, even if we have to stop and correct wrong reaction at first), rather than accuse Him of not seeing, not being with them. To say such is to dispute who He is and take Him from His rightful place of authority and power. To turn to Him is to respectfully acknowledge who He is and give honor by trusting and relying on Him. By obeying and taking Him at His word. Trusting.
By doing so, we benefit. It is for our own personal good and our gain, this obeying and relying on Him. He is with you. He cares. Turn to Him.
It’s your choice. It’s your call. The God of the universe, the Creator, gives you the choice of running your own life or letting Him be in control. We can call the shots and be weak and unhappy, hosting our personal pity party and blaming God of not caring, not seeing our situation; or we can turn to Him and have our strength renewed, be able to run, able to rise above. Which will it be?

Poem written Sunday, March 11, 2012

COME UP HIGHER

“Come up higher!” God calls us to draw near
Leave the noises and distractions, His simple message is plain and clear
Read His Word, Heed His call, give thanks and believe—
Come up Higher, fully alive in Him—there’s so much to receive!

Come up higher. Do not focus on the bad;
The hard things in life, things that anger, confuse and make you sad
The things that you don’t understand—do not dwell on them so long
But rather give them all to Me; let me fill your heart with song.

Come up higher, why fight your way through life
Trying to force things to turn around—why live a life of strife?
My peace I’ve come to give you, My strength is for the weak
Lay aside your heavy burdens, Come to me – I’m all you seek.

Come up higher! There’s joy beyond compare
When you look to Me you’ll find refuge; My love with you I’ll share
I’ll wash away your sorrow, give guidance, peace and hope
You do not walk this road alone; let My Spirit help you cope.

Come up higher! It really is your choice
To struggle or live fully, follow the world or heed My voice.
Set your face like flint, keep the eyes of your heart on My Son
Veer not to the left or right from My truth so My will on earth can be done.

“Come up higher!” God calls to you and me
Let My Spirit lift you; come, child—live in Me and be free.
Rise above the cares of life and all that would ruin your day
Come up higher! Follow My voice, I Am the Truth, the Life, the Way.

Matthew 11:27-29 King James Version (KJV) 27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Pat Hunter