By Toni Ford
A dear friend recently posted on her Facebook page about needing one time-out a day in order to regroup due to the residues of life bearing down on her. She noted that her physical, mental and spiritual well-being felt a bit “tilted,” or off-scale.
The same day my friend posted this comment, I was in my office working on my tasks at hand. For some reason, I was feeling a bit agitated and unsettled. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened that morning, and I had enjoyed my morning time with the Lord while reading His Word and praying. While praying and talking to the Lord, I do remember telling Him that I was restless and ready to see some long-time prayers be answered and dreams come into fruition.
As I continued to try and work that morning, I knew I needed a “time-out,” just an hour or so to regroup. During my lunch break, I was able to take a long walk along a trail that runs beside a stream behind our office building. As I started walking, I knew this was not a time for me to converse with the Lord about my personal agenda or discuss my needs. Rather, it was a time to remember who God is and what His promises are for me. As I began recalling certain Scriptures and speaking the truths of His Word out loud, I rolled into a song of worship and praise to Him. It did not take long for me to get re-centered and back on track, not because of what I did but because that is what happens when we shift our focus off of ourselves and on to God and who He is.
Some reading this column might be feeling the same way my friend and I felt that day, as if life is bearing down on you and you just need a day or a lunch break to regroup. As a means of encouragement, I would love to share the Scriptures God brought to mind that day as I was walking along that path and I pray these same Scriptures along with others would bring refreshment and new life back to you and your world as well.
Jeremiah 29:10-14. “This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
Sometimes it feels as if we have been in Babylon for 70 years, but in reality, this life is only a whisper and very short. The Lord promises that He will come and do for you and me ALL the good things He promised! Those promises are found all throughout His Word! He goes on to state one of those promises which is – He has good plans for His children, not for disaster but good plans with a future and a hope involved. He also promises to listen to us as we seek Him!
Matthew 18:12. “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not wander away. In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little one should perish.”
That day I walked and prayed by the stream, I was reminded that the Lord loves those dear to me far more than I could ever love them. He seeks after them and wants to draw them into His flock far more than I could ever imagine. My responsibility is to keep praying yet keep entrusting them to the Lord. Oh, what a day of celebration that will be when they enter into His flock!
Isaiah 40:31. “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
This is a promise from the Lord that if I trust Him, if I wait on Him, if I trust His timing in my life and if I surrender my agenda to Him, I then will find new strength and be able to press on and not grow weary or faint!
Lord, today I pray for every person reading this column that You would encourage, strengthen and bring refreshment to their weary souls. I pray that we would seek You more than our own agendas or plans in life and trust that You are always working on our behalf. Thank You for being a good Father!
If you would like me to join you in prayer, please e-mail me at email@example.com. I would love to pray for you!