Say What? {Day 29}

{Photo credit A.L. from Unsplash.com}

{Day 29}

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

~ Joshua 1:9 NLT

 

I’ll never forget the day in 2019, when I pounded widely on my steering wheel, yelling out to God.

Looking a tad crazy didn’t faze me anymore, even if I was sitting at a stop light. And I’m sure the cars next to me imagined this mom must have gone nuts.

But I no longer cared.

Truly.

I know. Not the most peaceful type of action a strong believer should admit to, right?

But sometimes my humanness seeps out, and I honestly just wanted answers I couldn’t seem to find. And you know what? As odd as it sounds, this season of restlessness pinched me into that uncomfortable spot where I was forced to wait, forced to rely, forced to submit to the only real Power that could transform my situation.

And this is the point I want you to hear.

Because transformations happen.

Although rarely in our timing, He loves to take our broken pieces and smooth them back together.

But here I was, in the middle of a mental meltdown, having a boisterous discussion with God, as I smacked the steering wheel with emphasis, and yelled,

“Why? Why is my husband so sick! Why can he barely stay awake? Why won’t You help him?”

This. Made. No. Sense.

We’d sunk thousands of dollars into tests, doctors, even some tests that were borderline off-the-wall-wacky that we probably wouldn’t even tell our family members we’d tried. But after hearing “All his blood tests came back normal” one time too many times, we tried these alternative tests just to find answers. Doctor after doctor had prescribed everything from narcolepsy medication, to a new fandangled med simply to keep my hubby awake.

Let me pause right here and confess, that as Christians, I emotionally struggled to understand how we had landed on this path, and why in the world the Lord wanted me of all people to still write a devotional for the sick, if someone in my own family was struggling with their health?

This seemed to make no sense.

Until the day it did.

Who do you think has more compassion for a caretaker now that the roles have been reversed? Trust me, I happily schlepped my spouse from appointment to appointment, determined to find answers. In fact, this petite blonde morphed into a health-researching-militant, because as my pastor often says,

“God feeds the birds of the air, but He doesn’t drop the worms off at the nest.”

~ Dan Plourde

Meaning, I still needed to do my part, like driving my spouse to appointments, purchasing supplements, feeding him good food, all the while I waited on the Lord to do His.

If you haven’t noticed by now, today’s devo piggy-backs off of Day 28’s theme. I was the unhinged soul who felt the brunt of Satan’s accusations that my husband would never be normal again.

This experience helped me stumble upon another strategy that I’d love to share.

Are you ready?

I hope so, because today, we’re going to practice a calmer, more biblical version of my vocal tactic above (no steering wheels needed).

Just know it’s OK to ask God why, even if that voice in our noggin never silences all the questions we want answered. But we know by now that a negative-ninny runs rampant in our thoughts. He screams at us, hoping he’ll dismantle any ounce of inner peace we mustered from last week’s Sunday sermon.

But guess what? It’s time to knock him out.

All you need to know for today is this:

God’s Word is our strongest weapon.

It is.

Even Jesus used this defense mechanism in Matthew chapter 4:1-11.

The Bible describes how Christ fasted for 40 days and nights in the wilderness, and when He was in His weakest state, the enemy staged his attack. So, what did Jesus do?

He used God’s Word to deflect Satan’s lies.

Anytime the Bible spells out successful strategies that Jesus implemented, make a note of this.

The truth is, the enemy has mastered the art of whispering at us to the point where we wrap ourselves in fear. Take a second to imagine him the size of an ant with a mouth mimicking a repetitive six-year-old. He grips his megaphone to yammer off a gazillion daunting questions.

But these aren’t simple questions.

They’re those thought-provoking, really-could-happen questions.

But today, we’re barking back!

God tells us to meditate on His Word (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2), which sounds amazing. But did you know that biblical meditation involves taking a portion of Scripture and muttering it out loud repeatedly?

So right now, wherever you are, audibly say:

“I know that negative voice is not from you, God!

You told me to be strong and courageous.

I know I am strong.

I am courageous.

You are with me wherever I go.”

Put your own version of this verse as a recurring reminder on your phone that pops up a few times a day to silence that foul-mouthed fool in our heads. Repeating God’s truth out loud is the fastest way to smash his megaphone.

Better yet, as warriors, we should take this one step further by omitting the word, “worried” from our vocabulary from this day forward.

I have to admit, this was a hard habit for me to kick, and I still slip back into those fearful ramblings from time to time if I’m not careful, but I am learning to replace, “I am worried,” with my modified version of Romans 8:28:

“I am believing that God is working all things out for my good.”

I pray today that you refuse to allow the enemy to ruin your days and nights by screaming at you that nothing is going to work out. Instead, personalize Scripture, and audibly beat back the enemy, much like Jesus modeled.

Sweet survivor, always remember that every minute we are fearful, we lose sixty-seconds of peace.

For every day we calculate the “what-ifs”, we lose 24 hours of life with the wonderful people right in front of us.

As for me and my spouse, I’m sure you’re wondering what happened after my over-the-top temper tantrum I threw above? Well, shortly after my meltdown, answers to my hubby’s mysterious ailment started to unfold. Here’s the funny part. I had nothing to do with the discovery of his illness. The Lord used someone else in our family to stumble upon his odd condition.

One day I’ll share the whole story (most-likely in a semi-fiction trilogy because it’s that bananas).

But for now, I want you to hang in there, sweet friend. Hold on to hope as you track down those Bible verses that speak life over your situation.

Because, say it with me:

“I am strong. I am courageous. He is with me wherever I go.”

(Even if it’s a meltdown in your minivan, praise Jesus.)

~~~

Write a sentence you mutter when you think any negative thoughts.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Pray and ask God how you can rewrite this statement using Scripture:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

“So we are to speak out the Word. In His wilderness temptation, Jesus spoke

audibly. Satan cannot read your mind. He cannot look into your heart. Therefore,

he is beat back by what we say.”

~ Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary,

New Testament

 

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

~ 1 Peter 1:8 NLT

 

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”

~ 1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT

 

“Only be strong and courageous,”

~ Joshua 1:17a NASB

 

“Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”

~Joel 3:10 WEB (Italics added)

 

“So we can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear…’”

~ Hebrews 13:6a NLT

(Italics added)

~~~

I pray this message blessed you in some way! I only have one more day to go. : )

God bless you guys!

In His hands,

Dabney

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