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*Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10 (NLT)


Most of us, when faced with a crisis of any sort, resort to the lessons we learned at the University of Worry.


We worry when the marriage relationship begins to grow cold. We worry when the credit cards come. We worry when the doctor calls us and asks us to come in to discuss the test results. We worry when the phone rings late at night, or sirens go by our house and the kids aren’t home yet.


Worry is basically a human ‘skill’. Animals don’t worry. Jesus tells us the flowers of the field don’t worry. Humans worry. Worry really doesn’t do us any good. Worry redirects our focus for a solution away from God and towards ourselves.  It’s really saying “God can’t handle this one, I’m in this alone.”


Worry causes all sorts of emotional, physical and spiritual stress in our lives and none of us needs more stress. When that happens we blame God, others or ourselves for the problem. Playing the ‘blame-game’ when we are worried is self-defeating. Worry is paralyzing and keeps us from seeing solutions clearly.


Daniel was a great man of God. He’d learned through experience that breaking away from the crowd and following God when it didn’t make sense eventually paid off. One day, a law was passed that no one was allowed to pray to their God. Prayers, and faith, were only to be put in government. The sentence for breaking the law was death by lion pit.


So what did Daniel do? He went to his room, opened the window, and began to praise God for all he’d done. Did he pour out his heart for mercy? Doesn’t look like it. Did he plead for protection? Don’t see that in scripture either. Did he beg for deliverance? No sign of that.


What did Daniel do in the face of crisis? He thanked God for all the things he’d done. Paul tells us the same thing in Philippians. He says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6 (NLT)


That’s not an easy thing to do. Our humanity screams lies at us. We’re told we are in this alone. We are told God won’t hear us. We’re told lies like ‘God helps those who help themselves’. It’s a hard, hard truth to learn. When faced with crisis in your life, don’t focus on the crisis, focus on the cross.


PRAYER: Father God, it’s easy to say I trust you. It’s much harder to live ‘I trust you’. Especially when the future looks so dark and scary. In the face of adversity help me to praise you for who you are. Give me strength to believe you will do what you say you will do. Amen.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Have you ever meditated on what it means to have the Creator God, the almighty, all knowing, ever present God in relationship with you? He’s not watching us from heaven on high like we often think of. He’s walking with us! He’s sitting in our car with us during rush hour traffic. He’s holding our hand in the doctor’s office when the test reports come in. He’s got his arm around you when the news comes that a loved one has joined him for the eternal portion of their lives.

You know that feeling of elation you have when the boss tells you that you have a promotion coming…and a raise? Well, he feels it too and he smiles with pride. Just like he does when he’s sitting with you at the basketball game watching your son/daughter score the winning basket! And he cheers too!

When your little one lays sick with fever he has one hand on their tiny little body, and the other on your shoulder. I think he may even have tear on his cheek. Not because he’s worried about the baby, but because he feels your pain of worry and the pain of the little one.

During those times when the challenges of life seem too much to bear and you feel like you are bearing them all alone, he’s there. You may not sense his presence. Especially during those times of weakness when you give into temptation. You may not sense him during those times of disappointment with a spouse, a child or your parents. But God’s presence with you isn’t determined by your awareness of him. He’s always by your side. Watching your back, guiding your future. Comforting your present.

The next time you are attacked by the enemy named worry, worship instead. Worship isn’t reserved for Sunday. Worship isn’t reserved for any particular place or time. Worship is daily walking with the assurance that the one walking with you and loving you is God. That’s grace. That’s relationship. That’s God for you.

PRAYER: Father God, I praise and worship you for your promise to always be by my side. Forgive me for the times I forget that you not only watch over me but you walk with me, side by side and hand in hand. Today I ask that in every circumstance we go through together I will be aware of your presence by my side. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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June 2022
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