This Hard Place

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Isaiah 43:1-3, 10-13

In what hard place do you find yourself right now?

Are you in a difficult work environment? Perhaps you have no work.  You may be under great financial strain.

Some are miles from friends and family, feeling isolated and alone. Do you find yourself in a too-small house, overrun with toddlers and laundry and more demands than you can ever meet? Or maybe your home that was once filled with laughter and activity is now too quiet, too empty.

Many are experiencing overwhelming sorrow over the loss of a child, spouse, parent, or friend. Others are feeling a deep sadness from being in a loveless, cold marriage, feeling lonelier than they ever have. Maybe you are a parent paralyzed by fear and grief over a teen or young adult child who is engaging in self-destructive behavior while running hard and fast away from you and God.

If you are living through any of these circumstances, chances are great that you are struggling with questions you know may never be answered this side of heaven. If you are a follower of Christ, you do have a loving heavenly Father to whom you can pour out your heart. He doesn’t shy away from our tough questions, but He wants us to ask “what” and “how” along with our “why.” Ask what He wants to do in and through you in the midst of this circumstance. How does He want to use this in your life? How does He want to use you?

He has purposes for you that He established before the formation of the world. He’s growing you and shaping your character. He’s preparing you. Take a deep breath. Take heart. Take God at His word. His promises are true. His love for you is everlasting.

God does not promise to answer all of our questions, but He does promise to bring meaning to our pain and suffering.

(1 Peter 4:12; 2 Corinthians 1:4; Isaiah 53:3; Philippians 3:10; Romans 5:3; Romans 8:17, 18, 28)

God is in control. He loves you. He IS working in and through your circumstances.

His Word tells you…

Your God who created you, who formed you, who tells you not to fear has redeemed you. He has summoned you by name and you are His.

When you pass through the waters, He will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.

He is the Lord, your God. The holy One of Israel, your Savior. He gives your enemies for your ransom and in your stead.

You are precious and honored in His sight. You are loved. You are His witness, His servant whom He has chosen, that you may know Him and remain steadfast in Him. Know that He is. There were no gods before Him and there will be no gods after Him.

Besides Him, there is no Savior. It is He who has declared the future and has saved the nation (His people) in times of danger. He has shown that He is God. You are His witness and He is your God. No one can deliver out of His hand. He acts and no one can reverse it.

See Him in all of His power and might. He is asking you to let go of your fears and trust Him. Trust who He is and who you are in Him. Trust that He is accomplishing the plans and purposes He has had for you since the beginning of time.

No matter what you’re going through, He is with you. He loves you. Remember, what He calls you to (by name!), He will walk you through. He is right by your side.

Won’t you let go of your fears and trust Him? Rest in Him. Take a deep breath. Take heart and take Him at His word.

Know that He is working!

Blessings, Becky

“This hard place in which you perhaps find yourself is the very place in which
God is giving you opportunity to look only to Him, to spend time in prayer, and
to learn long-suffering, gentleness, meekness – in short, to learn the depths of the love that Christ Himself has poured out on all of us.”  

~  Elisabeth Elliot


“Yes, Lord!”


Read  Matthew 1:18-25.   This remarkable passage speaks volumes about Mary and Joseph’s love for and commitment to God and each other.

Not to mention trust! Their level of trust in their situation being from the Lord is amazing. It certainly wasn’t their plan and dream for their future life together.

Can you imagine the chaos had either one of them thrown up their hands, ranted and raved, and ultimately rejected God’s sovereign plan for their lives?

Isn’t that our first reaction sometimes to our plans not going our way? At first, anyway? I know it has been my experience to react that way.

I usually settle down, stop fighting it and eventually give up my plan for His, but how much better it would be if I learn to take a deep breath in and breathe out the words, “Yes, Lord!” His plan is always better than mine anyway!

In this short account of the conception of our Lord Jesus Christ, we see in v. 19  that Joseph had his mind made up about how to handle this unexpected situation. He had made his decision.

But once the Lord had let His will in the matter be known to Joseph (vv. 20-21), there was no arguing on Joseph’s part. There was no offering up of numerous excuses as to why he simply could not do what the Lord was asking Him to do. “But, God, what will my friends and family think? Will I lose my standing in the community? How will this affect my business? God, are you sure Mary didn’t … ? Lord, do you know what you’re asking me to do?”

No! There was none of that. Joseph believed God! He and Mary both knew their God could be trusted and that He had a plan far greater than either of them could imagine. They faced making the decision to obey or not obey God in the midst of their confusion. Thankfully, they yielded their hearts, their hopes, their expectations, their plans; yes, their very lives to His and said, “Yes, Lord!”

Think of the eternal things that happened because of their obedience!  May our prayer be like Mary’s (Luke 1:38), “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

Blessings, Becky