Yes, I’ve noticed that often I’m reluctant to turn on the news.  Maybe you’re feeling the same way.  While I want to know what’s happening in the world, I sometimes find it overwhelming.  You too?

Then I remember something I’ve had to learn—how the Lord can make a difference in what I hear and know.  That is, if I’m honest with him about what is bothering me.  If I turn to him it’s like getting a hug from someone I love.

It helps me to follow a daily Bible reading program.  The one I use lists a chapter from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and a Psalm or chapter from Proverbs.  If no one can hear me, I begin by singing—worshipping the Lord.  Then I tell him specifically what is making me afraid.  I write down my question and fill in the blank, asking, Lord, what do you want me to know about…….?”

I never grow tired of seeing what he does.  It’s as though a verse or thought jumps off the page—illuminated by a holy spotlight.  A gift of encouragement straight from the Lord—something he wants me to know for that day.  I call it finding the promise.

Years ago, when I was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer I wondered what would happen to my husband and our children.  As fear threatened to overwhelm me, I prayed specifically for them.  The Lord answered by spotlighting the words of Philippians 1:6:  “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

I took hold of that promise, praying, “Lord, that’s for me!  I’m taking you at your word.”  Then I prayed the promise, saying, “Lord, you have said you will bring to completion a good work begun in me.  Whether I live or die, I believe your promise.  In the name of Jesus I ask you to take care of my husband.  Carry on your good work in the lives of our children. Bring all three of them to mature Christian adulthood.  I trust you to do that.”  In the time since, he has!

Sometimes the Lord’s peace in my heart lasts two hours, three, or four.  Then something happens where I need to go back to the promise I received that morning.  I call it standing or kneeling on the promise.  I repeat the words the Holy Spirit brought alive to me until they seem real again.

Maybe we all need to memorize Psalm 91 right now.

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