I find that troubles on a personal practical level seem to have got harder these days. Take, for example, how difficult it can be to get hold of a reliable roofer or plumber, or right and timely medical help. I’ve faced all these issues recently, but in it all the Lord was training me and reminding me to always look to Him and ask for His help. More than that, He was teaching me to always ask Him what He wanted me to know and learn, and show me how to apply what He was teaching me. He is The Good Teacher.
I cannot say it was easy, because I wanted instant answers and solutions, and it meant facing deep fears and anxiety. It challenged my trust in Jesus and just how much of my control I could let go of. The journey was fraught with the difficulties of getting help, pressure, and stress, and my reactions to all that. I realised how easy it was for me to rely on myself and others rather than God. I accepted that God was allowing these trials and that He, the gracious Sovereign LORD, loved and cared for me and wanted to help me, but I had to shift my focus to Him.
There was the time I was rushed to hospital with a life-threatening condition resulting from internal bleeding, requiring urgent blood transfusions. Attempts by the doctors to find the bleed, and diagnose the cause, proved fruitless. I was unable to think clearly due to a lack of oxygen to my brain. I couldn’t do much, so I put on some praise and worship songs, which turned my focus to the Lord. When I did, I felt joy rise within me and the Holy Spirit powerfully reminded me of the story of the woman with the issue of blood. I knew without doubt that the doctors would not find the cause, but that the Lord had purpose in it all, and that purpose would unfold over time. The Lord Jesus refocused me and enabled me to trust Him with the outcome. I found I could pray, “Lord Your will be done. If it’s time for me to come home, so be it. If not, so be it, but Your will be done.” An amazing, abiding peace settled in me. The doctors said they could not find the cause, but over a few months, I recovered.
Another time I was faced with three years of problems with the roof of my home and increasing stress in trying to get it repaired. Three firms of roofers were appointed, one after the other, but they proved unreliable and even made the problem worse. I realised, after some time, that my focus was wrong, and the Lord was interested in helping me let go of self-reliance and the need to be in control. I told the Lord I was afraid to do this, but then He helped me to agree and face some deep personal issues. I realised I would be facing these with Jesus and that He would be with me, and for me, and see me through.
After three years, I had the courage to handle all the unpleasantness and let the roofers go, and I heard the Holy Spirit whisper the words, “I will send you an angel to help you”. I thought I must have got that wrong. However, within a day or so, I discovered a local roofer whose name was Mr Angel! He came and was so kind. He repaired the roof very well indeed, and told me to send his bill to the roofers who had failed to do the job properly. They paid it with no argument. God was in charge.
So, keep looking up. Life is a battle and a journey of sanctification, a preparation for being in the Bride of Christ and in His eternal presence. Our helper is the living God, Jesus Christ. He is a wise, reliable, and abiding help for us. All glory and honour to Him.
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