For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8: 38, 39
We wrestle with “principalities and powers” (We all have our personal demons), not with people.
It has taken me a while to understand that the bad clients I had been working with are like evil spirits and the devil attacking me. They are all caught up in the mass deception that the devil is so good at ensnaring us in. They have attacked me in the past because I love the Lord and the devil is trying to make me angry, resentful, untrusting, envious, and afraid. It is all poison.
Jesus separates us and shields us from these spirits if we ask Him. He loves us and protects us, no matter what.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify me. – Psalm 50:15
We are living in troubled times. During this time of COVID-19 closures that began in my town on March 16, 2020, many cities are in lockdown throughout the world.
High schools are closed. Non-essential businesses are closed. Churches are closed.
Some essential businesses like the nonprofit where my husband works are not closed, but many of his employees are avoiding coming into the office and instead work directly with those they serve. The death toll in Italy has exceeded China’s. The morgues in northern Italy are full. It’s a scary time.
Jesus asks us to call upon Him when we are afraid and He will help us. I need to trust that He will always be there for us. He will never “leave you nor forsake you.” We need to meditate on His law and follow it. Amen.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. – Phil. 4:8
I have been meditating a lot lately.
I remember my meditation instructor, Coleen Camenisch, saying that meditation is like a gatekeeper. It observes the thoughts passing but doesn’t let them in.
The COVID-19 virus pandemic has caused closures that I have never seen in my lifetime. It is scary, but Jesus asks us not to be afraid.
He asks us to seek the truth. He asks us to look at the good reports, not just the bad ones. He wants us to be peaceful. So even though the times may be scary and other people may be in a panic, we have a savior who has already overcome the world and who can save us.
He will give us perfect peace. No matter what is going on and no matter how many businesses close, Jesus will renew us and He will come for us. Amen.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ – Isaiah 41:13
The Lord is your helper. Even in the middle of the night when your mind won’t shut off, the Lord is there to help you.
One night I couldn’t sleep because I had the “Praise the Lord” song stuck in my head. I was playing it on YouTube for Jacob.
The Lord can help you let it go. All the worries don’t matter. He will help you. He will heal you. He will take away your grief and give you peace.
That is a promise.
Today on the anniversary of 9/11, I would like to share a reflection about death, grief, and peace.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phil. 4: 6, 7.
It seems that I have a lot of anxiety.
Is being “anxious for nothing” an impossible directive? It’s hard to be thankful for something when I feel like I’m going to lose it.
I really miss my dad. I miss him so much it hurts sometimes. I remember an incident the week before my dad died. One of my difficult clients asked for a refund that week. And I still helped one of my fellow entrepreneurs during a barter the week that my dad died. It’s like I was incapable of stopping my work when I really needed to. Didn’t I deserve to rest?
Jesus says that he will give us peace. He will guard our minds.
My dad was a hard worker. So am I.
Maybe I am afraid that if I cut back on work and delegate more, I would be less like my dad. I don’t know any other way to be.
They say that hearing is one of the last senses to go before you die. I was reading the hospice book right before my dad died because my mom asked me to. One of the last things I said to my dad before he died is, “it’s going to be okay.”
It is always okay when Jesus is taking care of you. He is taking care of my dad.
Maybe that is what it means to rest in peace. We have to claim it to feel it. And we deserve it. Amen.
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance. – Psalm 89:15
There is something to be said about making a joyful sound with music. I can play praise songs on the piano and share them on YouTube. Sharing my music gives me joy even though playing piano in person in front of an audience sometimes makes me nervous. I trust that God will give me the courage to share my gifts.
You can find me playing praise songs on the piano at https://bit.ly/praisesongsplayedbygina.
Please feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment if you enjoyed what I shared.
I also express my joy in my writing. I am grateful for my husband and son, and for my family and friends. I am grateful for beautiful things I see in nature.
A gratitude journal might be as simple as making a list of the things we are thankful for each day.
The Lord blesses us with many gifts and miracles each day. He places the people and things in our lives we need to do his will. He always cares about us, even the minor details of our lives.
When we feel ourselves worrying about things that don’t matter, it helps to praise, pray, and ask Him for help. He will show us a Bible verse or help us recall something He has taught us. And then we will have peace.
It is so important to be vigilant of our thoughts, our monkey mind. God can transform our minds and make everything new.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth.
– Col. 3:2
Most of the things I worry about are earthly things, but what would it be like if I shifted my focus to heavenly things? How would I spend my time? Would I still worry? Would I be angry as much as I am now? Probably not. Would I be as resentful and stressed as I am? Probably not.
I have a lot to be thankful for.
Christ died for us when we were yet sinners. Just think about that for a moment. We didn’t earn salvation. It really pained Him to suffer and die for us so that we could be saved. What can we do to become more like Him? What would our thoughts be then? They would not be mainly about work, making more money, or not getting enough done. They would be about who we can share the good news with. When was the last time we invited someone to church? Don’t be discouraged by doing good. There will always be results even if we don’t see them.
The Bible verse/chapter continues:
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Col. 3:17
Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
– 2 Cor. 10: 5-6
Our mind can wander. “Mindfulness is the practice of a thousand beginnings.” –Coleen Camenisch.
That is my favorite quote from my Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher. God is so good that he can quiet our minds and give us peace.
Sometimes this peace and quiet comes in the morning sunlight when you have gotten a good night’s sleep. The mind is quiet and ready for what God wants to tell you that day. If you listen, you will be able to take the bad thoughts captive and redirect them to something higher that God wants for you. Then by the end of the day you won’t be as emotionally exhausted.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. – 1 Cor. 10:13
My life sometimes feels overwhelming. There are times that the monkey mind is out of control. Times when I’m angry, resentful, and stressed. God doesn’t prevent us from feeling these emotions, but he does provide us a release.
Sometimes the release is a friend or family member who smiles and does a nice thing. Sometimes it is a coach, a prayer, a Bible verse, or a vacation. He always gives us a way out from the personal hell of our thoughts.