The full life, the one spilling joy and peace, happens only as I come to trust the Lord. ~ Ann
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13
Welcome to week four of the One Thousand Gifts Online Bible Study!
In the middle of the night, I step on a wayward thimble and accidentally kick the bedpost. I end up on the floor next to that now-warped piece of metal surprised by pain.
Surprised by pain.
When I crawl back into bed those words follow me and I present them to the Lord as a question and a groan. Surprised by pain. How can I continue to give You all of myself when You see what’s coming and yet will allow it to roll over me knowing the pain that is its partner?
Anxiety attack stealing my wind. Like swallowing barbed wire and fire. A machete to my midnight mind.
It’s hard to trust that the walls won’t come crashing down around you when they have come crashing down before. It’s hard to believe that the other shoe won’t drop when there have been raging storms of shoe after shoe after shoe. It’s hard to look forward in hope when hope has been ground into gravel.
The inner pain so intense that it should cause bruises. Soul bruises, I guess.
Trust is holy effort. Strenuous and momentous and vital to the spirit. In the darkest hour, trust unclenches, stretches out, and relaxes in a sacred embrace.
I trust that He is good. Breathe out worry. Trust that He is here. Breathe in the Presence. Trust that He will save. Breathe out exhaustion.
Trust is work. Hard work… Jesus says it’s our primary task… that we believe in the One whom God has sent. ~ Ann
I choose Him again. Crash or no crash. Shoe or no shoe. Gravel or no gravel. Thank Him for the small things and His long history of saving, and keeping, and rescuing, and loving, and providing, and comforting, and promising. And find joy bubbling up as a second, sweeter surprise.
Isn’t joy worth the effort of trust? ~ Ann
He loves me. And He loves you. He knows the hurt of the past. He knows the pain of today. And, yes, He knows the suffering to come… but He promises to be there, to bring good out of it. That’s why we can be grateful in the middle of it. That’s why we can testify what we know to be true in thanksgiving even when we cannot see it yet.
These are the stories I will continue to tell my children. The stories of His faithfulness. The stories of wrestling, and struggle, and hope, and joy, and His presence in the midst of it all.
All these moments are for you. They are gifts for you. Trust that they are good. That HE is good. ~ Ann
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord. — Psalm 40:4
I hold the little piece of bent metal as I fix my mind on Jesus and slip back to sleep remembering… He is mine and I am His. Pain won’t last. Joy can be found now. And it will be eternal. Thank God!
Just have a thimbleful of trust.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. — Psalm 118:1
I’m thankful for:
The smell of rain
The cool of the early morning
Tree frogs croaking
Fog blanketing the seashore
The arms of friends worth their weight in gold
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session four on our study home page and join the conversation with fellow OBS participants afterward… Take notes in your study guide on pages 53-57.
- Go through the study questions with your group or on your own on pages 57-62.
- Read One Thousand Gifts, Chapter 8-9.
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 63-73.
- Join the conversations about the study and get to know fellow participants in the private Facebook group!
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, thank You for today. Thank You for the gifts of breath, and life, and hope no matter what we face. Thank You for beauty that soothes and people who care and share burdens. Thank You that You can be trusted because You are so faithful. Thank You for the gifts we miss. Help us to see them and be grateful to You, our generous, kind King. We love You, Lord. Amen.