Sunday, March 19, 2017

Can You Handle Today?

Riley Grace is a singer. She sings all day long without stopping. She sings songs that she knows (or thinks she knows), and she makes up songs about completely random topics. Sometimes, her singing is soft and soprano, and other times it is powerful, passionate, and a bit through the nose! There are usually several key changes within each song. J Lately, she and I have been listening to Bethany (Dillion) Barnard’s new CD, “To Those Who Wait” and her EP on repeat. (Side note: If you’re looking for new music, I highly recommend those two albums. They have greatly ministered to me these past few weeks!) She has learned about half of the songs. Every time we get in the car, she has a song request. The song request as of late is entitled, “To Those Who Wait.”

The other night, she was singing these lyrics in her bed while she was supposed to be sleeping:

“Lord, today….. Lord, today…. Lord, today… etc. “

So apparently, she hadn’t learned much of that song!

Here are some of the lyrics of “To Those Who Wait” by Bethany Barnard:

“Lord, today You know what I need to do. And You can do more in my waiting, than in my doing I could do. So I won’t run anymore. I’m waiting on You.”

“Oh my soul, wait on the Lord. Keep your lamp filled with oil. Oh my soul, be not deceived. Wait for Him; don’t be quick to leave.”

As I listened to her sing “Lord, today…” on repeat, the Lord gently showed me that she was singing the answer to my worries, doubts, anxieties, burdens, and fears. HE is the answer. The LORD GOD is our answer TODAY.

When my problems seem insurmountable, I can call on Him TODAY.

When I fail miserably and fall into the same sin that entangles me over and over, His mercies are new TODAY.

When my responsibilities overwhelm me and I think that God has entrusted me with too much, I can lean on His strength TODAY.

When hardships and sorrows are weighing me down, I can trust in His peace TODAY.

When the future seems uncertain, and even tomorrow causes immense worries in my heart and mind, I can trust in His goodness and sovereignty TODAY.

When I’m struggling to discern how He wants me to respond in a certain situation, I can trust in His guidance and wisdom TODAY.

When my flesh does not want to like or even love a certain person in my life, I can trust in His love for them to shine through me TODAY.

When I’m physically exhausted from a sleepless night, a whining or sick child (or children), a taxing work day, or any other emotionally and physically draining circumstance, I can trust in His rest TODAY.

We can trust Him TODAY, friend. He will give us everything that we need TODAY. But we have to ask for it daily, and we have to seek Him passionately and diligently for the answers. We have to meet with Him TODAY and each day so that we can receive His mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:23). They will sustain us throughout our day!

Friend, He knows what you need right now. He is a personal God. He knows what you need today. When you woke up this morning, He knew exactly what you’d face today. And He’s prepared to equip you with everything you need to face what you will face – but you have to seek the answers and the strength from Him! He knows and you know that your own strength is not enough. He desires to fulfill all of your needs, and most importantly, your greatest need – Himself. His Word promises that He fills the hungry with every good thing (Psalm 107:9). Jesus also reminds us that just as God provides for the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, how much more will He provide for His children whom He greatly loves? In that same passage, He commands us not to worry about tomorrow (Luke 12:22-34). That’s reallllly hard to do, but it’s a command, and we should seek to obey it. Don’t allow worries, doubts, and fears to steal away your joy today. Ask the Lord to sustain you TODAY, and keep coming back each day to ask Him the same thing! You will continue to see that He will always be faithful to you.

-       READ/STUDY:
o   Psalm 16:2 – “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord. I have no good apart from You.”
o   Psalm 107:8-9 – “Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love; for His wondrous works to the children of man! For HE SATISFIES THE LONGING SOUL, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.”
o   Lamentations 3:22-26 – “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the LORD.”
o   Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
o   Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 
-       EVALUATE: Read these verses closely and carefully. Don’t rush! There’s so much truth and encouragement just within these four small passages. Can you say with the writer of Lamentations 3 that “the Lord is your portion?” Can you say with the author of Psalm 16 that you have no good apart from the Lord? What does the Lord promise for those who wait for Him? What does He promise to do for the hungry and thirsty? What does He promise for the anxious heart who releases their requests and petitions to Him instead of holding onto them? What do you personally need to release to Him TODAY? What do you need to trust Him with TODAY? How can you seek Him on a more intimate level TODAY?
-       PRAY: Ask the Lord to help you trust Him more each and every day. He knows what you are facing, and He already knows what you need, but He wants to hear it from you! Prayer builds your relationship and your trust in the Lord. Trust Him to love you and care for you as He has promised to do!

So, can you handle today? Not on your own strength.

Can you call on the Lord today? Absolutely!

And will He fulfill His promise to sustain you and provide you with everything you need to serve Him today? Definitely!

As you are going through your day today, remember the lyrics of Bethany Barnard’s song. Even if you can’t remember most of the lyrics, just remember the ones that Riley Grace sings on repeat: ”Lord, TODAY!” TODAY, He knows what you need, and He longs to prove faithful to you. He knows your desires, and He longs to fulfill them. Turn to Him first before you allow your mind to be filled with worries and doubts. He loves you, friend, and He is trustworthy TODAY and every day!

(Also, I encourage you to listen to “To Those to Wait” so that you can learn more than just “Lord, today…” J)

Always, Jacquelyn

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