Zoom! A streak of black fur whizzed past my feet. My dog, Cheerio, reached the wall and jumped up onto the chair beside the window. He barked furiously at the small family that had dared to walk on his sidewalk. They turned to look for the source of the noise, smiled at the puppy face in the window, and continued walking unconcerned.
Cheerio has proclaimed himself as the guardian of our house. He takes his job very seriously. Wherever I am in the house, he parks himself next to the closest window, sticks his nose against the glass, and scrutinizes the front yard for movement.
Today as I was watching Cheerio, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 16:13 which says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Cheerio has got the “be on your guard” part down pretty well.
One of the most damaging things to a Christian, depression, can also be most stealthy in entering our lives. That is why we need to be especially watchful in looking out for it. As soon as we catch it, we can sound the alarm in prayer to God just like Cheerio does when he barks at an unwanted visitor. When we catch unhelpful and untrue thoughts in our minds, we can combat them with the armor of God that is talked about in Ephesians 6.
Cheerio does a great job of keeping watch from far away. However, if he finds an insect in our house, he leaps a few feet back in surprise and fear before venturing forward to investigate. Even though he is thousands of times larger than the tiny insect, he treats it as though it were enormous. Problems like depression can also seem insurmountable. But with God, we have all the strength and truth to defeat the lies of depression.
Be like Cheerio in keeping watch over your life. What prayers or verses do you find helpful to combat depression?
“Oh look, that spider is still there.” I said to my sister after dropping my enormous backpack onto the floor of the bedroom that we shared with our brother at my dad’s house. “It looks like it hasn’t even moved since last week.”
“Yeah, I think I saw it the weekend before that, too.” My sister replied.
“Maybe we should squish it. But it’s not really doing any harm way over here in the corner.” I stooped to get a closer look at the spindly spider.
“We should name him. He’s practically a fourth resident of the room!” My sister decided.
“How about Legs? You know, because it’s a daddy long-legs…so we call it Legs.” I tried to sell my idea with some persuasive eyebrow action. She smirked at my corny joke but agreed to the name.
During that weekend and in the weekends to follow, it was strangely nice to know that there was a constant companion hiding out in the corner of our bedroom, watching everything that was going on. Legs just sat there, but to my imagination he seemed to empathize with me when I felt lonely. Each Friday he dependably greeted us in our weekend home, and each Saturday night I wondered as I shut the door if he would still be there next week.
It is easy to forget that every Christian has a permanent friend who is nearer to us that any other friend could be. Jesus says that he will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, Deut. 31:6). He empathizes with every hard situation you encounter, he knows everything that hurts you, and he will always be close to comfort you with his healing words.
If your parents are divorced, you might still feel betrayed by one or both of your parents for leaving. Know that your heavenly Father is not going anywhere.
What are some times when you have strongly felt God’s presence?
P.S. – I am a little less enchanted with daddy long-legs after using Google images to find a picture for this post!!
Social media can ruin a reputation and even a career quicker than you can say, ‘Viral YouTube or 1,000 ReTweets.’ Here’s two recent dilemmas in need of serious damage control.
1) U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin said in a televised interview that women rarely get pregnant following instances of “legitimate rape,” because the female body has ways to “shut that whole thing down.”
2) During the London Olympics a Swiss athlete, Michel Morganell, was thrown out (by his country) for tweeting insulting remarks about South Koreans after the South Korean soccer team beat the Swiss, 2-1.
What were they thinking? Rhetorical question, of course, they weren’t thinking. Even a couple of American athletes blasted questionable comments via Twitter while competing in London. Pointing fingers at someone almost always backfires.
Have you ever made a bad decision or posted something on FB or Twitter you regretted immediately? Even texted? Not everything is fixed with a quick apology. What kind of damage control did you do?
Our Heavenly Father is a God of restoration. He wants to restore the fool Satan has made of us. Ask for Restoration, Expect Restoration, and Claim Restoration. When your soul is grieving over what you’ve done, hold on tight to this promise.
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.” Psalm 71:20-21
If you’re distraught God must first restore your soul before He can begin to restore your situation. Psalm 23 tells us to trust the Lord as our shepherd. A shepherd leads his sheep by the still waters (because they’re afraid of rustling waters) and makes them lie down so he can restore them. Read the whole chapter because the last verse says ‘goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life.’ So awesome!
Know I’m Praying for You, Sherry
I sat in the front seat of the car while my mom went into the grocery store on a quick errand. The sky was a clear shade of blue today; no clouds were handy to block out the sun that beat down on the pavement with an intensity that Marylanders were beginning to accept as the new normal. Busy shoppers walked back and forth between their cars and the store.
As I watched the scene from the windshield of our minivan, I noticed a young man walking across the parking lot to the curb. He was listening to a huge set of earphones and doing a little jig while he walked. Instead of watching where he was going, his eyes were locked on an iPad that he held in front of his face. He only looked up after accidently walking into the curb and risking dropping his iPad on the cement.
I couldn’t help chuckling as I watched this young man who was so distracted by his interaction with technology. He had no idea what was actually going on around him because he was so focused on his virtual world. Aren’t we sometimes like this too?
There are always going to be things to distract us from what really matters: living every moment for God. Thankfully, we have a loving God who knows our weaknesses and who promises to give us strength to do what He calls us to.
Focus is the opposite of distraction. In Psalm 119:15, David tells us how he combats distraction when he says, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” He keeps his focus on God by constantly thinking about his Word and by “fixing his eyes” on what God has done.
What do you spend your time thinking about? Technology? Friends? Circumstances? These things are all appropriate in their time, but they can begin to overshadow more important things in our lives if we don’t consciously take control. Ask God to help you keep your focus on him.
“Fifty Shades of Gray” has become such a buzz word and I’ve heard so many opinions on the book, but none I love more than Betsy St Amant’s post on the Girls, God & The Good Life website. There’s absolutely nothing gray about her comments and I applaud her for speaking the truth.
Click on the link below and let us know your thoughts.
Know I’m Praying for You, Sherry