First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 18

I love you, Lord; you are my strength.
(Psalm 18:1, NLT)

She showed up with her superwoman cup.
She looked amazing. Beautiful hair. Gorgeous outfit. So put together.
“How are you?” I asked her.
“Fine,” she said.
But I could tell by the look on her face, she was anything but fine.

Fine
Too often we, when asked how we are doing, say fine.
As in “I’m fine,” “Just fine,” “Everything’s fine.”
But inside, we’re aching to tell the truth.
We are not fine.

We just had a huge fight with our significant other.
We’ve just been told someone we love dearly has the diagnosis of the big “C-word.”
We are faced with a decision to move an elderly parent into assisted living.
Or a parent has just passed away.
We just found out we have to relocate far away, away from family and friends.
Or we just moved into town and we don’t know anyone.
We’ve discovered we’re pregnant. And it’s not a good time. And we’re scared.
Or we’ve been told we cannot conceive. And it’s so unfair. Because we want a baby so badly.
Or our children fight constantly and no amount of cajoling, manipulating or begging seems to change their behavior.
Or one of our kids has been diagnosed with a learning disability.
Or our teenager lives in a constant state of rebellion.
Our boss refuses to give us time off for that special event.
Our car broke down.
Our utility bills run higher than the paycheck.
And everyone seems to want a piece of us. Our boss. The children’s ministry at church. The PTA. Our spouse. Our children. Our parents.

The list goes on. We try to hold it all together.
We would love to be strong. We think we’re supposed to be strong.

But we’re not.

Everything in our lives points to the truth of the fact.
And if it has not yet, it will.

We are not strong.

But our God is.
The Psalmist cries out “You are my strength!”

The Psalmist goes on to call our God:
Rock, Fortress, Savior, Protection, Shield, Power, Safety.
What an amazing list. He is the opposite of our weakness.

The Psalmist says:
“I called on the lord… and He saved me”
“in my distress I cried out to the Lord… He heard me”
“He rescued me”
“I was in distress, but the Lord supported me.”

Sweet Child of God. Do not try to hold it all together on your own strength. Do not believe the lies of the enemy that you have to do it all. Do not let fear, despair, and isolation hold you captive.
Cry out to our Heavenly Father who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) and be honest with those the Lord has brought into our lives because they can share our burdens (Galatians 6:2).

Prayer
Father, I love You. You are my strength. I know I am not fine. Life is hard. Life hurts. Life is overwhelming. But nothing is too difficult for You. And Your grace is sufficient for me.  Show me how to abide in You every moment of every day, because I know apart from You I can do nothing.

Grace & Peace

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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