That Time I Prayed to be Invisible

My mother and I were in Birmingham for an event. We arrived on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon. I parked my car in the parking garage and we made our way to the venue two blocks away.

After enjoying the teaching and the music, ten thousand women exited the arena to make their ways to their vehicles. My mother and I turned to the right and began to walk and no one (not a single woman) followed us.

I don’t know how 9,998 other women all knew to park in the opposite direction. All I know is that my mother and I were left to walk alone, in the dark, to a parking garage two blocks away. Between us and the vehicle were abandoned buildings, empty parking lots and several men wandering the streets.

In that moment, all I could think to do was to pray that we were invisible. I asked the Lord that, if any of those men had any evil intentions, they simply would not see us. Now, I’m not saying that God made me invisible (although I’m not saying He didn’t either.) I do believe that God blinded the eyes of any potential enemy that night.

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I told that story at a recent women’s event to illustrate the power of prayer. I had forgotten about this incident and it came to me at the last minute. I couldn’t help but laugh as, as we walked those two blocks, I kept repeating, “It’s fine. They can’t see us. We’re invisible.”

Here’s the thing, though. I totally believed that God could do it. And, if I’m honest, it isn’t the first time I’ve prayed such a thing. Sometimes, at night, my spirit will feel unsettled and I’ll pray.

Lord, if there is anyone currently roaming the streets with ill intentions, let them not even take notice of our home.

God, if my children are out in public and the enemy is on the prowl, draw his attention away from my babies.

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It’s a prayer I’ve prayed often but never mentioned to anyone. It’s not exactly the parenting advice people expect.

What advice would you give for raising children in this broken world?

Oh, I just pray we’re all invisible.

Yeah. Hmm.

BUT – I found the coolest verse today.

Are you ready?

Wait for it…

Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked. – Psalm 64:2

I wanted to do the slow clap after reading it. Essentially, y’all, David just prayed to be invisible. Do with it what you will.

You are loved. ❤

Stacy

 

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4 Ways to Kick Fear to the Curb

Someone once said that one of Satan’s greatest tricks is to make you believe that you are whatever you fear you are.

Do you fear being alone? The enemy is going to make you feel that you truly are alone.

Do you fear that you’re invisible? He’ll do everything he can to reinforce that feeling.

For many of us, one of our greatest fears is that we may be bad mothers. It always seems that someone else is doing it a whole lot better and scrapbooking the whole experience while carrying a monogrammed handbag.

I can’t be the only one that has been awake at night wondering what I could do tomorrow to undo all the mistakes I made today. {The best I’ve ever come up with, by the way, is caffeine and chocolate.It doesn’t undo anything but it sure makes a mama feel better.}

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Whatever it is that Satan is whispering in your ear, here is the only thing you really need to know. Satan is a liar. If the voice in your head speaks things that are death to your spirit, you can know that it is not of God. 

You’re not alone. You’re not invisible. You’re not a bad mother.

However, there are things in this world that cause little seeds of fear to plant themselves within our hearts. If we don’t deal with those seeds, they can become big problems which crowd the peace and joy right out of our spirits.

How should we respond when fear rears its ugly head? When we get that diagnosis? When there is more month than money? When friends walk away? When jobs are deleted? When hearts get broken and dreams get dashed?

We could lie.

Everything is fine.

I can handle it.

We could hide.

We could stay in our pajamas and binge-watch Parenthood on Netflix. We can skip church and cancel plans with friends.

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The enemy would love for us to lie and hide. The problem is that lying and hiding never take away the fear. It only covers it in shame. What should we do when we feel the anxiety creep in and the tension take over?

Let’s look at Genesis 32: 7-12. {Go ahead and read it; I’ll wait.}

In verse 7, we see that Jacob is greatly afraid. He’s not nervous or a little anxious. He isn’t uncomfortable. He is GREATLY AFRAID. Can you go there for a minute? Think of a time or situation that has had you feeling that  way.

Now, watch Jacob’s response.

4 WAYS TO KICK FEAR TO THE CURB

  1. Turn to God. “And Jacob said, ‘O God…” (Genesis 32:9.) What if our first response to fear was prayer?
  2. Acknowledge your place before God. “I am not worthy…” (Genesis 32:10.) What if we didn’t try to solve our own problems and, instead, realized that we were never meant to go it alone?
  3. Confess your fear. “I fear him…” (Genesis 32:11.) What if we didn’t play the I’m-okay-you’re-okay game?
  4. Remember God’s promise. “But you said…” (Genesis 32:12.) What if we stopped focusing on our fears and, instead, pondered God’s promises?

Remember, sweet friends, that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18.)

You are loved (with a perfect love.) ❤

Face Your Fear

Gideon was well acquainted with fear. He was hiding from his enemies when God came to him. He felt weak and ill-equipped when God laid out the plan.

Save Israel from the hand of Midian… – Judges 6:14

Gideon considered himself the lowest of the low in terms of potential warriors for the Lord. It seemed that God was really scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one. All he wanted to do was hide and survive.

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It’s a tempting way to live – hide and survive. But, when God calls you out, it is no longer a satisfying way to live. Even when the task at hand seems far more than you are capable of – especially then.

God looked at Gideon hiding from the world and called him a “mighty warrior” while he was still hiding. Knowing how God viewed him gave him the courage to step out and choose more for himself.

It’s tempting to stay within the comfort and familiarity of these walls. In a way, I hide from the enemy. And, the more I stay tucked away inside my safe place, the scarier it seems out in the world. Everything in me wants to simply hide and survive. Yet, I feel God pulling me.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of something and follow a crowd. That’s what happened with Gideon. God called him to save his people and all of the people gathered as if they were prepared and willing to help. Until God gives them an out.

Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead. Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained. – Judges 7:3

Here’s your chance. If you want to give in to your fear, you can go home. And 22,000 did just that. The first people eliminated from being a part of what God was about to do were those who lived as slaves of fear.

Then comes one of the best verses in Scripture.

And the Lord said to Gideon… – Judges 7:4

Why is it one of the best? Because, after 22,000 men had fled from fear, Gideon was still standing beside the Lord awaiting his next instruction.

Gideon was not going to go home. In fact, he was going to face the very enemy he had been hiding from when God first came to him.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of what God is doing. I want to be counted among those who stayed to fight.

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Have you ordered your copy of Devotions from the Front Porch? If not, it is on sale on Amazon for less than $10.00! Hop on over and get one. Also, if you have already ordered one, please take just a moment and leave a review so that they will keep it in stock.

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Happy Monday, my friends!

Stacy

 

 

The Thick Darkness

candleIf we think that following God means a life that never extends beyond our comfort zone, we have greatly misunderstood Him.  Often, God calls us to do the very thing that sends fear coursing through our body.

What then?  How will we respond when God commands us to face our fear of failure or rejection? What if God calls us into the dark place of loss and devastation?  We must be willing to go wherever He is.

Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightening and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off… – Exodus 20:18

There is a passage in 1 Kings that I have read many times and I’ve heard many sermons preached from it.  It talks about God being, not in the earthquake and fire, but in a whisper.  That is true – sometimes we look for a big production from God and miss His still small voice.

How do we respond, however, when He does come in thunder and lightening?  We like the idea of a gentle whisper, but are we still anxious to draw near when there is a smoking mountain and a thick darkness?  What happens when fear stands between where we are and where He is?  What then?

The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.  – Exodus 20:21

As people of God, we must draw near to Him wherever He may be.  We must have the faith that says, as did  Mary Gardiner Brainard, I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.  

When God is calling us into a place that seems dark and scary, we cannot stand far off in fear.  We must, like Moses, embrace the thick darkness if that is where we find Him.

Trusting God’s Provision

Lack of provision is my biggest fear.

It seems, no matter how many times God provides for my needs, I fear that this time may just be the time that He doesn’t come through. It’s a constant cycle of me fearing, God providing, me repenting, only to end with me fearing once more.

Here I am in Exodus following the children of Israel through the wilderness. I hear their grumbling and, for the first time, recognize it as fear. He freed them, but would He protect them? He protected them, but would He feed them? He fed them, but would He remain with them?

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Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you…” – Exodus 16:4

The Lord promises His provision. He tells them that, come morning, they would be filled with bread. You would think that they would have rushed out at sunrise to gather up the bread. God had never failed to keep His word to them.

Yet, they seem to look around hesitantly. They see something on the ground, but it isn’t something they have seen before.

When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. – Exodus 16:15

As I read those verses, I just kept thinking that we do not always recognize God’s provision. Perhaps, it’s because we have our preconceived notions of how we thought He would provide. God’s way of providing often includes something new. Maybe it’s a new job that we didn’t even want. A new city. New friends. Sometimes, God may take away something that was no longer working for us in order to provide something better. It can be scary. We have to ask ourselves, “Do we want God to provide or not?”

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Make no mistake; God will provide.

Just don’t be afraid when you look around and think, “What is it?”