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A Battle with What-Ifs and What-Thens

Today’s Reflection

SOME DAYS I am wrought with fear.
A private battle with what-ifs and what-thens.
O Lord, I admit I am terrified of ambulances and medical tests.
Of bad news, broken bones, and drawn-out illness.
Here I am at this late date, and I’m afraid I don’t even know the Bible as I should.
I feel so vulnerable, Lord.
Lift me out of this pit of despair and draw me close.
You who stilled the waters, please still my anxious heart.
Protect me from my deepest fears.
You alone are my refuge and strength.
Your grace supplies all that I need to endure, for I have a divine mission to fulfill.

– Missy Buchanan
Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body

From page 82 of Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body by Missy Buchanan. Copyright © 2008 by Missy Buchana. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Share your deepest fears with God in prayer today. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Jeremiah 31:34, NRSV

This Week: Pray for persons who experience chronic pain. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Patrick of Ireland (March 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 24 comments… add one }

  • Jill March 13, 2018, 4:19 am

    These words tear at the heart a bit, as so many of them are my mom’s words. She, we all, go to see the surgeon today. Mom is to have her staples removed and she is terrified by this. My lack of appropriate understanding of depression and being wracked by fear keeps me (I fear) from having appropriate compassion for my mother, her situation and her fears. Part of my prayer to God is I would know what “honoring my mother and father” looks like currently. When she is inconsolable – are words best, or silence? She is unable to receive any encouragement whatsoever. I don’t want it to seem to her that I have given up encouraging her, but all is met with a steel wall. I pour all of my encouragement into my father – as he receives it, responds to it.
    Father – help us to receive Your allotment of our daily bread today. I trust You, what we will hear from the doctor today. Help us to rally anew around mom, might she sense the comfort You offer – soften her heart. Thank You for sustaining dad through all of this.
    Prayers for Andrea, her upcoming conversation with family members and for Lowell’s continued recovery. For Annaliese, that a medical solution will be found to assist with her heart. For wisdom and care for Julie.
    Father – thank You for loving us, supremely.

    • Marcy March 13, 2018, 5:09 pm

      Jill, I will continue to keep your parents, Gloria and Larry, in my prayers every morning. Depression changes how a person perceives ideas, conversation and often the stony exterior is a security system of sorts. Inside, there is all kinds of feelings, rawness, almost like an open wound. So a person will mask it, numb it, because it’s too painful. Fear and anxiety are also usually present. I attended what they call a Day Class two years ago for six weeks from 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday. This in no way makes me any kind of expert, but we did learn a lot. I don’t know if this helps any, but thought I would share it with you. I pray your Mom gets the help she needs, if this is the issue. Praise God that you have been able to play tennis with no pain afterwards, Jill. It’s wonderful you can once again do the things you enjoy! Thank you for keeping me in your prayers.

      • Marcy March 13, 2018, 7:07 pm

        Jill, I beg your forgiveness! I thought I had read a comment from you talking about how your Mom was suffering from depression and couldn’t receive encouragement whereas your Dad does and how it shows. I searched the Reflections and cannot find it, nor can I explain it. I would never have posted the comment I did today. I suffered from depression for years before I finally sought medical help and the situation was familiar to me. I do apologize.

      • Marcy March 13, 2018, 7:27 pm

        Ok, it was today. I had been looking at my notes and got mixed up. I still feel I spoke out of turn. Just wanted to convey I had once been in a very walled off space and with medication and classes, I emerged. Praying that all goes well after the staples are out and your Mom feels more like herself. God bless you, Jill!

    • Andrea March 13, 2018, 5:48 pm

      Thank you, Jill. I think the best thing to offer your mother is to just be present to her; listen to, acknowledge and accept her feelings; hold her han; and love her. You are a devoted daughter and your parents are blessed to have you. My prayers continue for you, Gloria, Larry, Becky, and Roger.

  • robert moeller March 13, 2018, 4:53 am

    Prayers for Jill’s Mom, for Gloria, that today there is good news, hope, and an uplifting of spirit. From my experience turning to God was the best thing I ever did. I would not be able to do what I do without God.

    My fears are not for me, but for others. What will happen for Erich when I’m gone? Will Anneliese’s health problems, her financial situation be resolved?

    Prayers for those with chronic pain. It is very debilitating.

    Thankful for resources that enable life. Hope for a resolution to the bank hack, but have been sustained since it happened. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for those facing a winter storm over the next few days.

    Grateful for progress here with organizing and cleaning.

    Blessings to the UR family, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

    • Marcy March 13, 2018, 5:24 pm

      Robert, as always, I am so thankful we have you here with your words of wisdom and encouragement. We are blessed to have so many who share their knowledge freely. Thank you, Lord. Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your wife, Soo Ok. We can feel that love you have for her in your words and certain dates. Thanks to our Father in heaven for His healing. I continue to pray for you, concerning the hacking. Praying for Annaliese having to go to the hospital again and her heart dr. appointment tomorrow. Hope to hear some model railroad news if and when you can. I will continue to keep you, Erich (does he have a girlfriend?), Annaliese, your church members, and little Pearl too, in my prayers. Thank you for continuing to keep me in your prayers.

      • robert moeller March 14, 2018, 4:50 am

        Prayers for you, Marcy, Your health and well being are on my prayer list. Am not so sure how wise I am, have made many mistakes in life. Turning to God was not one of them.

        Thankful for the attention you give to the UR family. You are very supportive,
        pay close attention to the details of posts and respond. God works blessings through you and all of the UR family. This site is most surely a spiritual oasis.

        As far as trains go, the Landecker layout has trains that run, it needs more of the track fastened down. The combine has the railroad post office car end doorway installed. A very easy to assemble Canadian National boxcar is lacking only the roof walk which was not in the kit, I sent an email to Atlas for a replacement. Have gone through some of my collection and have found
        items I hope to sell, more to do there.

        Anneliese should be going to see the heart doctor today, I pray that happens despite the snow. The palpitations , dizziness, fluctuating blood pressure, and unsteady feelings have worsened. Due to her rural location the monitor transmissions have not been sent. She will take the monitor equipment with her.

        Erich has had girlfriends, but not now.

        Isis ashes come home today along with her paw print. Pearl is doing very well, a new cat box is in place and that solved a problem. She is very affectionate, curious, and has a lot of energy. Pearl has been a great help in overcoming the loss of Isis. She is a Burmese-American short hair mix called a Bombay, almost all black but for tiny white tufts in not often seen areas.

        While you haven’t been out of your home for two months, I am glad that you have and are home.

  • Betsy March 13, 2018, 7:05 am

    Fears of the unknown often enters into my thoughts. Will my brother have a relapse with his MS? Are my children prepared for future financial emergencies? I don’t want to be a burden on my children’s lives as I age. I know God is in control and will see me through all these fleeting thoughts. I pray for all who experience this.

    Prayers to Jill’s mom as she faces having staples removed. Strength for her dad and Jill and her sister as they comfort her through this.
    Prayers for Robert, Julie, Mary, Marcy and others who gather here and share. thoughts and prayers. God, You are the Great Physician.

    • Marcy March 13, 2018, 5:31 pm

      Betsy, I am praying for your brother who has MS, that there is no relapse. I will continue to pray for you and Grace and your family every morning. May God provide you with comfort and strength. Thank you for your prayers for me, as I continue to be in much need of them!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 13, 2018, 10:40 pm

      Thanks dear Betsy

      Grateful that God is our refuge and strength

      May we commit all our fears into God’s hands for He is our ever present help and guide

      Blessings

  • Julie March 13, 2018, 7:50 am

    I have tried. I have been made a fool. Last night around 8pm the “husband”, who acted like he was in constant pain all day and “asked” for me to do many things for him, left the house. He was dressed, and walked down the steps and got into his truck and drove off. I asked him where he was going, thinking some emergency. He stated that a friend had invited him for dinner and he left. I am livid and realize I have been duped.
    Prayers for Jill, Gloria and her family. I have had staples removed. It is painless. Hope this helps, they were in same area of body. Hard to say what to do with an individual who is beyond fear. Just be present and hold her. Let her feel your strength and your love.
    Prayers for Robert. I too fear for my daughter.
    Prayers for Andrea. I worry about aging and the future as well.
    Prayers, Blessings and heartfelt gratitude for all of the UR family and their concerns, shared and unshared.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
    Henry Stanley Haskins

    • robert moeller March 13, 2018, 2:59 pm

      Julie, I pray for God’s wisdom, guidance, and strength that you can come to the right decision on what to do with a husband in name only. Not knowing both of you, and with only your posts, I was hesitant to suggest anything, but the more I know, the stronger I feel that you are in a bad relationship, in a house and not a home. Lots to think about before you make a decision.

      Besides your daughter, do you have any other relatives, friends who could help? Do you feel safe? There are services that can help you.

      I think Marcy would know a lot ore about all of this than me.

      You and your daughter are in my thoughts and prayers, but better yet you are in God’s hands.

    • Marcy March 13, 2018, 5:51 pm

      Julie, my lovely friend, I’m afraid I got on my soapbox a few days ago and that is not the way I meant to express myself. I believe it was a wonderful thing you tried to do for him, especially the way he is. And you are not a fool, but a saint! You showed compassion to one in pain, deserving or not. You know you have done your best. I think you should contact your local Department of Aging or whatever it may be called in your area. They can assist you in getting out of abusive situations, and this does not mean physical abuse alone. They can assist in other areas too. I’m going to do this myself when I’m old enough. Sigh! I pray for you every morning, dear friend, for the pain you endure. Thank you for mentioning me in your comments. I haven’t been out of my house for nearly two months! Still having problems on a couple of fronts. God bless you and keep you safe and well!

    • Andrea March 13, 2018, 5:52 pm

      Thank you, Julie. I am sad to hear your discouragement. I pray for you and, yes, your husband. May God give you strength, wisdom and guidance in your very difficult home situation.

  • Marcy March 13, 2018, 4:54 pm

    Hello to this loving, caring, and comforting God-filled faithful family! This prayer today was a BULLSEYE! I study the Bible almost every day (except for migraine days), but keep learning no matter how many times I read! The last few days have been pretty bad for me. I was hurt by some comments (NOT here, of course!) And I’m tired of what feels like a broken record of whining on and on. I haven’t any good news to report, as of yet, and will leave it at that for now.

    Sweet sister Mary, what good news on the health improvements of your Mom and Dad, a new and less stressful job and catching up with an old classmate! I’m praying you have more experiences like these!

    Brenda Smith, what a beautiful comment about your workplace! PTL you work in such a joyful environment. Let God’s light shine on your co-workers through you! God bless!

    Connie, when the issue of praying for those we don’t like much came up, I immediately thought of one person. My ex. Praying for him and his family isn’t all that hard, but I’m still working on the forgiveness. It’s coming along. I enjoy reading your comments. Thank you!

    I continue to pray for all of you here in the UR family, reading and posting, dealing with chronic pain. Also, for needs spoken and unspoken. Praises for all celebrating our lives as siblings in Christ.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 13, 2018, 6:37 pm

      Thanks so much dear Marcy.

      So glad to hear from you again

      May all be well with you

      Blessings

  • Marcy March 13, 2018, 5:35 pm

    Me again, UR family. One thing I’ll ask is continuing prayers. They increase my faith when it ebbs, with God’s strength and Love. I am thankful and grateful to you all!

  • Marcy March 13, 2018, 6:07 pm

    Lou, you know, I still have dreams of “the one who got away.” It was not “puppy love” high school stuff. This was after graduation and was a serious three year relationship and I am still in love with that man! It turns out, he was my one and only! I still have dreams about him. I can’t help it! How different my life might have been. But don’t worry, I just think about that in a somewhat silly way now and again. After the disaster of my marriage, and my age and baggage when it ended, well, I need to dream a little! On a different note, how truly blessed you are that your children go to church with you. That must strengthen and encourage you. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers, Lou. I pray for you and your son and daughters every morning.

  • Marcy March 13, 2018, 6:19 pm

    Andrea, Praise God Lowell’s cough is clearing up! I will continue to pray for his health and the “deep clean” of your home. I’m lifting you and your siblings in prayer for the upcoming complicated dialogue (I’m not sure when it is) That needs to take place. I pray that God is present near your siblings, believers or not. God can do anything. I already know He will be present with you. I will continue to pray for you, Lowell, and your family in my morning prayers. Thank you for your words to me about the Everlasting Arms. I lean on these words daily. Thank you for being you.

    I am also keeping Father Edwin in Sri Lanka in prayer with all that is happening there.

    • Andrea March 13, 2018, 6:25 pm

      Thank you, Marcy. God bless you.

  • Andrea March 13, 2018, 6:22 pm

    I am slowly making progress organizing and cleaning. The house is not a pit but deep cleaning is needed, and as I go from area to area, I feel a lot of satisfaction with what I am getting done. It is quite a bold act for me to actively tackle what I have (until now) felt overwhelmed by and unable to face, due to a kind of habitual helplessness about housework. (It is hard to admit that weakness but perhaps it will help someone to read it.) And certainly, I do it for my husband. He is 75, and I cherish our days together and pray for many more days together in the years to come.

    Any contact with my two siblings gives me a great deal of anxiety and I pray to communicate with wisdom, compassion, discernment, and an invisible armor of protection.

    I am both humbled and grateful to bring this things to this holy space and ask for prayers.

    Marcy, I pray for you, that you will have access to the care, resources and support you need for your physical and mental health. I pray for you to be strong.

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 is a difficult beatitude to understand, but it is a beautiful promise made by Jesus in His earthly ministry.

    With prayers for all who live with chronic pain. I know that includes many who are in the UR prayer circle.

    Blessings.

    • Marcy March 13, 2018, 6:41 pm

      Thank you, Andrea, as I surely need the prayers. Mentally, since I now know what’s what, I’m able to cope much better than I used to. I have anxiety over the current situation, but who wouldn’t in my position? As long as I speak to someone or communicate, as in coming here to the UR, the isolation issue is under control. Although I’m not getting home healthcare yet to help with cleaning, somebody comes once a week. They pick up food and other necessities every other week. I am mostly concerned with having no insurance or Medicaid and the migraines have returned. I just read Matthew 5:3 today and also studied my commentary of the verse. It comforted me quite a bit!

      Blessings to you, also!

      • robert moeller March 14, 2018, 5:02 am

        I most certainly hope and pray that health insurance and or Medicaid come your way soon, Marcy. You need help with the migraine return along with your other health issues. Am thankful you have some help although I think that is not enough.

        You have a computer and write well, continue your search and with God’s help you will find the assistance you need. Many here at the UR family are praying for you and God is definitely with you as you abide with God.

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