Holding On

Friday, July 3, 2015
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rejoice Ye Pure In Heart"1 (Lyrics)

2 Corinthians 4:14-17 – We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (NLT)

Within one week, three members of our family went through various tests and major health concerns. The past few months since then have gone by in a flurry and a blur. I became so preoccupied with life events and family health issues that by the time I realized it, five months had passed me by. Looking back, I have been going through the motions of everyday life, and for the most part, doing all the tasks that have been requested and required of me as a mom, wife, and employee, probably to the point that no one else has even noticed that I haven't been myself. I am sure that the cracks have shown on a few days, but mostly, I have existed.

Some of us can juggle more events in life than others. For me, writing had stopped; even reading and praying began to slow down. I had lost my joy within. But what I am trying to share is how God is in this for us each and every step of the way.

I prayed many quick and short prayers, and even though I knew in my heart that God was there, I sensed a slipping of my connection with Him. I prayed because I knew that it was the right thing to do; I believed because I knew that it was the right thing to do; I did all the right things because I knew that they were the right things to do. What I had been failing to do was to be open and listen to what God wanted me to hear. I had reverted back to ways of self in which I believed that I could do it on my own, and I became disconnected from God.

But God is faithful and just, and when I was at the end of myself emotionally and physically, He reached out again. As I sat during my quiet time reflecting on my week, the three family members, and their health concerns, I felt such an amazing peace that only Jesus can give us. Still, many health questions remain unanswered and will likely remain that way for some time. I felt such a peace that the answers we could have received could have been much worse. It was then that I realized that I had been living in the "fear of the much worse scenario". Once this light was shown to me, the heaviness was lifted, and I began to rejoice. I placed all my fears and concerns at the cross for Jesus to handle.

If you can relate to my spiritually dry experience of joylessness and exhaustion, pray for God to reach out to you with His peace and the strength that comes from Him, rather than trying to do it all on your own.

Philippians 4:6 – Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (NLT)

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the abundance of truth that is found in Your Word. Help us in times of turmoil to hold onto these truths. We do thank You for all that You have done and will do in our lives. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Julie Bowles <julieanni@rogers.com>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wise words for today Julie. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for sharing. Just the word I needed for this day.

    What an inspiring message. My wife is in hospital and we need hope to just hang on, Thank you.

    Beautiful Julie, Thank you!
    It seems we in BC have traded places weather-wise with Ontario.

    Yes, to draw near to Him, is something special for those of His children. It works!!

    Julie, thank you for sharing your own trials. My own struggles during the past year made this devotional truly relevant. Thanks for writing of your own lessons learned from the experience. Blessings.

    I truly understand and have experienced similar times. Thank you for putting it on paper. The peace which God gives is an unique experience.

    What an inspirational message. If God is for us, who can be against us? Thank you and may God continue to bless you!

    Thank you for sharing your Devotional.
    I will pray for you & your three family members, as you go through this trying time.
    He will be there for you every step of the way!

    I realized when I saw your name on today’s Devotional that it had been some time since your last submission. I pray for God’s blessings on you and your family during these challenging days. May God envelop all of you in his loving care.

    God’s timing is perfect AGAIN !!! I am just home from hospital with a new knee and your words were most meaningful for me today. Just a very good reminder that God IS there when we come to him in need. Thanks for your timely message! Perfect!

    Julie – I was just thinking about you this week, wondering where you had been lately. I can identify with much of you have shared here; but could not have shared my thoughts as well as you have today. I pray for God’s continual blessings on your life; for you are precious in His sight.

    Dear Julie
    Thank you for sharing what is very familiar to me too.
    Thank you for your faith and love of God.
    Praying for you and family members, that God will continue to strengthen and encourage you in all ways.

    Oh Julie welcome back. I usually listen to the devotionals and when I heard your name I thought “it’s been a long time”. And now I understand why. You write so beautifully well from the heart. I thank God that you have overcome these hard months through His patience and love. You have expressed in words feeling that’s at sometime we have all felt. And in the midst of all that God is faithful and always there. Thank you for sharing so frankly and God bless you and your loved ones.

    When I opened today’s devotional I thought this must have been written just for me. I relate to everything that Julie says. It is me. My husband has just been diagnosed with a tumour in the lining of his lung. It is a tumour that indicates that it is asbestos related. However, my husband never worked in asbestos, at least directly. He worked on construction for all his working years. We will see a doctor on Wednesday July 8 that will determine the next step. I need to do as she says. Lay all my burdens and fears at the cross. I needed this devotional today. Thanks . Keep my husband and me in your prayers.

    Hello from hot and sunny B.C.,
    Julie, I wanted to say thank you for your devotional writing this morning. I can absolutely relate to the words you’ve said. Sometimes in the depth of our despair we can lose sight of our Savior but I am so very grateful He never loses us. We have had a particularly difficult year, too, and I know He is carrying us through these times when I just feel lost.
    Please continue to write what the Holy Spirit gives you to share with your readers on the PresbyCan devotional site. Your words comfort and inspire.
    Thanks and I hope you have a great day.

    Dear Julie,
    been there done that, probably do it again soon.
    However, God’s grace and love leave a trace that reminds me the next time to lay it all down and let it go quicker, hopefully.
    He will show me what I can pick up and run with. I am reminded of Jonathan 1 Samuel 14 – we can always ask. Once we know that God is for us, it does not matter what we think or fear, or how strong we think we are because, even though it may be struggle we will gain the victory in Jesus, sooner or later! Knowing that you are fine now, I will still pray as it cannot hurt!
    A quick prayer:
    LORD, I thank you for Julie’s faithfulness in writing and confessing the truth about her relationship and love you share by the blood of Jesus. Please honour that commitment to follow You, and grant her Your supernatural peace and awareness of Your Holy presence to dissolve the fears, anxieties and complexities of her family’s and her own situation today, because You promise our yoke will be easy and our burdens will be light. So be it LORD in Jesus’ name, amen.
    LORD, bring healing, in Jesus’ name, amen.

    Thanks Julie for your post today. It was perfect description of my experience over the last few months! It really lifted my spirits and provided an inspirational reminder about faith, hope and the journey.
    Thank you!

    Thank you for sharing this! Will hold you in prayer as you continue to reach others with your writing, will also pray for the health of you and your family. I have a dear friend struggling with this right now.

    Dear Julie,
    I’m glad your devotional built up to this:
    Philippians 4:6 – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (NLT)
    I pray that God will help you through this difficult time so you can rest in him and know that “All things work together for good for those who are called according to his purposes.” He who saved us by hi grace will keep us by his grace.

    Dear Julie;
    I can well relate to what you have written. Thank you for sharing.

    Oh Julie – so sorry for what ever has been going on but grateful your focus was right.

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