2 Kings 23; Hebrews 5; Joel 2; Psalm 142

24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord. 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. (2 Kings 23:24-25) NIV

After finding and reading the Book of the Law, Josiah did a clean sweep of Judah. He repented and was deeply grieved over how far the people of Judah and Jerusalem had strayed from God. He took action. He turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength. It is such a great reminder to me to stop focusing on the things around me and focus on the Lord.

Life is hard right now. The past few weeks seem to have one thing after another heaped to the point where I feel overwhelmed. Loved ones are suffering. My heart is fearful of the outcome, so I drop to my knees. I lift my voice to God. I look to him for comfort and assurance.

I cry aloud to the Lord;
    I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
    before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way. (Psalm 142:1-3) NIV

I sometimes forget that I do not need to walk through life alone. My tendency is to bulldoze through problems, search for solutions, problem-solve, try to fix things. But sometimes, there are no fixes. There is nothing I can do but surrender to the One who is in control. Learning to give the outcome to him is a very difficult lesson for me. My hands are gripping on to things that need to be released. Peace will not come to me until that happens. I can trust him. I must stay in the present; the future is his domain. Worry lives out there, he calls me to walk beside him today.

13 Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:13)

These are words I can trust. I can grip the words of God instead of uselessly trying to grip for control. No matter the outcome, I know he is gracious and compassionate. I know I can cry buckets of tears and he will never turn from me. He gives me strength, lightens my burdens, and calms my fears. He reminds me I’m not facing whatever happens alone.

I cry to you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”

Heavenly Father, thank you for your presence in my life. You patiently peel open my fingers from the things I don’t need to cling to, the things that belong to you, and instead, show me what is mine to hold to as tightly as possible—your word, your promises, your hand. I pray to stay in today and not let my mind wonder into the future. In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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