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More Than a Shadow {A Just Trust Story + Day 23}

 

Today is our final Just Trust story.

It has been a joy to read and share your stories and is a pleasure to have Sharon on the blog today. She shares about a time of loss in her life and how the Lord ministered to her in amazing ways. I pray her story encourages you to trust the Lord who is always with us, no matter what.

For those participating, Day 23 of The Trust Experience is at the bottom of this post.

 

 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 NIV

 

 

When we are asked what God has done for us, often our minds go back to the day we received Christ into our lives.

This is easy. But we sometimes stumble when asked what God is doing for us right now.

A few years ago, my family experienced God at work, even beyond the shadow of death.

My parents arrived for a visit in December and for the first time in several years, our entire family would be together on Christmas day. We were very excited about the coming event, but unknown to us, God had other plans. Four days before Christmas my dad had emergency surgery, and two days later was ushered into the presence of our Lord.

The shock rippled through our family and circle of friends. This was not supposed to happen. Not only was it so close to Christmas, but we were a thousand miles away from mom and dad’s home, and the funeral and burial would take place there. Then the miracles started to happen.

When I first saw my dad after his death, a gentle peace came over me. We took our young children with us so they could say goodbye to Grampy. As we moved away from the casket, my youngest, only two, waved his goodbye over my shoulder; my heart constricted.

We needed to make plans quickly. Dad needed to be flown home and met by a team from the local funeral parlor where his funeral would take place; and we needed eleven seats on a plane to follow. How would we ever find eleven seats on the same plane right at Christmas?

My brother called the airline and asked about available seats. We were sure we would have to separate and travel on at least two different planes, if we could get seats at all. The attendant began looking. She said she had a few seats on one plane leaving on our chosen day. My brother asked how many were available, and she said eleven! Now is that not God’s hand working on our behalf? We smiled when by brother told her we’d take all eleven!

Then there was the issue of weather. As we live in Canada, the weather is unpredictable in December. But once again, God went before us and it was great weather for travel. Dad went on a plane prior to ours and was already at the funeral parlor when we landed. The weather remained clear for family and friends to gather two days after Christmas for a time of celebrating my dad’s life.

My mom held up so well during that time. She later told me that when we were standing in line greeting the people who came to be with us, she felt a hand gently rubbing her back, but of course, there was no one behind her. To us it was the presence of God providing comfort for her in this deep valley.

Even though this was a shock, we rejoiced in a life well lived. My dad lived for seventy-seven years and was hardly sick a day in his life. Although we would love to have had him for many more years, God took him in such a wonderful way. I believe it was an early blessing for him.

The words from Psalm 23 were so true for those of us left behind, “. . . for you are with me,” and he was. And now, when I face seemingly impossible odds, I reflect on God’s intervention during dad’s sudden death. I often note how God does not give us peace and courage to face obstacles until we need it! I believe it is his way of drawing us closer to him and to depend on him. But we can be certain that he will give it, and he will walk with us through adversity. He’s promised it; he’s proven it!

 

Sharon Dow is an educator, author, and public speaker. Her books include, Antipas: Martyr, Pergamum: Satan’s Throne, and Huldah: Prophetess. She has three married sons, six grandchildren, and lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, George.

 

31 days of trust without borders

 

Day 23

 

1. The Bread: Read John 13:21-38

2. The Devo: Read Day 23 in Trust Without Borders

3. The Plunge: In today’s devotional we talk about times when our panic button is hit. This is when your body and mind signal an alert that you are in over your head.

When do you feel the panic begin to rise? What triggers those feelings? If we know certain situations trigger certain panic-like responses in us, we can prepare beforehand. We can actually re-write our emotional scripts from panic to trust!

Now here’s the thing: Sometimes we know God will quite simply have to do a miracle (like when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.) But at other times, God asks us to take the seeds He gives us and plant them… work them… into our lives.

Today’s plunge is not one of waiting on God to do the miraculous; it is in faith taking the seeds He has given us and working them into our lives. This is a resolve of faith. So here’s what we are going to do:

Today in your journal, jot down the situations that cause you to panic. Then prayerfully ask the Lord to bring to mind certain promises that you can trust in those situations.

Write those promises on note cards and speak them to yourself when your button gets pushed. Ask the Lord for His favor and blessing to be upon you as you take faith steps towards re-writing your script from panic to trust.

I’m praying for you now as you walk out your day. You are loved and the Lord is with you, sister. I’ll see you here tomorrow.

AJ

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