Diane’s Blog – Inspiration from the Heart and Prayers of Diane

Travis in his wedding day tuxedo

A Reflection of His Glory

The other week during the early morning service at our church, I experienced a sweet, sweet moment with the Holy Spirit of God.  I know that God is always with me, but I love it when the Holy Spirit reveals that He is closer than I can imagine.

It was the very beginning of the service and our pastor asked that we all join hands during prayer.  I took hold to the hand to the right of me.  There was no one standing to my left.  The pastor began to pray.  I glanced behind me to see if I could reach the hand of someone, but there was no one close enough.

I bowed my head and all of a sudden heard “His” still small voice.  “You can hold my hand,” the Holy Spirit softly whispered.  I smiled, my eyes still closed.  I reached to my left and took hold of the Holy Spirit’s precious hand.  The experience was so real to me that I felt that if I opened my eyes that I would actually see Jesus, my Lord and Savior, standing to my left smiling and holding to my hand.

It was too much of a temptation to keep my eyes closed when that emotion, that feeling, that supernatural knowing was upon me.  And, so, I opened my eyes, looked to my left and saw……my own shadow stretched out across the floor, and, again, I smiled.  The Holy Spirit brought to my mind the fact that just like my shadow is a reflection of me, I, Diane, as a child of God, am a reflection of Jesus Christ.  As a Christian, a child of the Holy God of our Universe, I represent Jesus Christ and all that He stands for.  I am to be His light to all that I come in contact with.  I am to let my light shine, the light of Jesus Christ within me, and I am to give light to all those who Christ brings down my pathway.

I sang a solo that morning called “Keep Me in Your Will,” by  Jessica King.  The lyrics say, “Keep me in Your will, so I won’t be in Your way.”  That is my prayer, today.  I pray that God will always keep me in His will that I will be the reflection of who He wants me to be and I will bring honor and glory to Him by the way I live my life.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.   Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

What Hast Thou Given For Me?

Our pastor has been teaching the parables of Jesus for several weeks now at church on Wednesday nights.  I began to think about the parable of the ruler who asked Jesus in Luke 18:18-24, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus reminds him in verse 20 of the commandments.  The ruler tells Jesus in verse 21 that he has kept the commandments from his youth.  The next part is the part I really became interested in.  Jesus tells the ruler in verse 22, “Yet lackest thou one thing; sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”  The ruler, who was very rich, went away in sorrow, not willing to give up what he had to obtain eternal security with Jesus Christ.  He was not willing to give up what he could not possibly keep for something far greater that he could not possibly lose.  The rich ruler loved his riches and what he owned more than he loved Jesus.  He walked away from the One, the only One, who could and would give him eternal life.

This parable reminded me of a quote that I heard once that said, “God may not require you to give up anything in this life, but there should not be anything that you would not be willing to give up for Him.”  I believe that this parable and this quote has everything to do with what is in our hearts.  I believe that as a Christian we can get to a point in our lives that we know within ourselves, within our hearts, that everything that we have, everything that has been given to us, every single thing that we own, people that we love, everything….belongs to God and not to us.  I believe that we as Christians can get to that point of being willing in our heart and soul to give up everything for Jesus Christ.

There is an old hymn called “I Gave My Life for Thee”.  The lyrics of the song talk of the precious blood of Jesus that He shed for us and the suffering that He experienced was “more than tongue can tell”.  The last words of the hymn are “What hast thou given for Me”?  I thought about it.  What have I given up for Jesus?  There was a couple of things that came to my mind when I asked myself that question.  But, I felt that the Holy Spirit brought something to my memory that happened several years ago.  I remembered kneeling down at the altar for the first time to pray for my son, Travis.  I prayed that God would intervene in his life.  His drug addiction was completely out of control and I had gone to God for help.  I desperately and passionately wanted help for him.  I told God that I wanted all things to be in His perfect Holy will and I asked if there was any way for Travis to be spared from this chaos of drug addiction.  I was desperately wanting Travis free from the spiraling funnel, created by the enemy, that had Travis spinning in turmoil.  I asked God if allowing Travis to live and be happy in this life “could” be in His perfect will to let nothing come in between God and God’s will for him.  I asked that no matter what had to happen that Travis would be delivered, no matter what God had to do.

Still kneeling at the altar, I began to think about that statement; “No matter what God had to do.”  That really is a very powerful statement and quite a bit frightening.  If you say that statement and mean it from every fiber of your being, as I did, what can happen could be absolutely anything.  God does answer our prayers.  I immediately thought of my own death, thinking that God may take my life in order to save my son’s life.  And then I thought, God took His Son’s life in order to save my life.  I knew that my salvation was secure.  I knew that Jesus Christ had paid the price of death on that cross that I might have eternal life with Him, my Savior.  I knew that when my death comes, that I will be with Christ eternally.  I also knew that I could trust God completely, and I knew that He loves me and my son more than anyone else loves us, and that He would do what was best for us.  And then, I said, “Yes, Lord, no matter what You have to do, even if it means that you may take my life.”

I haven’t really thought about that statement that I made to God for quite some time.  But I feel that God revealed something to me when the parable of the rich ruler brought it to my mind.  I believe as I knelt there at that altar, that it was God who put the thought into my mind that He may require my life in order to save the life of my son.  And really, He did require my life….not in death, but in life.  He wanted me to completely give Him my life in service to Him.  I didn’t know at the time that God would use me to start Healing Reign Ministry, a ministry who’s function is to help addicts and alcoholics find the road to recovery from their addictions through Jesus Christ.  I have often thought that this would be my life until I was no longer able to serve Christ in this ministry.  Helping those in addiction is where my heart is and what is almost constantly on my mind.  I have asked God to allow me to make a difference in my lifetime that will make a difference in the Kingdom of Christ.  He asked me for my life….I willingly give it to Him, in the name of Jesus.

The hand of God

Philippians 1:21-22

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in

the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.

Keep Me In Your Will

For over a year, I know, I have been riding by an empty house that always catches my eye.  I always had a vision in my mind about opening up a shop for Healing Reign Ministry in this empty house.  I wanted the look and feel of Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Gift Shop, minus the restaurant and plus more odds, ends and novelties;  country and rustic, the look and the smell.  I began to have this feeling that this must be a “God” thing for me to rent this house and open up a shop.  I was basing this on the fact that I thought a lot about it.  After all, I could see this happening from beginning to end.  It was affordable rent and it was small enough for me to handle. setting everything I needed in place.  I had even decorated the little house in my mind with country curtains flowing slightly from the breeze blowing through the up-raised windows.  And maybe window boxes with a rainbow color pallet of flowers and hanging baskets full of fresh greenery hanging from the porch.  The fact that I felt that this was something that I could manage excited me!  I decided to take a leap, because this leap “was” in my comfort zone.  The landlord was contacted and he agreed to let us rent the house for Healing Reign Ministry’s shop.  Now that was the hard part, right?  Wrong!  I contacted the city and made sure I didn’t need a city license.  I didn’t.  Easy!  Then I contacted the county.  A little bit more difficult.  They told me how I would have to equip the house for the handicap.  It was easy enough to do.  We would put up a ramp at the front door and we could use the restroom facilities, with permission, from the next door facility.  Then the hard part came.  I found out that since this little house had always been used as residential, I would have to change it to a commercial rental.  I felt this was doable, but  I needed written permission on a legal document from the landlord, because his property taxes would go up, probably considerably.  They also told me that the landlord would probably not be able to change his property back to a residential rental when Healing Reign Ministry moved from the premises.

Now, prior to all this, I will tell you that I have been praying a certain way since God delivered my son, Travis from his drug addiction in 2007.  During the experience Travis and I went through with his addiction, I began to pray that God’s will would be done, no matter what; that nothing would come between God and His will, including me.  I prayed that if I ever prayed for something that was not in God’s will or God’s timing that He would put a block in front of whatever I was asking for.  When the landlord told us that he would not change from residential to commercial, the Holy Spirit immediately put the prayer that I had prayed into my mind.  He was letting me know that this was one of the blocks that I had prayed for.  He reminded me what I had thought about the house, “This is in “my” comfort zone; this is something that “I” can handle on my own; “I” can manage this task fairly easily.”  The Lord reminded me that I could see this happening from beginning to end, in every detail.  Then God put the thoughts into my mind….God does not want you to see everything from beginning to the end.  He does not want you to always be in “your” comfort zone….sometimes, God wants you to step out of the boundaries of your comfort zone, so that you can experience a walk of faith with the Holy King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He wants you to follow Him, baby step by baby step.

Fly to the light

This entire life-lesson that God gave to me through this experience reminds me of a song called “Keep Me In Your Will” by Jessica King.  The lyrics tell that sometimes we think we’re in control and we try to face problems on our own.  The mistakes we make by trying to do things “our way” can get in “God’s way” of His will for us.

I know that God has a plan, a master plan for Healing Reign Ministry and I thank Him for what He has done and all He is going to do in advance.  I pray in the name of Jesus, that He will continue to “block” anything that comes from my trying to do things “my way”.  I want everything that I do to be God’s way, because His way is the only way!

Words to: “Keep Me In Your Will”

Sometimes I think I’m in control and I act so foolishly;

Facing problems on my own, I don’t know what’s best for me.

My mistakes at times disturb all the plans that You have made.

Lord keep me in Your will, so I won’t be in Your way.

          And put me where You want to, not where I want to be.

If I should ask for things that I want, only give me what I need.

When I complain from time to time, forgive Lord I pray.

And keep me in Your will, Lord, so I won’t be in Your way.

           Remind me Lord I’m just a glove, in which You place Your hand.

Not my will but Yours be done, though I don’t understand.

The best laid plans I’ve made, somehow always go astray.

Lord keep me in Your will, so I won’t be in Your way.

           I need You dear Lord, each and every single day.

To keep me in Your will so I won’t be in Your way.

The Intercessor’s Prayer

It never ceases to amaze me of the emotion that fills me when God sends that next addict or alcoholic down my path.  I remember back in 2007 when I felt the call from God to help addicts and alcoholics, I asked God, “Where will I find them,” and God replied to me, “Minister to those I put in your path.”  Now He didn’t speak audibly to me.  He spoke that sentence to my spirit.  And, God has literally brought people into my path since that day that have a problem with an addiction.

Although I have been helping addicts since 2007, our website didn’t go live until this month; July 2012.  I didn’t know how many might see the website or who might call.  A young man was the first to call and leave a message after viewing our website.  It had only been a couple of days after the website had gone live.  When I called him back he told me that he had a problem with alcohol and that the weekend before had been a bad weekend for him.  He wanted help and he was willing to go to a facility.  We discussed his options.  He was going to think about it and get back to me.  I told him how Healing Reign Ministry could help.  And then we hung up the telephone and ended our conversation.

When I hang up from someone who calls me, I always wonder if I will talk to them again.  I wonder if they will follow through on going to a facility to get help with their addiction, to get the help that they need.  It becomes a thought that stays on my mind for some time.  It is almost an obsession with me, I guess you could say even an addiction of sorts, that I want the help “for” them.  I have thought before that if there could be some words that I could say to them or something that I could do to deliver them from their addiction that I would say it or do it.  But, then, of course, I know that only God can do that, only the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Creator of our Universe, only He can deliver us from the strongholds of an addiction or for any sin that we have in our lives that has such a hold on us that we cannot loose ourselves.  I know that He can do it, so what can I do to help them.  What is it that God wants me to do?  When I hung up from this young man, I began to pray for him.  God has been speaking to me lately about praying as an intercessor.  I looked it up in the dictionary.  It said “a prayer or petition to God on behalf of another”.  God wants me to pray on behalf of those who come to me for help.  And not just any prayer, but one from my heart, from the inner parts of my soul and from the very fiber of my being; a desperate and passionate prayer that stems only from the calling of the Holy Spirit of the Living God.  I can’t explain it, but I had this enormous burden for this young man to get the help he said that he wanted.  That night when I went to bed, he was so deeply rooted into my mind and spirit that I cried for him and asked God to give him a miracle, a miracle like I know that God gave to my son.  It was hard for me to go sleep, but eventually I did.  When I awoke, this young man was still on my mind.  I was still on the verge of tears.  I had not met this young man in person, we didn’t know each other prior to our telephone conversation and our phone conversation didn’t last that long.  I wondered if I had said all that I could say to him that would encourage him to go into a rehabilitation center.  I wondered if I had said everything that the Holy Spirit of God would have wanted me to say.  I can’t explain the yearning that I had for this young man to get help.

don't pray in the rain if you don't pray when the sun shines... Satchel Paige
The  next morning I felt this overwhelming urge to text him.  I felt that this was the Holy Spirit letting me know that this young man needed just a little bit more encouragement.  I text him what I felt that the Holy Spirit wanted me to say.  And then, that was it.  I didn’t hear from him the rest of that day.

Not too long after I went into work the next morning, my cell phone rang.  I recognized the number as belonging to the young man that God had put on my heart to pray an intercessor’s prayer for.  I answered it.  I was glad to hear from him.  I asked him if he had given anymore thought to going into a facility.  And then he absolutely blew my mind when he said, “I’m packed.”  I just gasped and asked “Are you serious?”  He said he was.  And then he said that he received my text message and he had it saved.  “He had saved my text message.”  I don’t even remember what I said in that message, but I do remember writing it from my heart with the Holy Spirit of God in mind.

The young man in this story is now in rehab, an excellent rehab.  I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through him.  I know that this experience will change his life.  The first time I talked to him, he told me that he wanted to be better.  I am praying that he will be whole in Christ Jesus.  I am praying, as an intercessor for him, for God to grant him a miracle of deliverance from any addiction that has a strong hold on his life.  I want him to be free from anything that has  him bound.  In the name of Jesus, I ask you to pray for him, also.  I ask you to join me and together we will be intercessors for this young man.  I thank you in advance for your prayers.

1 Timothy 2:1 

 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.”

Love in Christ Jesus,

Diane

The Wishing Meadow: “10 Symbolic Contrasts Between the Dandelion and a Child of God”

Tuesday June 26, 2012

This past weekend my husband, Frank and I rode down to Madelyn and Aston’s house to give Ashton his birthday gift.  His birthday is on June 18th.  Ashton and Madelyn are two of my grandchildren.  Madelyn, age 12 and Ashton, age 8 live surrounded by several acres owned by grandparents, aunts and uncles, even cousins.  They live down a dirt drive and you can’t see their house from the road.  It has a beautiful pond in the back of the home and half of it is covered with lily pads.  Aston tells us that there are a lot of frogs that live there.  Surrounding their home is somewhat of a forest that Madelyn and Ashton enjoy making forts in and exploring.  If you go and visit Madelyn and Ashton, they love to show you around.  Madelyn absolutely loves getting you to hop on the golf cart so she can take you down to see all there is to see on the homestead.  That’s what she wanted to do this past weekend.  She especially wanted to show Papa Frank around since he has never been site-seeing with her on the golf cart, so when she saw that Papa Frank had come along with Mamie (that‘s me), Madelyn seized the opportunity to show him around.  We all piled onto the cart and Madelyn proceeded to show us everything.  Papa Frank rode shot-gun and Ashton and I took the back seat.  Madelyn proceeded to take us and show us the wild hogs that were caught by relatives on the property.  She also took us to see Jet and Piggy, their pet goats and then we traveled further down the path, past the cornfields thickly stocked with fresh growing corn.  The smell in the air was absolutely wonderful; it smelled of “country” and I loved it!  Afterwards, we paused at the chicken house for just a few moments, observing the daily routine of food searching for the chickens.  Madleyn drove down paths that had been made by four-wheelers and golf-carts, through tall trees and thick brush.  It was amazing!!!  She took us to a pond where Aston sometimes catches “critters” and then lets them go.  But, the most wonderful, fantastic place that she took us was what Madelyn and I named “The Wishing Meadow”.  She drives up over a narrow dirt path with a pond on one side and a creek of sorts down a deep ravine on the other.  It empties out into this enormous and gorgeous meadow that is hidden from the world, unless you go looking for it.  Everywhere you look you can see dandelion seed heads.  How utterly amazing and wonderful I thought it was!  The first time I saw it, I said, “Look at all these wishes!”  I remember when I was a young girl, how I would pick the dandelion seed heads, make a wish and then blow.  I always thought that if you blow “all” of the dandelion away from the stem, then your wish would come true.  I also remember how my friends and I would hold the bright yellow dandelion flower up in under our chins.  If the dandelion flower put off a yellow glow on your skin, we thought it meant that you loved butter.  Madelyn drove the golf-cart right through all those wishes; all around the “The Wishing Meadow” she drove and when she did she exclaimed, “Oh, Look!”  And when we looked, dandelion seeds were blowing all in the air.  As if it wasn’t already too beautiful to imagine, God touched it with “His Glory” and it became even more spectacular.  I felt that God was giving me a “life lesson” in all of this and as I thought about it, I decided to do a little research on the dandelion.  This is what I discovered…and the inspiration and symbolism God gave to me through the Holy Spirit right into my heart is written afterwards.

Field of Dandelions

1.  When a dandelion begins to grow, the first thing you will observe are the unusual green leaves.  The leaf edges are very jagged or toothed. These leaves appear before the stem, before the small green petals called bracts and before the bright yellow flower that the bracts surround.

*Each individual “jagged” leaf reminds me of sin in our lives and how as we grow, our sin will be observed in our lives by others by the way we live.

2.  When the dandelion’s leaves mature and before the actual dandelion grows, the tightly wrapped leaf base just above the top of the underground dandelion root resembles a “crown”; a crown of jagged, toothed leaves.

*I, of course, immediately thought of the crown of thorns that was placed on the head of Jesus at His crucifixion.  He is King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  How appropriate, I thought, that there would be a crown above what I felt was symbolic of Jesus Christ…the root of the dandelion, as you will read below.

3.  The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars.  The yellow flower resembles the sun, the seed head resembles the moon and the seeds, when blown, resemble stars, and yet it is one flower.

*God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit comes into our life as One, yet He is Three in One.  God the Father, being our Father in Heaven, God the Son who is God our Father’s Son named Jesus, who came to earth as flesh to save us from our sins and God the Holy Spirit being His Holy Spirit that comes to live within us when we accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior.

4.  The stem of the plant is hollow, and when broken a sticky white bitter sap will ooze out.

*When I thought about the stem of the dandelion, how it is hollow inside, I thought about how we are hollow inside until we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and He sends the Holy Spirit to live within us.  And, I thought how the dandelion oozes when broken with bitterness.  I thought about the times when we are broken in spirit, before we come to know Christ.  And when we accept Him, the bitterness leaves us and what oozes out of us is joy.

5.  The flower of the dandelion is shaped like a circle and is bright yellow.  It is symmetrical, meaning if you were to fold it in half, it will look the same on both sides.

*What God put in my spirit about this, I thought interesting.  When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we are like a shining light somewhat like the dandelion when the bright yellow flower comes into bloom; people often can see the love of Jesus in our faces.  The dandelion blossom is symmetrical.  We, as children of God, are also symmetrical, meaning if it were possible to look into a Christian’s heart, you would see the same love of Christ as you would see in the face of a child of God.

6.  When finished flowering, the dandelion flower turns to seed.  The whole head of the flower will close up and the green bracts underneath the flower will close around the seed.  The yellow petals will disappear and the seeds mature.  Then, this new seed head will open up.  These big puffy white seed heads, when blown by the wind, or should I say when blown by God, or by us, or even scattered by a golf-cart, can start 200 or more new plants per dandelion.  I wonder how many new dandelions will begin because we drove through “The Wishing Meadow” on a golf-cart.

*This one was really amazing!  As a Christian walks with Christ and matures, just like the dandelion’s head closes up and the green bracts underneath the flower close around the seed, the Child of God’s head bows, eyes close (flower head) and hands (bracts) fold in prayer.  The seeds are maturing as they experience more and more of Christ and the child of God begins to tell of their experiences, spreading the seeds (seed head) with others wherever they go by sharing the love of Christ and His goodness.  When a Christian shares what Christ has done for them, how many lives can be touched.  How many new believers can come to Christ through one Christian sowing seeds of Christ’s love?  200, like the dandelion?  Well, think about it this way.  You share with one person and that person shares with another and that person with another and on and on and on.  The domino effect begins and there is no telling where it ends, it is most likely, I would say, eternal; much, much more than 200.

7.  Dandelions are one of the most familiar sights of spring, though not  welcome by some.  They turn green lawns and pastures yellow with their flowers.  Dandelions grow in a funnel shape.  Starting from the base of the plant, the leaves have slim stalks, but grow wider towards the tip.  This helps any falling water like raindrops to run down the center of the plant right to it’s long root where it needs it.

*Christians can usually be seen on Sundays together at church with their “smiling” faces in the sanctuary just like bright yellow dandelions on the lawns and in the pastures.  With hands uplifted in prayer and praise, they are shaped like the description of the dandelion above…slim stalks, but growing wider toward the tip, creating a funnel shape.  The same way that being a funnel shape helps the dandelion to catch raindrops that fall, a Christian’s hands raised in prayer and praise helps them catch the power of the Holy Spirit of God.  And, like the fact that dandelions are considered weeds by some people and not welcome by them, Christians, also, are not welcome by some when they share Christ’s love to others.

8.  Another way a brand new dandelion can grow is if some of the root called a taproot is left even if the plant and flower are removed, because there is one long thick root that holds the plant in place and seeks out water. J

*This one I had to think about, but then God gave it to me…when the dandelion’s plant and flower is removed, it actually gets more than one chance to bloom.  The dandelion has a very strong root, and if that root is not removed, it serves as an intercessor to nourish and to bring this plant back to life over and over again even if the plant and flower are removed.  Jesus Christ is a Christian’s intercessor; He is our “strong root”.  He seeks to nourish us back to life when we stray away from Him.  And, He is always there for us holding our place with Him while He yearns for our return.  When we do return, just like the dandelion blooms a brand new blossom, Christ forgives and accepts us back as brand new!!

9.  The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep.

*God opens each brand new day for us with light from above and He closes each day with the beauty of darkness.

10.  Every part of the dandelion is useful; the root, stem, leaves, and flower can be used for medicinal purposes and the color of the dandelion can be used for dye.  All parts of the dandelion contain several vitamins and is completely edible.

*God created each of us special with a specific purpose.  Just like many of us didn’t know about the dandelion, many may not know God’s specific purpose for their lives; however, the purpose is still there waiting to be discovered.

Will you ever look at the dandelion the same?  I don’t think I ever will.

Lots of dandelions

Right On Time

I awoke this morning with a familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach. I noticed it as the beginnings of wondering and doubt that come to me from time to time. Wondering and doubt about Healing Reign and what God is doing with it, what He wants me to do with it, what “exactly” is going to happen with it, can I possibly handle this task that He has laid out before me, will I do it right, will He be pleased, will I fail, why did He choose me, do I even want this responsibility, etc. etc. etc. Wondering and doubt that come from who? Not God, that’s for sure. The enemy? Absolutely!!! And when the wondering and doubt come, right after it comes what for me? Discouragement…that is if something doesn’t take the discouragement out of my mind. I thank God for putting that something in my mind this morning and I am extremely thankful that I recognized that something as being from Him. This is what God reminded me of…something that I haven’t thought about in a really long time!!

His and Hers Vintage Schwinn Touring Bicycles
Years and years ago…when I was probably 7 years old, my mom’s two brothers, Junior and Clyde, both teenagers at the time, had ridden their bicycles almost 20 miles, all the way from White Horse Road area in Greenville, SC to Apalache in the Greer area for a visit. I remember that they spent the weekend with us. While they were there, my Uncle Junior and I were going to ride our bikes down to a close-by service station to pick up something for Mom. It was probably a little less than a mile away. Not a big deal, right? The road even, as I recall, was asphalt. The only thing was; the service station was at the bottom of a steep hill. At the bottom of that steep hill was Highway 29, and even back in the 60’s, it was quite busy. We started down the steep hill on our way to the service station, and I pedaled at first; my bike began to go faster and faster. I stopped pedaling. My bike was flying, and all of a sudden fear consumed me and there was this overwhelming panic inside of me.  I felt that I was going too fast and that I was in danger. I wanted to slow down, I tried to slow down, but for some reason my brakes didn’t work. I put my bare feet down on the asphalt to stop my bike, but I was going too fast…the road burned my feet. Anxiety had completely taken over me. I began to cry out to my Uncle Junior who had been right beside me, just seconds before, but all of a sudden had sped up and was in front of me. “Junior!!” I called out, “Junior!!” He didn’t answer. “Junior!!”  It was as if he didn’t hear me! He was pedaling faster and faster. He was leaving me! Why would he leave me?? I’m in trouble!! Highway 29 was in my mind and soon there it was in my sight. What am I going to do, how am I going to fix this?? I’m going to be killed!! My 7 year old mind was racing trying to find a quick solution to my major problem, I could feel the heat on my face from the terror that had taken control! “Junior!! Help me!! I can’t stop!! Junior!!!!” He’s gone on down the hill! He can’t hear me!! I could see Junior almost to the bottom of the hill. He’s going to turn toward the service station and then I won’t be able to see him. “Junior!! Help me,” I cried out again. And suddenly, Junior, at the very bottom of the hill, jumped from his bike, and as his bike was flung through the air and tumbled to the ground from the sling that he gave it, he turned and right-on-time, he grabbed my bike by the handle bars and stopped my bike “and” me from going out in front of an 18-wheeler that passed by just at that very moment. Our eyes met! Mine were filled with tears! “Why did you leave me, I cried. I couldn’t stop. My brakes gave out and you left me! I didn’t know what to do! I called you and you didn’t hear me!” He looked into my fearful, tear-filled eyes and said to me, “I didn’t leave you, I was right here. I knew you were in trouble, I heard you cry out, and I went ahead of you so I could help you.”And then, I knew that God was speaking to me, telling me, “I will never leave you. I am right here. I know when you are in trouble and when you are afraid. I hear your cries and I hear you when you call to me. I have already been where I have called you to go. I went ahead so I can help you. Trust Me. I will show you what to do. I have prepared the way for you and will be there for you right-on-time when you need me.”

Maybe you, too, are discouraged, maybe you know what I am talking about when I talk about that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I want you to know that God loves you. He is right there waiting for you to call out to Him. He knows when you are in trouble, He hears your cries. He will help you.

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”