But as for Me, I Trust in You

As I journey through the book of Psalms, one particular reoccurring phrase whispers hope. The phrase “But as for me” greets me along the trek and encourages me to continue.

The phrase, “But as for me” recognizes I have a choice. I can choose trust or fear, sorrow or joy, rejection or redirection. Despite my feelings (because feelings lie) and despite what the world thinks, this phrase urges me to choose God.

Are you at a crossroads? Is uncertainty looming? I pray that you will read these power packed verses and be encouraged to choose God despite your outlook.

But as for Me Verses:

“But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.” (Psalm 40:17, 70:5)

“But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave.” (Psalm 49:15, NLT)

”But as for me, I trust in you. (Psalm 55:23)

 “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” (Psalm 59:16, NLT)

 “But as for me, afflicted and in pain—may your salvation, God, protect me.”(Psalm 69:29)

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (Psalm 73:28)

”But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.” (Psalm 75:9, NLT)

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord.” (Micah 3:8)

”But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7) 

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives.” (Job 19:25, NLT)

“But as for me, Lord, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts.” (Jeremiah 12:3, NLT)

And as for God…

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (2 Samuel 22:26, Psalm 18:30)

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of Pixabay  *Scripture is NIV from BibleGateway.com unless otherwise noted.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

New Year’s Eve 2016: Crown the Year with Abundance

This morning I awoke with “crown the year with abundance” on my mind. As the coffee brewed, I searched the various translations of Psalm 65:11. I found this New Living Translation and I love it!

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.” (Psalm 65:11, NLT)

What I love about this verse is that there is the recognition that God is the One who crowns the year with abundance. There is also the recognition that even in the hard paths, even in the difficult times, even in the rough seasons, God promises an overflow of abundance.

God promises an abundance of Hope in the hard seasons. Click To Tweet

When I wrote this verse in my journal, I drew a rectangle around the word crown, I underlined the words hard pathways, and I circled the word overflow. When I circled ‘overflow’, it connected the dots and I immediately wrote out my verse for 2016 because I saw that the two verses are connected.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

On the eve of a new year, I wrote out a prayer of praise to God. I wrote and recognized that this has been a hard year. But even in the hard times and difficult seasons, God offers a promise of abundance in these hard times.

As I say farewell to 2016, my heart is full of joy and peace. The path for 2017 might still be hard and difficult, but it is overflowing with an abundance of hope.

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of Pixabay © 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Staring in the Eyes of a Zebra: Encouragement in Desert Wandering

Confessions of zebraEyes of a zebra penetrated my desert heart and helped me find strength in God.

In the 1940’s Dr. Theodore Woodward coined the term “zebra” for any rare medical condition. I first shared about this in the article, Confession of a Zebra. Last week, I sat across another zebra and for the first time, I knew someone truly understood me.

Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis affects one per 100,000 people.[1]  It is isolating and lonely to possess a disease so rare that no one around me understands the paralysis, the pain, the impaired cognitive functioning, and sudden muscle weakness.

When I discovered a Texas zebra was attending a meeting in my area, we scheduled an afternoon together before her return flight home.  Over the past year, we have texted and spoken via phone, but I savored this rare moment to spend face time with her.

As she spoke, I couldn’t help but compare and contrast our lives.  She, a Texas zebra, whose diagnosis of Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, was confirmed at the young age of six. There was no need for extensive genetic testing, since her father and her sister already possessed this rare neuromuscular disease.  Texas zebra is around my age and our daughters are the same age too. Unfortunately, her daughter (and nephew) was diagnosed this summer.DNA

On the other hand, I was clinically diagnosed at age forty, based on my extensive journaling of symptoms and the adverse effect of certain foods, exercise, stress, etc. Unlike, Texas zebra, I am waiting on the results of genetic testing.

Texas zebra grew up with the rare condition and has assimilated well into adulthood; I was diagnosed as an adult.

I feel like Dorothy, who woke up in Oz, desperately clicking my red heels together to go back home to my previous life.

 

The morning after our meeting, I read these words “Jonathan went to David [in the desert] and helped him find strength in God” (1 Samuel 23:16). David was a man on the run, hiding out from the insane King Saul. Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s best friend, came to him in the desert to provide encouragement and strength in God.

This Texas zebra was the Jonathan to my David. She met me in my desert place and provided my weary heart with encouragement and strength in God. We are relational people, not created to live in isolation. This was on Paul’s mind when he wrote, “that you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12).

God doesn’t call us to fix other peoples problems, but to walk with them. Click To Tweet

children-542104_1920 teddy bears friends PixabaySo often, we want to fix other people’s problems and if their problem is too big, we feel overwhelmed by their need. God doesn’t call us to fix other peoples problems, but to walk with them. Notice, Jonathan did not remove David from the desert; rather he spent time with him there and provided strength in God.

Are you in a desert place? God sees you and He cares for you. Seek refuge in Him and find comfort in the words penned by David (perhaps when he was in the desert), “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

Have you been through the desert? I challenge you to reach out to someone in a desert place. Be their Jonathan and provide encouragement and strength in the Lord during this dry and weary season.

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV from Bible Gateway.  *Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

[1] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1171678-overview#a6

Rest and Praise: Underutilized Weapons of Faith

trace-gods-hand-trust-gods-heart-quote-spurgeon-pixabayRestlessness is an Enemy tactic. Restlessness loots our heart of peace and leaves a destruction of doubt in its wake. If left unattended, a restless heart will corrode. The faith-filled heart, once anchored to trust, will begin to rust as our hearts silently question our Lord’s ability and Sovereignty.

The shift from faith to doubt is subtle. I recently caught myself following the breadcrumb path that lead to restlessness. Unbeknownst to me I’d shifted postures from waiting on God to the I’ll do it myself posture.  This shift towards self-sufficiency was slow and subtle.

We cannot always trace God’s hand, but we can always trust God’s heart. Spurgeon. @RedChairMoments Click To Tweet

Recognizing the subtle shift away from God’s Sovereignty toward my self-sufficiency, I prayed and asked for forgiveness. I realized restlessness as an Enemy tactic to keep my mind anxious and stressed instead of filled with peace and rest.

While praying, I compiled a list of weapons of warfare: Prayer, Love, Meditation, Praise, and Rest. By understanding the areas I am most vulnerable, this enables me to understand which of these weapons I need to utilize in times of unrest.Weapons of Faith

Weapons of Praise and Rest Verses:

“Cease striving, and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NASB)

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10, NIV)

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31, NIV)

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6, NIV)

When circumstances appear grim, remember to grab a weapon of faith and praise and rest in God’s Sovereignty.

What area of your life do you need to “cease striving” and rest with God?

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of Pixabay *Scripture is via Bible Gateway.com

P.S. This post was originally posted on Inspire a Fire.com, an inspirational website that features my writing the second Monday each month. Please check it out for additional encouragement.

The Unchanging Character of God

Drive Road sign Winging Path PIxabay“I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6)

Suddenly my world turned upside down. Suddenly I stepped out of a healthy active life into the world of chronic illness. Suddenly, periodic paralysis hijacked my body. Reading Malachi 3:6, “I the Lord do not change,” was a balm for my aching soul. I prayed:

“Lord, I need to savor the words of your promise. God, over the past year so much of my life has changed; I desperately need the reminder today that you do not change. Amen.”

Identity Crisis image Pixabay

  • My health has changed…rare neuromuscular disease
  • My mood has changed …sometimes not so good
  • My abilities have changed…today I cannot lift a coffee mug
  • My income has changed…I have not worked in 8 months
  • My priorities have changed… rest and recovery are on my to do list
  • My posture has changed...my head droops and silent tears fall freely

Unlike me, God never changes. He never has an off day. His mood never fluctuates. He never wakes up on the grumpy side of the bed, because he never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121: 3-4). He does not have bad days, bad weeks, or hormonal changes.

God is always good, constantly kind, and loving. He is long-suffering towards His children and full of tender compassion. He brews a fresh batch of mercy every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

Because God never changes:

  • My praise has changed…I substitute worship for worry.
  • My perspective has changed…I pray, “Lord, bless my perspective.”
  • My identity has changed…God showed me I have been following the idol of self-sufficiency. Now I trust fully in not my ability, but His Sovereignty.
  • My security has changed…God led me here, and He will lead me out.
  • My trust has changed…I trust in the Lord with all my heart, trying not to figure it out on my own.
  • My ability to rest has changed…It is still a daily battle, but rest is a necessary part of this season.
  • My assignment has changed… Each day I ask, God want do you want me to do today?
  • My faith has changed…In my battle of this new chronic illness named Periodic Paralysis, I have witness God’s chronic presence in my life.
God stepped into my world of chronic illness with His chronic presence. Click To Tweet

For Ever Tree PIxabayWhile my attacks are episodic and periodic, God remains unchanging in His chronic compassion towards me, and it is well with my soul.

Friend, has your world turned upside down? Has there been a recent change in your life? Take comfort today that while our circumstances may change we can cling to the promise God issued in Malachi 3:6, “I the Lord, do not change.”

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV from Bible Gateway.  *Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Why Would God Induce an Attack on His Children?

dr-pepper-and-nachosMunching on nachos and drinking a fully loaded Dr. Pepper, I calculate the length of time since I last consumed these foods–seven months.

Today, I am purposefully trying to induce an attack of Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, the rare neuromuscular disease that hijacked my body nearly a year ago. My assignment for the next two days is to avoid taking my medications and to eat everything to trigger an attack. I return to Duke on Thursday for more testing. The neurologist wants to me trigger an attack so that she can conduct further nerve conduction tests while paralyzed.  (Doesn’t that sound fun?)

During my quiet time with the Lord this morning, I contemplated this process and wondered, “Isn’t there an easier way?”  I understand comparing test results from a good day/bad day will aid in my treatment plan. However, I know pain and paralysis is imminent.

“Isn’t there an easier way?” is the question we frequently ask when facing difficulty. God reminded me of his leading of Moses and the Israelites through the Red Sea. The Israelites probably also asked for an easier way.  “God did not lead them on the road…though that was shorter. God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea” (Exodus 13:17-18).

In this epic story, God led the people as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They followed God’s lead into an impossible situation between enemy territory and a body of water too wide to cross. Then God hardened Pharaoh’s heart knowing the King of Egypt would pursue them.  God also induced an attack.

The same God who led you in will lead you out. -Robert J. Morgan Click To Tweet

Why would God induce an attack on his children? Why would God purposefully position His children in an impossible situation? Often, God will bring us to a place of utter dependence on Him to bring glory to His Name and to prove that “I AM LORD” (Exodus 14:4).Caught an attack and impossible

Pastor and writer Robert J. Morgan wrote a powerful book titled The Red Sea Rules. Each time I read this book, I find new comfort from a familiar story of Moses and the Red Sea. The byline of the book is one of my favorite quotes, “The same God who led you in will lead you out.”

When you feel the enemy closing in and an attack in imminent, remember these two things: “With God all things are possible,” and “The same God who led you in will lead you out.”

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of author and Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

 

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