Did you wake up this morning with a twinge of anxiety?
Do you fear the unknown?   Or maybe you have a fear of the future?

Fear.  Most of us are afraid of something at sometime in our lives.  I grapple with it.  I bet you do too.

 

Think back to when you were a small child.
Do you remember a time when you were out in the great big world and mom or dad took hold of your hand to keep you safe?

Your small hand nestled inside that larger stronger hand.  Firmly holding on to you.  Did it make you feel protected?  Maybe you were completely unaware that there was any concern for your safety.

 

As small children we generally tend to be fearless.   Hopefully we grew up in a home where we were cherished and protected.  I was.   Even so, fear started to creep in.  Partly because of my vivid imagination.  I was certain I saw a bogey man out my window.  Then I disobeyed my parents and I burned myself and fractured my arm, among other things.  The door to fear was opened, just a crack.

Generally we put fear aside.  Discount it.  And attempt to turn our backs on it.

One day, fear demands our attention.  It may come through illness, job loss, a fracture in a relationship, you fill in the blank.  We may be doing our best to trust in God with our whole heart.  Yet, in the recesses of our minds, fear comes knocking.

This past week I was unconsciously struggling with fear when I made one of my regular stops to the Studio JRU blog.  Jennifer had recently created this lovely piece of graphic art.

 

Do not fear - Isaiah 41:13 - Studio JRU art print

 

It was as if I read this verse for the very first time.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 NIV

 

God isn’t saying here…don’t worry…everything will be fine.  No.  He tells us He takes hold of our right hand.  This isn’t me putting my hand in His.  He takes my hand.  Like a parent grabs hold of a child’s hand to protect.

God says, “Do not fear.”  
Those are not empty words either.
He follows it up with “I will help you.”

Mentally, right then, I held out my hand and imagined my loving Father, holding my hand.

Do you need Him to hold your hand too?
I think He already is.  We only need to acknowledge it.

 

Do Not Fear : Isaiah 41:13 | AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Often we have squirmed out of His hand because we think we can handle our situations ourselves.  After all, we are intelligent and competent in what we do every day.  We think we can get through on our wits and our wiles. …along with a prayer asking God to bless our attempts.  Yes?

I haven’t counted myself, but I understand that “Do not fear” or something similar can be found 365 times in the Bible.  That would be one verse a day for a year.  Incredible.  

 

Do you need the safety found in a loving heavenly Father
who takes hold of your hand and says, “Do not fear; I will help you.”?

May I encourage you to meditate on the truth of this verse.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 NIV

Read it out loud.  Let your mind hear those words.
And then, hide those words in your heart by memorizing them.
That way, they will come to mind when you need them most.

If you’d like  a visual encouragement, order Jennifer’s beautiful graphic here.  It would be lovely on the wall near your often-used entry door as a truthful reminder when you leave your home, or over your desk or workspace, or in the kitchen over the counter where you prepare your meals.

Jennifer has created many beautiful scripture works which you can also check out here.

Volumes have been written about fear.  Or not fearing.  It matters little.  What matters is that we desire to live extraordinary lives.  And one way to do that is to accept God’s truth–His word, believe it, meditate on it, and live it…regardless of what we see.  That’s faith.  It may not be easy.  But, in doing so, we will be extraordinary….in His power and in His strength.  He will help us.  Without a doubt.

I’m choosing to keep my hand in His?  How about you?
Let me know…

 

Joy Day! - Do Not Fear - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

 

It’s Joy Day!

 

Today is the day when we take time to look back over our week and count gifts/blessings.  
The good, and yes, the not so good things that happened in our lives.
And we give thanks to God for those gifts.

I’ll start…

My heart is grateful for:

  1. sunshine and a brief reprieve from the snow.
  2. friends and their tangible expressions of love.
  3. another week of hard waiting.
  4. the unexpected gifts cards that arrived in the mail from the supermarket because they are changing their rewards program.
  5. healing.
  6. a husband who shares in the cooking.
  7. the hugs of a volunteer who misses us.

Okay…it’s your turn!  Please scroll down to “Share Your Thoughts” below and leave your ‘seven.’  There is something about this exercise that changes our hearts and makes our joy meters soar.  Try it!

 

Keeping my hand in his…

Joyfully,

Diane

 

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Comments

  1. My yellow chain flower tree is blooming
    My right hand can move to let Jesuus hold it
    My Mom still can call me and tell me stories of her pioneer grandparents
    My friend came over for coffee and a cookie. We used pretty little napkins and chatted
    I got to have only one doctor visit and got to go to Bunco
    Many dear friends and cousins wrote or called this week
    I got to call my hometown and put together a valentine and surprise my sister when she stopped by there
    My husband feels better and keeps me turning to God amidst confusion
    This post. Right time. Right message.
    My little grandson got to jabber to me and we sang Jesus Loves Me

    • God is so good. Yay for all the blessings in your week. Those pioneer stories are true treasures.
      {hugs} to you Gwen and enjoy that loving yellow chain flower tree for me.

  2. Wow, Diane! Thank you for sharing this. I needed it today. Been dealing with a lot of fear and depression lately. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Isn’t God so good? I love how He uses us to encourage and bless one another. Hugs to you Tammy!
      May your week be filled with glimpses of joy everywhere you turn.

  3. Oh, how I love Jennifer’s work. What a gift that you were blessed with such a pertinent message at just the right time, Diane. Isn’t God good? Just like Him to do that 🙂 Happy Joy Day!

    • Oh Laura it is. 🙂 I didn’t share this because I didn’t want to get long-winded on the blog…but later that same day I picked up my Streams in the Desert devotional and the message there dove-tailed with the scripture of Jennifer’s in a remarkable way for me and where I am at. God is so good….if only I can keep my ear attuned to his voice.
      May your day be joyous!

  4. Oh yes…… Late, but nonetheless:

    * Sunshine after (over) a week of gray.
    * An OUTTING….as in the ‘not of the doctor’ kind! Woohoo!!
    * Eagles….gliding along the river in the peaceful blueness
    * The dance in the kitchen! 🙂
    * The wee ‘filled with love’ cards I’ve sent out–how fun!
    * The HAPPY squirrels nest in the livingroom from creative moments!
    * That YOU have birdsong returning…..how cool is THAT?! 🙂

    • Late? I hadn’t noticed. 🙂 [heehee]
      I love your ‘seven’ Mel! They give me joy too! A blessed week….and another one in the making…I can tell. [hugs]
      Speaking of the birds. I have had bluebirds…even in my front window box. Yes…I did do the dance of joy!!!!!!!!

  5. love this post – This morning’s reading in Jesus calling had it referenced and my boys and I talked about it before they went to milk…just one of the many things I’m grateful for, fresh milk and boys who are learning responsibility taking care of her!

  6. I love this artwork ( I did a John Denver tribute on a pallet board )
    The basket is a beautiful touch !!!
    Visiting from The Charm of Home – have a heart filled day!
    Hugs,
    Suzan

  7. yes! counting the joys, gratitudes, blessings, dispels the fear, puts it back in its place

    here’s my 300 second perspective on fear coming to call
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2013/02/300-seconds-on-fear.html

  8. This is beautiful! I love your thought about fear here, Diane. And I love when we hear a verse as though it is the first time… it reaches out and grabs us and holds on! Thanks so much for sharing my art! xo

    • I’m glad it resonates with you, Jennifer. You truly blessed me. My hope is that that blessing and joy comes back to you…pressed down and overflowing. 🙂

  9. Thanks for your thoughts on fear, Diane. May the Lord bless you as you keep your hand in His.

  10. Hi Diane,
    I love this verse, and have been thinking of this a lot lately…I’m so thankful that He holds on to my hand because some days, my grip is just too weak. I would’ve slipped away a long time ago, but because He holds on to me, I’m still here.
    Visiting from The Weekend Brew.
    Blessings,
    Laura

    • I had thought about how I pull away from his grip. Your thought about his holding on because ‘my’ grip is too weak is humbling perspective and a reminder of my total need for dependence too.
      Thanks Laura!
      Hope your weekend is joy filled!

  11. Diane,

    Thanks for always being such an inspiration and encouragement to us at Inspire Me Monday!
    Congrats – you’ve been featured this week at

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

    • Ramona you are so kind to say that. You have hundreds of people who link up with you each week and you remember me? I am so very blessed. Thank YOU! And thank you for featuring me, too! [hugs]

  12. Your post gives much to think about. I still have a great fear of driving on our highways ( a bad accident almost 30 years ago still cuses me anxiety) I know the Lord is with me when I drive to work each day and I always ask for angels to surround me.
    Love the nartwork.

    • Yes…Jennifer’s artwork is beautiful & inspiring!! 🙂
      I know that driving thing, Bev…having had many close calls and long commutes in icy snowy weather many years ago…still working on that one too!
      Isn’t it good to know that HE IS our protector?
      [hugs]

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