Four Consoling Words

I knew getting back to blogging with WordPress would provide a challenge. Battling my way through all the changes made since my last engagement with the website would surely test my patience. And I was right about that.

I promised myself I would post on Wednesday, but a couple of sticking points seemed determined to prevent me from doing so. As the morning grew into afternoon, I became increasingly concerned I might not meet my goal. I could feel my blood beginning to boil, and in defeat, I closed WordPress.

With a racing heart and shallow breath, I desperately wanted to feel comfort in my mind and body. Under such circumstances, I often head for my yoga mat. Yahweh Yoga seems to correct so many ailments.

I began my warmup exercises, praying, God, I don’t know if I want to do this anymore. It’s so frustrating at times. I want to live a joyful and peaceful life. I don’t want to harbor anger toward anyone or anything. Help me to discern whether I should continue or give this up.

Then, while lying flat on my back, legs straight up in the air with feet flexed in Happy Baby pose, a familiar silent voice broke through. I am with you. Those four words carried the power to still all the angst swirling through my inmost being. Hearing I am with you opened up a completely different and better view of the problematic situation with which I was confronted. Those four consoling words cancelled all the questions of my current calling and energized my desire to press on. They allowed me to complete my yoga session with deep peace in my heart and soul.

Do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10-13

God speaks so tenderly when he says, do not fear, for I am with you. I am present with you always. I am here to answer your prayers. When you suffer weakness, I will strengthen you. When you are in want of something, I will provide it for you in your time of need. If you feel so beaten down and boxed in that you fear you simply cannot continue, I will uphold you.

This is no small thing. The thought of being chosen by God for extraordinary graces gives me a profound sense of security. Those whom God has selected to be his special people have nothing to fear because he is with them. He is their provider and protector. If God is for them, who can be against them? What could be more consoling than to have the assurance that God is always with us? We need not suffer alarm or dismay. We can remain calm in the face of our foes. The God of Heaven has all the power to preserve us and enable us to endure our trials.

We may be called to suffer, but our enemies are also God’s enemies, and he wants to deliver us from their grasp. This special grace supports us, supplying what we need to pass through the raging storms of life. As God called Abraham to a challenging task, he also calls each one of us. We can be sure of God’s love by his affectionate calling of us. We can stand in his astounding grace and persevere until we complete the task as charged. We can count on the fact that our righteous God will be there for us.

Upon my return to WordPress that afternoon, I was able to solve each one of my previously perplexing problems. In awe, I felt as if the God of the universe was sitting in the chair next to me as I completed my mission of posting to my blog on Wednesday.

Has God called you out of your comfort zone? Are you not feeling up to the task? Perhaps you must grieve a painful loss. Or you face a serious diagnosis. Maybe you struggle in your relationship with a family member, or you feel called to work harder at something than you want to. Whatever the challenge of the path you find yourself on, might it be helpful to hear God’s consoling words, I am with you?