February 20, 2018-When The Walls Are Closing In

By on February 20, 2018
Daily Devotional

By Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)

fall scents for your home

Friend to Friend

There’s a scene in Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope – where Princess Leia, Hans Solo, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker find themselves on the detention level of the Death Star in a trash compactor whose walls are closing in quickly. Their efforts to slow the walls down were ineffective. Leia and Hans tried every way conceivable to brace the walls with something to stop the progression of eminent death. Chewbacca tried to use brute force. Steel poles were snapped like toothpicks as Luke desperately called out to C3PO on his com-link to shut the system down. 

Meanwhile, in another area of the Death Star, C3PO thought that Storm Troopers might have captured the crew, but he couldn’t hear Luke’s cries because he had forgotten to turn on his com {the device that Luke was calling him on}. He asked R2D2 to look for the missing friends and began to search for and call out to Skywalker. 

Just seconds before the four heroes became pancakes, squeaky little R2D2 reminded C3PO to connect with Luke via his com link. Thank you! As soon as C3PO turned on his com device, he heard Luke’s cries for help and quickly shut down the trash compactor, saving the four panicked good guys.

They all took a deep breath, hugged one another then looked for a way out. And then the next scene began. Just like that. Crisis averted. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. All is well. 

IF ONLY life were so simple!

I want every blessing of God’s presence and every ounce of power He has for me – but I’m going to be honest with you: I feel like I am in that trash compactor with the walls closing in and I am fighting tooth and nail to experience that all-is-well peace.  

This is a battle that can only be fought on my knees. 

Today I’m praying for my husband who was downsized from his company recently and is actively searching for employment. I’m also praying for a 44 year-old friend of mine who is weak with stage four cancer and fading fast. She’s the matriarch to a household of boys. She’s a rose among thorns. Thorns need their rose.

And there are other loved ones struggling too. So many others.

I pray…and at times feel like curling up in a fetal position.

The walls are pressing hard. The aches are real. The groanings are raw.

Under the weight of it all, I’m thankful for what I know of God. For what I know of His power. 

I know that God is in the middle of it all. That He is right beside me. Right beside them. I know that He is more than able to handle complicated challenges and is faithful to provide the grace needed for each broken moment. 

I also know that without His strength I crumble. Without His presence I panic. Without His Spirit I wander and wonder and wane. When David was in duress, he often spoke to himself in the Psalms. I love that…because I do it too sometimes.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5)

I turn my heart toward His and talk to myself. 

Keep calm, Gwen. God is still on the throne – and you are free to approach Him at any time, with any ache, with any question, with any weakness. Thank you, Jesus. 

No matter what you and I face, we never face it alone. I love the way The Message paraphrases the encouraging verses of Ephesians 3:20. “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” 

There is power in prayer, power in His nearness, power in the pouring out of emotions, and power in the picking up of His Word.

God’s Word speaks strength to wilted souls.

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:18-19)

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

Press into the Word when the walls of life press in on you. 

Press into prayer – even when it is hard to pray. Even when you want to shout to the heavens, Turn your com on, God! I need you here!

Even when your prayers seem to go unanswered. 

Or when you receive a different answer than the one you were hoping for.

There is never a time when God does not hear the cries of His children. 

Believe it. He hears your prayers and can be trusted.

When we press past the pain in prayer, when we press into Jesus, grace flows directly from the Living Water to our parched and thirsty places. Peace sutures bleeding hearts and holds them tenderly until they heal. Agony is attended to by the One who knows the wrenching sting of pain, betrayal, and loss. By the One who understands. The compassionate One who reaches for the trembling hands of a struggler, picks her up, and carries her to a place of rest, wholeness, and healing. By the One who fights for His child when she is too weary and worn to engage in the battle. (Exodus 14:14)

Though walls press in, God is able and available to work within – deeply and gently – with a grace that gives strength and is sufficient for your every need. 

Every. Need.

All is well.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I choose to trust You with the pains and strains that are weighing heavy on my heart today. Thanks for being faithful, loving, and strong.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

READ Habbakuk 3:2, 17-19. “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy…Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” PRAY responsively.

More from the Girlfriends

 You’re Invited: I WANT IT ALL Online Bible Study with Gwen Smith

This study will help you:

* Step into the renewal and rest that is best for your weary, stressed-out heart so that you won’t be shaken by the swirling pace of this fast-moving world.

* Quiet feelings of loneliness, fear, and doubt by accepting the Biblical truth that even when you feel unseen, anxious, and afraid, God is present, peace-giving, and compassionate.

* Learn practical prayer points that will clear away heart clutter, calm concerns, and bolster believing.

JOIN US March 5 – April 9 as we study “I WANT IT ALL” by Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith. Sign up today for FREE: https://gwensmith.net/iwia2018

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About Girl Friends in God

Girlfriends in God is a non-denominational devotion and conference ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Just as God sent Ruth to Naomi and Mary to Elizabeth, God continues to use women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey.

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February 20, 2018-When The Walls Are Closing In