Encouragement for Walking Through Hard Times

Y’all, these past few weeks have been tough as I’ve asked the Lord to help guide me on a number of issues. For family, friends, kids, work, quarantine wisdom. To help me shine a light and for all to see, by the way I am loving and kind and patient. And I can honestly tell you…that I’ve failed miserably on a number of occasions. My stubbornness and frustrations and anger have gotten the best of me at times. But it doesn’t mean the Lord has left me in those places.

Thankfully, he is merciful and gracious and has given me sweet reminders of how to walk through hard weeks, hard days, and even hard minutes.

Psalm 37 is where He has taken me, and I want to share with you these four things He continues to remind me of, in hopes that they will encourage you too:

1.”Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent…” Psalm 37:18

According to Mirriam-Webster, “day by day” means in small amounts every day. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes want God to just give me a big whopping helping of whatever He’s got for me: peace, joy, patience, goodness, etc. I just want Him to pour it over me so much that I’m drenched and good to go for awhile. But that’s not how He works, y’all. Day. by. Day. In small amounts, He gives us our daily provision. What we need for those 24 hours. It can seem frustrating, but the truth is that if He didn’t, we would not see our need for Him or feel it necessary to call on Him as often. Trust Him and pray for Him to meet your needs…for each day alone.

2.”The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23

I remember having a fever blister many years ago and praying for the Lord to please make it go away before I had to take pictures for something. I had a friend who laughed at my request, but y’all, I don’t doubt that God understood how much that little detail meant to me. I don’t think He ever looks down on our earnest requests and thinks we don’t matter. He delights…in every detail. And as we talk to Him about the concerns of our hearts, little or big, I believe He listens intently and helps direct our steps down His path for our good. It doesn’t mean He always answers like we want Him to, or when we want Him to. But these verses are written reminders of the actions we have seen Him take and can trust that He will do again.

3.”Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:24

Oh, y’all, I have made so many mistakes in my life. And a large amount in the past two months for sure. From a worldly standpoint, my kids have had way too much screen time, way too much junk food, and have seen their mama react, rather than respond, on one or two occasions. Being confined with those I love most can be a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. I’m not afraid to show my true feelings. I let my guard down and my frustrations can be directed at those I love most. But when I have stumbled, when I have fallen away from being the woman the Lord wants me to be, He has always picked me back up. He has given me a number of  “sacred echoes,” or reminders, of Him holding my hand, over the past few weeks, and I continue to reach out for Him over and over. We are going to make mistakes, some big and some little, but don’t stop reaching out and allowing the Lord to hold your hand through hard times. He won’t let go. (Ps.73:23, Is.41:13)

4.”Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along His path.” Psalm 37:34

Steadily: in a controlled or unwavering manner. This one is hard for me. It is so easy to want to jump ahead and see what’s up the road…or fall behind because of fear or anxiety over what’s to come. But the truth is that we are always traveling, y’all. Down our path or His. One or the other. And when I look to see which road I’m on, it usually is dependent on where my hope is. If I’ve gotten frustrated or tired of waiting on the Lord to come through, it’s amazing how that inner need for control can come out, and sometimes unknowingly, my hope shifts to being in myself. In my own skills or desires. But generally, if this happens, I find myself at a dead end or stuck with a flat tire on the side of the road, pretty quickly. When I’m on His road, though I may not be moving at the pace I’d like, I have no fear or concern for my safety. I see His light and His “footprints” ahead of me as needs are met and doors are opened. But it is as I take each step, one by one, following His, that this happens. Don’t waver in the hope you have in the Lord, y’all. He will guide us, steadily along, in His time.

Our God is a good God. He can be trusted. And He will continue to be with us, y’all.

Day by day. In every detail. Holding our hands. As we travel steadily with our hope in Him.


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