My son called me from college the other day, and he sounded tired and beaten. He had a couple of exams in his more challenging classes coming up this week, and the long hours of studying were taking their toll. Of course, I told him I was proud of him, that I loved him, to hang in there, that it is was just a season, that God was with him, and that we would pray for him. We then texted him a reminder from Philippians 4:6 to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Shortly after that, I realized I should probably heed the advice from Philippians and not be anxious about anything.

I have close family members that show their emotions through words, tears, laughter, anger, etc. I am thankful that I know how they feel because it helps me understand how to best support them through love and prayer. Although, truth be told, I know I can support them better than I do. I still misread and misinterpret quite often.

Personally, I have generally never been one to show or share my emotions very well – not that those closest to me couldn’t tell. Instead, I process it internally and try to focus more on serving others. Unfortunately, even if we work hard to serve God just as He intended, we still grow weary. I need to do a much better job at turning to God and His Word. After all, God already knows what I am going through, and He is just waiting for me to turn towards Him.

Whether we are going through financial, physical, emotional, spiritual, or any other struggle, God is with us. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

In our hearts, we might know God is there for us, but our brains get in our way. The devil creeps doubt into our minds. It is at this time when we need to turn to others we can trust to point us back to God. For it is God who never leaves our side when we get lost or are searching. The Holy Spirit permanently lives in us, but we get so lost in our battles that we fail to notice He has never left our side.

Things still may not always go the way we would like, and we may not understand – yet, but He is with us – even if we deny Him. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)

I felt blessed that my son called us when he was struggling. I would like to think he knew we would encourage him and nudge him back on track with God.

Mark Etting

Author Mark Etting

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