I Prayed have prayed
Lord, allow us to feel your tangible Presence in the fear, uncertainty and unstableness of our world. Help us to embrace all the uncertainty and suffering of life as we live in hopeful expectation that you are indeed working on our behalf.

Jesus answered, “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.”  (John 16:32)

So many of us are experiencing intense feelings of isolation. A sense of disconnectedness and an absence of community, color much of our days. We feel alone. We often imagine we are the only ones grappling with a permeating sense of despair, angst and anxiety. We realize we have so much to be thankful for and we want to plant ourselves in an abyss of gratitude. Yet, we find our minds ruminating over all of the what-ifs, in a world that has never felt more uncertain and unstable. A war rages on in our minds and within our hearts as we seek to be fully present, thankful, and exude joy and grace, in the mundane.

As I pondered the impact of our world’s more rigid, less comfortable, more anxiety ridden, less human contact affording, manner of existing, my heart felt heavy. Lack of human contact and elusive ease with which we once interacted, has had an indelible imprint on each of us. Yet, last night, I was reminded in all of this, we are not alone. As I drove, I listened to Kari Jobe’s song: I Am Not Alone, allowing the words to imbue me with God’s restorative truth. Additionally, God made His presence known to me, on the horizon.

When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear

In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You
Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear

You’re my strength
You’re my defender
You’re my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You’ve always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul

I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

Paul Miller’s book, J-Curve, has been transformational as I contemplate the impact of Jesus’s life infusing mine; walking in step with Him throughout each day. His book’s emphasis focuses on how Jesus’s death and subsequent resurrection, should be mirrored in our life, on a daily basis. As we face situations, our “death” is seen when you and I lay down our lives, of our own accord. We surrender, receiving the suffering that comes across our path, just as Jesus did. Our human nature recoils from anything that brings forth pain. Yet, Jesus bids us to embrace suffering, which will assuredly come to all, as a gift… even something we can receive with joy. A gift? Yes. A gift that allows for us to become more like Him.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, wherever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~James 1:2-4

This notion of humbling ourselves and dying to what we want, need, and expect, displays itself routinely, in relationships, aspirations, desires, and the like. The connection between embodying suffering and allowing the death of our nature to run its course, is revolutionary and necessary, to bring forth what Jesus experienced: resurrection. Yet, the primary obstacle is our aversion to discomfort and agony, which causes us to retreat from suffering/”death”. By thwarting the process of suffering, we  hijack God’s intended goal, which is resurrection. Therefore, perseverance in the “dying”/suffering process is paramount in order to experience the resurrection that inevitably follows.

Paul E. Miller states the following in addition to the three bullet points offered below, “In an increasingly hopeless world, the hope of the resurrection is everything.”

  • We live expectantly, watching for God to work. 
  • We pray expectantly for God to work.
  • We focus on the good and not the bad. 

In John 16:32, Jesus demonstrates while He was left all alone, He had the unflappable confidence, God was with Him. Always. Jesus knew He was never alone. And neither are we. Through every fear, doubt, concern, irritation, disappointment, surprising piece of news, and heart-wrenching ache, God is with you.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. ~Deuteronomy 31:8

We must choose to embrace all the uncertainty and suffering of this life, while living in hopeful expectation of God’s providential hand actively working, on our behalf. He allows feelings of isolation and angst to highlight our need for Him. Leaning into Jesus and inviting Him into the trivialities of life, as well as those things that seize our attention, promotes peace. Hold out hope for the resurrection life that unquestionably will come as Jesus infuses you and me with His acceptance of death. He will steady us and remain connected to us throughout the process. He will bring forth rebirth, transformation, and a likeness within each of us, that will reflect the heart of God. He is with you. You. Are. Not. Alone.

If I follow Jesus’s path, I’m freed from trying to control the path, or take an early exit, because it’s not my path; it’s His. ~Paul E. Miller

(Used with permission from Susie Smith. Author Susie Smith blogs at HE is trustworthy.)

Share testimonies of when you have felt God’s presence tangibly and how He has never left you alone!

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Beth McConn
August 4, 2020

Amen, thee Lord is turning the tide of our nation. Warriors, we must keep praying.

Donna Liput
July 24, 2020

I prayed early this morning and something happened. Like a bolt of lightning going out of me. I don’t understand but it happened at exactly 3:30 am as I was praising the Lord. This pandemic is driving people to God. But they can only reach God through Christ and that is what we are here to tell. Jesus is the only way. We are missionaries here in the United States. That’s our mission. To tell people that Jesus Christ is the only way.

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Toni Kushner
July 23, 2020

The extended absence of friendship in my day has finally made its’ tole on me. I have no trouble being alone as I fellowship in my day with the Lord, but these last days have felt a heaviness, loneliness, fatigue and just plan general malaise. As I get up early I dragged myself about and finally wrapped up in a blanket. Lying down for a few minutes I said to the Lord, I have to get up and move. I went over to the table, turned on my audio ipad as I did not have even the energy to read. Opening my Bible to Isiaih read along with it. After reading the first 10 chapters I opened up to a commentary and started to take notes as I studied and listened to the spirit of God teach and I noticed my downcast sprit had gone and such peace reigned within me. Yes, He is always with us and His presence is healing to my soul and His Word is medicine that give me strength. I guess in some ways the Holy Spirit allows us to experience what others feel that we may be a burden barer for another and intercede for them.

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    Susie Smith
    July 23, 2020

    Hey Toni, thank you for your transparency. So many of us are feeling so much of the heaviness, fatigue and general malaise you described. Indeed, His Word is medicine that gives us strength and comfort so we can assuredly be burden bearers for others. Hang in there by God’s grace and provision,
    Susie Smith

    2
Virginia Douglas
July 23, 2020

How precious is the daily time in the Word. Today from David’s humble acceptance of Nathan’s Word to him
to Jeremiah’s great question to Jesus pronouncing the woes of hypocrisy among the rulers of the kingdoms of this earth, the Truth still shines for those who love the Truth! Real comfort not just pleasing words!
We are blessed to be here watching and praying In wrath, remember Mercy, and there stands the cross before us, the world behind us. the weight of HIS GLORY

6
    Susie Smith
    July 23, 2020

    Virginia, thank you for sharing your thoughts and encouragement. Remember MERCY. Amen.
    Take Care,
    Susie Smith

    3
Darlene Estlow
July 23, 2020

As I faced an uncertain medical diagnosis, I felt nervous and afraid. But as I concentrated on God and His always being with me, He have me peace. He reminded me that He is always with me and doing His work in me to transform me.

5
    Susie Smith
    July 23, 2020

    Darlene, that is such a powerful bit of encouragement for so many. We will all at some point face uncertain, fearful situations. Concentrating and remaining fixed on Jesus, just as Peter did – as he walked on water, is key. What a transformative God we serve.
    Thankful for your peace and pray you remain healthy,
    Susie Smith

    3
June Huber
July 23, 2020

Thank You Father God for another day of life, for opportunity to worship and serve You … Lord I pray for the elderly those who are widowed (or divorced) living alone and for mothers who have given birth within the past four months … May they sense Your presence in a powerful way this very day and know they are not alone; Please Holy Spirit show Yourself strong to them in ways they will know You are God fill them with hope and enable them to look up to get their eyes off of their circumstances and know their Redemption draws nigh … I pray they turn to You in their hour of need, cry out to You with confidence and praise You Lord God Almighty with their lips. Help them to embrace their suffering and allow You to transform them; May they know You and know You are with them even to the end of age … in Jesus Name I pray amen

9
    Susie Smith
    July 23, 2020

    June, what a beautiful prayer. Thank you for praying for so many women who often feel isolated and suffer in silence. Yes, may we all get our eyes off of our circumstances and look up as we embrace our suffering.
    With hopeful expectation of what He will do on our behalf,
    Susie Smith

    2
Denise
July 23, 2020

Holy and everlasting God, thank You for coming and living the life we can’t live and dying the death we can’t bare! You have been so good to us. Lord, help us to be so in step with Your Holy Spirit that even in our most vulnerable moments we feel Your presence and peace. Thank You for Your Perfect Word and brothers and sisters that encourage and pray with us. Keep us on the path of Your Righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ! May His light shine bright in the hearts of Your children that many more will come to receive salvation and eternal life! We love You Lord and praise Your Holy Name in Jesus Name!

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    Susie Smith
    July 23, 2020

    Denise,
    Yes – praise God that everything has been done by Jesus – all that we could never endure nor accomplish. In Him is our solace and our hope.
    Thank you for your encouragement and prayers,
    Susie Smith

    2
Rochelle
July 23, 2020

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

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    Susie Smith
    July 23, 2020

    Rochelle,
    Amen. And the next verse is such a powerful encouragement as well as we contemplate the living Lord we serve who can truly empathize and understand. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ~Hebrews 12:3

    2
Jeff Noncent
July 23, 2020

this is good stuff

15
    Susie Smith
    July 23, 2020

    Jeff,
    Thanks so much! God is good and faithful and meets us right where we are at, time and time again.
    God bless you,
    Susie Smith

    2

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