I went through some serious diagnostic testing this past week. This is the second time in my life that I’ve been through this and it was surreal to be here again. Two great things came out of this for me. First, I found out I do NOT have the issue I was being tested for and, secondly, in the slightest—yet very real—proximity I “fellowshipped” with many many going through similar trials. Both, very valuable experiences.

The Scripture our prayer for our persecuted family focuses on this week is, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” -Psalm 23:2 Each of our death dark valleys are going to look different, but the Shepherd is the same. Each of our paths are different, but we each will deal with fears, anxiety and stress at some level.

As I navigated this past week, remembering again that Jesus gives peace, not as the world gives, I focused on these words, “He makes me…. He leads me…”. A mother in the faith once said to me (when I was a teenager) to never forget, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”

I took her urging to heart, but that sure didn’t mean I’ve always trusted Him over my own understanding…nor even realized when I was “leaning” in the wrong direction. We get so busy and caught up don’t we? I do. This is the hidden blessing in times of need, the way it presses us to consider, to seek, to be still and know.

The great news, “He makes…He leads…”. It’s not forced on us, but rather I believe with even the slightest willingness, turning and “leaning”, He makes visible what we can’t see on our own. Often, fumbling through this can feel like it’s all about us, but the truth is, every blessing as well as every hardship is meant for sharing, for “fellowshipping”. If you’ve gone or are going through something hard for you, consider this: now you know how to pray better and serve others in their hardships—beyond valuable, this is a treasure. Use it.

Trusting Him with you this week friends, He is trustworthy.

Raynna, for the whole family
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