Especially In Scary Places

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Encouragement, Peace, Trusting God 28 Comments

I couldn’t help but notice the flying shoes. Strewn across power lines all over El Salvador was pair after pair of dirty, old tennis shoes that had been tied together and strung over the wires that lined the streets. On the bus, our guide pointed them out – telling the story that those tennis shoes serve as territory markers for the violent gangs and drug cartels.

They establish boundaries and stake claim to who runs what in particular parts of town.

My heart sifted through the language, economic and cultural barriers that separated me from them. I was stirred to understand more deeply. Distressed by the implications and evil. Moved to do something. To help. To protect.

As we got off the bus in each area, the guide gave specific instructions about what we could eat and drink, the time we had for the stop, the dangers of the area and the challenges the locals were facing. I was grateful for his direction and knowledge. It helped me know what to do and how to respond. Made me feel more confident. More safe.

With the guide, the trip was far better than it would’ve been had we tried to explore the region on our own.

Psalm 48 celebrates God’s presence and showcases Him as our Security, Defender and Guide.

A good guide knows his stuff. He’s got the backstory on places you go and is able to answer the questions that come up along the journey.

A good guide stays with you, even in the scary places, and helps you see and understand the history, significance and culture as you pass through new places.

A good guide welcomes your questions, warns you of danger and points out tennis shoes on power lines.

It’s easy to feel lost and trapped by barriers of life that keep us from understanding or knowing which way to go. “For this is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48:14, NIV)

As I read Psalm 48:14, I breathe in a fresh confidence.

God is not just a good guide, but the one and only perfect Guide.

He’s the Guide I need. The Guide that walks with me along the path, offering protection and direction.

Our security and peace are amplified when we listen to and heed God’s instructions.

Dear Lord,
In Your presence I find joy and security. Thanks for being my Defender and Guide. Thank You for offering me access to Your endless protection and direction. Please help me know what to do with ____________________.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

What two requests does the psalmist make? What’s the chosen response? Will you make the same request and response today? What do you need to trust Him with? Tell me about it – or leave a prayer of response on the wall of my blog.

Love you, friend!

GWEN

 

SPECIAL OFFER: If today’s message is where you are and you need more practical help, we have a resource called Trusting God. Gwen is offering a 20% OFF discount on the Trusting God book from her site when you use the coupon code: 20OFF. Click here to get yours now.


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Comments 28

  1. I pray for God’s protection and guidance as to what directions we should go…wisdom and attention to the Lord’s voice. It is a scary world no matter where you are or in whatever kind of neighborhood, city, rural or in between. We are in the end times, whenever that may occur, but desperate people out there have committed such atrocities…..praying for our world….💜

  2. Thank God for your ministry, I pray for continued blessings upon you.

    Dear Heavenly Father God Jehovah, thank you for your unfailing love, favor, grace, and tender mercies upon us all. Thank you for all your blessings. On this day as I seek you for answers I pray and ask others to gather with me in prayer for peace with my daughter, Lord I try so hard but Lord it’s not up to me, I ask you to step in and fix these issues according to your Holy will and grant me authority over my granddaughter until her mom can focus and begin living a wholesome life. Father I pray that she seems you and find you and I thank for allowing me to seek you for my life and I thank you for ministries such as this one to help in my journey. Thank you Lord as I pray I expect and look forward to your will for the lives of us all.
    Amen

  3. Dear Lord,

    I pray for you to fill my heart, mind, body and soul with Your Holy Spirit. Deliver me from my feelings of stress, not good enough, sadness. Lift me up to do your will.

    In Jesus Christ’s name
    Amen

  4. I came here to leave my request, but oh my ….how my eyes are opened yet again to how similar we all are in the struggles that we face. Tears stream down my face as I read. But here’s another similarity: we trust in God and run to him with ALL our needs. My inner spirit starts to pray. Father God, creator of heaven and earth, father of Jesus Christ, we praise you for all that you are. There is none like you! You know each person’s affliction/need and we trust that you will bring healing and peace to each. Grant us patience as we wait and help us to fully surrender to you Lord, as you HAVE THINE OWN WAY! 🎶”you are the potter I am the clay mould me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still”🎶. Thank you for my circumstance Lord, which has brought me here. Without knowledge of what I would find, I am thrown on my face in front of you unabashed unafraid praying for my brother and sister in christ. My need miniscule, it feels like. I am blessed! Thank you God! I pray that you will move in the life of each request/post here. Teach us how to LOVE despite the challenges we face and teach us how to FORGIVE. Teach us ACCEPTANCE Lord, so that we can LET GO as we need to and FIND PEACE/HEALING. Give us COURAGE to act on the guidance you give us. Open our eyes and mind Lord to know that you use everyone and everything around us to guide us to your will. Help us to LEARN from our circumstance and to GIVE BACK however we can, when we can. You are our God and we trust in your capacity. Work in us for YOUR GLORY, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen…My inner spirit sings:🎶”I’m gonna sing, I’m gonna shout, PRAISE THE LORD!!!”🎶 May God bless you all!😊

  5. I came here to leave my request, but oh my ….how my eyes are opened yet again to how similar we all are in the struggles that we face. Tears stream down my face as I read. But here’s another similarity we trust in God and run to him with ALL our needs. My inner spirit starts to pray. Father God, creator of heaven and earth, father of Jesus Christ, we praise you for all that you are. There is none like you! You know each person’s affliction/need and we trust that you will bring healing and peace to each. Grant us patience as we wait and help us to fully surrender to you Lord, as you HAVE THINE OWN WAY! 🎶”you are the potter I am the clay mould me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still”🎶. Thank you for my circumstance Lord, which has brought me here. Without knowledge of what I would find, I am thrown on my face in front of you unabashed unafraid praying for my brother and sister in christ. My need miniscule, it feels like. I am blessed! Thank you God! I pray that you will move in the life of each request/post here. Teach us how to LOVE despite the challenges we face and teach us how to FORGIVE. Teach us ACCEPTANCE Lord, so that we can LET GO as we need to and FIND PEACE/HEALING. Give us COURAGE to act on the guidance you give us. Open our eyes and mind Lord to know that you use everyone and everything around us to guide us to your will. Help us to LEARN from our circumstance and to GIVE BACK however we can, when we can. You are our God and we trust in your capacity. Work in us for YOUR GLORY, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen…My inner spirit sings:🎶”I’m gonna sing, I’m gonna shout, PRAISE THE LORD!!!”🎶 May God bless you all!😊

  6. We need to find a smaller place to live for less money- not a given in HK. Yet, I know God will guide us to such a place.

  7. I have had some stong tests of my faith when I have seen devoted Christians be killed in tragic accidents. This has tested my strong faith in the past that I am under his protection. Now I know that he will protect me unless he allows it and I am having a hard time being at peace with that. Yes, I know that If God permits it, God has purpose in it and will work it our for my good, for I love God and know that I am called according to His purposes. But that doesn’t necessarily give me peace; its as if I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    1. Dolores,

      I really related to you post. I, too, have lost some loved one to horrible reasons. One of the losses tested my faith in an extreme manner. I love God too. I know He works all things for good and protects me. However, I am having some trouble being at peace with not understanding. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I have tried over and over again to trust God in church. I know that sounds really dumb.I have not been in church in months. I don’t feel safe with all the shootings going on. Every time I went to church (over the last 2 years) I would get inside and have a major panic attack and have to leave. I have prayed and prayed about this and it hasn’t worked. I have also tried medications which have had horrible side effects. I did spend some time with one of the deacons wives talking to her about it. Didn’t help. It makes me sad that I can’t do this. I have also read several christian books on fear, again hasn’t helped. I have given up.

  9. I am entrusting my relationships (or lack thereof) with my daughter and her family (my grandchildren and my son-in-law) and with my siblings, especially my 3 younger sisters. I’m praying for wisdom and patience to wait on God and to take my hands off and set good boundaries to protect my heart right now.

  10. So thankful and blessed to know God is always with me during scary times. I have anxiety and loneliness as I try to take care of myself each day. But by the grace of God he provides for me to make it. Having a dread disease has it’s difficult moments. Glory Glory to God.
    Please pray for my sister-in-law who lost her older sister. May her memory be eternal.
    Thank you Jesus for all you do for me. You make all things possible. Amen.

  11. Hi I also stuffer from anxiety, insomnia and boats of depression. I need prayer for this and also finances and a marriage that’s not going well at all.
    I also have a grandson who has been living with us for 2 years now. He now wants to return to his mom but the situation is less then ideal. He has come from an abusive dis functional family. We’re concerned that this isn’t a good choice to go back. Praying that God’s will, will be done in this situation.
    May our Heavenly Father meet all the needs of those who wrote their prayer requests here.

  12. Please pray for my friend Vicki. She is going for a biopsy today for a mass on her left lung. May she feel amp know the Lords comfort and peace.
    And thanks for your great messages

  13. Thank you for sharing God’s word, it touched my heart today. May I ask you to pray for my granddaughter Emily who is serving in the United States Air Force and has recently started suffering from panic attacks, she has only been in about 9 months and is on med hold until she sees the psychologist on Feb 20th. She wants to stay in and serve our great country, but is afraid she will be sent home. I have been trying to encourage her and pray with her. Please pray that she will trust in our Lord as Good knows what is best . Thank you

  14. Please pray for me. I have terrible insomnia and anxiety. I have been asking God to direct me to the person who can help me. I can’t function at all. Please pray for me.
    Thank you
    Terry

  15. A few days ago I learned my sister in law has Corticobasalen Degeneration and I am taking this very hard for so many reasons. She lives in Germany and I am in North Carolina and feel helpless. I can not imagine the pain and suffering she is going through and they have given this rare disease, which has no cure, a shelf life of 7 years. She is 59 and has a brand new grandson. My brother has quit his job to care for her. This is so hard on all of them and my heart breaks for each one of them. Please send prayers of comfort to Beate, David, and Jessica. Ask God to show all of us the way to go and his will be done. Thank you and God Bless all of you.

  16. I need to trust in God during this time of transition. Selling our home, moving to a new state, finding a new home and most importantly, a new church home. I need not panic, but pray. God is taking me out of my comfort zone, my routine and setting me on an adventure.

  17. Good morning, after reading Especially In Scary Places, I came to your blog to leave a prayer request After reading the prayer requests of others it brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me to count my blessings and that I am not alone in the struggles of this life. I lost my job in October, 2018. It is a very scary time. I have been in this place before and the LORD has seen me through when I thought I would just fail. My testimony is just amazing of His Grace! So this time I am trusting Him fully to lead me through it again. BUT, it is still scary and I’m asking for prayer that I will find a job or, if it’s His Will start my own business. I lift those who have needs today in prayer that His Will be done. Thank you for your prayers.

  18. Thank you for the reminder of our Guide Jesus. Gwen I need God in a scary situation I’m facing. My mother contacted me in December 2018. She asked me to come help her. I had knee surgery but I made my way to her. She is in Colorado I’m in Georgia. I have 2 sisters and 6 adult nieces there. I went to my mama and she wasn’t looking well. She asked me if she could come live with me. I kept asking her if she was sure. I moved her here. I sold her condo and car. My mother was in a 2 bedroom condo in Colorado with 2 adult nieces and 8 grandchildren. She was depressed and exhausted. She couldn’t remember her last dr appointment or if she’d taken her meds for schizophrenia. I took her to the dr in Georgia and found out she hadn’t been in over 4 years. She had cataracts in both eyes. No physical, no mammogram, no colonoscopy although she had colon cancer (God healed her!). My sisters, their kids and now their grandkids have lived off my mother all their lives. I’m not trying to bad mouth them. I love my sisters. They talked my mom into moving back there after I got her well. My mom told me she missed her grandkids and I can understand that. One of my sisters came and moved her back. She also helped herself to my folder of all my mom’s receipts for care, my daughters gift cards from graduation and other things. It turns out my sister only got our mother to move back there for the money from the sale of her home and car. I was her power of attorney. I wouldn’t let them have her money due to their inconsistent job histories, filing bankruptcies every 7 years, no credit, no checking accounts. I knew they’d run through her money. They have convinced a social worker that I’m only after my mom’s money. The social worker wanted me to send her my mom’s money I told her that’s illegal according to my attorney she has to be her guardian, conservator it Power of Attorney. She took that personal. The social worker contacted a detective and this has spun out of control. I’ve had to hire an attorney I’ve spent over $30,000. I only wanted to take care of my mom and make sure she had money when she needs it. They have accused me of theft and exploiting my mother. They’re saying I only sold her house and car for her money. I’ve been on my job 30 years. I have 2 adult children both college grads and one new grandson. I own my home. I have never lived off my mom. I don’t think that’s right. I am so hurt by this. I have helped my sisters raise their children, gave gifts of money clothes laptops you name it. I never knew family could turn like this over money that’s not theirs or mine. Our mother I alive she is 70 yrs old. She deserves better than all this as do I. I’m standing on the Word of God during this scary trying time. I need Jesus to be my guide through this and I need to be exonerated from these accusations and charges. I have never in my life been in any trouble with the law. I thank God I’m saved and have a church family whose in agreement with me. Thank you for your blog. You are an encouragement. Please pray this will end with my mother and I protected and for my sisters and their children to be responsible for themselves and to help our mother live her life fruitfully without using her or manipulating her any longer. I continue to pray for all I don’t want any unforgiveness or bitterness in my heart. Thanks for your prayers. Hopefully others will see this and put their affairs in order so they won’t nor their loved ones have to endure a trial or persecution like this. J. Johnson

  19. Great deviation and what I needed this exact time !!!please pray for family Chritisn health center . A clinic that meets the needs of the underserved . I know God has us but that are challenges !!!

  20. My husband and I have both left our jobs to devote ourselves full-time to the real estate group we started two years ago. We are praying fervently for guidance on growing our business to sustain us and our family as we know this is the dream God put in our hearts.

  21. My 34 year old son who struggles with anxiety and depression is about to suffer the loss of his dog. The dog has cancer. The end is near. My son has lived alone with this dog for 12 years. It is going to devastate him. Please pray for strength and that he would not do anything to harm himself. I pray God will use this to heal the relationship between he and his dad. Thank you.

    1. Hi
      I really do understand about how hard it is to lose a pet. I too have anxiety depression and insomnia. Praying for your son that God will intervene and help him and you in this heartbreaking situation. Sometimes it is so hard to understand the pain that surrounds us but I know God uses it all
      Love In Christ
      Terry

  22. Good morning 🌞🌞. As I read your devotional this morning I gather some strength. I am struggling with the need for a home for some time now and I’ve prayed about it.
    Please agree with me in prayer that the Lord will work this out for me
    I’m in dire need, I have the land, I just need help with building materials.
    Please help me to pray, I am weary and weak from bouncing around.

  23. Thanks Gwen. Dear God, I put my trust in you to help me through the transfer of my work, to help cope with the changes this will put on my family. Amen

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