Yesterday I was texting back and forth with someone who was headed into a difficult situation. She asked me to pray for her.
I did so with great understanding for how she was feeling. But I also felt fully expectant about how God would meet her in that difficulty.
This caused me to ask myself, "Why do I expect Him to take care of her? How do I have such certainty that the Lord will meet her need?"
That interchange made me think about something that I face nearly every day living here in Czech: my fears. Yes, I still have them.
But it made me consider how I personally deal with them.
One, of many, cases in point is going to the vet with our dog.
While you might think that after twenty one years of life in Czech I would have no fear going there or anywhere else here. But it's not true. On a regular basis I walk into things that are difficult and that I don't want to do.
We've had this same vet for the past ten years, and yet still I am unnerved going there by myself.
"What if I can't fully communicate? What if I misunderstand something he says? What if I look foolish because I can't explain something?"
These are the kinds of thoughts that I battle beforehand.
But here's what I choose to do: go anyway.
And I pray.
I honestly wouldn't make it in life here if I didn't pray and seek help from the Lord every single day.
I've gone alone to doctor's appointments, teacher conferences, hospitals, community events, insurance offices, stores, hair salons, neighbors, the vet and many other places, praying my way through the past twenty one years because honestly, these things are still not easy.
But because it's been hard, and because I'm still needy, I've grown so much closer to the Lord.
I can't think of a single time that He hasn't made His presence known to me and taken care of whatever situation I've found myself in.
I then come out the other end of even something like a trip to the vet with so much thankfulness in my heart for His love and care expressed to me in the midst of even a small difficulty, to say nothing of the big ones!
Truly this happens every single time I pray and trust Him.
Just that result, the gift of His presence with me, would be enough to keep me in prayer, dependent and trusting in Him. But I find that something else usually happens as well.
I see the world, HIS world, differently.
After the trip to the vet I walked our little furry girl over to the park nearby.
With my heart already full of thankfulness, He opened my eyes to see the warm, brilliant colors of fall. He let me hear the sweet laughter of children and feel the late afternoon warmth of the sun on my face.
And there, I felt His presence with me, nurtured and loved as His daughter.
For those who know me well, you know I'm an optimist. I see the world through brightly colored lenses.
It's not that I ignore the hard or difficult things. No, not at all! I'm fully aware of and impacted by them nearly every day.
But a long time ago I made a choice to set my eyes on the Lord, pray earnestly, and let Him show me good and beauty.
It is this perspective that keeps me going.
Every single day.
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."