04 Feb Day 12
Scripture: Psalm 139:23-24 NLT – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Observation: God is with us every minute of every day of our lives. He wants us to experience all the goodness he has created, but also expects us to be obedient to him and focus our thoughts and actions on things that bring him glory.
Application: Diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the end of 2020, I spent the first half of 2021 in and out of the cancer center and hospital. In addition to a radical hysterectomy, I endured chemotherapy every three weeks, which produced symptoms ranging from nausea, pain and neuropathy to low white blood cell counts and anaphylactic reactions to the drugs in four out of seven treatments. My cancer story reads like Murphy’s Law in action: if something could go wrong in treatment, it did. Toss in going through all this during a worldwide pandemic, which prevented me from being able to have my friends physically by my side and, well, let’s just say 2021 was not my favorite year.
Psalm 139 is a lifeline for me when times are tough. Throughout the verses, David reminds us that God is always with us. He knows every trial we face, every hurdle we jump, every dark night that seems to take forever to pass. Through it all, he is right there with us. In my darkest days of 2021, I knew God was always by my side, holding me up.
It was easy for me to cling to God during those months of illness. My needs were great, and my eyes were firmly fixed on him to get me through the worst days of my life. Now, as I try to return to some semblance of “normal”, I find myself distracted by the world and the anxiety and worry I face daily, wondering when or if the cancer is going to return. Instead of focusing on all God has brought me through, I let my worries take hold of my thoughts, which can lead me to make choices that are less than God’s best for me. This is when I need the accountability and encouragement of my church family. He uses those I gather, connect, and serve with to help me focus on him and his plans for me when I’m apt to make choices that are me-focused instead of God-focused.
Whether you are battling cancer or facing a different type of hurdle that leaves you feeling like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your back, know that your situation matters to God because YOU matter to God. He is right there with you, every step of the way.
Prayer: God, it’s so easy for me to think I am capable of accomplishing things on my own instead of remembering that you are the source of all my abilities. Use the people in my life to show me when my focus is on the wrong thing and to point me back to you.
- Pray through Psalm 139, taking time to personalize the lines to your own life and the blessings God has presented you with.
- Ask him to show you where you are choosing less than his best for your life and to use the people around you to get you back on the right path.
Jennifer Newman/Communications J-Teamer
Jennifer has been attending The Journey since February 2020. A Sourcing Analyst in the purchasing department of an international juice manufacturer, Jennifer builds Excel spreadsheets by day and sings in a competitive barbershop quartet by night. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling with other single friends.