Car trouble.  It’s pretty much the worst.

It’s never convenient.  It’s always expensive.  And it is down right upsetting!  

One of my grown kids is wrestling with some car trouble right now.  It can be difficult to know what to do, especially as a young person.  There are so many options to wade through when it comes to vehicle issues.  Should you trade it in and get a better vehicle?  Should you fix the one you have in the hopes that it would run for a few more years?  Is the cost of the repair worth the investment?  Sigh…

Maneuvering through these decisions is rough, it feels bigger than life.  And for someone who is attempting adulthood on their own, it can even feel like it’s more than you can handle.  Because it often is.

Thankfully, for my kiddo, he has a good support system.  He has connections and helpful encouragement when he wants some advice.  He doesn’t have to muster through all of these big life decisions on his own.  Those adult choices are big ones to manage, but he is not alone.

The Hubs~

Right after the death of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy, Joshua is told to take the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land.  This is no small feat!  These same Israelites had been wandering in the desert of Kadesh for forty years.  Earlier, in the book of Deuteronomy, God had told the Israelites to take the Promised Land as their own, but they refused.  They feared their enemies more than they trusted God, and as a result of that sin, God banished them to the desert.  They wandered there eating mannah and sometimes quail day after treacherous day.  Year after exhausting year.

This journey should have taken them 11 days.  But, instead, they made a life as nomads, traveling the sandy desert floor, most likely regretting their sin against God.

When time had passed, and Moses had died, this motley crew of wanderers was ready to finally obey God and enter the land.  But this life they had been leading, albeit hot and dry, was what they knew.  To do this thing that God had asked of them, would require change.  And conquering enemies.  And tasks that seemed scary and took big faith.

In Joshua 1:9, God gave them these words to encourage their hearts.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  They would not be alone, God Himself would go with them!  And He was telling them not to be afraid, but to be STRONG!   That He Himself was going to strengthen them and give them courage!

I believe that though God meant this as a promise to the Israelites,  it is a truth from His word that you and I can take to heart as well.  One thing I know for sure, is that this life has troubles.  But I also know that God wants me to be strong and courageous in Him. 

Consider Ephesians 6:10.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”  This verse comes just before Paul’s instructions about putting on the armor of God.

Paul knew that soldiers needed to “suit up” or put on their physical armor before going to battle against their enemy.  When they put on all the pieces of armor to protect themselves, they would then have a good amount of courage moving forward.  This courage came from knowing they had armor and tools and other soldiers to help them fight their enemy.  But they were told to be strong in the Lord.  To let their strength, come from Him.  

God wants us to remember that He is our strength, and that nothing the enemy throws at us is bigger than what He can handle.  

Isaiah 40:31 puts it this way “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary,  they will walk and not be faint.”  When I feel that the situation I face is more than I can figure out on my own, I know that God will renew my strength when I put my hope in Him!

In Isaiah 41:10 we also read “So do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Here we are not told to be strong FOR God, but rather, IN Him.  God is saying “Don’t’ be afraid, don’t give up.  Let he help you and make you strong.  I’ve got you!”

La Jolla, Ca.

In Romans 8:28-39 Paul tells us plainly (that’s you and me, New Testament believers) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

Remembering that nothing can separate me from the love of God gives me courage and strength!  There is no situation in this life where God’s love or His presence leaves me!

Often, when I am struggling with something, I can feel like I am alone.  But over and over in scripture, I see God reminding His people (which includes you and me) that He is with us.  Always.  When I am able to exit my “freak out mode” and think clearly, I remember that God desires peace for me.  That His presence is that peace.  And that because of God’s love for me, that I never face anything alone.  He loves me too much to leave me on my own, scared or sad.  He is with me.

This week, as we talked through different vehicle scenarios and options with my son, he had more ease with the decisions that he had to make, because he had help and encouragement.  He was willing to allow us to guide him through some of the choices that he had.  And because of the wisdom and advice he got, he did end up getting a new car!  

Because of our relationship with God and His community of believers, we are not alone.  God provides the power and the courage to keep moving forward by His Holy Spirit.  But He also gives us other believers to come alongside us to provide advice, encouragement, and yes, even strength.

We are all going through difficult times right now.  It is important to know and remember two things.  

God is always with us, we are not alone.

We find our strength in Him, and through the community of believers that He has given  us.

Lord, I have seen over and over how you love me. Help me to remember your constant love and presence in my life.  You are with me, all the time.  I desire to draw my strength from you and from your word.  Thank you for not giving up on me, even when I sometimes give up on myself. 

Tada! The Sea Wall, La Jolla Ca.

Fragile emotions~Strong faith

Can we possess both simultaneously?

Sometimes in Christian circles, we are told that if our emotions are fragile and our heart is troubled, that our faith is not strong.  That we “just need to trust more” as if it were a light switch to flip on.

Can we all just take a step back, and admit that sometimes, life just sucks.  That it is hard.  That it feels like more than we can take somedays. 

Now breathe that out.  There. You said it.  You love Jesus, but today, life stinks.

Do you think God is shocked?  Do you think He is disappointed in you now that you admitted it?  Do you think He is shaking His eternal head and looking at you with dismay now?

He’s not.

Jesus, being fully man and fully God, experienced anger (at the religious leaders), rejection (by His disciples),  sorrow(when Lazarus died), physical pain that was real(on the cross), and wished for a way out of His circumstances(in the Garden).  Jesus gets you and me.  He understands our fragile emotions because He experienced them too.

Hebrews 4:15a “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses.”

near home

I have some friends who are going through some exceptionally difficult circumstances today.  They are experiencing cancer, they are experiencing financial issues due to needing a job (or a better job), they are wrestling through real trials in their marriages, their hearts are breaking over their adult children, and their parents are aging and fading away before their eyes.




But sister, you and I are not called to be fake spiritual giants.  We are not expected to be someone we are still growing into.  What we really need is to be honest about our fragile emotions so that we can develop a stronger faith.

Jesus does not expect us to pretend (for the benefit of anyone else or for ourselves) that we are unaffected by the hardship we are experiencing.  Fake faith hurts and can’t help.

He does expect that we will lean into Him so that He can meet the deepest needs in our hearts during that time.  He meets those needs with peace. 

We can possess fragile emotions and strong faith.  In fact, that’s the goal.

When we are experiencing difficulties, the most mature and honest thing we can do is to admit our weaknesses and hurts, but also acknowledge God’s provision and the peace that He brings. 

Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all this through him who gives me strength”.  We wouldn’t need this verse, or verses like it, if we were supposed to just smile and pretend our hurt wasn’t real.

This world is not the way God designed it.  Remember that.

When God created this world, He created it without pain, struggles, death, suffering, cancer, marital strife, and broken relationships. 

But then sin entered in.  And everything changed.

near home

Scripture is full of warnings of hardship.  John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” 

You can’t fool God.  He already knows how you think and feel.  He knows that you worry sometimes…a lot of times.  He knows that you want to trust His plan but that you struggle since you can’t see how it is good.  He knows that you want to honor your spouse, but that you’re not sure they deserve it.  He knows that you are afraid of the pain of death.  He knows that you’re concerned about having enough for your family.  He knows that you don’t sleep at night because your children have wandered from the faith.  He knows it all. 

And He says in Matthew 11:28-29 “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Rest for our soul sounds so good doesn’t it?  It sounds like peace.   It sounds like trust. It sounds like provision.

Can I confess something to you?  I don’t always do it right either.  I fear, I worry, I lose sleep.

Here’s what Jesus says to us in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

When we recognize our fragile emotions, we can then draw near to God and pray. We can honestly admit to Him that we don’t like what is happening.  And in that moment of confession, we start the process of building trust in Him.  He always has our best on His heart.  Even when it doesn’t feel that way, it’s true.

But until we are honest about our fragile condition, and we are honest with others about it, He can’t work.  When we are busy trying to be something we’re not, He is waiting for us to invite Him in. That’s when He can truly work.  That’s when our eyes are drawn toward Him and off of our struggles.  Peace is ours when we admit our frailty and seek the Lord.  And in return, we receive rest for our souls.


I want to encourage your heart today.  This life is hard. It takes intentional living to avoid getting pulled into despair.  But this life is not all there is.  One day we will join Jesus in Eternity.  And when that happens, there will be great joy!  There will be praising!  There will be laughter and love!  There will be no pain, or sorrow! 

But until that day comes, love each other deeply.  Let your hope be in Him.  And when your fragile emotions threaten to make you a prisoner of fear and doubt, remember that God has a deep and abiding love for you.  Psalm 34:14 “Seek peace and pursue it”.

And though your circumstances may not change, search for rest for your souls.  Don’t stop searching until your fragile emotions develop into a strong faith!