Revue: Sinking…

“That Sinking Feeling,” © Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

“So do not fear for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand,” ~Isaiah 41:10

© 2017 Lynn Abbott

I’m sure you’ve been there, too.

That sinking feeling.

It’s a desperate place to be. You definitely know that you have no control over anything. And you feel you have nothing left to give.

At times like these, I feel a little like the widow of Zarephath. She, too, found herself in a desperate place.

I Kings 17 describes her destitute state: she had nothing left but a handful of flour and a little oil. She had no other means for providing food for herself and her son.

She had no hope of acquiring anything more. After all, there was a famine in Israel, and she was a widow with little to offer her neighbors.

For this reason, she began gathering sticks in order to build the fire on which she planned to prepare a last meal.

That’s when Elijah arrived. God, in fact, told Elijah to go to Zarephath to find the widow and promised that the widow would provide for him.

For this reason, when Elijah met her at the city gate, he asked for a cup of water. And as she was going to get water, Elijah added: ‘Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.’

Lost and alone. And in that moment of quiet desperation, God asked her to give.

Seriously?

To give at such a time… Well, it goes against natural wisdom. It doesn’t follow common sense.

It’s a desperate place to be.

Indeed, giving when finances are limited, reaching out when my own health is precarious, encouraging when my heart is shattered, lifting another when I feel lost…it all seems counter-intuitive.

In the widow’s place, I might have laughed out loud. After all, under such circumstances, I would be so far down the road of fear that such an admonishment would seem ludicrous.

Beyond all doubt, my mother’s instincts would prioritize the safety of my son. Yet, Elijah said, “Do not fear…”

And it occurs to me that often what prevents me from giving God’s grace is just that–fear.

I fear that there won’t be enough for me or for those I love. I fear I won’t have the strength, or the energy to follow through.

I fear I won’t be able to carry the burden emotionally. I fear I will be hurt.

I fear…

Elijah’s answer to her doubts, her desperation, and her hopelessness was one of direct reassurance.

He did not condemn her for being afraid.

He did not lecture her.

Instead, he gently encouraged her to embrace God’s path of grace.

“Do not fear,” Elijah said. And then, he continued, “Go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first, and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son.”

Elijah’s request was not unreasonable. He did not demand all that she had. God would not require her to deny her family food. Elijah simply asked her to share first from what little she had left.

The antidote for fear was a bold act faith…faith expressed through grace.

When she felt all was lost, when she thought she could no longer hang on, when she felt herself sinking, God called her to give of self rather than to preserve self.

And in that moment of quiet desperation, God asked her to give.

Indeed.

Christ promised that ‘whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,’ (Matthew 16:35).

So, by faith, the widow gave.

And Scripture says, “The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD…”

She didn’t become wealthy.  That isn’t what God promised.

But each day, she received what she needed: light for the journey; comfort in the midst of heartbreak; food for herself and her son; strength to make that next step of faith.

And in the same way, when you and I trust God with all that we have and are, He wraps us in His grace.Save

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33 thoughts on “Revue: Sinking…

  1. This very thing has happened over and over in my life. I continue to doubt God’s provision and he always comes through in the end. Sometimes we. Ever learn that God has this! Lovely post. Sorry for all your computer woes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kathy, your friendship is truly a blessing! I’m so glad I decided to venture out and find other bloggers… I met you! And your honest and beautifully written posts as well as your deep faith continually inspire me! God bless you greatly! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lynn, sorry to hear about your computer getting a virus. Advice- buy an Apple computer the next time you buy a new computer – seriously 🙂 I, like you I surmise, dislike it when anything outside of the norm happens to my little boat. I am a creature of routine and I don’t like it when my routine is changed. You’ll appreciate that more as you get older, trust me. But as we know, life is not about routine, it’s anything but and our norm is subject to change without notice or our agreement. Our car got side swiped this week, no one was hurt, not a major problem but it will need to go in for repairs and we will need to get a rental etc, the routine is being changed. Small stuff when you really stop to think about it but I had to square myself off when I was trying to go to sleep because my mind was preoccupied with the change. It’s not the water that holds up our boat, it’s Jesus. If there is a leak, He will tend to it, if the waves start to rock the boat, He stabilizes it. The external is subject to the internal because that is where Jesus is, in us. Sometimes I have to remind my mind of this. Have a great day and enjoy the scenery around your boat! – Bruce

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for your condolences for my computer, Bruce. 😉 My husband loves his Apple, by the way. Good thinking! Yeah, I think we all are creatures of habit to some degree. After all, life is so much easier when I can just float along in my ordinary routine. 🙂 The computer issues absorbed a lot of my work time this past week. And thus, I posted a “revue” twice in one week. But you are so right, God buoys the boats of His beloved children. And I am truly grateful for that! Where would I be without God? I hate to think of it.

      This “Revue” post is actually a shortened version of a longer post that I wrote a year ago to share a testimony of God’s provision and grace in my family’s life. I’m trying very hard to write shorter posts because I went to a conference and that was the recommendation for blogs. Sigh. It’s tough for this former journalist to write anything she feels isn’t comprehensive. But in an effort to do this “blogging thing” correctly, I abbreviated the post and that meant that the personal story behind this “Revue” got cut. But if you are at all curious, you can read the original longer post HERE

      Thank you with all my heart for your very encouraging words. You are so right about the computer being “small stuff.” Sigh. My only concern was for my reading friends. I truly enjoy all of your blogs. Thus, I didn’t wish for you or any of my other blogging friends to feel neglected or unappreciated if I couldn’t comment or visit your blogs for the duration. And I laughed when I looked through the photos of my paintings and saw this piece of the sinking boat. The image seemed hilariously apropos and thus, a good accompanying image for my note to you and my other blogging friends 🙂 So… that’s probably more than you needed to know. But I admire you and I feel you are a true friend.

      By the way, you look young to me. I don’t think you can possibly be much older than my husband. The two of you would probably be instant friends if ever you met. And in eternity, you will 🙂 Blessings!! Oh, and yes, I fully intend to breathe in the beauty around my little dory. Thank you for the wonderful suggestion! You’re awesome!

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      • Hi Lynn, I read through the “long” version. I’m a cancer survivor also and I have to admit, at times I felt like my boat was being swamped. We’ve also had our back to the walls from a financial perspective and anyone who says God doesn’t answer desperate prayers obviously hasn’t heard from you and I. Hats off to both you and your husband for giving in your need. That is not easy. I always thoroughly enjoy your posts because there is a confidence and gentleness in everything you write. Indeed we shall all meet one day and what a day that will be! Keep doing what you’re doing and I think you are pretty awesome too. Many blessings! – Bruce

        Liked by 2 people

      • We have so much in common, Bruce! I thank God for sending godly friends into my life who understand and fully embrace God and His Word. You are obviously one of those friends! When I was recovering from chemo, a delivery man came to my home with one of my chairs. When he saw me, he said, “you are one of mine…” What he referred to was that he, too, was a cancer survivor. And it turned out that he was also a brother in Christ. I believe there is a special fellowship among those who know the Lord… an instant recognition of family. And then, add to that mutual experiences with suffering, and there is immediate empathy. It will be wonderful, indeed, to meet brothers and sisters in the presence of the Lord. I will be especially looking for you and your lovely bride. 🙂 God bless you big time, Bruce! I’m so grateful to have met you here in the blogosphere.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this story. Really relatable.

    As for post length. An average blog is about 400-600 words I read. But that doesn’t mean longer posts don’t attract readers. I read about the importance of breaking up your blog for readers who skim, especially when you have a longer post. Which is why for my posts, I break up paragraphs, have pictures in between, and sometimes use headers. I know some blogs that have thousands of viewers and they write long posts. So, consider what is recommended but don’t cut your words only based on a suggestion 😉 The recommendation may be good for some posts you write, but perhaps not all of them, and that’s completely okay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, T.R. Yeah, I learned that I wasn’t supposed to write anything longer than a maximum of 800 words. But some of my past posts pushed nearly 2000 words. (Rolling eyes and sighing.) Thus followed the need to abbreviate. But it is nice to know that it is sometimes okay to write a little longer than the average. 🙂 Thank you with all my heart! You are such a wonderful encourager! I can’t thank you enough for your friendship. It is truly a blessing. Huge Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 your friendship is a blessing too. My limit is around 1200, though my Bible summaries sometimes are longer. Sometimes I do pass the word count so I go through and see if I am saying extra words that can be eliminated or ranted and drifted from the topic. I’ve cut 100-400 words this way. Sometimes, our posts will be long 🙂 if the message is important and clear, I think that’s ok.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynn, As I sat down for my devotions I happened upon this post again, reread and realized how you were like an Elijah to me. I was very frustrated with my blog, marketing my book, designing a website, to the point I thought I’d lost my way and was on the wrong path. Your words of encouragement touched my heart so deeply, my eyes welled and I knew at that moment all was well. I was at the well! And had received a cup of Grace. 🙂 Thank you. I will never forget your gesture of kindness and the hope it gave me to continue on. May the blessings you give be multiplied greatly. Love, Deb

    Liked by 2 people

  5. How True it is that God’s work done in His way never lacks His supply. In my Journey with the Lord Lynn there were times of fear but God comforted me as you have experienced too and He reassured me and still does through His inspired Words in Scripture, below is also a beautiful Song that uplifts me greatly too.

    Isaiah 43:1-3….. Fear not for I have redeemed thee I have called thee by thy Name thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee, when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am The LORD thy God, The Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour….. (KJV)

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of Peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

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