Today, I’m pleased to offer my page to Lori Hatcher and share an excerpt from her latest book, Refresh Your Prayers. Read on to learn more about Lori and how you can obtain a complimentary copy.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”   Mark 4:40

Our dog Winston was the biggest scaredy cat in the canine world. We credit his timidity to his time in “The Big House.” The runt of the litter, seven-week-old Winston was malnourished and mangy when someone dropped him off at the animal shelter.

Thankfully the animal control officer was married to Grace, the president of the animal rescue league. He told her about the tiny, freckle-faced puppy, and she saw potential in him. Eying his patchy fur and protruding ribs, she announced, “I can cure his mange and fatten him up. He’ll make someone a great pet.”

Until his mange cured, Grace kept Winston isolated. By the time we adopted him, he’d spent a large portion of his life alone. We weren’t surprised to discover he had trust issues.

Imagine what it would be like to go from an isolated crate in the corner of a room to a big wide world bustling with sights, sounds, and smells. Falling leaves sent him running for cover. Sudden noises caused him to hide under the nearest piece of furniture. One day we were playing in an open field when a plastic grocery bag blew his way. He bolted like Sasquatch was chasing him.

Winston reminds me of myself in the early days of my faith. God didn’t rescue me from The Big House, but He did rescue me from a dark and hopeless future. He cured my sin sickness and promised to take care of me all the days of my life.

But I had trust issues. At the first rustle of change or clatter of trouble, I ran for cover.

Like the disciples in the storm on the Sea of Galilee, I cried out, “Teacher, don’t you care about me?”

I was convinced—God was sleeping, and I was going to drown.

I had to extend lots of love and patience to persuade Winston to trust me. When scary things frightened him, I called his name, dropped to my knees, and opened my arms wide. “Come, Winston,” I said. “Come to me. I’ll protect you.”

Before long he learned to run to me instead of away from me. One day I walked him on a busy street to condition him not to fear traffic noises. In the distance a fire truck roared our way. Seeing the threat, I dropped to my knees, wrapped my arms around him, and covered him with my body until the truck howled past.

“Don’t be afraid,” I whispered into his trembling ear. “I’ve got you.”

God did the same for me. As I prayed and He answered, I learned to run to Him whenever anything frightening entered my world. When I brought financial needs, sickness, and relationship troubles to Him in prayer, I saw Him respond. When the leaves of uncertainty rustled, I shared my fears with Him. When unemployment, a wayward child, or a troubling situation roared into my life, I sought protection in His mighty arms and found comfort and help.

As He answered my prayers and responded to my needs, my trust grew.

“Don’t be afraid,” God whispered to my trembling heart. “I’ve got you.”

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to pray about everything. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God met my needs; kept me free from sickness, pain, and sorrow; and intercepted every problem before it touched my life?

If He did, though, I’d never learn to trust Him. My faith would be as malnourished as Winston when Grace rescued him. I’d take every good gift for granted and never recognize that it came from the generous hand of my heavenly Father.

In heaven, nothing will make me afraid, and my faith will become sight. Until then, my fear drives me to pray, and God’s answers grow my faith.

As Winston learned to trust me, our relationship grew sweeter. No longer plagued by fear and distrust, he could freely enjoy the life we shared.

As I’ve learned to trust God, our relationship has grown sweeter too. I’ve learned He’s not asleep on the job. He’s aware of all my needs and is fully able to meet them. This knowledge frees me to face life with confidence.

Jesus asked His disciples two questions in the middle of the storm. He asks us the same: “Why are you so afraid?” and “Do you still have no faith?” Because faith pleases God, I’m learning to embrace every need that sends me running into His arms. No matter what threatens, I find them always open.

Uncommon Power : God calls me to pray so I can learn to trust Him.

Praise Prompt: Father, thank you for patiently teaching me to love and trust you. I praise you for being trustworthy, faithful, and good. Grow my faith, Lord. When trials and trouble enter my life, help me run to you first. In the strong name of Jesus I ask, amen.

Live It Out: List all the ways God has provided for you in the last week. In the last month. In the last year. List everything from the air in your lungs, to the clothes on your back, to the roof over your head. Think also of the non material gifts. Has God been faithful? Remember this the next time you feel afraid. Run to Him and grow in faith and trust.

What’s your response to today’s post? Leave a comment,and  your name will be entered into a random drawing to receive a complimentary copy of Refresh Your Prayers.

Lori Hatcher is a pastor’s wife who lives delightfully close to her four grandchildren in Lexington, South Carolina. She’s the author of several devotional books including Refresh Your Prayers, Uncommon Devotions to Restore Power and Praise. She’s also a blogger, writing instructor, and inspirational speaker. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Refresh . Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter (@LoriHatcher2), or Pinterest (Hungry for God).

*Taken from Refresh Your Prayers: Uncommon Devotions to Restore Power and Praise by Lori Hatcher© 2022. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread Publishing®, Box 3566, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. All rights

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