Conntecting the Dots

How to Remain Confident When We Feel Like Giving Up

How to Remain Confident When we Feel Like giving up

How can we remain confident when we feel like giving up? By ignoring the little voice that feeds us doom and gloom. You know how it goes….

Worry whispers that inflation is going to make it impossible for us to pay the bills and we’ll soon end up a homeless statistic.

Anxiety assures us that trying to resolve conflict in a difficult relationship is pointless. It will never improve, so why bother?

Fear says our kids and grandkids don’t stand a chance in a world dominated by threats of nuclear war heaped onto the reality of floods, famine, hurricanes, racism, euthanasia, and gender dysphoria.

That little inner voice seems bent on leading us to focus on all things bad. Listening to it leads us to a place of despair, but God’s plans for us include something much better than dwelling in the dark. He wants our perspective to be one filled with hope and characterized by confidence, and this happens when we listen to His voice, the voice of truth.


What Does the Voice of Truth Say?


“Light shines in the darkness for the godly,” wrote the psalmist. (Psalm 112:4 NLT) “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly” (Psalm 112:7-8).

An online dictionary defines “confident” as “the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.” As followers of Christ, we can feel certain that God’s promises are true because He cannot lie. (Hebrews 6:18)

Therefore, we can be confident that God will never leave us when the going gets rough. (Deuteronomy 31:8) He will always give us the wisdom we need when we ask for it (James 1:5) He will provide all our needs. (Philippians 4:19) He restores our broken hearts. (Isaiah 61:3) Someday He will wipe away our tears. (Revelation 21:4) And the list goes on.


On What is Our Confidence Based?


I like this quote by Roy Lessin: “Confidence is not based on you having all the resources needed to take care of yourself; confidence is based upon the truth that God is faithful.”

Confidence is based upon the truth that God is faithful. That’s the voice of truth, my friend.

Listening to the voice of doom and gloom makes us feel like giving up. But listening to the voice of truth leads us to a place of confident hope for a good outcome under God’s control.

#bgbg2 #hopeinGod

Remember This When Bad News Comes

5 Promises to Remember when Bad News Comes

Bad news came to my inbox this week: Someone’s 14-year-old daughter went missing. A husband relapsed into drug addiction. A personal friend landed in ICU on a ventilator. Another friend was diagnosed with dementia.

Jesus knows how easily we can lose heart when bad news comes our way. Perhaps that’s why He said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1 NLT). His words—“Don’t let your hearts be troubled”—imply that we have control over worry and fear’s role in our lives. We can choose to let them run rampant or we can choose to trust God instead when bad news comes our way.

Letting our hearts be troubled brings no benefit.


Worry can neither change what’s already happened nor resolve the current challenge. It will, however, encourage fear to take root. It makes it difficult for us to rest well at night and ties our stomach into knots.

I’ve let my heart be troubled too many times to count, and guess what? Doing so has never made my life easier. Corrie ten Boom summed it up with excellence when she said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Why live like that?

When bad news comes our way, we don’t have to let it disturb our inner peace. If we take Jesus seriously, then we can rest assured that trusting in God is the better way to respond.


Here are five promises to remember so we can conquer fear when bad news finds us:

  • God promises His presence. Imagine—the strong One who spoke the universe into being and split the Red Sea so His people could pass through on dry ground is the same One who walks with us and holds our hand. Why, then, should we be afraid or anxious? (Joshua 1:9)
  • God promises to give us wisdom, and lots of it. When we face circumstances that baffle us, we can ask Him for insight, and He will answer. He will bring clarity to our confusion. (James 1:5)
  • God promises victory. He’s on our side if we belong to Him. Who can stand against us? (Romans 8:31)
  • God promises to turn negative situations into something good. He specializes in transforming the bad into beauty, the sad into splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)
  • God promises joy. Sorrow may last for a night, He says, but joy comes in the morning. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. (Psalm 30:5)

When bad news comes our way, we needn’t cave into fear. As followers of Jesus Christ, we belong to the living God for whom nothing is impossible and who reigns sovereignly over every detail of our lives. Nothing takes Him by surprise. No challenge is too difficult for Him to overcome. Because of who He is and whose we are, we have every reason to face bad news with courage and hope for the very best outcome under His control.

Would you join me in doing something special today? Let’s list biblical promises that bring hope in the face of bad news. I suspect we could all use a dose of encouragement this week. If someone posts your verse before you get to doing it, go ahead and post yours anyway.


Take a few minutes to enjoy “I Will Fear No More” by The Afters. 


Have a great weekend, and know you are loved.


Sitting in God’s Waiting Room

sitting in God's waiting room

Sitting in God’s waiting room is not an easy thing to do. Patience wears thin after a time, and our human bent starts tapping its toe. C’mon, c’mon already!

Bring my prodigal home.

Restore my marriage.

Provide finances to pay the bills.

Heal my body.

Give me clear direction for the big decision looming.

Fix what’s wrong with the world.

We are finite beings so we often view our circumstances as on a finite timeline. The clock ticks, and we grow restless and anxious. We begin to doubt whether God hears our prayers. We question whether He cares. We toy with the thought of yanking control from His hands, as though we could bring about the best outcome without His help.

When we find ourselves sitting in God’s waiting room and patience wears thin, let’s remember the Old Testament character, David.


David was anointed as king, but he had to wait until God gave the go-ahead to assume the throne (1 Samuel 16:13). In the meantime, the jealous King Saul hunted him. David ran for his life and hid in caves. When the opportunity came to retaliate, David resisted (1 Samuel 24:6-7). He waited on God to put him on the throne in His way and in His time. Now that’s patience and integrity, right?


Over and over, and throughout a variety of circumstances, the psalmist waited on God to answer his prayers and come to his rescue. Banking on God’s promises, he hoped for a good outcome without losing faith.


David compared himself to a night watchman scanning the horizon for the first glimmer of dawn. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalm 130:5 NIV) The watchmen didn’t know the exact moment the morning light would appear, but they knew beyond a doubt that it would crack the darkness. It was just a matter of time.


Wait on the Lord is a constant refrain in the Psalms,” wrote J.I. Packer in Knowing God, “and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.”

To be clear, sitting in God’s waiting room is not a passive activity.


It may feel sometimes as though we’re doing nothing, but in reality, it takes our whole being to resist the temptation to rush ahead of God’s timing. It requires courage and strength and faith to remain patient and hopeful as we wait on the Lord to answer our prayers or rescue us.


Never give up, my friend. Sitting in God’s waiting room is not easy, but hang onto hope in knowing that God hears your prayers, and yes, He cares. As sure as the glimmer of dawn will come, so He will come. It’s just a matter of time.


Let’s encourage one another by answering this question: What inspires you to remain hopeful when the wait seems long?


Adapted from Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey. Copyright © 2022 Grace Fox.


Living in Awe of God

“Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.”

(Psalm 65:8 NLT).

Sailor-Man and I left home early Thursday morning for yet another road trip. The wind blew and the rain pelted our car for the first three hours or so. It seemed a dismal sort of day, not unusual for late October in southwest British Columbia, but dismal disappeared when a rainbow appeared. The sight left me in awe. So did the fact that it remained visible for nearly a half in awe of God

I took the rainbow’s lingering presence as a visible reminder of God’s unfailing promises to me, and I reveled in the joy this thought brought. One mile rolled into another with the arch growing more brilliant and my wonder at God’s splendor growing more profound.

This road trip took us north to my youngest daughter’s home where we’re enjoying time with two grandchildren. One is three years old, the other is almost seventeen months.

One of the things I enjoy most when spending time with little people is seeing life through their eyes. They notice things I don’t—things like a ladybug’s spots, a daisy’s petals, and an ant’s activity. Their delight reawakens my awareness of minute, easily-overlooked details in creation and renews my amazement at the Creator’s ingenuity.

Living in awe of God and experiencing a daily sense of wonder about who He is and what He does often fades in adulthood.


Work and worry blind us to the miracles that surround us. We rush through our days focused on silencing the tasks calling for our attention, and we miss the delights before us.

Pondering creation’s majesty and intricacies always leaves me speechless. Sometimes the only word I can muster is, “Wow!”—like when I saw the rainbow as we drove through the mountains. But here’s what leaves me even more amazed—the Creator’s love for us.

stand in awe of God

Think about it. The Almighty, limitless God whose handiwork inspires wonder and awe is the same God who loves us and wants relationship with us.

Incredible, right? I suspect the Psalmist felt the same way when he wrote these words:

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
    putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
    and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents. (Psalm 8:3-8 NLT)

Let’s invite God to open our eyes to the wonders He’s created. Let’s celebrate His creative genius. Even more, let’s stand in awe of who He is and marvel that He loves us and wants relationship with us.

Now it’s your turn: What aspect of God’s creation or character inspires awe in your life?


Choosing Joy on the Journey

choosing joy on the journey

Choosing joy is easier said than done when our life’s journey takes twists and turns as plentiful as the Rocky Mountain road on which Sailor-Man and I are traveling today.

We’ve covered these miles many times in the past 40 years. Today’s trip seems one of the easiest because the weather is more like summer than fall, so the roads are clear and driving is stress-free.

A Real-Life Difficult Journey

It’s much different than the December trip my sister and I took after Dad suffered two major strokes in a matter of weeks. His survival seemed unlikely, so we braved the snow-covered mountain passes in my Geo Metro to say our goodbyes and comfort Mom.

Fortunately, Dad defied the odds and rallied, so we packed our things and began the long trip back to the coast a week later. We were deep in the mountains when we rounded a bend on a particularly slippery section to see a sanding truck approach in the oncoming lane.

Unfortunately, the sand the truck deposited on the road moments before we passed was the size of pea-sized gravel. It hit the road, bounced up, and pummeled my car’s hood and roof, leaving dozens of tiny dents. It broke one headlight and pockmarked the windshield.

That was one of several scary scenarios on the fifteen-hour journey. By the time we reached our destination, my neck was stiff, my back was sore, and my fingernails were embedded in the steering wheel.

How is Choosing Joy Possible?

When life’s journey takes a difficult turn, our emotions want to cry, “Unfair!” or “Why me?” But God’s Word directs us to take a different approach—“Dear brothers and sisters,  when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2 NLT)

Choosing joy is easy when our life’s journey is stress-free. Not so much when circumstances leave our fingernails embedded in the steering wheel, right? But here’s the thing: No matter what our journey looks like, we can be certain, and thankful, that we’re not making the trip alone.

The all-powerful, all-wise God goes before us and behind us (Psalm 23). He surrounds us with His lovingkindness. (Psalm 33:22) He strengthens us, and He holds our hand. (Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 73:23)

As sure as the Rocky Mountain road on which I’m traveling is filled with twists and turns, so goes our life’s journey. Some of those bends in the road bring unexpected delights. Others bring questions and tears, sorrow and sleepless nights. Some produce smiles while others produce knots in our neck. But this we know—no matter where the road leads us, God loves us and journeys with us. Therein lies the reason to choose joy.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse or meaningful quote that helps you choose joy when your journey takes a difficult turn? If so, what is it?

Enjoy “Joy” by New Wine Worship.


Little is Much in God’s Hands

Little is much in God’s hands. Do you believe it? I do! Here’s why.


The day before I flew to Florida to attend my first writers conference back in 1999, I sat at the kitchen table and cried. I had no idea what God had in mind, but I knew He wanted me there, and I sensed this venture was bigger than me.

After I returned from that conference, I walked a couple miles nearly every morning and prayed about where and how to begin writing for publication. I felt woefully inadequate, but I envisioned myself like the boy who offered his five loaves and two fish to feed the thousands gathered to hear Jesus teach. (John 6:9-12) “God, here’s my lunch,” I’d say. “Take my best efforts, multiply them, and use them for Your glory.”

Thirteen books and hundreds of articles, First 5 Bible studies, and podcast episodes later, I still feel woefully inadequate, but I stand amazed at what God has done. I marvel at how He takes a little and multiplies it to accomplish something of eternal value. Little is much in God's hands


“This journey is a chance to lay out what you have, what you know, and hand it up to God. I should mention: we have no idea what he will say to do with it, but we begin by laying it out and handing it over,” says Jennie Allen, author of Restless: Because You Were Made for More.


So, my friend. What’s in your hands? What offering can you give God? What can you hand up to Him.

Maybe you enjoy baking. Offer it to the Lord and ask Him to use that skill for His glory.

Perhaps you have a green thumb and can coax the tiniest seed to grow.

Maybe you love to sing, or care for children, or pray for others.

Go ahead—give the Lord your five small barley loaves and two small fish. There’s no telling what He might do with them, for little is much in God’s hands.

Little is Much in God's Hands

Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey will make its debut on Tuesday, October 4th. If you’ve enjoyed my other books, would you help me spread the word about this one? Here are some things you can do:

  • Join the celebration on FB live on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 5-5:30 PM (Pacific time).
  • Order your copy and a copy for a friend from Amazon on Tuesday.
  • When your copy arrives, post a selfie with the book and use the tag #freshhopefortodaybook
  • Post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and This is the most valuable thing you can do to help spread the word about Fresh Hope for Today.

Thank you in advance! Have a great day, and know you are loved.


Becoming Visible

Cheri Strange connected with me recently online and asked me to consider endorsing her new book, Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than. 

becoming visible

I read it from cover to cover, and I loved it. I could totally relate to the reality of feeling overlooked and invisible, and I found her approach down-to-earth, wise, and insightful. Cheri’s book has just released, and it’s a pleasure to help her spread the word to others who might be struggling with feeling invisible. Welcome her today and find encouragement in her words to us today.

Becoming Visible

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.

James 1:1 ESV

Childhood recess can leave a mark. Where I grew up, unless your teeth were in jeopardy, or you broke a bone, the adults didnt pay attention to fairness, feelings, or failings. It was the kind of environment where thicker skins developed and existing hurts became more ingrained. Exclusion from a game with the popular girls, vicious name calling, or the humiliation of being the last resort when teams divided could be painful pricks, especially when reinforced through the years. Maybe you can relate. The dread of recognizing all you are not can be debilitating to the point we find ourselves in the corner, once again, questioning Gods purpose for our lives.

Know to Whom We Belong

From the opening lines of his book, James, if he had any, left that dread on the playground. In one sentence, the man declared his clear sense of Gods purpose for his life. The victory is not making a smart choice about whether to become a plumber as opposed to the expected carpenter but knowing to whom he belongs and how that should play out in his life.

Paul describes this knowing to the Corinthians, asking them to consider who God calls” (1 Corinthians 28:30). You see, these individuals leaned toward obscurity. Here Paul rightly reminds them of Gods strange work of the Gospel in them so that Jesus might get the glory, rather than man.

You can see the potential problems if we were left in charge. The prettiest people would get the gifts and blessings. The smartest would be privy to the truth. We would reserve all other offices for those possessing charisma, leaving the rest of humanity out of luck.

God’s Gospel Gives Us Purpose

Thankfully, its not my Gospel. Its not the Gospel Paul preaches, nor the one James writes about. God chooses the weak, those with no pedigree, who are unworthy of notice. Non-essentials. The nothings of this world. He chooses them on purpose. There is room for you and for me.

Has God found you in all your obscurity, like James? Your God specializes in calling the things that are not, as if they are. Although James holds a place of prominence, leading the Christian church in Jerusalem, he calls himself the servant of God and Jesus Christ. What if you took on this same calling? Consider one difference you could make today toward this goal.


Cheri Strange is a national speaker, visionary of She Yearns Ministries, and holds a Ph.D. from Baylor University. She lives in Houston with her husband, Chad, their eight children, and her Maine Coon cat. Find her on the YouVersion app, her website, or Instagram. Cheri Strange

Life’s Storms Linger but Won’t Last Forever

life's storms linger but they don't last forever

Life’s storms linger but won’t last forever.


A friend clung to this truth when one hardship after another struck her. First, her infant son became ill and died. She was still reeling when life-threatening illnesses hit several extended family members, and her husband lost his job. She felt like she was living in Job’s shadow. She says despair would have overwhelmed her but knowing that Job’s hardships eventually came to an end renewed her hope.

The knowledge that life’s storms linger but won’t last forever throws us a lifeline, especially when hardships roll over us like waves, one after another after another. But unlike the ocean waves that never stop breaking on shore, our troubles will come to an end.

God works at all times and through every difficulty we face. We can’t begin to understand His purposes for our pain, but we can rest assured that He is doing something good in His eternal plan. In His time, He will bring those purposes to pass, and He will bring our trials to an end. In the meantime, let’s choose to trust Him.

Today, I’m including a sample from Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey. Using an anecdote from a sailing journey off BC’s coast, it demonstrates this life-giving, hope-renewing truth: life’s storms linger but won’t last forever.

I pray that you’ll find it a blessing, my friend. Know you are loved.

Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey

The Rain Will Stop

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

Psalm 107:28 (ESV)


Sailor-Man and I woke to the sound of rain pelting our boat. We were anchored far from shore, and the nearest town was at least two hours away—too far to motor across sloppy seas for no other reason than to escape our confined space. Riding out the storm was our only option, so we hunkered down inside and hoped the weather would clear.

Morning rolled into afternoon. A couple more hours passed and then, finally, the sunshine poked through the clouds. Its warmth wooed us, grateful, from our mini-ark.

Life’s storms come and go like rainstorms. When they’re present, they might feel as though they’re here to stay. But this we know—the clouds will part and the sun will shine in God’s good time. He’s working in ways we can neither see nor understand, and he will deliver us from our distress when he has fulfilled his purposes.

Be patient. Hang onto hope as you hunker down. He hears your cries for help, and he will bring this rainy day—or season—to an end.


What’s your attitude as you wait for the rain to stop?


God, teach me to hunker down with a hope-filled heart until the rain stops.

“He knows when we go into the storm, He watches over us in the storm, and He can bring us out of the storm when His purposes have been fulfilled.” – Warren W. Wiersbe, Looking Up When Life Gets You Down

Excerpt from Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey, available for pre-order now.

Be on Guard When Life Takes a Detour

Be on guard when life takes a detour

What does it mean to be on guard when life takes a detour? Eight months after receiving “guard” as my focus word for 2022, I’m beginning to appreciate its relevance to my life in ways I hadn’t imagined.

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong,” says 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT). In times past, I’ve read that verse and nodded in agreement before closing my Bible and going on my merry way for the day. But this week was different.

Life has taken a detour.


I’m sitting in a friend’s basement suite as I write this. Sailor-Man and I are temporarily displaced from our boat-home while she sits in the marina’s repair yard. A submerged log bent her rudder in July, and without a rudder, she has no steering capacity. A massive sling pulled her from the river on August 9, and there she sits, on the concrete, more than two weeks later with only a hopeful end date in sight.

Living in the repair yard especially during summer heat is not for the faint of heart. I’m okay with using public showers, but exiting the vessel via steep stairs to use the community outhouse especially at night—not so much. Besides, there’s no access to wi-fi there, and I can’t do my work without it.

be on guard when life takes a detour

When a couple from our church invited us to stay in their basement suite an hour’s drive from the marina, we accepted their offer with gratitude. Still, Sailor-Man drives back and forth nearly every day to oversee repairs while juggling his ministry responsibilities. The other day, he made the round trip twice, and he has spent about ten nights aboard the Makana to accommodate the repair guys’ early morning schedule and to ensure all systems—especially the freezer—continue to work.

Life has taken a detour. Our routine is anything but normal, and I miss it.


Writing deadlines are hurtling towards me at breakneck speed, and I’m seriously struggling to meet them. It didn’t help that my computer went for repairs last Wednesday, and things didn’t go as well as expected. I lost access to my documents for three days. That meant losing three days to prepare for upcoming speaking engagements, write podcast episodes, and research for my next First 5 assignment.

A little voice inside says, “It’s time to push the panic button.” Another says, “It’s time to practice what it means to be on guard.” I’m choosing to listen to the latter voice, and wow—it’s taking me to new places. New lessons learned. New fodder for writing.

What does it mean to be on guard when life takes a detour? Here are 5 hot-off-the-press insights:

  • Be on guard against the little voice that speaks lies. It’s not time to push the panic button. My present circumstances are no surprise to God. He knew about the detour well in advance. He knew what my calendar would look like at this time, and He’s got this. He’s got me. I can trust Him.
  • Be on guard against idols. I’m asking myself where I’ve placed my hope in times past. Have I trusted in the power of a comfortable routine to help me stay focused when juggling multiple balls, or have I trusted in the Lord’s strength?
  • Be on guard against anger. The other day, I felt my blood pressure rise when I couldn’t get access to my documents. In all honesty, I wanted someone to blame. Thankfully the Holy Spirit got hold of my head and tweaked my thinking. “Anger doesn’t fix anything. Try prayer instead,” He said.
  • Be on guard against a woe-is-me attitude. I might be temporarily displaced but I’m staying with sweet friends in their lovely home. How different from millions of Ukrainian women who have lost everything and fled to a foreign country to start life over not knowing whether they’ll ever be reunited with their husband and loved ones? My circumstances are far from what I wish they were right now, but they’re far better than those faced by millions around the world. Perspective goes a long way.
  • Be on guard against what-if thinking. Several days ago, repairs seemed to be going well. Then Sailor-Man discovered that a rubber sleeve (a “gator”) associated with the rudder shaft had been torn when the rudder was removed. It’s a necessary piece of equipment because it prevents water from seeping into the boat. When he asked the repair guy about it, he learned that it has to be custom-made in the States. It’s now on order, but its delivery date is beyond our control. My mind goes to places like, “What if it doesn’t arrive within a few days? Then repairs can’t be complete and we can’t move back into the boat. We can’t stay with our friends indefinitely….yada, yada.” I have to switch my thinking to, “Even if this piece of equipment takes longer than expected to arrive, God is still in control.” It takes intentionality to turn my thinking around, but it’s necessary for calm in the chaos.

Be on guard, the Word warns.


It’s the only way to keep hope alive when life takes a detour. Besides, there’s a silver lining to this whole misadventure: I’m learning firsthand to re-apply the lessons about which I’ve written in Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm.


How about you? How does the concept of being on guard when life takes a detour resonate with you? What hot-off-the-press insights would you add to my list?

This song by Ryan Stevenson is sooo relevant right now for sooo many reasons:

In the Eye of the Storm —


3 Truths About the Hard Places of Life

3 truths about the hard places of life

No one enjoys the hard places of life, but sometimes they’re the richest.

Genesis 28 tells the story of Jacob traveling to his uncle Laban’s home. This wasn’t a joy ride. He was running from his twin brother who wanted to kill him for stealing his blessing. (Genesis 27:41-45)

One night, Jacob set up camp and found—get this—a stone—yes, a stone—for a pillow. Can you imagine trying to sleep on a rock? I can’t. The guy must have been completely exhausted to fall into a deep sleep under those circumstances.

As Jacob slept, he dreamt of a stairway that reached from earth to heaven. He saw the angels of God going up and down, and the LORD stood at the top and spoke reassuringly to him. (Genesis 28:13-15) When he woke, he said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it” (Genesis 28:16).

This account is only a few verses long, but it packs important truths for us to apply when we experience the hard places of life:

  • God knows where we are at all times.

We might end up camped in a hard, unfamiliar, uncomfortable place and we might feel all alone there, but He is with us in that place. Just as He did not abandon Jacob, so He will never leave or forsake us. (Joshua 1:9)

  • God reveals Himself to us there.

“I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father, Isaac,” He declared to Jacob in a dream. (Genesis 28:13) He wants to reveal Himself to us, too. For reasons known only to Him, the hard places of life are often where we experience those revelations best. Let’s reframe the way we regard those places, then—not as places to avoid at all cost, but as places to enter with courage and expectancy knowing God wants to deepen our friendship with Him there.

  • God’s presence can go unnoticed There.

Sad but true. When we’re in the midst of a hard place, we might become focused on our loneliness or pain and completely forget that God is still actively engaged in our lives. When that’s the case, we become vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks and lose hope. Let’s  ask Him to keep us ever mindful of His presence and watch for evidences that He is there.

Jacob made another statement that captures my attention. He said, “What an awesome place this is!” (Genesis 28:17)

My human nature wants to respond, “Seriously? A hard place is an awesome place?” But then I think about the amazing God-encounter Jacob experienced that night, and I have to agree with him. If life’s hard places mean experiencing God in new ways, then they are awesome indeed.

How have you found a hard place to be a place of growth and experiencing God more intimately?


Be blessed today with this song by Lincoln Brewster. Let’s choose to worship and trust the Lord while we wait in life’s hard places.