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.
I pause when I read these verses today. I think about two words: dismayed and strengthen. When we experience a sense of dismay, we’re distressed and troubled by some unexpected thing. We have fear in our hearts, and we live in anxiety.
Do not be dismayed. God strengthens.
I think about what we need strength for today. I think about how some of us are sick. Some are in pain. Some have deep sorrow over loss. Some need strength to get through a morning with fussy children. Some need strength to face a challenge, a conflict, or a difficult person.
Some need the strength to live a hidden life of dishes, laundry, and meal preparation while their friends are off living glamorous lives. Some need strength to be the ones in the spotlight when they wish they were home living quietly and anonymously.
Some need strength to press through unfulfilled longings. Some of us are in real danger today. Some of us are actually and literally hungry and thirsty.
Some need the strength to battle loneliness.
Whatever it is, I pray for our strength today. We have One who upholds us and is with us.
What do you need strength for? Let’s pray for one another. Personally, I need the strength to forgo a comfortable life in order to live a holy one.