Cease Striving!

Each year, I create a playlist of worship songs.

Sometimes they are centered around a certain theme, favorite song, or scripture. Last year, the song “Living Hope” by Phil Wickham, inspired my choices. This year, I was struggling to come up with a central theme, so I prayed and just started going through my song list. The first time I added 57 songs. Way too many. I continued to pray and delete songs. I would listen and ask God to show me what songs to remove.

I was surprised at what I ended up with. There is an edge to the music. The lyrics are challenging. The beat is strong. Fear Is a Liar, Scars, Rescue, Nothing I Hold On To, Surrounded, Reckless Love, No Longer Slaves, Resurrecting, Do It Again, Red Sea Road, Run to the Father, Thank You Jesus for the Blood Applied, You Say. That is my worship playlist this year.

I feel as if the Lord is preparing me for battle.

That there might be some hard times ahead, and He wants me to be ready.

We prepared the physical property of RGM in 2021. Now we are preparing to battle for the lives of the women that will call this place home. Going to battle evokes images of action. However, that is contrary to what God says.

Exodus 14:14, says “I will fight for you, you need only be still.” Easier said than done. Years ago there was a relationship in my life that was horrible. I walked around in shock just trying to survive the moment. There was absolutely nothing I could do to repair or resolve the situation. I came across this verse in a devotional and I clung to it. I had to trust that the Lord would fight for me and the restoration of this relationship. I was in this desperate, hopeless situation. I would constantly pray- God I am trusting you to fight for me and restore this connection. For. Five. Years.

Recently, I was reminded of Psalm 46:10. Most of us know it from the NIV, “Be Still and know that I am God.” It sounds so simple, but how? I am someone that needs practical applications. Years ago, I had heard it from another version, and I finally understood the meaning of “Be Still”! “Cease Striving, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NASB 1995

God's ways aren't ours.

Manipulating a situation is contrary to what God desired me to do. He was asking me to cease striving, stop fighting, stop doing- in other words “be still”- and let Him fight for me.

Eventually, my strained relationship was restored. It was after I stopped trying to fix it by creating encounters and forcing conversations. I only prayed, “God fight for me”. This was one of the most difficult times in my life. It almost broke me. All I could do was cling to the promise that God is good and loves me and will fight for me.

One of the songs on the playlist is Red Sea Road, by Ellie Holcomb. It is referring to the Red Sea that the Israellites came to when they were fleeing Egypt. I imagine fleeing for your life and you come upon what looks like a dead end to your journey and life. Then God parts the sea for you to cross. Your life is spared and a miracle has happened.

When I think of the women that RGM serves, I imagine that for them, approaching the rebuilding of their lives looks like coming upon the Red Sea.

Life is overwhelming, intimidating, and there appears to be no way around it. I then imagine a way in the chaos, a parting of the sea, a hand to say to follow me, a place to say you’re safe and you won’t walk alone down the road in front of you. I imagine Redeeming Grace being the guide for this road in a person’s life both physically and spiritually to help show them the way.

So this year I am preparing to battle. I don’t know what it will be, but when the time comes, I know that I will cease striving and God will fight for me. He will make a Red Sea Road, and He will walk with me on it.

I know He will Do It Again, that Fear is a Liar, that I am Surrounded with Reckless Love and He will absolutely Rescue me on the Red Sea Road.

The Lord has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed!
Isaiah 61: 1

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