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What is Encouragement for Today Podcast?
Life can be so challenging sometimes — we each understand this all too well. It’s not only the big things that seem out of our control, but it's also the little things we face each day. We forget our keys. A friend cancels on us. Our bank card gets declined. We wake up anxious. Negative thoughts fill our mind. It doesn’t take much to leave us feeling hopeless, confused, exhausted or stressed. We wonder what God has to say about what we’re experiencing, but sometimes just getting through the next few hours is hard enough. That’s why Proverbs 31 Ministries created The Encouragement For Today Podcast — to help you start your day with a biblical perspective you can carry with you, no matter what lies ahead.
My friend and I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t very funny years ago, when it all went down.
I was in my last year of college, tired from a busy day and getting ready for bed when it hit me … I have clinical rotations in the morning and forgot to wash my lab coat! Thankfully, my best friend, Shyni, who was also my next-door neighbor, was planning to do her laundry that evening. She was more than happy to add my dirty coat to her load.
What a relief! Now I could rest … or not.
Unfortunately, the “I like to be in control” side of me got the best of me that evening. I couldn’t help but periodically check in with my friend. Was my lab coat in the washer? Dryer? Rinse cycle? Spin cycle?
Umm … none of the above.
My lab coat hadn’t even made its way down to the basement laundry room!
“Don’t worry, I’ll get it done,” my friend reassured me. But with no immediate action behind her words of reassurance, I wasn’t feeling very reassured.
Before I knew it, I was back in her apartment, and these words were coming out of my mouth: “Can I please have my lab coat back? I think I’ll wash it myself.”
Needless to say, she was annoyed by my lack of confidence in her — and I was annoyed by her lack of urgency.
Talk about tension. It was no longer a lab coat issue; it was now a trust issue. After all, isn’t that what most relationships are all about?
Throughout the Bible, God asks His children, in so many words, Do you trust Me?
Do you trust me, O Israel, to only collect a day’s worth of manna? (Exodus 16:15-20)
Do you trust me, Achan, to not collect the spoils of the land of Jericho? (Joshua 6:18)
Do you trust me, Gideon, to stop hiding in the wine press? (Judges 6:11)
Do you trust me, Joseph, to marry the woman with child, conceived by the Holy Spirit? (Matthew 1:18-25)
It’s easy to say we trust God as we lay our cares at the altar on Sunday, only to begin pacing the floors on Monday. Then, by Tuesday, we’re asking for our “dirty lab coats” back — which can represent any number of burdens — and the weight of those cares is once again on our shoulders.
1 Peter 5:7a tells us to begin “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” The word “cast” refers to intentionally relocating an object. God wants us to hand Him anything that weighs us down. But we have to be willing to hand it over … and then let Him handle it.
Shyni and I had been friends since we were 5 years old. If there was any friend I could trust, it was Shyni. Our way of doing things might have been different, but in the end, she always got the job done.
The Bible tells us God’s ways are also different than ours. His ways are higher. That’s just one of the ways He offers hope when trusting Him is so hard.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV).
Friends, if anyone can handle our stuff — our cares, our fears and even our dirty laundry — it’s God, our heavenly Father.
Cast your cares on Him, and leave them with Him.
Heavenly Father, even when it feels like there’s a delay, help me to never doubt You have my best interest in mind. Give me divine wisdom in handling whatever situations are weighing me down, and help me release my cares to You. Thank You for Your unconditional love. I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.