Bright Lights & Black Leggings

“But You, God, shield me on all sides;  You ground my feet, You lift my head high.”

Psalms 3:3, MSG

Each January, our church hosts a 21 Days of Prayer event. Anyone can come to the church and gather for prayer every single morning for 21 days straight. We write out our prayer requests and place them with hundreds of others we pray over. I love this special time of concentrated prayer. It seems to help kick off the new year and help everyone get focused.

One Saturday morning, I attended this event. Along with many others, I walked up to submit my requests, but also to pick up a few to pray over myself. Since we were there for an hour, I went up several times to pray for as many as I could.

The Text

After about the third trip up to the front of the church, I received a text from my daughter. She sat somewhere in the back of the room. Her message read, “Mom, someone is texting me to let you know that every time you go up to the front where the bright lights are, they can see straight through your black leggings.”

What? I read this message three times. Oh, dear God. I was MORTIFIED. Now, what was I going to do? I wanted to melt into the floor! I wanted to evaporate! Forget prayer. We have much bigger concerns right now.

I stayed in my seat. But everyone was already standing for the final prayer. I had to stand too because people would then wonder why I wasn’t standing. I was hoping to just sit there until everyone had gone. Then I would run out of the building in complete and utter shame.

The Rescue

But with zero dignity, I gathered my courage and slowly stood. I sensed my daughter quickly come up behind me, sheltering me from any embarrassing views. She said, “I’ve got you.”

So many spiritual lessons came to mind right in that moment. Emotions flooded my mind as I realized that’s the way God takes care of us. He covers us in our most vulnerable moments and often when we do not even know to ask. God’s got us. He’s got the whole world.

In Genesis, there is a story of Noah getting drunk and lying uncovered in his tent. The Bible says, “But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked” (Genesis 9:23, NIV). The chapter later says that when Noah woke up and saw what had happened, he prayed a blessing over both his sons who covered him.

You are Covered

I don’t have any idea what you would do in a similar situation. But I was especially grateful for my daughter that day and her quick thinking regarding my fashion faux pas. I did not know there was a problem until a trusted person pointed it out. I believe God used her to show His love and care for me. We should thank God for the covering He provides us every day, whether or not we see it with our eyes. He is always acting on our behalf to bless and protect us. God shields us on all sides.

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

Psalms 91:4, NIV

For more from the author, purchase your copy of This Season of Freedom.

Wondering if God is going to show up and answer your prayers? Read Paula’s post, When God Doesn’t Show Up.

When God Doesn’t Show Up

Listen, God! Please, pay attention! Can You make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries? King-God, I need Your help. Every morning You’ll hear me at it again. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on Your altar and watch for fire to descend.”

Psalms 5:1-5 MSG

Have you ever ordered something online and when you received the package, the item was different from what you expected? Order errors are annoying and time consuming. It’s frustrating to get something that isn’t the correct color or size, or arrives damaged. Sometimes, the item received isn’t anything like the item ordered.

I don’t order too much online for that exact reason. I don’t want to face the hassle of returning what I ordered if something is not right. Last fall, as I was deciding what to wear to various special events, I came across this gorgeous, multi-colored, long, brocade jacket online. It caught my eye. The price was so right, and I loved the look. So, with a release of my breath, I pushed “add to cart.”

I waited to receive the “your package has shipped” notification for days. Those days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months! The holiday event to which I hoped to wear the jacket passed. Delivery took so long that the season had changed. I set my hopes to wear the jacket for Christmas, then New Year’s Eve. Still, I heard nothing. I was just sick about it.

Package Delivered

One day I received an email telling me they delivered my package. I couldn’t wait to see the beautiful brocade material! Rushing home, I pulled it out of the mailbox and sped to the house. I ripped open the package, and there lay my jacket.

In no glory at all, it looked like a 10-year-old made it and screen-printed it with a $2 machine. Huge disappointment. Threads hung off the garment everywhere. The jacked-up jacket arrived late. It was too big with sleeves that would fit a Neanderthal and looked cheap and ridiculous. I had not gotten what they promised, and I was not happy.

Has there ever been a time when you knew God promised you something, but it seemed He did not deliver or come through for you? Perhaps you believed the situation in which you found yourself was not what you ordered or wanted. Did you wonder, “Can I get the exact thing I ordered immediately?” When we pray, we might think, “Can I get exactly what I prayed for right now?” Is God listening? Is He paying attention?

Will God Show Up?

I know so many people who are faithful, good, and loving. Yet these people wait and wait to see their biggest prayers answered. They consistently pray with high expectations for absolute miracles and nothing seems to happen. Some endure health, job, and family issues, rebellious children, or an unsaved spouse. Others have experienced deep church hurt, grieve for a lost baby, or loved one. Some people go their whole lives with no real answers.

Have you prayed but received no answers? Does it seem like God is far away? You may even imagine being cheated out of a life you could possess. Maybe you are feeling like you did all the things that a good person would do, and you just can’t seem to catch a break.

I’ve been there. I often wondered if God had left me standing alone and forgotten because the spiritual draught had gone on so long. Sometimes I chalked it up to, “This is just how it is going to be.”

God is Limitless

Looking back on some of those situations, I can see how I might have done some things differently. There were times I could have had a different attitude. I should have trusted God no matter what was happening around me. Our circumstances may cause us to believe our faith has hit a limit, but God is limitless. He is ever-present and always working on our behalf.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19, NIV

The truth is, God is always there. He is paying attention. God carries us when we are at our lowest, when times are the hardest, and when we cannot find a way through something. He is working on our behalf even when it seems we have no answers.

You may be doing all you can do, and things just aren’t going your way right now. Trust that God is still in control, regardless of circumstances. He will not leave you. He will not give up on you. And, He has something so much better for you than a cheap jacket that you ordered on the internet.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV

Pray today that God would help you trust and believe the Word over your situation. Pray that He will help you walk in peace and freedom. Trust that God is with you even when you think He isn’t. Be strong and courageous. He will never leave you.

For more from Paula, order your copy of This Season of Freedom.

Read Paula’s previous post to learn more about dealing with relationships.

Cover reveal for This Season of Freedom!

The wait is nearly over! Here’s a little sneak peak at the front cover while we wait patiently on the physical book. We should receive something very special in the mail soon! ♥️

I want to give my endorsers a big THANK YOU for their generous contribution. I’m super excited about all of them. All five are wonderful women who are believers, influencers, and firestarters for the Kingdom. It’s time for the women of God to take a stand for Jesus and have a voice in this world. We will be heard. We will not sit idly by and allow the enemy to run us over anymore. We will unite together and walk forward into freedom the way God ultimately plans. We will reach others by our example and we will not let evil distract us from our agenda. 

I pray that you will find hope and freedom between the pages of this book and your soul finds comfort during your quiet time alone with God. Make it so, Jesus.

#ThisSeasonofFreedom #devotional #ImExcited #Hallelujah 🙌🏼 🔥#ThisIsHappening #AllFemaleAllDay