Pause

What’s standing in the way between you and feeling fine?

What’s squeezing you in its grip, refusing to let go?

What’s staring you down, telling you to give up?

Opposition = the force that works against you. And it’s not always a cartoon character bad guy, is it?

It could be a hurt you can’t release. A person you can’t forgive. A habit you can’t shake. Those people who never believed in you. That voice in your head that tells you you’re nothing.

What if you listened for a different voice instead?

A voice that whispered the truth?

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Listen

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Should I fear anyone? The Lord is a fortress protecting my life. Should I be frightened of anything? When evildoers come at me trying to eat me up— it’s they, my foes and my enemies, who stumble and fall! If an army camps against me, my heart won’t be afraid. If war comes up against me, I will continue to trust in this.

Psalm 27:1-3

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Think

This Psalm – this prayer – reads like a shield of spiritual armor. What if you replaced “anyone” and “anything” with the name of your biggest fear? Fill in the name of that person, that class, that big game or try-out or audition.

And for “evildoers,” substitute that group at school or work who act like they’re better than you. That ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who replaced you. Stick their name in the psalm and see how it sounds.

Maybe you can’t think of a foe or enemy, but at some point, you might. Isn’t it reassuring to know there’s a place in the Bible to name it? A way to cry out to God about it?

This life can feel like a battle, sometimes one where you’re standing alone. Walking the halls or riding the bus can feel like a war. Thinking about the state of your family, let alone the state of your future, can make you tremble in fear.

What would it feel like to say, My heart won’t be afraid and I will continue to trust?

Cari Pattison

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Pray

God,
I’m not sure I signed up for this army.
You know the situations and people I fear:
the things eating me up inside.
If this is a battle, then you’d better fight for me, Lord –
Be my fortress.
Be my light.
Be my Savior.
Amen.

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Go

Thus sayeth the Lord:

No weapon formed against you shall prosper.

No weapon of defeat,

No weapon of self-doubt,

No weapon of fear or rejection or jealousy or rage.

No thing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So be strong in the Lord and in the power of God’s might:

‘Cause nothing can stop your journey now.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison is an ordained Presbyterian minister and fitness instructor. Originally from Kansas City, she just completed over a decade of ministry work at The Reformed Church of Bronxville (NY). On March 17, 2019, she leaves to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

What Wondrous Love is This

Mark Hayes

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