Sara HagertyApril 1, 2020

Talking to God in Uncertain Times
SARA HAGERTY

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“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV) 

My walk to the mailbox is revelatory.

I close the door behind me, and the overture of my thoughts begins.

First, I wonder if I started the load of laundry last night so that my son would have clean clothes today. Certain I hadn’t, I think of the litany of unfinished things this week. I scold myself in my list-making: You’re always behind.

My mind diverts to a friend and our text exchange the day before. I convince myself that in my own fear, I was insensitive to her. My scolding softens to disappointment, and then evaluation: I keep missing the people I care about most, in the midst of this uncertainty. Why all this selfishness?

Inside the mailbox is a catalog from my favorite clothing store, advertising their spring collection. In an instant, this advertisement reminds me of all the unknowns in my life: Will we take our annual beach trip? When will I see my mom and siblings next? Is spring shopping even an option this year?

My way back up our long driveway is preset for internal traffic. Fears, insecurities and doubts creep in, subtle enough to be undetected. Subtle enough for me to believe them. Seemingly “insignificant” enough that they hang out in the backdrop of my mind for the rest of my day.

We live in the country, and my walk to the mailbox is one-eighth of a mile. Even if yours is just a few steps, isn’t that break from reading the news and fielding the constant changes to our day just enough time to consent to the fast-paced highway that is your thought life?

And these middle minutes matter.

When I signed up for a vibrant, alive walk in God at age 20, I didn’t consider that my walk to the mailbox, or my standing over the stove, or my scanning the headlines of the news contributed to that.

I imagined traveling across the ocean to care for the broken or moving across the country to evangelize a city. A neighborhood, even. I didn’t think that the minutes it took me to sauté onions on a Monday night for dinner held any value to God. Or to me. Replying to emails or sorting the recycling: neutral middle minutes, made for tasking.

But what if something bigger is available in these uncertain times? Something that fills and sustains? Something that replaces the fear and anxiety?

What if God intended us to experience Him in those middle minutes?

That snippet of a day — my walk to the mailbox — holds what I really think about God, perhaps even more than a Sunday worship service in which I raise my hands high. I might preach to my kids that “God is good,” but my most genuine thoughts about Him cycle through my mind as I read the news and am updated, hourly, by the state of our nation. And if those thoughts are unexposed to His truth, they can rule me.

Enter adoration: the nexus of my honest thoughts with His Word and His person. In adoring, I bring my raw fear and anxieties into a conversation with God, and from that place, I look to His Word to tell my heart what’s true.

Three minutes of adoration on the way to the mailbox incites the renewal of my mind: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

It can look like this:

I close the door behind me, and I step off the front porch to the anxiety of all the unknowns … and I bring this feeling to God. I pause. I wait for Him to meet me — and overturn this minute.

Dear God, I feel overwhelmed by today, fearful about tomorrow, and very weak to respond to this crisis. But Your Word in 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that Your “power is made perfect in weakness.” I have a hard time believing this, God, but I bring my unbelief to You … and I adore. Thank You for not being threatened by my weakness but receiving it. I adore You for Your power that overshadows my weakness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (ESV)

Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” (ESV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
What if God wants to talk to you in your middle minutes? Do you want a way to talk to Him and find His relief in the midst of this uncertainty? For anyone who longs to experience God in the thick of life’s demands, Sara Hagerty’s latest book, ADORE, offers a simple, soul-nourishing practice for engaging with God in the middle minutes of your day. ADORE is available everywhere books are sold.

CONNECT:
Read more from Sara on Instagram or her website.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of ADORE by Sara Hagerty. To celebrate this book, Sara’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, April 6, 2020.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Choose one part of your day to pause and pay attention to your thoughts. What fears and anxieties are you not bringing to God in these “middle” minutes? Consider taking these thoughts to Him and adoring Him through verses that speak the opposite.

Sara Hagerty is a lover of God, a wife to Nate, and a mother of seven — four adopted from Africa and three through miracle pregnancies. As a lifelong admirer of words, Sara has experienced their power to revive. Today Sara’s words offer God’s hope to readers facing unexpected life circumstances. 

© 2020 by Sara Hagerty. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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