Rising Above

Have you ever had to hop on a plane on a rainy or cloudy day? If it’s a morning flight, it can definitely be a dreary process! Waking up early, umbrellas and Uber, shaking off the rain and checking in your bags;  most likely – it’s not your favorite experience. But what I love about it is that after I’ve settled into my seat and we prepare for take-off, the plane ascends off the ramp and up into the sky. And if the gray clouds are low enough, the plane rises above them and all that everyone can see is blue. Beautiful blue sky. Even when we couldn’t see it below, the clear sky was there all along above the clouds.

This reminded me so much of the Lord’s promise of His constant presence in our lives.

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There are times where we look out, and it seems like God isn’t as “involved” as he was the day before or in the season before. Maybe you’ve been following Jesus for a while and you are active in your church, active in prayer and reading His Word, and yet right now you feel like you don’t have that same strong connection with Him as you used to. Maybe you just  started following Jesus and you are now at this place. Maybe in the past couple months you have found yourself thinking about what you’re going to eat for lunch during worship on Sundays (*yep*) when not too long ago you were going after him so passionately without the struggle. Or perhaps you are currently facing a situation or circumstance so challenging, and everything feels like a mess. And most of all, you just really don’t feel God’s presence.

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  But then of course, there are the days and seasons where overall, everything seems to go well: the fruits of our efforts in the various areas we’re involved in are visible, relationships are thriving, and we see the Lord’s hand so clearly. Things make sense. And we feel his presence. And so somewhere along the way we’ve connected those two together; that when things make sense, He is present.

A few thoughts…

  • That same presence you experienced when you easily saw God at work, is the same presence that is present now. Nothing changed, for He is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).
  • Find comfort in knowing that Jesus is “with us always (Matthew 28:20),” and that He will neither “fail or abandon (Deuteronomy 31:6)” those who call Him Lord.
  • While feelings in of themselves are not bad by any means, they shouldn’t dictate our status or relationship with Jesus. Our faith and obedience should as we respond to his love and grace.
  • Push through the unknown, awkward, and messy. The Lord will honor your perseverance. Praise Him in the process.
  • Don’t become easily discouraged. Just because you don’t “feel Him,” it does not necessarily mean you are doing something wrong. If you are genuinely seeking Him, you will find Him (Matthew 7:7). Believe it. Receive it!

 I truly believe that we can be confident and know that He not only here with us – but that he is near, and very much involved in the intricate details of our lives. While we don’t have a physical plane that can help us “ascend” off the ground and away from the troubles we face – we do have the opportunity to put our faith in Jesus and declare His truth in our lives. When we do this, we are able to rise above the clouds, “see the clear, blue sky” that has been there all along and know He is present.

In what ways have you been comforted in knowing God was present, even if you didn’t feel it at the time?

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TRUTHS to pray

“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”       – Psalm 139:8

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

                   “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”                     – Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

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32 thoughts on “Rising Above

    1. So relevant! This morning in worship, i felt like i was having a hard time connecting to the presence of God. It felt so distant and that feeling was icky and troubling. Then i realized that my mind was just focused on some other things going on in my heart, i was consumed in my MIND. And it was like Jesus was tickling me with the idea that just because my mind feels consumed, it doesnt mean that HE isnt there and isnt connecting with me. He was there, and my ability to worship Him did not dissapear. The feeling of distance was coming from my own my mind rather than the reality of His closeness and connection to me.
      Great post Anna! Loved the “few thoughts” section ecspecially!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Krissy!!! Ah – I feel like everyone can relate to EXACTLY what you are describing. What a way to redirect your focus in the middle of you trying to connect with Him. I often get discouraged so quickly instead of pushing through so you’ve really encouraged ME. Thank you 🙂 Love ya, friend! -xx Anna

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  1. That’s a really hard question to answer, you’ve got me thinking. Once I finally understood the truth about Jesus, and accepted Him into my heart, I can’t think of a time when I haven’t known He was there with me all the time, or been able to feel Him. And anytime I need an extra “hug”, all I’ve ever had to do was ask. He is faithful all the time, even when I am not.

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    1. It’s amazing how the Lord transforms our mindset as we trust him through everything. Thank you for sharing how the Lord has impacted you in this way! I know it will encourage many who may be new in their faith as they move forward. -xx Anna

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  2. Yes and amen to this! I had a really bumpy flight recently and we ran into a LOT of turbulence. But after we got through the clouds —- we got a DOUBLE rainbow. It was amazing and reminded me a lot of the trials we face. There is always a blessing after the storm

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    1. Thank you for sharing this. I’m so glad you found your comfort in Him. I’m sure anyone who knows you and has seen you live this out has been greatly encouraged to keep clinging to Jesus during hard times. May God continue to bless you as you move forward! -xx Anna

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  3. I needed to hear this this morning.
    It’s been a busy season with little rest (my fault not His) and there have been times when I have felt very much alone. Thank you for reminding me I’m not…he promised to never leave me or forsake me so I know that he is near.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing. While I am not a mother yet, I have heard from many sweet Mommas like you about the same challenge. You are certainly “not alone” in feeling alone if that makes sense! I’m so glad this encouraged you this morning. May God bless you today as we finish out this week and as you experience His presence amidst some of the busyness of this season! -xx Anna

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  4. What a fantastic reminder to us all! Thanks for all the promises of God you put together in this post! I like the analogy as well. God speaks so loudly through His creation, even when we “hear” and see this through man’s creation (in this case, a plane)! God is good, all the time, even when seemingly bad things are happening! We just fail to praise Him in the storm.

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  5. Amen! Psychology teaches us that feelings come and go. Lack of sleep, too much sugar, a stressful day–or week, and symptoms of metal illness are just a few factors that can make it feel like God is further away. Thank you for the reminder that God is near, even during the times when it doesn’t feel like it. These are such encouraging Scriptures. Thank you, this post was an excellent way to start the day1

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    1. This is all so true! What wonderful examples that everyone can relate with. Our days can change but He never does! Thank you so much for sharing & I’m so glad it blessed you this morning -Anna

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  6. This reminded me of a good metaphor I read recently, God is like the sun, always there, always shining, even when it’s night for us, or clouds obscure our view, even in Winter, even in a storm. We don’t always have the same perception, but always He is the same.

    I cling to that idea during the tough moments. Thank you for some more encouragement during a rough week.

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  7. What perfect imagery for understanding God’s presence! Yes, I often rely strongly on Proverbs 3:5-6 & the book of Esther to remind me God is always with us even when it doesn’t “feel” like it, He is present, active and alive in our daily lives and preparing for the future. He never rests and we do have to trust That He is.

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    1. Kristi, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this! Absolutely. I love the story of Esther, and that is a perfect story to relate this to. Have an amazing day! -xx Anna

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  8. Hi Anna –

    Needed this so much. Was just on stumbleupon.com and came across it. I’ve been in such a dry season….I feel like I’m literally dying of thirst. I desperately look for His activity, His voice, His ANYTHING….but I’ve gotten nothing. For years. I’m at a place where I don’t know if I can go on unless He speaks. But your words have encouraged me.

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    1. Hi Sandra! I hardly know how to adequately express this in words, but first I am so thankful that this was able to encourage you in the midst of an incredibly challenging time and dry season. While I may not necessarily know all that you are facing, I know what it’s like to be in a dry season and feel like He wasn’t speaking to me and the hardship – pain even, that it brings because we want to experience His presence so desperately. He sees. He knows. And He is there. Though simple, it’s hard to accept because everything in us feels otherwise. When I am in these seasons, I have just had to choose to cling to Him speaking through his Word. When other aspects seem silent, the the truth and promises found in the Bible are loud and true and the life that His Word brings will carry us through. I am praying for you tonight, Sandra. That you would experience His peace, love, and grace during this time. You are not alone, and you are very much loved.
      -xx Anna

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