Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. -Psalm 91:1 (NIV)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)

I’m revealing a very personal page of my testimony here in the hopes that it will help you or someone you know.

The verses above were given to me by a fellow agent who could see I was really struggling…emotionally on my knees. I realized that, when facing the relentless rain and hail, I wasn’t always above the circumstances as I thought I was. As much as I strived to fix my eyes on Him, I was getting cut and torn to ribbons.

What really happened is that I took my eyes off him and was lost in the rolling waves. And that is because…I was hardening my heart to try and protect myself from harm. I was doing it in my own strength. I wasn’t trusting God to take care of the situation, to protect me.

And as I knew in my heart and was told by my fellow agent, I’d separated myself from God by doing this. I wasn’t walking with Him. I was walking alone, with Satan cackling the whole way.

Striving is the key word I used above. Another verse comes to mind for when I strive:

Be still and know that I am God. -Psalm 46:10

Just stop. Stop.

When you’re facing a burst—or a season—of hardship on earth, don’t try to avoid it. Face it, not with your heart’s shields and walls up, but with the full armor of God on you to catch the heat so it doesn’t reach you.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. -Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

Retreat into His Word. Call out, mutter, whimper Jesus’ name. Think of all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. This is His command for how you should steer your will. Let His Word and His holy name be your shield and refuge so you can stand your ground and remain standing. Trust in His long view of your life and of those around you. Now is not the destination, but merely a stop on the way. These are steps in the tough climb to the next mountaintop, with plenty of good things to learn—and bad things to leave behind—on the way up.

I want you to know that I may be down, but I’m never out. And the same will go for you as long as you stop when you realize you’re not walking the walk you thought you were. Just get back on the path, because He is patiently and gently waiting for you to rejoin Him.

God always comes through. He never fails. Just suit up, be still, and take refuge in Him.