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But Also...

Yesterday, I sat curled up in my chair, green journal in hand. With my pink pen furiously writing, I was telling God that right now in this season I feel surrounded. I have found that I am far less distracted in prayer when I write plus I get the added bonus of recording God's movements in my life. When looking at some things in my life, I really am surrounded. I love how God loves to respond to us and come to us in any situation or season we may find ourselves in. 

God often speaks to me in diagrams and  He gave me this picture so I drew it in my journal. I wanted to share it here with you because I so often find visuals helpful and I am sure there is at least one reader who loves visuals as well. 


He then spoke the words, "You are surrounded, but also I am surrounding you even closer. My presence does not take away from the reality or make reality no longer true, but when you are with Me there is a 'But also..."

There will always be a 'But also...' with God. There will be a 'But also...' today, tomorrow and every tomorrow after that. 

There is a God who has called me His own, loves me deeply and is extravagantly generous with His mercy, grace and wisdom. This God is the one who promises to never leave and surrounds me even more closely than any circumstance I could ever face. This God surrounds you too. May He give us all eyes to see! 

In 2 Kings 6:13-17, the king had sent an army to capture Elisha. In the dark of the night, the army surrounded the city where Elisha was staying. The next morning the servant went outside and saw they were surrounded by chariots and an army. In a panic, he ran back to Elisha and asked what they should do. Imagine the servant's surprise when Elisha told him not to worry because there were more there with them than against them. I imagine the servant looked around confused. What he saw was a vast army coming against them and no way to defend themselves. And then Elisha prayed (v17) "Open his eyes Lord, that he may see." Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes and suddenly he saw they were surrounded by something much stronger than mere men. They were surrounded by horses and chariots of fire sent by God. Suddenly the surrounding army of mere men was not something to fear. 

The thing that is so fascinating is the servant's unawareness of what was true did not change reality one bit. At first he was unaware but still he was surrounded by God. He was in fear because he was unaware, but Elisha remained fearless because he was aware of what was true all along. This is true for us too. Our awareness or unawareness of God does not dictate His nearness to us, but it will deeply affect how we live. When we are fearful and anxious, we are often living more like the servant who was unaware of the powerful God surrounding them. 

I used to pray that God would show up in a circumstance, be present and those sorts of prayers, but I am learning He already has shown up and He already is present. Often when I am fearful and anxious, like the servant, I need an awareness of what is already true. I need my eyes to be opened. My prayers have changed from "Please show up" to "Open my eyes."

I may have circumstances I'm not sure what to do with, but also God is with Me and He knows exactly what to do.

I may have a bad diagnosis, but also God is with me and I will not face it alone.

I may not have the wisdom I need, but also God is with me and has all the wisdom I need.

I may have lost someone important to me, but also God is with me and has not left me.

I may be deeply hurt, but also God is with me and knows what to do with a broken heart.

I may have disappointment, but also God is with me and knows what to do.

What may God be speaking, 'but also' about in your life today?

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