When Panic Grips You – Girlfriends in God – September 2, 2019

September 2, 2019
When Panic Grips You
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.(Isaiah 49:15-16, NIV)

Friend to Friend

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a woman who is easily distracted. More times than I care to even discuss. Sigh. I would love to say that the detail-oriented-woman in me rocks my days, but that’s not always the case. One crazy day, a few years back, the absent-minded-scatter-brain in me dominated big time.  Here’s what happened…

After I dropped my kids off at school, I swung into the local gas station and ran inside to prepay. I handed the cashier forty dollars in cash and headed out the door to pump my gas.  As I left the mini-mart, I held the door for the woman behind me.  As she passed in front of me, we recognized each other.  She is the secretary for a local church where I had ministered in the past.  We chatted for a few minutes and then each went to our cars and went about our days.

My next stop?  The coffee shop.

I grabbed a piping hot dark roast, added a happy little splash of half and half, and settled down with my Bible and journal for some one-on-One time with the Lord. In the hour and a half that followed, I read, prayed, and chatted with a few friends that came through. It was a very peaceful, pleasant morning… until a horrible realization hit me full force:  I never pumped my forty dollars worth of gasoline!

Oh. My. Glory.

Earlier, I had pulled up to the gas pump, paid the cashier in cash and then drove away!!  And, to answer the question you’re surely asking, “no…I didn’t even have a receipt to prove that I had paid.”

This was not good.

The detail-oriented-woman in me hid as the distracted-absent-minded-woman in me wallowed in the awfulness.

A cold panic washed over my heart. My husband and I run our household on a cash budget. We try hard to be good stewards of our money. To make wise financial decisions.

This was a forty-dollar blunder!

In a flash, I was out the door and on my way back to the gas station. I felt like such a ding-dong! I prayed the whole way there, “Please Lord, let the same cashier still be working. Please let her remember me!”

I screeched into the parking lot on two wheels {kidding}, ran inside, and blurted out, “Do you remember me?”

The cashier turned to me with a smile and a receipt in her hand and said, “I know exactly who you are! You are paid in full. Go ahead and fill up!”

I thanked her profusely and breathed a big sigh of relief.

As I pumped my gasoline, the panic faded to peace. In that moment, the Lord spoke to my heart as if to say, “My sweet daughter, so many times you pull up a chair to spend time with me and fill up your soul on my daily bread, only to be distracted and leave empty. Rest assured, each time you return to my heart and to my Word, my response is the same to you: “I know exactly who you are! You are paid in full. Go ahead and fill up!”

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
(Isaiah 49:15-16, NIV)

When panic grips you, Peace is just a prayer away.

Breathe deep, friend. He knows you too. He sees you. He cares.

Go ahead and fill up.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Who am I that You are mindful of me? Thank You for remembering me, and for engraving my name on the palms of your hands. Cover me with Your love and peace today.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Is there a place of panic in your heart that needs to be handed to the Prince of Peace?  Pause to pray about it now. Read Psalm 139. Write down the verses that move your heart the most today

Praying for Change – In Touch – September 2

September 2

Praying for Change

James 5:16

Hanging above the door in our house, my mother’s favorite plaque constantly reminded us, “Prayer changes things.” From an early age, I witnessed this powerful truth through her example. She’d tell me about some difficulties she was facing and then have me pray about them with her. And later, she’d always be sure to give God the glory when sharing the awesome news that He had answered those prayers.

Indeed, this is our confidence: Anything we pray for that aligns with the Father’s plan will be granted. And the more time we spend with Him, the more we’ll come to understand His will and how to pray for it.

Remember, prayer doesn’t change God’s mind, but it does transform the believer’s heart. Some requests are granted immediately, simply because we asked with the realization that our Father loves to give us good gifts. Other requests may require time or certain divine preparations before they can be given. We, meanwhile, must simply be diligent to persevere in prayer.

Whatever the Lord’s response or timing, we trust that He has only the very best in store for His children. That means we might not receive exactly what we’re asking for, but something even better. Such is God’s great pleasure, for He alone perfectly knows each heart’s desire and wishes to fulfill it.

Our most powerful tool for shaping the world and lives around us is always available. Prayer lets us witness God’s hand in any situation. And as we give attention, time, and perseverance to conversation with Him, we find no limit to what He can achieve in people’s hearts and circumstances.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

And Listen to Dr. Charles Stanley at OnePlace.com!

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:


“He delivers magnificently, and showeth lovingkindness.”

Psalm 18: 50

French Translation

“Life is to be just hard enough to bring out the heroic! I shall go across battlefields and into twisting storms that I may have an experience of the Father’s care, protection and glorious deliverance. I am to share in the tremendous experiences of the great! Only when Christ opened thy ear to the storm, did He open thine ear to the stillness.”

George Matheson

Prize Your Storms

“He calmeth the storm to a whisper.”

Psalm 107: 29


Today’s Study Text:

“For the Lord Thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: He knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.”

Deuteronomy 2: 7

King James Version


“Heaven’s Solution to Earthy Fear” Part 11

“Thou Hast Lacked Nothing”

“God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe.  He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts.”

John Newton

What is it that I lack in my life right now?”

Have I asked God to supply this need?

“An undivided heart, which worships God alone and trusts Him as it should, is raised above all anxiety for earthly wants.”

J. C. Geikie


“An anxious heart, weighs us down.”

Proverbs 12: 25


I usually plan several weeks in advance for the devotionals, choosing the texts that I want to highlight as we study.

I had planned this week to begin our study with Jesus parable of the talents

But before we do that, I want to stop at a text that jumped off the page at me.  Everyday, as I work on the devotionals, I ask God for His guidance in helping me know just what He wants the devotional to be about.  And as I was reading the book of Deuteronomy recently, I couldn’t get past Deuteronomy 2:7, and it was as though I personally felt God put this text in the Bible just for me.

We all have things that make us worry.  Bills to pay.  Family members who are ill.  There’s always something that seems to cause anxiety. Even turning on the news can be distressing.

Like you, there are times I feel overwhelmed by the pressure that life heaps upon me.  Then, like a flash from heaven, I read Deuteronomy, of all books.  A book that has a funny name and is one of those Old Testament books which rarely gets our attention.  What did I find?  Words from God to Moses that fall like dew on my wilted heart and yours.  For when the drought of life’s challenges dries us out, leaving our hopes and dreams parched, God comes along with healing in His wings and says:

I, the Lord thy God have blessed you, (put your name here),

in all the works of thy hand.  I know thy walking through this great

wilderness, and (put your name here), thy God has and is with you,

you lack nothing!”  Deuteronomy 2: 7  The Dorothy Translation

I have to be honest, feeling as I was this morning, overwhelmed and anxious with all that life can hit us with – I wept as I read this text.  For hidden in Deuteronomy, unnoticed by God’s daughter, Dorothy, was a reminder that throughout my life, “I have lacked for nothing,” or as the Hebrew states, “never failed or run-out.”



When Moses began to repeat the history of his journey with God – his Father in heaven told him to start with the part that says: “I’ve been with you on the entire journey – even in the wilderness, in the desert, on the stony path, even when the water was bitter, even when the other nations attacked, at your lowest point, I was walking right beside you – and Moses, one other thing, all of you never lacked for a thing!”

There it is!  The God who promises to supply ALL our needs.  The God who feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies of the field.  The God, whom the Apostle Paul reminds us, says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God” (Philippians 4: 6, N.I.V.).

After spending over 40 years in a desert wilderness, Moses reminded God’s people, “You lacked nothing.”

How blessed we are to have this wonderful reminder in the Scripture to build our confidence in God today.  For as Thomas á Kempis wrote: “Oh, how great peace and quietness would (she) possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all (her) confidence in God.”

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7



“Pray, and let God worry.”

Martin Luther

“Be not dismayed whatever betide,

God will take care of you;

Beneath His wings of love abide,

God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when your heart doth fail,

God will take care of you;

When dangers fierce your path assail,

God will take care of you.

All you need He will provide,

God will take care of you;

Nothing you ask will be denied,

God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,

God will take care of you;

Lean weary one, upon His breast,

God will take care of you;

God will take care of you,

Through everyday, o’er all the way;

He will take care of you,

God will take care of you.”

Civilla D. Martin

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus

[email protected]

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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.




Prologue: God Takes on Human Flesh

September 2


John 1; Luke 1:5-38; Psalms 101; Proverbs 17:22

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.


There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.


He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.


John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'”


And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.


[John’s “first word” announces that Jesus, the Word, was with God before time and creation began. He was “in the beginning” with God, which takes us all the way back 245 readings to Genesis 1:1. This “first word” from John clearly proclaims that Jesus, before He took on human flesh, was God-and therefore, now in human flesh, is God.]


There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.


So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.


But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”


And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”


And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”


And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.


So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”


But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”




Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”


And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”


Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


John 1:1-18; Luke 1:5-38



I will sing of mercy and justice;

To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.

I will behave wisely in a perfect way.

Oh, when will You come to me?

I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;

I hate the work of those who fall away;

It shall not cling to me.

Psalm 101:1-3



A merry heart does good, like medicine,

But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Proverbs 17:22


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