|New Hampshire - Linda Matchett|
A Faithful Friday Devotional
Linda Shenton Matchett
Here in the Northeast, summers are delightful. New Hampshire is heavily forested, so there is greenery everywhere you look. Flowers too. We get lots of sunshine, but very little oppressive heat like what folks in other parts of the country experience. I’ve only been exposed to desert-like conditions a couple of times in my life when we visited Arizona and Texas.
Over the last few months, I was mired in a different kind of desert. Perhaps you’ve been there.
Because of being short staffed, I worked six-day weeks and double shifts. Our house sold, which meant purging, packing, and moving a 4,000 square foot house in sixty days. Responsibilities at church, volunteer commitments, and the completion of a manuscript by deadline also vied for my time. I managed to keep all the plates spinning (to coin a phrase), but not without loss of sleep and lots of anxiety. Depression creeped in.
Then at the beginning of August, God intervened (even though I hadn’t asked Him to). My assistant manager is also a Christian and after a meeting commented that she was worried about me. I explained my struggles and assured her I had everything under control. Laughing, she replied that none of us do and reminded me that it’s God who should have control. She offered to pray for me, then proposed bits of practical advice that included her taking some of my workload.
Relief followed our conversation, and I finished the rest of my day. But God had more in store.
The following morning, I flipped over the date on my “Prayers for Emotional Wholeness” calendar* and found the following:
“Lord, I ask that You would restore any place in my life that is like a wasteland. Take the dry places in me and make them to be like a well-watered garden. In the areas of my life where I don’t see much fruit, make the roots of my life go down deep in You. Put in me a heart of thanksgiving and a voice that will always sing Your praise.”
“The Lord will comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord.” Isaiah 51:3 [NKJV]
Wow. God knew I needed more and through His Word gave me His assurance that He knew exactly what I was going through and that He would take my Arizona-like-desert experience and turn it into New-Hampshire-like-garden. The remaining stress I’d been holding drained away. Peace overwhelmed me. I nearly wept with joy. I shouldn’t be, but I’m always astounded at how God personally and uniquely meets us where we are and provides exactly what we need.
My problems haven’t all gone away, but by keeping my eyes on Him and allowing Him to carry my burden, I have joy in (spite of) my circumstances. I hope you can too.
*Written by Stormie Omartian and published by Dayspring
About Love’s Allegiance:
With most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.
Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.
Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?
Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2TybLz5
About Linda: Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII.
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