Meet my friend, Lisa Appelo.
She’s blogger, writer, and speaker. She is a single mom to 7 and young widow who found God her Rock when her world was rocked.
One of her delights is teaching women every Sunday morning at her church, FBC Jacksonville. She writes and speaks on faith in the hard and God’s healing hope.
Today she shares how she found rest by holding the hand of Jesus.
She’s always been one to hold my hand. This youngest little girl of mine happily slips her hand into mine when we’re out shopping together or running errands.
Her older siblings weren’t always so willing. Some of them let me take their hand as we crossed a busy parking lot, but tugged to let go once we hit the sidewalk.
Sometimes they’d hold my hand but pulled to go a different direction. Or resisted altogether, wriggling to get free as I clamped down even more firmly.
But not my youngest.
Though she’s now past the age where she needs to hold my hand, she still reaches for it. It’s a place of warm security and a sweet expression of love as her hand rests in mine.
I’ve often been like my older kids – tugging against God’s hand rather than resting in it.
I’ve struggled to trust that His direction is best.
But God has been teaching me to rest in my faith. To trust His timing, His interruptions and every circumstance He takes me through. After seeing God’s faithfulness over and over and over, I’m finally learning to rest in His good hand.
One morning recently, we awoke to find a granddaddy oak had crushed my son’s car. As a single mom, it felt like one more burden on a long list.
I needed to get the tree cut and removed, salvage the car and start shopping for another. My son and I would have to share my minivan. This will just be temporary, I thought as we juggled schedules.
[bctt tweet=”Lord, let me take you by the hand instead of trying to do it by myself. #livingfreetogether https://wp.me/p4jbdw-42X” username=”suzanneeller”]
But as we haven’t yet found a good, used car, weeks have turned into months of inconvenience and missing out for both of us.
In the past, I would have worried about the unexpected expense and finding another car. I would have chaffed over the inconvenience of sharing my van.
But God has allowed this circumstance. While I have work to do in it, the burden is God’s and I find myself resting in faith.
Trusting God means we can rest in faith rather than fret in fear.
This weekend, I was reminded again of God’s call for us to rest in faith.
After Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea took his body from the cross, laid it in his tomb and rolled the heavy stone across the entrance. Then we read this:
“And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Luke 23:55-56
Don’t you love God’s impeccable timing? Jesus had died and these women could do nothing. At a critical point of their faith, God ushered in His Sabbath. They had to rest.
And as they rested, God worked mightily.
[bctt tweet=”Trusting God means we can rest in faith rather than fret in fear. #livingfreetogether https://wp.me/p4jbdw-42X” username=”suzanneeller”]
As they rested, God was fulfilling His promise of salvation and eternal life in perfect faithfulness.
Only when we really believe that God keeps His promises can we rest in faith, no matter what circumstance He brings us to.
And resting in faith lets us see the good while we wait – the slower pace of days at home without a car; neighbors who rallied to chainsaw and remove our tree; afternoon walks to the neighborhood store for vegetables and sodas.
Sweet friend, we will never outgrow our need to put our hand firmly into God’s. It’s a place of warm security. He keeps His promises and we can rest in Him as we trust in Him.
Get to know Lisa better!
Connect via her blog at www.trueandfaithful.net
Follow her on Twitter @AppeloLisa or Facebook at www.facebook.com/trueandfaithful
These beautiful gifts will serve as reminders to hold the hand of Jesus and find rest in Him. Thank you, Lisa, for this giveaway.
To enter, just join the conversation on today’s post. Share your story. Encourage someone. Share an area in which you need to replace fear with rest. We love it when you join in and treasure what you have to say.
I have been a widow for 26 years. Our daughters were 12,9,2 and 11 months when my husband died instantly of heart failure at age 36. I have since adopted 2 more daughters through foster care and am in the process of adopting another one.
I couldn’t do it without God! He gives me strength every day!
Oh, Arlene…wow, wow, wow friend. You have a story. You teased us a bit with a snippet of your life journey. Would love to know more of your faith walk. You have encouraged me already this morning, thank you.
Amazing testimony, Arlene! What a walk of faith!
Lisa, the vision of placing our hands in God’s for rest soothes my racing heart. I am much like you, pulling that independent hand away thinking I’ve got this. Each time I pull away, I get worn out and my soul struggles once again. Proof, this weekend. Worrying over my grown kids battling their own hand pulling away and seeing my oldest granddaughter suffer with anxiety due to life circumstances at such a young age. My heart hurts and it is tired. Thank you for the reminder, “Trusting God means we can rest in faith rather than fret in fear.” Thank you, Lisa.
Thank you. I have struggled with fear. I so appreciate your statement: “Trusting God means we can rest in faith, rather than fret in fear.”
Linda, praying for you this morning that God will give you comfort and peace in the midst of things that have previously caused fear. May our God of peace wrap his loving arms around you this morning and every morning!
I’ve so been there, Linda. What a gift it is to rest and release to God.
I am in a “sick son – trust God” time of life, with no choice but to let faith lead. In March, my son fell down our basement stairs and sustained a traumatic brain injury. We’ve been told to expect a full recovery. I know I’m lucky. However, it’s very hard to navigate this new world filled with speech, occupational, and physical therapy appointments, not to mention learning what seems like a foreign language from the medical professionals!
Sometimes I look around at our “never got to the spring clean up” yard, the the dust bunnies on the floors in our house, and the unpaid bills because I now only work part time, and I feel sad. Other times, I feel certain all the stuff I can see is just that. Stuff. I know there are parents all over the world who would take my weeds, bills, and dust bunnies with joy, to have what I also have – a child on the road to recovery.
I wish I could say I have perfect balance sitting in the hand of God, but I must confess, I find myself wiggling out of his grasp sometimes. I had a friend tell me once, “Who told you life was fair? It’s not. It’s just life, and you can decide how good or bad it is.” Very true.
It helps to know we all struggle. Thanks for sharing ladies. Today is another day, with a fresh set of choices, and I choose faith and hope.
Shelly, Holding you and your son up in prayer this morning as God heals him, one day at a time. I pray that God brings friends along side you to help in areas that you need to let go of right now, like your yard and dust bunnies and if they don’t I pray that God gives you peace and let’s you see beauty in the weeds-have a blessed day!
Shelly, my heart is breaking for your walk right now. Trusting you now to our faithful and good God.
I’m so sorry you are going through all of this.
Praying for you too!
I choose faith and hope — such perseverance! These are beautiful words!!
As I read this something came to my mind. It is perfectionism. Ever since I can remember for some reason I thought everything in my life had to be perfect and just so. When I was younger it was a battle, but I had little responsibilities. Now that I’m older the responsibilities are much more and the perfection thoughts can make me feel sometimes paralyzed and fearful. Growing up different traumas happened and eventually I was realizing in the real world things were not always pretty. I would have nervous break downs and be so upset things didn’t turn out how I thought they should go. I thought going to therapists or taking medicines would make things “better” or “perfect” again. This is something I need to rest in God with. It can be difficult though, because it seems familiar to me. I somehow thought this perfection would be safe and life, but I’m finding out that is not true. Thank you for sharing this post!
Alexis, praying for all God is doing in you as you trust Him.
Heavenly Father, we pray over Gretchen and her family as life has thrown them curve balls n their finances. We pray for faith instead of fear as they walk with you in their next steps. Gretchen’s prayer is to help her heart lean towards forgiveness and love instead of bitterness. That is bold and beautiful. Money struggles are hard and heavy and it can tear up the best of us who so desperately want to be obiedient in you. We lift this in your heavenly hand.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8
Thank you so much for your sweet prayer, Michele!
I have been receiving your email for a little while, but have never had the the time to include it in my daily reading. Well, this morning I did, and what a beautiful message from Lisa. Thanks for sharing your space, to allow me to meditate on God’s timeliness and blessings.
Cathy, I have come to count on Suzie’s place as one of huge encouragement. It’s a sweet sisterhood and Suzie so transparently shares God’s good lessons.
We can really be undone by “inconvenience” can’t we? Sometimes it brings out an ugly side of me and then the Lord will get a hold of my heart and show me that it can look a lot like”selfishness”. Repentance comes next and then a lesson learned.
This exactly, Shirley.
Thank you for this. Just what I needed to hear this morning. I struggle with with fear when trials happen and need the reminder to rest in God.
Good way to start our week, Jem. Thank you.
Thank you so so much for this much-needed reminder this morning! I struggle with fear & anxiety when things go wrong, and I find that I have to make it a conscious point to remind myself to put my hand in God’s and trust that He will work all things out for my good. Just to share part of my own current story, I was furloughed from my job in December. It has been a very, very long four months waiting for the state legislators to come to any sort of solution so that our department could have the money to put us back to work. I’ve spent many long days & nights absolutely riddled with fear over what my husband & I are going to do. But I’ve also been learning that one of the only things that I CAN do is to put my hand in His and trust in His will. Thank you again for your wonderful words!
Jessika, Praying for God to provide all your needs, during this time of furlough and peace as you wait upon the Lord to guide you today and always! Have a God, blessed day!!
Jessika, I’m praying for you right now, knowing that God delights in providing our need. I often resist hard but boy does God reveal Himself in it!
AMEN! =) The Lord touched me through as well Lisa! Thank You Jesus! Currently I’m living with my adopted family who I feel doesn’t put the Lord first and foremost in the life. I pretty much feel they think it’s about rituals, but it’s not. It’s about having an intimate personal relationship with Jesus. I know in Gods timing He will have me live with my birth mother again, whos a strong Christian. At home currently with my adopted family, there’s a lot of strife and anxiety between them. I try to stay out of the way and go upstairs when things begin outburst. Please pray for me everyone. I need strength to deal with this. Lately, I’ve been asking my mom and dad how I am can help them more and picking up the pace with chores. I’m trying to show them more and more love. Gods love. I am 35 years old by the way.
I really needed this devotion today and I heard the Lord to me heavily through it! =) Thank You Jesus for Your wisdom and Your guidance for today! Amen and amen.
He is so faithful to us, Julie!
Lisa, thank you for this very timely message. I was attacked by the enemy with thoughts that created a lot of tears as I went to bed Saturday night but I see now, rather than giving the enemy a lot of power, I put my hand into Jesus’and let him calm me. I got up and made myself a cup of tea. I scrolled FB and do you know there were so many posts that put everything into perspective.So many that validated my feelings but also gave me hope. My husband and I don’t live near any family so yesterday we had Easter alone, in the past my bleak mood would have carried through the day but instead I put a smile on my face, despite how I felt, and made a deliscious meal for my husband. It was a quiet, restful day that I am very thankful for as this is going to be a busy week for me. Thank you, Lisa for your beautiful words!
Nancy, the enemy loves to discourage us. Oh, I have been there as well. So glad you pressed through in truth and trust.
I so appreciated the analogy of your youngest daughter wanting to hold your hand vs. the older ones resistance. As a daughter of the King, may I become a daughter who continually reaches up to Him to grab His hand as He lovingly leads.
Yes! My prayer as well, Nella!
Needing to rest in God’s perfect plan today as we face the very real possibility of putting our beloved dog down this week.
Thank you for the lovely post and reminder not to fret in fear.
Oh Jennifer, my heart goes out to you. We love our furry family members so deeply. What joy they bring us, most of all in time of fear and sorrow. They just know. I will pray for you and your family as you seek the next step for your sweet pup. ❤️
Thank you so much, Michele! Your prayers for wisdom, peace, and direction are much needed at this time.
So sorry to hear about your dog, Jennifer! It’s a difficult decision for sure. Praying for guidance and peace as you walk through this (holding His hand of course!).
Thank you, Lisa! I appreciate your prayers.
Jennifer, I’m so sorry. Facing a hard week but I trust that God will surround you with warm memories.
I ask for this as well, but not in my life, but in my husbands. I watch him be full of stress with the finances. I trust the Lord & at peace that God Will work in our finances. The more it seems I have peace the angrier he gets accusing me of not caring. He wants me to fret with him.
We give our tieth ( can’t spell ) every pay, but now he’s saying Why? God isn’t helping us.
I pray he will come to trust our Lord in all things, not just money.
Lord, I pray for Fran and her husband. I pray for peace over their relationship, over their home, over his heart. Thank you for a man that cares deeply about caring for his family. Cover him with joy. Lead him to trust in you. Give him wisdom and direction, in the name of Jesus.
Fran I pray in Jesus name that the Lord would help both you and your husband in your finances a d in every area of your lives that you would surrender to Him. Amen and amen.
Amen. Agreeing with you!
Jennifer, you were randomly chosen as the winner of today’s giveaway. I’ll contact you privately. Send me your mailing address and Lisa will send you this beautiful mug and spoon!
Oh Lisa and Suzie, these words about resting in faith rather than fretting in fear speak louder to me today than you could know. And Lisa, I’ve done those afternoon store walks sometimes as well. 🙂
So glad they minister, friend! The afternoon walks were a platinum lining to my interrupted plans for sure. 😉
I need to rest in Him and remember He has all control. He has designed a path for me and I need to stop doubting and trust in Him.
Sheila, yes and yes! God can only ever be good and love.
I read Jesus Words, and reminder to love like Jesus! That is what I want to do!
The best kind of goal, Jennie!
Love these! Would love them for my morning cuppas. …. Needing to take His hand and rest on some health issues that I’m having, older kiddos who need jobs, feeling overlooked, our marriage, Retirement and possible PTSD issues – just to name a few! 😉
Thanks for the chance.
Praying for you my friend
Holly, praying you feel the strong hand of God over each one of these needs.
I need to replace fear with rest in the area of finance
I know that place well, Noelle.
Father I pray that you would give Noelle the strength that she needs today to fully and completely place her finances into your more-than-capable hands. Offer peace and provision, Lord. Encourage and bless her immensely. In Jesus name!
Affirming Suzie’s prayer over you, Noelle.
Amen to all Michele prayed. That heart change God works in us is so worth it. This chapter is in God’s perfect hand as much as the others.
It’s not quite fear but an anxiety. My mom is in a nursing home up north and I am here way in the south. I can do nothing but call her and pray. My brother does all the work. I so appreciate that. But he is angry about this burden as are other members of his family and I can only be helpless here. I need to hold God’s hand as He walks me through this because He is the only one that can deal with this.
Only eternity will reveal all that is accomplished in our prayer. Praying for rest in God’s sovereignty even in this. xoxo
I see a common thread among God’s women these days – rest. We are pushed to do and do and do – and we forget to rest. To quiet in His presence, to know we are secure. I am trying to learn to rest from the anxiety/fear that surfaces for children grown – as they walk their trials and God grows them I’m trying to learn to trust He has their stuff just like He has mine. Thanks for all you share, Lisa, it is always just what I need.
Who knew we mamas would be on our knees once we launched these kids? Yes and yes. Grateful for you, Paris Renae.
It is so hard to watch my grown men.
( I guess they are my boys in my mind & heart ). To watch them walk their own way without considering Jesus loves them & who they accepted when young.
Why do I find it so hard to trust God in their lives, but not in mine.
I just read ” It is God’s battle, not mine!
That’s so Peaceful to remember this!
I need to replace fear of the possibility of a family member’s death with rest. I have a aunt whose cancer has returned. She’s to the point of trying an experimental treatment. It’s hard to see someone fight so hard live and having to deal with the possibility that death may be looming. I know that things happen according to His plans and I need to truly rest in this understanding.
Renada, anticipatory grief is a real thing. May God hold you steady in all of this.
This is exactly where I’ve found myself lately…overwhelmed and out of control. I have been searching to rest in my faith and God’s promises when I found this month’s study on rest. My daughter has epilepsy and my marriage is in a very dark place. I am trying to be still, surrender my plans and rest in God and His timing.
Jen, that’s a hard place. I’m praying God’s sustaining peace in it.
I never really focused upon how God was at work while the women rested on the Sabbath. I love that! It is a reminder to me that God is always in control. Always.
One thing, as I studied the scripture I found this passage in Luke but not Mark? Maybe a misprint?
I want to thank you for these blogs… they really open my eyes. God bless.
Tammie, Yes, I do believe it’s a misprint-thank you for pointing that out-I will let Suzie and Lisa know. It is so comforting knowing that while yes, God rested on the 7th day but it seems that was the last day God rested-he is always watching over us.
Thank you for this message! My daughters are at the age where they too don’t always want to hold my hand. My oldest still loves to – but my youngest wants to run as fast and as far as she can! I love the analogy to us and God. I have been through a tough week at work and at home, and have found myself more and more holding tight to God’s hand and letting everything else fall away!
One of the sweetest feelings is a small hand reaching for yours. I treasure it with my littles.
Yes it is. I only have one grandson and he’s too old to hold grandma’s hand now. I really miss that softness in mine
I was encouraged by your words of wisdom. It is so good to hold on to God’s hand and let Him work. He wants me to trust Him in all my ways and knows what is best for me. I am waiting for the Lord regarding my living situation. Letting go of my agenda and surrendering to follow Him wherever He leads has been difficult. I always want to have the final say in the choices before me. I have found that whenever I let go of my agenda, I find peace and contentment as I abide in His love.
This is perfect timing in my life right now. There’s so much chaos and uncertainty with the next couple of weeks and I have given God complete control over everything. We need a new house to move into and my back is in really bad shape awaiting surgery. We have so many unknowns from day to day and all I hear from God is……rest. In my condition I really don’t have much choice but to be down and totally submit to Be Still and Know that I am God.
Julie, Praying for relief of your back pain, his perfect peace and for God to bring you to the home you are to move to. Resting is often difficult when so much needs to be done but resting in God will lead you to so many blessings and fulfillment of his promises. God is good and only wants good for you. Be blessed today!
Hi Nancy: resting in Him is truly the only way because when my personality wants to jump ahead & make my own decisions, what a mess!
We found a book ” Solutions for Back & Neck Pain “Great book with so much to say. Let me just share, back surgery is a very bad mistake & he tells why & the failure rate is horrific.
Please rest, read & pray before you think surgery is the answer.
The Author is Ben Grams.
This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I need to put my hand in God’s and leave it there. I struggle with chronic pain and sometimes I forget to trust God. I’ve just recently started to lean more on Him though.
Lisa, I am always encouraged by your writing! Thank you for this. My biggest fear is the future for my daughter who will always need full-time care. Yet like you, God is teaching me to trust and rest in Him. Blessings, dear sister.
When am I not worrying?_ lol…as a single mom,I worry constantly about having enough to make ends meet keeping my kids safe,will I meet someone special or be lonely the rest of my life,I worry nonstop and I let fear control a lot of my life, but I pray to God for deliverance from these things😊
Lisa such great reminders. The older we get the more reminders we see that we have to put our trust in Him no matter what. We have to put those fears of never having a baby, miscarriages and a grandchild born with a horrible disease in His loving hands. He is faithful. He is a God of miracles and we can trust His perfect plan. I’ve seen His miracles and His answered prayers through the loss of so many babies in my life and both my daughter and DIL’s. They both have children now. I had children. The baby born with the disease is a walking miracle who should not have walked or crawled and he runs and plays. Prayer changes our fears into miracles.
I’ve suffered from depression and an anxiety disorder most of my life. I worry about everyone and everything in my life. I need to let go of the things I have no control over. I need to rest in the fact that God is is in control and knows what is best for me. Philippians 4:4-8
I know that I am writing this a six weeks after everyone else, but I figure better late than never. I have been learning to rest in the Lord, to put my hand in his, as I walk the journey of retirement from teaching. I find it difficult to encounter this new phase in my life, even though my road is not as terrifying or demanding as so many who have written above. Thank you, Lisa, for reminding me of the need for this trust.
God woke me up this morning with a new song as he often does. I was singing “under the hand of God la la la…..when I woke I wondered about that and thought why am I singing about me being under Gods hand and not in his hand as his word says that no one or nothing can snatch me out of his hand…(John 10:28) but then I realized as recently I had been under depression because I miss my granddaughters so much since they moved to Michigan and not knowing when I will see them again is agonizing. I also found 1 Peter 55:5-14, which says that we ought to “humble ourselves under the hand of God.” then I immediately knew that his spirit has instilled in me the knowledge that I was depending on myself to go after them and make any effort but I could not because of Coronavirus and work issues. You see I need to be clothed with humbleness to the power the will of God and not my own will and cast all my cares on him..(Matt 7-11) to resist the devil (depression about my situation) I want to be “under his hand” Our Lord affords us resources for every need, Lord I trust in you. and your will in my life..I know you will meet my every need and I know that I will be able to see my granddaughters Lilly and Ellie again soon…Amen