July 10, 2020

A Word in Season by Sharon Espeseth

Fretting About Daily Concerns

I’ve had “issues” come up recently--times when I didn’t feel I’d handled things well. This isn’t the first time in my life that “issues” have come up, but I haven’t always acknowledged that I may, at times, have been part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

August 2019: Christie, Hank and Cale
One example involved phone calls regarding how and when our family could get together while being safe within Covid rules. Planning a simple gathering can get complicated at the best of times, but Covid, health issues, schedules and the weather also came into play.

My husband and I suggested we postpone the backyard party until Covid things settled down. Hank, the Norwegian, isn't a fan of going back and forth repeatedly to organize details. But who knows how long these safety precautions will be necessary?

What's the best way to get together?

We finished the phone calls with an indefinite postponement, which wasn’t what any of us wanted. That evening I fretted about it.

Abbie, Rob and Jenny
Hoping we can get together soon.
I also prayed about it, which felt a lot better than the fretting. But I took no action. The next day, our daughters, Christie and Jenny had figured out a plan. Finalizing a date still depends on the weather, but we’ll hop and pray for the best.

Help from the Written Word

I find help in my daily Bible readings, other materials and through prayer. I read Oswald Chambers, sporadically, or as needed. The day of the phone calls was our 45th anniversary, July 5. I opened My Utmost for His Highest to that date and found, “DON’T PLAN WITHOUT GOD.”

Chambers says we tend to think it's “inappropriate and unnecessary” to consult God on “the everyday issues of our lives.” We're inclined to pray about more spiritual, or at least bigger, matters, he adds.

I chuckled when I read in bold letters in the middle of the page, “Don’t plan with a rainy day in mind.” The possibility of rain was part of our problem with planning an outdoor, Covid-safe gathering. I read what Jesus had told his disciples. “Let not your heart be troubled.You believe in God; believe also in me.”

The words, “Let not. . .” indicate a command, not a mere suggestion. In other words, “Don't let your heart be troubled.” Chambers also clarifies that “God will not keep your heart from being troubled.” You need to do that yourself.

With these verses from the Bible and Chambers' thoughts on them, I prayed with more assurance about our small family party. I stayed out of arrangements, as I knew our kids would get us together in due time.

Resting in the Lord

In case I didn’t fully understand the message for July 5, I also read Chambers' July 4 message: “ONE OF GOD’S GREAT ‘DON’TS.’” Here he gives the verse, “Do not fret--it only causes harm.” (Psalm 37:8) The verse before that says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7) Chambers admits that it’s easy to do that until our little world is turned upside down. . .”

Today people in many countries know what it’s like when they “. . . are forced to live in confusion and agony. . .” For those adversely affected by Covid, or those who have loved ones who are so affected, life’s struggles can be overwhelming.

We may have disadvantages beside Covid concerns--like unemployment, chronic illness, loneliness, or financial woes. Right now, are we "hanging on" or are we “(resting) in the Lord and (waiting) patiently for Him”?

Is it possible to rest in the Lord when we’re in dire straits?"

Chambers asks that question. If “Do-not-fret” doesn’t work under trying circumstances, it won’t work anywhere else either. Why? Because “(resting) in the Lord is not dependent on our external circumstances at all, but on our relationship with God himself.”

For improving our relationship with God, Chambers quotes Psalm 37:5.

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

I am often amazed when I come across a reading--be it in a book, a magazine, or the Bible--that expands on what I’ve been thinking about or something that I need to consider. To me, this is “a word in season."

I love Isaiah’s words in chapter 50:4.

"The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.   

Heavenly Father, 

Help me to remember that my problems are never too big for You. Help me to better schedule my time so I can spend time with You, especially in the morning before the rest of my day gets rolling. Help me to rest in You at all times. May my plans become your plans. And may all I do be done in love. Thank you for the good words I read, or give, "in season."



  1. Beautiful Sharon. It is hard to make decisions around family. Trusting in God to show us the way every time.

  2. I agree, Janis. Yes, we do need to trust God on this one. Thanks.

  3. It has been hard to navigate this season, even when it comes to our daily activities. Thanks for the reminder that nothing is too small to go to God with.

    1. You are welcome, Lynn. With this story, I’m reminding myself also that nothing is too small an issue to take to God and that nothing is too big for him either.

  4. I am so glad to see you using your gift of encouraging words this month - despite the challenges! God bless you.

  5. Thanks for your comment that also encourages me, Tracy..

  6. Sharon, You mention one of my favourite verses that the Lord used in such a precious way for me many years ago. So I delight in seeing you chatting about Ps 37:5 today as it has been ministering in your own situation.

    I always appreciate you bringing us along on your inner journey as He leads you through your various life situations and challenges. I do love how He will provide two or three 'witnesses' to confirm the way for us through the wilderness. I have found it true so often in my own life. He leads us so graciously, doesn't He?

  7. Yes, Brenda, he leads us so graciously and sometimes he prepares the way--maybe removes some of the branches on our path or gives a heads-up. I also like Psalm 37:5 in the NLT: "Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you."

  8. Thanks, Sharon, for this inspiring piece. I love how God spoke to you through Oswald Chambers and His word with accuracy and humour. So encouraging. Happy anniversary to you and Hank. May you both have another blessed year in spite of your recent challenges. God bless, dear lady.

  9. You’re welcome, Sharon H. Do you suppose that seeing the humour of our own ways or the irony of a situation, might help us remember the lesson we are learning? Thanks for the anniversary greetings for the hubby and me and the prayer for blessings “in spite of” challenges. Blessings to you also.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.