Monday, March 30, 2020

Trust in the Lord

By Andrea Merrell

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

 In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.
 Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

Do you have a life verse? I’ve chosen Proverbs 3:5-6. These are the verses I always turn to. My default. The ones that keep me anchored in a storm.

One day during my morning devotions, the Lord had me break them down. 

Trust in the Lord
Trust in no one else, not even yourself. People will fail you, but the Lord is faithful.

With all your heart
Not just a portion, but your whole heart and soul. Not just in the good times but in every situation and circumstance.

Lean not on your own understanding
Don’t depend on your own wisdom and knowledge. And never depend on what the world says, especially the media and the naysayers. Don’t over-analyze the situation and try to figure everything out on your own.

In all your ways
That means everything from the smallest detail to the greatest needs, every moment of every day. God cares about everything that affects your normal, everyday life. Every. Single. One.

Acknowledge Him
Put Him first. Seek Him daily. Thank and praise Him continually. Give Him the recognition and glory He deserves. Praise Him privately. Proclaim His goodness publicly.

He will direct your path 
God will lovingly and faithfully light your path and guide your steps when you trust Him with your whole heart, lean on Him instead of your own understanding, and acknowledge Him in all things.

What a wonderful promise. And what a mighty God we serve.

In these uncertain times as we stay in our homes and distance ourselves from the world, let's take these verses to heart. Instead of reacting with fear, we should be acting in faith, knowing the Lord has our back and will do battle for us. He is our protector and provider. He is still sovereign, and the buck stops with Him ... no one else.

Have you chosen a life verse? If not, I’d be happy to share mine.

(Photo courtesy of and Stuart Miles.)


Monday, March 23, 2020

A Different Perspective

By Andrea Merrell

I love words and have always been a fan of Scrabble, especially the online game Words with Friends.

Usually, the available moves are obvious. At other times I have to study the board carefully and analyze my options. Sometimes there are no options. I’m stuck. At least it appears that way. That’s when it’s time for a quick shuffle of the letters to find the perfect word and score the most points.

The answer was right there in front of me. All I needed was a different perspective.

Isn’t that what happens in our daily life? We study a difficult situation and analyze every conceivable possibility before we go to the One who knows all the best moves and has all the answers.

The Bible tells us that God’s ways are so much higher and greater than our own. What men consider foolish, God uses to confound those who consider themselves wise. 

Next time you feel stuck, consult God. He'll do a quick shuffle and show you things from His perspective. He always has the perfect answer.

(Photo courtesy of and Keerati.)


Monday, March 16, 2020

Are You Seeking a Mate?

By Andrea Merrell

“How can I be sure he’s the right one?” the girl asked. “He’s smart and handsome, has a good job, but what else should I look for?”

A valid question when seeking a lifetime marriage partner. Smart is good, but we all know looks can be deceiving. Even the Bible says beauty is vain (Proverbs 31:30). My grandparents used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does.”

Let’s look at a few qualities and attributes that might help you determine your Miss or Mister Right.

How does this person:
  • Respect his or her mother
  • Act around children
  • Treat the server in a restaurant
  • Display good manners
  • Show generosity (with both time and money)
  • Listen (without interrupting or being on a cell phone)
  • Show interest in what you enjoy
  • Bring out the best or worst in you

Most importantly, know this person’s beliefs and spiritual values? The Bible tells us not to be unequally yoked, yet too many people go into a relationship thinking they can change the other person.

Above all, seek the Lord. He doesn’t see people and situations the way we do. We judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

So, whether you’re seeking a mate or establishing a new friendship, choose wisely and prayerfully.

(Photo courtesy of and lamnee.)


Monday, March 9, 2020

Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds

By Andrea Merrell

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NIV

“Time heals,” they say. True in some respects. Many times over the years when I thought a physical ailment would never go away, it did. Sometimes that ailment needed medication, stitches, physical therapy, or even surgery, but healing eventually came.

There have been other times I’ve waited for inner wounds to heal. A broken heart. Scars deep in my soul. Bad memories that kept resurfacing no matter how hard I tried to push them down. Just when I thought enough time had passed and the wounds were healed, they would break open, and all that hurt and anguish would ooze out again … and again … and …

The truth is time alone doesn’t heal all wounds. At least not without a little cooperation on our part.

I’ve found that in order to silence those hurtful, negative voices from the past, I can’t keep ignoring them, hoping they’ll go away. I have to face them head on and deal with them once and for all.

The process begins with forgiveness. Forgiving my offenders. Asking forgiveness for hanging on to the past. And then forgiving myself. Talking with a trusted friend or counselor might also be helpful at times. But the most important part is giving my burdens to the Lord—casting the whole of my care over on Him, the Great Physician.

Time can lessen the effect of some past situations, but the wounds will never be completely healed until we deal with them.

Go ahead. Begin the healing process today. God is ready to set you free.

(Photo courtesy of and Kittisak.)


Monday, March 2, 2020

Spiritual Spanx

By Andrea Merrell

“We wear our spiritual Spanx to church,” the speaker said. “It’s easy for us to keep it altogether for an hour and a half while we’re at church.”

Everyone laughed, but his point hit the mark. We tend to stuff all our junk inside a tidy, well-put-together facade on Sundays. Some call it putting on our church mask. We’re so afraid to be transparent. To ask for prayer. To “confess our faults one to the other.” We fear that others will ridicule our faults and weaknesses. Shame us for our sin. We believe they’ll look down on us, accuse us, and never see us the same as before. But the speaker went on to say, “We don’t know we’re truly loved until people see us in our mess.”

Isn’t that where Jesus found us … in our mess? The Bible says he lifted us out of the muck and mire and set our feet on a solid rock. He made beauty out of ashes. He took away our filthy rags and gave us His very own robe of righteousness. In Him, we are free. Free of accusation. Free of guilt. Free of condemnation.

Friend, there’s no need to hide. Take off the spiritual Spanx. God has called us out of our former darkness to walk in His glorious light—where nothing is hidden. Where we are loved and accepted.

Ahhh … now doesn’t that feel better?

 (Photo courtesy of and Flare.)