As I drove north toward Oklahoma, my shoulders tense and mind whirring, I turned on some of my favorite Christmas songs that evoked worship and praise. And sang as loud as I could. 

By the time I got where I was going, my worries had subsided and my focus was back on Jesus.

Yes, my circumstances remained the same.

Yes, it was all beyond my control.

But, my faith had returned. Beyond what would be considered rational.

God was in control, and I could trust Him — beyond what I could think or even hope for.

That night I kept waking in the night. The worry was back. My head knew God would carry me through the next few days, but my emotions were running in the other direction. Flipping and flopping, I finally focused on Jesus, calling on Him to be my Good Shepherd — to make me lie down in His green pastures, to lead me beside quiet waters where He’d refresh my soul. I breathed in and out and prayed Psalm 23 over and over until I fell asleep.

I awoke aware that much rode on other people’s choices that day, but my hope in my faithful God kept me afloat, carrying me beyond fears and what-if’s.

With each moment throughout the day, I breathed those Psalm 23 prayers, choosing to trust God, and little by little God answered every prayer. Big steps were taken and promises fulfilled. All those imagined worst-case scenarios were for naught. That day I witnessed what felt like miracles as the people I love so much made good choices.

God met me this week in ways beyond my imagination, certainly beyond what I could have done by myself. He once again demonstrated His faithfulness. And, He reminded me that putting my trust in Him requires intention and surrender — beyond my own strength, for sure. But, as He showed me these last few days, He is always present and providing. Beyond.

Published by Shelley Linn Johnson

Lover of The Word. And words. Cultivator of curiosity about all things Christ. Lifelong learner who likes inviting others along for the journey. Recovering perfectionist who has only recently realized that rhythms are so much better than stress-inducing must-do's.

6 thoughts on “Beyond

  1. I love how you can describe how you are feeling, what you did to call on our Lord, and how by trusting Him you could face the day and the challenges. I pray the 23rd Psalm in times of stress regularly. It gives me such peace. I’m so happy we both love it. Love you! Mom

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. They say, “Don’t writhe in worry!
    God’ll pull you through!”
    Well, my friend, I’m sorry,
    it’s just what people do,
    lashing out against His grace,
    dodging comfort of His arms,
    turning from His shining face,
    and fleeing headlong into harms.
    I think this comes as no surprise
    to a Lord so strong and smart,
    and so He merely rolls His eyes
    and prepares to do His part
    for those who will not heed his call,
    and picks them up from self-made fall.

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