Today we are excited to have Cheryl Neiswender share. She comes with an honest heart writing about a time when she stepped outside of God’s plan and found herself in need of grace. We trust you will be blessed and encouraged.

Click here to download a PDF copy of today’s devotion, prayer, scripture, and further study>>>>In God’s Presence Day 10

Cheryl writes:

It sounded like the perfect job for me. A new Christian school in the area where we were relocating had exploding enrollment for the next year and needed an elementary principal.

Wasn’t the Scripture verse the same as my former school of fifteen years? Didn’t the heart of the administration mimic my own heart for Christian education? It felt so right.

Taking the position without asking for my husband’s opinion, I immersed myself into the maze of trying to hire teachers, admit students, prepare classrooms, and order books that summer in a school where the number of students had more than quadrupled for its second year of existence.

Fast forward a couple of months, and my mornings started at 5:00 a.m. with reading the newspaper to see what I would face later at school. Unrest in the church leadership made the front page headlines on a daily basis.

Though I was determined to make sure God’s work was done despite the chaos, my husband intervened and asked me to resign after only three months on the job. Incredibly, I didn’t even know who to notify that I was leaving. My boss had already been fired and things were in such disarray.

I emailed my letter to the only one I thought was my authority, phoned the elementary teachers, and packed up my office in defeat.

Eventually, I was able to see that what had seemed like God’s plan was merely a cloud of smoke hiding my delusion that I could be the heroine who would save the day. Pride made me susceptible to deception. Instead of producing humility, this revelation humiliated me. Would God ever want to use me again?

Am I the only one who tends to hide behind a bush of shame instead of fall before the throne of grace in my time of need? If we are saved by grace, why do we forget we are also sustained by grace?

Desperately needing to be restored, I had to push past my feelings of failure and confidently approach the throne of grace…to receive mercy…to find grace.

Hebrews 4:16 instructs us where to go to find grace.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 ESV

In God’s presence, I did not feel His disappointment with me as I feared. I felt His grace.


Today’s Prayer: 

Lord, Thank you for being compassionate and gentle to your children. We often step forward without consulting you and find ourselves in over our heads. You never fail to be our rescue. You have open arms, filled with grace. Thank you for allowing us to draw near to you in our time of need. Thank you for your grace freely given. Amen

Further Study: 

Read Psalm 34:4-8 NIV

4 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Cheryl asks, “Am I the only one who tends to hide behind a bush of shame instead of fall before the throne of grace in my time of need?”

What does the psalmist proclaim about those who look to the Lord in verse 5?

Verse six tells us that when we call, the Lord will hear and ___________________________________.

Verse eight ensures us the Lord is good and we are blessed when we __________ _________ in Him.

Does knowing this truth help you to confidently approach the throne of Grace? Are you currently in a situation where you need God’s help? Be encouraged. Avoid hiding in shame. God does not want us to live a life afraid of His response. He is awaiting you with open arms. His response is assured. It will be filled with grace.

We are so thankful for your participation! We have prayerfully decided to pause our study and offer part 2 of In God’s Presence in October. Our team lives up and down the NC coast and we are bracing for Hurricane Florence and anticipating disruptions in power and internet. To ensure we offer the best study possible we are pausing. We trust God is still present, in control, and that our part two will come at just the right time in our lives and yours!  During part two we will discover in God’s presence there is healing, confidence, love, rest, and hope! We look forward to continuing this journey together in October. Our prayers are with everyone affected by the storm. 

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