Can Your Love Reach Down This Far?

Have you ever felt like you were so far in a pit that no one could
reach you?  Maybe you feel like you’re
there right now.  I want you to know that
I have been there… and I want you to know that I am no longer there.

I remember sharing my experience with someone as I was walking
through panic/anxiety/depression and I felt so void… I knew they had NO clue
what I was talking about.  After sharing
with a few trusted sources and finding no relief I wound up isolating to
keep from making myself seem even crazier.

Lying on the floor, face down, crying so hard I could barely catch
my breath, BEGGING God to make all the torment go away … and nothing
changed.  “In Jesus’ HOLY name, I demand
that these feelings of anxiety go away!!!!!!!” … nothing changed.

As I stand on the outside looking in I see that EVERYTHING was
changing.  God was doing major work in my
life.  I couldn’t feel immediate relief
and I didn’t see instant changes but God was doing what only God can do.

2
Corinthians 4:17-18

New International
Version 1984 (NIV1984)

17 For our light and momentary troubles are
achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So
we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is
temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

This blog is
titled “Can Your Love Reach Down This Far?” because of how lonely it feels at
the bottom.  I was listening to a song in
the car the other day and it goes like this: “Can You hold me together?  Can Your love reach down this far?  Can you hold me together?  ‘Cause without You holding my heart I’m
falling apart.”  I would hear this song
when I was suffering from anxiety/depression and the words “can Your love reach
down this far” would always send me into tears and begging God for more of His
presence because I literally felt like I was so far in the pit that He could
not reach me anymore.  I was too far
down.

I know that you
feel that way too.  I know you feel like
no one understands … even if you’re reading my blog you are probably having
thoughts that go something like this:

“She had a different type of
panic/anxiety/depression… she can’t relate to you.”

“Her situation is different…
because she came out of it and is speaking about it now… unlike my situation…because
there is no solution or end to my situation.”

“I’m just crazy… I have
literally lost my marbles, so maybe I’m not dealing with
panic/anxiety/depression … I’m just dealing with being CRAZY!”

I’m here to tell
you that you are NOT crazy!  You are fine
and you will be healed!  I challenge you
to believe me.

Romans 8:38-39

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels
nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any
powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When I was at the bottom I would read this scripture over and over again yet I still
felt unreachable, unlovable, and alone.
Can you see how deceived I was?

That’s the thing with the Word of God.  It is
TRUE.  It never changes no matter how I
feel or how I change the Word of God stand true.  I have a choice to believe it or not.

1 Peter 1:24-25

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

24 For,

“All men are like grass,

and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;

the grass withers and the flowers fall,

25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.”[a]

When I heard that song in the car the other day I knew in my spirit that I had to
tell you that His love can reach you.
You can never go too far from His reach.
Hang on!  Cling to the Word.  Read it out loud and declare it in the name
of Jesus and KEEP ON KEEPING ON!  I
promise you that God is working to release you from the bondage that you’re in….
meet Him there.  You are not alone.

I have lots of resources to help you move from your paralyzed state of
fear/panic/anxiety/depression –  please email me aprilpoynter@gmail.com  I’d love to pray with you and for you and
even better… if you don’t know Jesus I’d love to tell you about Him!

Shine,

A

Psalm 139:1-24 (minus verses 19-22)

1
O LORD, you have searched me

and
you know me.

2
You know when I sit and when I rise;

you
perceive my thoughts from afar.

3
You discern my going out and my lying down;

you
are familiar with all my ways.

4
Before a word is on my tongue

you
know it completely, O LORD.

5
You hem me in—behind and before;

you
have laid your hand upon me.

6
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too
lofty for me to attain.

7
Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where
can I flee from your presence?

8
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if
I make my bed in the depths,[a] you arethere.

9
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if
I settle on the far side of the sea,

10
even there your hand will guide me,

your
right hand will hold me fast.

11
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and
the light become night around me,”

12
even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the
night will shine like the day,

for
darkness is as light to you.

13
For you created my inmost being;

you
knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your
works are wonderful,

I
know that full well.

15
My frame was not hidden from you

when
I was made in the secret place.

When
I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16
your eyes saw my unformed body.

All
the days ordained for me

were
written in your book

before
one of them came to be.

17
How precious to[b] me are yourthoughts, O God!

How
vast is the sum of them!

18
Were I to count them,

they
would outnumber the grains of sand.

When
I awake,

I
am still with you.

23
Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test
me and know my anxious thoughts.

24
See if there is any offensive way in me,

and
lead me in the way everlasting.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be
with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be
discouraged.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves
those who are crushed in spirit.

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the
Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 4:12 – Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful
trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Peter 4:13 – But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings
of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed

…BUT WHAT IS UNSEEN IS ETERNAL

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

New International Version (NIV)

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes
not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.

My friend Cori shared this verse last night during her
amazing teaching.  When we left church we
stopped by Target because Tony needed to get some cold medicine and some anti-spyware
software stuff… or whatever it’s called.
Trinity and I waited in the car as Tony went in to purchase those
items.

I could see the enter and exit doors to Target from where I
was parked and I saw Tony approach the exit door, look down at something, and turn around to go back into the store.  I figured he had gotten overcharged for something and continued on with my conversation with Trinity.

When Tony returned he explained to me what had
happened.  He said “I bought Muscinex, TheraFlu, cough drops, and the anti-spyware and my total came to $18.00, I didn’t really think anything about it and paid the money.  As I was walking to the door I thought “Wait
a second… the spyware is $29.99 by itself so how was my total $18.00?” …. So I looked down at the receipt and saw that the cashier didn’t charge me for the
spyware.  I went back into the store and
my original cashier was busy so this guy who worked there was looking at me and I asked him could he help me and he said yes.
I showed him my receipt and explained that the girl didn’t charge
me.  The guy was so puzzled as to why I was coming back to PAY for this item but he continued to ring me up.  The total came to $32.00, the cashier looked
at me and said “Are you sure?” …. Haha… he was giving me one last chance to
take it and run – but I told him “Yes, I’m sure”.  I paid for the spyware, the guy still completely puzzled, and left.”

You guys…. Tony was so floored the whole ride home.  I was just as excited!  There is just something that radiates power
when we do the right thing! Tony could have totally kept on walking and saved
us 30 bucks… but he chose to walk back into that store and pay for that item and
we were so blessed by him doing the right thing.

This whole situation has been so heavy on my heart this morning.  I’m such an emotional mess today – not in a
bad way… but seeing people do right, encouraging one another, thanking one
another, loving on one another, and just doing nice things or right things is
making my heart melt this morning… because although we live in a world full of
ugly… mean, corrupt, perverted, and sad things – there is STILL good that takes
place, there are still good people, and God is still in control! Let this be
our focus.  As Don Finto always teaches “In
the last days evil and righteousness will rise together.”  Good is STILL happening out here in the
world.

So, back to 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes
not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.

What is unseen is eternal.  Our hope, our promise is unseen but we long
for it… we know it’s there!  Not just
what’s to come but the good – the things done in the quiet places, the prayers
that are prayed behind the scenes, the work that is done that no one knows
anything about, a man going back into a store to pay for something that the
cashier forgot to charge him for…. There is more to it than just the act
itself.  Can you imagine the unseen
spiritual realm when we do what is good, what is right…?  It lights my soul on fire!  It’s far more than turning back to pay for an
item – It’s exercising a spiritual muscle in a world that is so full of ‘me’, ‘myself’, ‘I’, and what I deserve, and what is owed to me…  To have a cashier in complete awe and confusion of one man’s decision to do the right thing – Wow…  SCORE, GOD!

Are your actions reflecting the heart of God?  I pray for MORE of this over each of us.

Glory to God!

Shine for Jesus,

April

THE FEAR OF SUFFERING

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself.”  – Paulo Coelho

 

 

Airplanes FREAK ME OUT.
I have only ever been on an airplane for one trip (multiple airplanes
but one trip all together) and it wasn’t even a fun trip… it was for my Grandma’s
funeral when I was 14 years old.

 

When I was younger I knew I was going to be a star and
travel the world, which of course means I would have to get on an airplane but
for some reason as I have gotten older I have become more and more afraid of
airplanes.

 

I work near the airport in Nashville so on my trips to and
from work I see a lot of airplanes making their way into the airport or leaving
the airport.  I am always so fascinated that
something so BIG and HEAVY can fly in the air… yet at the same time I get this
anxious/sick feeling in my stomach when I see them because they just freak me
out for some reason.

 

Today on my way in to work I was watching airplanes make
their way across the morning sky, that sick feeling came over me, and I asked
God to help me analyze these feelings.

 

Why am I so freaked out by airplanes?

Because I
am  afraid to fly.

Why am I afraid to fly?

Because my
plane might crash.

Why does that scare me?

I guess it’s more of the FEAR of
falling from the sky and knowing that I’m about to crash to my death leaving
behind all of my loved ones.  It’s also
knowing that I have absolutely NO control if that plane starts to fall from the
sky.

 

Do you see how silly our minds can be?  What control do I really have in this life
anyway?  Funny how we think we are so
much in control.

 

Guess what we ALL have in common? … One day, we are ALL
going to die – leave this earth … every single one of us.  We can ignore this fact; we can try to keep
our heads stuck in the ground; or we can face the reality that one day we are
going to pass away from this earth.

 

For me, walking through depression and anxiety for months on
end put a fear in me so deep- every second of the day I felt like I was
literally going to die.  I was so tired
of the torment day in and day out that I begged God to just go ahead and take
me.

 

This is NOT how God wants us to live our lives.  If we want to make a difference in this world
we have to be willing to go where He asks us to go and we have to trust that He
has us completely in His hand.

 

In the study Daniel, by Beth Moore she makes this
point:  “God will deliver you from the
fire completely (things will never even come your way), God will deliver you
through the fire (burning off any bondage that He never intended for you to
have), or God will carry you straight into His arms (allowing you to leave this
world).

 

Last night during my prayer time with the Father I was
puzzled with this question “Would I die for You?”  I thought about it for a minute and then
responded “I’m sure if I was faced with that opportunity, I would die for You….
I definitely wouldn’t deny You, so I’d have to die…  but in theory, hmmm…  God, I can’t say YES with an excited heart
tonight… other days I can but tonight I can’t. Help me to come to that place of
trust where I can answer boldly YES!!!”

 

I feel like seeing the airplanes this morning and the
conversation it sparked with the Lord is His way of showing me that I have no
control any way.  There is still unnecessary
fear hidden within me and He wants to help me rip that out so that He can use
me by sending me wherever HE needs me to go.

 

I love that the Lord is so kindly repairing and patching
parts of my heart where I allowed the enemy to have a stronghold for far too
long.  It’s a daily process of cleansing
and renewal.  How awesome to have a
Father who loves and cares about me that much that He would take the time to
clean me up… GOD… who breathed the universe into existence, cares to sit with
me as I work out the messy details of my life.
That’s some serious grace and serious love.  He is love.

 

So all the way back to the quote at the beginning of this
blog:

 

“Tell
your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself.”  – Paulo Coelho

 

So
TRUE.  The fear of suffering is so much
worse than suffering itself because fear is sin, suffering is not.  God meets us right where we are, so when we
do suffer, His grace pours over us in that moment and carries us… when I
suffered through depression I still look back and have no logical explanation
as to HOW I got through that… only God could deliver me – but to FEAR the
suffering of going through depression again or something horrible happening to
me or one of my loved ones is me choosing not to trust God and to believe the
lies of the enemy.

 

My
prayer for us is that we would be bold and courageous like we are called to be –
that we would proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and our hope in Him until we
breathe our last or Jesus returns and calls us home.

 

As
my Pastor would say … “I read the end of the Book and we WIN!”

 

May
we walk out our faith – fearlessly!

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything
under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like
his glorious body.
(NIV)

 

 

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 5:8

New Living Translation (NLT)

8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would
rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the
Lord.

Philippians 1:22-23

But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t
know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with
Christ, which would be far better for me.
(NLT

 

Deuteronomy 30:19

The Message (MSG)

19-20 I call Heaven and Earth to
witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and
Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to
him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on
the soil that God, your God,
promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

John 15:19

The Message (MSG)

Hated by the World

18-19“If you find the
godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived
on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I
picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world
is going to hate you.

 

 

1 John 2:15

The Message (MSG)

15-17Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the
world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically
everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything
for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It
just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is
on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

John 17:14

The Message (MSG) (Jesus speaking)

13-19Now I’m returning to you.

I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing

So my people can experience

My joy completed in them.

I gave them your word;

The godless world hated them because of it,

Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,

Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.

I’m not asking that you take them out of the world

But that you guard them from the Evil One.

They are no more defined by the world

Than I am defined by the world.

Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;

Your word is consecrating truth.

In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,

I give them a mission in the world.

I’m consecrating myself for their sakes

So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.