Category: <span>thoughts by Laura Rath</span>


Some seasons in life feel like they’ll never change.

The unpleasant road we’re on has no visible end in sight. We’re worn out and tired. Tired of trying. Tired of waiting. Tired of spinning our wheels and getting nowhere. Tired of hoping for a better day.

If you’re there with me today, let me remind you that what you see surrounding you isn’t the full story. There’s more, so much more, that we can’t see, but God can.

God knows what’s right around the corner, but we won’t see it if we stop moving forward.

God knows who He’s moving into our circle of people, but we won’t get to meet them if we decide to quit.

God knows the plans He has for us, but we’ll never see them if we decide it’s not worth getting through today.

When we feel stuck in our current reality, our view of tomorrow is limited by what we can see today. We forget that the future is packed with possibilities and that God is walking before us.

If you’re feeling stuck and can’t even get a glimpse of a different tomorrow, these verses are for you.

6 Scripture Verses for When You Feel Stuck

Luke 18:27 NLT

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

Psalm 40:1-3 NLT

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 94:19 CEV

And when I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure.

Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT

“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

What verse(s) would you add to these for when you feel stuck?

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

You know those days? Whether they come often or only once in a while, they’re there—those days that make you feel like you’re not enough.

Not strong enough. Not good enough.
Less than someone else (in any or every way).
Not enough for what life throws your way.

I know those days—they are bullies who want to knock us down, and sometimes they succeed. But we don’t have to fight back alone. There is One who will help us up again and again. Over and over, no matter how many times it takes.

The truth is, on our own, we are not enough. This world gives more than we can handle, but we are not alone. Our God is on our side—and He makes all the difference. Where we are not enough, He is more than enough. Every. Single. Day.

6 Scripture Verses for When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough

2 Corinthians 12:9 MSG

My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

When we let go and let God work, He works in His strength. His power and strength are more than we can ever dream to have on our own. Sometimes the hardest part is letting ourselves feel our own weakness so that we can feel His strength.

Psalm 139:13-14 VOICE

For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath. I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.

God knows His creation—every single one of us. He didn’t design us to be enough on our own. He created us to need Him. To be in a relationship with Him. To trust Him and depend on Him. Knowing this, we can let go of trying to be enough on our own and be who He made us to be—with Him.

Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Fear and discouragement can hold us back from anything we want to do. No matter if it’s something big or just getting through the day, God is with us. That doesn’t mean it will be easy or problem free. But He reminds us that we’re not alone in our own strength.

Isaiah 40:29-31 NLT

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.

How often do we forget (or ignore) that going non-stop will wear us down? Trying to get through life without God’s daily help leaves us depleted. But with God, His source of strength and energy gives us the ability to persevere.

Psalm 94:18-19 CEV

When I felt my feet slipping, you came with your love and kept me steady. And when I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure.

There is nothing we can’t take to God. He knows our worries and frustrations. He knows when we’re barely hanging on. When we keep it to ourselves, we try to deal with it all on our own, but when we turn to Him with all that’s weighing us down, He offers us peace that only He can give.

Romans 12:2 NLT

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

This world wants to build us up to depend on ourselves and to go it alone. The enemy encourages this. In fact, he loves this. Any time the enemy can get us self-focused instead of God-focused is a win for him because that’s when we feel like we should be enough. It has us comparing ourselves to others and thinking…if we only try harder, we can be enough.

On our own we are not enough. We don’t have to have all we need to get through this life because God does have it all. When we can accept that, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

And then know that as we follow Him, through faith, we are enough because God is more than enough.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

I’m convinced that emotions can wreck us. On any given day, I can go from laughing to crying; feeling angry to craving connection; feeling hopeful to feeling desperate. Emotions take us all over the place, use up what little energy we have, and leave us feeling spent.

Truth can get lost in emotions…if we let it.

For a while now, I’ve felt like God has been silent. I know He’s with me. I know He hears me, sees me, and knows every detail of my days. I know that. But, sometimes I don’t feel it.

As I pray, I’ve been reminding myself that the truth and how I feel are not the same.

In my frustration, I want to demand, God, where are You?!?

Instead, I’ve been confessing, Lord, I know You’re here, but I feel like I can’t find you. Why am I struggling to connect with You?

One expresses my anger, the other cries out for help. God knows I feel both.

Anger clouds my vision and opens the door even wider for doubt and suspicion. (Both of which are in the enemy’s arsenal.) But, expressing my need for Him keeps me looking for Him, watching for even the smallest reminder that He’s with me. It keeps me expecting to see Him.

I imagine I’m not alone in struggling between truth and emotions. Fortunately, God’s Word is filled with His truth to remind us He’s with us, even when it feels like God is silent.

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Isaiah 43:2 (VOICE)
When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned.

Psalm 62:5-6 (NLT)
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

Psalm 34:17-18 (NLT)
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 73:26 (NLT)
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

Isaiah 41:10 (MSG)
Don’t panic. I’m with you.  There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.  I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

Exodus 33:14 (NIV)
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Ephesians 3:16-17 (NLT)
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

John 14:16-17 (NKJV)
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you  and wait expectantly.

Psalm 63:8 (VOICE)
My soul clings to You; Your right hand reaches down and holds me up.

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What verses do you turn to when you’re struggling to feel God with you?

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

A couple of weeks ago we had four trees trimmed. It needed to be done. They were hanging low, touching the fence and getting a little too personal with our neighbor’s vehicles. But, the pruning was done aggressively, taking more than we expected, or wanted.

A range of emotions followed in my home—sadness because I felt like my trees were ruined, surprise over how sad I was, annoyance because it wasn’t what we wanted, anger because the bill still had to be paid…and finally, in time, acceptance.

As we worked through at our own pace, I thought about the pruning God does in us and how we might experience the same emotions.

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-4 NLT

The pruning process is not easy for us. God wants to draw us close to Him, and as He changes us from the inside out, He knows what isn’t producing fruit. From our perspective though, this looks like having to give up things, interests, behavior, or ways of life that we like or we’re used to. It means laying down our will for His.

The more we know God, the greater the desire to make these changes, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and downright painful.

While God’s pruning is always what’s best for us, it doesn’t feel that way when the work is being done. It may feel like He’s pruning too aggressively, taking more than we expect, or want to give up.

There might be sadness because what we’ve always known is no longer what’s normal. It may mean a change in who we associate with or where we go, and making those changes can be hard, and even lonely. No matter how much we do want our lives to be different, there are still pieces or memories that we don’t want to give up completely. And that may surprise us.

There might be annoyance at what God is asking of us. We’ve worked and worked to move forward, but it’s still not enough. He’s still snipping and cutting, even from where we’ve made progress, and we want to shout, Stop! Enough trimming. You’re taking too much and it’s just too hard. We didn’t agree to this much pruning.

We might be angry. This isn’t what we asked for. The years of hardship. The loss. The sudden and drastic changes in our lives that don’t make sense to us. Years later we may see how He drew us close and we learned to trust Him in every way. But, right now, when it feels like we’re getting hit with one thing after another and we don’t understand why He’s letting it happen, it’s difficult to see how we can grow from it.

We want some explanation and to know how this will work out. We want our questions answered—How long? Why? When? But, when our questions don’t get answered, we have to wait and trust that the One pruning knows what He’s doing.

At some point, when the new becomes more familiar and comfortable, there is acceptance. We’ve become used to the changes—both the good and the bad, and it’s not as difficult to function. It’s no longer a constant struggle to get through each day because there’s been new growth. Instead of only seeing what’s missing, we see how God has blessed us. There is still grief and mourning, but there is also thankfulness and new beginnings.

Our trees were trimmed with the best of intentions and we received a credit when I kindly expressed how disappointed we were. God prunes us for His purpose and His glory, and when we turn to Him with our disappointment, exhaustion, sadness, and even our anger, He comforts us with love and compassion

God’s work will still be done, but He never cuts and walks away. He stays with us through the pain and the setbacks. He encourages us as we get back on our feet. And He rejoices with us as we begin to see the growth through His pruning.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numberedPsalm 40:5

A few days ago, I woke up with seven words on my mind…More of You Lord, less of me.

I knew it had to do with the way I’d felt when I went to bed the night before. Frustrated with emotions that I’d buried months ago, and were now coming back to the surface. Feelings I could either bury again, or would have to deal with now.

Neither choice looked appealing, but those words kept running through my mind like a ticker tape reminder…More of You Lord, less of me.

That reminder became my prayer over and over throughout the day because I know that when I don’t have it in me to deal with something, God does.

When I struggle to forgive…

More of You Lord, less of me.

When I don’t understand and don’t know which way to go…

More of You Lord, less of me.

When I can’t change my circumstances or someone else’s actions…

More of You Lord, less of me.

When I feel lost and lonely…

More of You Lord, less of me.

When my emotions are going to overtake me…

More of You Lord, less of me.

So often I forget this, trying to deal with things on my own. But the truth is, every day, in every situation, I need more of Him and less of me.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

autumn path, dirt road

There is hope for your future,” says the Lord. Jeremiah31:17a (NLT)

There is hope for your future because…

…of who God is (not who we are.)
…of His great love for us.
…God keeps His promises.
…He does not change.
…of how He’s worked in the past, and how He’s at work today.
…how He sees us (not how we see ourselves.)
…nothing is impossible for Him.
…God sees us, hears us, and knows what we’re going through.
…He sees the big picture of our lives that we cannot see.
…God knows the plans He has for us.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah29:11 (NLT)

By Laura Rath
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

I recently spoke at a women’s event, presenting a 45-minute Bible study I wrote myself. It wasn’t my first time speaking to a group of women, but you might not believe that if you saw my hands tremble and heard the nerves in my voice. Every time I speak, I forget to breathe for the first few minutes. Then, I get into a groove and I’m able to relax. Somewhat.

For years, after I began writing to encourage women in their faith journeys, I wondered if God might ever lead me to speak. I’m not sure why I felt like this was something I wanted to do because holding a microphone made me panic. (And that’s before I even tried to speak into it.)

But God has a unique way of putting a dream in your heart that terrifies you. Those dreams are not meant be accomplished alone. God designs them so that you can work on them together—with Him.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV

How often do we forget that wherever He leads us, He will continue to walk with us every step of the way?

By Laura Rath
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More Dreaming Articles and Devotionals:

A Time to Dream

My Dreams Were too Small

Accomplishing your Dream

Dream Big

Lost Dreams

Dreams – Another Perspective

Your Dream Job


Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

Jesus said I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.John 8:12 NLT

Jesus calls us to follow Him—to travel with Him…

…down the less-traveled path.

…out onto the water’s surface.

…to quiet places where we can rest.

…to places we don’t know to dream about.

…to exciting, but unknown, places we’re afraid to go alone.

…to see life through new eyes and with a fresh perspective.

…to fully experience each day.

We are called to follow Jesus and travel with Him as a child of God.

How would our days look different if we traveled with Jesus in His light?

By Laura Rath
Used by permission

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The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” Matthew 25:21 (NLT)

We like to skip the small stuff and move right to the big, don’t we? Small steps take time, and that’s time we don’t want to “waste.” We want to move to the end result—the bigger office, the better promotion, the nicer house that’s not quite affordable…we like to get to the big ending, and the faster, the better.

But lately, I’ve been noticing the small stuff more—the small goals I reach, the quiet opportunities I’ve been given, the small steps outside of my comfort zone that stretch me just the right amount.

Small steps are good. In fact, the smallest steps can be the biggest leaps of faith.

By Laura Rath

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