Sometimes life is great. We wake up refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle a new day. But sometimes, let’s just admit it: life is really hard. A new day dawns, and we’re tempted to pull the covers over our heads and hide.

I feel the depths of this in my life, and I feel it for others, too: a baby in the hospital, a loved one in ICU, a husband gone, a prodigal far, a job in crisis. More responsibilities than we can carry; more work than we can bear. A friend recently texted me about her own circumstances and said, “This morning I had no desire in myself to get up and get going…” I can so often relate.

It’s easy to feel alone in the activity, overwhelmed in the overload, and discouraged in the duties. However, six words are game-changers for me. These six simple words absolutely alter the course of my day, each day, when I choose to remember them:

“But You are near, O Lord.” (Psalm 119:151)

The surrounding verses mention some of the difficulties that the psalmist faced: persecution, fear, enemies, discouragement, trouble, anguish and affliction. Yet, in the midst of his cries to the Lord about these, he remembered the game changer: “But You are near, O Lord.”

In one quiet moment of solitude, God took a heavenly highlighter to these words for me. Tosha, I felt Him whisper, say it, claim it, believe it, receive it: “But You are near, O Lord.”

Just hours prior, I’d been wailing in my pain, dissolving in my discouragement, hopeless in some of my life’s happenings. Then this trajectory-changing reminder: “But You are near, O Lord.”

My game was going south, but when God highlighted this phrase in my heart, I suddenly felt strength, encouragement and hope. My oh-so heavy burdens somehow became lighter, my day brighter.

This year, God is teaching me over and over that these six words can be stored in my head or highlighted in my heart.

We can self-medicate or isolate; we can tell God we’re going to handle it on our own. That’s what we do with head-knowledge about God’s presence.

Heart-knowledge of His presence compels us to turn to Him, call out to Him about our pain and struggles, then claim the promise, “But You are near, O Lord.”

And He is. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. That’s the game changer that, well, changes everything.

And, can I just say, that’s the game changer that gets me out of bed, excited to see how HE is going to change everything about my day.

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