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Posts Tagged ‘difficulties’

Ruins

 

Have you ever felt like the image above? Have you ever felt like a part of your life mirrored that image?

old?

trashed?

abandoned?

falling apart?

ruined?

I think we all have at different points in our lives, when the demons who haunt us, and the realities of life in this very human world, affect our daily lives, relationships and bodies.

The Psalmist also had such experiences and feelings:

I say to God my Rock,
“why have you forgotten me?
why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by my enemy?”
Psalm 42:9

… A Psalm of David,
my God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?

Psalm 22:1

Even Jesus, the Son of God, cried out from the cross,

Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?”
Matthew 27:46

When our life, in part or whole, seems to be in ruins, we do not sit in the mire alone. Matthew 28:20 reminds us that “I (Christ) am with you always, to the end of the world.”

What comfort to know that we are not alone in our desperate times, in our darkest moments.

“Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

He is always there to lean on, to count on, but he wants to be more than just a shoulder to cry on. He wants us to tell him where it hurts.

“cast all your cares/anxieties on him
because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7

A few years ago, Amy Grant had a song released called “Better than a Hallelujah” and one of the lines in it describe our need to cast those cares honestly, sincerely, maybe even with tears in our eyes and fist shaking to the skies:

the honest cries of breaking hearts, are better than a hallelujah.”

Even Job, sitting on a dung heap, scraping the sores all over his body with broken pottery, did not sin with his lips, but did question why God had allowed him to be born. He was (literally) in the dumps, but when faced with God, he confessed his sins, and God put a new dream in Job’s heart.

We need not stay in ruins.

God is always with us, and he does not leave us in our mire forever.

Maybe, today, you cannot see even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe your heart is broken into so many pieces that you could never imagine it being put back together. Maybe the energy to have hope is just too much for you. Maybe your hope is only in the foreverland of life after death.

If you have breath, you have purpose, you can dream, you can pursue the purpose that God has placed in your heart. “Do not let your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1)

God has a plan for your life, and if you still have breath, you can still pursue whatever he holds for you in your future.

If you have breath, praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6). If praising God is all that you can do, do it!

God is with you always, praise him with your every breath.

 

 

 

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Today I’m going to introduce you to an artistic blogger I was introduced to by my eldest daughter.

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(the above picture is a ‘branch’ of our family tree … a gift from our three kids, and a product of Lisa Leonard Designs … I bought a three dollar shadow box at the dollar store, painted it black, and pinned by beautiful family tree inside).

Lisa Leonard is:
A child of God (and she knows it)
A woman
A wife (a … pastor’s wife …)
A mom
A mom of TWO boys
A mom of one boy with special needs
A business owner/operator (Lisa Leonard Designs)
And has a reality program that is just waiting for a network to grab it up …

In the blog post below, Lisa speaks of her son, David.

Lisa wrote the following of what she remembers of his diagnosis, given soon after his birth,

“cornelia de lange syndrome.
severe retardation.
he won’t be able to eat.
he won’t speak, he won’t walk.
he’ll need life long care.”

And the following is from her blog post … check her out online at www.lisaleonardonline.com/blog/jewelry/finding-beauty-in-brokenness.

“When David was born eleven years ago, I had no idea what the future held. I thought I knew. I thought I had it all planned out. But everything I planned was broken to pieces as our son emerged into the world with only two fingers on his left hand, a serious heart defect and a genetic disorder that would change the way his life would look.

evening-walk-in-morro-bay-07

At first I couldn’t stop crying. Nothing made sense. Then I was determined and overly optimistic. I would be the best mom ever. No matter what it took, I would make everything okay. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be good enough. If I wasn’t physically exhausted then I was emotionally exhausted. It wasn’t just David who was broken, it was me too. I couldn’t be good enough to make up for his lack. We were both imperfect; flawed and needy. And as I started to accept the brokenness, I began to see bits of beauty emerge. Small things, like a sunflower in bloom, caught my eye. And I could feel my heart begin to heal. When David started to smile, it was like the sun shined brighter. As I let go of trying to make everything perfect, I started to see beauty in the brokenness.”

Well-with-my-Soul-652x400

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As I read the following post, by Kristen Strong, I felt I were hearing words and thoughts that have been my own at various times, concerning various relationships and situations of life. I think we all can relate to what she has communicated.

We have all had those hopeless thoughts, those hopeless moments, those hopeless seasons when our view of the future is hidden by a black veil. Moments when all hope seems lost.

In the following post, from (in)courage, Kristen reminds us of the hope that is always available to us … and it’s truly not a bother.

“I make my way to the bathroom after yet another frustrating conversation. I shut the door and lean hard on the pedestal sink as I look at myself in the mirror. Weary words swirl like smoke around me,20130706-080531.jpg

Why must this relationship be so difficult?

Why can’t it look different?

And really, why do I even bother?

I close my eyes, open them again. I wish for my daughter’s magic wand and a fairytale fix to this real life mess. After all, there’s not a chance in the world things will ever change. We’re at a dead-end country lane, and all we can do is back up and travel the same gravel over and over.

It’s too far gone, too hope-gone.

My attitude resembles that of the man from the house of Jairus as told in the book of Luke. Jairus, a synagogue ruler, pleads with Jesus to come to his house because his only daughter is dying. While Jesus and Jairus are still en route, a man from Jairus’ house meets them along the way and tells Jairus,

“Your daughter is dead…Don’t bother the teacher any more.” ~Luke 8:49

Jairus’ daughter died.

With circumstances too far gone, why bother Jesus?

My own frustration asks the same thing. This relationship is too hopeless, too broken, too dead. Why bother Jesus with this anyway? So I give up on my prayers, on Him.

And then I’m smacked upside the head with a startling reality: In cherry picked difficulties like this relationship, I’m an unbeliever. Or at least, I’m acting like one.

I know this is completely wrong because I know Christ can do all things. And indeed, He did with Jairus’ daughter.

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”…he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. ~Luke 8:50, 54

With one touch, Jesus raises the dead. With one sentence, He breathes new life into relationships.

So I don’t give up on prayer, but I give my prayers up to the throne of God, to the One who asks us to always pray and not lose heart.

We can’t always talk to people about God, but we can always talk to God about people. Don’t underestimate the real mountain-moving, ground-breaking, relationship-changing work your prayers can do to water cracked deserts, chisel granite hearts, and bridge broken relationships.

It is never too late for Jesus to move. Nothing is too far gone. We may not see healing at work on this earth, but we trust the Healer at work.

No, my broken relationship doesn’t look different, but my heart does – if only a little. It sees a new picture, one changing from hope-gone to Hope-dawn.”

20130706-080654.jpg

 

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Does today, the present circumstances of your life, ever seem like an all-consuming eternity to you?

Do you wonder how you will get through whatever you are going through?

with your finances

your marriage

your children

your parents

your job

your health

the health of a loved one …

As I was listening the song above, by Casting Crowns, I was struck by how my concerns today for the future, are indeed something that God is looking back at. He not only knows what will happen today, but He already knows how my story (our stories) will end.

It is so easy to get so focused on the trouble of the day and our obsessing draws us in to those trouble like a vortex. The next thing we know we are dizzy from the action of the vortex, and we cannot see above the surface.

God sees …

He sees not just us in our present circumstances, but he also sees the calm waters on the horizon. He sees it all in the rear view mirror!

“The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:5-7

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