One thing I came to learn, through the many struggles in my life; was to always know that God was greater than any weakness I would face…and to also take my eyes off the rubble that had fallen to my feet…through what seemed to be a disastrous life of pain and deep heartache.
You know…it’s so easy to get caught up, into every little thing that is going wrong at the moment; that before we know it; we have lost all the hope and faith that we once clung to. Today, as I was thumbing through God’s word; He led me to several Bible verses in Psalm 46:1-3…and we read… “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”
I have read these verses many times; but as I was reading them today, I came to truly see that it doesn’t matter what happens to us…or what may attempt to take us down…because we can find refuge in a God, who can be strength for us, during the difficult times.
I remember many moments in my life, when I felt as though I was lost at sea…the clouds of circumstance that encircled me; seemed dark and fearful, while the raging sea attempted to take me down, for the final time. As I felt so alone, in the pain and deep moments of heartache that I was experiencing at the time; that is when God’s love reached out to me and became a safe haven for me…a shelter from the storm. I also learned that I didn’t have to be strong for myself; for He could be my strength, while facing these weak moments of circumstance.
No matter what you may be facing right now…may I encourage you, to take your eyes off the rubble that has fallen to your feet and focus your attention on a God, who can be your refuge and stronghold, while facing what seems to be overwhelming moments of circumstance. I truly believe that when we focus on God’s strength, rather than a circumstance of weakness; that is when we will also find hope once more; that our God will be there, to help us through each trying moment of our lives.
There was a time in my life, when I had to face my past…a very painful past. I never thought that dealing with sexual abuse would be so hard to overcome. After being placed in group counseling…with other women that had been abused; I found it quite overwhelming at first. There were times, when I would go home from each session and just cry…until there were no tears to cry.
One particular day, I came home from counseling and had a talk with God. I told Him that I wasn’t making it emotionally and what I saw at the time; was truly conveying a message to me that I just might not make it…that is until God showed me a way; that would be of comfort to me…a way that could help me to feel connected to Him, while facing these terrible times.
In John 14:18, we read… “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”…and that’s just what God did for me! Even though He allowed these awful moments into my life…for a reason that I didn’t know at the time; He was there to help and comfort me. He began to show me that if I could memorize a Bible verse…before each counseling session; then He would use that verse to keep me strengthened, while dealing with the past…and you know what…it worked and it not only brought comfort to my heart; but it also helped me to deeply connect with God, during moments that seemed so out of control at the time.
No matter what you face…and no matter what God is allowing within your life; just know that He will be there…to comfort and keep you close beside Him…until the storm has found its end!
Do we truly know what it means to be crucified with Christ? In Galatians 2:20, we read… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”…and this is exactly what I experienced in my life!
As I experienced much loss…much pain…and deep heartache; little did I know that God was allowing these moments to take me down; so when I got back up…He would be there too…to live and work within me.
Many times, we become so deeply focused on the hurt in our lives; that we completely bypass the reason behind all this hurt…I know I did. It seemed like I became so tightly focused on every little thing that was going wrong…and every loss I was experiencing; that my vision became clouded over, by every negative thought and feeling.
It was at time, when I felt as if these circumstances had taken me to the bottom of the barrel; that I began to look up to God and let Him do what He wanted, rather than what I thought He wanted. Once I gave Him the room He needed to work; I began to feel God lift me up and out of the pit of despair; that I had been in for so long…and the best thing of all; is that God came with me this time…and ever since, we have been traveling together.
No matter what you’re facing right now, just know that God longs to be a part of it…and not only that; but He also longs to work through it and use it, in a great and mighty way…and the only way He’s going to be able to do that; is when we are willing to die spiritually to ourselves; that Christ may rise up in our place.
When I first began to walk down some very unknown and painful paths of my past…all I wanted to do; was sit and give up. I guess that I was so emotionally drained; that I just couldn’t find the strength to pursue anything at the time…which later I found out, was due to being batter and beaten up by the circumstances I faced.
As I gave into the problem and let it abuse me, beyond what I had already been abused; I began to see that it was mainly because my faith was dead…in other words…there were only words being spoken; but nothing had taken flight into the heavens.
One verse in the Bible that God revealed to me, during these troubling times; is found in James 2:17…and we read… “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” One thing I came to see through this verse; was that I needed to put my faith into action, rather than just words.
You know…it can be so easy to just want to give into our problems; but one thing I learned…these ways only lead a person further down…and that is what happened to me. I guess I had given up long before I really saw it with my own eyes…and once I finally saw, where my dead faith had led me…that is when I began to pursue…as though someone had thrown me in the water and said… “Sink or swim”…and I have to tell you…I swam with all I had and once God not only heard my words; but saw my faith in action; that is when I began to slowly come up and out of my pit of despair.
No matter what we face; we should never allow our faith to go silent; but rather, we should put forth action…for action actually becomes the wings; that escorts our thoughts…words and feelings into the heavens, where God resides.
Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated 35 years of marriage…and one thing I can say; is that God has been so good…because we have been thru so much together. One thing I have learned over the past 35 years; is that everything doesn’t always go the way we feel that it will go. It seems like a couple gets married and at that time, they feel as if nothing could ever go wrong…that is, until their life together has been put to the test.
In Proverbs 16:1, we read… “We can make our plans, but the final outcome is in God’s hands.” When Keith and I first started our life together; it seemed like an adventure. Here, we were traveling 2500 miles away from the place we both grew up, to pursue a life of our own…and one thing I can say for sure…if God would not have been invited into this marriage; then it would have never stood the test of time.
After years of being married; it seemed like God’s plan was definitely being unfolded before our very eyes. There were times, when my husband only worked seasonal; so that meant that money got tighter…and there were even times, when we went hungry and were living in a tent for a while. Right about now, you may be saying to yourself… “How could this be a marriage from God, when there were no blessings?” Well…my answer to you; is that the blessing came, from knowing what it felt like to be hungry and homeless…for God was using these times, to give us both a heart; that would later reach out and care for another person in need.
After being shifted from the path of marriage, to the difficult path of want; God began to walk us down other paths…paths that would truly put our marriage to the test, as I faced numerous surgeries and both my husband and I faced deep heartache and moments of trial; that we never thought we’d ever experience in this lifetime.
One thing I can say about the journey that we have been on, for 35 years; is that we have come closer to God and we both have hearts that truly care for the one in need. As I look back over the past 35 years…I see a life that I never expected…and I’m sure that my husband can say the same; but it was God’s plan for this marriage. Just like the verse says above…we can make our plans; but the final outcome is in God’s hands…and I don’t know about you; but I would rather be in God’s hands…no matter what I have to face in life.
One thing I can say about my life; is that I tried for so long, to stay tough and take care of myself, which over time became very exhausting. Here, I had a loving God living within me; but yet I chose to make my life work out my way. I guess that some of that stemmed from not trusting others, due to the abuse I faced, as a young girl.
Today, as I was looking through my Bible…God was reminding me of a verse in I Peter 5:7, which reads… “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I would say that it was about 16 years ago, when I finally let go of everything in my life…to let God care for me. At that time, I had finally come to the end of my rope, while falling hopelessly before a loving and caring God.
How is it; that we attempt to remain strong on our own? Why do we choose to muddle through life alone, when a loving and powerful God is reaching out to us…longing to love and care for us, as His very own? One thing I can say today; is that I’m so glad that I let go and took hold of God; because since that moment, I have never felt so much love and care, as He has given me!
Today, if you are feeling alone, in your moment of circumstance and you feel as if you have to remain tough and strong on your own…may I encourage you, to let go of everything and take hold of a God, who loves you…more than you could ever know. Just know that His love will never walk away from you or forsake you; but instead, His love will reach out to you and hold you close…and never let go…praise Him!
One thing I remember a lot of in my life, while walking through some very difficult times; was the feeling that I always seemed to be on the edge of a cliff. This narrow mountain road that I was traveling on, had some tight curves and there were even areas of this path; that made me feel, as if I was not going to make it through…that is, until God came and walked through the narrow passageways with me.
In Psalm 94:17-18, we read… “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. 18 When I said, “My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.” Praise God for these verses…for these are only a few of the verses that God used in my life, to give me hope, during the darkest moments of despair.
One thing that I can say to you today; is that there were many times, when I felt my foot slipping, on the edge of a cliff of circumstance, while I kept thinking to myself…you’re not going to make it. Years of this continued; but I came to see in the end; that my words…thoughts and actions were taking me to the edge of that cliff. Once I came to see what I was doing; that is when I cried out to God for help and His mercy took hold of me…and held me up…away from a pit of destruction; that was awaiting me below.
If I had one thing to say to you today; that would be to not grow discouraged…or even focus on how narrow the path may seem; but rather, reach up and cry out to a God, who is more than capable of saving you, from these times that are just too overpowering for you. One thing I know…God can do it because He did it for me! No matter what you’re facing today…reach up to God…and I KNOW that He will reach down…take hold of you and lift you high above your moments of despair!
When I was a teenager, I began to study the Bible…probably more than some young people my age; but little did I know at the time; that these moments of study were keeping me going, during some very difficult times in my life.
One verse that caught my eye, as a young girl; is found in Matthew 10:39 and we read… “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
At that young of an age, I really never fully understood this Bible verse; but it still seemed to stick with me throughout my life, until I actually began to live this verse. As each painful moment came into my life and as each loving desire left, God was taking all the brokenness in my life, and He was piecing it together, so I could have the heart He desired...a heart that could understand and care for others who live in despair.
You know…it’s amazing how we see loss. Moments such as these have a way of taking a person down to the place, where it’s almost impossible to get back up…believe me, I know…but over time; God did show me that loss is actually the greatest way to experience something even greater with God. In fact, I see it…as though the chambers of our hearts have been emptied; so there is more room for God to move in and do so much more within our lives…and that is exactly what He did for me.
Now, as I sit here writing you, I don’t regret the loss that has taken place in my life; because I have something greater…and that is a heart that is completely occupied by God…praise Him!!
I will never forget the moment, when God spoke to me, with that still small voice…making a promise to me; that He would bring me out of what seemed to be an endless time of pain and deep heartache.
As His words touched my heart…these were the words He spoke to me… “I will take you through the wilderness…I will take you through the storms…I will take you through the valleys; and if you trust me, the victory can be yours.”
As I walked through the wilderness…the storms…and the valleys…these were the moments that kept nudging me in a different direction. Instead of taking me down to a pit of total destruction…these moments seemed to have started to point me down a long and untraveled road…for the wilderness taught me to look for His help, as a means of leading me out of this wilderness…and the storms taught me that He could be there, even in the midst of the storm…and the valleys taught me to keep looking and pursuing, for the mountain that could take me high above these moments of despair.
In Isaiah 43:19, we read… “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Through this trying time in my life; God was beginning to show me that He was about to make something new, through the long and drawn out moments of affliction. In other words…He was revealing to me; that no matter what He was allowing within my life…and no matter what He would allow me to walk through…He could bring me through it all…and into something brand new…and that’s just what He did.
I may not fully understand what you are facing at this time; but one thing I can say to you today; is to trust God…no matter what you may be walking through. We must remember that He is the only One, who knows the way out of the wilderness…and He’s the only One who can protect us through these storms…so trust Him…not yourself. I truly believe that when we take our eyes away from the storms and the difficult times we’re walking through…to trust God; then a time will come, when He will walk us out of despair…and into a time of victory…victory over evil!!
On top of all the pain and heartache that I had already faced in my life…little did I know that I would face another emotional moment in my life; that would help me to see God, as someone, who would come to my rescue.
Quite a few years back, my husband and I had just moved into a new duplex apartment. Within a short time, I noticed a young man, who would sit on his moped and watch the house.
After observing this a few times, my husband talked with our neighbor…who was a policeman…and he had already known about this young man, as he also was watching his daughter. One thing he told my husband; was that there would be nothing that could be done, unless he threatened to harm someone.
One day…my husband had to walk down the road and pick up a part for our car and I remained behind. After a few minutes, of my husband leaving the house, the doorbell rang and I thought it was my husband coming back for something; so I opened the door…and here stood this young man. I tried to make it seem, as though my husband was home; but he probably already knew that he had left the house.
Within a short time, he pushed the door open and walked in…and just stared at me…and that is when my heart began to beat faster and faster. Since the door was still open, I was able to see outside and as I continued to look down the road, I saw my husband walking back. I remained silent and tried to talk with the young man…to keep him from turning around.
As my husband got closer to where I was, I pushed my way through the door and called out for my husband and he came running. The young man still stood behind me and as I got closer to my husband, I told him what had happened and from there, the issue was resolved.
As I was sitting here…thinking back on these thoughts; God was taking me to a Bible verse in Psalm 91:22, which reads…“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
You know…God was one step ahead of me…as my husband had forgotten the part he needed to take with him, which caused him to return home…just at the right time. This just goes to show that God is definitely giving his angels charge over us…to keep us in all our ways…so never fear, for God is always with you!