Yesterday was cleaning day for Diane and I have to admit that there can be times, when I don’t want to clean my house…and that isn’t because I don’t like to do the cleaning; but rather, it’s because I struggle with my legs and the chronic pain I face, from day to day.
It’s amazing how I can get up in the morning and think on what needs to be done…and at the same time…allow my pain or my leg problems to dictate what I feel I can and cannot do. I’m sure we all think that way from time to time; but the only thing bad about that; is that before we know it…we have talked ourselves out of experiencing the strength of a great God; who can override, what we just don’t feel capable of doing.
In Philippians 4:13, we read… “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” This Bible verse does not say that we can only do certain things, through Christ’ strength; but rather, it says that we can do ALL things…every little thing…from the smallest thing to the greatest thing.
Lately, I have truly been working with God, to focus even more on His strength, rather than my weakness…and I have come to see that when I lean on His strength, rather than my own so-called strength; then I not only accomplish what needs to be done…but even more than what I had first planned to do.
No matter what you’re facing today…don’t let these moments control you; but instead, lean on a strong God…and I KNOW that He will walk you through these moments of darkness, into a light that can bring hope back into your life!
As I began to walk out of all the deep pain and heartache in my life; I also began to see Jesus, as my mighty warrior…for He was the One, who always stood before me and became the shield of protection; that kept me safe from the fiery darts of evil.
In Deuteronomy 31:8, we read… “And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” As I continue on, I would like to share a quote of mine; that goes right along with this Bible verse and it goes like this… “Have we allowed our faith to become the giant that stands before our problems or have we allowed our problems to be the giant that causes us to wallow beneath a weak faith?” In other words…are we allowing God to be the stronger One that stands before us, during the difficult times…or have we allowed a circumstance to be the giant or stronger one that causes us to weaken further in our faith?
You know…it’s so easy to become so caught up in what is happening to us; that before we know it, we get our priorities wrong and allow the problem to have control over God. We must remember that we always need to have God standing before us…not off to the side or behind us. Let’s face it…we will never overcome and be able to resist the fiery darts that come our way, when we are standing alone, in the midst of evil.
Sometimes I wonder, if we fear the circumstance, rather than trusting God; because we have found ourselves alone…unguarded…in unknown territory. One thing I have truly come to see, while walking through some very painful times in my life; is to never walk alone, in the midst of these unknown moments…for this only makes us more vulnerable to Satan and the other problems he longs to add, to what we may already be facing.
Everyday…as we begin a new day, we need to make sure that we are walking with God and that He stands before us…and how do we do that…by choosing to let Him lead us through all that He has for the day. When we choose to seek His will for the day, rather than the paths we’d rather take; that is when we will truly feel His loving presence always beside us.
How many times do we grow discouraged…just by what we see before us? As a circumstance enters our life; it seems as though we become so caught up in what is happening and where it could lead us, rather than what could come out of these troubling times.
In 2 Corinthians 5:7, we read…“(For we walk by faith, not by sight :)” We must remember that it’s the things that we trust God for but don’t yet see; that helps us to keep pressing on. We must stop and think on one thing today…if we already had what we see before us, rather than what we cannot see; then would we ever feel the need to keep moving forward in life?
One thing I can truly say about the deep pain and heartache that God had allowed within my life; is that these moments were actually the moments that gave me a nudge, while helping me to keep moving forward with God. Of course…at the time, I didn’t see it that way because I was too tightly focused on every little thing that was going wrong; but now, as I look back on my life; I see where the difficult moments truly served a purpose, in bringing me closer to God and what He had for my life.
You know…I have come to see, through a hard and difficult life; that we can find ourselves going on a downward climb; just by focusing on what we see before us. Today, we need a faith that will take us beyond what we see, while allowing us to reach beyond our circumstances; to truly experience something greater; than what may be standing before us at the moment.
I will never forget the time, when I had allowed each surgery…along with other painful moments, to increase with strength; just by getting caught up, in what was seen with my own sight. I not only blocked the way for God to work; so He could take me beyond these moments, to something better; but I found over time; that my response to these painful moments had allowed me to lose sight, as to what was way beyond these problems, which only led me down a path of no hope.
May I encourage you today; to take your thoughts and sight away from what you see before you and allow your faith to become stepping stones that can lead you away from these difficult moments of despair; that you may truly experience the best that God longs to offer you…through the circumstance!
There was a time in my life, when all hope was gone. I don’t think that I had ever seen and experienced such darkness in my life, as when I was being counseled for sexual abuse. I felt as if I was in an endless dark tunnel, with no way out.
After returning home from a counseling session one day, I was so broken inside; that I quickly came through the door and went to my bedroom. As I sat and clung to the bedpost, I began to feel as if life was going further down for me.
As I began to cry out, till every tear had been drained from my eyes; I began to talk with God. I told Him about the counseling session and how bad it was for me…and then I told Him; that I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it through these awful and painful memories of my past.
As I sat there…quiet and alone; I got a glimpse of my Bible on the bed and as I opened it…this is the Bible verse that stood before me… “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18.
It was at that time; that I began to feel as if God had entered that room. As I continued to read those words over and over again; I began to feel, as if God had sat down on the bed beside me and had wrapped His loving arms around me.
At a time, when I didn’t think I could make it through…God proved to me that I could…that is, with His help. Now as I look back on this hopeless moment in my life, I also think back on a God, who had come to me, with love…compassion and a caring Spirit…One, who truly held me close, until the storm had left my life.
One thing I have experienced a lot of in my life; was the feeling that no one could ever understand or truly care about what I was going through at the time. I think we all have faced moments like these; where the ones that know us the best, just can’t seem to understand what we are going through…which can truly make a person feel lost, in a world of their own.
A couple Bible verses that have helped me through these times, is found in Psalm 142:4-5…and we read… “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 5 I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.”
I have come to see one thing in my life…and that is how words become nothing to a person, unless some form of action follows. You know…it’s so easy for someone to spew words out of their mouth that says… “I care and I understand;” but what follows…really makes the difference…and truly helps a person to know whether the other person really understands and cares.
I remember many times in my life, when I would allow these hurtful moments…when I just didn’t feel as if people cared or understood, to truly affect my life…that is, until I came to see how I could relate with a God, who truly did understand my needs and care for me.
One thing about Jesus; is that He will listen and not judge. He will stay with us…and listen, for as long as we need Him…and no matter what we have to say to Him; He will remain and love and care for us. Finding a friend in Jesus, was the greatest thing that I have come to experience in my life…and now, when I need someone to understand what I’m facing…I know He will be there to run to…Someone, who will not only speak words to my heart; but will truly show His love and care for me.
No matter what you may be facing today…and no matter how alone you feel; just know that Jesus understands. He will sit and listen to you, as long as you need Him and He will be there to wipe the tears from your eyes and exchange these moments, for a peace and hope that can be found in no other but Him. Just turn to Jesus right now…for He’s already waiting to listen to your heart!
Do we allow our moments of discouragement, to become an opportunity, for God to work through these difficult times or are we so tightly focused on what is wrong; that we cannot see what good can come about through our circumstances? In Philippians 1:12-14, it says… “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. (13) As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. (14) Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”
Do we see our moments of circumstance as Paul did, while he was in prison? We can either allow our circumstances to turn us into bitter people or we can choose to rise above them and use them as a tool; to cultivate the heart of another person in need.
There was a time, when I had to have two knee surgeries, within a 6 week period. I felt overwhelmed…not only with the surgeries themselves but also with the recovery time. This was a time, when I felt very discouraged…as though hope had completely left me alone; but over time, I came to see that I could either allow these difficult and trying moments to take me down or I could use them in a positive way; that would bring honor and glory to Christ’s name. I soon realized that when I took the negative circumstances and used them in a positive way; then I was allowing Satan to be defeated, while God was being magnified.
When we allow the difficult moments in our lives to discourage us; we only find that we sink deeper into more despair. Instead, we need to look at the trying moments of circumstance, as though God has us in a “training camp”…being prepared, for a special purpose that will bring honor and glory to His name. We may have moments, when we feel as though we are in a prison cell, as Paul was but these should be the times, when we exchange the circumstance, for something greater…that will strengthen us and reach out to others, at the same time.
We need to remember that how we react to these difficult times, will either make us appear, as though we are a part of the world or we will allow the world to see something greater that can help them too. Jesus may not be here in human form but there are many ways He can be seen to the world and this is one of them. Are we allowing the world around us to view Jesus, so they can have the opportunity to experience His love and goodness or are we showing the world that we serve a weak and defeated God?
Lately, I have been facing a lot of chronic pain…especially at night. I don’t talk about the pain I experience, for pity or complaint; but I talk about the pain; that Christ may be seen and magnified through it all.
One thing I’ve come to see through pain; is that these moments can bring about new growth and cause us to gain strength, while always teaching us to lean on a strong and powerful God…that is, if we desire that in our lives.
In Ecclesiastes 7:3, we read… “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” When I first read this verse, I actually was a little confused because I thought to myself… “How could sorrow be better than laughter?” It took me some time to truly understand this verse; but as I began to see God work through the pain…He also began to piece this verse together…deep within my heart and it was through the difficult moments of pain; that I began to see how I could find myself closer to God.
Yesterday morning, I got up…after very little sleep. In fact, the last two nights before that; I spent some of my night sleeping upright. One thing I’ve come to see…through difficult moments such as these; is that Satan is at work…attempting to take us out of commission with God…and the only way we can make him defeated; is to keep pressing on.
As I sat on the edge of my bed…thinking about all that awaited me…God was there…for He began to work with my spirit, while encouraging me to take the day one minute at a time. I’ll be honest…there were a few times, when I wanted to just quit; but right at the moment, when I felt the desire to quit; that is when I felt God’s strength kick into overdrive.
Over time, I have truly come to see how sorrow, pain and heartache can make the heart better; for these are the moments, when we learn to lean fully on God, while letting Him walk us through the trials that just seem to be so overbearing.
No matter what you’re facing…let these difficult moments allow you to experience a powerful God at work within your life. In the end…you will truly come to see…just like me; how “sorrow can be better than laughter.”