“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Yesterday in church I looked around and noticed just how many people were shedding tears of brokenness. The hurt was palpable on so many faces. It is easy for me to recognize my old familiar friend, Pain.
The heaviness in the air made me feel such compassion. It’s hard to hurt, I know all too well. Suffering literally sucks the life out of you. While I do believe that there is value in the valley, too much overwhelms the soul.
I suppose most people go to church to nurse their wounded hearts. And to get sustenance for the week ahead. I do.
The messiness of life can drain us. It leaves us emotionally barren. Only the Great Physican can remedy this with His abundant, sufficient grace. The Bible tells us that His mercies are new every morning and that He is close to the brokenhearted.
The only thing we can do to combat the pain is to stay near God. Stay in His Word. Stay around likeminded believers. Stay in prayer. Stay faithful. Stay hopeful. Stay patient. Stay still.
“…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ~Romans 10:17
I look forward to going to church each Sunday. Come that time I’m usually thirsting for the Lord. I’m tired and overwhelmed and empty. So when Sunday rolls around, I am dehydrated and in need of a drink from the Living Water. In essence, I need a word from God.
This Sunday was no different other than being joined by my beautiful friend (if you don’t have a God worshipping friend-you better get you one, lol) or so I thought. The moment I noticed that MY pastor wasn’t there, I developed an attitude. The pastor filling in for her was one I don’t particularly care for. His preaching style is not to my liking. Something about his falsetto pitch, hyperbolic phrasing, and incoherent delivery just irritates my soul! I like things neat and tidy. I suppose I am not liberal enough for the pastor to be in the pulpit free styling on the microphone, lol.
I felt bad so I tried to suck up my disdain and pay attention. I focused on taking notes and ignoring his speaking idiosyncrasies. I was also disappointed that my friend would not be able to hear my fiery, charismatic pastor preach. I glanced over to check her countenance and she was thoroughly engaged in his message. This motivated me to hone in.
I’m glad I did as I believe that God used him to speak to me. God told me to hold on to my faith and to protect it as well. I perked up when I heard this. I knew the message was intended just for me. The night before I had struggled with a few things. I was feeling so low that I didn’t want to attend church in the morning. I didn’t see the point. I had surrendered my hope for better days. I went back and forth about canceling our church date but I didn’t want to let her down. I was secretly hoping that she would offer a reason she couldn’t make it that I would have gladly accepted. I wanted to spend time in my dark and depressing pit wallowing in self-pity singing laments of woe is me. I didn’t want to be in church dressed to the nines in the garment of praise that we are supposed to clothe ourselves with to fight off the exact spirit of heaviness I was battling. But God saw differently. He made sure I made it to church and provided the right friend to join me to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. She reminded me of two truths: that I only needed a little faith, just the size of a mustard seed and that God once used a donkey to deliver His message. I realized that I was paying too much attention to the speaker and not the message. I could feel the tears pooling in my eyes that my Lord felt me worthy enough to send a personalized message.
Even the closing prayer was for me. It addressed literally everything that I had suffered the night before. The crying. The worry. The faithlessness. The hurt. The sleeplessness. But strangely enough, I felt good and wasn’t at all tired when I woke up. This, too I believe was orchestrated by God. It is SO true that He will equip you with what you need to make it through.
After church we enjoyed brunch and stopped by the mall briefly. It was an awesome time of fellowshipping with my friend. And I got exactly what I needed, a word from the Author and Finisher of our faith.
“Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
I am so very thankful today. I have been feeling poorly for the last three weeks or so. However, I woke up today feeling like my old self. During this time I have been talking to God asking for relief and strength to endure the pain. Today He delivered and I praise and bless His holy name for it! I am proud of myself, too as I held on to my faith and BELIEVED He would hear my prayers and grant my requests.
Won’t He do it?!
The old saying “health is wealth” is true. It affects every aspect of your life. I have had time to understand the value of good health. I don’t want fame or fortune–just wellness which is triumphs those vanities anyhow.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
During a particularly rough time in my life, I started writing comforting scriptures on index cards so that I could access them as needed. I was in a great amount of pain and constantly needed the reassurance of the word of God.
I would read through them as many times a day to simply get through the day-sometimes more than twenty times. It didn’t matter time or place either-stop lights, work, grocery store, doctor’s office, home-whenever I needed God, I grabbed my cards.
If you look closely, you can see how worn and tear stained they are as I REALLY put them to use. I can’t begin to tell you how these simple cards were a lifeline to me.
The scriptures truly served as a lamp to guide me through some very hurtful and treacherous terrain that I was traversing. They reminded me that no matter what I go through that God loves me with an everlasting love. I did nothing to deserve it, He just does.
The words of our Lord was like that of a healing earthquake. Though my world was tossed upside down (the earthquake) He bought healing in the midst of the tumult.
Won’t He do it?!
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
God will use anything to communicate with us. And perhaps He chose my favorite drink to convey His message as He knew I’d comprehend it easily. Case in point, yesterday I was making a cup of tea;
and as soon as I dropped bag into the steaming mug of water, it instantly started changing color.
It dawned on me that sin works in the same way. As soon as we allow it into our lives, it immediately taints every other aspect. We have to be careful what we expose ourselves to for this very reason. Because of this, I choose not to watch every television show that airs, buy many of the latest CDs, or go to the hippest places in town. I don’t want to infiltrate my mind and eventually my heart with garbage. “Garbage in, garbage out” as the old saying goes. And scripture warns us to guard our hearts for everything we do flows from it.
I have enough negativity in my life and I don’t need additional doses. Even Tea has been twisted by the world. “Sipping” or “spilling” tea means to listen to gossip or spread it. Sad. Sin everywhere.
I’m thankful that God chose to share this vivid example with me as it’s one I won’t soon forget. God is talking and I’m listening.