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Archive for September, 2017

And the Rock still stands. Solid. Unmoving. Ever-present.

The base of the purple-tipped mountains blurred softly along the undulating edge of the rising fog like the folds of a heavy curtain lifting ever so slowly to reveal the hardscape of Nature’s beauty.

It was only a glimpse. An impression captured on the way to work when, amidst the rush of traffic, I paused at a red light; the Father revealing a simple truth in the imagery of clouds ascending toward heaven.

Sometimes, in the practicality of living, I forget to remember the beauty around me. The living, pulsing artistry of day and night. Moments shared with friends and family. Memories hewn from joy, tears, loss, and celebration. I even forget to remember God’s beauty.

His faithful deliverance from sharp-edged difficulty. His all-embracing, doubt-replacing goodness when I’d given up on everything but merely surviving the day. His unmatched grace and forgiveness for a woman undone by the past and uncertain of the future.

And the Rock still stands. Solid. Unmoving. Ever-present.

A flash of red captured my attention and I shifted my gaze forward. Cars and vans carrying harried passengers in a rush to the next important place—work, school, daycare—hurtled by and I wondered how many noticed the lavender and pink blush of sun pushing the cold, clingy clouds aside to reveal the immovable, constant presence beneath.

I need reminders to alter my focus—like light that envelopes crimson sediment and brushes lingering vapor aside. Perhaps when I pause, I’ll notice Him being revealed in the unexpected and unplanned. In the movement of everyday ebb and flow. In percolating laughter and sympathetic tears.

It only takes a glimpse to notice Him.

 

Verse for Reflection

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Ps. 46:10

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I just keep saying I’m fine, but I’m not. This is a ‘will get worse’ as time goes by.

 Her heart spilled across the page, its pieces shattered in bits—bleeding hopelessness against the white of the paper.

When suffering settles in, an unwanted companion, and makes itself at home in the tender places of our hearts, how can hope stay alive? Is it even possible?

For the woman whose husband has both Parkinson’s and dementia…for the person struggling day after day with the hidden pain of depression…for the mother wondering if anyone understands what it is to lose the child she once held safe in her arms—He thought of you when He offered the invitation.

If we trust Him enough for salvation, we can trust Him in the difficult..png

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Christ reminds us to come to Him when our burden is beyond bearing; when we fear collapse beneath the weight of painful circumstances and overwhelming emotion. But, He doesn’t call us to a list of do’s and don’ts or a religious experience—He invites us into relationship.

When we take on Christ’s yoke and follow His gentle lead—despite our suffering and regardless of our hurt—we walk step-by-step through the dark valley with Jesus. And, the all-powerful God bears the heaviness. When tears blur our vision and we stumble, He guides us. When anger fills our heart and we refuse to move forward, He gently pulls us close. When hope threatens our faith, He whispers, “Come to me.”

Feelings are real, but can lead us away from the One in whom we can find true relief, hope and rest. If we trust Him enough to believe He is our salvation, we can trust Him to be with us in the difficult.

 

Action Steps to Take When You Feel Hopeless

  1. Memorize scriptures that remind you of the truth when feelings twist the reality of your eternal hope. (Matthew 11:28-30, Isaiah 42:3-4, Joel 2:25)
  2. Find a support group, counselor, or trusted friends who will listen when you say, “I’m not fine.”
  3. Read books to inspire, encourage, or educate you about your area of struggle.
  4. Volunteer or get involved with a cause related to your struggle.

 

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