Tuesday, January 19, 2010

bitterness has a bite

When life throws us a punch and when things are not looking hopeful our senses can play tricks on us. Our feelings become raw, and our heart is wide open. We all have struggles, we all have sins that bite us daily, those in which we struggle facing and giving up to Jesus. But before we can give them up to Him we must be real with ourselves. As I said, this is the year for me to be honest, to show my heart, not to pretend with a smile on my face when all things are falling apart around me. Bitterness is one of those sins, one of those ugly curses that sneak up on us, they come little by little, and as we try to push those feelings down deep, they just keep building and building, until one day the tears begin to flow and they aren't stopping any time soon. I think we can reach more people for Christ when we become real, when we show our real struggles, and open ourselves up. I hear the Lord wanting me to share, but some things are just hard to share, and I find myself saying no, but knowing He is right. So, in writing, it brings humbleness, but more so, my husband not working for over a year brings humbleness. When you once woke each morning having everything you need, you tend to take those things for granite, but sometimes you wake and all those things you once had are gone. When you face the unknown you want to be surrounded by people loving you and lifting you up through your trials, but when you wake and you don't find that, it brings pain, it brings hurt, and bitterness sets in. When you are struggling each day just to place food on the table, it hurts. Stress? When you are facing such unknowns from every direction, the stress is overwhelming. When you see your husband struggle and try and try, it breaks your heart as a wife. As a sweet friend was sharing with me a few days ago, she too, knows all to well the meaning of struggling, and feeling as though you are empty of those around you. You feel as though through your struggle, it is all your own. It is almost as though when people see struggle they turn in the other direction, either afraid its contagious, or you might just ask them for something. I am here to share, those who are struggling, they don't want hand outs, they want prayer, they want to know those around them really do care, they want to know those around them are reaching out to them, helping them through the trial they are facing.They want to feel as though they matter, that what they are going through matters to those around them. It doesn't take two and two to see that if a person is out of work for over a year, there must be a need, there must not be money there. I know many who are struggling, hurting and not sure what tomorrow will bring. My son cleaned out his closet and is giving his some of his clothes, and coats to a friend, whose father has been out of work. When you have placed your glasses in the Lions Club box for years in hopes of helping others, you never think you too will find yourself in that position. When you have had insurance your whole life and have never worried about going to the doctor, but one day you wake and need to go, but there is no money, no help, you find yourself making an appointment at the clinic, that is humbling. You find in life, through all these struggles what is really important. You find Jesus at every turn lifting you up through the tears and pain. When you are struggling, the last thing you want to feel is alone, and for me, that is how I have felt for almost a year now. That is where my bitterness is coming in. I have a sweet friend, who told me I was becoming bitter, and I laughed about that. Not me, not this mercy, but yes, it is true. I have carried so much anger and pain,and this morning that is one reason I am sharing, I do not want to carry this any longer. I know I am not alone out there in having feelings we do not understand, in having feelings we are losing control in. There are many aspects of this I cannot share, but in sharing just some, I think it allows others to see that being a Christian does not make us perfect, it does not make us better, by far, it brings humbleness, and allows Christ to really shine through our pain. If we are not real, what are we? I do not want to hide behind a smile. My heart is breaking for all those who have lost their jobs and are hurting. Praise Jesus, our home is paid off, but many have lost their homes. Instead of this being a trial, a struggle, people tend to look at you as though something is wrong with you. When you make calls asking for help, and you are turned down, or are asked questions as to why are you in this circumstance, you want to scream, "I do not know"!!! And being true, I do not know why, I do know the Lord will move, I do know I have hope, I do know He is with us, when all others have seemed to turn away. If you are struggling today, there is a God who sees and knows just where you are and what is taking place right now in your life. The One who matters is with you, turn to Him and allow Him to take your pain, your bitterness or whatever you may be feeling today. Open your heart to Him, begin being honest with yourself and not afraid to be honest with others. The first place to begin healing is the arms of Jesus, and in your heart. I can testify to you today that Jesus is with me, that His Spirit is at work, creating in me who He has called me to be. With each trial, with each struggle, we may find our weakness, but in Him will find our strength. Remember, the Lord is with you when you are sitting at the kitchen table wondering how your bills are going to be paid, He is with you when the stress is at its limit, He is with you when the rain is falling down, you my friend are not alone. He is listening and He is hearing our prayers.
Psalm 143:1 "O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief."
Psalm 130:1-2 "Out of the depths I cry to You O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy."


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