Thursday, July 28, 2011

When there is no end in sight turn to the One who gives light

"Discouraged not by difficulties without, or the anguish of ages within, the heart listens to a secret voice that whispers: "Be not dismayed; in the future lies the Promised Land." Helen Keller

We wake with such disappointment. What we expected has turned into the unexpected. Our smile that formed so easy on Monday has now turned to a frown on Friday. Life seems to change so very quickly. It's like driving down that country road on a brightly lit Sunday night as all is quiet and there it happens before the blink of an eye. A deer crosses your path and a life comes to an end.

Ever feel as though your seatbelt was not on tight enough? The car seems to stop so abruptly and your thrown from the comfort of your seat. Now your left with trying to understand what has happened. Nothing seems right and you have no idea how it all fell apart.

Sound like your life today? Was everything going smoothy until you woke this morning? Maybe those divorce papers arrived for signing today. Maybe the money you thought was there for the house payment hasn't been there for months and now you find yourself packing. Life seems to happen with no regard for our feelings. We can feel such inadaqacy and sorrow as we watch others smile at the blessings in front of them today. As we are dressing for the funeral we never expected another family is bringing home the precious baby that has arrived after years of praying.

We can have those days where nothing seems to go right and everything seems to come out of left field. What do you do with a daughter who will not give you a chance? What happens when you have tried to help your son who is addicted to drugs and he will not accept your help or love? We take care of our aging parents and our children who are tenderly small. We go through the day trying to move about and make sense of it all.

Sometimes life just doesn't make sense. There seems no ryhme or reason for the day we face. The day seems to go on forever and we can't wait for night. We can't wait to close our eyes and escape the pain. We run from it. We try to hide, but it's always there. Pain and sorrow are unescapable from this life. What do we except from life? Do we really expect a pain free life, when it was life that our Savior gave to us by the very giving of His own?

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:1-5

Morning does come. The sun does shine again and we are able to feel alive once more. When life happens all we can do is call upon the Lord and trust Him. Even when a mess is dropped on us, He can create beauty in us and through us. I think when we accept Christ as our Savior we think life will be different. I should say, not different, but without sorrow and pain. We think that the evils of this world will not touch us any longer. We couldn't be more wrong. Attacks do not stop coming with Christ in our life, we are now fitted for the battle. He supplies us with a strength we didn't know possible. He sends armies of hope to surround us to bring us through the valley of dispair. He gives light to the darkness around us and fills us with a peace we have never known before. He stands in the gap and makes a way for us.

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

We mustn't find ourselves looking downcast and giving up. There is nothing but more sorrow in giving up. When we look to the Lord, He will send what we need. He will provide in our moment of weakness and strengthen us for that hour of despair. In just saying His name, JESUS, we have hope. I have been there in the darkness of destruction. You think all hope is gone and nothing will ever get better. I have wanted everything to just end and in that moment when I think I cannot hang on any longer, I hear the sweet voice of Jesus. He not only brought me through those times I didn't think I would survive, but He showed me His mighty mercy in the middle of the night.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I can tell you things do not always turn out as I would have them. Problems are still arising. My life is not void of pain, but is filled completely with hope. I know even when I cannot see the end in sight, Jesus does. He knows what is around every corner in life for me. He will never leave me alone to fight any battle without Him. I feel His strength today like never before. In part, I know that is because I have witnessed His goodness and mercy. I have felt His hand touch me and lift me out of the water. I cannot understand the reasoning of others or the pain they want to cause. I am not able to understand when things turn south and I am left with a look of a deer caught in the headlights. But, I trust in the One who does. Nothing touches my life that He does not know about. That brings me great comfort. It doesn't make the pain easier. It is a different comfort. It's a comfort in knowing, He knows. There is purpose in pain. Our bodies scream out pain letting us know something is wrong. Many times it is a warning to something that could have brought much danger. In my discomfort, God lets me know, "It's not all about you daughter." I know He always has a higher purpose and His plan is filled with love to only bring me closer to Him.

It's hard at times to see a purpose in such pain, isn't it? We think a loving God would not cause us to go through so much. He doesn't cause it, but He does allow it. But do we ever wonder how much pain He keeps from touching us? How much is going on around us that He has taken care of before it has ever reached our doorstep? We rejoice in everything good that happens. Maybe we too should learn to rejoice in the struggle that touches our lives. I know, without it I would not be where I am with Christ today. I am that girl who has to be reminded to humble myself and stretch myself beyond all measure for the greater cause. That greater cause is Jesus Christ.

Friend, whatever is touching you today, there is hope. Don't give up and don't give in. Reach out ask for help. Don't try to go it alone and think you can handle it all. You are loved. You have purpose. Your life was created to bring glory and honor to God, the God who saved us so that we could find life everlasting. Although what is today seems to be lasting, it isn't. One day we will reach heaven and I believe be able to look back and see just how full our lives were at the moment we began trusting in our Savior.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
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