Why?

question-mark-706906_960_720 Yesterday my son and I were talking. We talk a lot. Sometimes we just goof off and play off each others comments. Other times, like yesterday, we talked about God’s power and ability to change the lives of people.

It wasn’t in those words exactly. In fact, I was sharing a couple of video’s from Carman. Carman is a man of God whose music, faith, and ability to tell a story just amazes me. I love listening to his music and enjoy watching his YouTube videos on life coaching.

I explained to my son that Carman was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (bone cancer) but was healed by God miraculously.

At the moment I said that, I looked at my son and my mind began to wonder. A question came into my mind before I could stop it. I could picture my son, looking at me and asking, “If God healed Carman, why won’t God heal you?”

I blocked that question out of my mind but it haunted me. How can I explain to my teenage son that God has the power and the authority to heal me but doesn’t? Why does God seemingly answer one prayer and turn a deaf ear to the cry of another? Why?

In all honesty, I struggle with this. I don’t have an answer nor can my mind reason this out. I suppose this is the type of question everyone wants to know at one time or another. This is probably why some people reason out there is no god. If there is, then He can’t possibly be good and merciful.

Am I doing something so wrong that He choses not to anoint my physical body and make me better? Did someone else do something that caused me to be the way I am? Will I ever have a life where I can work for a living, I don’t need to depend on disability checks, and I can spend time with family and friends again? Or is this something I will have to live with for the rest of my life?

Of course, other questions branch off from those and are enough to make any person lose their mind or feel anxious. I wish I had answers but I don’t. I don’t know why some people get better while others die. I don’t know.

I wish I could look at my son and say everything will be okay in this life. I will get better and we’ll be able to go on vacations, to soccer games, and other fun events.

I can’t offer solace there and, as a mother, it breaks my heart. However, even though I don’t have the answers to these questions, I know God does hear my prayers and is my strength in spite of it all.

God is the one I call upon who gives me strength and purpose even if the world thinks my life means nothing and I cannot offer myself in ways society accepts. Just because God isn’t healing me right now, when I think He should, doesn’t mean He won’t. He’s not saying no. He’s just saying, “Not yet.”

My physical body is wasting away. My time on earth is limited. Even if I were to be healed physically, that wouldn’t be forever. My body is flesh. It’s made of ashes and dust. However, my spirit will never die. I know I will see the friends and family who love Jesus again. There won’t be pain, sorrow, sickness, or disease when I am gone.

I know this probably makes people uncomfortable. It’s awkward to speak of death. It’s even more awkward to speak of life after death. It’s real, though. It’s just more to the forefront for those who struggle with illness or chronic pain. Death almost becomes a welcoming climax because we are just so bone weary and exhausted from this life.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am NOT suicidal. Although I long for death, I love life. I love so many aspects of it. I love the people. I just want the pain and illness to end. I just wish that wasn’t so much a part of my existence that everything else in life becomes tiring. I would love to just be able to take a shower without worrying about that shower using up ALL of my strength for the next two or three days. I’d love to spend a whole day with my friends or family and not be affected by the laughter or noise. I’d love to do something, other than go to a doctor’s appointment.

That’s just not meant to happen at this moment. Will it happen in the future? Will it happen in this lifetime? I don’t know. I do know it will happen one day and that’s what keeps me going. That and knowing that my life might actually make a difference to someone someday. Maybe that someone will see the peace and strength Jesus gives to me in each and every situation I face. Maybe. Just maybe they’ll see Jesus in my life and will desire to  have that tranquility and calm only Jesus can give.

I’m not calm and tranquil because of anything I’ve done. I can’t take any credit for anything good that comes from me. I know where my future lies. I know where my soul rests. Whether I’m alive or gone. My soul rests in Jesus and He is the very reason I live and breathe. That’s where my joy lies.

Will I know the answers to those questions within? Maybe. Maybe not. It really doesn’t matter. What matters to me is the One who does know the answers. Whether He chooses to illuminate me in this or not doesn’t matter. It’s not my place to demand anything from God. I am only called to believe and follow. Sometimes that “believing” and “following” won’t make sense to me. All I know is, when I do believe and follow, my life doesn’t seem so overwhelming or futile. That’s faith in action.

All I can do is believe what Jesus said and trust Him. Whether He heals me in this life or the next is completely up to Him. I suppose this is what I would tell my son. Sometimes, the “why” isn’t important. The “why” only keeps us trapped in a stagnant life where we eventually stop looking for answers at all. Sometimes we need to ask “what” and “how” instead. What is God trying to teach me in this season of my life? What can I do that will bring honor to Him? How can I change my thoughts and actions to be in line with Jesus and His life teachings?  How can I extend Jesus’ love to others without alienating them and making them feel like God is unreachable?

Why ask why?

 

 

 

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S.O.A.P.

S.O.A.P“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

~2 Timothy 3:16-17~

Yesterday, as I recovered from having two root canals, my friend stopped in to drop off this bundle of soap she made for me.

She called me about 10 minutes before dropping in. She was running errands nearby and thought I would like to have the scent of lavender to help turn the focus from the pain I was in. I was touched by her generous and thoughtful gift.

As I looked at the soap, my mind started to wander. A couple of years ago, I learned a Bible study technique through a journaling class. It is called the S.O.A.P. technique. S.O.A.P. stands for SCRIPTURE. OBSERVATION. APPLICATION. PRAYER.

With this simple process I am able to stay in God’s Word and digest it. It helps me stay focused and learn what God has to say to me for that day.

I believe SCRIPTURE is the breath of God. It is the very essence in which I draw my strength and faith from. John 1:1-5,14 says,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John1:1-5,14)

     Therefore, it is important to take the time to read Scripture and allow God to speak to your heart.

     OBSERVATION is the next step after reading God’s Word. What is God showing you in what you read? What verse stands out to you? Who is God talking to? Can it be used in your own life?

Become like an investigative reporter. Ask yourself, “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?” Don’t get anxious or worry if you can’t find an answer directly. Tell God you don’t understand and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to help you and guide you through the process of discovering who He is.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:7-8,

““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

     APPLICATION is the next step. God’s Word is personal. God longs to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us.  He wants all of us to draw near to Him and discover the peace offered to each of us through Jesus Christ.

The Bible isn’t just a book to be kept on the shelf for collecting dust. It does no good for anyone if it’s left unopened and unused. I have been reading my Bible since I was a child and I STILL haven’t read through the whole thing from front to back. I still learn new things EVEN when I read passages I am familiar with. This is why the Bible is so amazing. There are so many lessons and instructions that can be used for our benefit. I’m not saying the Bible is a “Just do this and you’ll have success” book. Life is NOT like that. I’ll save that topic for another time.

1 John 1:7 says,

“…but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

     The final step in this “cleansing” process is PRAYER. It’s a conversation.

I remember when a friend of mine asked me how to pray. I told her to just talk to God like He’s your best friend. Tell Him EVERYTHING. Just be YOU so God can start showing you who He is. No one has the right to speak with God but He has made Himself available through Jesus. We all have the ability to have a personal relationship with the Creator through Jesus Christ. When we go before God with humility and soulful honesty, we can expect Him to answer.

What do you have to be afraid of? After all. He already knows everything and nothing shocks Him. I literally tell God EVERYTHING when I pray. I tell Him how hard it is for me to overcome binging and creating healthier habits to replace the harmful ones. I weep over my failed marriage and deep pain my soul feels over not having a husband I trust or rely on. I tell Him how bitter I feel when I see others experience health and independence. I even share the funny things that happen or just drink my coffee and look out my window in silence.

Then, after all is said done, my soul is still enough to hear God answer me. He reminds me that “He is the bread of life. If I come to Him, I’ll never hunger. If I believe in Him, I’ll never thirst (John 6:35). I can come to Him when I’m weary and weighed down and I’ll find rest (Matthew 11:28). His grace is sufficient for me (1 Corinthians 12:9). If I ask anything in His name, He will do it (John 14:14). If it is His will for me to meet the man He has chosen for me, it will happen in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:1). He will help me discern His will for me (Ephesians 5:13). Release my bitterness and turn my eyes to Him(Ephesians 4:31 and Philippians 3:14).”

These are just some examples on how God speaks  and encourages me. Prayer is an open line of communication we have available at all times. It’s not just for the bad times.

I often write out my prayers if I don’t say them out loud. I find it easier to write what I feel and what I fear. I also use music as a means to praise and glorify God. When my focus is turned from my circumstances, my circumstances don’t feel so overwhelming. When I search for who God is and seek His guidance, things don’t seem so bad or impossible. After all. God is the God of the impossible (Isaiah 45:2-3).

“I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.

I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

     Who knew I could learn so much from a bar of S.O.A.P.

Blessings ❤

 

 

Upward and Outward

flowers-white-sunny-flower-on-blue-sky

“He said, ‘I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD’!”

~Job 1:21~

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

~Philippians 4:6~

It’s been years since I’ve been able to attend church. Most of the time I am unable to physically go to the service. Since this is the case, I often listen to sermons or lessons online.

One of my absolute favorite speakers is Chip Ingram. His method of teaching is full of Biblical wisdom and practical advice. His lessons are easy to follow and last about 30 minutes on Podcast.

This morning I started listening to the series, “Living Above Your Circumstances.” The whole lesson was about “understanding the power of focus”. Am I focusing upward, outward, or inward?

I have SO much to learn. For one thing, I need to learn how to look for the things I can praise God for. Some days I can do this without much thought or difficulty. Other times I have to grasp hard for those gems that fall through the crevices of life’s sidewalk.

Sometimes my not-so-nimble fingers can pick up those glorious gems with ease. Then there are times like today where I need a pickaxe to break through the concrete.

It is a challenge to “choose” gratefulness and praise God. In fact, the last thing I want to do is thank God for anything when I have constant pain and no comfort. It’s tempting to let anger and bitterness root themselves into my heart. Of course, anger and bitterness are never the answer. Not if I want to remain strong and healthy in my mind. Plus, that just alienates me more from other people because no one likes to be around a person who is vicious and angry all the time. It doesn’t help me and it doesn’t help others.

I have started to realize just how lax I am becoming. I am allowing the circumstances to define who I am and how I’m acting. Maybe it doesn’t appear that way to others. After all, I have become a pro at masking the pain and frustration. Those who are closest to me understand. Those who EXPERIENCE chronic pain and illness know the struggle even more.

I don’t always want to “look” for the things that are worthy of notice and bring honor to God. Sometimes I say to myself, “You know what? Screw this! I’m tired of fighting and staying positive! I’m tired of FIGHTING all the time! I’m just going to do whatever I feel like!”

Then that quiet voice within starts to speak. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I begin to feel a stirring within my heart. “Pray…pray…pray. Just tell God everything and let Him turn the focus back to Him. Let Him be your strength and get you through this. Trust Him. You know you can. He KNOWS.”

Lord Jesus,

     You know me better than anyone. You know how I struggle with pain and illness. You know I want to just give up and die. I am frustrated and angry at my situation. I’m not mad at You. At least I don’t think I am. I know You are the ONLY one who can heal me and help me.

     Jesus, help me to search for things that draw me back to praising You. Let me be overwhelmed with gratitude so that I can love others abundantly and unconditionally like You. Help me to praise You and bless others.

     By the power of Your Name, Jesus, I bind anger and bitterness within. Anger and bitterness…you have no place in me or my heart. I am a forgiven child of God and command you to LEAVE! In Jesus name and by the power of His blood and atonement, GO! I will not allow you to stay in me. You are not welcome.

     Thank You, Lord Jesus, for who You are. Thank You for all You have done for me. Lord God, You are awesome and great. There is power in Your name. Thank You for giving me Your Comforter…the Holy Spirit. Thank You that I am more than a conqueror. NOTHING can separate me from Your love (Romans 8:31-39). Thank You for being my guiding light and confidant. I do not deserve Your grace or mercy yet You freely give them to me.

     Please help me to continue to rely on and turn to You. Help me to draw others to You. When they see what I face, help them see You and Your power in my life and in my writings. Let their hearts and lives be blessed in ways only You can bless.

May Your name be praised.

In Jesus name. Amen.

Living on the Edge (Chip Ingram)

Being Still

St. Augustine, Florida“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’.”

~Psalm 46:10~

I’m doing things a little differently today. I’m going to write as if I’m writing in my journal. It will probably be a bit abstract. After all…my brain is a bit foggy and the pain level is extremely high.

I just wrote a private note to a friend yesterday saying how thrilled I was to see some breakthrough in my daily routine.

For years, my health has been up and down. For over a year, it’s been difficult. I’ve had several hospitalizations, emergency room visits, doctors visits, and appointments. I’ve been through test upon test to find out what is causing me to get worse and worse.

However, for the past two or three weeks, I’ve been seeing some progress. I’m not “better” better but it’s a start. I was beginning to think maybe…just maybe…things were changing.

Today I woke up in excruciating pain and weakness. I was not able to walk without help from my parents. My brain started feeling fuzzy and anything touching my skin was unbearable.

Neuralgia. It SUCKS! Any contact to my skin feels as if shards of fiberglass are being rubbed into it. I don’t know which is worse. The pain or the weakness. This is when my brain starts playing tricks on me and false guilt takes hold. I feel guilty for having to burden others with the need for help. I feel bad that I can’t be more productive in society or focus on anything substantial. I can’t focus on anything BUT the pain and weakness and it makes me so angry and frustrated.

I’m angry and frustrated UNTIL I turn my thoughts to God. Okay…I admit…I am still angry and frustrated but I turn those emotions over to God. My small inner voice says, “I know…I know. It’s hard right now but you know it will get better.”

Coffee on my porchWhile I visited with one of my friends this week, we were talking about misunderstandings. When others ask me how I am and I tell them I’m fine, they often think that I’m ALL better and won’t need to deal with the constant changes of chronic pain and illness. Then, when I have a setback, others become annoyed at the changes and probably think, “What next!”

That’s how I feel sometimes. What next? The truth is I never know, from moment to moment, what will happen next. I am constantly living with that “walking on eggshells” feeling.

Then I think about what the Bible says and turn those feelings over to God. I don’t take life for granted. I don’t take people or relationships for granted. At least, I try not to. I am thankful to God for the good days and even the bad. Yup…I said EVEN the bad.

Without the bad, I wouldn’t be able to experience or recognize the good. Without the bad, I wouldn’t see the beauty and healing available in the little things. I’m not saying I am “all better” when I mention healing.

Healing can reveal itself in different ways. Sometimes the healing is physical and illness is no longer an issue. Other times healing is not so noticeable to those around you. You see it more in the way you begin to think about things and no longer dwell on only the negative.

Sometimes healing is experienced from those you are surrounded by instead of you personally. Then, there are times when healing doesn’t happen in this lifetime. Sometimes you suffer your whole life and are forced to take inventory on you and your own emotions.

So, what can I learn about what I’m experiencing right now? First of all, I can just breathe. I can focus on my breathing and block all thoughts from my mind. I can listen to the sounds of nature surrounding me. I can hear the bark of the chipmunk, the chatter of the squirrel, and the song of the cardinal. I can also hear the fan in my room and the air conditioner running through the house.

Tessie and Elmo KittyI hear the tip-tip-tip of my Black Labrador Retriever’s toenails on the kitchen floor as she dances in front of whoever is near the refrigerator. I hear my fat cat, Elmo, thumping down the stairs as he lets everyone know he’s enjoying his “unbearable lightness of being” after he uses the litterbox. I hear my mom putting the dishes away and my dad moving around the house trying to figure out what he can break…I mean FIX next.

These things bring a calm to my heart and a focus back to life and what matters. I still have pain and still feel crappy but I find myself smiling a little at the subtle constants of life. Then, I’m brought back to feeling thankful for all these things and how God uses everything to bring my attention back to Him.

I can be still and KNOW that He IS God.

Never Alone

Not Alone“If you love me, obey my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”

~John 14:15-17~

I live with my parents and 13-year-old son. In 2013, I was diagnosed with dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is an autoimmune disorder that affects the autonomic (automatic) nervous system. In other words, it can affect my breathing, my heart, and any other organ within my body. It will attack and weaken the organs it attacks. In some cases, it can lead to death. Doctors are still trying to find the right treatment for me because there are usually so many issues happening at the same time. The medications can be more harmful than the disorder sometimes.

I also have several other health issues intertwined but the BIGGEST issues are dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, depression, and spinal degeneration. Basically, there isn’t a day that goes by where I am NOT symptomatic or that I don’t have pain. I do not take pain medication because this wouldn’t help the fibromyalgia or back in the long run. Eventually, the doctor would need to up the dosage and that destroys the liver and other internal organs. So, I’ve had to find ways to manage the pain and do what I can in the moment I have flare ups.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had health problems. When I was a teenager, people would just say the debilitating fatigue was a “teen thing”. I would do the normal stuff teens do and I loved to hike and play volleyball the most. I was a regular in the worship team at church. I studied music performance in college and I wanted to be a singer so badly. If I wasn’t going to sing professionally then I wanted to have a backup in music so I could teach voice lessons or be a school teacher.

When I became a young adult, I ended up not being able to work because my back was so bad and my ankles were damaged. I could not sit up or walk. I spent my time in a recliner or bed. It was a very difficult time for me. Here I was…twenty-something and I couldn’t drive, go out with my friends, go to church, or enjoy the physical pursuits I loved before.

I would get better but then I’d get sick or injured again. It never ceased. Sometimes I’d be in remission for years and sometimes only weeks. I never knew what would happen from one day to the next. That hasn’t changed.

However, the absolute WORST part about chronic pain and illness is the loneliness. The ones who were once your closest and dearest friends no longer stop by just to say hi. They don’t call to invite you to go places anymore. They get tired of hearing what they see as excuses. Family members distance themselves and are busy with their own issues and lives.

This has a negative affect on the one who is ill.  They are faced with their own mortality and thoughts. They can become self-absorbed, demanding, and bitter. The illness begins to morph into its own identity and they begin to believe that the illness IS who they are.

Even though I have battled with all of this, and still do battle with all this, I recognize that the loneliness is not the fault of my friends and family. At least, not all the time. Yes, some do avoid me and distance themselves. However, I think this is done because they have so much going on in their own personal lives. It’s hard watching someone they care for go through something they can’t fix.

I’ve had to learn that I’m not alone. I have had to learn to recognize it’s not up to other people to define me or make me happy. That’s a HUGE burden for anyone to bear. It’s also downright dangerous. When we place our hope in other people, we will be disappointed at one time or another. No one is perfect.

The only one who can truly bring comfort and peace is Jesus. He understands what it means to be lonely and alone. Can you imagine…hanging on that cross and bearing the weight of EVERY sin committed, being committed, and that will be committed in the future? At that very moment…God turned away from His Son and let Him die. I have such a hard time grasping that but I know it was done.

Those who know Jesus and trust God are NEVER alone. The thing is, if I feel like talking…I can talk to Him. I can tell Him anything and KNOW that He hangs onto each and every word. He is that confidant I can confide in, that friend I can laugh with, and that encourager I long for.

I am happy to say that I’m not alone. I have God with me and He has surrounded me with friends and family who do help me, pray for me, and encourage me. I have a few friends who see me every week. I no longer look at visits I have where I’m trying to find what I can get out of it. I look at these visits as opportunities to encourage others, make them laugh, and just enjoy the companionship we have to offer each other.

I am never alone.

 

He Loves Me

love-2“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

~John 3:16~

This is one of the very first verses I ever memorized from the Bible. In fact, it’s quoted so often that it’s become a bit of a cliché. It’s just something that’s said without thinking or feeling. However, this verse is one of the core beliefs of the Christian faith.

I find myself repeating this automatically many times. I have to admit, when others have said it to me, I’ve rolled my eyes and thought, “I know, I know…” Yet, I wonder…do I REALLY know?

What is love? Oh brother. Isn’t that a LOADED question! Who can honestly define it so simply? Outside of Jesus, I don’t think it’s truly possible to define clearly. This doesn’t mean that we can’t “feel” love or experience a form of love in some way or another.

I once heard someone say love is a verb. In other words, our actions will show our love towards others. But that leads to another enigma. Who defines what love is and how it should be shown? Where can we find a perfect example of how love is supposed to be? There has to be some way to measure true love.

God’s Word is full of descriptions of love. From what I have come to understand, there are four kinds mentioned throughout Scripture. There are Eros, Agape, Storge, and Philos. Before you start to think I’m philosophical or scholarly in any way…I am SO far out of my element…lol. Honestly, I can’t remember squat when it comes to timelines, Greek, or Hebrew terminology. I enjoy studying them. I enjoy studying, PERIOD. This is just my attempt to get my brain flowing and trying to figure things out for myself. I am a seeker of truth. That’s all.

With this said, let me get back to the definitions of the four types of love I’ve discovered in the Bible from my own understanding. Eros is the Greek word for desire and longing. Eros was also the god of love and is often referred to as erotic. A wonderful example of this form of love can be found in Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) 1:1-4.

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.”

     Agape is another form of love. This describes the divine love God has for His Son, human beings, and all believers. John 3:16 gives us a little bit of an understanding about God’s love. Another verse is Romans 5:8.

“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

     Philos and Storge can be intertwined. They aren’t the same but they are similar. Philos is the unique mercy and affection one has between friends. John 5:20 says,

“For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these so that you will be amazed.”

     Storge is the Greek word for family love. The reason Philos and Storge are often placed together is because, as Christians, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Romans 12:10 says,

“Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.”

     So, I guess love is multi-faceted. Love is complex but simple. Love is action but it is also emotion. Love is pure and undefiled.

I won’t pretend to know EVERYTHING on love. In fact, love evolves over time. I’m learning more and more each day what it means to love God. More importantly, I’m learning more about God’s love for me. Perhaps John 3:16 is a little more complex than I thought.

I am finding that when I focus on my relationship with Jesus, I love others more. I am free to be the person God is refining me to be. I don’t get hung up on what others think of me. Yes, He loves me. He loves you too.

Who To…Who Not To Listen To?

Directional-Arrow-Sign-Post-Vector_LIBe still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
     Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
     A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

~Psalm 37:7-11~

This morning I finished my devotions and then went on to Facebook to catch up on some of the messages from the different groups I’m a part of. I was heartsick and sad over some of the posts I read from individuals who are struggling with life and the uphill battle that seems to ensue for many, if not all of us. I wanted so desperately to embrace some of the individuals who are hurting so.

It doesn’t matter what walk of life you are from or where you are. Everyone has a story of heartache, grief, fear, pain, illness, or whatever. Some people handle the situations with grace and wisdom while others fight and claw for survival.

I look at the issues surrounding this life and I become overwhelmed and anxious. I get angry at the unfairness of things. It seems like those who are considered “good” suffer and those who are rude, obnoxious, and uncaring keep rising further and further. The pathway they tread is filled with the broken lives of those who suffer. Their footprints scar the weak and innocent.

Even the laws are no longer just. The world is filled with hedonism and selfishness. All that matters is happiness for the individual and ignore the cost that is paid by another in order for that happiness to be achieved.

It’s enough to make anyone pensive and depressed. The Bible reveals that these things are not new. The battle between good and evil has been around since the beginning of time.

Psalm 37 gives a vivid account to the contrasts between good and bad. No matter how things appear in this moment, there will come a time when we all will have to answer for our choices and our actions.

I believe God’s Word. I understand that “people” wrote the Bible but I also believe those people were INSPIRED by God to write those Words. I believe God’s Word to be full of life and truth. I believe there HAS to be something in this life to hold onto. There HAS to be a core foundation that must be adhered to. I also believe that core foundation is Jesus Christ and no one will ever convince me otherwise.

I have been through a lot and continue to battle an uphill climb. I had turned away from faith and was angry at God. I’m not now but I’ve been there. I also know that I would rather face each day being held in the loving and capable hands of my heavenly Daddy than struggle to do everything on my own. That’s a lonely and very discouraging walk.

Everyone needs to know who to and who not to listen to. I choose to listen to God. I may not always make the right choices and I will make mistakes and fall time and again. But I KNOW the ONE who holds my heart in His hands. I KNOW He understands and won’t misunderstand my motives or meanings. I don’t go out of my way to be misunderstood but I know it happens.

My desire is to know God more and to encourage others to be motivated and bold enough to do the same. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” When our heart desires truth and to find God, He will reveal Himself to us.

Who will you choose to listen to?