Sometimes, the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breathes. ~ Etty Hillsome
This is what my life has felt like for the past year.
Photo credit nationalgeographic.com
This past year brought me layoffs. It brought me people who called me a friend and then turned their backs on me. A Christian even encouraged me to lie and steal (I refused).
What’s worse than that? My story is common. The number of people who are suffering is staggering. The number of people who are hanging on by their fingertips is heart stopping.
Where is God in all of this?
Should I really pray for God to take away all of the hurts and pains? That’s a question I’ve spent a lot of time on this past year. I certainly have enough aches and pains that I do not want.
Then God let me figure it out. And I will be forever-grateful.
How can I show empathy without knowing the pain?
How can I show kindness without knowing what it feels like to shunned?
How can I show love without knowing what it feels like to be hated.
I’ve tasted the pain first hand. For every ounce of pain that I’ve felt, God has been there – giving me strength to make it through. No, that’s not accurate. God gives me the strength to help others through those tough times. To help the people that are in the same challenging places as me. Suddenly, the pain doesn’t hurt so much. My circumstances haven’t changed. But my focus has.
Now I look up and see the God has brought me to a wonderful place. A great job. Great friends. And the ability to serve.
How often do I have to keep learning that God is big enough to take care of my every need!
The Lord is my Shepard!
Worthy of all my trust.
Worthy of all of my hope.
Worthy of all my love.
“If you don’t see yourself as a winner, than you cannot perform as a winner.” ~ Zig Ziglar
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ~ George Orwell
The more I read and digest this verse, the more amazed I become. Anger breeds anger. High stress is a study all in itself. There are a lot of ways it can really hurt us.
Here is a verse that opens up the world of God’s peace, and power, and how we can learn to trust Him more and more. Amazing.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.
I used to think that my emotions and thoughts were snapshots of time. Then I discovered …
I can choose to focus on the pain, but all I will see is the pain. But, I thought …
God gave me the skills.
God gave me the emotions.
God knew me before the beginning of time.
God has a great plan for me.
Shouldn’t that make a difference?
Then I looked through the pain!
God is always … there … here … inside of me … I asked Him in … I follow His steps …
I may know my skills and emotions, but God is inside of me providing leadership for how to use them. There is that still small voice that is always helping me to choose the right path.
I looked through the pain and I found Psalm 23.
Then I chose to trust the person that I chose to follow.
Now through the pain, there is peace.
So … Why not this?
When it rains, I dance.
When it’s sunny, I warm my face.
When it snows, I go skiing.
When it hails, get the steal drums out and let the music play!
I used to think that my emotions and thoughts were snapshots of time. Then I discovered while I have been gifted with skills and emotions, God provides the wisdom and leadership for how to use them. It is my choice for what to do!
Through the pain there is peace.
Through the peace there is love.
And love conquers all.
God is good.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love till it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” ~ Mother Theressa
Some days I would really prefer to find a place to hide from the flood of life that is threatening to drown me. Some days I just tell myself that it’s someone else’s turn to love me. Some days, it just doesn’t work.
During those times I look to fill the void with tv or music or games – something where I don’t have to think.
Then that still, quiet voice reaches out to me and asks if we could talk.
I really don’t want to listen. I really don’t want to do anything. Still, I have been a follower of Jesus long enough to know that I want and need to listen. So, relunctly, I go to my quiet spot and pray.
No matter how I feel, I always praise Him first. I thank the Father for the river of life that flows from Him. I thank the Son for loving me and paying the price for my sins. Then I sit quietly and enjoy His presence.
Somewhere along the way I learned the secret that I have to re-learn every day. The secret to life is to enjoy God. I enjoy God by glorifying His name. Then I re-learn how amazing a plan he has for my life. I revel in the amazing fact that God speaks unique wisdom to each and every one of his children, that He has unbelievable plans for all of us. Then I realize that I’m having a bad day because I’m focusing on me alone.
After I leave my quiet place, I feel God coming with me. It feels good. And, suddenly, the day isn’t so bad.
When I love the people that God loves, when I love till it hurts, then the pain goes away. Then I see, feel, and experience the love that God gives to me – the love that I do not deserve.
How can you love till it hurts today?
Thank you Mother Theressa for sharing God’s wisdom with us. We all are the better for it.