A few years ago I thought I missed the headlines forecasting a difficult week ahead. An in-law was dying. A transmission quit in one vehicle. Our other car won’t start... 50 miles away. Loved ones left to go back home. Doctors canceled appointments. A mother carrying a new grandchild went into premature labor and the big “C” word was floating way too close to home. Okay, so those are things that make one unhappy, now what can I counter them with?
The following week, a long awaited prospective job interview came through, labor pains had subsided, A’s & B’s came home on report cards, a house sold so loved ones could move back to PA, one vehicle was in the garage for repairs and I started the garden early. Whew!
Can’t do anything about the sadness and grief of loosing a loved one except respect it. It hurts the heart. The options for cancer treatment were given, a choice was made and we rested in God for the outcome.
Once I went to an ocean inlet when the tide was out and was shocked. I remember the mud littered with bottles, metal and other trash I couldn’t identify. The boats leaned on their keels. That was how the events of the previous week had left me; messed up and leaning in my soul.
Compound problems move me to find something to do for someone else. How was I to know it would come in such a simple form while grocery shopping? It was hardly a good time to shop with the wind knocked out of me and I was sleepy. On a day like that, you can’t find anything that you want and your fixated on why they moved everything from where it used to be found.
“Do you see the bread for $.89 anywhere?” a man’s voice interrupted my unfocused shopping. He had reached for a loaf of bread that was clearly marked $2.24. When I told him the price his hand retreated as though bitten.
“Here is bread for $.74.”
“That will do.”
A short distance down the aisle the man was looking at the jelly and jam. As I drew near he asked “What kind is this?” By now I surmised that he could not read and perhaps his eye sight wasn’t so hot either being the label had big red strawberries all around.
“Is there any here without sugar?” I found the sugar free preserves and he accepted it from my hand. He must have been diabetic too.
“Strawberry,” I said as I handed it to him.
I had interacted with a stranger who couldn’t read, a man very dependent on others to meet his needs using friendliness and quaint jokes to get him over a difficult hurdle in today’s world.
What gets you by the insurmountable difficulties that arise in your life?
Thank goodness we have a Heavenly Father who is always concerned with our everyday lives and he lets us know that he is there for us and that his Word has the answers for what we often are afraid to ask.
From experience, I know a pile of troubles occur from time to time in everyone’s life. Likewise, a collection of good things can also happen in a row.
Of what good would it have been for Christ to have been beaten and bruised if we don’t take advantage of “…the chastisement of our peace…” and “…his stripes…” by which we are healed of Isaiah 53:5?
Most people didn't have a problem joining in the celebration and waving the palm branches as Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. A problem arises however, when we are reminded a week later that those same arms are raised in anger while the same people shout “Crucify him!” We like singing “God is Good, All the Time” until that week of unbelievable hard things hit us and we shout “Why me?” in God’s face.
We understand little of the great passion of Jesus Christ. He isn’t just God in the good times, he is Lord during what we consider to be bad times too. I believe the more a person is able to erase the line separating the two, the sooner one is able to live everyday in and through Christ. It is the only way to know his peace and to experience his healing touch.
Walking in Jesus circumvents the feelings of doubt, fear and anxiety and allows us to function. It allows us a clear view to observe how God works in each event in our lives. As we rest in Him, we are revived physically and mentally and able to function in today, all because he took our grief and carried our sorrows. Jesus is the one who makes life palatable enough to go on.
He sees the pain. He knows you suffer. He sees your broken heart. He feels your heaviness. Now won’t you ask him to come and carry your load? He said he would. Let’s see… peace or stress… which do you want?