When life hurts…and you’re a Christian

Your loved one passed away.
Your employer lays you off.
You endure a breakup.
You receive an ominous diagnosis.

Let’s be real. That’s a really crappy day. And those hurts probably aren’t going to resolve overnight. But Kirsten! The bible says, “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b) Beloved, do not condemn yourself when life is dishing out the unexpected. The psalmist is not minimizing your pain. The advice is not simply to “sleep it off.” Pain like this can’t be fixed with a hangover cure.

**In order to understand God’s heart by reading the Bible is to KEEP reading. Have you ever read one verse that was “exactly the advice you needed”?! Don’t stop there. Sometimes the advice is incomplete- be willing to engage in a multi-step process. Keep reading. Maybe the next passage you read is something you can use to encourage someone instead of focusing on your own issues. Maybe the next passage provides a warning to keep in mind as you pursue to obey the command God has given you. Don’t be content with half a verse of direction. Seek to understand the heart of the Author. You’re not going to regret that.**

So, I kept reading.

Psalm 116:10 “I believed (in God’s faithfulness–see verses 1-9); therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.””
Wait a sec… so I don’t have to stifle my tears, praise God, and go to sleep? Telling God how about how life feels is actually an expression of…faith? Huh. Now before you go off venting to God about how much your life sucks… ask yourself this question: So life is hard. Do you expect God to do anything about it? THAT is where faith comes in. Why speak up–unless you expect God to do something about it?

This is why I believe expression of your affliction is a great thing: It requires you to know where you “are” in an eternal landscape. How do you know God has delivered you unless you know where you used to be? How will God be glorified unless you allow people to see the transformation in your life from beginning to end? If you bury your struggles in the depths of your heart, then I wonder whether or not you trust God to protect and heal you.

People hide out of self-preservation, but Christians should be some of the most open and vulnerable in the world. No, I don’t advise vomiting all the details of your life onto other people. That’s a different kind of hiding. Ignoring your need for GOD–not people–to heal you, will never EVER benefit you.

Bottomline, express your position, pain, and needs to God.
If you look at His track record…have a little faith…he will come through for you. It’s not a blind leap. It’s a guarantee. The pain may not disappear overnight, but this one thing I know: It will not last. Our God is faithful. I’m believing God.

How can I ever repay Him… My downcast soul will still praise the Lord for his faithfulness. I love you, Lord. Thank you for hearing me.

Psalm 116
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. 3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, save me! 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. 7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. 8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. 10 I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” 11 And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.” 12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. 14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. 17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. 18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the LORD– in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.

Timely Tragedies

*Disclaimer: almost none of this rhymes and my prose sucks. So don’t take your red pen to it. Its just honest food for thought.

Timely Tragedy

Why are we so time obsessed?
On time, on time, on time.
From time crunch comes crappy microwave lunch,
But at least I am on time.

Traffic. Commutes. Rush hour.
On time, on time, on time.
I cut someone off and lost my mind,
But at least I am on time.

Church bells mark hours and vows.
On time, on time, on time.
Only half of this couple now follows Christ,
But at least I am on time.

Biological clocks- are you kidding me?
On time, on time, on time.
My timely children don’t have a Dad,
But at least I am on time.

Retirement at age sixty-five
On time, on time, on time.
Unfortunately these years aren’t so golden,
But at least I was on time.

Then I woke up and smelled the coffee,
Thank you very much.
I appreciate your concern, but with all due respect:
Don’t you dare tell me to rush.

 

Two things:

  1. ┬áIf you are rushing. Stop. Figure out what’s important in life.
  2. If you’re rushing other people… let me be the first to say “Get behind me Satan.” But seriously. Cut it out. Encourage others toward their goals, not toward a DEADline.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:23-24