Come near to God, and God will come near to you.
The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.
An uneven sidewalk or a cold stone wall is lifeless until the beauty of a flower makes it home.
Even a rusty fence can be home for a delicate vine.
We all have barren places in our lives. Don’t let that emptiness you feel make you hopeless. There is ugliness in life but there is also beauty. They dwell together.
It’s far too easy to become hardened and bitter, and before you know it, you’ve built a wall of protection around yourself.
Don’t keep the beauty from growing in your life. Let it wrap around the ugliness and diminish its power of negativity, sadness, and hopelessness.
Even devout Christians … should worry about taking theology beyond its limits. Theology is a grounding in ultimate hope, not a formula book to explain away each individual event. We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness — to propose, plan, fix, interpret, explain and solve. But what seems to be needed here is the art of presence …
Allow nature to take its course. Grant the sufferers the dignity of their own process. Let them define meaning. Sit simply through moments of pain and uncomfortable darkness. Be practical, mundane, simple and direct.
– The Art of Presence by David Brooks
Every winter where I live, we experience the “January Thaw”. We look forward to it. The temperature rises to the mid to high 40’s and the snow and ice melts. It’s as if winter pauses briefly for a week before the next blast of cold and snow.
If there is a break in winter’s fury, there is a break for you, too.
Expect relief and wait for it. Just like the January Thaw.
… in someone’s shoes.
And Jesus said to go an extra mile.
We need people to walk with us – and we need to walk with others.
There is a popular saying these days, “be a victor, not a victim”. It definitely wards off self-pity.
But there are times when someone is a true victim. And we need to let them be.
We cannot rush a physical healing. It takes time. Afterward, there may be a scar. Or a limp.
When it comes to a broken heart, we don’t know how to treat it. We want people to feel better and so we may say things that we think are helping. If we would try to remember that injuries to the heart are no different than a physical injury, we will be helping someone who is hurting.
Afterward, they may have a scar or a limp, too.
O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.