Re-posted from October 2014.
Don’t let the positive messengers out there fool you.
You can’t make yourself feel better by simply telling yourself this is “your best life now”, and all that goes with that message. It may suffice for some people whose challenges are minimal. It can give you a temporary high. It can even lie to you by making you think that your positive outlook, your performance, caused the positive outcome.
But for the grandfather who is doubled over with pain from stomach cancer or the young mother who is now paralyzed with a stroke, the positive message is a mockery to human angst.
I understand the importance of choosing to be optimistic. And yes, we can and should talk ourselves into at least considering there is another side to whatever we’re facing. But so often, the positive message comes from people who had a positive outcome to what they prayed or believed for.
Where does that leave people who didn’t get a positive outcome?
If you look closely, those hurting people have a positive message, too. It was despite their outcome that they found the true positive message. They had to dig deep to find it. Deeper than any popular book, teaching, or sermon. Deeper than anything the human spirit or intellect can contrive.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Your positive message will be that you’ve seen the light of God’s face in the darkness. And don’t be surprised if people don’t listen. Because humans have always been good at finding another way.
God may not change your situation. But He will wipe away your tears.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
It’s a pretty common thing to get mad at God.
Have you ever felt angry at your earthly father? Remember the teenage years when you may have felt the steady hand of a father not giving into your request?
(I’m not talking about abusive fathers, but the picture of a caring father who wants the best for his son or daughter. Not a perfect father, but an involved father. If you didn’t have a father, or he was abusive, I hope you will understand what I am saying).
Any authority figure provides an example, but a father figure is pertinent because God is a Heavenly Father.
Getting mad at God is not much different than getting mad at an earthly father, really, except God is perfect and his response is perfect.
In other words, God has the shoulders for it. He can take it.
But eventually, you have to decide if you are going to stay mad at God.
Some people do, you know.
They become bitter. Life is not pleasant for them.
Listen. I know a lot of very, very bad things happen in our world. I am not diminishing your pain.
But somewhere along the line, you will have to decide if you are going to accept what happened and move on.
Moving on doesn’t mean you are the same person before your pain. It doesn’t mean it’s okay that it happened.
It does mean you make your peace with it and God, understanding that for now, we face great difficulty in our lives at times.
The only way you can stop being angry is to settle it once and for all: you cannot change anything by being angry.
This only comes from believing God and trusting him, knowing he will do what he says he will do, even if you’re hurting and do not understand “why”.
God will help you see this. You have to first decide you want it.
All around us, people are dealing with something.
You cannot judge a book by it’s cover. Especially today, social networking like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … project our best (or worst) foot forward.
A moment in the day is not indicative of what people are going through.
You may be that person. In your pain, reaching out to another person will somehow make you feel better, so take time to think of someone else today.
The gal at Walmart, “I really like your necklace..” You may have made her day by just those few words.
Someone noticed me.
Stopping where there is no crosswalk for someone. Who cares if there are 6 cars behind you?
Jesus talked about giving a cup of water. A very simple action all of us are capable of doing.
Take time to see beyond the book cover and look inside. All you need is the first page that tells you that everyone can use a kind word.
It will require a few more moments than clicking “like” in the safety of your private space.
But it could mean the world to someone.
No one gets through life unscathed.
It’s a fact.
Some face greater sorrows than others – deeper pain.
Mental, emotional, physical – or all 3 at once.
Accepting is half the battle. This isn’t a fatalist mentality. It’s an acknowledgement of living in a broken world. And at the same time, a very beautiful world.
Do you know there is a way to live above the fray? It’s true!
It comes from dwelling daily in God’s presence. That means you believe. Not in a concept or theory, but in a living God who has delighted in communing with humanity.
He says to call upon him in your day of trouble and he will hear you.
What? God didn’t hear me when I felt so much heartache because he didn’t stop it. But remember- the Savior of the world felt the ultimate sorrow on the cross. Anguish of body, soul, and spirit.
He gets it.
And because of this, he is able to come to our aid in ways we are not even aware of, rescuing us from going too far away from him in our grief.
I’ve had to learn to slow myself down. The part of me that just wants to rush ahead and figure it out … work it out … needed to trust.
I now know the sweetness of peace and contentment even in the midst of heartache.
It can be for you, too, if you only believe.
There are fleeting moments when I want to take a step with complete abandonment but then something holds me back.
Do not enjoy. Do not have fun. Do not be happy.
I did not have this strange feeling before my son died.
You could say I’m gun shy. Or I’m waiting for the other shoe to fall.
Something like that.
There’s one place in my heart that is not beating in rhythm with the rest of it. It’s just a small spot. But I’m always aware of it. Even when my mind is not thinking of what happened.
I’ve pulled away from certain parts of what once was. It’s like I have to have power over something. But it’s more that I cannot let that lost part of me connect.
Like a trampled flower reaching toward the sun for its daily bread.
It counts when life is still good.
Even when you aren’t walking in step.