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God understands on Mother’s Day.

“Mother’s Day is difficult for many. But scripture portrays a Father who knows our plight.”

Please clink on the link highlighted above for a wonderful article for mothers who are hurting on Mother’s Day.

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Photo on Foter.com

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the pain of disappointment.

Being disappointed doesn’t rank up there with the big hurts of life. Somehow, we just move on.

But disappointment has a way of taking up residence inside of us. It waits for the next disappointment so it can grow.

I’ve thought a lot about my life and the disappointments along the way. Some feel very big to me. Some not so much.

Let’s give disappointment its rightful place by acknowledging its ability to hurt. Don’t dismiss it by thinking it’s no big deal.

When I would be disappointed, my initial response would be to think: at least I am not this poor person going through this or that or it could be worse.

This is a good thing because we do have to remind ourselves that disappointment happens to every single human being in some way, shape or form. Knowing this will help us to be thankful for the good in our lives and being thankful does have a positive affect.

But even this will only carry us so far. Have you ever felt disappointed even when things were going good?  Have you heard of people who have attained a goal and found themselves still not feeling completely satisfied and disappointed?

That’s because it is human nature no matter who you are, where you came from, or what you have accomplished (or not accomplished) to feel disappointment.

Disappointment lodges inside of us because we are either trusting in another person or an action that failed.  Sometimes it is because we aren’t feeling satisfied, fulfilled, or happy.

The good news is this: God has a remedy for disappointment.

I have been a Christian for 40 years. When I think of God, I am not disappointed.

That’s not to say I haven’t been disappointed with God. It took many disappointments, anger, and wrestling with whether I wanted to accept and trust him. This might be especially difficult if you know you’ve worked hard at doing the right things to attain a particular outcome. Talk about disappointment – when a Christian follows God and does things his way – only to come up empty handed.

It is human nature to go off in our own direction. Our will is very strong. If a good, imperfect, earthly father directs his children, how much more will God guide and direct us? If we don’t like what God says or we have another way, we will take it. Just like that stubborn toddler or defiant teenager. This is part of our broken and faulty condition that requires a whole and perfect God.

God made us to respond to him. But he gave us a free will. We can take him or leave him.

When you surrender your will to God, it will always mean taking your hands off the wheel and trusting him. He will give you a peaceful mind. This shatters disappointment in a million pieces.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

I think having peace of mind is far better than getting what you wanted or what you thought would happen (or not happen). Peace is a steady calm that is developed over time. It is not fickle depending on the circumstances. It feels the pain, sorrow, and even angst, but decidedly and willingly returns to the peaceful disposition only God provides.

The culmination of life is this: eternity. I have this hope deeply embedded. Not a human definition of hope, ” I hope there is eternity in Heaven”, which makes you feel uneasy or anxious.

Hope that means assurance. Looking forward to what has been promised.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Life is full of joys and sorrows. We have to know how to navigate through the ups and downs or we will live in disappointment. One day everything may be perfect, only to have it all come crashing down the next day. God doesn’t want us to live with fear of tomorrow’s disappointments. He wants us to have peace in an unpredictable world.

This only happens when we trust him with our disappointments.

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Why Friends Abandon Grievers

“I am a billboard for loss. My life screams, “We are NOT in control!” And that is scary. Most folks run away from scary if they can”, author Melanie says. Very true.

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It happens in all kinds of ways.  One friend just slowly backs off from liking posts on Facebook, waves at a distance from across the sanctuary, stops texting to check up on me.

Another observes complete radio silence as soon as she walks away from the graveside. 

Still another hangs in for a few weeks-calls, texts, even invites me to lunch until I can see in her eyes that my lack of “progress” is making her uneasy.  Then she, too, falls off the grid.

Why do people do that? 

Why is it, when we need them most, many friends-and I mean really, truly FRIENDSjust can’t hang in and hold on?

I admit in the early days I didn’t care WHY they did it. 

It broke my heart and enraged me all at the same time.  I felt abandoned, judged, forgotten, pressured to conform to some unwritten standard…

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eternity.

He has placed eternity in the human heart … no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

-the Bible

God, magnificently distant and yet so close, placed the knowledge of eternity in the hearts of mankind.

What are you facing today? Are you troubled? Afraid? Sad?

God gives us comfort, strength, and peace.

But eternity with him is really where our thoughts should be. It was important for him to place it into our hearts because it causes us to look up and away from here and now. It is the expectation of things to come. Even if we don’t understand it, we feel the power of this promise.

No one can fathom the works of God. He tells us to set our hearts on things above, not here on earth. We will always know happiness here but we will also know sorrow.

In eternity, God will wipe away every tear. There will be no more sorrow or death.

Let the eternity that is written on your heart grow and feel the fullness of the hope God has placed in each one of us!

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we live in the shadows.

Everything difficult indicates something more than our theory of life yet embraces.

-George MadDonald

For a very long time, I’ve tried to understand suffering.

I know I am not alone. God is questioned all the time.

The problem is, we cannot reconcile “God is good” or “God loves us” with the pain and suffering of humanity. So we either reject God entirely or we maintain a belief in him but steer clear of getting too close.

In trying to reconcile a good God and human suffering, I finally came to this conclusion: I believe God is who he says he is and even though there are some things I do not understand, there is a lot I do understand. Since I believe in God, then it will suffice that he knows more than I do.

That doesn’t mean we don’t feel a whole gamut of emotions when we are suffering.

It means we can stop the endless questioning, leaving us unsettled.

If I know one thing about God, it is that he doesn’t want us to feel unsettled. He is with us when we are suffering, giving us comfort and peace in ways we may not be readily aware of.

How often have you really thought about God, the creator of the universe and all things within, having a vantage point far surpassing our way of thinking?

It’s kind of like thinking about all of us on earth, being suspended in darkness. I don’t think we have words in our human language to describe the magnificent and staggering view God has over all creation, big and small.

We don’t have the language for understanding the why of suffering, either. We just know how it feels.

God sees the beginning and he sees the end.

We do not.

We know that for every action there is a positive and equal reaction.

One day, there will be a redemption of all things. This means a glorious and magnificent judgement on all the pain and suffering throughout mankind. God will make things new and right.

But for now, we live in the shadow of what we do not clearly see; what we do not understand.

Will you be okay with that?

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Photo by ana branca on Foter.com / CC BY-NC

he is not so far away ..

“But then I remember this means he is not so far away, and we’re not so far from him, and it makes me smile”.

Mary Katharine Hamm lost her husband in 2015. She was pregnant with her second child.

She recently wrote this article  I know will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one.

After reading her story it occurred to me, no 2 personal experiences I have read about grieving are the same.

We who are grieving over a severe loss, walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, enveloped by the coldest, darkest place we’ve ever known. And yet, it  seems each of us finds glimmers of light along the way.  The smallest speck of light is the brightest because it is the darkest there, illuminating what we would not have seen otherwise.

 He is not so far away …

This thought brings a new feeling of comfort.

Heaven may be closer than we think.

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Photo by mripp on Foter.com / CC BY