Tag Archive | valley of the shadow of death

seeing God.

I’ve always carried the banner of faith in every situation. It fit me well. Most days, I am naturally optimistic and positive. The faith message found in the Bible resonated with me.

There is a place for faith. God says we need it. But I have found applying it to situations that positions a person to believe to the point of denying reality is wrong. We get this thinking from the faith scriptures. We ” call those things which be not as though they were”. The scripture says God does, but we have Christ in us so we do, too.

The Bible talks about trust, too. There are plenty of scriptures that say the inevitable: people get sick. Accidents happen. Things go wrong. People die.

Faith is also acceptance and learning to live with pain.

This is not a fatalist mindset. It is facing a situation with courage. Otherwise, there are endless questions that torment you. And usually, the promoters of the faith message are nowhere to be found. Because someone has to answer why your diligence to prayer did not work.

I’ve learned the hard way. But you don’t have to. Recognize what you know to be true. Because when you face tragedies, no matter how horrific, God says he will never leave you or forsake you. God’s presence is real when you’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Like Job said, “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”

No one can take that away from you.

Don’t inject more hurt into your heart. They don’t understand. Forgive them. And let God lead you to the green pastures and quiet waters where he will heal your broken heart. It will naturally unfold in the days to come.

Photo credit: -mtnoxx- / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: -mtnoxx- / Foter / CC BY

And if you are committed to the Lord, you know his grace is enough. You also know that it may be how God wants you to let your light shine to others.

revisiting grief.

Holidays, particularly during Christmas, are difficult times for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

For the next two weeks, I am going to re-post previous entries I’ve written on grief.

Perhaps grief is the most misunderstood emotion. The person grieving a deep loss, whether through death, divorce, or personal disappointments or failure, needs to be patient with themselves. But mostly, the people around them need to be patient.

If you know someone who needs to understand your grieving, consider sharing with them the next two weeks.

Jun17

How do I deal with grief?

We live in a world of instant gratification.

Even the poorest among us has access to a fast food lunch, a cell phone, and/or cable television.

The problem is not all things in life can be instantly gratified. Grief is one of those things.

We want to push it away for another day. We’ve got things to do and places to go. But grief interrupts our rhythm.

The world has advanced in leaps and bounds, but our soul hasn’t. We may adjust and accommodate  and even welcome the intrusions of someone’s random thoughts posted on a social website. Yet, our soul is the bedrock of who we are and it is limited. Without recognizing those limitations we expect more than we were made to handle.

canoe

There has to be times of calmness. We were not made to be constantly alert.

Grieving the loss of someone cannot be filed with the rest of your daily activities. It won’t allow it. Grief will demand your attention and the more you try to keep at bay the more it will intrude. Ignoring it is like ignoring a bullet wound.

You can’t.

Next post: How?

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Photo Credit: Roozbeh Rokni / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

 

christian disillusionment.

Some of us have ventured into the deep darkness of the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Some of us didn’t have any warning.

Some of us were thrust into it without  permission.

Some of us have seen things others have not.

The death can be actual death. Or it can be the death of a dream, a prayer, a promise.

Don’t stick to your guns with what you thought you knew – just because you think you know it.

We’ve read the stories of many men and women throughout the centuries who have gone where we have not gone. We’ve taught about them and preached about them. We’ve been amazed at their faith – determination, endurance, tenacity, devotion, commitment. But they are mere stories on a page until the danger comes to our door. Then we find out what we’re made of. Or should I say – what God is made of.

storm-over-the-fenceline_l

Sometimes you can’t speak to the storm because it’s so loud it can’t hear you. Sometimes all you can do is hang on for dear life. Oh, but that doesn’t look very Christian. Really? I’m sure Job, Paul, and Jesus on the cross looked really “Christian”.

Trusting God doesn’t mean you have to look so good to everyone. We’re afraid we’re not representing God honorably if a hair is out of place. Who are you trying to fool?

Don’t be afraid to be you. God already knows who you are.

Don’t be afraid of the storm. Nothing is going to happen that God does not see.

Don’t be afraid if you don’t do your part, God will not come through. You will collapse from exhaustion.

Don’t cling to your performance, cling to God’s performance.

Some of us have seen the scenery in the Valley – where life has gone terribly wrong. And we have come out of the darkness with an understanding we didn’t have going in.

But no one listens.

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.
Job 42:5
Some of us have seen Him.
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