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Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Remedy for Worry

Everyone tends to worry. It robs us of peace and joy. Worry steals our hope. Our good Shepherd knows how worry creates adverse effects upon our health. Jesus advises, “Do not worry about your life… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”(Matthew 6:25-27).

How do we not worry when we’re facing a deadline? When a car payment is due and finances are tight. When our children make foolish choices. When we receive a gloomy medical report.
What is worrying you?

Several years ago my 18-year-old daughter planned to move out of the house on the heels of high-school graduation. I worried! Worry caused me to imagine awful scenarios. I lost sleep. I rehearsed a plethora of “what ifs.” Worry dragged me around by the neck and choked my faith.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Comfort for Someone in Pain

“To everything there is a season… a time to be born, and a time to die” Ecclesiastes 3:2. After a long, painful illness, Kay, a deeply loved mother, died. I was only a phone call away. A weary husband beckoned me to come and be with his grieving wife. Heartache choked his words.  

When I arrived, I bore witness to grief. The burden of loss rested heavily upon my friend. Sorrow made her shoulders sink. The depth of Lynn’s pain revealed how deeply she loved her mother.  

“What should I say?” “What should I do?” I wanted to heal Lynn’s heartache. I hugged her tight; I cried with her; I listened to her; I prayed with her. But I couldn’t heal her. 

I’m learning that mourning/grieving is a necessary part of dealing with loss. Loss of a child; loss of a spouse or a parent; loss of a pet; loss of a dream. What loss is familiar to your friend or loved one?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Judging Others Can Be Hazardous!

A tattoo, covering the entire forearm of a young woman, arrested my attention. I read and reread the dark blue inky words, “God is my Judge”. An unpleasant memory triggered.

I had been judged and snubbed by close friends, those whom I trusted and had felt especially close to. I was sorely misunderstood. Now, I felt that pain, sadness and heartache prick my heart again. It rekindled an old, familiar adage: “Unless you've walked a mile in my shoes, don’t judge me!”

Until judged harshly, until false presumptions left me feeling like I had been punched in the stomach, I had failed to personally understand how wounding judgmental words are. They crush and reduce a person’s character. They ruin relationships.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Victorious in Impossible Situations!

I’m one click away from alarming news. Military strikes, chemical attacks, political debates, casualties and conflicts plague the world. Another click and I silence the alarm. Off goes the TV, radio or internet. I resume life, unharmed and safe.  

Spiritual battles, however, can’t be so easily silenced. We read that the devil “went off to make war against…those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17). Scripture describes a “beast” who “was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them” (Rev. 13:5-7). Satan hunts.  He intentionally schemes to “steal, kill and destroy” us. (John 10:10) Strong and cunning, he’s relentless. (1 Peter 5:8)

Every believer is in “spiritual warfare” against the world, the flesh and the devil. Winning daily battles takes serious commitment, spiritual knowledge and tough obedience.