Category Archives: dismay

Are we free?

Does this ever happen to you? The Bible says, “Do not fear,” and you still cling to fear in certain relationships. It says, “Be strong in the Lord,” and you still feel overwhelmed in certain situations. It says, “Rejoice in the Lord,” and sometimes all you can do is fight back tears at certain pains you experience.

It does to me. Then last night it hit me. I have been living two lives, with two opposing gods. I think I have to please certain people, yet, I also want to please God.

Last night I resolved to live only one life, to live for the God I love. I don’t know what it will look like, or how to even do it. All I know is that I set myself free. What about you?

Can a life get ruined?

A few days ago someone assured me that I could still fulfill a dream I had as a youth. I had wanted to become a medical doctor, but no matter how hard I tried, the door slammed shut again and again. This ‘someone’ encouraged me to go back to school.

I declined. My doctor dream may have been totally crushed, but God replaced it with something else. You see, our talents can be expressed in many different ways. I had wanted to help people’s bodies to heal, but God wanted me to help people’s hearts

What about you? Has your life turned out different than you had hoped? Do you feel like it has been ruined? Don’t give up hope. Seek God’s perspective. Let him redirect you and you will find life. 

 

Are we alive or dead?

In the space of four days, opposite events occurred:

  • Someone said something with an intent to destroy.
  • A friend took me to the National Art Gallery in London.

I sat before a painting with my friend – The Raising of Lazarus.*  It mirrored my circumstances… Lazarus was dead, and I felt the same. But, four days later Jesus told the mourners to open to tomb. An awful smell poured out.  Yet, Jesus called out, “Lazarus, come out!”**

…I sat there. Lazarus was me. Jesus was calling. I lived! Lazarus tore off his shroud. I could tear off mine. I could be free!

You see, death-like words don’t have to hold us down. “Come out!” Jesus calls to each one of us. We can choose to get up and LIVE!

 

* Sebastiano del  Piombo, 1517-19     **from John 11

Ever feel lost?

The other night my mobile phone’s GPS told me that my thirty-minute journey would take two hours! Another accident, I thought. I followed the directions. Then it said, “Turn left on Bicycle Route 6.” What? It thought I was a bike!

I reset my phone, and it took me down a single-track road. Four kilometers later, no lights or habitations around, tall metal bollards blocked my way. Only bicycles could pass through. I came unglued. “I’m a car,” I cried out, “not a bike!”

Then it hit me. I wasn’t a car. I wasn’t even an insignificant dot to a satellite in the sky. I was scared, and God’s precious daughter. I could trust HIM… I turned off my mobile phone and prayed. God got me home with his GPS.

Blackout

Have you ever been caught in a darkness so deep, you couldn’t see your hands in front of your face, even when you held them right up to your nose? Maybe you decided to sit still and wait things out.

But, imagine, your child starts crying. Deep darkness or not, you feel your way forward, crashing into furniture, calling out comforting words. It takes a desperation to actually walk, without sight, without light. The Bible says, “Let him who walks in the dark and has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)

Are you walking in darkness? I am. Let’s follow the unseen God within our hearts.

Can anything good come out of pain?

Sometimes people hurt us and we end up deeply shaken. But those people also accomplish something else. They reveal to us what is in our hearts. I don’t often like what I find in mine: anger, fear, pride… I even contemplate revenge.

Someone in the Bible suffered injustice as well, yet he reacted differently. He cried out, “My soul finds rest in God alone… He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress. I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)

Can anything good come out of pain? There is one thing. Through it God can show us if we have wandered away from him. Through it we can make the choice to return and find rest in him.

 

The prison of fear

I wish it hadn’t happened, but this thing called fear was planted inside me as a child. Even now it tries to grab a hold of me. It tries to take over.

I can tell you that fear is a prison. hand in jailIt tears away from us the courage to fight back. It makes us powerless. But knowledge of fear, and how it works, doesn’t mean it goes away.

There is only one way I have found to overcome fear. I make a choice. I choose to look at God, not the one who causes fear. I choose to care what God thinks of me, not the opinions of others. I choose to be what God wants me to be, not what others demand.

When I do that, fear disappears.

Pushed away

You probably know how hard it is when those we love push us away…

  • If you don’t do what I say, you can’t be my friend.
  • If you love me, you will never disagree with me.
  • If you care for me, you won’t tell the truth.

What are we supposed to do? We are upset and scared.Stacheldraht

But God doesn’t push us away. He says, “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men? … I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand.” (Isaiah 51:12,16)

God gives us his dignity. He gives us the wisdom how to respond. He protects us. We can move on.

Memories, not Masters

Memories can become our masters. When we have been broken and hurt, and don’t know how to move on, those memories enslave us. It is as if they take over our life.DSC_0011

In the Bible God’s people were enslaved as well. They knew they couldn’t escape the pain and suffering inflicted on them. God knew they couldn’t… He rescued them. He sent hope. “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today… The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

Let God fight for your heart today. Believe him when he says, “Don’t be afraid.”  

Valley of Tears

Sometimes life seems to throw us more than we can cope with. Sometimes these troubles come at once… the washing machine breaking, the fridge, the car, the printer, the telephone, my boots… emotional griefs… death, rejection, and exhaustion… My tears flowed unhindered. I was truly in a deep, dark valley.

Then I got a paper cut and spilled lemon juice on it. I started to laugh. The solution was so simple, I rinsed my finger in water. When life stings, I immerse myself in God, his Word. I drink his peace and perspective. “As we pass through the Valley of Weeping, we make it a place of springs.” (Psalm 84:6)