Have you ever been so upset, you dared not speak? I recently was, even though I did all the right things. Count to ten. Take deep breaths. Try to see things from another perspective.
Nothing helped, and all I accomplished was losing sleep and gaining five pounds in weight. I cried out to God, “Help me.”
A simple thought came to mind… “Focus on God.”
I shifted my gaze from the pain within, to a verse on the kitchen window sill. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and rich in love.” (Psalm 145:8) I caught my breath. I had been feeling the opposite. It was time to realign with God.
Do you have verses around the house to help you regain perspective?
It hardly ever happens. Derek and I stopped. We stood in a beech wood. There was no wind, no noise, no people, just us. We watched leaves fall from the trees, one every few seconds. We heard the “plif” as each one landed.
Life is like that. We can’t hear anything until we stop. Today I heard an agitated voice. I listened to the silence behind their words, and I heard the “plif.” What that person actually meant was, “I feel so alone. No one listens to me. Please accept me.”
Jesus stops with us in the silence behind our words. He wants us to hear his “plif.” “I comfort all who mourn… I bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” (from Isaiah 61:2-3)
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.
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.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you… For I am the Lord… your Savior… Do not be afraid.” (Isaiah 43:2-5)
Sometimes it seems like God isn’t there, and we have to cross the river alone. But he puts those stepping stones in the right places. He is with us, even when we can’t see him.
Ten years ago I put a verse on the kitchen cupboard. “Be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 1:6) Every time I felt scared I ran to that verse, sometimes a dozen times a day. In my heart I reached up to God, and he gave me the strength to keep going.
That verse fell off three weeks ago. I put it up. It fell off again. I thought that God might want me to live a deeper faith, not through a verse, but directly with him. I struggled to hang on.
Yesterday a lady stopped me. “I have something for you,” she said. She showed me some words she had written in a notebook. “Don’t fear, have faith. It is I who lead the way.” I wrote those words down, put them up on the kitchen cupboard. Thank you, God.