Friday, January 25, 2013

The Message

In life, no matter what happens, however stressed, worried, or even sad I feel, there is still an undercurrent that holds me up. God is my rock, my foundation that holds me together even during those moments that I might not act as if I know this.

There have been times that I have considered what it must be like for those without this assurance. What if I DIDN’T know God had my back? What if I truly did feel that I was facing adversity completely on my own?  Knowing the peace and comfort I have, it seems that it would be so hard…. Just imagine dealing with stress, death of a loved one, loss of health or job… now, think what it would be like without God?

Over the years, and especially recently, I’ve found myself in a position of talking to people dealing with great adversity, yet without my coping tool… they seem to seek me out. Maybe they know OF God, but not sure they KNOW God. One woman told me that she had been wondering, searching… thinking that there must be something more, but she didn’t know. Not really being in a position where I was “supposed” to be talking to her, all I could do was suggest she pursue whatever it was she was thinking, to find her own path. But as she talked, I knew her path would lead her to God.

She told me she often thought of praying, but wasn’t sure how and didn’t know if God heard her. She asked me what I did. We talked about talking to God, and about seeking peace… I told her how it helped me to get away from “the world,” whether physically, or just mentally, and that is when I found God most easily.  I tell her to "Be still..." Yes, I talk to God, but must also pause to listen as well.

Today, another women came looking for help. She talked about the things going on in her life, and she had really been struggling. But she wanted to cope… she really felt that it was possible, but was feeling overwhelmed. I understood how she felt. She asked me if I had any scriptures that might help her. I did what I could.

But things like this keep coming up… there have been quite a few people placed in my life – or perhaps it’s me placed in their life – that have similar struggles. There’s a fine line at times, a tightrope of respecting all spiritual paths… but they open up to me, telling me their worries, and want to know what “I” believe, so this is what I tell them.

Do not be afraid. The Lord God will always be with you and will never forsake you.  There are many instances of this phrase in scripture. I believe it is true, and I don’t think it’s an accident that it is repeated over and over.

God so loved the world that He sent His only son to die for our sins, and once we invite God in our hearts and lives, suddenly, things are okay. Sure, we have the reassurance of eternal life with God – but as awesome as that must be, we have life with God now and I am so grateful.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Each of the people leave a small part of themselves on my heart and I keep them in my prayers, even though they don’t know it. God has blessed me in many ways, not just in the way the world would see, but internally. The world would say I am blessed to be alive, which is true. But the greatest blessings have not been just the joys, but the peace that has been possible in the valleys. It seems that perhaps that is what I am supposed to share with others – for that is what they seem to need to know.  

Honestly, I don't have a plan when I talk to people - it just happens, so I feel inadequate; I listen to them, which is sometimes a very needed gift. Somehow, I am given the right words and they thank me for my help, saying that they feel better after our conversation. And each time, I know that they do feel better, perhaps comforted, perhaps hopeful, at least for the moment.

I have two prayer requests. First, pray for all of those that are struggling, and are seeking God as well. Pray that they find what is right for them. Second, please pray for me. Pray that when these people seek me out, that I am given the words that they need, the words God would have placed on their heart.  

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