Nov 28, 2012

Dear Reality - Bite me {A devotional about discouragement}

Life is simple, it's just not easy.  ~Author Unknown

Today {in my little corner of the world} is the first day of a week long storm. The storm is supposed to dump several inches of rain and possibly cause flooding.  It's been raining on and off all day long.  The clouds have been dark.  The rain loud and hard on my roof.  Days like this make me feel like wrapping up in my fuzziest blanket and cuddling on the couch with some coffee and a good book.

Sometimes life is like a beautiful spring day, where all around you birdies are singing, flowers are blooming and a balmy breeze is gently blowing the wind-chimes.  Sometimes, life is like today's storm. 

Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Recently, in my life and in the lives of many people I love, the storms have been raging.  Struggles with health, broken relationships, parenting pain, the loss of a loved one, and financial ruin are just some of the storms that have been rocking the world of those close to me.

When disaster strikes, when the rains come hard and loud on the roof of your life, what do you do?  Do you cower in fear on the couch with your blankie?  Do you shake your fist at the sky?  Do you try to stop the rain?  Do you run from window to window to make sure they are all closed against the storm?  Do you worry that the roof may leak? {I might be one who yells at the storm and shake my... erm... fist at it}

There are so many ways that we react and respond to the storms, and that first tendency, or initial reaction isn't wrong, just different from another person's natural tendency.  After that initial reaction, though, is a different story. I believe that once you are done with that first response, that is where faith steps in.  
God has given us so many promises in His Word when we are facing these storms, these are a few of my favorite.

 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 34:18 & 147:3

Recently I had a bit of a crisis with one of my children.  My first response was fear, followed closely by anger.  When my adrenaline calmed, I began to pray and asked others to pray as well.  God already knew what was causing me to break down in tears.  He was right there beside me, whispering in my ear.  

As soon as the prayers began to flow, I could feel the arms of God calming me, and filling me with peace. When I cried out "Help my baby!" I didn't have anything else I could say, I didn't even know how to pray.  He is never surprised or too busy when we come to him with a heart-ache, He already knows.  He is ready to comfort, save and heal us, as soon as we let Him.

 He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:29-31
Sometimes when calamity strikes we run ourselves ragged trying to solve the problem, when all we really need to do is wait for God.  Sometimes God won't offer a solution. Sometimes, He will merely offer rest. 

Many times in the midst of our storms, we are rushing ahead of God, and He is walking calmly behind, with a hand out, saying "Just wait for me, we can do this together."  It fills me with peace when I remember that God isn't sitting back and watching us flail, He is walking the road with us, hoping that we remember He is there.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2
The Bible doesn't promise a pain free life for believers.  In fact, there are many scriptures that imply that it is a given that rain will fall.  When the floods rise up around us, when the fires burn, when the earth shakes our foundations, we know that God is right there with us.

There is a song by Hillsong called "Still" {Click this link and you can hear the song on YouTube}- the chorus says this best: "When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm, Father you are king over the flood, I will be still and know you are God."

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29

 Do you notice a theme in these scriptures?  God tells us so many ways, in so many words that we are not alone, that He is willing to carry the load.  I think it is so common for us to "turtle up" {hide inside a protective shell} rather than allow God {or anyone else} to help us.  

If you have children, you have undoubtedly watched your children try to carry something that is too heavy for them, and when you offer to help or try to take the load, they make some high-pitched noise and take it back.  I think that we can be that way as well.  God is standing right there, ready to take the load, we just have to be willing to hand it over.

Maybe we don't trust Him, maybe we are comfortable with our pain, maybe we aren't done suffering yet, but God is just watching us with patient eyes {and maybe a little smile and head shake} as we struggle along, trying to prove something.  Friend, just hand it over.  He will give you rest.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 The best way to sum it all up is the reminder that this is all temporary.  What if it's a hurt that won't just "go away" {like the loss of a child or a chronic condition}?  The best hope is that the pain may last for our lifetime, but won't go any further than that.  The book of Revelation says that there won't be mourning or crying or pain in Heaven.  What a promise to hold on to!!

When I was a girl, my mom used to always say "this too shall pass", when I was overwhelmed with a storm. Recently, a friend said those exact words to me as I shared something I was struggling with.   It's a good reminder!  Even here on earth, so many of our storms {that seem bleak and dreary and never-ending in the present} are soon distant memories.

Sometimes, if we are really lucky, as a storm passes, and the sun begins to shine again, you might see a rainbow.  A reminder of the promises that God has made to us.    
 In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life.
 It goes on.  ~Robert Frost
So what do you think?  How do you react to the storms of life?? What is your "go-to verse" when the storms get a little crazy? 

Linking up with Into the Word WednesdaysWomen in the Word Wednesdays,  


  1. I believe that Christ can ease our burdens. No they won't go away, but as we put our Faith in him, and press forward, we will be able to put one foot in front of the other with his help.

  2. I can't imagine going through the storms of life w/out knowing our Lord. He is our sustainer and our light. Great post!

  3. For me, my "go to" verse is Mathew 11:28-30, so seeing that in your devotional was really encouraging. My blog post today dealt with fist shaking moments as well, so you have no idea how truly timely this has been. Thanks for your authentic sharing!

  4. This is just AWESOME!!! I absolutely love how you did this! I also love your words of wisdom and encouragement...and beautiful truths. SO nicely done. :)


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