Lately, we have seen a lot of brokenness in the lives of the people around us. We’ve had friends who lost their unborn baby, friends who’ve lost their jobs, friends who’ve lost their battle with cancer, a family member who died from health complications, friends who’ve received a serious brain injury leaving two children without a mother to care for them, marriages broken and families torn apart, and today we found out a dear friend of ours has cancer.
We live in this broken world and these things are nothing new. I don’t write that to minimize the pain we feel. We all feel the weight of the brokenness. And sometimes it feels like one blow after another. Today at church, one of the elders stood to dismiss the congregation and he said, “we all have been through seasons when God has disturbed our lives through pain and brokenness…” That’s a true statement but I forget it sometimes. It’s easy to start thinking, “no one feels the pain I feel. No one gets what I’m going through! I wish God were standing here presently with me.”
If we could just step outside our own story for a moment we would see EVERYONE is going through a battle or will be going though one someday. No one gets out of this life without trouble. And here’s where the church gets its opportunity to be the light in the darkness. We are bringers of The Good News, we are Encouragers, we are Hopeful Children of The Most High God, we are full of the Living Spirit of Christ and we bear the Light.
I recently went to a funeral for a friend who was a christian. As I sat there behind the wife and three children he left behind, the church was completely packed. People even sat in the lobby watching the ceremony from TV monitors. I realized something. Here in the sorrow we felt, all these people filling the church were being the body of Christ. The family was not alone. The arms that hugged them, the words that comforted them, the money provided for their meals and for hospital bills, and all the love that covered them – it was Christ being embodied by His church. There was light and hope even in the darkest moment because we decided to be the church like Christ called us to be.
And so though we find ourselves in the brokenness of this life – Lift up your brothers face to the Light of Christ. Let your light shine for all the world to see. Be bold in your love, and remember you are not alone in your suffering. Look outside yourself and see all people walk through trouble and sorrow, so use your experiences of perseverance to comfort those who are hurting.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-4
In this way we continue to be the church.
Where are you in the struggle? I feel so lost and aimless. I hate it. I am defeated and I can’t help but believe this loud voice inside saying, “You will never amount to anything. You have wasted your time and your gifts. You have failed Him. You’re not creative. You’re simply not good enough and trust me you’re not going to beat the odds. Give up. Lay down your dreams and focus on something else.” My hopes seem lost. My time has been wasted. The things I’ve given up to pursue this dream in you seem to completely outweigh the good that I’ve seen through my sacrifice.
Somehow though, despite that war within, it doesn’t seem right to give up. It’s like there’s a part of my soul that isn’t going to let it go. I can’t shake it. Can’t kill it. You set it within me to stand. You set it within me to worship you. What would you do if I gave myself to you in this area? I can’t help but hope you would do a reviving work. Restoring what I feel is lost. Only You, God, can do the impossible. I still believe that. I still hold to you.
“Nothing is lost” He said to my heart. “Nothing is wasted. Not your season of standing still, not in your season of weeping, not in the longing, not in the searching. I haven’t left you. I AM the Forever Faithful One. Nothing is lost.”
I will choose to wait on you in hope. I believe you.
The heart of man isn’t very faithful. By nature of our flesh we are prone to run and want to give up when things get difficult.
So I’ve been thinking about marriage today and all that this covenant implies.
I get really discouraged when I look back and remember what it was like when my husband and I were first falling in love. Wow, is that terribly honest! Not like things are bad now, because that isn’t the case at all. And those are sweet memories. I know my husband loves me, and I love him deeply. I just remember sometimes how young love feels. I can see in his eyes and recall the first time I realized his eyes were telling me that he loved me. But we have changed… and that’s what saddened me.
My husband was in a car accident three years ago and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. He was in a coma for 17 days, and ever since then he has been healing and trying to get back to living his once normal life. God has done incredible things in healing him, and honestly if you didn’t know him and met him you wouldn’t know he had gone through such a horrible experience and change. But for those of us who really knew him before, it can be difficult. Sometimes I get so discouraged because this isn’t what I expected my life to be like. Ever been there? There are huge blessings I’ve been given (like my two babies!) and I’m so grateful to Jesus Christ for how He never left me lacking anything. He has done great things through the trails we’ve gone through, and He has been glorified.
But… sometimes there is an ache that comes from my broken heart. It swells and rises inside and I recognize loss. Today it brought me to my knees before the One who knows the heart fully. And without so many words He acknowledged the brokenness I hold, and lifted my head to see the coming day.
The day when having been faithful will outweigh the sorrows we face.
When having kept our covenant will matter much more than fleeing from pain, or difficulty, or trials.
When in that day – we will know Him as we have fully been known.
When I said “I do” I knew I was marrying a broken man. But I had faith God wouldn’t leave him that way. So every day that I put on my wedding ring, let it be a sign to everyone that I have faith in God who does miracles. I have faith and hope that my God will restore the broken.
And my hope is that this will be encouraging to you. Maybe your spouse didn’t go through a change as dramatically as mine did, but everyone does change over time. Love changes over time too. We all said “I do,” to a broken person. And we all feel the loss and brokenness of changed relationships.
He shows himself to be our hope and help in times of trouble. He is our ultimate Lover – if we are in Christ… and this marriage is momentary… But our faithfulness to our covenant is eternal.
So… a good new years resolution would have been to start blogging on here at least once a week. I’m not actually sure if that is realistic or not… or if anyone reads this. But i’ve been thinking I might as well try right? So maybe only a few people read it… haha, at least then I can be as honest and real as I like. So lets get started! First topic of interest? How about James 1.
So tonight Isaac and I were helping with the youth group at our church. We had lead some worship and then were sitting in the back listening to the youth pastor speak. He was talking about how life is short… like a breath, and how the only thing that really matters is that we glorify God. And it was a simple thought that hit me, i’ve heard it before but tonight the simple concept took root in my heart. Glorify God. All that matters is that. So how does he want me to do that on a personal level… I waited for His Spirit and His reply was freeing. Write songs. Use your gifts and let go of the out come. That frees me of worrying about what people think, or if the songs I write will ever become something more. God wants them, and He wants us. So the lesson – use your gifts for the Lord and He will make them and use them as He wills – that Glorifies Him most.
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