Showing posts with label trouble. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trouble. Show all posts

The Finding


I love reading the Word. Hebrews 4:14 says it’s alive, and active. I find that true as I can read passages I know I’ve read many times before and see something brand new in it. Such is the case this morning. This year I wanted to read the Bible straight through again as I haven’t done that in a while. I found myself in chapter 16 of Genesis reading and re-reading the story of Hagar. I’ve shared many pieces of this chapter in this devotional over the years. But I saw something else today that spoke to my heart.
In verse 7, after Sarah has sent her away, it says, the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water….I read that two or three times. Then, I wrote in my journal that if He found her – He must have been looking for her.

We know Sarah is her mistress and she’s lived in Abraham’s household for years. But now she’s been thrust out of her norm – and is pregnant to boot. What a predicament! There’s no doubt in my mind that she is uncomfortable, upset, worried, and in a place of distress both emotionally and physically. Yet God found her right there in that spot.

I found this personally encouraging. God doesn’t avoid us when we find ourselves in rough spots, and caregivers can have plenty of those, can’t we? People often remain silent or distant, sometimes because they do care but do not know what to do with us. Others just ignore us – they aren’t trying to be “mean” they often do not know what to say or do. We can find ourselves in some very lonely spots in life. We can find ourselves in some dirty spots, some hard spots. Each day presents challenges others don’t often understand and we can feel cheated out of life’s “pleasures” like simple freedoms of running to the store or grabbing coffee with a friend.

But God can find us where we are. Hagar was sent out because she had a bad attitude. I will first admit that especially early on in my caregiving years, I have been guilty of that! But if God can seek her out even when she’s wrong – doesn’t that provide me with some hope that He will seek me out too? That He will seek you out too?

I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again – He doesn’t abandon us when life gets difficult or ugly. When we don’t live in that “picture perfect” world, He doesn’t avoid it – He comes to find us. He walks the path of the caregiver with us. And sometimes He has to carry us too. But He is present. Psalm 46:1 comes to mind here, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.

Today, I’m going to be thankful that God is willing to find me right in my situation no matter how challenging it seems. My meditations will be on His willing presence in the midst of my trouble. I’ll rely on Him for the wisdom and strength to make it through this day. Will you join me?

A Door of Hope

The first couple of chapters of Exodus contains two things that I have found very interesting. In the first chapter  I found it interesting that the midwives were directly blessed by God for disobeying Pharaoh. Verse 21 state that they feared God and He established households for them.  Even though it was a very tough time for them and their people, they continued to trust and fear the Lord rather than caving in to man's evil commands.

In chapter 2 we read about the birth of Moses and how his mother protected him until he was found by Pharaoh's daughter in a basket in the Nile. Those who are familiar with scripture know that as the story unfolds, Moses becomes the deliverer who God uses to take His children out of Egypt's bondage and into the promised land. This time of great adversity became a door of hope for the Children of Israel.

The caregiver's life can be filled with adversity and some days every breath can be a struggle. But there's a scripture in Hosea 2:15 that says the valley of achor will be a door of hope. "Achor" means pain or trouble. Sometimes when we are facing another day of caregiving we can't see the hope that lies beyond our present circumstances. And there are times when we are so busy with caregiving that we forget there is anything else out there. But adversity gives way to hope.

For me personally, I was able to become a writer after becoming a caregiver. When my son was injured I began looking for work I could do online because I knew he was going to need care for the long haul. It was an area I would have never explored before. Over the last couple of years I also completed a Master's degree. I would not have taken the time to do that had I not been in this situation. While those things do not make the caregiving go away - they give me hope that I can make a living for us without compromising the care of my son.

Adversity has a way of bringing out the best and the worst of us! If we can take a deep breath, manage our attitude, and move forward with grace there is hope. Moses didn't look like a leader lying in that basket floating in the Nile. The midwives were not trying to change a nation, they just desired to honor God. The times of adversity that they faced were painful and trying at best - just like caregiving. But the adversity gave way to hope for an entire nation of people.

Our struggles are making us stronger in faith whether we recognize it or not. Just like the butterfly's wings are strong enough to fly because of the fight to get out of the cocoon, our faith becomes strong as we fight to face each day. And faith gives way to hope; and there is no shame in hope.

Today I will meditate on His faith-full-ness when my faith feels so small. I will turn my thoughts to the good things that have happened since I became a caregiver. I will look at my adversity as a doorway for hope and allow it to enter my heart and life to bring about grace and change. Will you join me?

It's Out There!

Psalm 91 used to be one of my favorite psalms, until my son was involved in an automobile accident that left him incapacitated. For a long time I found Psalm 91 very frustrating - since God did not protect my son. In another blog I openly sorted through emotions and faith. As I slowly got my bearings and tried to continue to trust the Lord again - I learned to love this passage once again; but from a totally different perspective.

I no longer see it as a cure-all and a "lucky charm" that keeps all trouble far away. It's not so much that trouble stays so far away - it's that He keeps us safe during the storm, during the trouble and through tribulation. If you will read past verse one you'll find some pretty interesting things like:

the snare of the fowler
perilous pestilence
terror by night
destruction laying wait at noonday
plagues
lions and cobras

All of that is out there! And it's not far away. It's a scary place for sure. It's not like we hide in Him for refuge and all this goes away. There's a war going on and danger lurking all around. But He keeps us in the midst of the danger. Think about verses 12-13. Yay - we can tread on lions and trample serpents. But do you know how close you'd have to be  to them to be able to do that? Think about it. 

Yes - all of that is out there. But God will keep our souls even in the darkest, most dangerous times. Our being is hidden in Him and there is nothing that can reach our soul. Verse 15 is God speaking and He says  I will be with them in trouble.  He did not say He would not let trouble happen - but that we have a place to hide to ride out the storm.

Today I will meditate on hiding in Him even though life around me is rumbling. Instead of worrying about my situation - I'll rest in Him and think about His mercies carrying me through this day. Will you join me?

Superlatives Allowed!

As a general rule we are taught to avoid superlatives. Who hasn't been bitten in the back side by saying I'm never going to (fill in the blank) again!? I catch myself saying things like It always happens like that...  When we use superlatives - it means there is no room for any alternatives. Using always and never in particular doesn't leave any wriggle room, no exceptions allowed. But Paul seemed to like superlatives and in 1 Thessalonians 5 he didn't leave the believer any wriggle room when he penned:

Rejoice Always
Pray without Ceasing
In everything give thanks
Test all things - hold fast what is good
Abstain from every form of evil

When we look at it that way- it's quite the bill to fill. There were no exclusionary statements for any of these instructions. Notice Paul didn't say "in everything give thanks unless your situation is particularly trying or difficult." He didn't instruct the believers to "rejoice always unless you are a caregiver who just can't find joy in the day." He wrote these as instructions to believers in the Body of Christ. He gave no exceptions, no leeway - just do it - always.

I'll be the first to tell you that there are days it is difficult to find something to rejoice about, or to be thankful for. But usually, if we look hard enough - we can find something. Even though each of our situations are unique and we have our own set of daily trials to walk through we can heed and obey Paul's instructions here. We probably get close to praying without ceasing; but the other rules can be very difficult.

The caregiver's situation is a stressful one, and can take a toll on the mind, body and spirit after awhile. It might take some serious effort to accomplish these tasks. But they really just make sense for living life - no matter what that looks like. While we may not be thankful for our situation - we can find something to be thankful for - we are still breathing, we have food on the table, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. I've learned that sometimes it's the littlest things that bring joy to the heart. We can give in to the joy of a child's laughter, a beautiful song, a special message from a friend, or having the time to sit down and breathe for a minute or two. If we give in - it doesn't take much.

When we take the broader look at where we are there are many reasons to rejoice. God sent His word to heal us. He has not left us - and is available for us - constantly by our side. The power of the cross is not weakened by our trying circumstances and the word did not change when we became a caregiver. His word endures forever - even through the battles life brings. God is with us and He's in it for the long haul. 

Today I will meditate on the things I can be thankful for. Even if I can't see the "light at the end of the tunnel" I will keep my eyes open and watching for reasons to rejoice in Him today. Will you join me?




Fighting the Downward Spiral

For caregivers, emotions can run on edge. Oh, eventually we adjust to the hectic life and can hold it together through all the basic stuff. We really don't have much of a choice so we get used to aides not showing up, not getting enough supplies, and advocating for our loved one on a daily basis. The daily chores become routine as do all the things we have to get done to care for another person. For some of us that basically means you do everything twice because they need total care. We adjust, figure out we are still alive, and we even learn to laugh again. And then something happens.

We get used to the craziness and then a vehicle breaks down, the hot water heater malfunctions or we get sick. It really doesn't take too much because we run on overload. For me personally it can mean the emotions go toward that downward spiral. Even though there are some strategies that I've learned to use to help prevent me from bottoming out - it is a difficult fight and each step "back up" takes every bit of energy that can be mustered.

In times like these I think of David and of one scripture in particular: David encouraged himself in the Lord. (1 Samuel 30:6) And like the caregiver, he had to -- no one else was around! David had been anointed king but had instead faced a multitude of troubles. He had a lot on his plate at this time since his own had rejected him, he was running from Saul, had joined in with "the enemy" (Philistines), and they didn't trust him to fight with them. THEN the Amalekites came in and tore up Ziklag and took all the women and children. David was just a little bit upset. Like the overloaded caregiver, he already had enough on his plate. But he stopped the downward spiral and encouraged himself in the Lord. 

If my sources are correct, David wrote Psalm 16 while facing the struggle at Ziklag. He starts out with a prayer for God to preserve him  and then declares that he will trust the Lord. I'd say that's a great place to start each day. He says things like:

You are my portion
I will bless the Lord
I have set the Lord always before me
I will not be moved (because He is at my right hand)

It sounds to me like David knew how to reach down, up or around and find his source and supply in God. I think two things that stick out to me today as I fight the strong pull of the downward spiral are in verses 9 and 10. In verse 9 David says My flesh will rest in hope.  I really like that! And in the next verse he says You will not leave my soul in Sheol. I'm going to take that to mean for me that God will not leave my soul in turmoil and anguish. To encourage himself, David looked toward God first and then reminded himself of the role God played in his life. Verses 7-8 line that out pretty well. Here David says:

I will bless the Lord
I will set Him before me
I will not be moved

Then in verse 9 he says therefore my heart is glad and my  glory rejoices - and  I will rest in hope.

Today I will meditate on who God is to me and I will rest in hope. I will set my mind on the truth that He is with me and He has not and will not abandon my soul (mind, will, emotions). I will try to see myself in His hand; in His heart today. I will also be reading this psalm over and over today. Will you join me?

Can we just be Honest?

There are some topics that caregivers are not going to discuss with others - not even other caregivers. Our emotions can be too raw too much of the time and there's no place where the pain or grief totally stops. Many days we just suck it up and continue to care for our loved one and give no regard to our own emotions and feelings. Sometimes this is how we actually survive the difficult role we must play for another. We can get very absorbed into their care and forget about our own pain and suffering. But then there are times when it can all come crashing in on us; emotions and thoughts run through our hearts and minds like crazy. What do we do with the rushing river?

As I was reading Psalms 15 this morning one phrase really stuck out to me.

O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness
And speaks truth in his heart.
Psalm 15:1,2

No matter how good or how bad our day is going or how crazy our emotions might be today - we can always speak the truth in our hearts. It's actually very important to be honest about our feelings and the things we may be dealing with. God already knows - and when we pray - we have no need to shroud the truth. By simply being honest with him about our fears, doubts, mistakes and pain - we have free entry to His presence. And that is where we are refreshed and gain the strength to face one more day of caregiving.

Why would we try to conceal the truth of what we hold in our hearts? Are we afraid He will be disappointed in us? Perhaps we feel that He will reject us if He saw it all. But He already sees it all - and loves us anyway. He has the power to walk with us in the furnace so that we are not consumed by the fire. He carries us over the stormy waters so that we are not overcome by its waves. He is the only thing that is stable in our lives - let us run to Him with all of our questions and concerns.

Today I will meditate on His ever abiding presence and rejoice that I can literally tell Him everything. He will think no less of me because I do! I'll rejoice in His acceptance today - and turn to Him in my pain and grief. Will you join me?

She Does What?

This morning I was scrolling down facebook to see what happened in my world while I was asleep and saw a post from Jillian Michaels. She was out catching the premiere of a new movie. I always associate her with fitness and workouts and somehow in my mind she should not be at a movie. She should be somewhere kicking someone into gear and motivating them to get in shape! lol. When I see Jillian Michaels I always think of fitness or working out - her watching a movie did not fit with the image I had in my mind.

I wonder what people think when they think of caregivers. Do they think that that is all there is to our lives? While caregiving for many of us is indeed a 24/7 job, we still have to do our day-to-day tasks just like everybody else - on top of taking care of another person's needs. Caregiving is a difficult and time consuming position, but we still like the things we used to  do before like reading, hiking, running, watching a movie or having dinner with friends. But in many instances these activities are no longer reasonable; and sometimes they are nearly impossible.

How does God see caregivers? We really do not have our own class in His eyes. There's not likely a "special awards" program for us in heaven. *smile* But it is a good thing that He does not see us any differently than anyone else. He cares for us and loves us just the same as everyone else. He does not esteem us any lower than others. It can seem like the world (and church world) forgets about us, leaves us out, or ignores us. But God loves us exactly the same.

Romans 8:35-37 in the New Living Translation says this: Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the scriptures say, "For Your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us.

I am so glad that His love and care for us does not change with the tides of life. God is the only constant in our crazy worlds. His love for use will not wane or subside - but remains constant. As caregivers we can have crazy days; we really never know what might come up next. But one thing is sure - His love will remain steadfast.

Today, no matter how crazy it might get I will meditate on His constant and consistent love for me. Will you join me?

Never say "Never"

I've always heard that we should never say "never." I guess that's basically because we really never know what a day may hold. But last night while I was reading, I came across this scripture in Psalm 8. Verses 9 and 10 say this: The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord have never abandoned anyone who searches for you. (NLT) If anyone can use the term "never" it'd be Him!

Far too many times I have heard stories of caregivers who feel that their family and friends have abandoned them. On one hand, I really do understand that for the most part, people do not know what to do with us. We cannot always "get out" like others and when we do not fit the mold of the world, and sadly the church, we can be abandoned. Isn't it comforting to know that He will  never abandon us?

I love the passage in Isaiah 43 which says: When you go through deep waters and great trouble I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God. (NLT) He did not say we would avoid going through difficulties - but He did say we can walk through them and He will not abandon us.

It's far too easy for people to just walk away from uncomfortable situations today. That can leave the caregiver hanging in social isolation. But today, I will turn my thoughts and meditations to how He will never abandon me. I'll meditate on how He is a present help in trouble. Not necessarily a rescuer from trouble - but one who is with me no matter how rough or smooth the road lays out before me. I'll meditate on His ever abiding presence. Will you join me?

You Think He Knows?

As caregivers some days are better than others; as with life itself. Some days it's easy to find that groove and stay on schedule to get everything completed. And then there are days where it seems like everything just piles up on top of you. We carry a constant load; even on our best days - or our infrequent days out - it remains the same. Some days we can simply take in stride and then other days little things pile up. (The aide doesn't show up and you planned on running to the grocery store, to the bank to deposit a check for covering expenses, or to the pharmacy to fill prescriptions. Or you plan a day out and the person who is supposed to watch your loved one bails on you at the last minute.) Any little thing can topple us on any given day...and it can all add up to a much heavier load emotionally. But it's okay. We are like the energizer bunny..we just keep going and going and going...you do not get to stop being a caregiver.

So how do we deal with the day to day struggles, disappointments or heartbreaks? Rest in Him. Nahum 1:7 says this The Lord is good. When trouble comes, He is a strong refuge. And He knows everyone who trusts in Him.(NLT) He is indeed our strong refuge. He has enough strength to carry us and our extra baggage! He is not just a refuge - not just a place to hide (which is good) - but He is a strong refuge. We can hide in Him and He is strong enough to protect us, carry us and give us some of His strength to make the day. And you know what I like best about this scripture this morning? The last part.

He knows everyone who trusts in Him. For me that brings an immediate peace. He knows that I trust Him. And He also knows how weak I really am - but that I still will continue to trust in Him. Today just embrace that truth - He knows you trust Him. He knows that we are trusting Him for our next breath, strength to make the day, wisdom to make appropriate choices, and hope. Know He knows you trust Him.

But As For Me...

Psalm 59 was written during a very troubling time for David. I admire his writings because David was so open and honest with his emotions and his feelings. He didn't hesitate to say what he really felt. And in general, you never have to ask yourself, I wonder what he meant by that? Psalm 59 doesn't stray from this pattern as David talks about what he hopes God does to his enemy!

 Just about the time the reader thinks that surely David is way off and has lost it he redeems himself with this statement in verse 16: but as for me...

This phrase is then followed by David's declaration over his own heart. He says that he will sing of the Lord's goodness. He says he will not only sing, but do so joyfully. I cannot honestly say that I have been singing joyfully through adverse circumstances. David concentrates on what God is doing and who He is rather than the adversity surrounding him.

He says he will sing of the Lord's strength - not his own.
He'll sing of His lovingkindness...
He'll sing of how the Lord has been his stronghold..and refuge even in distress...

He didn't concentrate on what he felt God wasn't doing for him...but on what God was  doing. I must admit there are times I get frustrated because of the things I feel God is not doing on my behalf. But today, I will meditate on what He is doing around me, through me and in my situation. Will you join me?

Bad News Bears

Did you ever read a scripture and find it upsetting instead of comforting? I do sometimes but given enough time I can work back through to peace! lol!

 I was reading through Psalm 112 this morning and came across a frustrating verse; actually, two of them in the same psalm! Verse 4 and 6 stuck out to me and my first response was to whine. (I know I am the only one who ever does that!) Actually verse7 caught my eye first: They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. My first thought was I got bad news...that's how I became a caregiver.

 But after I read through the entire psalm a time or two my thinking finally balanced out somewhat. First of all, it does not say they won't ever get  bad news...but that there is no fear in the bad news. And that is followed up by the act of confidently trusting the Lord...even after bad news. It's a matter of trusting Him through whatever life may bring...not avoiding anything we perceive as bad.

Then verse 4 says:When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in. My first thought here was is that possible? For darkness to over take the godly? Not the sinner, nor the unbeliever but the godly. I found that an interesting statement. Being godly and walking righteously before God does not exempt us from life's situations, trials, or troubles. But the promise is that even when we are overtaken by circumstance and cannot see - His light will come bursting in! I think I like that AND I will watch for His light to break up the darkness that pursues.

 It's all about trust isn't it?

Looking At Today

Each day we get up - seems to look a lot like yesterday. Most days seem to be the same and it seems silly to expect anything different of today. Sometimes it seems that days are cyclical and just go round and round again with identical tasks repeating themselves...and so we face another day...

It can be easy to get emotionally sucked in when days seem to be the same. And just as easy to sink into the longing for days gone by - you know, back when we had a real life. Back when we could come and go at will and enjoy the park or the zoo for an afternoon. And other luxuries such as shopping for groceries without watching the time so closely, or catching an afternoon movie.But letting the thoughts run freely through the freedoms that have been lost will only bog us down...we really must move into today and embrace it. It's not the grieving over our lost past that causes the biggest problem; it's thinking it will always be this way that gets to us.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:34 do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. This is good advise which if followed will help us stay ahead of the little game our emotions can play with us. We must keep our thoughts focused on what He wants to do with us today. And while planning for the future is wise and necessary sometimes taking care of today the best we can is the wisest option!

Let's embrace today and make it the best today we can. The responsibilities of today can easily keep us distracted from what He is doing in us. But we must remember that what we see is very temporal. He continues His eternal work in us - His truth is not disrupted or distracted by the facts we see around us. He who began a good work in us - will complete it! That's worthy of meditation today!

Consider Job?

Sometimes Sundays are the most difficult since I spent years going to church. Some caregivers can get out a little more freely, but that certainly does not mean it's as simple as jumping in the car and heading out. There are so many other aspects to take into consideration...so today I decided to consider Job again.

I read the first chapter where he really lost everything. Yet he still worshipped. I don't think  I have passed that test! Actually, I'm pretty sure I didn't!

One phrase in the first chapter stands out. When the enemy came to ask permission from God to tempt Job to give up - he said this: Does Job fear God for nothing?  See, Job had everything possible back then. He was one of the richest men in the land and had everything going for him. It seems like when everything is going our way it comes easier to trust God. At least on the surface level it seems so.

With these thoughts it seemed like a good time to stroll through an old favorite again. I thumbed over to Psalm 91.But what I found was that there was absolutely no promise in this favorite psalm that assured us that we would see no trouble. Actually, it's because of the trouble that we seek refuge in the secret place! We seek refuge under His wings (v4) - from nothing? I believe the things listed in the first few verses are destructions that come on the wicked - we see them but are safely hidden in Him...however, there is no false security here that says tough times will not come.

Actually, in verse 15 the Lord assures the psalmist - I will be with him in trouble.  He didn't say that He would keep it from ever happening! Learning to trust sounds so simple doesn't it? It is easy - but much deeper than a surface level occurrence. Our trust and confidence must be that He will fulfill His word  and work in our lives no matter what it looks like to us! He will work His good pleasure - but that doesn't bring any promise of a pain free journey!

I hope to trust God like Job did - even in the face of adversity.He does not make a promise that our flesh will never suffer - but He protects the part of us that is eternal - absolutely nothing can touch that!

Back to Basics

Emotions can run high for many caregivers. We keep them all stretched out all the time. When things like recent natural events like the tornadoes in Alabama occur it seems to stir them up even more than usual. For me - I cannot even watch real intense movies or TV shows because the emotions are simply too raw most of the time. The emotional strain of caregiving can be very overwhelming - and difficult to control. Then add in a terrible tragedy like the recent devastating tornadoes and they can be difficult to get it all balanced and manageable again.

During the times that emotions are running so high it can also be difficult to find something solid to cling to. We know the Lord is our rock, our refuge and our constant hiding place but when the world is falling apart we need something to hold on to while we are hiding in Him!

These are the times we may find it beneficial to go back to what I call the basics. The most basic truth we learn as Christians is God's unfailing love. No matter what type of trouble life brings us this is a steadfast truth that we must cling to. God loved Job even while going through his trial, He loved Paul and Silas - and Joseph even in their prison cells. He loved Noah in the ark - it could not have been easy to see the whole world destroyed before his very eyes...he was a person and probably very emotional. Think about how it would make you feel to be the only ones left during such destruction. It would not breed pride - but rather great humility... the point is God loves. Our situations are not strong enough to change His love. No trouble can bring a tide high enough or strong enough to wash away His love for us.

Jeremiah says of God's love - I have loved you with an everlasting love...
Romans 8 says that there is absolutely nothing  that can separate us from His love...

Take some time today to rest in His love. His love is sure and steadfast and everlasting no matter what we face...embrace His love for you today.

Challenges are...Well...Challenging!

Many times caregivers are faced with huge challenges. It can sometimes simply be trying to make it through a particularly rough day. These are different for each of us. For my situation it's been transfers. That's not the only one of course - but that was the scariest part of bringing my son home.

As he has improved and I have improved my techniques it has become quite easy - or at least I don't dread it as much. I used to sit and contemplate each transfer and worry about it. Then after it was done I'd be relaxed and reward myself with a cup of coffee! Now it is just part of the day...

We start to get used to our own surrounding no matter what type of challenges they present to us. And maybe it doesn't get any easier, we just get more accustomed to doing them. We adapt to inadequacies and learn how to do what we have to do. Face it - we really have no other choice - it has to be done!

I've often wondered if God looks at us in our own frail state and contemplates how He is going to transfer us. You know, He has to move us from point A to point B even in our circumstance. As we learn to listen to Him and lean on Him I think those transfers get a little easier. sometimes He must lift us more than others and sometimes we can help out a lot!

I am not going to give up on caregiving no matter how challenging it is or it becomes. And God is not going to give up on us either. As a matter of fact one of my all time favorite scriptures is Romans 8:38-39. It says that there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from His love... nothing! It's also interesting to note that earlier in the same chapter Paul wrote the sufferings of this present time cannot even be compared with the glory to come. I think my trouble is that I concentrate on the trouble of the present time  more than I think about the glory to come!

So today - my meditations will be on the glory to come...and I have a sense that when I place my thoughts and heart on His glory - the present pain and trouble will fade into it...

It's In the Bible?

Sometimes as caregivers emotions can just run away with us. At least mine can! There are so many decisions that have to be made all on someone else's behalf. And for me that means no feedback. That can send my emotions into this turmoil and I can't seem to get it back. (that's when I need chocolate!)

When life gets tumultuous I usually run straight to the Psalms. So this morning I opened to Psalm 77.It is a familiar one. Asaph, the psalmist, is making his prayer to the Lord. In the end of verse 2 Asaph says my soul refused to be comforted.  Have you ever felt that way?

But it's the next verse that caught my attention When I remember God I am disturbed...disturbed? I am sure that blows some big theological thinking up somewhere! Aren't we supposed to feel peace when we think of God? But here Asaph is totally disturbed...wondering where God is, does God hear, and does He still care. And it's right here in the Bible!

In verse 7 Asaph is wondering if God even remembers him...verse 9 wondering if God is still gracious. Is that thought allowed? We tend to forget that the writers of the Bible were human...real flesh and blood containing real emotions that go along with life.

Verses 10-11 have been a mainstay in my life for years now. Verse 10 Asaph is wondering if God's hand has changed toward him.. but verse 11 he makes a decision. I will remember the works of the Lord. During troubling times, when we cannot see God doing something right here and now...just begin to recall all He has done.

I have found this process to be quite the load-lifter! Maybe I do not see God acting on my behalf, maybe it seems like He doesn't hear, perhaps it seems like He moved far away. That's when I chose to remind myself of the times that I know He has acted and moved in my behalf before...

Today's load may not change dramatically, but it will seem lighter when we remember the other times that He has carried us through.

Emotionally Stranded

  I was up late last night - and it wasn't to study my Bible. Lol. I was watching a dumb show. But each episode ended with things up in ...