Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Suffering, perseverance, character AND HOPE!

I recently read "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch and would highly recommend it. I have some thoughts I want to write about, but I saw the following verse...and it seems to fit the moment, so I'm going with it.

Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

This was the verse of the day for www.Biblegateway.com today. (By the way, if you don't always find time to open the Bible, check it out. GREAT resource!)

This comes during a time over the past week that gas prices have continued to go up and down, wall street took a tumble, government bail-outs, and some movies coming out that are downright disgusting!

I'm thinking the above verses not only are just for us, but for the world. Wow, is there suffering! Lost jobs, lost loves, illnesses, hurricanes, etc. Knowing that we don't suffer in vain is a small comfort. I love the word perseverance. That is truly a gift God has given us as humans. We can all use a little more character and then we get HOPE. My current buzzword.

I urge you to look beyond your front door. There may be suffering in your life right now, don't be afraid to reach out and get help....also don't forget...God might be using YOU to be somebody else's help...and HOPE. Don't let suffering be in vain. Use the pain to help somebody else through their struggle. A lot of times just realizing you are not alone in this big world is a huge relief!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Finding level ground

Since the last post (figured I better post something and move that one further down the page!), we've had Labor Day and school has started. Time continues to go by too fast. There seems to be lots of "stuff" happening to lots of people. It's easy to lose ground and feel frustrated and confused, etc.

Bible Gateway had Psalm 143:10 as the verse of the day. I liked the "lead me on level ground". I could use a little level ground after the ups and downs of the past month(s). My/our issues aren't even that bad when compared to what some are going through. Some days it doesn't take much to make me feel far from God...which is my fault. He's there, but I need to remember to talk to Him and include Him in my plans....not going it on my own (which, honestly, I do a lot). I read a little further. It's a Psalm by David, as in King David. That man had a lot of issues especially for the time period he was in.

Psalm 143 (NIV) 8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

So, how do we get to level ground? Put trust in God, request God to show us the way, hide ourselves in him, let God be our teacher and let the good Spirit lead. Will life always be easy? Unfortunately, never this side of heaven. Can we take things a little more in stride? We can try. The following verses come before those above. Sheds some clues on how to get to level ground.

Psalm 143 (NIV) 4 So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. 5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. 6 I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

When we're feeling those bumps along the way, we remember and meditate on the ways God has done for us before....even when we didn't see the whole picture until we look back. We continue to praise God because our soul is thirsty and God is the everlasting drink.

I'm feeling like a rah rah cheerleader girl. I guess part of that is because it's easier to talk about depending on God when we're coming out of the darkness instead of being in the midst of it.

PS The word has been surrender, surgery definitely made me do more of that...including asking for help, which I'm not good at. The word for now? HOPE I heard it many times today!