Have you had moments when you feel so alone? You feel like no one understand? Sometimes, life can be so tricky and difficult that it feels like God has forgotten us. Those moments when you feel like you are doing your part but things keep going the wrong direction or continue to be difficult. The enemy can throw doubt in our minds to question if God is really with us or if He really cares. The truth is that God understands and is always with us. Sometimes, we walk away from Him but He never stops pursuing us. He is full of love and compassion for you and I no matter what. In Isaiah 40 God is described in His might and wisdom. He reminds the children of Israel who He is and How He works. He reminds them that He has not overlooked them; (vs 27-28), “27 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
One of the things that God continue to train me is the importance of surrendering to Him. Sometimes, I don’t understand the things I face, the pain I feel, the stress I carry, but in surrendering it all to God, I am comforted. What can I do any other way that would help? I have not found a better way than to cry out to God and surrender it all to Him. If you are going through a tough time, trust the process because God is always faithful even in situations that do not make sense. Still go to Him and not away from Him. Still talk to Him and trust Him. He will never disappoint you. Do not give up!
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off…..7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?…..23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139 NKJV).”
Every person goes through some sort of suffering in this life. It may be the death of a loved one, sickness, financial, marriage or relationship problems, divorce, loss of property, etc. It is part of normal life which means most people know to some level what it means to suffer or go through painful moments of life. But what about when pain or suffering is not just a moment but prolonged. For example in case of disability, chronic illness etc. Unless you have dealt with such a situation, it is difficult to come close to understanding it. Some people think a person gets used to suffering and others think you get over it because it’s like a “norm” for that person. But pain is pain and doesn’t get less because someone lives it for a long time. No one becomes an expert of enduring pain because they suffered very long. Prolonged suffering usually slowly can eat up into the person dealing with it. That’s why people who appear to be handling it well are suddenly gone, and people are left surprised that no one saw it coming. For many years, I suffered with chronic illness in my family, after a painful divorce. As a single mother, my hospital bill maxed every year faithfully meaning $6000-7,500 out of pocket after insurance covered the rest. Not to mention many days, weeks and months of being hospitalized, so not working. Having rent and all other bills to pay, etc. Talk of the emotional, mental with sleepless nights, worry, advocacy etc. Talk of stress of working at keeping job in the midst of all this and acting at best conduct even when I felt like crumpling. The suffering was beyond words and nothing ever prepared me for what I had to face each day with my child at the time. The friends and family could only go so far because they too have their own to worry about and when it is an always situation like mine, it is normal for people to get tired. Don’t forget, a friend in here and there leaves the rest of 95% or more of the time on your own. What got me through was intentionally focusing on gratitude for the glimpses of goodness around me. I have shared testimony of goodness in my life and it can seem like I was covered. But that was the focus that kept me going because the reality was that no one could attend to my situation because it was too much. Think of Job in the bible and all he went through for a long time. His friends as well as his wife got so tired of him that they wanted him dead. They accused him of sinning in secret, etc. This is all part of prolonged suffering. He endured so much pain but in the end, He was restored. And in His suffering, God was with him because and kept him focused. God was glorified in Jobs faithfulness. I intentionally kept my focus on God and His blessings even in helping me get through each of the difficult days. About 12 years of intensity and God came through and stabilized my life. Not perfect or without suffering but nothing close to those 12 years. If you are going through suffering and the pain is too much, if you are wondering if people care enough, if you are wondering if you will make it through, hold onto hope. No one else will understand but God alone. Focus on the small rays even when darkness seems to overload your current world. Trust God no matter what. Give thanks for those who bless you even if it may be a small scratch to your big situation. God is faithful and will see you through if you don’t give up hope. And in His timing, He will give you a way of escape.
“You will never be tested more than you can bare but with every temptation, God will provide a way of escape for you. Never give up hope!”
A farmer plants grain in his garden after preparing it. Very quickly, some green starts to sprout out of the ground and fills the garden and has no rhythm to it. This makes it very difficult for the farmer to distinguish between what he planted which is grain, and what grew on its own which is the weeds. It all looks the same. The farmer must wait until the crops grow enough to know difference. By the time that happens, the weeds are taller than the crops, the roots firm and had to uproot and it is a lot more than the crop. If a farmer is not careful, it is easier to uproot the crop because the roots are not as firm and the crop is hidden below the weeds. It takes time and caution to take out the weeds and keep it off. This is very true for our lives we being the farmer of our lives. Whenever we start a project, it is important to know who we let in. The wrong person into your project will overshadow it and will also be difficult to uproot once in it. It is important to always watch who you let into your circles and to what level. At the end of the day, it will impact you and your success. If a farmer was to let weeds and crops grow together, the crop would definitely not be healthy and would most probably die before yielding fruit. So are our life projects. Wisdom is key.
Your day can be made because you made someone else’s day in a simple way. I stopped at a Sam’s club gas station to get gas and a woman approached me from the opposite side seeming upset and discouraged. She said, “would you please swipe for me your membership card so I can get gas? I forgot to bring my card.” I said sure, and I did. She was so happy and said a loud thank you. She was with someone on the phone and she said to that person, “Imagine this lady helped me.” After getting gas she came over and said, “I had approached five people and they all ignored me. You are the only one who don’t look like me but you helped me.” I couldn’t imagine why anyone would refuse to swipe a membership card for another person because it costs nothing. Besides, I have forgot my membership card many times I believe many people have forgotten theirs. Four people overlooked her for such a simple thing. She went ahead to tell me She was on her way to work and was completely out of gas but would get to work in time now. She blessed me and was so happy. It cost me absolutely nothing but I made her day. I was so glad I was the recipient of her joy and blessings. Sometimes, all it takes is to genuinely smile at someone who is overlooked, or hold the door for someone and give a compliment to make someone else’s day much better. And in being a blessing in simple ways, we can be more blessed by the joy of those we bless.
It is better to give than to receive. This morning, I woke up to photos of a young child who was rescued from extreme circumstances and placed into loving home. It was amazing to see the change in him in Seven days of being with us. Looking back at the sacrifices our family and many supporters have done, it was all worth it. Giving is for the sake of the other person but is also has a way to fulfill the heart of the givers. The overflowing joy that follows can’t be compared to holding onto all what we have for ourselves. It is the reason I pray that God make me a blessing. Great joy comes with giving. I am often reminded of God’s generosity to us by giving His own son for our sake when we did not deserve it. For me, it is the reason I feel blessed to give to those who do not know me and those that may not ever give back to me. Because I have already been given and because God is faithful to His word; “38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV).
Ever taken an inventory of your spending for a month to see what you spend on? Many times, we blame a lack on money as a reason we don’t do the things we wish we could. Like making our children a priority. Investing into our children pays off in great ways. Starting with time. Investing time into your children as a base for everything else you do with them. Some of the activities made available are assumed to cost a lot without checking into them and getting facts. As a single mother under very difficult circumstances, I realized that prioritizing things in your life make a great difference on the outcomes. If we let life go as it comes, we can live to wish and never have our wishes come to reality. Making a conscious decision to prioritize will bring many wishes to reality including in your children’s life. We must practice asking the question about everything; “What is more important, my child or ….?”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 NIV).