Monday, October 31, 2011

Not Better, Not Worse... Just Different

Four years ago when I lost my husband, I used to think it would have been better if he had died as opposed to leaving by choice. I thought at least then, perhaps I would still be able to know that I was loved and cared for until the end. But instead not only was he gone, he also didn't care. I not only suffered loss, but rejection as well.

Although I feel like I have accepted my reality, some days it still grieves my heart.  I remember in the beginning I wished that I could just have at least one day where I didn't think about what had happened.  I have many of those days now.  But it has still changed me.  The experience has shaped who I am and will always be a part of me.

It's interesting, though because we tend to think we know so much about what would be better or what would be worse. There is a blog that I like to follow, written by a man who lost his wife and child in a tragic car accident earlier this year. The thing I like about the blog is the honesty of emotion. And I realize with each post that I read... it's not easier. She is still gone. He is still left alone in a house full of memories as God shapes his new reality as well.

Each story is unique. There's not one better. Not one worse. They're just... different. However, in the dot dot dot in between, there is the One, same Jesus. The One who is always there to care for the brokenhearted. The One who has come to make all things new. The One who will, one day, restore creation to its original state. One where there is no more pain. No more death. No more rejection and suffering. Praise be to the One who was wounded for our transgressions. The One who has special care for widows and orphans. The One, true God, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Real Life Look at Fear

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." I Peter 5:7

I don't normally do this but I was writing in my journal tonight and just felt like I should type it out exactly as I had written it down. I do pull a lot of my blog content from my random ponderings in my journal but I have never actually written word for word from my journal. Be forewarned that my mind did get distracted a bit as I was writing.

Lord, the more I learn about current events, the more afraid I am. I feel like we are seeing the end times described in the Bible. And now with this Occupy Wall Street and Obamacare and everything else that leans on making us more dependant on the government, it just makes me nervous. I don't want to live in a world controlled by the government.

Ugh. I wish these dumb dogs would quit barking. Ever since the people moved in across the street, their dogs bark constantly.

Anyway, I guess that was a good distraction. Lord, help me not to live in fear. Help me to realize my strength in You and that I don't need to be dependant on a man to keep me safe...

Grr! These dogs! I feel like Elaine on Seinfeld.

I guess the thing I'm most afraid of is that conditions here in the U.S. will become like those in other countries where there is no freedom. Where people are put to death for their faith.

Lord, I am looking forward to Your return to be free from this. I think, "Well You will come back before it gets to that point," but it already is to that point in other countries. They are already having to endure this stuff and are already being persecuted for their faith.

Lord, give me this day my daily bread. Today really does have enough trouble of its own. What if You did come back tomorrow and I spent all of my time worrying about a future... a future that never comes? What a waste. Lord, You have met all of my needs today. Thank you. I pray that if the worst thing I could imagine does actually happen in this country, that a ram would also be making its way up the other side of the mountain in the form of Strength, Courage, Provision and a Peace that passes all understanding. You are all of those things, Lord.

It helps to write through these things. Thank You, Lord for reminding me who You are.

P.S... In case you were wondering, those dogs across the street are still barking! (-;

Monday, October 17, 2011

Is it Okay for Christians to be Angry?

"Be ye angry and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:26-27

Twice in the last week I've heard Christians reference not allowing themselves to be angry lest the devil get a foothold.

Really? Don't be angry? Think happy thoughts? This type of thinking has been referred to as Pollyanna thinking. I don't think that is what Paul is saying in Ephesians.

If we say, "I am not going to let myself be angry over this," does the anger magically just go away? Is life suddenly daisies and roses? I don't think so. What has happened is that the anger has simply been masked.

If you stand next to someone who hasn't showered in weeks, you are certain to notice an odor. The solution isn't to just ignore the smell or douse on some perfume. In the same way, that just masks the underlying problem that is still there. The solution is to wash and be clean, thus dealing with the root of the problem.

When Paul tells the Ephesians to be ye angry and sin not, he is speaking about taking off the old self and putting on the new. Be ye angry is part of putting on the new. Be ye angry.... and sin not. We must deal with our anger. We are not to mask it, pretend it's not there, or act out in toxic ways. All of these may lead to sin. Being angry is not the sin. We sin when we act out in anger because we have failed to deal with it properly.

So what should we do with our anger? I believe we should confess it to God.

Lord, I am angry...

This is why I am angry...

This is what I want to do with my anger...

Reveal to me the root of my anger and help me to deal with this. Lord, help me to be ye angry and sin not. I don't want my anger to give place to the devil so I am confessing it to you. Lead me in the way everlasting.

The Lord has already promised that anything we ask in His name he will do. He wants to help us work through the process. It may be painful but it will be worth it. And on the other side is victory and a testimony. The question now is which pain is worse? The pain of change or the pain of staying the same?

It's okay to be angry. Just don't let it build and fester and give room for the devil to come in. Deal with it and allow God to deal with you.