There is a morning coming

The Penance of David, Psalm 51

The Penance of David, Psalm 51 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many times in the Psalms, David cried out expressing his honest emotions. He expressed depression and frustration. Even though he was the king of Israel, he had troubles and cried many tears. He even spent many years hiding and running for his life. He knew what it was like to mess up and fail greatly. But, after all the suffering, he found hope.

In Psalm 30:5, 11, 12 David wrote

For His (God’s) anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,

that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

I’ve often felt discouraged, depressed and disheartened. It’s easy to feel when things go wrong that God is angry with me, that things are hopeless. Many times, David’s situations were pretty bleak and he did some things that could have made God very angry forever. If God can forgive David and turn his weeping into joy, God can do the same for you and me.

Blessings.

You Are Not Alone

Sometimes, I can start to feel pretty alone and cynical. Not everyone is kind in this world. But what I keep forgetting is that there still are some kind people out there. The Lord has not forgotten us and He can send other people to help us.

I have some stories about times I was a moron and other people and the Lord did come through to help.

One time was when I was on my honeymoon with my ex husband. I had only been married a few days. Neither of us were very fond of the outdoors or insects. So, we were at a big park. I wanted to go into the buggy woods to see the lake and he didn’t. So, we agreed I’d go down the trail a few minutes, see the lake and come right back. Well, I forgot that I had NO sense of direction. I couldn’t find my way back even though it was only a few minutes away. After a half hour of wandering around in the woods, I found my way out. Except that I wasn’t anywhere near where I needed to be. I had no idea how to get from where I was to where he was waiting for me. So, I just kept walking. I walked around in the countryside for hours. Remember – I have no sense of direction. I can’t find my way when it’s a short trail let alone wandering around out in the middle of nowhere! I was praying, hoping God would help me get out of my mess. Eventually I found my way back to the main highway, which in itself was a miracle for me. Unfortunately, I still had no idea how to find my then husband but at least I knew how to get back to the hotel which was many miles away.

At one point, an ambulance came speeding down the highway in the direction I’d been and I thought, “Hmmm. I really hope they aren’t looking for me!” A few minutes later, an ambulance pulled up next to me on the highway and stopped. The driver asked, “Are you _______” And I said, “Yeah, I am” (By now, I’m feeling like a total moron.) The driver replied, “Well, we’ve been looking for you, get in.” So I got in and the ambulance took me to the police station. Then the cop drove me back to the park where my then husband was waiting.

Apparently, some nice people had come to the park about a half hour after I’d gotten lost. They had a cell phone and were able to call for help and comfort my ex who was worried sick. While I was alone and in trouble, those kind people, the local ambulance drivers and police departments were all looking for me. By some miracle – I managed to not trip and hurt myself on the rocky trail. I managed to not run into the wrong people and I managed to find my way to a spot where the search party could find me. I was rained on and tired after hours of walking but I was ok.

Oh no, I’m being a moron again…part #2
Another time, I decided that I could get home on the gas I had in my car. I was wrong. As I was nearing my exit, my car started slowing way down. Stepping on the gas pedal did nothing. I managed to just barely coast onto the exit ramp by driving on the shoulder while annoyed motorists sped by on my left. After I came to a complete stop on the shoulder of the exit, I flipped on my hazard lights, turned my car off and looked for my purse.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take my purse that day. It was at home – a few miles away. I had no cell phone, no credit cards. I did find twenty dollars in my car. Halleluiah! I figured I could walk to the nearest gas station, buy a can and walk back. Before I was able to even walk off the exit ramp, two people had rolled down their windows and asked if I needed a ride to the nearest gas station. It wasn’t that far away, so I walked.

But, it was nice to know that there were several people who were willing to help me out in my predicament. When I got back to my car with the gas can, a cop happened to be driving by. He pulled over behind me and put the gas in my car for me. (And speeders can thank me, because while he’s helping me, he’s not out writing tickets!) So, three people stopped to help me in a mess I basically got myself into.

The next morning, my car wouldn’t start on the little bit of gas that was in it. I prayed, “Lord, if you’ll get me to a gas station, I WILL fill it right up this time.” On my second attempt, the engine purred to action (oh, such a beautiful sound) and I drove right to the nearest gas station.

Oh brother… moment #3
I went to the grocery store with my debit card. Unfortunately, the pin for the card wasn’t working anymore. I didn’t have a backup plan. (I know, big mistake). The store didn’t accept credit cards, so they couldn’t run it through without the pin. My cash was at home. I asked them to hold onto my groceries while I went home and got some money.

As I was walking out into the parking lot, feeling pretty down for a number of reasons, I heard a woman behind me call out “Mam…” I turned around and she said she would like to pay for my groceries for me. Wow. I was amazed by such kindness. I wouldn’t let her because I’m stubborn. But, it really meant something to me to have someone be so kind and concerned about someone else. That was a gift to me that was greater than the money she could have given me.

If you’re feeling alone, take heart. It’s ok to reach out. There are many kind people out there, please don’t let those who aren’t discourage you. I hope these stories also help people to know they are not alone when they feel like morons or get themselves into a big mess. I know all about that! And remember – God can send US to be his angels to help others when they are in distress.

The Struggle to Forgive

When I got divorced. I felt rejected and unlovable and my future didn’t feel very bright. Honestly, feeling so unlovable and depressed made it hard not to feel somewhat bitter and resentful about my circumstances. I was angry with my ex and angry with God. I would listen to people talk about forgiveness and I would cry. And not just a few tears. I would really cry for a long time, wishing I could let go of the ongoing story in my mind about how my ex hurt me and feel truly free.

I don’t think about it as much anymore. The main reason I kept bringing it up in my mind over and over again is because I BELIEVED the negative things my ex said about me. Going over the painful story of what happened in my mind was my way of trying to disprove what my ex said about me. I wanted to believe I was a person who was lovable and valuable and normal but kept thinking – what if the things he said are true? What if I really am abnormal? Would everyone reject me?

The thing is as much as the comments hurt, they don’t have to define who I am. I can choose to remember what the Lord says about me instead of believing the crap other humans say. Christ thought I was valuable enough to suffer and die for. He feels the same way about you.  (To learn more about what the Bible says about how God sees you, read Our True Identity)


Seeing a Glimmer of Hope

Another reason I had so much trouble letting go of the past was the hopelessness I felt. Like life was dark and I’d never feel happiness again.

One day at church, I heard a pastor talk about the story of Joseph in the Bible (Genesis 37-50). Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and then thrown in prison because his slavemaster’s wife falsely accused him of rape. He was in prison for years. He had every reason to be resentful of his circumstances! But he wasn’t. After many years, he was released and became governor of all of Egypt. A famine came and Joseph’s intervention saved thousands of lives. Including the lives of his brothers who sold him into slavery in the first place. Instead of retaliating against his brothers, Joseph talked kindly with them and gave them the food they needed. He told them “What you meant to harm me, God meant for good to save the lives of many people.”  

THAT is the key. It is horrible the way people hurt each other in this fallen world. But, that is NOT the ending. Whatever others do to harm us, there will come a day when something good will be brought out of it. No matter how dark it feels right now, you won’t feel hopeless forever.

If you are struggling to forgive someone, please don’t give up. It’s hard, I know. It can feel like you want to let go and just can’t. It’s common to feel that way. It can take time for your feelings to line up with your actions and your will. Keep praying for those who hurt you, keep trying to let it go, keep reminding yourself of your value, keep holding onto hope. Eventually, your feelings will change for the better, but it will take persistent effort. You’ve been hurt enough already, please don’t hurt yourself even more by going over what happened again and again in your mind like I did.

Knowing that Christ suffered to forgive and heal me can also encourage me to keep going in the struggle to forgive. To read more about that, please click here.

Not Yet Home

This world is not our home. I am grateful for that. There will come a  day when we don’t have to deal with illness, car problems, work stress, layoffs or irritating people. Our real home is in heavenn. Knowing this can dramatically change our perspective.

Sure, I get discouraged by troubles. But, keeping in mind that earthly problems are only temporary brings me fresh hope. An it gets me thinking about what I should do wihile I’m here on earth.

Two things strike me as important – my relationship with God and doing good to others.

The really cool thing is that other people aren’t the only ones who benefit when we do good things. Scripture promises that we ourselves will be rewarded for every good thing we do.

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

And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
– Matthew 10:42

Rich rewards are also promised for those who seek God.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
– Hebrews 11:6

I found God when I heard about what Christ had went through for us at the cross. To read more about that visit Path to Heaven

To be honest, I frequently struggle with earthly problems distracting me. Writing this article has reminded me that I need to focus on what is truly important. I hope this inspires you o refocus on the things in your life that truly matter.

Many blessings.