Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘hope in Christ’

We are more than overcomers because of our faith.-Suzie Eller (1).png

I lay in the shared room, my teeth clicking uncontrollably as waves of pain radiated throughout my postpartum body . The anesthesia wore off as quickly as it was injected and now, with my son safely swaddled and tucked in the neonatal unit, I begged for relief. The sure precision of the doctor’s blade had etched a wide path across my stomach and broad, grey staples spanned what represented my infant’s gateway into the world just minutes before.

Certain the new mother was exaggerating her discomfort, nurses only responded to my husband’s swift intervention. Finally, a blessed dose of Something Wonderful delivered relief from the throbbing ache.

A faint line still tracks across my lower stomach, testimony to the excruciating pain I once endured. A symbol of both suffering and triumph.

Pain of any sort holds to a set of laws.

Law #1 Pain is Prominent

Whether pain’s root is physical or emotional, it raps loudly on the door of self-awareness and announces its presence–each pound of the fist a reminder of its determination.

An unwelcome guest, pain is a loud, unrelenting tenant who penetrates a heart, mind or body like a tick imbedded in tender flesh.

Jesus, who chose pain on our behalf, never denied or romanticized its existence. Instead, he confirmed what we already know. “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration”…

If he’d stopped there? Oh, the hopelessness! But, friend, keep reading.

“but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:32-33 Amplified Bible)

Because of Christ's death, love has already proclaimed the victory. Click To Tweet

Because of Christ’s death, love has already proclaimed the victory. The moment we move into eternity, we’ll exchange our robes of hurt, sadness and living-on-earth for those of joy, peace and Jesus-in-heaven.

Law #2 Pain is Passing

Even though pain may seem unbearable...the ache we feel today..will one day cease. Click To Tweet

Even though pain may seem unbearable and despite its unfavorable ability to create one shockwave after another, the ache we feel today or tomorrow or even next year will one day cease.

It may continue–for now–but we can tattoo God’s word on our hearts. Impress it in our minds. Immerse our souls in hope.

Scripture reassures, “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” (Revelation 21:4-5 MSG).

Law #3 Pain is Productive

Like a woman in childbirth, pain produces an end result. This, though, is something in which we a choice. We can determine how we’ll respond to our experience.

Will our endurance result in bitterness or compassion? Antipathy or faith?

Romans 5:35 (NIV) explains, “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

The Comforter dwells in us. When we invite him to minister to the needs of our spirit, the spirit within becomes apparent. Click To Tweet

The Comforter dwells in us. When we invite him to minister to the needs of our spirit, the Spirit within becomes apparent. He’ll guide us when we stumble. Intercede in prayer when we lack words. And, provide hope when we feel hopeless.

We can’t avoid the thrust of the proverbial knife in our lives, but our patient perseverance will lead us to a new life birthed in eternity. As teacher and author Beth Moore notes, “You can’t quit now. Your almost Home! Our time lines are an inch long against the backdrop of eternity. we can do this thing for the five minutes we’re here.”

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Our Enemy may destroy what he can, but he cannot touch the soul of saint.

Throwbacks to an era of the past, small towns exemplify life’s experiences in microcosm. Simple stick-built homes of varied colors stand testimony to the men, women and children whose families have forged a living from blue-collar industry or the fragility of seed and soil for more than a century.

The gnarled, callused hands of old men gathered in the local coffee shop curve around steaming mugs of liquid and some tip their heads back in laughter at a one-liner. Friends since youth, they share a brotherhood of unspoken bonds that traces itself through the towns’ past like the purple veins intertwined beneath thin, worn skin.

Women mingle in the honey-colored community center to celebrate the blossoming of a young woman’s stomach; her cheeks stained pink as generations–both children she babysat just a few years ago and friends of her grandmother–congratulate, tease, and praise. Blue and pink paper streamers drape from the ceiling as she carefully peels tape and wrapping paper from the package resting in her shrinking lap to reveal a delicately crocheted blanket. Tears gather on her lashes as she thanks someone dear for stitching love into each tiny loop and chain.

Still, the Enemy plots ill-will against those whom he hates and the lives within small towns are no less an object of his wrath than those without. One awful day, he marshals evil and sends it ricocheting among God’s people–stealing breath from infants with souls fresh from heaven and aging saints raising hands in worship.

He is like a lion devouring and destroying wherever he roams. His roar reverberates through small towns like Sutherland Springs, Texas as he claws and maims the innocent. The powerless. The defenseless.

But, God is the great Lion of Judah. His rule and reign are eternal while the Enemy belongs to a temporary coalition of spirit rebels who will bow a knee in submission to the Defender. The One who pronounces guilt and brings justice. The One who swallowed up the little lion by His revolutionary resurrection and assurance of eternal life for His children.

Our Enemy may destroy what he can, but he cannot touch the soul of saint.

 

Father, 

Our hearts ache for the lives of those lost and for their friends and families. We know the Enemy thinks he has had his way with your people, but You are the Mighty One who saves and we thank you for being with your children even in that last moment before they stepped into the throne room of heaven. Not one has been lost. (John 17:12) We pray for mercy and healing in the broken lives of families and a community ravaged by evil. Reveal yourself to the people of Sutherland Springs and heal our land.

In the powerful name of the Lion of Judah,

Amen

 

Read Full Post »

herbal-2562218_1920

In the still of the morning, my small world is quiet and peaceful. The muffled whir of the washing machine and rhythmic inhale and exhale of my old, sleeping dog just behind my writing chair are the only sounds. A few breakfast dishes litter the kitchen counter and I ignore a freshly dried pile of darks perched on the couch.

Enfolding a warm cup of tea in my hands, I pause and whisper a prayer of thanks. For a new day. For family and friends. For safety.

Yet, my thoughts continue to focus elsewhere—returning again and again to the images I’d seen splashed across the television screen. People franticly veering left and right, desperate to escape a madman’s deadly rampage during a country music concert. Mental footage of homes laid waste by raging winds and water like a child’s broken set of Lincoln Logs. The eerie, glowing skyline of California only broken by charred remains of what had once represented the lives of hundreds of people. A human right’s activist gripping photos of a recent Syrian massacre in which babies gasped helplessly for elusive, life-giving air.

Suddenly, my peaceful morning transforms and I’m overcome with feelings of helplessness.  Hopelessness. Grief.

What hope is there for a world that destroys itself? For people brought to their knees by forces beyond their influence? For victims of the evils of terrorism and hate?

I’m reminded of a moment of vulnerability and, perhaps, even accusation when Lazarus’ sister, Mary, runs to meet Christ as he approaches her home. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Mary held Jesus responsible for her brother’s death. Why didn’t you come, Jesus? All of this pain—my pain—could have been avoided if only you’d done something.

Can you hear the unspoken words? Have you ever thought them yourself? Why, God? This just isn’t right.

But, the beauty in this story? Jesus wept.

He felt Mary’s pain. He felt death’s presence. He grieved the brokenness of a world meant for so much more.

The story doesn’t end there, though. With the trail of tears still wet on his cheeks, Jesus called Lazarus from death to life.

“Lazarus, come out!”

Healing cannot go any deeper than life reborn and that is what the Life-Giving God shouts out—to you and me. To the men and women crying out for hope. This isn’t the sort of Pollyanna, feel-good hope borne of positive thinking or some falsely produced, happily-ever-after emotion from within.

Hope is real, dear Friend, and His name is Jesus.

He sheds tears over the pain of His people, but He is powerful enough to break its chains.

There is a forever tomorrow.
There is refuge in Someone.
There is Light in the darkness.

Do you hear Him calling you today? “Child, come out!”

Blessings to you today,
Tammy

Tune-In-Thursday-longMasterGraceTruth-600x800Kelly-Balarie-23Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250FaithnFriends-RBPatriciaHolbrook_RW_button3A-e1485727161169Linky-Party-1

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: