July 20, 2014

God is our refuge and Strength

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog. My life has been crazy over the past few months. Normally my summer is rather boring, but I've been almost constantly busy and haven't had much of a chance to slow down. The past month has been filled with a lot of goodbyes and a lot of heartache for myself, my family and my church. This alone isn't necessarily what is the hardest part for me though. Satan has been attacking me over the past month or so... more specifically over the past few weeks. I've been struggling again with fear and depression: two of my lifelong weaknesses. I've also been rather self-absorbed giving myself a pity party without entirely realizing it. All I've been able to focus on is how awful this is for ME and how this is going to affect ME. I haven't thought much about the other people involved.

A few weeks ago my great aunt died. This is my grandpa's twin sister. That was a very sober thing because, as far as I know, nobody knew if she was a Christian or not. About a week later my uncle died (dad's brother). This was another hard one because we weren't sure if he was a Christian or not, but thankfully I have been told that he may have become a Christian before he died. Thank God! One week after his death, an older lady from our church died. She was a wonderful lady that loved everybody and God. I will always remember how she asked me how I was doing and how my son was doing. She was sweet and feisty. :-) A few days after this lady died, our pastor announced his resignation as lead pastor for our church. He is leaving in a few weeks. I have to tell you, that this last announcement has hit me the hardest. I will explain why.

About five years ago my now ex-husband and I were having another rough patch in our marriage. Pastor K and his wife decided to meet with us every week for several months to try to help us out. That was my first insight as to what these two were like. :-) Three years ago to the day, I moved back to Nebraska and to this area after leaving my husband. Pastor K was the main one to help me through the most difficult times. I remember going to him crying because... I just didn't know what to do. I hit the point where I was scared of everything and totally depressed. He listened to me and gave me words of wisdom and was basically like a father to me. The church would call this a shepherd.... someone who looks out for the flock. The flock being the church. (Disclaimer: This does NOT discredit my own father and how he has helped me over the years.) He is also only one of several people who have been there for me over the years. He's just the only one leaving.

Pastor K gave a sermon this morning based off of Psalm 46. The first three verses go like this:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

I love these verses. They seem to fit so well with what is going on right now. I have been feeling so uneasy about everything going on right now. I know that God has great plans in store for me, but I'm having a really hard time looking past my current circumstances. On my way home from church, I was really thinking about everything and these verses. I realized that I have been holding on to all these things going on and not really giving them over to God. I have been carrying this burden by myself. Sure, I've been crying out to God and basically begging and pleading for answers, but I've still kept myself worrying about everything. God is my refuge and my STRENGTH, an ever-present help in time of trouble. I don't have to carry these burdens on my own. God promises that He is our STRENGTH. He will carry these burdens for us. We just have to give them to Him. And when troubles come our way, we don't have to worry about them because he is ALWAYS there for us when we need Him. This verse in John keeps coming to my mind: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” These are the very words of Jesus. He never promised life would be easy, but He did promise that He is greater than our troubles.

Wherever you are right now... I hope you realize that God is right there waiting for you to run to Him with whatever is going on in your life. You don't have to take this road on your own. Reach out to Him. You will NEVER regret it.

Father, I pray that you would be with all those that are hurting right now. Give them Your peace that transcends ALL understanding. Reach out to them right now, Father, and comfort them in their grief and sorrow and desperation. Reveal yourself to them in a very real way. These things I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen