Four Refreshing Words

Sometimes I wish life would offer a little heads-up: “STORMS AHEAD!” I’m not saying I need all the details, but wouldn’t it be helpful to have a five-minute warning like the meteorologist gives when a tornado or storm is on the rise?

This summer, it would’ve been helpful to know my husband’s herniated disk treatments would take twice as long as we thought, or that Alzheimer’s disease would take away more and more of one friend’s memories, or a member of my family would be diagnosed with cancer along with two of my friends. I could’ve used a warning that parenting would be more challenging than expected this summer. Just a little heads-up would have been great—nothing huge—a traffic sign that alerted me there’s a bend in the road up ahead.

Then, something surprising helped my perspective.

Ragged to Refreshed

Feeling more ragged than refreshed as I drove my son Jon to his first few days of school, I wondered how I would fit in the added two-hour commute to our already packed schedule.

I was aggravated about the growing traffic . . . and we all know how I feel about traffic! But on the way to work after dropping off Jon, I listened to a podcast which spoke words I have been repeatedly hearing from the Lord. Of all things, it was a business podcast on the topic of the heart and how we must constantly keep it in check because it’s what gives us life.

While sitting in traffic, I realized traffic and Alzheimer’s and cancer and family demands and even more traffic are not the root of my frustrations. I realized that God is directing me to focus on my heart’s condition—its need for care and healing. Frustration, pain, loss, being wounded, or whatever shuts us down internally requires time and attention. If we don’t slow down and attend to our wounds, we tend to believe we would be fine “if only _________ didn’t exist.”

Not so true . . . it’s the “_________” that exists in our lives that God uses to slow us, so we may be refreshed with His healing care.

Reminder of Truth

Hebrews 4:15–16 says:

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (NLT, emphasis added).

In Greek, the term translated “let us come” indicates an ongoing action of running to Christ; for Christ also suffered, understands our suffering, and is capable of helping and holding us as we suffer.

Let Me Hear from You

So I have to ask, how’s your world these days?

  • Has life surprised you with an unexpected event or diagnosis or change?
  • Are you running ragged trying to meet life’s demands in your own strength, or are you focused on Christ, who is with you to give you strength?

Healing takes time—necessary time—for us to find that the bigger picture is about our heart, not our circumstances.

I’m repeating one simple statement these days; I encourage you to as well as we learn to walk by faith: “LET GO, LOOK UP.” Will you let go of trying to control and instead look to Christ for help? In fact, what is one area or thing in your life you will choose to hand over to the Lord?

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