“How to . . .”
“How to . . .”
“How to . . .”
Sometimes the Internet leaves me wanting.
Having perused what seemed like every website and social media page on the Internet, I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
I did find everything from life hacks to little houses, family celebrations and fantastic vacations; but where was the website to help my feelings of discouragement and disappointment? I found nothing that offers the neural connections human beings need in real life. Human companionship and physical presence cannot be replaced. But there are times when we are isolated or feel unable to get out.
As a caregiver, friend, and life-struggler, finding hope begins with knowing what we need and asking God to provide it . . . which He can do in the most unexpected ways if our hearts are set on finding soul food.
I had just come home from a spinal procedure that was supposed to alleviate pain I had been experiencing for months . . . okay, years. Relief didn’t happen. The pain persisted like a toddler bent on finding a way around every possible boundary. The continual pain was MADDENING!
Feeling thoroughly defeated, I lay in bed with my laptop. I knew what I needed and desperately searched for it . . . and it showed up. For three hours, I soaked in messages of hope—words and passages that filled my dry, discouraged soul. Here are a few:
- It’s okay to question God’s timing—just as David did in Psalm 13.
- God has a purpose for allowing continual suffering—just as He had with the Israelites wandering in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:2).
- I can choose how I handle being misunderstood—like David did when he faced Saul’s fury (1 Samuel 19).
- I can trust God with His timing, knowing that sowing and reaping take time and trust—as Jesus taught in His parable about farming.
- I can know that, although suffering is promised, God is GOOD—as we are reminded in the books of Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter.
Truths to Count On
Through my reading on that painful afternoon after my spine procedure, several themes emerged that I believe can help you where you are today. If you are discouraged, disappointed, or in a difficult situation, count on these truths:
- God’s hope shows up in unexpected places. Seek it wherever He has you today.
- God can speak to you when you feel isolated . . . if you’re willing to listen.
- God is always present. Releasing your expectations for how He will show up must be your first step.
- When up against those who oppose/betray/slander you, choose to worship God as David did. Any other response to what God is allowing in your life won’t measure up.
When you seek God first you may not find what you are looking for, but you will find what your soul needs.
As the sun set in the cool air of fall, I felt enormous comfort. I couldn’t run from pain but searched for a purpose in it. I had been humbled and reminded that God, NOT ME, has full control. My soul was full of truths and promises taken in because I first set my mind on finding soul-filling words found only in God’s Word.
Let Me Hear from You
I know you have continual challenges, and you’re wondering why the Lord hasn’t made things better. Will you ponder these questions:
Have I released my expectations for what I want God to do?
Are my prayers focused on surrender or relief?
Am I willing to worship while others willfully betray me or blast my character?
What truths from Scripture do I need to affirm in my life today?
Reach toward Jesus with open hands and consider one of the four questions above. How can I encourage you as you choose to shift your focus?
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