We all struggle (or have struggled) with suffering, and when it comes to real suffering, my friend Michele Cushatt, guest-posting today, understands the struggle firsthand. Without giving away her story (which you can read in her books and watch on my interviews), Michele knows what it’s like to lose her footing and to wonder if she’d ever again be able to stand. She also knows what it’s like to cry out to God for grace and discover the miracle of His presence and His purpose right here, right now
—Colleen Swindoll Thompson
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” —Jeremiah 31:25 NIV Recently, I found out a dear friend is in hospice. After years of fighting breast cancer, she now faces the imminent end of her life. My heart hurts.
(Image from Unsplash)
Over the years of our friendship, I’ve watched her face her foe with joy and unwavering belief in God. Her spirit—even in her real moments of struggle—gave me courage when I faced my own life-and-death battle. It gives me strength still.
And yet today, my heart feels only grief.
Christ, our ever present strength, our unconditionally loving and kind and forgiving Lord is waiting for you to reach out and rest in His calm hands.
Without question, he defined what it meant to be a “Renaissance Man.” Michelangelo—born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni—is remembered as one of the most gifted Italian sculptors, painters, architects, and poets of all time.
(Image from Unsplash)
In fact, some say his approach to art was almost mystical. It’s been said he would study the blank canvas or chunk of marble and see in its shadows the finished product. Only then would he begin to create works of legendary art.
As with all sculpting and shaping processes, a variety of tools were needed. Some rocky surfaces required . . .
God hears our silence, which demonstrates our faith that God is with us wherever we are.
It’s been referred to as . . .
- The “Golden Rule”
- The law of reciprocity
- Proactive action
- WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?)
- Strong moral code of conduct
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD DO TO YOURSELF!
In other words . . . just be kind. Easier said than done.
Because we live in a broken world, because hurt people hurt people, because it’s easier and cheaper to be bitter than forgiving, and because the church often lacks understanding about mental health care few address their wounds in a healthy manner.
In addition, most therapists are underfunded, cannot find reasonable office space, and often must office too far away from their homes. Because mental illnesses rank in the highest disability category, something must change.
Heather Nelson, founder and executive director of Khesed Wellness, has worked to make healing more affordable and available for those seeking mental health care. She seeks to bridge the gap between churches and mental health communities. Heather specializes in the intersection of faith and sexuality.
Come what may, God is not defined by what we encounter or endure.
He clung to his phone like a threadbare lifeline. Hearing his laugh is a symphony of joy . . . it’s not the norm for him in life. My son Jon is now 19 and a HALF—that half is desperately important to him.
(Image from Pixabay)
For his whole life, he’s been in pain:
He’s aware he doesn’t fit this world. As his mother, I must say there are very few things more difficult than raising a child who “doesn’t fit.”
The unspoken message rings loud and clear on a daily basis: he regularly receives attention from medical specialists, education teams, or worse, bullies and people who look through him as if he weren’t there.
His loneliness is almost suffocating at times.
For 19 and a HALF years, we have tried almost everything . . .
Painful events, shocking discoveries, and dark valleys offer us the choice to either trust God’s Word or ignore it.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs . . . who isn’t familiar with those jolly dwarfs whistling while they worked? I still remember the clink-clank of their mining tools, the whistling as they walked home.
(Image from Pixabay)
The magic of those old Disney movies stay with us.
But what happens when there is no movie-magic, no joy? What happens when the whistling stops?