This season of the year is not joyful for everyone. Put bluntly, some dread it. They are filled with such melancholy memories of painful days gone by, they find it hard to sing the carols.
“Joy to the World!”—not really.
“How Great Our Joy!”—well, maybe for you but not for everyone.
Now, before you call me “Scrooge,” I suggest you return to the first century and meet a disciple of Christ who fit this category. This disciple was a man who always saw the glass half-empty.
When Jesus invited the Twelve to come with Him to Bethany, where He planned to raise His friend Lazarus from death, “so that you may believe,” this downcast soul shrugged,
Let us also go . . . that we may die with Him (John 11:14–16).
Later, as Jesus spoke of His plan to leave the earth, go back to glory, and “prepare a place” for His followers before returning for them, it was the same, sad individual who failed to get it. And so he grimly sneered,
We learn in the midst of hard times not to run but to dig . . . to dig deep and trust that the Maker of the wind and rain will also provide shelter and peace and hope and we need not fear.
An Interview with John and Lynn Hampton
How many times have we heard someone say, “God has a wonderful plan for your life”? I stopped counting years ago; maybe you have too. Reconciling the truth that God’s plan for our lives is good when all we are experiencing is pain can cause tremendous confusion.
After all, Scripture emphatically says:
No matter where you are or how deep the darkness seems, you are not alone—the one, true Light is always with you.
It started like most days when I work at home . . . coffee, comfy sweats, quiet music, definitely no make-up. My son Austin was home from college for a visit.
He was showing me some stuff I needed to do to be healthy—an almost impossible task—and we laughed, I listened, and I promised to give his suggestions an honest shot.
He went to grab some breakfast; I headed to my office.
That is the last thing I remember.
May the Lord provide brilliant light when darkness seems to prevail.
After my first marriage fell apart, I vowed that Christ would return before I would ever consider getting married again. Why on earth would one desire a messier life than I had created by age 40 . . . HONESTLY!
Meeting people—well, okay . . . men—occasionally wasn’t problematic. People fascinate me, and I enjoyed making new friends in the aftermath of it all.
On the Mend
One guy stood out as a fantastic, lifelong . . . friend. We could—and did—talk for hours. His kids, too, had a history of health challenges. He was . . .
Beneath the struggles and the emotions, through your faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit working in your life, you possess the ability to endure, to persevere, to fight the good fight, to run across the goal line. God helps you run the race like a champion.
We all have wondered, What would happen if I dreamt up ideas filled with spontaneity, the unknown, a bit of risk, a thrill—and actually pursued that dream?
How many of us let loose long enough to find out what would happen?
Believe in God’s character and run to Him for hope. Take a leap toward the One who promises to help you through.