All posts tagged: suffering

The 1 Prayer You Need When Your World Goes Dark

God sees you.

He is keeping track of the misery you endure.

Your very tears are catalogued and counted.

And God will rise up to help you.
Can we say with David: It is God’s word I praise and in Him I trust and I am not afraid? Can we say it, too? Even with quivering voice, a touch of fear, or a cloud of doubt, can we speak it out loud into the dark?


When It Hurts To Go To Church (Part 1)

Come into the wonderful light in which you were called and live brave, big, quiet, joyous, different than you ever thought possible. Hold tight onto Jesus’ wounded hand, remembering this:

“If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (4:16).”

A Song and A Sacrifice (How Suffering Works)

And now I am here, normal again. Recovered. Yet it chafes.
And like an uncomfortable jacket or maternity pants that clench too tightly around the middle, I wriggle out and slough off normal. And like old Bilbo, I think often of the adventure and feel often a misfit in my own life.
And today, it occurred to me that the sweetest presence of God I’ve ever known came through like birdsong in winter or the warmth of spring sunshine after a long season of ice and snow.
I felt God’s presence most when my singular objective was to be alive.

More Courage: Just Enough to Rest {a story of a baby lost}

Courage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty Encourage: to make (someone) more determined, hopeful, or confident This is a story of more courage. {It tells about my empty spaces, where I found I had none, and how Courage came through the cracks of brokenness.} I never felt my vulnerability more than when I was pregnant with our daughter, Isabella. Except of course, when I was pregnant with our daughter, Annalia. Eight years separated these sisters and a brother in between, and although every pregnancy seemed to rub raw the edges of my confidence, something happened before my daughters that caused me to wrap arms around my soul to keep the badness away. Each daughter’s birth was preceded by miscarriage.

The Advent Fulfilled: The Unbelieving Priest and the Promised Prophet

Sometimes I imagine what characters of the Bible may have been feeling, taking in with their senses and experiencing behind the narrative in the scriptures. I do this to understand, to find sight where the details are few, to stretch within the miracle of scripture and find the human-divine connections. I do this to better understand. Every Christmas, I think about old Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, and his unbelief and the unique discipline of silence exacted upon his by Gabriel. In my Christmas devotions today, I write from Zechariah’s voice, or thoughts, not to pretend that I know what he’s thinking, but to search for the deeper story of God’s faithfulness to us, even when we grow older and jaded and overly-familiar with God. He can make life spring up in the barren places (Isaiah 35) and give us joy and delight (Luke 1:14) where there had only been despair and sadness. God is always good on his word. And God is always good, as Zechariah learns here: Long ago, many years ago …