Sometimes life just seems a bit too overwhelming. In the past weeks, I have watched friends go through immense seasons of sorrow. Young people lost in traffic accidents, just as their lives began to unfold. A high school buddy gone before his 50th birthday. A dear friend ending his courageous battle with cancer. Parents taken from their families right in the prime of life. Sometimes I think that we forget that Death is not a respecter of persons. Death does not seek out to rid this world of only the wicked and treacherous. Death comes to all of us at some point, but seems extremely “off schedule” at times. Young people are supposed to be born, grow up, get married, raise a family, and grow old before Death comes for them.
I’m reminded of an old church song that we don’t sing very much anymore. “No Tears in Heaven” was one of my daddy’s favorite songs. His quartet sang it often, and I can still hear the harmonious bass runs of the chorus in my mind.
“No tears . . . in heaven fair;
No tears . . . no tears up there;
Sorrow and pain will all have flown.
No tears in heaven will be known.”
The older I get the sweeter those words seem to get. I long for a place where there will be no more tears. No more pain. No more separation. No more doubt. No more guilt. No more stress.
But, what do we do until we get to that place? How do we smile through the pain? Laugh when our hearts are broken? Believe when the unbelievable shakes our world? Be strong for our children, when our own knees are buckling beneath us?
Our faith somehow gets us through this life. But what is faith, and how do we get it–or keep it when life throws us those proverbial curve balls?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen“ (Heb.11:1).
Faith is trust and belief. It acts as the support structure to hope. It gives us the ability to get up some mornings. It gives us the knowledge that “this too shall pass.”
Romans 12:3 states that God gives us a “measure of faith.” Later in Romans 10:17, we learn that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Jesus tells us in Matthew 17, that we don’t have to have a tremendous amount of faith. He says that only a small amount, the size of a mustard seed, will suffice. A mustard seed is tiny. It is smaller than an eraser tip on a pencil. Yet, the Bible tells us, we can do great things with only this small, seemingly insignificant, amount of faith.
Our faith is increased when we dive into Bible study and prayer. Getting into God’s word allows Him to speak to us, and to our situations. God is our Father, and He loves us. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that almost daily. He is MY Father. He loves ME. Although sometimes I don’t understand that, it is true. And MY Father understands when I hurt. He understands when I’m crushed. He understands when I cannot go another step. That’s when HE offers comfort. HE offers peace. HE picks me up and carries me. God WANTS to hear from ME. He WANTS me to talk to Him. He WANTS me to cry out to Him in those tragic times. He WANTS me to KNOW that He cares and has a plan to carry me through all this jumbled mess of a life.
Many times it is not until we have gone through a valley of life that we truly “get it.” We fully understand that God was right there beside us during those difficult times. The untimely death of a parent. A stage 4 cancer diagnosis. A miscarriage of a much wanted child. An unfaithful spouse after thirty years of marriage. A death of a young person seemingly snatched from the cradle of life.
My mother was a shining example of faith in my life, and I’ve thought of her everyday since her death in 2006. Following my father’s suicide in 1984, Mother sank into a real depression. She dealt with all of the “if onlys” and “what ifs” that follow such an event. After a year or so, her faith blossomed. There was nothing she could do to change the events of my father’s life, but she could use that experience to help others. In the twenty plus years that followed, Mother ministered to families that experienced suicide. She spent hours just talking to spouses that had gone through the same valley. She wrote notes of encouragement and understanding. She became an advocate for persons with mental health challenges, and she was a beacon in many lives.
She told me many times that the things of this life can make us “bitter or better.” Those words ring in my ears in so many instances. Satan uses our situations for his glory too many times. Life throws us junk, and we turn our backs on God. We blame God. Someone is surely to blame. God could have stopped this if HE had wanted to. God could have changed this if HE had wanted to. But He did not. So, HE does not love me. And I, in return, do not love him. We cannot let the troubles and trials of this life pull us from God.
Ecclesiastes 3 speaks of various “times” in life. There is, indeed a time for everything.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Isaiah 3:11 states that God will make everything beautiful in its time.
I love that promise. Everything will be beautiful in time. So, although to day is such a gray, cloudy day for so many around me, the sun will shine again. It may not be tomorrow. It may not be next week. It may not ever be the same as it was before, and sometimes life is changed forever. But it will shine again.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
God is right beside of us today–and always. We hurt. We ache. Our hearts are broken. But we are His children, and His love will get us through these challenging days. Do we understand? No. Do we question? Yes. Will we ever fully comprehend? Doubtful.
We just have to grab on to that small grain of mustard seed faith today. God will do the rest.
By Darlene Sweet | Sweet Talk | Article Link