"...But oh, life itself sometimes spins out-of-control and it's beyond our feeble attempts to comprehending its twists and turns. I suppose this is why we are counseled to 'lean not' on our own understanding. For indeed, sometimes life does NOT make sense." ~Sharon
This was part of a comment that Sharon, a special friend, at Sharon Sharing God posted on another one of my dear friend's blog post,
Grieving For My Niece & Trying To Forgive Her Killer. Cheryl from Homespun Devotions has shared with us the tragic story of her niece's murder, and the pain and suffering her family is going through.
Here are a few words from her post.
"I never dreamed she would be forced to leave us so early...and by way of such unimaginable violence.
It makes my heart ache to think of what she endured during those last moments of life....
and to know that the face of her killer was the last face she saw."
"God, please rest her soul.
Jesus, please hold her close.
Please let her know how much she was loved...
how much we will miss her...
how much we mourn her loss."
"I ask that you please pray most for my dear brother, David.
Victoria was his youngest daughter.
His heart is so broken.
He seems inconsolable."
I am so grieved about Cheryl's niece and for the pain and agony her and her family are going through.
I was able to join Cheryl and her son that day that they visited Victoria in the hospital before her surgery.
As Cheryl wrote, this was the last time she visited with her niece.
I feel humbled to have been able to pray with Victoria and them that day.
However, I can't help but to wish I would have said a little more or prayed a little harder.
Even though I didn't know her or anything about her, I now wish I would have talked with her more.
It makes me think about other people I come in contact with throughout my day. Am I reaching out to others the way I should?
I had been feeling this way before I heard the news about Cheryl's niece.
Since my daddy's illness, I have been more mindful of the needs and trials of others.
(I wrote about daddy here.)
It also gets my mind off of my own worries for a while.
There are so many people going through difficulties and sufferings in ways we know nothing about.
Kind words have meant so much to my family during this time. Just the smallest gestures can be so touching. I want to be able to touch others in a way that will help and minister to them.
I want to be mindful of the needs of others.
I want to go the extra mile to always share a smile, speak, start a conversation, or ask someone if I can pray for them.
Oh, it's so hard on me right now with daddy.
I will finally, after almost two weeks, get to see him this week. My brother and I are taking him to his appointment. Although I am miserable from missing him so much, I am anxious and nervous about it.
I wonder if he will be confused, in denial, angry, difficult,
or if he will be
happy, glad to see me, and loving.
It could be all of the above.
He is in an extremely nice care home, and until he is able to return home, I hope he will be allowed to stay there. It all depends on his behavior, so I am praying everything will remain in-check and under control.
Lord Jesus, help him and all those caring for him.
I know how much love and care my daddy needs during this difficult time, and I am so thankful for those who have given him excellent care. I am so thankful for the prayers of family and friends.
Life can change in an instant for anyone.
We may never know the impact we have in some one's life. We may never know how a prayer or a kind word affected someone.
We're living in a broken world with broken people. We all have mountain moments and valley moments.
Years can go by with fairly smooth sailing, and then
The storms of life and be so fierce. Like a squall, a large storm can rapidly develop capsizing our boats and pounding us to nearly drowning.
I shared a devotion in my previous post about how we must anchor ourselves, like a ship, steadfastly upon the Lord. Then, come what may..... whether winds, waves, rough seas, thunder, lightning, jagged rocks, or roaring breakers, we must lash ourselves to the helm, firmly holding your confidence in God's faithfulness.
I heard a song today by the McKameys that says,
"Remember when the waves are over your head, they're under His feet."
We may never figure out why we're slap dab in the middle of storms, but like Sharon reminded me in her comment to Cheryl,
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5
From the Shepherd's point of view, it all looks different anyhow.
God, and God alone, knows everything.
We cannot lean on our own understanding!
At times, we cannot even comprehend enough to know how or what to pray, and then we only have strength to anchor down. In such case, the Holy Spirit knows how to pray for us.
What a precious gift!
What blessed assurance.
Even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us!
We have to throw ourselves down at His mercy.
His is omnipotent(all powerful)!
Through life's storms, we must trust in God with all our hearts!
surrender everything to the All Knowing and All Powerful!
And if we love Him, we feed His sheep!
John 21:15, 16,17
We are also instructed to
In all things give thanks!
How can we rejoice and give thanks unless we trust him completely?
How do we do this when we're crying and hurting?
We must try!
We must trust when we're hurting the most, and when we're under the waves.
This is why we need each other. This is why kind words mean so much. This is why a smile and a "God loves you." touches a person's heart.
When we're anchored down yet the storm is fiercely bearing down on us, isn't it a comfort having someone there urging us to hang on a little longer, reminding us to focus on Jesus instead of the storm, praying with us, crying with us, believing with us, pulling us up above the waters, anchoring with us until the storm passes?
Jesus will be with us through the storms, He never leaves us!
I recently studied a picture similar to this one.
Knowing how scared I would have been, it is easy to see why these men were frightful. Then I thought, if that had been me, wouldn't it have been amazing if I could have just sat right down in that boat trusting Jesus for total safety?
If you really dwell on it, it shows just how important Proverbs 3:5 is about not leaning on our own understanding.
On the other hand, we see storms every day and people dying. We see loved ones suffering, and even though we know God is with us, we are unsure of the outcome. Let's face it, people do get sick, people do face tragedy, people do die.
"...and as it is appointed unto men once to die..."
However, Job puts it plainly in verses 21 and 22.
"...and Job said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
God is God!
He spoke and all things were created.
He gives and He takes away.
We have to entrust Him with what He created, which is ALL THINGS!
Through the storms
through mental illness
THROUGH IT ALL!
How can we halfway trust an all-knowing and all-powerful God?
We fail miserably, I know I do, but His mercies are new every morning!
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities...Heb. 4:15
We can trust him to help us in
trusting Him more when our lives seem to be spinning out of control.
He loves us!
We need to reach out to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with His compassion and love. We need to build each other up with His word, and we need to show this same compassion to the unsaved. If they see our love, they will see Jesus' love.
Here is another sweet song from the McKameys.
"When He Speaks"