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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

Have you noticed the news lately? There seems to be no end to the troubled teens, high crime rates, teen pregnancy, school dropouts, poverty and a lack of morality in this country not to mention the world.

Over the past few years I have cried out to God much like the prophet Habakkuk, “Why aren’t you doing anything about this? Why are you allowing those of us who truly follow you suffer the consequences of those who don’t? (Not to say that we are perfect)

The pastor of my church just finished a series entitled “Live Sent”. He challenged us to prayer walk our neighborhoods asking God to show us how we could reach our neighbors. He had the audacity to tell me I needed to do more, by getting out of my house and meet new people and share God’s love.

He was nuts. He was right. I needed to come out of my hiding places (the walls of my home and out from the written word) and become “Jesus” to those around me. And dare I say it, move outward from my neighborhood into the community. I wasn’t to be a Bible thumper but show love and build relationships. One neighbor, ended up in the Bible Study group I had been in three weeks later.

A month and a half ago I was called by someone at my daughter’s middle school and asked if I would like to become a mentor. I went to the training session just to see what it was all about. I walked out saying “It’s not my thing.” Why should I give a half an hour a week to some one who probably was not there on their own accord and rebellious to the core?

God gently reminded me that even a middle school student needed His love. I felt ashamed especially when I looked at my own daughters. They aren’t perfect or have the perfect parents. What they do have are parents who try to live as an example of Christ. If I can give another middle school student a little hope and godly love, it would be worth it. That is what it’s all about, being available to what God has for me. I can’t wait to meet the middle school student I am going to mentor.

What about you? Will you live sent and do something with the pain, hurt or need you see around you? Maybe He is waiting for you to say “yes, I will go.” Maybe it will be the local pregnancy center as a counselor, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, or feed the homeless. It could simply be getting to know your neighbors next door.

WARNING: Don’t ask unless you are willing to get out of your comfort zone, because He will answer.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21 (NIV 1984)

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Lesson From Pain

Recently, my fourteen year old daughter sliced her finger at church. The pain was not too bad but the next morning she shook in agony. We went to the walk- in clinic where she was told stitches were needed. I hated seeing her in so much anguish hurt me.

As we waited for her finger to numb, I squeezed the other hand and prayed with her.

“Father,” I said, “please give Laurel the ability to calm down. Wrap Your arms around her and allow her to feel Your presence. Show her that You see the pain and that it matters to You because you made her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

A few hours later when I got home and alone, my emotions let loose. I cried and talked to the Lord. The vision of her lying there, shaking in pain overwhelmed me. I would have gladly taken her place.

Then God gently reminded me of His pain when His Son hung on the cross. The physical agony was intense no doubt, but what was worse was the separation between Father and Son. Where I could hold my daughter’s hand through it all, the Father turned His back because He could not look on the sin Christ bore for us. His Son felt the separation we would have felt, had He not died for our sins.

The pain of my daughter not only gave me the opportunity to tell her God sees and cares about her, but it reminded me that the greatest agony anyone can experience is total separation from the One who created us (Matthew 13:42). It was a wonderful lesson for me, impressing on me when God gives me the opportunity to share His love, I need to do it.

Are you in pain today?

Whether it is physical or emotional, know that He sees it and cares about it because you matter to Him. Go to Him. He will bear it with you.

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering
produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV 1984)

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