When The Earth Keeps Spinning, But Your World Has Stopped

standard September 9, 2015 5 responses

Sometimes life is incredibly hard and there’s no getting around it. There are times when you go to bed with a broken heart, certain that the earth has quit spinning, only to wake up the next morning and find that it had the audacity to keep going even though your world has stopped.

Have you ever experienced this kind of pain?

Maybe you were carrying your first baby and were thrilled that God gave you the desires of your heart only to find out that you had miscarried and the doctor wants to know when would be a good time to schedule the D&C. ~  No, Lord! There is no good time to let go of this baby!

Or maybe you have spent the past several years building your family, trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible and out of the blue your husband tells you that he’s filing for a divorce.  ~ Please God, don’t let this be happening!

Or it could be that you received a phone call from the doctor’s office saying that they would rather you come in to discuss your test results.  ~ Help me, Jesus! I need You now!

Or what if the unthinkable has happened and you are given the devastating news that your loved one is simply gone. Their life is over.  ~ There was no time to even beg God for mercy.

This is part of My Story and it is now the story of a family in our community. A young man went on the football field on Friday night to play in his first high school game and he left the field fatally injured. It was a terrible accident.  ~ How can this be, Lord? How could it have happened? It’s just a game and now lives are forever changed.  ~ The family members and friends of the young man, his teammates and classmates, the opposing team members…all of these people have experienced their world stopping in an instant.

No matter the circumstance, it still remains that God is sovereign. Yes, you will hurt. Yes, you will cry rivers of tears (and you should!). Yes, your grief will threaten to paralyze you at times. But trust me on this: your God is faithful and you WILL experience joy again.

We serve a big God and He is big enough to handle your hurts and your questions. Take them to Him, like Job did. “If only my grief could be weighed and my devastation placed with it on a scale. For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas! That is why my words are rash.” (Job 6:2-3 HCSB) Call out and be honest before Him. God already knows how you feel, so give Him your pain.

After my brother, Jeremy, died it took me well over a year to begin dreaming dreams again. And longer still to sing “It Is Well With My Soul.” But day after day Jesus held me in His loving arms and slowly but surely made my soul well again. Eventually, I found that I wasn’t mad any longer that the earth was still spinning.  It didn’t bother me quite as bad to see people going about their everyday lives, completely unaware of my pain. I finally submitted to God’s sovereignty and found solace in the Word of God, especially Isaiah 55:8-9:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
“For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

What’s even better is that a few verses later in Isaiah 55:12, we find a beautiful promise from our God:

“You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;”

Yes, my friend, there may be pain in the night and your personal world may have stopped spinning, but rest assured there is indeed JOY in the morning and He will once again peacefully guide you.

Jesus, you know our hearts and the pain we are experiencing. Wrap Your arms around us. Take this wrong and make it right. Restore our joy. Amen.

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If you feel comfortable, will you share your story? Please leave your response below.

 

America the Broken

standard April 28, 2015 1 response

I live in a bubble. Not a perfect bubble, but it is pretty insulated. But no bubble exists today for the city of Baltimore, as it has been burst wide open. Monday’s riots were described as “crazy,” “chaotic,” and “surreal.” Protesters were outraged over the death of Freddie Gray and what they perceive to be undue racial profiling. Their grief is real and it is raw.

Protesters took to the streets chanting, “No Justice, No Peace!” Fires were set to businesses, rocks were hurled at police, and looting was rampant. The governor was forced to call a state of emergency for the city. Schools were cancelled, a curfew was set in place, and the National Guard was brought in to enforce safety. (Source: The Baltimore Sun) Obviously, the violence was out of control.

America the Beautiful is now seen as America the Broken.

So what is a bubble-dwelling Christian to do in response to such a broken situation? Pray. I can pray for peace and healing to come to a broken city. I can pray for my words to be used to extend grace and love rather than oppression and hate. I have no idea what it is like to live as a young, black male in gang-ridden neighborhood, but I can pray for him. Just as I have no idea what it is like to be a local law enforcer in a dangerous city, but I can pray for that officer.

There are prejudices that I don’t even know exist just because of the family that I was born into and the color of my skin. But others have to deal with them regularly. Prejudice happens to all races and all genders. I think the cry is how can we be more aware of these “hidden” prejudices? Instead of hurling the axe, what can we do to improve our own ignorance and receive grace for ourselves and give grace to others?

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

There will undoubtably be social injustices in the future. And there will be additional riots to ensue. Just as there will be personal prejudices to work out amongst ourselves. But we do have hope in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world. And until He returns, we can pray.

Take heart, Baltimore. We are praying for you.