"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." ~ Helen Keller

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May The Lord Bless And Keep You

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

This blog was always meant to be a positive place, a place of encouragement in a discouraging world. I haven’t written much of anything lately. Truth is I have had trouble finding anything encouraging to write about. I’m no preacher and certainly not a model Christian, though I do love the Lord and try to live for Him best I can. But Lord knows (as well as everybody else!) that I am a far cry from the Christian or the person I need to be.

Like so many of the unfinished writing, art, and other projects lying around my cluttered house, I am one of those “works in progress.” I know the Good Lord isn’t finished with me yet. I haven’t been able to write anything encouraging lately because I haven’t even been able to encourage myself.

The Bible says that when David was struggling, he “encouraged himself.” I’ve always tried to do that, as well as encouraging others. But there are just times when it seems like life targets you and a thunderstorm of trouble comes your way, with literally everything that can possibly go wrong actually going wrong.

Lately I’ve felt like a kid stranded in a heavy rainstorm with the streets flooding and just climbing up a light pole and holding on for dear life; trying to hold on to my faith, my peace, even my sanity some days. In times like this your mind starts messing with you and you may even start thinking God is mad at you or out to getcha. I know I’ve had my share of those thoughts.

We’ve had an awful lot of rain in our region lately and that’s unusual. Farmers love it, gardeners are happy for it…it is a blessing to this part of the country. But honestly it rained and stormed so much, both literally and figuratively, I started to wonder if we would ever see the sunshine again.

Well you know what they always say, nothing good lasts forever. Not sure I agree with “them,” but I do know this. Nothing BAD lasts forever either. Sometimes you just gotta ride it out, whatever it is, like that kid in the rain clinging to safety till help arrives. And I know from my own experience if you cry out to God for help, He will answer.

Things can be awful…the worst you can imagine, and in the blink of an eye, one touch from Him can change everything. One hug from a friend, one message from a preacher, one line from a song, one memory of a past victory….God can use so many things to encourage us when we are too beaten down to encourage ourselves.

He is not “out to get us.” He loves us with an everlasting love, and the very second we reach out to Him, He is there with outstretched arms reaching for us.

If you are struggling today, I just want to tell you, Friend, I’ve been there, and it sucks. I’m really sorry for whatever you are going through. But don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on God. He always brings the sunshine after the rain, and everything looks spectacularly clean and beautiful. Hang in there.

I never intended this blog to be overtly “religious,” but more a place of encouragement and thoughts for positive living. However, I find that as a Christian I simply can’t separate my relationship with God from my life, for a blog or anything else. But, if you are not religious, please don’t feel that I am attempting to be a preacher. I am just relaying my own experiences and what I know God has done for me.

People have many ideas about God and who He is. I can’t say that I agree with them all, but I judge no one for their beliefs, or for their lack of belief in God. Whatever your beliefs, I want you to know you are a welcome guest here. I think one of the most important things I have ever learned is "Judge not or you will be judged in the same way you judge others."

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back again. I will leave you with what I think is one of the most beautiful passages of scripture. It is a blessing that I wish for you, and I hope it gives you peace.

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
  The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
  The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."
                                                                          ~ Numbers 6:24-26