Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Not special, but Strong

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are strong. Stronger than you know. Stronger than you give yourself credit for. Strong despite those who left you or hurt you. Your worth is not a variable that someone can thumbs up on Facebook, or unfollow on Twitter. Your worth is grounded in who you are. Who God made you to be. Even on your worst day, after your biggest mistakes, in your loneliest places, you are worth something.

 

No matter how much loss you’ve experienced, rejection you face or road blocks in your way, the fact that you are still here, still alive, still waking up each morning, putting one foot in front of the other and weathering whatever storm life brings, proves your strength! I don’t care if you break down and cry, or get lost in periods of depression or self-hate. I see your strength when you put on a brave face and show up to work on time, smile at a stranger, or make dinner for your kids.

 

Take time to appreciate how far you have come without drowning in the awareness that there is still further yet to go. Notice the wounds that have become scars. Maybe they aren’t fully healed, and maybe they are still tender to the touch, but Praise God for the ones that no longer bleed!

 

This life is hard; but take comfort in the fact that your struggles don’t make you special, because we—individuals all over the world, are with you, struggling together. Your struggle is like a unique snowflake but together we are snow helping each other stay alive, whereas alone we might melt. Today I am praying for you, in the same way I hope you are praying for me. That we keep fighting, we keep surviving, and we keep overcoming.

 

You are strong! Find your strength.

 

 

 

 

#firstworldproblems

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I tend not to complain out loud about my problems unless I am talking to my mother– since we all know it’s every mom’s duty to listen dutifully to just about everything you have to say regardless of whether you are 25 or 40. If I complain about my issues to anyone else it might sound overwhelmingly like #firstworldproblems, an impression that may only be partly wrong. I called my mom once… –just last week if I’m being honest–in the middle of the night after I hadn’t been able to sleep all night for 3 nights in a row, plagued by my own mental demons, and she picked up. She picked up– even though at that time she was with a patient who would be taken off life support soon.

 

She was just reading a few bible verses to him, and I am pretty sure he couldn’t hear her and was totally unaware of his surroundings or anything else for that matter, but I was shocked that she as a physician was taking time out of doing her rounds to read some verses for a patient that couldn’t hear her and to pray for him before he passed… and also that amidst all this that she picked my call because she was worried about me. I proceeded to tell her I was completely fine, she should get back to work and after I hung up I began to cry. The perspective that the call gave me forced me to tell myself that: hey you should be happy and grateful you’re not deathly ill or dying, and that your problems are so small, and in the grand scheme of things– probably even meaningless.

 

But the truth is minimizing our problems by comparing them to someone with bigger problems can be both helpful and at the same time hurtful. It can invalidate your hurt and your pain and trust me it is incredibly hard to heal from something you don’t fully let yourself feel. If you don’t come to terms with pain in your life because ‘hey there are people starving in Africa and you have it much better than them,’ which may very well be true, but that doesn’t mean that your suffering, albeit privileged suffering, is any less real or any less hurtful. Much of our own life is shaped by our mind–our thoughts, and thoughts can be powerful enough to cause a person to pull a trigger, jump of a bridge, or prevent them from trying to achieve something they have always wanted to achieve.

 

It is good to be grateful and to see life from a perspective other that your own. Be thankful for your privilege. But also be gentle with yourself. Know that it is okay to let the small things sometimes get to you. It’s okay to not be invincible all the time. To feel weak, overwhelmed. It’s okay to simply just let yourself feel. Now it’s another thing to dwell, to sink, to never move forward. But just for today I want you to be honest with yourself about the emotions you’ve been keeping bottled up, the frustrations laying there right under the surface of all the pretense and fake smiles and cheerful demeanor. If you can’t be real to people at least be real to yourself, because honesty takes you to a place where true healing can finally begin.

 

I’m angry at God

Sometimes if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I am completely and totally angry with God. 

child-tantrum

 

Okay, maybe as a fellow bible believing Christian you’re confused, so let me try to explain.

 

I suppose I can compare it to the kind of anger a child feels towards a parent that is ‘absentee.’ Maybe a father or mother who serves in the military. You get the weekly calls, the gifts on your birthday, you know that they love you, but you’re angry because you simply feel robbed.

 

You miss getting tucked in every night, the in-person bedtime stories, or even just waking up in the middle of the night, running to their room when you’re scared and knowing you’re safe in the house because you can see that they are still there.

 

I’m angry with God because I can’t see Him. I don’t care that this is how it has to be or whatever theology that is present to explain it away. I know I am being unreasonable, a petulant child,  and I still don’t care!

 

It’s not always enough knowing that ‘God is there or that He cares.’ Sometimes I want to see Him! I want Him to come down off His throne, and give me a hug and show me that He is there. I want Him to sit with me late at night and tell me stories of how things were back in the day in the time of Moses, or Ezekiel, and Joseph. I imagine His voice to be so deep and comforting.

 

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I want Him to paint me a picture of how beautiful and bright the future will be. I want Him to hold my hand, to envelop me in a hug. Let me crawl into His bed when I’ve had a bad dream, or to be able to look into His eyes after a long day and see that my suffering causes him pain too. I just know that He would look lovingly back at me and simply say “There, there my child.”

 

Sometimes I feel so broken inside and I know He is the piece of me that I’m missing. When sleep eludes me, or I’m wrestling with my demons inside, He is the one I want to tell.

 

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If I could have anything I wished for in this moment, I wouldn’t wish to end world hunger or violence or pain, even though all these things weigh heavily on my mind. All I would wish for is to just once see His face, to say “hi” to God, and hear him respond with a “Hello my child. I see you, and I’m right here.

 

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Follow your arrow

In life I think the hardest person to accept sometimes is ourselves. Our parents, our loved ones, our friends, our society, tells us who we should be and how we should be it. We follow laws and religions blindly, and judge other people who are following a different system just as blindly. So rare it is for people to have an original thought, an original idea. Our outlook is so much formed by outside forces that some of us never truly become our own person.

There is a time in life when we can continue to follow the path and the ideals that have been set out for us, or we can decide to break free. Become an individual. Represent ourselves, instead of a system. We can be truly free. Not bound to the noose that we allow to be put around our necks.

You know the picture of a fool? Someone who sits in a jail cell for all of their lives not realizing that the cell has no lock, and if they would give it a slight push they could simply break free.

We do not have to repeat the mistakes of our parents or of our grandparents. One day when I sit down to tell my children about my life story, I would like to tell them that I did everything I ever dreamed of, that I didn’t settle for reading the stories of others, but instead I created my own. That yes I made mistakes, but sometimes it’s those who traipse closest to death that end up truly living.

Freedom

We rush to grow up, rush to find work, rush into marriage, rush in having kids, and rush in growing old, then try to delay our death.

The God Problem

God

Intellectuals often ask, “Why doesn’t God intervene more? Or shower us with miracles until we can’t take anymore? Why doesn’t He feed the hungry, heal the sick or prevent war?”

 

They wonder, “If God really exists, why doesn’t He take a more active role in caring for humanity and providing for the poor?”

 

Even the self-proclaimed Christian can admit that they often think: that maybe, their ‘God’ –is just a myth.

 

Pastors, preachers, and teachers, sitting at home doubting the Word. The struggles of life making them remote, from the God they outwardly promote. They question their beliefs. Wondering if it’s real, or if they are the Emperor in Chief: parading before the people without clothes—just empty prose.

 

Nevertheless, we must confess, that all of these questions are based on our own weakness. The flesh. We assume that if God did reveal Himself, all doubts would vanish and that we would follow Him without wasting one breath.

 

But the Israelites saw God in their flesh, but His presence, left them overwhelmed and feeling bereft. God showed them His power, but in front of new challenges they cowered. Every day a miracle—like new food falling from the sky. But they could not see past their own eyes.

 

Hearts hardened, barely listening. Pillar of cloud and fire. But even to Moses they couldn’t listen. So to follow God? No. His will was not their mission.

 

Tell me. What more from God could they desire? And you, what do you require? You see its not miracles that can make us witness: That it’s the Holy Spirit giving us spiritual fitness. And when we doubt; we too, are like the Israelites facing a new drought.

 

Forget not the Red Sea and all that God has done for thee. The time is coming, and almost is, when all our tears and sorrow shall not exist. When God will take care of the poor and worry shall be no more. So when in doubt, know that you are not alone. Open your bible and pray to God, it’s like calling Him on the phone. He sees your heartache and the disappointment in your eyes, but recognize—that it was for YOU He died.

Pity me – Convicted

“When we pity ourselves, all we focus on is ourselves. We only see our problems. We don’t see any of the good things in our lives.”

Smile-Frown Neduzi

Seven Reasons Why Self-Pity Is a Sin (C.Fitzwater)

  • Self-pity is a refusal to accept trials as a test of faith, thus inhibiting our own growth toward maturity and completion in Christ.  (“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…”  James 1:2-4  NIV)
  • Self-pity demands that  you are entitled to a certain quality of life that has not been promised to you in Scripture.  (Jesus says, “…In this world you will have trouble.”  John 16:33  NIV)
  • Self-pity dilutes your compassion for others, as you elevate your own suffering to a place of prominence.  (“…be compassionate…”  1 Peter 3:8  NIV)
  • Self-pity is married to grumbling and complaining.  (“Do everything without complaining…”  Philippians 2:14  NIV)
  • Self-pity ousts gratitude.  (“Be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15  NIV)
  • Self-pity fills your time with useless whining and moaning instead of prayers for help and rescue from the Almighty God.  (“Call upon me in the day of trouble…”  Psalm 50:15  NIV)
  • Self-pity will only accept joy that comes from reversal of circumstances instead of joy that comes from the Lord.  (“Rejoice in the Lord always…”  Philippians 4:4  NIV

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“Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future.”

 

Repeat after me…

ImageGod is real.

 

…The End.

 

I mean seriously, it’s that simple. There is no verse in the bible that proves this to me. And there is no situation in life that can disprove it to me either.

 

Look. There is no need to add fancy words or lovely phrases. And there is no need to quote the greatest theologians and prophets.

 

Because the truth is: God is not up there, ‘somewhere.’ He is right here. He is with me.

 

He is not a religion.
But He is life, and breath.

It is from Him I move and have my being. He is the reason I get up each morning, and knowing Him gives my life meaning. He is the reason that when all else crumbles around me I still see the way He is providing.

 

He is why I am saved.

 

In Him I find grace in my most sinful state.

Listen.
This isn’t theology.
This isn’t abstract.

 

God touches my life in more ways than any earthly lover, father or friend ever could. And the most beautiful thing is: I don’t need to prove it to you. And guess what? I can’t either. God doesn’t need me to stand up emboldened at His defense. He is capable of doing that—on His own.

Because, after all, the most beautiful words in the bible don’t erase the sorrows that are so real in the lives of many. And you know what? It’s not supposed to.

 

The faith and trust that comes from having a personal relationship with God is the true balm to the sorrowful, and salve to the wounded.

 

Last time kids, repeat it with me: God. Is. Real. Whether you are happy, sad, or mad. Whether you are on the mountaintop or in the valley. He is ever-present, and always faithful.

 

Thus, the question that continues to perplex the most brilliant minds of this generation is not whether God is real.

 

 

But whether He is real to you.