Friday, October 18, 2013

Hope and encouragement...and even a little fun

I have desperately needed some encouragement and hope lately. Living with grief feels a bit like being a participant in an episode of "Hoarders." To find joy is to sift through the rubbish, piece by piece. It's an overwhelming task, and progress doesn't come without concentrated effort.

What sustains me, however, is the awesome and intensely personal presence of God and His word. Eyesight will tell you that He is nowhere to be found, but faith will usher you grandly into His presence.

This week, faith sparkled in every devotion that came to my inbox. The current Max Lucado devotional series is from his book You'll Get Through This. Monday's devotion was appropriately titled "Getting through when life shuts down." This line really struck me: "He not only survived; he thrived." It resonated with me because I realized that I wanted to be like Joseph, too. I don't want to just survive the loss of my child. I want to thrive, but I am still figuring out what that's supposed to look like. Further down in the devotion, this line also stood out: "What did he know? How did he flourish in the midst of tragedy and difficulty? Joseph knew that in God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good. He worked a plan and he trusted God. He knew that, with God’s help, he would get through." I needed this reminder that God will bring good from this. Whether that means something tangible or whether it just means that I become more like Christ, I have to trust that God will do what He says He will do.

Just a day or so after the devotion, I came across an interview (from August) featuring Max Lucado in which he was asked the question, "So what do you tell people when they don't get through it—when your wife dies, you lose your home, or an addiction hangs on? What do you say then?" Max replied, "I say don't give up. From a Christian perspective, we do get through it, even if the "getting through" is not until heaven." (Christianity "Even if the 'getting through' is not until heaven" is the part that got me. This is what I appreciate about Max Lucado. He is honest about the struggle. He is upfront with the facts. But that's not all. It's not all because there is hope. And that hope is in the Helper. The One who comes and cleans up the mess with me. The God who sees the things that I hoard; things like sorrow, despair, and doubt, and He promises me that, with His help, I will get through this.

The Max Lucado "You'll Get Through This" mantra:
You will get through this.
It won’t be painless.
It won’t be quick.
But God will use this mess for good.
Don’t be foolish or na├»ve.
But don’t despair either.
With God’s help, you’ll get through this.

PS - The fun part was last night when my Dh and I were treated to a special event featuring 
a private concert with Train. It was good to have some fun. It's been a long time.

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