finding meaning in the mundane

Tag: Pain (page 1 of 2)

Is it well?

it-is-well-with-my-soul-2014-theologigalRecently I shared a post with a message I gave to my church.  (Click here to view that message)  At the end of that message I asked one simple question.  It was this:  Will you trust God with your pain?

That is a simple question, but yet it is so difficult to answer.  Will I trust God with my pain?  I have to first answer other questions, like; is God good?  Is God in control?  Does God care about me?    These are the questions that plague us and leave us feeling weary and worn out.

When we walk into the doctors office to hear the test results, or when we click our pen to sign the divorce papers, or when we feel anxious over every one of life’s details, we ultimately have a decision to make… and that is, will you trust God?  Can you say that it is well?

Sometimes it is easier than others… At least that has been my experience.  But at the same time, I also know that there is nothing I would rather do than place my life and my hurts, pains, doubts, and frustrations into the hands of a God who not only knows what it is like, but holds it all together.

When I am in the moments of pain and deep suffering I have to turn to scripture.  Over the past few months the soundtrack to my pain has often been this song-It Is Well by Bethel .   I love these words…

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Read more:  Bethel Music – It Is Well Lyrics | MetroLyrics

So, what about you?  Can you say, It Is Well?


My God, Why?

Have you ever wondered why God allows pain in your life?  Or have you ever asked God “Why?”  Recently I had the privilege of being able to share a message with my church looking at these exact questions.  It is overwhelming to think about how many of us wake up each and every day in pain.  Pain comes in all forms: physical pain, emotional pain, or even spiritual pain.  But God hasn’t left us alone in our pain.  Nor has God been silent in our pain.

God knows all about pain.  And God loves you enough to say you will never be alone in your pain.  For more, check out that message below…


Choosing Joy Over Happiness

Have you ever heard something and felt like it totally resonated with you?  The other week I was having a particularly hard week.  I was watching as things around me were not coming together the way that I would have hoped, my schedule had me out more nights than not, and I had to press into a few difficult conversations.  It left me feeling anything less than happy.

While shuffling through my “Kings Kaleidoscope” iTunes radio station, I came across this song.  I immediately favorited it, and added it to my wish list.  The words and melody of this song needed to be one click away for me in times like the one I was describing.  I needed to be reminded of these great truths… Take the next 4 minutes and 37 seconds to listen to the lyrics of this song.

In my ebook, “Empowered” I take a look at how we should be growing in Joy.  Too often our culture tells us we should be happy all the time, yet scripture tells us we should be joyful.

Joy is the inner peace that says, this is good enough. Joy is not affected by the circumstances around you. Happiness depends on what is happening to you, joy does not. Joy cannot be and is not situational.

from “Empowered”

I love how Tifah Al-Alttas, the singer-songwriter frames the truths of that song with the melody.  It is real, and understandable.  It is as if she is saying, I choose to be joyful even though the melody of my life has been set in a minor key lately.  Listen to how Tifah describes the birth of this song:

The first time I played Joy was the night my father passed away.  He
had a short and painful battle with cancer.  My dad was not perfect
but he did the best he could with what he had.  A year before he died
he was diagnosed with dementia.  The day he told me he had cancer he
said it was a blessing.  To him, cancer was a better way to end his
story than a mind with no memory of his family or his life.  So as I
sat at the piano, the only place that felt safe that night to me, the
weight of loss hit my chest.  I remembered my eyes were blurred with
tears and I literally began to play the now familiar progression of
Joy.  I kept cycling through the progression and then, as if it had
already been written, I began to sing a different melody to a song I
sang in VBS as a child, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my
heart…” The truth is that I was terribly and profoundly sad.  The
reality of grief had not even entirely hit me yet.  But at the same
moment I had a deep sense of peace.  He was no longer in pain.  He was
no longer sick.  He was free from all his ailments and restored.
Although I still miss him, I know that God has weaved redemption
through death into my father’s story.  That brings me great joy.  It
was not until grief became a part of my story that I realized that joy
is not simply an expression, but an attitude and acknowledgment of the
deep peace of knowing a Savior.

read more about Tiffah’s testimony here…

Remember joy is not dependent upon your situation.  Joy is a choice, it is a way of life.  It is a decision that you make when you wake up to choose your outlook no matter what may happen that day.

Where in your life do you need to choose joy?  I know it isn’t easy, but it is an incredible free fall into the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Listening to Your Pain

The other day I wrote on the value of pain.  And since then I have had so many conversations with some of you about all of the painful situations that you are currently going through, or already have gone through.  It can be so incredibly overwhelming right?  It is never easy to talk about cancer, and how that is taking the life of your dad.  Or listening to someone share how mental illness is transforming their sister who was once brilliant and vibrant and is now fading away.  Pain comes in all shapes and sizes and pain knows very few boundaries.

In the midst of pain we can respond or we can ignore it.

I’ll never forget that Saturday morning men’s breakfast that we were sitting around a table enjoying bagel egg and cheese sandwiches when someone got a call that Shelly had passed away the night before.  Shelly attended our little church and was known and loved by everyone.  She was happily married and loved on her beautiful 6 year old daughter.  Shelly was a paraplegic.  She was not only unable to move her legs, she couldn’t feel them either.  The nerve endings in her legs that were supposed to communicate to her telling her that she was in pain did not work.  So that Friday night Shelly cozied up to a gas flame heater and fell asleep.  She never realized that her legs were burning and suffering excruciating pain.  Eventually a clot formed and went straight to her heart.  Unfortunately, the nerve endings that were designed to tell her that something hurt and that she needed to do something about it were not working.  She never got the message.

Pain communicates!hurt, pain, disappointment

What is your pain saying to you?  What is the next step that you need to take to move away from the source of pain and move towards the place of healing?

There is an old Jewish proverb that I love so much.  It says, “What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.”  When I am in the midst of pain, I no longer apologize for my tears.  Those tears are as much a part of my communication process as the initial pain is.  I value the times when I have what we call in my family “a good cry”.  Don’t mask your emotions, don’t apologize for your tears.  God has given us each and every emotion so that we can properly relate to Him, and to one another.

Take a breath.  Pause for a minute.  What is your pain trying to tell you?


Don’t Give Up

A while ago I wrote a post on my favorite axioms.  I try to remind myself of these all the time.  An axiom is a self-evident truth that requires no proof.  Okay, so they are my axioms, which means that they are self evident to me.  They are incredibly helpful to me, and may be for you too.  They are like lights on the runway for me.  They help guide me and give me direction.  

I have realized that since the time that I wrote that post, another one has popped up in my life.  It is not as profound as some of the others, but still encouraging.  Here’s the latest.

Anyone can do anything for a year.

I warned you.  It’s not profound.  In fact it is incredibly simple.  That is one of the reasons why I love it.  It’s a timeless reminder to me not to give up or give in.  Some days I feel like a distance runner, and other days I feel like a sprinter.  On the days I feel like a sprinter and I am about to give up because the race is longer than I expected it would be or harder than I thought it was going to be I need to be reminded that anyone can do anything for a year.  

This encourages me to keep going.  Keep dreaming, keep following Jesus in the midst of whatever it is that is currently going on.  I find myself sharing this with people almost every week.  So whatever difficulty you are going through right now, remember, Anyone can do anything for a year.  I’m convinced of it.  Keep going.  Just take the next step.  And then tomorrow take the next one.  You’ll get there.  I promise!  

Likely you have your own axioms, I’d love to hear them too.  Drop them in the comments below.  


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