"You may never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have." - Corrie Ten Boom
There is someone who never leaves us. He is there. He knows what it's like to be in pain, to have your friends desert you, to have life change drastically from one day to the next. Jesus went through all these things - and more - and He has compassion for us in our traumas of life.
I won't pretend that it's always easy to remember this. I won't pretend that prayer comes easily when you're at your lowest point. It can seem almost impossible to even look up let alone send the words up to the One we want to talk to.
We have had a very stressful time in our home for the past three years and it has been amped up over the past five months. Everyone is feeling it - all of us are on edge - we are all struggling. We get past one thing only to be hit with something else. My health has not fully recovered yet and I've had four bouts of diverticulitis over the past 3 months. Now I'm facing making the decision to have another surgery because I can't keep doing this.
But the Lord....
Is there anything more beautiful than these three words? Yes, we can feel abandoned by others. Paul knew this feeling. He says in 2 Timothy 4:16, "At my first defense, no one stood by me, but everyone deserted me." Here was Paul, standing before a Roman tribunal and there was no one there to stand beside him. Not even to give him moral support. He was alone. In the next breath, though, Paul says, "But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me..." (v 17) Like Paul, we are strengthened. However, what really comforts me - what really gives me strength - is the fact that the Lord STOOD WITH him. He stands with us, too, beloved. Can you picture God standing next to you? He has his arm around you, supporting you, standing beside you as if to say, "She is mine and I am with her." What beautiful strength is found in this picture!
Sometimes we don't need to think about moving forward. In fact, maybe God doesn't want us to move forward at our present time. Sometimes we are being prepared for something. Sometimes God is wanting us to rest. If like me, you're feeling beyond exhausted mentally and physically, you need to fill your depleting cup with God's Word. I have had times where even reading seems like too much so I listen to my audio Bible. There are so many great apps for listening to the Bible or you may have a set on CD. It's okay to listen rather than read - we are still being filled. I also find praise music to be so comforting. There are so many wonderful hymns or contemporary worship songs whose words comfort and the music is relaxing. Perfect for those days where we just need to hear from God through song.
As Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:18, " The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen." God WILL rescue us from evil. He does bring us into safety. Our eyes need to be on the prize of the heavenly kingdom and our hearts focused on Jesus. I don't know any other way to suffer well and that's truly what I want to do. To suffer well means to show my faith in Jesus and my trust in Him. My prayer is that in all things I would glorify Him even if it means to suffer well.
Blessings - Julie