Not Alone

There is no cute picture to grab your attention today.  No funny or pithy story to pique your interest.  I just don't have it in me.  All I can give you is a truth: life is hard.  Some weeks are harder than others and some live lives that are perpetually more difficult than others.

I will be the first to say that I am blessed.  I have a house to live in, I am able to stay at home and care for my husband and children, we have more than we need and God had provided for us over and over again.  I KNOW this, but today I am just not feeling it.  Ever have day(s) like that?

My AC on our family van went out.  No biggie as we have been without it before and will probably be without it again.  Then a bearing on the AC unit froze up rendering our primary transportation down for the count....at least until parts come in and the weather cooperates so that my mechanic (aka my husband) can fix it.  Still, not a huge problem, as it means I can focus on lesson plans for the upcoming year and relaxing with the kids.

Then, my computer up and died in the middle of working on a project.  Out of nowhere the motherboard fried and a few of the things I was working on had not yet been backed up.  One of those files was a necessity for a training I was to lead this week.  So, I had to postpone it, order a hard drive case and hope that I could pull my files from it.  Again, not the end of the world, but my stress level increased.

Next, a family member that I dearly love who is battling addiction relapsed.  She was in a treatment program and while out on a day pass made the wrong choice.  I spoke to her the night that it happened (I had suspicions but she denied them) and was heartbroken at the pain I heard in her voice, the desperation and the loneliness.  I was helpless to do more than pray and offer encouragement to her.  The next day she admitted what she had done and confessed to staff in the program.  Her consequences are a major setback and while justified, I am concerned for her, both mentally and spiritually.  (Please pray for her!)

And finally I received some unsettling news about a spiritual battle that another family member is facing.  And when this person needed me(for an unrelated matter), I was unable to assist due to our lack of transportation.   I was helpless to help and now, I have reached the end of me.  All of these are beyond my control.  I can not change the situations.  I can not make things better. And that is difficult for me.

And yet, perhaps this is exactly where God wants me.  At the end of my rope unable to see where the bottom is.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness...
~2 Corinthians 12:9
 This verse was written by Paul, the man who wrote 13 of the 27 books in the New Testament.  He is a man that understands trials.  He was beaten, imprisoned, stoned, shipwrecked, and persecuted after he gave up his life as a respected pharisee.  (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)  Paul speaks of his own difficulties in life, and in the verse preceding this he admits that he requested three times that God remove "a thorn" from him. We are never told what this thorn is, but it is obviously something that Paul found very difficult.  And yet God tells him no. 

God's grace is sufficient for us; His power made perfect in our weakness.  One of the commentaries I read states that, "troubles are sent to us to teach us to pray."  They are used to draw us closer to Him.  I have no control over what is going on right now, but He does.  That doesn't mean that He will swoop down and instantly affect the changes I would love to see.  Sometimes, out of His love for us, His answer must be, "no." 

No, He will not force my loved ones to turn to Him for help, for strength.  He may not relieve the stress I am currently feeling in my life right now.  But that is okay.  You see, I can pour out my heart to Him, tell Him that I am struggling, that I am worried, that I am concerned, that I am uncomfortable.  I can talk with Him....and He can comfort me.  He can remind me that I am not the one in control.  He can remind me that I must rely on Him for everything from the breath in my lungs to the care of my loved ones.  And while I may never understand why these things are happening, I can trust that He has a plan; I can trust Him.  And that is what I choose to do. 

It isn't an easy choice, and some days it can be the hardest thing in the world to do.  But I KNOW that it is the right choice.  I know that His heart breaks with mine to see my loved ones struggle and hurt.  I know that while He desires a happy ending as much as I do, He loves us to much to force us into submission.  I trust that He continues to organize situations to help us find the good path, His path and that like a GPS, He can recalibrate when we go off course.  So I choose to trust in the One who CAN do something.

So maybe there is a picture in this for us, for me.  A reminder that we (I) do not walk this path alone and that it is absolutely okay to be weak, because He truly is strong enough for us to lean on!


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