This is an article written by my friend Jeannine Loftus. Jeannine has been through many trials so she is acquainted with suffering and grief. I asked her to write about what it takes to help others through difficult times, and how to help people grow. -- Lory Demshar
This wheelchair has made me a better person. I'm surprised to be saying this out loud because a year ago the thought of it would have made me mad. It's taken a lot of work on God's part to get me prepared for this way of life. And I've had to make choices to be obedient, to believe God has good in store for me, and to pray my way out of rebellion and bitterness. Most of the time, I haven't wanted to make the right decisions to be righteous, but prayer makes a world of difference. Prayer is the true testament of the power of God in our lives. God can change our hearts and our minds if we ask.
Alfred Tennyson said. "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come. . ." What a word picture! Do you stand at the brink of this new year wishing all things could be new for you, looking with hope towards this new year?
I have always loved pictures painted, drawn, or photos taken. Currently, I am taking a photography course and it has opened my eyes even more to the beauty and the story (ies) within each picture. As I read the Bible I realize there are pictures of God, of man and even videos (so to speak) of God and man together. I would like to present some to you. In my photo album of God these are filed under compassion and love.
Once, when I was going through a very difficult period as a young Christian, I lay awake at night, unable to fall asleep. I was distressed and hopeless (and, in retrospect, in need of anti-depressants). I picked up my Bible, which was becoming a newly regular habit for me, and I turned to Ephesians 4 – randomly. And I started to memorise it.
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." --James 3:17, emphasis added
Impartial is hard.
When I read through the Psalms, I see what I would call a "language of prayer" interlaced through these scriptures. It is a language that is open, vulnerable, reverent and, at times, desperate.
Don't you love a happy ending? I do. Honestly, I really love Hallmark movies. They are predictable, and in less than two hours each story ends with a solution that leaves me content. Real life, however, isn't a Hallmark movie and sometimes the conversations we have aren't predictable...or short.
Lately I've been reflecting on my walk with God. I'll be real with you - God and I are going through a bit of a transition right now as I'm figuring out this whole "motherhood + discipleship" thing and ohhhh my is it a bit different. Between hormones, exhaustion, a dependent little person, and to be quite honest - my own sinful nature - finding a rhythm with my Heavenly Father is challenging. I've been fighting for it with prayer walks and new-mom devotional books, but it's certainly been an adjustment. My mom-friends keep telling me that this transition is normal and that it will get easier (um, yes please!). Because the truth is, I am loving motherhood and all it's spit-up glory - but I miss my rhythm with God.
How do I respond to situations in my life that are dark, confusing and unstable? Could I write a miktam in the middle of my darkest night simply because I long to express the extreme contrast of God's love, power and faithfulness in my moment of darkness?
I believe I can if I invest as much heart and time into my relationship with God as David did.