Can you embrace your pain? Yes you can. God heals the wounded soul and calms the storm inside. “The very pit, the very dry hole that you are in, becomes a well as the Holy Spirit fills you up with the truth and presence of God.”
“If you have got a really high calling on your life, you have to go down low. It’s just part of the deal. And the depths that you allow God to take you will tell you how far God can bring you up into a place of prominence. You don’t let God take you into the depths; he can’t take you into the heights.”
“You can’t come into the fullness of God unless you go through brokenness.”
“You are either going to wait for God or you are going to promote yourself. You have to move from distress through development in God’s time. Development is where God is rebuilding our character and he is producing a true servant with a capacity for sacrifice.”
“People destroy with their character what they have built with their gift unless transformation has occurred.”
How do we handle stress? Life is not easy. Even when things seem to go well there are many things that steal our peace: events in the news locally and worldwide, illness, the loss of a loved one, financial reverses. A certain amount of stress is normal, even healthy, because it sharpens our minds and presses us to greater achievement but if we feel unable to make changes and the circumstances become our preoccupation we may find the clouds of anxiety, fear, depression, anger always hang over our minds and hearts and threaten our peace. Here’s some great words from Billy Graham that I find true in my own life.
http://bible.com/1/rom11.33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Throughout the book of Eccleciastes written by King Solomon, the wisest man on earth historically, whom God blessed beyond imagination with wealth and power and influence the Preacher, himself, says everything is vanity or useless. There is nothing new under the sun. In this book Solomon talks from experience for his resources and ability to experiment with ways to find happiness were inexhaustible. He becomes cynical and dismal for, apart from God in the search for happiness, life does have no meaning. But throughout this classroom with Solomon the Preacher he peppers a little light that being content and working hard and remembering God is the solution to discontent and unhappiness. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth while the evil days come not or the years draw nigh when you say you have no pleasure in them.” While you are still able — mind and body functioning well–look up above the circumstances that grip your heart and throw you into confusion and despair.
My daughter bought me a small wall hanging that said “I bought you a kite so you would look up.”
I guess she was trying to tell me something. Sometimes, for some more often than others, we need to be reminded to look up. We hate to hurt and not have answers but sometimes pain forces us to stop and consider our direction and choices in life and to cause us to reach out to God for help. In Jeremiah 33:3 God says call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not calamity.” Jesus said in John 10:10 He came to bring us abundant life. God wants us to thrive.
What does it take to find inner rock solid joy , purpose, peace? Mother Teresa knew her purpose. To serve. To serve Jesus. Jesus said “whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you are doing it to me.”. Mother Teresa lived in every moment rescuing Jesus: tending His wounds, feeding, listening to and providing shelter to the One she owed everything. Every small act of love was never tedius or an imposition. It was a joy. An act of worship.