A friend shared some wonderful encouragement in the midst of life’s storms and has very kindly given me permission to share it with you… I know that many of us are going through tough times at the moment… enjoy! :)
GUEST POST: BY KATHY OLSON
In my little corner of the world, everything seems to be falling apart. My husband has developed brain problems that are defying diagnosis and treatment. He lost his job and I cannot make the ends meet even working two jobs. My eight year old resents my absence and acts out and we can’t keep up with her homework. Three of my family members that were loving and supportive have died in the past two years. It just seems like everyone I know, especially people who really love the Lord are suffering right now. Last month I had 3 close friends confide in me that they had been diagnosed with cancer all in one week!
They say when it rains, it pours, and it just seems to be pouring in my world. One of my friends who has cancer has brain cancer with tumors in his neck. He has been a missionary to war torn countries and minister to convicts and teens in juvenile detention that most Christians would fear to even meet. He has risked his life over and over for the Lord and in my human mind, it would seem that he would deserve to be spared such a painful and tragic fate. There was nothing I could do except pray. That didn’t feel like enough. I wanted to do something. I didn’t have any money to share, and even if I did, money wouldn’t cure the cancer. My friend had just had tumors removed along with his tonsils. Maybe soup would be nice. The only thing I had to make soup with was some split peas in a jar in the pantry. So I cut up the last onion and threw it it the crockpot with some water and the peas and went to work and let it cook. The next day was my day off and I took the rest of the pea soup over to my friend.
I was broken-hearted, but another missionary friend had encouraged me to watch for God’s hand even in the middle of the trials of life. How surprised I was when I got there to discover that my friend had been asking for pea soup. His wife had gone to the store to buy some but the store did not have any. Papa God’s hand was there, even in the small things.
I was surprised and blessed to learn that my friend had been given a vision of Jesus. In the vision, Jesus reminded my friend that He had suffered in his body too and did not deserve it either.
As I was leaving, I just felt empty inside, like I had nothing left inside of me to give. I prayed as I was walking down the stairs and to my car, asking the Lord to fill my spirit and give me a sense of peace despite all the problems in life. As I was leaving, I caught sight of group of deer lying peacefully in the grass. It was a cold, rainy day, but at that moment a ray of sunshine poked between the clouds and landed right on the deer resting peacefully in the wet grass. Normally, when deer see humans, their ears perk up and they watch you intently to see if you are a threat. But these deer couldn’t care less that I was walking by.
They were completely at peace.
Suddenly, the thought came to me how precarious the life of a deer is. Where I live, deer are under constant threat from domestic dogs, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, human hunters and automobiles, not to mention the epidemic of deadly deer diseases that have been running rampant through the area deer herds this last year. The life of the deer is very precarious indeed, and yet in that moment, those deer were perfectly at peace.
Then the thought came to me that that was the solution to my inner turmoil. Not to focus on all the problems that engulf my life, the losses I am dealing with, the problems, the people in my family who are no longer around to support and encourage me. No, the solution for me was to recognize that in this very moment, the Lord is with me and I can have peace in it. A moment from now, He will still be with me. An hour from now, He will still be with me, and tomorrow and the day after that and the week after that.
Whatever comes, we will face it together.
In Him, I can do all things for it is Him who gives me strength… a moment at a time. For me, the solution is to live in the moment and not focus on the turmoil and chaos that is my life right now. In Him, I can have peace.
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