Oh My Suffering Friend!

 

 My heart goes out to the suffering ones, people bent low and doubled over by the weight of the things heaped upon them. Souls doing all that they know how, to lay those burdens at the feet of the Yoke Bearer and yet the pressing down is hard, it is constant, it seems relentless and to earthly eyes there is no end in sight. I have a great love for the "hopeless" ones. They are family.

 Hope is an interesting word. We use it a lot. We may pray about things but more often than not we do so having a plan. We may pray about our finances, asking God to help us get out of debt, but we do so with a plan in mind of how we are going to use the funds we know are coming to make this hope come true. We pray for someone but as we are praying we are thinking about all the things we can do to help them out. We are forming a plan, we will try this program or that program, we will take them to this church or that one, we will make appointments with this doctor or that one, we will talk to this person or that one about getting them the help they need.........we are most always working to make our hopes come to pass.

 I am beginning to see and believe that real biblical hope is when there is no plan, there are no more resources to use, no more places to go, there is nothing, not one thing that you can do to bring your hope to pass. Every single thing you have done to try and make it come to pass has come to naught, or even worse it has made things harder. There is not one thing you can do to bring back what has been lost, to restore things to how you most want them to be..........To be in that place when all you can do is take in one more labored breath, wipe away one more set of tears, kneel once more at the feet of the Yoke Bearer and cry out Lord, have mercy. It's a terrible place to be in, and yet it is a safe place to be in, for when there are no human hands to help, there is no earthly way to change things, there is no place to run to for assistance, there is no money coming, there is no cure, there is no hope...we find hope in the knowledge that there is a Savior, there is One who knows, who sees, who hears our weak cries. And to be His child, to be in His hands, to await His mercy, to trust in His outcome is the safest and surest place in the entire universe to be...........to be without earthly hope is not an easy place to be but a sure and certain Hope is found there. His name is Jesus.

 I know you want things to be better, you want the ones you love to be okay, to know that they will have days of sunshine and peace and prosperity, that they will be happy, loved and accepted, that the bank account will have enough to pay the bills and fill the table and maybe once or twice enough for a little extra treat. To feel some relief from the relentless grief and sorrow that burdens your heart so! It doesn't seem like too much to ask for, it's what I want most too. I can't promise you that all this will come to pass here on this earth. I pray it will, I am sure enough to believe there will be moments when these things are so, but I just don't know if we will ever reach that place where we can sit and look around us and watch the ones we love just laugh and smile and dance in the sun and live happily ever after. Not here on this earth anyway.

 But the truth of the matter is we both know, this isn't our home, and we don't want it to ever be their home either. To call this world home is to say that everything here is the best it will ever get, and we both know that ain't so. Maybe our dancing comes later, and maybe the moments we have here from time to time are just practice for when the dance is forever. When we reach that place, when the last prayer is wept out into tear soaked fingers, when the time comes that our weak and shaky legs will not lift us up off the floor even one last time, when the moment comes that we pass from this place into the next........it will be there before Him that we will dance, that everlasting joy will spring forth, that our tears will be forever replaced with laughter, it will be there that we will find once and forever that elusive happiness that we have chased all our days. And it is there when we will see and know how He has used our sorrows, our oceans of tears and our weaknesses for His glory and for the good of us and the ones we love. And as we all, from every tribe and nation gather about Him, we will look around at the multitude of faces and we will see the ones we have agonized over..........and we will count it worth every moment of fear, every moment of loss, every step of suffering that we have come to this moment.

 We are not of this world, we are in it. As we run the race, may we take note of the many ways He bless us, the gifts of grace He grants and when we cannot see may we hold fast to what we have seen in the past. “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” And as we move forward, sometimes in what feels inch by inch, may we keep our eyes ever on Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

 He is enough. Hold on my friend, hold on.....we will hold on together! Rejoice for our hope is in Him and in Him alone! He is enough!

Romans 15:13 - Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Psalms 126:5 - They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

  In closing I just want you to know that you are beautiful! Your soul shines like the rising sun as it peaks over the Sandia Mountains! It is colored in beautiful shades of yellow, gold and orange with white beams bursting out into the sky!. I see Jesus in you, I see Him in your suffering and in your laughter.

 It's gonna be okay, we will reach that distant shore, and He is faithful, the ones we love so are going to reach it too! See with His eyes, it's so hard I know, Lord knows that I only catch a glimpse from time to time, but strive hard for those glimpses of grace. He is working, in all this mess in which we now stand He is not sleeping!

 Dance when you can, sing as much as possible!  Rejoice in the sunrise, give thanks in its setting, behold the flowers and inhale their scent, listen to the sounds of children playing, read His word, pray like there is no tomorrow, even if the only prayer you can summon is "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy." Thanksgiving is so often in the very small things, the often unseen things. Preaching gospel to myself and to you!

I love you my friend!

It’s hard to stand on shifting sand
It’s hard to shine in the shadows of the night
You can’t be free if you don’t reach for help
You can’t love if you don't love yourself

There is hope when my faith runs out
Cause I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine there’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now

I am strong all because of you
I stand in awe of every mountain that you move
Oh I am changed, yesterday is gone
I am safe from this moment on

There’s no fear when the night comes ’round
I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine there’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
Its like the world is silent though I know it isnt true
Its like the breath of Jesus is right here in this room

So take this heart of mine there’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now
I’m in better hands now




A Prayer For a Friend

No matter the time nor distance, you never forget your best friend from childhood. Mine lives very far away now but she will ever have a special place in my heart. We grew apart, I moved away and we lost touch for many years. I am grateful that God has brought her back into my life.

 She is in a trial right now, one of those difficult ones that very few are called to face, she has been walking this uncertain road for some time now, and tomorrow is a milestone in that walk.

 Lord,

  I am asking for a special blessing for my best childhood friend. You know her situation Lord, you know the burden she carries. Tomorrow is a big day for her and her family, a scary day, an uncertain day, and I ask that she and her family would feel Your presence strong as they venture into it.

 We ask for Your grace in abundance, and Your presence with each and every person who plays a part. We ask that You would grant the words to her as she speaks, that in speaking her heart would be heard and seen by those who listen and that all would be touched by her words.

 We ask for Your strength to the family, that they might be given all that they need to endure whatever comes. We ask that the outcome would be in their favor if that is possible and within Thy will. We ask for Your protection upon them all, and Your guidance and that whatever happens tomorrow, all would be orchestrated by You and no other.

 Depending on what happens, there will be various things that will need to be worked out, and we ask that You would prepare all that is needed.

 Bless my friend Lord, she has been a faithful servant, she is your child, her heart is weary and worn from all of this mess and she ever looks to You for grace and mercy. Lord be her Strong Arm tomorrow, be her Comfort and her Peace, be her Deliverer. Give abundant grace and mercy to all who stand with her, and help hold her up.

Shine tomorrow Lord, shine like the brightest sun. May all that transpires there be for Your glory and the good of those who love You and are called by Your name. Lord my friend loves You and is called by You. Bring great good to her Oh Lord.

I ask these things Lord, with all my heart and soul, I ask them in faith that You love me, and her and her beloved son.

Lord show Yourself strong tomorrow in the life of my friend and her son.

All praise, all honor, all glory to You Lord,

In the name above all names, in the name of Jesus my Lord I pray these things,

Amen




God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!


    Day by day and with each passing moment,
    Strength I find to meet my trials here;
    Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
    I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
    He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
    Gives unto each day what He deems best
    Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
    Mingling toil with peace and rest.

    Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
    With a special mercy for each hour;
    All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
    He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
    The protection of His child and treasure
    Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
    "As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
    This the pledge to me He made.

    Help me then in eve’ry tribulation
    So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
    That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
    Offered me within Thy holy Word.
    Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
    E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
    One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
    Till I reach the promised land.



      The Lord be with you my friend, you shall be in my prayers, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. He loves you so my friend. All things are for a purpose, so trust Him, even in this, trust Him. I shall be with you in spirit.




    And we are His portion and He is our prize,
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
    If his grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
    And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
    And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
    I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
    When I think about the way...

    He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves.
    Yeah, He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves.