Never Give Up

The pattern has repeated itself so many times that I do not know why, in my humanity, that I am still here. There must be a God.

When suffering exceeds the limits of the human frame, or so it seems, then there must be more holding that person together. There must be a God.

Satan will use every and any negative emotion, event, infirmity, mental game, situation, deficit or even excess, pain, memory, experience, high or low to attempt to separate us from our Creator. When he ultimately fails, we know there must be a God.

Our worth has little to do with what others think, do, or say once we come to know Who knew us from our first moment of life. As this transcendence to seeking others to seeking God becomes real, we will understand that God has a personal form.

What that personal God shows us in His mercy and grace, speaks to our hearts in a way we can know and feel, so that we respond in submission and an eternal embrace. The love and acceptance you will find therein comes from Jesus Christ. He becomes not only THE God but YOUR God.

We are stewards of what happens to us just like the stuff that is given to us to use in our lifetimes. And if your journey like mine has included chronic illness, we still have a stewardship responsibility to use what has been allowed in our lives for some greater good. Yes, even the bad stuff. Use it to point others to the hope you have in Christ. What has He done for you? For what are you grateful? How did you overcome the grave marker of despair? How did you come to understand that the Lord is not Santa Claus and that bad things happen to good people in a fallen, imperfect world? And how did you become o.k. with all of that?

So what then about the meme above? What if others judge you anyways no matter your “testimony,” mock you, and really don’t care about what message you have to convey? You have to live your life anyways in concert with the tri-une God who will never leave you or forsake you. What He thinks is what matters most! His Holy Spirit will guide you along the way, take your prayers to the Father and let Him help you to know that Jesus Christ is real and really God. Oh and especially reassuring is that He will make all things right one day, maybe soon.

I write these thoughts as I sense gradual breakthrough coming in my battle over a horrific illness these past 8 years. Improvements are lasting more than a day. Treatments are starting to work and I can do some things that I enjoy at least one day per week. Sleeping is more restful for at least one, 4-hour segment with at least one of these during the nighttime where it belongs. The convulsive episodes are more consistently less intense, shorter, and sparing of at least one day per week. I am somewhat less reactive to more types of noxious sensory stimuli. Progress is not perfection but I gotta shout out that this time for me there are clear improvements in my life as a whole.

I knew a young bride some years ago as her wedding got closer, who faced the frequent harassment of an overbearing mother-in-law. Her own mother taught her a simple technique of taking the verbal assault as if they were splashes of water. The young lady learned to let those splashes of water run off of her like water on a ducks back, exclaiming in her thoughts, “QUACK! QUACK!” The little internal laugh of such a silly technique has actually helped me shed the critical remarks of others many, many times. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had several folks claim my conservative views were due to my health problems. No one cares about my Master’s degree nor extensive work experience in the health care field. I get shot down as one of those with a “compromised immune system,” probably o.k. to let go, to get sick, to die. Seriously! Or I am not someone whose opinion counts about anything important because I am not important. And that is a LIE. QUACK! QUACK!

Just don’t give up Gentle Reader, k? No matter what gets thrown at you or thrown against the walls around you, keep going. Lean on the Lord as the person of Jesus Christ to provide supernatural strength and wisdom. Dig into His Word if only for one verse at a time. Cling to it like a lifeline! These are crazy times indeed. Regardless the God of the universe has overcome it all!

Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ may just change more than your own life. JJ

1 John 5:4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Uplift Thy Mood with These

 

And a little something special from my past:

Who He Is

We all have some level of common sense:  that which we can agree is reasonable in any given situation.  Then again I have found that common sense just isn’t that common anymore!

I listen with intrigue when hearing the real-life experiences of others who have been successful at something.  Gaining triumph over tragedy.  Seeking good after playing with evil a bit too much.  Finding wisdom over folly.  Finishing a difficult task.  Inspiring others with your amazing story.  All this is good and unites us in our humanity when we can relate to the experiences of others.  I have heard from those who have travelled extensively overseas that most people around the world want the same things for their families and from their relationships with others no matter our cultural differences might be.  Thus we can all celebrate when the “human spirit” triumphs:  the good guy wins, the lonely widow finds love, and the person who passes on from this life having left a legacy for others to follow.

But what if there is more?  What if there is a source to that common sense that is in-bred between the strands of our DNA?  What if the innate knowledge of good and evil transcends the do’s and don’ts our elders taught us growing up?  And what if we all could persevere beyond both the winning and the losing?  After all, we all lose our lives in the end and cannot take any relationship, thing, achievement, or fit body with us.  We probably should keep trying to get it right anyways!  And that is very hard to do on our own.

When we find the true meaning of life, how the heck we got here, our giftedness, the Master plan for our lives, and humbly receive with gratitude our lot in life then we can be truly alive.   How do we find these?  We find our answers when we invite the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts.  We learn about Jesus (who is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit) by reading the Bible, in prayer and meditation, in fellowship with others in the body of Christ.  The person of Jesus Christ created us in His own image; he draws us near to love and follow Him.  In doing so we grow in wisdom and all of the fruits of the spirit:  peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.  (Galatians 5:22-23)  Our purpose, our reason for being here can become clearer.  We then grow in understanding as we mature as believers, gaining wisdom from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, our Counselor.

In the words of the Apostle Paul to you Gentle Reader,

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  (Ephesians 1)

He is the One who will receive us in all of His glory at our finish line when our days are done.  How well will we finish the race of our lives?  (Check out Hebrews 12:1-3.)  I’m trying remain humble on that one for sure.  Maybe you already have a personal relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ.  I am delighted to meet you here as we will surely have great fellowship in heaven someday!

As Easter approaches this is a great time to revisit who God really is to each one of us.  We can all use this season commemorating His tremendous love for us as an opportunity to draw closer to the Lord.  Realizing this tonight was brought forth in meeting a few gals who have endured then overcame much heartache in their lives.  Me too.  Thank you Lord for leading me to your throne of grace.  Sure would be great if finding who You really are was even more common as common sense is too.

kneeling in prayer