It really does seem like the road ahead is a stretched barren straight path that just vanishes off into the sunset with no end near. Those are some of the days and
It is easy to get caught up in the turns of life and sometimes choose left or right and lead us into a pit of mire. This an illustration for our church that plays out that thought process in my mind. Welcome to my scary thoughts. LOL. Don’t worry I won’t leave you there hanging, I’m going to come back to this thought in a little bit.
The Past Month
The past month has been good. Amy finished her radiation treatments at Dartmouth and we have been at home. The first two weeks at home were tiring and recuperating from the radiation.
It is interesting with radiation treatments, it is not a cure and radiation itself can be deadly to the human body. But thankfully for many years they have figured out what types of radiation and how much the human body can take to fight off diseases. Radiation treatments today are super precise. The day that we took the kids into the treatment room was pretty neat. They have a series of lasers that shoot across the room to pinpoint with extreme accuracy the spot that they want to target.
Thank the Lord for that very technology that we have today, it wan’t there a 100 years ago like it is today.
This Past Week
Last week we had a petri dish of germs flooding into the house as there is a host of germs and illness running through the schools in our town. With that all of our kids got sick with various different (germs) flu, earaches, cough and ohhhhh the cough. You would have thought that the plague was let loose in our house. The cough is the worse! That is one thing that I really want those super powers of healing like in the movies, “shaaaazaaaam” or twinkly my nose like in “bewitched” to cure my kiddos and wife. But I am just a mere human living here on earth, so I hold them, comfort them, feed them, change the throw up buckets (eeeewww) and so on. That is just part of life at our home.
The only part of this past week that really sucked which I was hoping that wouldn’t happen is my wife getting any or all of these things floating through our house just waiting to land on someone. Well………sure enough, she got the flu. It happened and it has been miserable for her. Cough, chills, and no sleep. I really want those powers right about now so she doesn’t have to go through it.
How To Help Someone
These are the moments that as a father and husband I feel the most helpless. What can you really do for someone when they are sick and feeling miserable? This is not just for someone that is suffering
Here are some of my thoughts that may or may not be helpful. It is going to be different for each person and how they handle illness.
- First be patient. You don’t know what they really are going through. Don’t assume that you know how they feel or what it is like to walk through this illness. Ask questions to better understand them.
- 1 Corinthians 13 comes to mind immediately.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Why do I bring this up? I bring this up because we live in the world and the world has a completely different definition of what love is. In the world people scream on the rooftops that it is all about them. Love is an emotion and our actions should be driven by those emotions. That is one of the many reason why our world is in such a messy. People are given over to the lusts of their emotions. Image if 1 Corinthians was written differently.
Love is impatient and mean; love envies and boasts; love is arrogant and rude. It always insists on its own way; it is irritable and resentful; it rejoices in wrongdoings (evil), and does not rejoice in the truth. Love doesn’t bear all things, doesn’t believe anything, is hopeless and never endures in all things.1 Corinthians 13 in reverse
Just Imagine (Is this us?)
This would be us, but wait this is us “the world”. I praise God that he gives us a real description of what “LOVE” should look like. Love is more than an emotion, it is a prescription of how we are to love one another all the time. So often we fall far to short of that love, but God doesn’t! God’s love never fails!!!!!!!
Back to my list:
3. Don’t interrupt. This is really hard for most
4. Open the bible and read.
Verses to give assurance:
- Romans 8:1 (no condemnation)
- Romans 8:28-39 (nothing can separate us from Christ)
- John 11:25-26 (I am the resurrection and the life)
- 1 John 1:9 (if we confess our sins God will forgive us)
- Ephesians 2:1-10 (by grace we have been saved)
- Luke 23:39-43 (thief on the cross)
Verses to sympathize with hurting people:
- Psalm 40 (stuck in the miry clay)
- Psalm 42 (as the deer pants for water, so my soul longs for you)
- Romans 8:18-27 (whole creation is groaning)
- Hebrews 4:14-16 (Jesus as our sympathetic high priest)
Beloved passages that are always appropriate:
- Psalm 23 (the Lord is my shepherd)
- Psalm 46 (God is a refuge)
- Psalm 103 (God’s compassion and mercy)
- Matthew 6 (God’s care and do not worry)
- Romans 8 (mercy, suffering, hope, assurance)
Where does this lead?
Where does all of this lead? Or better yet, where should it all lead to? This is back to my main point; which road are you taking? While we are walking through some very challenging issues of life there are always two different roads we can go down every day.
The first road is one that doesn’t trust, lean or walk with the Lord. It relies on knowledge of the world. Worldly knowledge always fails in the end. In the beginning, this knowledge may seem like it is great. That is because it gives a great feeling, but it doesn’t stand the test of time. In time this knowledge leaves us empty and searching for another answer.
Worldly knowledge also is flawed for another reason; it is derived from mankind. Mankind can’t think beyond ourselves. We think that we are the center of the universe, that is our little mini-universe. We always think it is all about us, we see this in social media in abundance today.
It’s was never about us!
The second turn in the road is the one that leads to God and actual wisdom which is beyond knowledge. We have an abundance of knowledge today with the internet sharing information at break-neck speeds. That isn’t wisdom though. Here’s proof of that:
- If any of your lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
- but the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
- For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth
comesknowledge and understanding Proverbs 2:6
So what is wisdom? Wisdom first comes from God. Wisdom is not just academic knowledge, it is defined as having experience, good judgement, being wise. Bring this back to God, Godly wisdom is being wise in the ways that God wants us make decisions, being prudent, not easily swayed and able to make sound judgements with experience and trustworthiness.
If it is about God and always has been, then the second road is a road that leads us to worship. Worship of the one that created us, sustains us and gives us hope in a world without hope. Hope beyond this world and beyond ourselves.
I choose that hope in Jesus Christ alone; because all other things to hope in lead to a fleeting sense of joy that isn’t sustainable. Christ alone sustains my joy and hope in this world and the next.
Just rambling along
I know that this has been a long rambling post, but there is a reason. When I am walking through the raging battle of cancer, flu, children issues, money, marriage and many other life issues, it is easy to take a wrong turn and turn to the world for answers. In the end it leads me to a dangerous path that is full of selfishness and a lack of joy.
When I hold steadfast to God’s Word, Prayer and fellowship, it helps me to vear away from that sign in the road to the one that has always sustained me. The simple answer is Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is the reason that I can write this, live this, pray this, and walk with strength through all of the hardship.
Even in our darkest hour Jesus is still there. Sometimes I don’t want to go to him in Word or prayer, but that is because I am only thinking about myself and wallowing in the mire. When I snap out of it and run to him with open arms, he gives me REST, PEACE, GRACE, LOVE AND JOY!
I am not saying this to preach to you! I have not always been a Christian. I lived the first 30 plus years of my life away from God and it sucked big time. I have seen how God has worked in my life more times that I can count on my toes and fingers. Even when I didn’t know God; he was there. He was there when my parents were killed by a drunk driver with me in the car. He was there when I hit a tree head on at 18 and almost totaled my truck. He was there when my wife was pregnant with our first child and a car hit me head on and totalled my Jeep.
God is always there, I praise His name because He loves me, my wife and my children. He loves you too! So next time you are in depair over anything in life even if you are not a christian; turn to the one that created you and sustains you. Call out to him in prayer, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just have a conversation with Him. He is waiting for you, so what do you have to lose? Nothing, he just might surprise you and radically change your life forever.
Thank you for listening to my rants. This blog helps me to process, proclaim and rejoice in this crazy amazing life that God has given us. My hope is that you find it encouraging and to see that living life as a Christian is not about being perfect. It is about being imperfect, being messy, being broken, being addicted and hurting and running to Christ Jesus at that turn in the road.
SO WHO ARE YOU RUNNING TO?
I am a husband, father, business owner and follower of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. My hope is that you find these articles helpful in your walk through life.