When It Hurts Too Much

When we think of “sad,” we think of tragedies happening, people dying, hope being lost. I want to tell you a story about a different kind of sad, perhaps the most tragic of all, which is found in Matthew 8: 28-34 in the Bible. Bear with me as we explore a story of sadness on our journey of hope.
In this story, Jesus goes to a place called the “region of the Gadarenes.” I confess, I don’t know much about this place, but I do know that there were two demon-possessed men who immediately came out to taunt Jesus. They knew who Jesus was and asked why He was there, “to torture us before God’s appointed time?
They knew Jesus had power over them and that He was going to order them out of the two men’s bodies, so they begged Him to send them into some pigs nearby. Jesus did so, and the demons caused the pigs to run away, plunging to their death over a steep hillside and into a lake.
You would think this is a good thing. You would think that the people would be celebrating the release of two men who are now free of demon-possession. You would think the people would beg Jesus for more of His healing power.
But not these people. Instead, they begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone.
And I asked myself, “Do I ever do that?

Read More


When You Need an Eternal Perspective

When you need hope, you’ll grab at anything to get it. It’s a vulnerable place to be. And it’s definitely not a fun place to be.

I feel like I live in a place of needing constant hope. Chronic pain will do that to you. It would be tempting and easy to say, “Look to God for your hope because that is where all our answers are found!”

And that’s true, but I would like to be a little more practical than that. I’d like to show you one way God is helping me find hope, so you can learn to find it, too.

Hope is elusive because it seems to be closely tied to our circumstances, which can change from minute to minute. Our circumstances can easily dictate our emotions, which can easily “boss” around our hope, making it hard to find as our circumstances shift and change.

So, our hope has to be grounded in something different than our circumstances. Our hope has to be grounded in the Word of God.

The Bible can give us so much hope, if we will look there! But we don’t always remember to go there, so let’s go there now and remember what beautiful hope God can give us.

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.   (1 Peter 5:10)

Read More


When You Need Help to Persevere

If you are human, then at some point in your life you have probably asked the four words, “Is it worth it?”

Is this marriage worth it with all its difficulties?

Is this job worth it with all the stress?

Is this friendship worth it with all the drama?

Is this ministry worth it with all it takes out of me?

Is finishing school worth it with all the work involved?

Is this treatment worth it with all the side effects?

Is this life with chronic illness worth it if nothing ever changes for the better?

And it is when we are faced with those questions, that pain and fatigue scream at us a resounding, “NO!”

What do you do when you are in this situation?

Read More


When You Want to Quit

When you live with chronic pain, every day your body screams “QUIT!” How do you manage to keep going despite the pain, fatigue, and discouragements that threaten to overwhelm both body and soul? Continuing to put one foot in front of the other when experiencing daily pain and exhaustion is not easy, but it is possible when you adopt thoughts, attitudes, and habits that help you cope instead of quit.

Read More


When You Don’t Feel God’s Presence

        Do you ever feel like God is not there when you need Him? Have you ever felt like your prayers are hitting a glass ceiling? When you pray for healing, and it doesn’t happen, it’s easy to think God must not be there.
        There were two sisters named Mary and Martha in the Bible that experienced this first hand. Their brother Lazarus had been very sick, so the two sisters sent for Jesus to come. They had seen Jesus heal others, and they just knew He would heal their brother. Jesus was several days travel away, but he didn’t leave right away, and Lazarus died. By the time Jesus got there, Lazarus had been dead for four days. I can only imagine the utter devastation that Lazarus’ sisters must have felt. Here the man who had been healing the sick did not choose to heal their brother and did not even show up until four days after his death! (John 11) What kind of friend (and God!) was He?

Read More