Thursday Quote Day: Pete Wilson

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features another quote from author Pete Wilson:

“When you’re hurt or doubting, there’s nothing more comforting than hearing someone say, ‘I know what you’re going through.’ When you’re questioning and crying, there’s nothing that helps more than being told, ‘I’m in it with you.'” (Pete Wilson Plan B)

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Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 53:1-5

“Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:1-5)

This has been a really tough week in so many ways.  A lot of pain and hurt has been felt in some way shape or form.  And sometimes it feels we are alone in our pain and suffering.  It is times like these that I’m reminded of these verses from the book of Isaiah.

Here in these verses Isaiah was foretelling the coming of Jesus and what Jesus would go through on our behalf.  Isaiah said that Jesus would be “a man of sorrows”.  He would know what it’s like to be rejected.  He would know what grief and pain is like.  He would take it on so that we could be reconciled with God.  He would do it so that we could be healed.

There is a lot of suffering in this world.  There is a lot of sorrow and grief.  There is a lot of pain and rejection.  We all experience it.  But we can be assured that Jesus understands.  He knows what we’re going through because He experienced it first hand.  He did so willingly because He loves us.

This week, let us remember and share the hope of Jesus.  In the midst of our own sorrows and griefs, let us remember that we are not alone in it.  We have one with us who understands and who loves us.  We have one with us who can give us hope when it feels like we have no hope left.

Thursday Quote Day: Michael Kelley

It’s time for another Thursday Quote Day.  For this week’s quote, it is from the book Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley.  I’ve shared a quote from that book before and here is another good quote from that same book:

“Everyone hurts in one way or another. The question is what you do with that pain.”  (Michael Kelley Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal)

Thursday Quote Day: Brennan Manning

This has been a discouraging day.  To be honest, since June it’s pretty much been discouraging.  I don’t think I have ever been in a season of life that has hurt so much and felt so alone.  I think this week’s quote is very fitting in a way as I have felt deeply wounded for awhile now.  My prayer is that somehow out of all this hurt and discouragement and loss that God will use this for that next step and place of service wherever that may be.

“Anyone God uses significantly is almost always deeply wounded.” (Brennan Manning)

Monday Musings

Sometimes on Mondays you just have a bunch of jumbled thoughts and some days it’s pretty coherent.  This is one of those jumbled thoughts kind of days.  Jumbled in the sense that I have a few things in my mind I could write about but nothing that is so sustained that I could write a lot about.  So here’s some things that I’m thinking through…

*I know for me it is hard to let go of hurt sometimes.  The more I’ve been hurt, the harder it is for me to let go.  I think this is something we all struggle with but i know for me it is something I struggle with.  I think sometimes it can be our identity if we let it.  We let that pain define us when that’s not what God wants.  He doesn’t want us defined by our pain.  He wants us to find our meaning in Him.  Jesus took on all the pain and suffering on the cross.  Pain should not be something we hold on to.  But it is a struggle to let go.  But the awesome thing is when I let go of that hurt and turn it over to God, I feel so much better.  I’m more myself again.  I’m more the person God has called me to be.  I can follow Christ better because I’m not weighed down by the hurt I was holding on to previously.

*I saw a tweet this past week by author and speaker Jon Acuff that stuck with me.  He said this :  “Sometimes God redeems your story by surrounding you with people who need to hear your past so it doesn’t become their future.” I’ve been on both sides of this.  I have heard stories from friends of mine that I learned from their past and I have shared my story with others and my past.  Not only is it a way to help others, but like I said earlier it’s a way of letting go hurt as well.  Seeing that tweet reminded me that I need to share my story more because of the awesomeness of how the Gospel intersects with my story and how it can intersect with others.

Say Goodbye to the Bad Things

I am a fan of the TV show “How I Met Your Mother”.  I didn’t get into the show until a few season into the run when I was in seminary in Kansas City.  But I quickly got caught up and have watched every episode since then.  I’m sure you will get several posts about the show and about the character Ted Mosby.  When I see the character of Ted, I see some of myself in him.

Last Monday’s episode had a scene that was very poignant and stuck with me.  To set the scene, Ted and Lily (one of Ted’s best friends) are talking about a list that Ted has written up about all the things he wants to enjoy one last time before he leaves New York for Chicago.  I love how Lily responds:

“You wrote all these things to say goodbye to but so many of them are good things.  Why not say goodbye to the bad things?  Say goodbye to all the times you felt lost.  To all the times it was a no instead of a yes.  To all the scrapes and bruises.  To all the heartache.  Say goodbye to all the things you really want to do for the last time….The good things will always be here waiting for you.”

I wish I had video of this but the words still hit home.  Bad things will come.  But I plan on holding onto the good things wherever I go because I know that God has blessed me a lot even when the bad things are around.

Walking With Others Through Tough Times

It is never easy nor is it ever fun to deal with tough times.  This is the case not only for yourself but for others as well.  We all go through tough times.  That is pretty much a given in this fallen world we live in here.  We deal with pain and hurt.  Sometimes it’s of our own accord and actions and other times it’s circumstances beyond our control.  But the good thing is that we are not alone.  As followers of Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit who comforts us in those tough times.  As well, we are called to come alongside those who are hurting and be with them.

I know for me, that when I am hurting there are times that I just want to draw up inside like a turtle inside its shell.  But I have come to learn that is not the way to deal with the hurt.  I need my friends and fellow believers to come alongside and grieve with me or encourage me or simply to just be there.  The one thing about the story of Job that gets lost sometimes is Job’s friends did do something right.  At the beginning, they spend time with Job in silence.  They were there for their friend.  We need to be willing (myself included) to be when people are hurting.

This summer has been one of hurt for me and it has been for some of my friends as well.  Even in my hurt, I have grieved for others who are hurting too.  I have prayed for them in the midst of the struggles they’ve been going through just as others have been praying for me.  And though I’m still in the midst of my tough time, I know that I need to be there for others who are hurting at this time too.  This is something that has hit home for me more than any other time in my life.  One may think “When things are better for me, then I can be there for others when they’re hurting.” but that’s not the case.  In being there for others even when you are hurting, God is using that opportunity to heal you as well.

If you are going through tough times right now, find someone to talk with and be in community.  God did not intend for us to make this journey alone.  Look for others to lean on through this time and be willing to let others lean on you.  If you’re going through a smooth time, even more so be there for those who are hurting.

Pray for one another, grieve with one another, laugh with one another, fellowship with one another.  That is what we should be about as followers of Jesus, to show others that we are truly followers of Jesus and that we have a hope that gets us through tough times.