Sunday Devotional: Lamentations 3:24-25

““The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.”  (Lamentations 3:24-25)

Patience is something that I have needed a lot of work on.  I have gotten better at patience but I still need a ways to go before I can say I’m a patient person.  This week was a real struggle for me.  I felt hurt and depression down to my soul.  God led me to these verses as a reminder.

The prophet Jeremiah knew all about hurt and suffering.  He endured a lot as a prophet serving the Lord.  Yet even in his laments, he still had this hope.  “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in him.”  God is enough, even in those painful times when hope seems lost.  We are able to find our hope in Him.

Waiting is so hard.  But when we are waiting for Him, He is there.  He helps us to endure.  He helps us to persevere and overcome.  We are able to do this because of His working inside of us.

This week, let us find our hope in Him.  Let us cling to the truth that God is there for us when we wait for Him.  And even though the waiting is excruciatingly tough, He loves us so and is there to comfort us.  Let us rejoice in Him.  Because when we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.

The Flash and Trying to Outrun Pain

The-Flash

One of my favorite new TV shows is The Flash.  I’m a huge fan of the comic book character and I am really enjoying the TV show.  It tells the story of Barry Allen, a scientist who works for the Central City Police Department.  He gets struck by lightning and the mix of the lightning, chemicals and a blast from a particle accelerator grant him the ability of super speed.  He uses his new found abilities to fight crime in the city.  He also is dealing with the death of his mother as a child and his father being wrongfully accused of the death.

In one of the first few episodes of the show he made the following statement:  “I thought being the fastest man alive would make my life easier.  That I could outrun anything.  Turns out, no one can outrun pain.”  Through the course of the episode he was trying to “outrun” or not deal with pain which included still wrestling with the loss of his mother.  But by the end of the episode he realizes that even the ‘fastest man alive’ can’t outrun pain.

We all want to outrun pain.  We all have something or someone that hurts us.  And we want to run away from the pain and not deal with it.  But like Barry Allen, we can’t outrun pain.  It’s there and it’s something that we have to deal with.  But the good news is we don’t have to deal with the pain alone.  God knows this and He’s right there with us.  He sends the Holy Spirit to us.  Part of the Holy Spirit’s job is to comfort us, to be with us when we are hurting.

We may not have super speed like Barry Allen.  But we do know what it feels like to deal with pain, whether it’s physical or emotional.  And we know that we can’t outrun pain.  But it’s great to know someone who understands pain.  Someone who has dealt with pain and who can sympathize and empathize with us.  And we know that we are not alone and have to deal with the pain by ourselves.  We have Jesus with us.  There’s no pain and no problem that can get ahead of Him.

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)

Lessons That I’ve Learned (Or Relearned) On The Journey This Week

It is good to reflect on a regular basis the lessons learned (or in some cases relearned).  Here’s some of those for this week:

*Pain is a part of life.  I say this not as something that I didn’t know but as something I was reminded of this week.  I helped my brother put on a new roof on his garage.  One day was spent tearing off the old roof and another day was spent putting on the new roof.  After one day, I was sore.  After two days, I was very sore.  It’s been two days since and I still feel a little sore from it.  Pain is a part of life, at least in the fallen world we live in now.  There will come a day when pain will no longer be a part of the equation.  There will be life with no pain.  I do look forward to that day.  In the meantime, just keep trusting in Christ to help overcome.

*All you can do is your part, you can’t do anyone else’s part.  I learned this phrase while I was in South Carolina.  It was in regard to discipleship and following Jesus.  It was this “There’s your part, there’s their part & there’s God’s part.”  You are only in control of your part.  I know for me that sometimes I wish that I was in control of all of it.  But that’s not the way it goes, and that’s a good thing.  It is hard enough to do my part.  But the good part of this is that if I do my part then I can live with that.  If I’m not doing my part, then that’s on me.  This can relate to all parts of my life & in all the different relationships I have.  It’s not easy but it is something I’m working on and trying to get better so I can be a good example of this.

I’ll leave you with this song.  It is the theme song from the movie “From Up on Poppy Hill”.  It is one of my favorite films from Hayao Miyazaki.  The song is in Japanese but listen to the melody and the music.  The title is translated into English as “Summer of Farewells” fitting since summer has essentially come to an end.