I get this question a lot from women in difficult life circumstances... but what do I do? After decades of following Jesus, walking through my own ongoing sorrow and helping others do the same, this... this is what you do LOVE others Sometimes love confronts, sometimes it overlooks. Sometimes love says yes and sometimes it says no. Ask for wisdom from the Lord to know which to do. When you get it right, praise him. When you get it wrong, confess, and receive forgiveness from him (you may or may not get it from someone else). LAMENT pain In this world you WILL have trouble (John 16:33) Get good at lamenting the hard things that happen to you and others. Weep out loud, let others share the burden of grief. Express your heartache through song, art, dance, writing, gardening, and any other way you know how. The biblical characters put on sack cloth and sat in ashes... something to think about. LEAN into the God of all comfort. Jesus says "in ME you WILL have peace..." He did not say in your job, marriage, kids, body, you will have peace. Jobs change, marriages struggle, kids rebel, bodies breakdown. Take courage the man of many sorrows acquainted with bitterest grief has overcome the world! God our Father is gracious, merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 145:8). Talk to him. Listen to him. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." LEARN how to see life inside eternity This time bound life of minutes, days, months and years is so incredibly short compared to enternity! Think about that, really stop and consider how short time is here vs there. Panning out to see the bigger picture of life inside eternity is one of the best ways to gain perspective inside of anything you are walking through. I can not say it enough... This. Is. Not. All. There. Is. When you terminate your thoughts on life inside of time and space, your sorrow will be exponentially greater, heavier, and far more burdensome. Lift your eyes, allow yourself to get curious about eternity. Ask, seek, and you will find! Here are some verses to get you started... "our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" Philippians 3:20 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.“ Collissians 3:3 "...desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one." "...looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." Hebrews 11 "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, stop, don't just skim over it, ponder what an eternal weight of Glory might look like, feel like. Invite your mouth to allow a smile cross your face as you think about this weighty eternal glory being BEYOND all comparison. Use your God given imagination for good. Lord knows how often we allow our imaginations to run wild with catastrophic thinking. Let the imaginative Creator redeem your imagination.
"...as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 2 Corinthians 4:17-5:8 And as I said to a client this week, "Rinse and repeat." The dishes have to be done again and again, it's part of life. Let this cycle of loving, lamenting, leaning, and learning be your new year cycle.