Still Believing in Difficult Times

During a difficult season of life our faith in God can be shaken. What has helped people in the past? We have examples in the Bible that point to communication/relationship with God and the experience of love and acceptance. We are blessed to have God’s word—the Bible.

Moses and Elijah led the people of Israel through very difficult situations. They spoke with God and listened for his guidance.

Moses received direction again and again from God as he led Israel out of slavery. Sometimes his nerves were frayed but he continued to seek God and obey.

Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight’. Now therefore if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Exodus 33: 12-13, 17

Elijah was called to be a prophet but endured times of great hardship. 

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives , before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word. And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. 1 Kings 17: 1-5a

Ruth, the Moabite, chose to leave her country and travel with Naomi to Israel after her husband died. Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a living son or daughter. I believe that Ruth experienced loving acceptance from her mother-in-law. 

Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Ruth 1: 16

The Bible was a sustaining resource for my son, Steven. He learned many Bible verses, encouraged by the Awana program at church. During the final weeks of his life he was comforted by these verses.

And I heard a loud verse from the throne saying, “Behold the dwelling place of of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:3-4

Relationship with Jesus and access to God in prayer. Experience of love–giving and receiving. The Bible. These are the tools we have for a difficult season.

Sharing this post with the Five Minute Friday writing community.

Any Truth in Fairy Tales?

Many fairy tales begin with once upon a time. It is interesting that these children’s stories can include suffering and waiting. 

Cinderella was treated harshly by her stepmother and stepsisters. When the fairy godmother makes a way for her to go to the Prince’s ball, she has to leave at midnight. And days, perhaps weeks, go by until the prince finds her.

Snow White flees from her stepmother and goes to live with the seven dwarfs, keeping house for them. When the witch gives her the poisoned apple she falls into a long sleep. The dwarves are convinced that she has died. Eventually the prince finds her and awakens her.

These stories tap into a truth about life in our broken world. 

Currently I am reading through the book of Genesis, taking in the account of Joseph and his brothers once more. Joseph went from favorite son, to slave, to wrongly accused. He spent two or more years in jail before he was brought before Pharaoh.

Suffering is part of the human condition. 

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  . . . Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 1. 3-5

We will meet difficult times in our life. I can testify that God hears our prayers. He has helped me. Sometimes we wait for the answer, and sometimes the answer is different than what we expected. God hears the prayers of his people.

This post is linked with the Five Minute Friday writing community. Kate’s prompt for today is: ONCE I am also sharing this post with Heart Encouragement and Hearth and Soul.

Finding Joy in a Difficult Season

In so many ways life is not normal now. High school seniors are graduating without ceremony . . . the elderly are isolated in nursing homes without visitors . . . completely unexpected job loss . . . health care workers are furloughed.

Currently I am reading the biography of John Adams by David McCullough. The book is giving me a picture of what life was like leading up to and during the American Revolution. There was disruption, suffering and many challenges. Yet, Abigail and John Adams persevered.

The little book of Nehemiah in the Bible describes the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. The people were challenged and threatened. They guarded the wall by night and labored during the day. Nehemiah kept his focus on the grace, mercy and faithfulness of God. He set an example for the people and provided leadership. In the midst of difficulty there was thanksgiving.

We have great examples of faith to encourage us. God’s word and prayer are resources for us.

The LORD is good,

a stronghold in the day of trouble;

he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7

The joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b

Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a writing prompt. Today’s prompt is: NORMAL. Linking this post with Five Minute Friday and Heart Encouragement.