There's comfort available, even when life is difficult|
Posted 8/17/2012 Updated 8/17/2012
Commentary by Cindy Sena-Martinez
JBER Chapel Center
8/17/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Let's just face it, sometimes life is difficult.
We all face difficulties and for some, these difficulties can be ruthless, seemingly unbearable, or excruciatingly painful.
Whether it is caring for an ailing parent; meeting the demands presented by our many relationships - spouse, children, extended family, friends, employer, or enduring the separation from one's spouse during a deployment.
We face so many uncertainties and at times the load we carry is very great.
If we are in the midst of a crisis, it is not easy to see through the fog of despair and grief as we struggle to endure, losing sight of hope and ultimately becoming paralyzed spiritually and emotionally.
During these times, we fail to hear or see anyone, especially when we perceive that
person as not understanding just what we are suffering through.
Our own thoughts become toxic as we deceive ourselves about reality saying things like "no one understands me," "I just can't do this anymore," or "why me?"
We find ourselves stuck in a moment, a pain filled situation, and we can be tempted to think that there is no rest, no relief in our time of despair.
Sometimes the aching and crying overwhelm us and we are reminded just how fragile we are.
The pain is real and in our humanness we become vulnerable to other stressors that would, in normal circumstances, be dismissed as small, are now enormous.
We become hopeless and helpless when every emotion intensifies over the smallest things and we explode with anger or rage or implode with isolation and loneliness.
The fact is we have all experienced these moments, either directly or indirectly (through a family member, co-worker, spouse, or child).
The truth is that there is hope and relief will come to us.
There is a certainty, a steadfast and soothing balm that is available to us and that is through the love of our creator.
This love is with us and ever present, especially in our darkest hour.
The truth is that through perseverance and prayer we can rely on our God to lift us up, out of the fog.
By means of perseverance in the truth we can lift our heavy hearts and cloudy minds.
Even through our tears we can proclaim, "Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise."
As we persevere in prayer we begin to make room, in spite of our pain; room for a new experience.
When we begin to identify hope in the smallest ways, we will eventually be led to accept the promises of God.
If you feel that you cannot do this alone, invite others to pray for you or with you; intercessory prayer is a powerful way to find faith in a community.
Choose a bible verse that is hope-filled and encouraging so when the negativity starts creeping back into your thoughts, you can immediately respond in prayer: "God, help me."
The prophet Isaiah states, "They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint" (Is. 40:31).
Let all your pain be known to God, engage in a conversation with God, invite God to take
up residence in your difficulties so that through Him, you might have the promise of complete joy, even in your grief.
Scripture tells us, "We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3-4).
Just for today, just in this moment allow God's love to embrace you; then, repeat this every minute of every day.
"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance" (2 Thessalonians 3:5).