Days – Even in This Place? (a Poem)

There are days when I feel like Elijah after the fire…
afraid for his life even in the face of victory.
racked with fear and mortality.
loaded down with concerns of his enemies and
what they thought about him.

There are days when I feel like Jonah after the big fish…
when he told the wicked people of God’s wrath…
and they turned from their ways
but Jonah did not…
and so, there he sat in self-pity and lamented.
“just let me die”
But God would not have any of that.

There are days when I feel like Paul in chains…
having done all I can do for ‘the cause’ but…
there’s still a thorn in my side
and it’s hurting me so – “Lord please take it away”
But He doesn’t, so here I sit here thorn and all.

There are days when I feel like Jesus overlooking Jerusalem
and I weep for the blindless of people
and I’ve done all that I can do,
and still it rends my heart because the ignorance lingers on.
and then I face my own cross and I beg for the cup to be lifted
but God does not lift it, and I must drink.

Still there are dark days that plague my heart
when storms threaten to overtake me and wash me away.
when in my strength I am completely helpless
and alone.
Have I been forsaken?
Have you left me God?
It feels as if I have no friends
no where to turn…
or run.

Lord, are you here
even in this place?

For Today. (Poem & Prayer)

Lord, today I confess I’m struggling 

my heart not brave enough for the fight 

how can I be your light of encouragement 

when this heaviness weighs groaning on me? 

You know me better than I know myself

all of my heart aches, heart breaks, 

heart’s yearnings and attacks. 

Today, though I don’t feel like it

I will serve You.  

I can’t hide, or fake it…I can’t fool you!

Ignite in me, again your passion

blow into flame this desire

set my hopes and dreams aflame

ignition begins again on my knees

in prayer.  

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Why do bad things happen to good people?

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This is one of the questions many are asking today in the aftermath of yesterday’s horrific natural disaster in Oklahoma.  Almost 60 people were killed as a mile wide tornado struck the outskirts of Oklahoma City/Moore area.  It has been reported that nearly 21 children were among the death toll in this awful destructive storm.

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So many people are questioning many things today.  Many are considering why God would allow something like this to happen.  Others are questioning why bad things seem to happen to good people.  And there really isn’t a good answer is there?  What can you say to a family in mourning when they have just lost a child or a father in the wake of this horrendous disaster?  What soothing words can we offer to grieving people when they’ve lost their entire homes, pets, and loved ones?

One of the best things we can do is to just be there.  We have to show up, without any other agenda than to be a shoulder to cry on.  As many of us view this disaster from a far, we may feel powerless to help…but we couldn’t be more wrong.  We can do a few very useful things at this very time!

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1) Pray.  As I’ve mentioned in previous articles prayer isn’t empty or something we do like rubbing a lamp and making a wish.  When we pray we are going before the Father in Heaven and He actually hears us.  We serve a God who isn’t a distant God but One who is active and living and wanting to hear our conversations.  Prayer for others is called intercessory pray…meaning we are before the Father for others, asking Him to intercede for their concerns.  Prayer is a very powerful thing that we do, it isn’t or should be construed to be a last resort kinda thing but rather a first resort daily connection to God’s infinite power.

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2) Reach out.  How do we reach out to people who are hurting right now in Oklahoma?  There are some very worthy groups on the ground right now that I know and I trust.  The Salvation Army is one of them.  They have been there minutes since this disaster occurred.  They don’t just ask for money and only give a small portion, they use what is given for these  events.  Not only will they offer physical needs to survivors and victims like food, clothing, and basic essentials, but they also counsel and offer spiritual support.

When one has gone through a disaster such as this physical support isn’t enough…one needs moral and spiritual support.  This is what I know The Salvation Army does very well.  Here are a couple ways to support The Salvation Army in these matters:  https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/eds/aok

or text  Donate Via Text:
Salvation Army by texting: STORM to 80888
Each text is a $10 donation and gets billed to your phone line.

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3) Get involved.

There are many place in your community that you serve to give back.  By helping feed people in a soup kitchen to volunteering at a local food shelf/bank.  You can help in little ways to bigger ways by signing up to help out with Emergency Disaster Teams.  But we can help in many ways by just donating our time to an organization and be available.

Questions:

So why do bad things happen to good people? and Why does God allow bad things to happen?

The easy answer is that God doesn’t cause these things to happen…it’s a natural part of the world around us.  As sad as it is, and it’s awful to witness first hand the destructive nature of these types of disasters, God didn’t make this happen!  Please know that He loves His people and He weeps with us when we lose loved ones and when bad things happen to good people.  That was never His intent or purpose.

We live in a fallen world and because of this, bad things do happen.  One might say then why doesn’t God deliver all people from these things…who’s to say that He didn’t?  Yesterday, as heart wrenching as it may be, God delivered 21 children into the loving arms of Christ.  This isn’t what any of us want, yet as that tornado bore down on that city, God saw fit to ultimately deliver lives from this world.  I wish there was additional comfort for those that were left behind in the wake of this event…yet they don’t mourn alone.  I am convinced that His angels are present and bringing comfort from the Father.  Not only are celestial angels bringing comfort, but the hands of other humans are also doing likewise.

This world in which we live was created perfectly, yet because of the fall we now live in an imperfect world.  Yet through these tragedies I am convinced we will see the determination and victories of humanity and that should also give us hope.

Please pray, please support where and when you can, and know that God weeps with us in these moments.  We aren’t alone in our sufferings and our pains.

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
― C.S. LewisThe Problem of Pain

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The closets and chest of drawers

wardrobe

 

When the rusted cut of coffee

slices through

tetnus express, I embrace

what I cannot change.

When morning breaks the mourning

of the weeping soul I left in the closet

last night, I will embrace

the embers of

the smoldering tribe.

Placing delicate fingers

retracing precious memories

the dust covered photo books

could never measure up

something tangible

something credible

If only I could touch the light

that dances off of the dust

dancing to the breeze

of my movements.

Yet, stuffing my demons

back into the chest of drawers

catching fingers along the way

I am content to remove

the cobwebs from my soul

and start again.

In memory – Sandy hook Elementary

As I heard the news my heart fell down

Such sadness filled my soul

How hatred and sin can hurt a town

While darkness takes control

As I heard the story unfold today

I cried to think of such loss

Of children gathered in Jesus’ arms

And the pain and sorrow it cost.

As I heard I wept for all the Moms and Dads

Who, with gifts under the tree for a child

Who have entered into heaven’s gates

And saw Jesus’ face and loving smile

It made me hold my children tighter

As I treasure their embrace

My prayers go out to those parent’s lives

For there are tears today on Jesus’ face.

Such sin and shame is brought to mind

Such sorrow breaks our light

As I heard the news my heart fell down

The dawn comes after the night.

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