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?

Bits and Peaces

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…” John 14:27

We all find ourselves in places of anxiety and stress from time to time.
There are moments when such stress can lead to health issues and at the very least panic attacks.
Stress like this is never helpful or healthy, it can debilitate us and leave us feeling beaten and broken.
There are moments in my life when I have felt as if I am barely staying afloat as the waters seem to crest over me…it isn’t a pleasant feeling…it is often a very frightening and unsettling moment.

stormsPerhaps you too have experienced these ebbs and flows of stress and anxiety.
Like wading at high-tide the waves crash into you go back out only to collect more strength in order to do it all again…If left unchecked they can eat away at you, hollowing you out until you are just a shell of what you once were.  When moments like these come sometimes we buy into a lie.  What is this lie you ask?  It is the lie that we accept as truth…the lie that tells us that we never truly trusted God…the lie that sometimes even extends to include “God has never actually been here for you anyway…where is He now?”

Just like that ebb and flow of the ocean of stress, these lies can seep into our hearts until we accept them as truth.  BUT the truth is amidst the cascading surge of anxiety there is STILL hope!  There is STILL love.  There is STILL protection and grace…there is STILL RESCUE AND PEACE.  Jesus, the very same Lord of our lives who promised to provide His peace to His followers (which includes me and you) is with us, His life sustaining presence can give us peace and He can calm the storms in our lives no matter how fierce they may be.

storm1Do you remember the disciples thrashing about in a boat in fear as a mighty storm threatened to capsize them?  Do you remember where Jesus was at that moment?  (Read Mark 4:38)  He was asleep in the stern of the boat.  ASLEEP!  His disciples were extremely afraid and their Rabbi and teacher was asleep.  They call out to Him, they wake Him with their concerns…so what did Jesus do?  He got up and commanded the storm to be still.  Sure, the disciples were scolded for having little faith, but consider the might of Jesus -with. His. Words. He. Calms. The. Storm.  – WHAT???  Yes, with mere words spoken by Jesus, the storm completely stops.

Do you have any storms in your life that need to be stopped?
Are the storm clouds brewing around you?
Is your stress level through the roof and you can’t seem to find that peace that was promised?
Are you picking up the bits and pieces?  Do not be afraid, He is with you!  Even if you doubt, He can come through for you.  Don’t buy into the lie that you are beyond saving or that He isn’t listening…He can will calm the storms…just cry out to Him!

**I should also point out that if you suffer from depression, stress, anxiety and a slew of other constant struggles that it isn’t a sign of weakness to seek out counseling and help.  God has placed some very gifted counselors around us to help us.  Don’t ignore the warning signs.  Don’t feel as if you can “manage” it on your own, seek help and find this peace too!**

God can help you pick up the bits and pieces replacing it with peace.
Trust Him!
Something more to ponder today…To God be the glory!

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