When Your Load is Heavy

Where do you go when your load is heavy? Who do you turn to when the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders? What do you do when all feels lost, and you don’t know what to do?

Sometimes, life just stinks, and there’s not a thing you can do to change it. The rain has been coming for weeks, and now it’s pouring, and you find yourself without an umbrella or raincoat; then, the lighting strikes, and the thunder rolls on and on.

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What do you do in moments like these? What is your reaction, your response, your thoughts in the midst of the torrential rains? Do you run for shelter or fight the elements? Do you grow angry and frustrated or just sit down and wallow in your tears of pity?

My thoughts turned here as my heart grew heavy today while I read a post from a friend who is having open heart surgery this morning. It was sudden, no real signs of trouble, but she just didn’t feel right. She has significant blockages, but her arteries are too small for a stent. The doctor said he is going to do as many bypasses as he possibly can to assure the best life she can obtain. She is a single mom of two college age children, about to finish her degree and just landed a great job.

I struggle with these questions as I listen to an update from another friend who has had an incredible year of troubles. Her body just developed a disorder where her arteries naturally create blockages. She’s had over a dozen surgeries and procedures over the last year, and she’s not eligible for a heart transplant. She now goes to cardiac rehab simply to obtain the best life she can possibly have with the condition,  and even this treatment can cause heart to have an episode  due to over exertion and stress. She is married, and her husband is currently overseas completing his job assignments while she is in the states dealing with all of this without him.

My heart wrestles with these scenarios and ponders the possibilities as I read yet another status from a friend who daily struggles with a condition of Anaphylaxis where she can simply awake in the night and have to inject 2 or 3 epi’s into her body just to have the time to get to the ER before she takes her last breath.

Each one of them have their own fears, doubts and questions as these circumstances play out in their lives. Each one have share both their hopes and their trepidations in living with these conditions. And each one amaze me time and again by their unfailing faith in their God. For all of these dear friends of mine know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

I cannot adequately tell you of the hope He brings in times of struggle. I cannot clearly express to you the peace He gives in moments of crisis and distress. I cannot give you a description that truly describes the abundance of His unconditional grace which you will find when you believe.

Yet, I can tell you this. When you believe, and when you completely surrender your heart to His, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You will realize the hope my friends have found.

I pray you find Him, and I pray He reveals Himself to you in such a way that you have no doubt, no question, no way of denying what we have found to be eternally true.

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Troubled America

  

She was once such a lovely place to dwell;

Now, she is a reminder of everlasting hell.

She was once a place of freedom and peace; 

Now, she is a reminder of an angry beast.

 

I cry for this country and what she has come to be.

She will soon be a place that no one will want to see.

I pray that we open our eyes and see our ruined ways.

She will soon be a place of darkened, evil days.

 

Oh please, sweet America! Wake up and see your fate!

Open your eyes and do something now before it is too late!

Oh please, Sovereign Lord! Help us change what we have become.

Open our eyes and reveal the meaning of Your Only Son.

Penned – MG – 1/1/91

 

The Tree Grew ‘Round

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Life is hard. It is what it is. There’s really no changing the way the earth spins on it’s axis or altering the person who lives in the house next door. You’re going to face hard times. I don’t care who you are, how much money you have, or how many people love you, you’re going to have disappointments in this life. You’re going to encounter obstacles in the road. It’s just the way it is, and if you haven’t had any troubles as of yet, well, just keep on living, because every elderly person on the planet can attest to this truth: Life is not always easy, and sometimes, we have to “weather through the storm.”

The question is not, “Will trials ever come?” The better question is, “What will I do when the rains do come?” If you can ever answer that question before the rains come, you will be much better suited to survive. It’s like building a shelter to be safe from the elements when you’re sleeping outside. If you build the shelter before you lie down to sleep, you’re sure to get some moments of restful sleep; however, if you never build the shelter, then, you’re left to survive whatever elements may come. The rains may come, but if you have a little shelter, it makes the night a little easier to endure.

Sometimes, in life, you’re just going to find yourself caught between a “rock and a hard place.” The rock won’t move, and the hard place won’t remove itself. Maybe it’s the day you woke up late for your new job, and your nine month old baby woke up with a stomach virus, or maybe you were laid off after just buying that brand new car. Maybe your mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and your dad began showing signs of dementia last month. Maybe your oldest son has been struggling with a hidden drug addiction, trying to sneak around, stealing money from your nightstand, and your youngest daughter has been bullied at the new school. Maybe your husband seems to be distant, and you just can’t seem to find enjoyment in any of the past delights you two once had. There are times in life when you wish it could be different. You find yourself between a rock and a hard place. You wonder what you’re going to do, how are you ever going to make it?

In that moment, you have a choice to make. You can choose to stop, to hesitate, to allow the circumstances, those hard things, to stunt your growth and keep you from reaching your destiny. You can let that rock hinder you from reaching your dreams. You can even “fold over” on top of yourself and never move beyond where you were in that moment of crisis. Or, you can choose to press forward. You can choose to be like the tree in this picture that refused to be dwarfed by the rock in the path. You can choose to allow those tough spots to make you stronger, more resilient to the pain. You can choose to find joy in the little things, blessings in those people who surround you in that moment of heartache, and even, just peace in the gentle breeze that blows or warmth in the sun that shines. You can choose to grow ’round that rock that crept into your path on your way to greatness.

We all have choices which hold us back from our destiny or propel us toward our dreams. It’s up to us to choose, and when we make that choice of forward determination, our lives will be better for it. Let’s be those whose “life tree” may have twists and turns, bends and curves, but whose branches still reach around those hard places up toward the sky.
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