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Many of you are still healing from the trauma that institutionalized religion created in your lives. Maybe you just can’t read your Bible right now, or can’t listen to Christian music, or you must avoid your ex-church friends . . . Allow the Lord to lead you, guide you and HEAL you. He’ll bring you back to those things in His timing.
It took me around 12 years of growing in grace before I could really delight in Christian music again. It took that long to recover from the false “praise and worship” methodology that American non-denominational churches impose on their members.
TRUE praise and worship is to live a life of trusting in and resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. And as He fellowships with us, He may actually speak to you through music!
He’s done this with me twice recently.
Last night, unable to sleep, feeling anxious and uptight, He suddenly spoke to me by “dropping” this song in my brain. It was exactly what I needed to hear! He is such a wonderful friend.
O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Before I became a Christian at age 22, I had it easy. I had never truly experienced pain and suffering. After a fun and fulfilling childhood and then a parent-funded Bachelor degree, I was ready to embark on the journey called Adult Life.
Life wasn’t perfect, but BOY, had I been sheltered! I just had no way to fathom what the next three decades would bring my way. A life where sadness, neglect, emotional abuse, mental illness, drug addiction and suicide attempts would enter my life’s path. Basically . . .
“Your Worst Life Now” could become my anti-Joel-Osteen bestselling book.
Do I regret anything that has transpired? Do I wish I had taken a different path? Do I raise my fists in anger to God?
Dang, I’m GLAD for the emotional muscles that God has built in me. I am thankful for the tribulations . . . really, in all honesty.
It’s not fun to go through difficult times, but it sure is worthwhile. And the reason is because Jesus has been there with me through it all. I had nowhere else to turn, so He literally became my ROCK.
Interviewing for a teaching position at a large homeschool co-op in 2014, I was extremely nervous that I did not possess the desired credentials. But this was a Christian ministry with their head on straight; the first question the panel asked me was, “What does Jesus mean to you?”
Are you serious!?
I immediately started bawling my head off!
Now THAT was a credential I possessed in excess. I began to tell the ladies how Jesus meant EVERYTHING to me; how He had held my hand through many difficult trials, and how I had learned to depend on and rely on Him alone.
Teaching at that co-op for the next five years, was fruitful and successful . . . in a spiritual way. To this day, I still get together with some of my ex-students, high school age, for coffee, chatting and a Bible Study (heavy on the chatting!)
My heart rejoices in the Lord! I am writing this post to testify that He gives us JOY in the midst of pain. It’s a heart-filling, overwhelming sense of peace, safety, security, love and acceptance. NOTHING is better than that.
Yes, my life is still difficult. We had another huge, terrible family emergency just four days ago; an event that could have been devastating . . . but that God had His hand in nonetheless: He works all things together for good.
Christian brother or sister, hang in there! Cry if you need to! Pray and yell and fret all you want to our Father God, He can handle it. Pour out your heart to Him at all times. Cast your cares upon Him.
For He cares for you. ❤️