Happy Friday, my friends! The last one of this glorious month of October. It was unusually dark this morning as I was backing the car out of the garage to take my daughter to school. I did a double-take of the time to make sure we were heading out at the same time. Yup, 7 am. Praise God, it’s Friday!
Slowly, making the way to school, I reflected on a quote that I read last night, in my Reader’s Digest, that was stuck in my memory. It’s by Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kuber-Ross:
“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
Immediately, after reading that quote, I thought of Jesus. He is the light within me. If I think of myself as that stained glass window, and His light as shining in me, how much more do I shine when life is good and joy is filling my heart?! It’s easy, right?
But what about the cloudy, gloomy days? Does my light flicker and wane as the cares of this world blow blustery around it? Or do I feed the flame with the light of Jesus and the Word of God to shine brighter and brighter inviting others to share in the glory? I pray so!
I want all of the broken pieces of my life (the broken dreams, heartbreak, and difficult times) to shine as a beautiful stained glass mosaic as a result of the glory of God with the light of Jesus shining from within me. To do that, especially during dark days, I have to add fuel to the flame. I do this by reading the Word of God, praying, singing along to worship music, and fellowshipping with other believers.
“Where is your “gloomy, cloudy” place today? Where do you need the light of Jesus to shine? Christ is God’s plan to dispel darkness–by sending His son, the Light of the world, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NIV) Seek Him, He is waiting for you with open arms. And unlike the rising dawn and setting sun, His light will never go away. He is everlasting!
All the glory to God,
Image of “Let there be light” stained glass picture by Clare Forster
Image of “Let the light of Christ Shine” candle image by southernspiritonline.com
Kuber-Ross, Elisabeth. “Reader’s Digest Quotes.” November 2018 edition. Print.
Good morning friends! It is a beautiful, clear, sunny fall day here in the Pacific Northwest and, I say, “Thank you, Jesus!” I know, all too soon, the days will be shorter, darker, and much-needed rain will be nourishing the thousands of Evergreens blanketing this state. Also, snow will thicken and cover the Cascade Mountains and gorgeous Mount Rainier! Breathtaking images that remind me of our creator. 🙂
Today I was focusing my thoughts on a message I had received last Tuesday, from a close friend and mentor, Vicki-Lynn. During our messages, she said, “God doesn’t waste our pain.” I needed that reminder especially this week. There is not any “major” thing going on, but many, many hiccups. Do you ever have those days where one thing after another goes wrong?! And then the next day is kind-of similar? So when the third day comes around, it takes a ton of momentum and a whole lot of Jesus to throw the covers off of you, roll out of bed, and say “Good Morning, I am ready for today!!”
At the beginning of this week, I would not have been able to greet you with the same enthusiasm and smiles had I not reflected on my friend’s perfectly timed message and God’s word. Diving into God’s Word helped me to greet this morning in a fresh, Holy-Spirit anointed way. Check it out:
Isn’t that reassuring? God does not waste any tears, hardships, lessons, and it doesn’t matter how big or small the difficulties are to us. He sees and knows them all! Pastor Jim Duggan reflects on a revelation God gave him during a very difficult time:
“God reminded me that not only is He an all-knowing God, but a purposeful God. He even finds a purpose for our pain. God comforted me that day with the knowledge that He would use my experience to prepare me to help others who may one day experience the same thing. My hurt was real, and it ran real deep. But God’s grace dives deeper than any depth to which our heart can plunge.”
It seems as though every day we are bombarded with conflicts among countries, divided political parties, violence in schools, problems at work, families in crisis mode, etc., which leads to high levels of stress and, in turn, pain.
God sees and knows you, my friend! He wants to take every burden and hurt you carry, and give you the love and peace that only He can give you. He has an incredible plan for You and He will use your experiences for His glory to help others!! Isn’t that incredible?!
But, how, right?! Here are some steps I have used to move from hurt to help to hope:
1. Have a relationship with Jesus and talk to Him daily. If the Lord Jesus is not your personal Savior, and you are ready to trust Jesus with your life, pray:Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. Thanks for making me a child of God. I now surrender my life to You and Your purposes. Give me, by Your Holy Spirit, the boldness to confess my faith in You to others. I ask this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
2. Ask God to help you to move from hurting to helping. Pastor Jim Duggan explains it this way, “Rather than asking God to deliver you from your hurt, ask Him to use your hurt to help others.” God has promised to comfort us, be with us, and strengthen us. Trust God and ask Him to empower you. He will and this is where you shift from hurting to helping.
3. Once you have placed your trust in God and released your hurt to Him, He can use your pain to help others and this offers hope to you and all the people God places in your life. “The things we learn about life, God, and ourselves in the difficult moments are the greatest lessons. Only a God as great as Jehovah can cause His glory to shine through our pain” (Duggan, Jim). Amen! Praise God!
From hurt to help to hope
Have faith. Be courageous. God can use you and He will prepare you for it. Rest in His presence, seek the Holy Spirit, and talk to Him daily. He loves you, my friend!
My question to you now is this:
How is God going to use your hurt to help others?
We are all surrounded by hurting people. You are valued and people need to hear your story! We all have experienced some type of pain whether it is: sickness, addiction, financial problems, job loss, death of a loved one, etc. God can use everything.
Ask God and take courage in Him–today is the day You can bless others!!
All the glory to God,
Duggan, Pastor Jim. “God Does Not Waste Our Pain.” October 24, 2017. JimDuggan.org.
Image of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 by Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe. wordpress.com.
God is first and foremost in my life.
my husband Steve, daughters Suzanne and Savannah,
my AMAZING family and friends,
the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest,
traveling and camping,
a GREAT cup of coffee with my morning devotionals,
and my Sumner Family Church family. :)