We all have times in our life that we would call "difficult." When I was a teenager, it was because some boy I thought was "cute" walked right by me and didn't say a word -- and my personal perception would be deflated. As I have grown older, my "difficult times" have changed in nature -- and I have also become much more aware of other people's "difficult times" and my sense of inadequacy to help them through them. As a Christian, I turn to God for the answers.
Recently, several of my on-line friends have gone through some really tough things. A baby with surgery, the loss of a child at birth, job related problems, financial issues and personal conflicts to be resolved. My heart has gone out to each of them. I have prayed for them...and continue to do so.
I read a great little book this weekend that really encouraged me...and today I thought I would share just a couple of things from it. The title of the book is, The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times, by Robert Morgan.
It starts with a quote from one of my favorite writers, Charles Spurgeon, "The Lord will make a way for you where no foot has been before. That which, like a sea, threatens to drown you, shall be a highway for your escape."
I love that. I could have just stopped right there and been fully ministered to. Here is a quick outline of the 10 rules:
1. Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
2. Be more concerned for God's glory than your relief
3. Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord
5. Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work
6. When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.
7. Envision God's enveloping presence.
8. Trust God to deliver in His own unique way
9. View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
10. Don't forget to praise Him.
None of these rules make the "difficult times, pain or sadness" go away. But they were a comfort to me...in my own personal "difficult times." God does seem to have mysterious ways...and the Bible acknowledges this in John 13:7 "Jesus answered and said, 'What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."
I love hymns. Don't get me wrong -- I love contemporary Christian music as well...but sometimes there is a richness of blessing old hymns...like this one.
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm
You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercey and shall break
In blessings on your head
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
but trust Him for His grace
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
and scan His work in vain
God is His own interpreter,
and He will make it plain.
I know that I can trust Him to save and deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. He will save and deliver in His own unique qay, whether miraculous, providential or mysterious. He always does that for His children. That is His specialty.
I love you my friends...and wish there were a way to avoid these "difficult times." Know that I am thinking of you and praying for you...and willing to wait with you for God's answer.