Deuteronomy 33:27 NKJV 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV
The eternal God is your refuge, …casting all your care upon Him,
And underneath are the everlasting arms. for He cares for you.
I am extremely blessed.
God has blessed me with an awesomely wonderful wife. He has gifted me with a home full of kids. I have a great extended family that is mostly drama-less. Mostly.
I have a great church. I am privileged to lead a growing institution that is filled with great hardworking employees.
Don’t think for a moment that my life is perfect. HA!! Far from it. We all have our own struggles and trials and failings. I am certainly no exception.
In spite of it all, I realize that I am truly blessed. But I know that not everyone feels the same about their lives.
Not everyone is feeling the blessings, even though they may be there.
Not everyone is living in Suburbia USA with a nuclear family and all the trimmings.
Actually, many are hurting severely. For many, it seems there are more questions than can ever be answered. More stone walls than open doors. More impassable roadblocks than spanning bridges.
After I posted Dad-deVotional #2, I got a Facebook message from a reader. That is exactly where they were. Life was completely unraveling. Separation. Hearts that were once closely knit together, now torn, shredded. Seemingly irreparably.
“What is my job, then? Where do we go next? How does this work?”
My heart broke. I wish I had answers. I wish I could make a difference.
“God, can’t you make everything better? Can’t you reach down and change their heart? Can’t you turn this pain into joy? I want to laugh again. I want to feel happy again.”
Those words weren’t the readers questions and pleas. Those echoed from the pain-stricken chambers of my own heart years ago.
You see, my childhood home was shattered to pieces by divorce. You can read some about it here. Life wasn’t all peaches and cream when I was a kid.
All I could ask was, Why? Was it something I did? What happened to our happy family? What does any of this mean? Why am I so confused?
I prayed. And I prayed. I begged God to repair my parents relationship; to restore their broken hearts. I pleaded with God to make us a family again. To turn back the clock and make everything right again.
Guess what? It never happened. You see, some broken things can never be mended. Some wounds leave a grand gaping hole that may appear to close but the gnarly twisted scar is a reminder of the pain of the past.
I don’t understand a broken home from a Dad’s point of view. I experienced it as a child. But, believe me, the pain was real. Sometimes we have to live and struggle through the pain.
And that is when we abandon ourselves to God. That is when we cast our every care on Him. That is when we trust that His everlasting arms are wide enough, strong enough, and every other “enough” you can think of.
He is MORE than enough for you. He is MORE than enough for me. (I dare you to really give Him a chance. He has never disappointed me nor let me down.)
That is all good and fine, Josh. But it doesn’t really answer my questions.
Well, I could argue that it does, but I know what you mean.
What do you DO when life is unraveling before your eyes?
I am going to get all scholarly on you and give you some bullet points. Don’t tune me out. These are important. Three Ways to Make it Through the Pain:
1. Don’t forget to love your kids.
After my parents divorced, my mom never remarried. She flung herself and all of her energy into raising her two boys. We were the most important people in her life and we knew it. No matter what kind of turmoil you are experiencing, your kids need you. Make sure they know you are always nearby. Loving and nurturing them should be your top priority.
2. Realize you are not the first one to experience this
I am not saying that to hurt you or make you feel childish. But realize there are many others that have walked this road. Find them. Seek their counsel. Confide in someone that knows what you are going through and made it through alive. They may be in your circle of friends. They may be at your local church. Maybe even your Pastor or another spiritual advisor.
3. Fall on the grace and mercy of God
I already mentioned this so I will keep it brief. Complete abdication of self. Absolute surrender. Total abandonment of me. Embrace that He knows what is best and place your trust 100% in Him.
Easier typed on a blog than done in real life? Of course.
Guys, your current life situation may not be sublime. You may be facing a road of pain. But pain is what makes you strong. Resistance is what builds you. The rough edge of the wet stone is the only remedy for a dull poorly honed blade.
Difficulty is often the only way to make you into the man you desire to be. The man that your children and those around you desperately need you to be.
Hold on. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
What has helped you through difficult times? A friend, a Scripture, a prayer? I would love for you to share in the comments below.