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Sanity Break

Years ago I owned a childcare center. As I would go through the new hire orientation, I would let them know how stressful the job could be (Imagine being trapped in a room with 22 two year olds for 8 hours). I would tell them to come to me when they needed a sanity break. Then I would add, “We all get to the end of our rope sometimes. When you get to the knot on the end, that’s when you come to me. Please don’t wait until you’re holding on by the thread below that.”

One day, I was sitting in my office doing paperwork, and I saw a lady quickly go by, grab the doorknob to exit and on her way out say, “Mr. Chris, I gotta have that sanity break now!” My first thought was, “Who’s with your class?” I jumped up and ran to the room to watch the kids. Several minutes later she returned. She apologized for waiting too long, and we began discussing the importance of coming to me before that happened again.

Just like working in that environment, every day stresses add up. Life can be overwhelming at times. We all get to the end of our rope and want to walk out at times. The burdens we carry around with us can often get the best of us too. Jesus understood that, and still does. In Matthew 11:28 jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (NLT). He’s telling us to come to Him before we get to the end of our rope.

His call, “Come to me,” goes out to you and me today. It’s up to us to go to Him and to hand Him the things that are weighing us down. It’s ok to say, “Lord, i can’t carry this anymore. Will you take it? Give me your burden please.” In that moment, when you trust Him to take it, there is a sweet release. Your problems won’t go away, and life will still be coming at you, but you won’t have to bear the weight of it. God cares for you and your situation. He calling to you today, “Come to me.”

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

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But God Is Still On His Throne


I once knew someone who had an interesting answer for the question, “How are you?” No matter what was going on, after he told you, he would say, “But God is still on His throne.” He could have lost his job, he could have been sick, or was going through a bad time in his life. No matter what it was, he would always add, “But God is still on a His throne,” to the sentence. It was always a peculiar answer to me, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to understand it more.

For him, it was about keeping things in perspective. He could wallow in the negative things happening in his life or he could admit they were happening, and then remind himself and others that God was still in control. He knew that God was aware of what was happening in His life, and that phrase would encourage himself and others when he said it. I’m begging to think he picked it up from King David.

In Psalm 102, David is talking about all the things happening to him. For 11 verses he speaks of wasting away, pain in his body, insomnia, being taunted by others, uncontrollable crying, and being depressed. He speaks of all the things going wrong in his life, then he changes his tune in verse 12. He says, “Yet you, God, are sovereign till, always and ever sovereign” (MSG). He was saying, “But you God are still on your throne.”

It’s a good practice to get into especially if you’re going through a difficult time right now. If things aren’t adding up in your life or happening as quickly as you’d like, remind yourself that God is still on His throne. All is not lost. He is working things out for your good. He will give you the strength to endure as he develops character in you. Nothing has the power to completely overtake you as long as He is on His throne.

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Being Ignored


One of the cruelest things we learn to do as kids is to ignore someone. We learn at an early age that being ignored hurts us and drives us crazy. We want to be seen and acknowledged. There is a deep seated need in us to be a part of community and being ignored takes that from us. It makes us question ourselves and plays mind games with us. It’s worse when the people who care about us and are supposed to love us do it to us. 

Many times, we go through things and feel like God is ignoring us. It feels like He’s not listening to our prayers and that He doesn’t care what we are going through. In those times, we can feel like God has forgotten us and our mind begins to deceive us. The truth is that God always hears your prayers and doesn’t ignore you. He never leaves us nor forsakes us according to the Bible. We can hold on to that promise when our feelings are trying to get us to believe otherwise. 

Here are some verses that show God does not ignore us.

1. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
Psalms 66:19-20 NLT

2. He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering; he does not turn away from them, but answers when they call for help.
Psalm 22:24 GNT

3. For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.
Psalms 9:12 NLT

4. But the needy will not be ignored forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.
Psalms 9:18 NLT

5. Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!
Luke 12:6-7 GNB

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A Life Giving Well


Several years ago, when I was going through a rough time and was barely hanging on, my Sunday School teacher and his wife spoke life into me. Week after week, I’d show up for class and he would say, “I’ve been praying for you this week. I feel like God wants you to read this verse.” Or he would say, “As I was seeking the Lord for you this week, God spoke this to me for you.” When the voice in my head wanted to end things, I would remember those verses or what God spoke through him and keep going.

His words and prayers were life to me. I looked forward to going to Sunday School each week because I knew that he would have something for me. I needed the life giving words that he would show up with. I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:21 that says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose” (MSG). I’m thankful that he chose words that give life. He could have easily condemned me, but he didn’t. 

Another proverb I love is Proverbs 10:11. It says, “The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well, but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.” These verses always make me question what words I choose to use. Am I speaking life from a deep well or death from a dark cave? It’s one or the other and we get to choose. Today, find someone and speak words of life to them. You never know if they’re just barely hanging on and need the encouragement like I did. 

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Asking For Help


No matter who you are, you’ll need help at some point in your life. You will face things that you can’t do on your own. If you’re like me, you try to do it alone anyway. My pride says, “You don’t need anyone’s help. You got into this by yourself, you can get out of it by yourself.” I try to project strength instead of admitting my weakness. What inevitability happens is that I end up wearing myself out in the process. One time, I collapsed on the floor and cried out to God, “I can’t do this anymore! Help me.” He replied, “Finally.”

God was waiting on me to look to Him for help, but my pride kept me from it. I had to endure a lot more pain than necessary because I wasn’t willing to admit I needed help. Since that time, I’ve learned to look to Him first when I need help. It doesn’t take long to pray, “God, I can’t do this on my own. I need your help.” It does take humility though, but God honors that. He wants to help us with our daily issues.

David learned this lesson as well. After being anointed king, he was constantly in danger and was running for his life. He learned to quit trying to go at it alone, and to go to God. In Psalm 25:15, he wrote, “I look to the Lord for help at all times” (GNT). He didn’t just go to God with some things. He went to Him with all his issues, and God came to His rescue. It wasn’t because David was any different that us. It was because David was humble enough to recognize he needed help from God daily.

Whatever you’re facing today, God stands ready to help. He’s waiting for us to trust His all sufficient grace to help us get through life. Don’t wait until you’re mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted before you cry out for help. Let go of your pride, and look to God for help at all times. It’s not a weakness to admit you need help. It takes strength to overcome your pride and admit it. Once you do, you’ll find that God is willing and able to step in and do what needs to be done. 

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A Blessing Thief


If I’m honest, I’d rather be a person who helps others than a person who receives help from others. It’s hard for me to accept help even when I need it. There have been times in my life though when I’ve needed help because I was unable to do what needed to be done. When others tried to help, I tried to push them away. Then one day, a person who was trying to help me said, “You’re robbing me of my blessing if you don’t let me help!” I had never thought of it like that.

I had forgotten that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I was definitely blessed by their giving, but I didn’t think about the blessing on the other side. I know they weren’t doing it for the blessing, but in my refusal, I was robbing them of what they would have received from God for helping me. Every act of service gets two blessings. By declining my blessing (which was a dumb thing), I was denying them theirs. So why do we reject help?

For me, I grew up in a family that needed the help of others often. God was always faithful to us and people showed up at the right times. I’ll never forget one family that helped me in particular. As they gave me a tremendous gift, I asked how I could repay them. They said, “One day when you’re able, do the same for others.” I decided then and there that I wanted to be a person who helped others rather than a person who needed help. So when I need help, it takes me back to that time and feelings of being the poor kid come up.

In Matthew 10, Jesus was sending out the disciples to preach all over Israel. He told them not to take any money, which meant they would be dependent on other’s help. He knew that needing help also keeps us humble. In verse 41 He spoke a life changing truth when He said, “Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help” (MSG). By accepting help from others, you are actually helping them. They get a blessing from your acceptance. Don’t deny or rob others of blessings because of pride. Look at it as your way of helping them when you have nothing else to give. Don’t be a blessing thief.

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Nothing Is Too Hard For God

A friend of mine asked me to pray for his brother who was sick and being taken to the hospital. When he told me the diagnosis, I replied, “That’s not too hard for God.” The truth is that there is nothing too hard for Him. When we hear a diagnosis, run out of money, get our hearts broken, lose our job or anything else that affects the way we live, we tend to look at it with our human eyes. We see the impossibility of recovery instead of the God who makes all things possible. We see the negative instead of the positive.

We get so used to walking by sight that we box God in. We tell Him what He can do and can’t do. We limit His ability to make a way where there seems to be no way. We look at the situation we are trapped in and desperately try to find a way out, but all we see are blocked paths. Sometimes that’s the way it is. There’s no way out. “When God closes a door, look for a window” is not in the Bible. God allows us to be in those moments where there’s no way out so that He can show us that He’s still in charge. He wants to remind us that He is able. He wants to grow our faith.

Nothing drives us to our knees faster than being in a no way out situation. Nothing makes us depend on God more than to have no power over a situation. The Israelites were up against the Red Sea when they were leaving captivity in Egypt. Pharaoh and his army were closing in fast. There was no where to turn, no weapons to fight with and panic was setting in. They were exactly where God led them, yet they were cornered into a desperate situation. Instead of crying out to God, they complained and said they would have rather died as slaves than to be killed in the wilderness. They would have rather gone back to a life of sight than a life of faith.

In Exodus 14:13-14, Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent (ESV).” Think about that in the situation you are in today. Don’t fear. Don’t panic. Stay calm and trust God. He will work for you today. Then it says that The Lord will fight for you. He will fight your battle so you don’t have to. You only have to be silent. Just stand back and watch God work.

He sees your situation. In fact, it’s part of His plan for your life. He’s growing you through the tough times. When your back is against the wall and there’s no way out, that’s when God does the most amazing things. It takes us not acting in fear in those times to see the victory. It takes us holding on to God’s Word to get us through. The outcome may not be the way we thought it should have happened, but it will happen the way God intended it to. No one in Israel thought The Lord would part the Red Sea. His answer may not come in the way you think it will, but it will come right on time. Remember, there is nothing too hard for God.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV)

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