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Many are the days I have struggled against the ravages of time and illness, gaining new aches and pains, while losing strength and capacities of my youth. Some of the harder losses I met with anger and tears, but no more. For God has provided that as the body declines with age we are compensated with wisdom and understanding, if we are willing to stop periodically and listen with an open heart and a quiet mind. In this way, I finally realized that what is important in this life is not to maintain a body that is intact but rather to nurture a soul with integrity.
And so, while I may walk slowly, see poorly, and wake up to new pains now and again, I shall not be defeated nor discouraged, for indeed my soul can still soar and carry me to the heights of joy so long as I tend it well.
I am a sinner, frequently a fool, selfish and self-absorbed, lazy, prideful, pathetically attached to my possessions, a taker more than a giver, and probably a little arrogant (totally without justification) Ė and yet God loves me. That most certainly is amazing grace.
I do not know from where the wind blows, how the earth knows to spin, or why the seasons always change on time. Why then would I expect to understand why there is hardship and misfortune? If I accept that there should be love, laughter, and joy in this world, then why would I not believe that pain, sorrow, and despair, too, are a natural part of the human condition? I am just a tiny thread in the huge tapestry of life; only God can see its overall design. I cannot challenge the ways of His work any more than a painting can question the painter. I do not rail and rant against lifeís adversities, then, but rather I accept them as part of His plan and purpose for me. And in that knowledge, though I must still face lifeís pain, I am relieved of needless anger, fear, and discouragement.
Is it more important that my dreams come true, or that I become the person God dreamed I would be?
That we can still feel hope and joy even in the midst of our suffering is evidence that God is there.
| It is inevitable that every life will be touched by suffering. Thus, we need to learn to believe in ourselves and trust in God. This means accepting that when bad things happen it is part of His plan for us and it is up to us to grow, learn, and become stronger through the adversity. We can add meaning and value to these experiences if we lend our knowledge and grace to others in the future when they must face those same challenges.
Without God, what is hope? Itís like saying a prayer that wonít be heard.
There is no need for fear if we have God in our lives. I know that I have endured very difficult things; things I would have never thought I could rise above. Yet, somehow I did. Was it because I am powerful and great? Of course not. It was because God is powerful and great, and He lifted and loved me through it
I would never ask my best friend in the world to give up his
life for me Ė and yet He did. By His grace, I am
forgiven and salvation can be mine.
It seems to me that we tend not to fully appreciate anything that comes to us too easily. Maybe that is why we value life so highly Ė because it is so hard and challenging. Perhaps that is as it should be.
|After your loved one is gone, you will have many beautiful things to say about them and what they meant to you. What a pity to wait until then.
When I feel truly alone, with a sense of being lost, even empty inside, it is then I realize I have unknowingly moved away from God. So I move back.
Love, after all, is the one thing that really makes it all worth the trouble.
To honor my mother and father, to make my family proud; to be a good friend; to add goodness to the world; and to live a life with meaning and purpose in a way that pleases God Ė this is why Iím here.
As a child, I prayed for what I thought I wanted. As I matured, I learned to pray for what I thought I needed. Finally, with the wisdom of age, I realized I should be praying for what God wants for me and the grace to accept whatever that may be.
To help carry anotherís burden, at least briefly, should be on oneís daily checklist of things to do.
Your advice, your solutions, and your words of wisdom may fall on deaf ears as your friend struggles with his or her dilemma. But your support, your words of kindness, and your willingness to just listen will find the way to your friendís heart.
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|David L. Weatherford|