comfort

Thoughts From a Meltdown

In the Bible, Job is a fascinating read.  Within the first two chapters, we get an insider’s look at conversations between God & Satan about Job.  God is bragging & Satan is accusing, true to form.  From these conversations, Job goes through an horrific season, losing all of his wealth, all of his kids die in one day, his wife is surly, he gets very hurtful boils & his friends are very unfriendly & not constructive.  Job’s life was in meltdown for several months, according to theologians.

What are some helpful things Job said, that might be encouraging to us today?  Below is a list of some key verses and thoughts from Job.  Feel free to share this blog with anyone you know who might be experiencing a life meltdown.

6:14, “For the despairing man there should bekindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”

10:12, “You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your care has preserved my spirit.”

13:15, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”

19:25, ““As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”

23:10, “But He knows the way I take;  WhenHe has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

29:3, “When His lamp shone over my head, Andby His light I walked through darkness;”

42:2, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

20:20, “Because he knew no quiet within him, He does not retain anything he desires.”

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, wednesday nights, 2 comments

Being Uncomfortable

“That’s awkward!”  I’ve said this in various contexts: social, athletic, ministry, cultural & lots more. If you’re like me, we tend to avoid what’s awkward & uncomfortable, but sometimes this is detrimental. 

When I look at Jesus’ disciples, they seemed to follow Jesus into lots of uncomfortable, inconvenient & awkward scenarios, such as sinking boats, conversations with demon possessed people, massive throw downs with religious leaders & not just a few baffling teaching moments / parables. 

Here’s some truth that could be helpful:  uncomfortable is often when we grow the most. And maybe we need to grow & mature more than we need comfort & convenience 🙂

Selah 

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, missions, nightcare, Pentecost, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Pick a Side

I recently enjoyed watching the NCAA college basketball championship game & the most common question was, “Who are you cheering for? Which team do you want to win?”
In essence, which side are you on? As we walked into the arena, we were inundated with Michigan fans so I wasn’t too keen to shout out, “GO ‘NOVA!!!!” But I had definitely picked a side & cheered accordingly.
The same holds true for all of us in the narrative between what the enemy says in contrast to Holy Spirit’s narrative.
The enemy accuses, condemns, shames, deceives & is always trying hurt, kill & destroy us.
On the other side, Holy Spirit advocates, convicts, comforts, leads us into truth, makes us alive, confirms our true identity & continuously pours love into our soul.
So pick your side & actively select the narrative to which you’ll listen & entertain / converse with, keeping in mind the respective outcomes that go with each side 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 0 comments

Don’t Speak

I’ve tried a few times today to write this blog & found myself relatively speechless – an unusual experience for sure ,)
Obviously, something happened because I’m writing now. Actually, nothing happened, except that I remembered Job’s friends. Whenever I read this book, I’m not just a little disappointed or pt off with his buddies. Their words seem harsh, condemning & altogether insensitive. Indeed, the last verse of Job 2 seems to be the high point of their contribution to consoling Job. In this verse it says, “Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”
Sometimes the best thing we can do for a friend who is suffering is just to quietly be present with them. Sometimes our words can be unhelpful, particularly when we don’t know what to say. Sometimes, silence is golden 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Rest for a Weary Soul

I was talking with a friend today & we were discussing the various responsibilities that we have, along with navigating these while avoiding any catastrophes. We had a very nice bonding moment in the conversation, sharing with vulnerability some of our individual struggles. It was a very refreshing chat & it reminded me of something I read from Jesus’ words this morning:
“Come to Me, all you who are weary & heavy laden & I will give you rest . . . For I am gentle & humble in heart & you will find rest for your soul”. Matt 11:28-29

We all have stresses, pressures & responsibilities. We want to do well in these things, so sometimes we can get overwhelmed. Let’s remember to continually come to Jesus to give our soul the rest it needs. 

Here are a few more helpful verses:

  • Surely I’ve composed my soul within me, like a weaned child against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me – Ps 133:2
  • Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me – John 14:1

Let your soul rest in the loving & totally able presence of the Holy Spirit

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Teetering

 When I was learning to snowboard, I would ride in the middle, flat space of my board. This seemed easier & took less work than riding on one of the edges. But whenever I did that, I would inevitably catch an edge & get smashed into the mountain – lots of pain, weeping & gnashing of teeth. I quickly learned that riding the flat part of my board required less balance but was more risky. After some troublesome injuries I decided to quit riding the middle of my board & just stick the edges even though it was more work to stay balanced. 

This lesson rings true for me in my daily living as well. When I get lazy & try to do life in ways that are comfy & convenient, I often run into some challenges that could be avoided if I had done the work to live balanced. It helps me to keep keep my edge in life when I do the extra work, intentionally lean into Jesus & trust walk with the Holy Spirit – Gal 5:16 🙂

Have a happy & balanced day!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, values, watch, 1 comment

Waiting for Coffee

Coffee is important to me. I like the taste, it’s nice to have the little wake it gives me & sometimes it’s like a security blanket when I’m nervous or insecure. So waiting for coffee in the morning is kind of like a daily ritual, along with the exhale the accompanies my first sip 🙂
Sometimes coffee reminds me of the Holy Spirit, who comforts me, gives me power / energy & whose flavor infuses my life with delightful taste & aroma. 

Because Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit is always with us, we don’t have to wait for supernatural Help. Rather, let’s pray to recognize & increase our sensitivity to Heavenly Help throughout today 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

let’s get comfortable

Being comfortable conjures up different things for different people.  For some people, being comfortable can be the experience of sitting by a fireplace in a cozy blanket & reading a book.  For other people, being comfortable is best described as being at a really fun and vibrant party.  For me, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be comfortable and I’ve learned some interesting things to pass along to you:

  • being comfortable can sometimes be an impediment to a deeper relationship with God – discomfort usually makes me do something different
  • I never want my comfort zones to exclude God – indeed, life with God is a more accurate expression of who I really am
  • I’ve learned that I can be extremely comfortable in a variety of external situations because of an internal contentment that comes from some very sweet & rich communion with God
  • when I’m uncomfortable, I tend to lean into God better

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, Ethiopia, family, fasting, Genuine love, Germany, Haiti, Holy Spirit, India, living, missions, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, South Sudan, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

some advice when someone you love dies:

My dad died over this past weekend and it’s been an interesting journey over the last few days with lots of emotions, kind & gentle people along with some rough spots.  If you’ve lost someone who is close to you, or have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that have been helpful to me so far:

  • be gentle with yourself and others:  losing someone who is important in your life is hard so being tender and gentle is a necessary counter-point for this hardness
  • grief is illogical & doesn’t need to be justified:  the “why” questions and appropriate answers don’t help, at least not for me up to this point
  • time versus busy:  some people need activity and to be occupied with doing things while others need some space, but too much time or activity can lead to some bad results
  • presence:  what I’ve found helpful is together-ness, someone being present (but not necessarily chatty – smile)
  • encouragement:  let everyone’s encouragement, kind words and supportive efforts come into your heart;
  • God:  involve God at all levels;  grief and death are not the times to pull away from God

Are there more things that you’ve found helpful?  I’d be keen for your input

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

thank you so much!

Wow!!  I can’t begin to thank everyone for their kind words, support & care after my blog about my dad’s death.  We’ve had such great encouragement, affirming words and love – way beyond my ability to express gratitude.  Thank you again and again!!  While this is a bit of a rough season, it’s also really wonderful to sense Jesus’ love through so many different people and so many different ways.  Thanks loads for letting Jesus use you to bring comfort and care to our family. 

May God reach into your life, open your eyes and increase your sensitivity to the immense and infinite love that God has for you.  Again, thanks so much!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, 0 comments