Thoughts

suffering, truth

Most of us have experienced things in our life that cause us pain. I have endured, survived, and thrived after pains, joys, traumas, and the normal ups and downs that are common to man.

For many years I struggled to make sense of traumas in my youth, abuses to me and to people I love. I agonized over trying to make sense and reconcile two realities that I know are true: God is love, and He was there; and there is real evil in the world and there are people who do horrible things.

I can’t tell you exactly when or how it happened, but one day I suddenly realized that I no longer was pained over these two coexisting realities. Glorious freedom and peace ensued. It’s not that I had it all figured out, but just that I made peace with the fact that I would never figure it out.

However, I am faced with the frustration of this type of thing again with physical limitations in my health. I do know that God is love. He is fully aware of my plight and cares for me. At the same time I am not fully healed. This causes me to feel as if my brain is on overdrive at times.

I know that you and I cannot make sense of evil and sickness and suffering in the world and the truth that God is real, He is present and He is all-powerful. My assignment for myself this week is to stop thinking so much and to stop trying to make sense of it all.

Does it ever feel like your brain looks like this? Mine sure does!

Does it ever feel like your brain looks like this? Mine sure does!

Instead, I will meditate on truths that are real and unchanging. God is good.

Psalm 119:68

You are good, and what you do is good; 

teach me your decrees.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.

 

Photo credit: charlottesiems.com

 

Downtime: Wasted time or time invested

Christianity

This is not a guilt trip. It’s just something that I’m observing in my own life lately. We are all hard-wired to need rest. It’s always fascinated me that when we were created, it was with a huge physical limitation: our bodies need sleep and rest daily. That is surely by design and I don’t think God did that on accident. Every day, we must sleep and we must rest. Or we’ll be a little bonkers.

I’ve made my disclaimer, so now here’s my main point: Downtime can be different from rest. This is time when we’re taking it easy, hanging out, and it’s usually with some kind of passive activity, like TV or computer surfing, or reading. What I’ve been noticing about myself is that downtime can be a supreme waste or it can be valuable time invested for my soul, heart, and mind. Reminder: I’m not guilt-tripping myself or anyone else. Having the last couple months of my life with lots of physical limitations, I’ve been homebound or couch-bound a LOT. That means a whole lot of downtime, and it’s gotta be filled with something!

Here’s what got me thinking about it. Someone asked me what my days looked like when I’m stuck at home because I’m not well. On some days, I’ll surf the internet for hours, perusing Pinterest and DIY blogs. I’ll detour into all kinds of interesting cyber-places. I don’t watch a ton of TV unless it’s the weekend. But boy, on the weekend, if I’m homebound, you better betcha I’m checking out episodes of my favorite shows On Demand! These are the things I naturally and passively do, without really thinking about what I’m doing.

Other days, I will have the passing thought that it actually matters what goes into my brain and what my eyes see. On this kind of day, I’ll listen to sermons of pastors that I respect, I’ll read and practice memorizing portions of the Bible, and be intentional with downtime. Last week I ran across this short video that explains the value of meditation and memorizing Scripture. It fired me up and got me excited to tackle some larger portions of the Bible to memorize. Check it out.

Since watching it, I’m working on Psalm 46. Piper’s point is true, that God speaks through our mediation of Scripture. It has been meaningful on so many occasions since I started. Try it, it’s fun!