Our Problems Disappear

where-all-problems-go-away-true-story-‚öĹūüĎĆ-7856435We all need a place to escape sometimes. ¬†For some of us it is a soccer game, as in this¬†picture here. ¬†For others it is something a little (or a lot) more destructive, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and the list goes on. ¬†

What are we escaping from?

We escape from ¬†work, family problems, financial problems, heartache, health problems, etc. ¬†Problems are many times the focus of our attention because we are drawn to what hurts at the moment. ¬†It’s like when we stub out little toe;¬†we grab our toe and moan until the pain subsides. ¬†Likewise, most of us focus on our problems or pain until it goes away.

What is the real problem?

The real problem is not work, the family, finances, heartache, or heath, etc.  It is our focus.  What is our focus.  I have found that the more I focus on myself, the more problems I seem to have.  I am always concerned about what I want, how I feel; and I complain about what is not perfect and who is not doing what I want.  

Change of focus

So where should our focus be? ¬†Many times in my life I have felt my focus being pulled away from my own problems when I see another bigger problem out there somewhere. ¬†Out in the world, in my community, or among my friends. ¬†When I see a catastrophe like war, tsunamis, or poverty ¬†or when I see a friend get evicted from their home or someone I know loses a family member, that is when my problems seem to disappear. ¬†In the light of major catastrophes or serious problems all around me, my problems seems to be a trivial matter. ¬†So the problem is not my situation. ¬†It is my focus. ¬†It is my response to my problems. ¬†Do I sit and sulk? ¬†Do I worry and complain? ¬†Do I have a pity party and wonder when I will get my way, when my kids will finally behave, when my bills will ever get paid? ¬†If so, I end up worrying and becoming depressed. ¬†However….

 Focus on Jesus

If I focus on Jesus, first of all, I know He has the answer and with Him I can get through the problem. ¬†My problem may not actually disappear, but I do not worry about it because “Papa” will take care of it and see me through it.

Focus on others

Prayer is a wonderful thing.  When I pray for myself, I can focus on Jesus and know he has my problems in His hands and will fix everything until I feel okay again. When I pray for others, I get my focus off of myself and realize that I am not alone in my battles, pain, and heartaches.  

When I see what is happening in the world I still know that God is sovereign and is not up there wringing his hands wondering what to do.  He has it all under control. Sure, He gave some authority to us and commanded us to take charge of things on Earth, but He is there to help us if we ask Him.  

JOY

I once heard the definition of Joy as Jesus Others Yourself. ¬†That is what our focus should be. ¬†Jesus first, others second, and ourselves last. ¬†We are here to Worship God. ¬†That is our primary focus. ¬†Then we are also here to love others. ¬†Sometimes our focus should be on them more than ourselves. ¬†Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” ¬†We should thing of others needs. ¬†Although we should not neglect ourselves, we should just realize that when we put others first at times, our problems seem smaller or even non existent as we focus on something else.

Continue reading “Our Problems Disappear”

Look at the stars

I love this quote I found online.  I believe this to the very core of my being.  There is light!

Looking around at the world today and all that is happening in the news, we will notice a lot of bad; there is a lot of hatred, sorrow, terrorism, etc. ¬†We will notice people who don’t care any more. ¬†There is more financial stress, more destruction, and more illness, and the list goes on. Many people can grow cold and uncaring or just become immune to all the evil in the world. ¬†What was once devastating or shocking to society years ago will be acceptable or ‘normal’ today. ¬†Take divorce for example. ¬†It is very commonplace today, but a couple hundred years ago, if someone were to say they were getting divorced, they would probably be either shamed or pitied greatly. ¬†Now it is much more acceptable.

In a world growing cold, immoral, or uncaring I can find myself becoming judgmental. ¬†It’s just not the way it used to be. ¬†More and more of what is acceptable now was immoral 50 years ago. ¬†It is very easy to focus on what is bad in the world. ¬†The news, for example has mostly stories of terrorism, war, and crime with only a short human interest story at the end. ¬†There is a way¬†I’ve learned to stop being so sorrowful and disappointed concerning the world system.

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Look at the stars

The more darkness there is, the more stars I can see.  I can go out to the country and see an image such as the one here.  A  multitude of stars in space.  There is darkness all around, but so many stars to enjoy.  If I keep my head up instead of down, I can see more light instead of darkness.

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In the city, with all the lights, buildings, and cars, there is much less light in the sky. ¬†It’s easy for me to be so distracted by the action, people, and things around me that I no longer see the stars. ¬†The world is in the way. ¬†Even when I do look up, the stars are much less noticeable. ¬†Most of them are dimmed in the midst of the lights of the world.

Look to God

god-is-light-in-him-there-is-no-darkness-at-all-quote-1ddf4ec73a44f86ca71ac6d1320605afeThese two verses say it all. ¬†“God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5. ¬†and “Set your mind on thing above.” ¬†Colossians 3:2. ¬†If I keep looking up, if I look at the stars in the night sky¬†instead of the darkness itself, I can see light. ¬†There is still good in the world. ¬†There is still happiness. God is teaching me not be so negative. ¬†Do not see the glass half empty. ¬†Do not look only to the faults in the world. ¬†See the small points of light in the midst of darkness. ¬†Focus on the positive.

Like Carrie Hope Fletcher said, “Happiness is always there. You just have to choose to see it. There’s no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars.” ¬†See link above for more information on Carrie Hope Fletcher.

How to Change Worry to Peace and Freedom

Worry happens when we take on a responsibility that is not ours.

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Jesus told us that we should not worry.¬†Philippians 4:6-7 in the New Living Translation says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. ¬†Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. ¬†Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. ¬†His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

1 Peter 5:7 says  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Jesus wants all our cares.  That is why he came.  He came to walk beside us and carry our load.  

We worry about our children

When our children are small and live at home, we don’t tend to worry about how to feed them, how their diaper is going to be changed, or how to carry out our basic responsibilities toward that child. ¬†We have been given the¬†ability to do these things because it is our responsibility and God gives us the knowledge and strength to¬†carry them out. ¬†When our children grow up and move out of the house, they start making their own decisions and choices. ¬†They are no longer under our chain¬†of command and are no longer our responsibility. ¬†We can counsel them when they ask or help them when they need help; but, ultimately, they are now under God’s chain of command and if we start to worry, it’s because we have no control over the situation. ¬†It is not ours to control so God has not given us that ability, strength or knowledge.

We worry about finances

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When we worry about finances, that is also taking on a responsibility that is not ours.  The bible says in Philippians 4:19 that God will supply all our needs.  So ultimately it is His responsibility, not ours.  That does not mean we sit back and wait for someone, sent by God, to hand us all the money we need to life.  Our responsibility is to ask God to supply our needs then listen to His plan of action.  He will tell us where to work and how to earn an income.  Our responsibility is simply obedience to his Word, spoken or written.  Once we obey, He honors and blesses us.  

We worry about the future.

called-to-be-loved-26-638So, we cannot control our grown children, we cannot control our finances (our trust is in God, not money or our present economy), and we certainly cannot control our future.  It has not happened yet and we never know what is around the corner, but God knows and He works all things together for our good.  Most things we worry about that concern the future will either never happen or they will be things we can handle and eventually walk out of victoriously.

So what are we to do?

Just live like a child. ¬†Again referring to Jesus’ teachings, He told us to come to Him as little children. ¬†Have you noticed how happy little children are? ¬†They know they cannot buy their own food, or dress themselves, or take care of even their most basic needs. ¬†But they trust their caregivers to care for them. ¬†All they need to do is come when called and let their caregivers hand them all that they need. ¬†That is what our Savior can do for us. ¬†He will hand us all we need as long as we live for Him and obey His leading. ¬†And no, our parents will not always hand us everything we want. ¬†They know we need to eat our veggies and protein, not only sweets. ¬†So, also, God will not hand us all we WANT. ¬†Only what we NEED. ¬†Trust in Him. ¬†Let go. ¬†Be free.

Soothing the Soul

Three things that soothe my soul.

MUSIC:  Do you ever wonder why there is music playing everywhere?  Everywhere we go: restaurants, malls, department stores, and the list goes on.  Music is a source of rest and relaxation for me. I will listen to different types of music depending upon my mood.  I like soft ambiance type music, slow and soothing, when I am stressed and need to cool off emotionally speaking.  When I am sad I like to listen to upbeat Christian music that lifts me up and get my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping.  When I feel lonely I like to listen to love songs about how much Christ loves me.  And sometimes I like listening to romantic music about the love between a husband and wife.  There is music for all ages, races, nationalities, and personalities.  Music is a common ground that all people can appreciate sometime in their life.

MEDITATION:   Many times I like to sit and let my mind wander.  I often do this while taking a long drive out of town here in North Texas.  I look out at the plains, the farm fields, the road ahead of me, and just think of nothing.  I let thoughts float by and when one interesting thought comes my way I may ponder it for a while.  If it is a problem I need to solve, I pray about it and ask God to show me how to fix it.  Many times it is just a thought about a random subject that I begin to analyze or a topic that I try to outline or learn from.  Sometimes I just sit there and listen to the birds sing, the wind blow or the soft music playing in the background of my mind.  (I often seem to have some song in my head playing in the background of my thoughts).  Meditation like this can be like dreaming while you are awake.  I have read somewhere that dreaming is like organizing your experiences of life that day and filing your thoughts, memories, and emotional experiences in your mind.

MEMORIZATION

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The scripture above is a great example of how scripture can soothe the soul.  We have every blessing available to us through Jesus Christ.  If we search the scriptures we can find a multitude of blessings we can receive or have received from Him.  The best way to keep this with us is to memorize scripture.  We can say at any moment, wherever we are, that we are blessed by God.  And this soothes my soul.  Another good example is Psalms 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your [a]years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Emotions of Life

emoticonsDuring our lives, we (especially women) go through many faces of emotion.¬† Throughout my times of strong emotional uprise, I have vented those emotions by writing poetry.¬† I have compiled those times into one larger poem called “From the Heart”.¬† You can read it¬†¬†here.

I realize at the end of those emotions that Jesus is always the answer.  When we are happy, Jesus is the reason (John 10:10).  When we are sad, Jesus is the One to whom we can run(Matthew 11:28-30).  When we are angry, Jesus takes revenge for us (Romans 12:19). 

King David complained to the Lord a lot in the Psalms; however, at the end of most of those Psalms, he would exclaim something like “But God” or “And yet will I praise You”.¬† Sometimes he just talked to his soul and told himself to hope in God:

Ps. 42

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long,

‚ÄúWhere is your God?‚ÄĚ

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon‚ÄĒfrom Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me‚ÄĒ
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?‚ÄĚ
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
‚ÄúWhere is your God?‚ÄĚ

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

No matter what our emotions are, we can rest assured that Jesus will be there for us.

 

LIVE FOR TODAY

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Matt. 6:34 states “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”¬†

In today’s society with the economy, politics, etc. the way they are we need to focus on today.¬† Focus on this moment right now.¬† We need to forget about yesterday and it’s guilt, mistakes, missed windows of opportunity, etc.¬† We need to trust in God and not worry about what will happen tomorrow.¬† Let go of the fear, worry, unknown, etc.

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Prov. 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.¬† In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

Trust the Lord with your future.  It belongs to Him.  He knows what is coming.  Only then will we have the peace that comes from knowing everything will be okay.

CAST YOUR BURDENS

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When I think about this, I like to think of a fisherman.  When he casts his line, he casts it out there too far to reach.  It flies forward hundreds of feet and sinks into the ocean.

When I cast my cares on Jesus, I need not just lay it as His feet, just within reach, then pray a while, pick my burden back up and leave.  How many times have I done that?

When I cast my burden into the depths of the sea, Jesus walks right down in there and picks up my burden, carries it to the Father, and Abba Father, “Daddy God” takes care of it for me.

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Thank you Lord, for taking this from me, removing it from my shoulders forever and lightening my burden.