Tag Archives: distress

Thankfulness in the Midst of Pain

8X11IMG_6208

Artwork Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

It’s that time of year. The holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. We are bombarded with messages of happiness and that it is “the most wonderful time of the year.” But what if you are experiencing heartbreak, discouragement, or illness? What if you can’t even look in your partner’s eyes with love this season? What if life just doesn’t make sense right now?

First, I want to validate the pain you may be feeling at this time of the year with whatever you may be facing. Trials are difficult themselves, let alone dealing with them during the holiday season. So be gentle with yourself. When I need to encourage myself of certain truths or reminders, I break out my index cards and write those truths and reminders on them. One truth I have as a painting is: “Be gentle with your heart.” Isn’t is so easy to be down on ourselves and literally beat ourselves up emotionally over the troubles we are already facing? So take heart, lift up your head. There are things to be thankful for. Remember that. Just take a moment to think of even the simplest things you are grateful for. It might not feel like a lot, but I pray this simple exercise will bring at least some relief. You see, when we are in pain, it is hard to get our focus off of ourselves. We can spiral into negativity, which breeds more negatively. Thanksgiving is a way to help you get back on track. And remember, you don’t have to be thankful for everything, but in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). In other words, God is saying He wants us to always choose thankfulness, even if it doesn’t all make sense or seem good. So we can thank Him in our distress, as opposed to for our distress. He isn’t the one who sends distress (that is from Satan), but He will use it for our good (Romans 8:28).

Can you trust God with your pain today? Take a step toward Him, be gentle with your heart, and find a little something to be thankful for. Praise God that we have Him as our hope, an anchor for our soul.

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

Is His Yoke Really Easy?

Recently, God challenged me if I really believed the Scripture that His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30, NIV). My flesh screamed with thoughts like, how could that be true when my life feels so hard? Yet, in this moment, I felt Him whisper, “If it’s not easy, it’s not God.” Now, keep reading, because I’m not in any way saying life is never hard or we don’t have to put effort into things – let’s unpack this and see if we can’t find a balanced, Biblical view of this verse.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

The first part of this scripture is an invitation to come to Jesus. Then, He gives us a promise of rest, followed by another invitation to take on His yoke and learn from Him. He then makes a statement of His character of gentleness and humility. Again, He promises rest. Finally, He makes an unfathomable statement: “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So if we are to take on His yoke, it is easy. Really? How could that be? What if we radically believed that statement and applied it to our lives?

I don’t think easy means perfect or that it means we won’t face suffering. This scripture is an invitation to come to Him for rest and comfort IN our times of hardship and distress. God promises we will have trouble in this world, but there is an easier way. And, this scripture points to that easier way.

Do you hear Him tugging on your heart to lean into Him and find rest? I pray you would find that peaceful, true rest that only HE can give. Take comfort in Him today. Ask Him to show you what it means to rest and take on His easy yoke. He’s waiting!

 

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah