My alarm went off and for only the briefest of moments I was unaware of time and space. And then it registered as my eyes focused.
A new week ahead. It's been a long time now, but there have been many a Monday when I woke lonely. Or Mondays when I woke afraid. There have been many a Monday I woke grieving. Many a Monday I woke feeling sicker than I ever cared to feel. Many a Monday I woke thinking of a friend enduring a heartache that I shared for them. Or Mondays when I awoke to unthinkable news in our world on the radio. And many a Monday I woke wondering how I could possibly handle my feelings.
Mondays when I wondered, "Lord, what do I do now?"
And God always brings me back to exactly what to do when I just….don’t….know…what….to…do.
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:19
There it is. The secret to finding hope and peace and purpose when circumstances have us turned upside down.
1.) Remember that you have a good and faithful God who doesn’t make mistakes.
2.) Know that all things pass through His hands and that His will allows suffering at times.
3.) Commit yourself to your faithful Creator-your body, your mind, your heart, your friends, your family, your job, your world, your dreams-your whole life.
4.) And continue to do good. Today, you can look beyond your feelings and circumstances and…do….good.
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
If you find yourself facing circumstances that are less than what you would desire this week, remember that our lives are not about being comfortable or pain-free. That is not our example in Scripture. But our lives are meant to be free from the destruction of any thing or emotion that would master us. We are to embody a life of steadfast joy.
Our lives can have purpose even in pain.
Our hearts can look beyond ourselves towards the good we can do for others. You and I are called to honor God by doing good. To be different. And through the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to show others what hope looks like.
Hope looks like getting out of bed.
Hope looks like helping someone else when the help we need ourselves is not there.
Hope looks like being purposeful to go to work with the goal of a job well done when our hearts may fail within us and nobody knows.
Hope looks like showing our families that we can utter a prayer of gratitude for our bed, our food-whatever we can muster, though they see the ocean waves surround us.
And hope looks like God who promises to never leave us or forsake us and calls us blessed who have faith without seeing.
Go into today and see it as the gift it is, despite whatever you woke up to. And find good to do. You were created for it. You will find hope as you accomplish it, and healing will come.
YOUR TURN! Sometimes, we feel that we can not carry on, but He carries us. Keep going. Do good. Can I pray for you today?