Sharon's Corner is a periodically updated blog exploring some of today's most pressing issues. Topics range from marriage, finances, relationships, and any other issues in your life.
One More Crisis
Friday, September 30, 2011

What a night!
I was sitting at my computer, desperately trying to complete several writing projects whose deadlines were fast approaching! I got a phone call from a close friend asking prayer for her family which was in the midst of dealing with a serious dilemma. I hung up from talking with her and a few minutes later the phone rang again. It was one of our children calling with very sad news and asking for prayer. Minutes after ending that conversation, I received another call from a family member sharing some difficult challenges that have arisen for their family.

Then my husband returned from teaching a seminar. He plunked down in the chair beside me and I began to pour out the “woes” of the evening to him. Suddenly he was hit with excruciating pain… he knew immediately it was kidney stone pain. We ended up making a rush trip to the ER, returning only early the next morning.

I admit I began to wonder what in the world had hit us! Not only had all of this transpired in one evening… but in just the last two weeks there had been several other unexpected difficulties… a job lay-off, several illnesses and alarming counseling cases at our workplace.

Right smack in the middle of these pressures, we hosted our annual luncheon for widows here at ALM. Each year around 200 ladies attend this event. It was a great day, with so many of the guests expressing sincere appreciation for planning a day aimed simply at blessing women who have gone through the pain of losing a beloved spouse.

In sharing with the group that day I told the story of two children who were playing on a hillside when they noticed that sunset was fast approaching. One of the children said wonderingly, “See how far the sun has gone! A little while ago it was right over that tree, and now it is low down in the sky.” Then his brother answered, “But it isn’t the sun that moves, it’s the earth. You know, Father told us.” The first child shook his head and insisted, “The sun did move… I saw it! And the earth did not move… because I was standing on it all the time. I believe what I see,” he said triumphantly. But the second child answered so wisely, “And I believe Father!”

In the crises of life which inevitably come to every one of us, we can feel like God has moved… like He’s disappeared from sight. In reality we’re the ones that get spun around and turned upside down by the passing of time and events. But our Heavenly Father remains firmly in His place. It is easy to believe in God’s care and provision when it seems like the sun is shining brightly on our lives, but when circumstances seem dark and foreboding it takes faith to know that He is still there and can be trusted.

I’ve found that my faith grows best in the hard times. I often say to myself when faced with a trial… “Either God is big enough to see me through this, or He isn’t. I choose to believe that He will see me through!”

Not all of the crises of the past weeks have been resolved yet. My husband is feeling better and I’ve completed my work deadlines. But several of the other situations still hover like black clouds over us. Nevertheless, my heart is at peace, because I know my Lord sees through those clouds and is watching over me as He always does! As Scripture says, He will never leave me or forsake me!” I’m not alone in the hardships of life and that makes all the difference in the world!

But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

“Thank You Lord for being with me through the tough times, through the tangled messes I get myself into, through the catastrophes and quandaries that threaten to overwhelm me! Thank You for giving me hope and power and peace and courage and wisdom and strength, no matter what life throws at me. Thank You for getting me through the trials of this past week! And… since I suspect there will undoubtedly be one more crisis down the road (or two or three or more!)… Thank You for getting me through that one too!”

Unchangeable Change
Friday, September 11, 2009

I don’t particularly like change.

My husband and I had been “empty-nesters” for about four years. We were pretty much adjusted to the life of a twosome. Then this past October our daughter and son-in-law and their four young children moved in with us while they sold their house in Maryland and found another home in PA. Ten months later, we were used to the liveliness of eight people in the house. Last week they moved into their new home and we were hurled into an empty nest all over again!

I wish that I could freeze time…. I’d love to stop the clock when all my children are happily married with children of their own, when they all live within thirty minutes of my house, when my husband and I are getting along famously, when the whole family is in total agreement on matters of religion and politics, when each member in our family, as well as our extended family and closest friends are healthy and happy, and of course when my husband and I look and feel fifteen years younger than our age and are totally capable of living independently!. Let time stop right there!

But it never does! It marches on. Each day and every encounter brings change of some kind. It’s inevitable. No matter how much I wish it otherwise, I can’t change the reality of change.

So what can I do?

I’ve tried some poor approaches… crying, complaining, resisting, running. None of these change the change. In fact they usually make me feel worse!

There must be a better way…

I the Lord do not change. (Malachi 3:6)

Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38 & 39)

Ah… the Unchangeables: God, His Word and His love. Three glorious unchangeables! Three rocks that will not move no matter how many people or circumstances threaten to turn me upside down.

The old hymnwriter wrote, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future!” I’d put a little different spin on that…“I do know what the future holds…change (more and more change, every day change, unrelenting change… changes I like and changes I hate). But in the midst of them all God and His Word and His love will be there. They will support me. They will comfort me. They will help me.

Perhaps change isn’t so bad after all.